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post #14 of Old 10-16-2006
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I routinely single-hand my Oday 23, a boat similar in size and temperment to the Catalina 22. I made three changes to my boat that make it a pleasure to single-hand. First and most important: roller furling. Can't say enough good things about it. Having to go out onto the foredeck of my small boat with no one on the tiller in rough conditions was at best a very unpleasant experience. At worst, it can be disasterous. This upgrade was worth every penny. Upgrade #2 was a "tiller tamer". This $25 gadget is terrific. It holds the tiller so I can lean back and relax or go below and take care of some business. There are various versions of these devices on the market, but I have the one made by Davis Instruments. The device is less efficient at holding the boat into the wind when I go to the mast to raise the main, but its much better than nothing. And, it works terrific on a reach or a beat. Upgrade #3: "Winchers". Those blue rubber rings that turn a plain non-tailing winch into a reasonable facsimile of a self-tailer. They work very nicely, although if you expect perfection you will be disappointed. On rare occasions, they do slip, but they are a great value. Also, invest in a good quality self-inflating PFD. IMHO, one should always wear a PFD when solo, and you don't want to give yourself any excuses for not wearing one.
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