A ketch is a two-masted sailboat whose mainmast is taller than the mizzen mast (or aft-mast), generally in a 40-foot or bigger boat. The name ketch is derived from catch. The ketch's main mast is usually stepped in the same position as in a sloop.
The sail-plan of a ketch is similar to that of a yawl, on which the mizzen mast is smaller and set further back. The addition of headsails can make a cutter-ketch. In New England in the 1600s the ketch was a small coastal craft. In the 1700s it disappeared from contemporary records, apparently replaced by the schooner.
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