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post #3 of Old 10-01-2006
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Single handing a smallish boat like a C22 should be no problem.
Staying on board is job one. Find a way to secure yourself, especially in any kind of seas, and of course wear a good PFD at all times.

The biggest problem with boats this size is that if you tie off the tiller and then move to do a task your weight upsets the trim enough that the boat starts to turn.

If an autopilot is not on the shopping list, a line can be rigged from the tiller, out around the foredeck and back to the tiller. This can allow you to adjust the helm from anywhere you are likely to be on the boat. Put enough friction in the setup that you can pull it but it will stay put if let go.

Self tailers do, as described above, make trimming the headsail a one handed operation, albeit slower. In lieu of that costly fix, usually there is enough pressure on the tiller from weather helm to brace it against your leg and trim and tail the sail. Also, slow down your turns in the tacks and you will likely get the sail in almost all the way without a winch handle.

For gybes and off-the-wind tack changes, steering with the tiller between your knees and handling sheets works well.

Whether to run all the lines aft is a decision that must be made as well. Typically halyards, vangs and sometimes reef lines are led aft. Leading reeflines aft can lead to excessive friction that makes it difficult to fully put a reef in. Whichever path you take, as a singlehander make sure you can reach and secure the halyards, and the reef tack and clew lines from one location. The simplest way to do this is to leave them all on the mast and near the gooseneck. (less hardware and simpler rigging) However it requires leaving the helm for the entire operation so some effective form of self steering is required. Of course, an auto pilot will do that for you.
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