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post #4 of Old 04-03-2004
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Singlehand question on buying new boat

Hi Ed: What you describe is much of wha I do with my Beneteau Firsr 345. I frequently go out after work, sailing out for an hour or two,then back. I do some weekend sailing, plus aweek or so with one or more of my teen age grandsons.
The 345 has a masthead rig. I usually use the 157% jenny. Sometimes I sail with just the jenny.
Lake Ontario, where I sail, is generally a light wind environment; but some days it gets heavy.
I installed an autohelm. It is unparalled when you have tasks to do such as raising, lowering, or trimming sails; or undertaking tasks that take you away from the helm.
Good winches for sail handling are essential. Mine are all two speed, and for boats in the sizes you''re looking at two or three speed winches are neeeded.
I have been single handing for a number of years. The best advice I can give you is take things easy. I always enter and leave a slip dead slow. When single handing allow yourself extra time for every manouver, and think them through ahead of time as much as you can.
I will turn 73 this summer, am 5''7", 195#. I have a heart conition (atrial fibrilation), diabetes, and osteoporosis.
I only mention these matters is so that you know that it isn''t necessary to be an Olympic athlete, or even close to it for single handed coastal sailing.
One other thing: before buying put as much water under the keels of prospective boats as you can. One way is to put in an offer to purchase with a non-refundable deposit of say $500.00, dependant on a seven day sea trial in local waters. If you buy then the depopsit is applied on the purchase price. If you don''t buy you have had a reasonbly priced charter.
Sorry I can''ttell you anything about the specific boats that you are considering, except that my Beneteau is great.
Regards: Murray Eades
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