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Old 03-25-2013
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Re: Mostly singlehanded...what lines should I run aft?

Wow! Interesting thread.

Well, here is my two (or three) cents worth:

Regarding winch placement and lines...

My boat is a Catalina 400. It has inmast furling. All the lines are run aft. I would not have it any other way. This is one of the key bonuses of inmast - you don't have to leave the cockpit in almost any weather. I find that more valueable on this boat and this configuratoin than keeping things at the mast. However, I am seriouzly looking at putting in clutches at the mast which would get the halyards out of my dodger. I have seen many boats do this and I think it is a great idea.

My dad's boat (and realistically ours too) is a Tayana Vancouver 42. It has a traditional slab reef. I obviously spend and have spent a fair amount of time on it. WHen we bought the boat, the boat had all the lines leading aft - in cluding the halyards and reefing lines. Hated it!! We had winches placed on the mast for reefing and hauling the halyard. Life is much, much better. On that boat, you can go to the mast, lean against the grannys, and relatively easily drop in a j-reef or raise the halyard. I find that with a trad main, you are probaly going to the mast to drop in a reef anyways (I always do/did on my 380 too). Might as well put the lines where they are easiest to handle.

SO two different boats, two different answers. I think both are right for those boats and rigging.

Regarding dodgers...

Sorry Jon - I love them. But yours and Dave's points are well taken about the "holes" through them. I will say that when crossing from Pensacola, we took a breaker onto the dodger that ripped the velcro off the bottom and put the water into the cockpit (not sure if that made sense). In one sense, I hated getting everything wet and wish it had been secured better (much like Valiant does theirs). On the other hand, I wonder what that kind of force would have done to the dodger had it not been able to release some of the load??? Anyways, I wholeheartedly agree with Dave that the boat should stay dry and salt free down below - especially as a cruiser. Otherwise, it is just misery.

Regarding all the new gadgets...

I have mixed opinions. THings like Sat phones, SSB, EPirbs, AIS, radar, and GPS have made us safer and less safe. Many of us sail via GPS/Chartplotter (I am one of them) and if they went down, many of us would have a real difficulty finding our way to our intended destination. Case in point: On the way back from the Tortugas one time, I shut off the chartplotter for a little practice session with my dead reckoning. You see, offshore I take 30 minute plottings on paper, with COG, SOG, wind, etc. It was a nice day and a good time to give my seamanship a test in controlled conditions. Well, within 30 minutes or an hour of careful hand steering, I sucesfully put us way off our course! THE XTE was terrible. Of course, I need more practice, but my point is that while many of these items make us safer, they also make us rusty on our seamanship. And to think that many people (even cruisers) I meet do not paper plot or often even carry paper backups... that is scary!! Regading the joy stick docking thing... well, I sure hope his battery doesn't go dead while he is near me! I would love to have a bow thruster on our boat, and would buy one if it were in the cruising budget, but somehow I have managed to get along without it. I will say that I have serious concerns for many of the boaters I see should their bow thruster go out. What happened to learning how to spring off a dock, bow-in to a slip, keep your boat pointed into the wind waiting for a bridge... etc.

Regarding inmast or inboom versus slab...

I was all against it until I had it and learned how to use it. I have written articles on this. I really like a GOOD inmast (there are some that are not). You are safe, you can reef to any point, you stay in the cockpit, you will likely use your main more, you can easily rig a trysail (two separate tracks), etc. I would not go back to a trad main unless I was racing.

Brian

PS Keep the comments focused on the subject, not the person. We are all friends here.
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