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Old 11-05-2009
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Single handed cruising

Hello everyone!
I'm new to this forum and this is my first post.
I'm trying to find some resource material regarding single-handed cruising, in particular in the Caribbean.
I am 57 years old and have no family or spouse - and my dream is to live aboard a 34-40 foot boat that is designed and equipped for living 'on the hook' and capable of being handled by a single person.
I am trying not to go into this with my eyes shut, and am doing what I can to learn as much as possible before jumping in with both feet.
I've read many posts here, and learned quite a bit from your experiences. I have also bought and am reading Mark Nicholas' book, "The Essentials of Living Aboard a Boat" - which is sobering and encouraging at the same time.
Despite my efforts, there are many questions that I still have and seem unable to find answers for. Maybe some of you can help?
I'm not going to ask all my questions in this post - and don't worry, I already am aware of many of the requirements for living on the hook, such as adequate tankage, power generation, water conservation etc.
Here's my first question.
What rigging and sail plan works best for single-handed sailing?
I realize this depends on the experience and abilities of the sailor. Although I did some sailing when I was younger out in Vancouver, B.C., I will be having to brush up on a lot of things. I'm going to the US Virgin Islands in April for a one week ocean sailing and navigation course, which I am looking forward to immensely.
I'm interested in a cutter rig - in particular, a Tayana 37 which seems to have the fuel, water, waste capacity and sturdiness that would seem to suit my needs. But I don't know how two fore-sales could be handled by a single person. I'm not set on the Tayana, but from what I've seen they seem like good boats. Any others that I should be looking at?
I know what a self-tacking jib is, but I don't know if a cutter could be fitted with one. I think I know what a club-footed sail is, but I'm not completely sure how it works. I also don't know how dependable furling sails are, in particular mainsail boom furlings.
If any of you can help with these question, I would be very pleased to hear your words of wisdom!
Thanks, and I'm looking forward to becoming a regular contributor to this forum.
Cheers!
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