Messing about in boats since 1975.  Online Since 1997.

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The 36' Ketch "GRACE"

Copyright 1999 - 2010 Michael Kasten

36' Ketch - GRACE - Kasten Marine Design, Inc.
Sail Plan | Interior

Hull Form

Grace is from the lineage of the 42' Zephyr and the 42' Highland Lass II. As with those designs, Grace is intended to be easily built, so makes use of a single chine fully developable hull shape. For the sake of economy Grace has an all steel hull, deck and house.

Having been originally designed for steel, this means that construction in all aluminum is very easily arranged - mainly just a re-specification of the scantlings and the ballast, plus a few added notes on the drawings and in the Vessel Specification.


Hull dimensions and displacement are as follows:


The interior drawn for Grace has the benefit of a 'midship galley that spans both sides of the vessel. This arrangement maximizes the cabin sole area, i.e. the galley is in the widest part of the hull, so it can have a wide sole area that is not trying to climb up the hull sides (as would be the case if the galley were aft). Here, the galley is also in proximity to the settees just forward.

The settees are in this case, not full length berths, but instead are comfortable seats on either side of a center table, hung off the main mast. The benefit of locating the settees in this spot is that there is plenty of headroom above, and combined with the forward "V" berth, the seating is more or less a large "U" shape that wraps around the table. Plenty of play area really...! Even so, each settee seat can be used for younger guests, much to their delight because they get to be nearby!

Due to the ketch rig, the main mast is far enough aft to allow there to be a permanent double berth forward without hindrance from the mast. Right aft of the galley is a head compartment to starb'd and a bureau / hanging locker to port. With a flip-up sink, there is convenience and a very conservative use of space. With the galley and the head compartment amidships, this allows a pair of quarter berths to be located aft. This arrangement maximizes the usable cabin space, making excellent use of the large area below the aft deck, allowing two guests to sleep in relative privacy.

If it were so desired, on quarter berth could be made into a large storage area aft, and the forward end turned into a seat facing forward. The bureau / hanging locker could then turned into a chart desk. Personally, I'd prefer to have the hanging locker...! These are practical matters really, and I've yet to see a better overall layout for a mid-30's size vessel.


In keeping with the rest of the boat, the rig has been kept quite simple both to build and to use. Still, ample sail area is provided. It can be argued that the ketch rig provides a larger number of balanced sail combinations than any other rig. It is one of the reasons for the popularity of the ketch rig for voyaging.

The low aspect gaff mains'l on Grace gives quite a good spread of canvas. When running, what wind escapes from the main is intended to be captured in light airs by replacing the jib with a genoa, and then using the jib as a mizzen stays'l. Very neat and practical, since only one extra sail need be carried for light weather, and the jib can perform double duty.

The spars are all aluminum pipe. When painted, everyone will assume they are wooden spars. Aluminum pipe is stronger than wooden spars and weighs no more. The fittings are fully welded in place, making aluminum pipe spars very quick to fabricate. Due to there being far less labor involved, they are also considerably less costly than to fabricate the same fittings in steel for placement on a wooden mast. Aluminum spars of this type will last longer and require less maintenance than spars built in any other material, bar none.

Self Steering

With a sheet rove through a few blocks along the windward side from the stays'l boom to the tiller, plus a stout bungee cord on the other side of the tiller, Grace will self-steer very well.  Some may not believe that this simple sheet-to-tiller arrangement works well enough to do without a steering vane or auto-pilot. Given the combination of keel, hull and rig design that we have provided for Grace, it very definitely does!!

We have steered many a voyage using this arrangement. Tracking is excellent, and... you can't beat the cost of setting it up...!  For more information about Grace, please inquire.