Small Boat for Solo Sailing
I am looking for a "good" small boat for single-handed day sailing (little or no overnight cruising). An open cockpit 17'-20' boat is my preference but I would consider up to 25'.
I sail in the ocean just off the coast of So. California. The winds are usually light to gentle, often < 10 mph, occasionally up to 15 mph.
I would prefer a boat that is trail-able and dry stored, perhaps with a lifting keel. However, I don't want to overlook an otherwise good boat just because it doesn't meet this preference.
I have been told there are two ways to approach this search:
* 1.) look until you find the "right" boat for single-handed sailing or
* 2.) select a boat you like and modify it for solo sailing.
Which option is better? How much effort and money may be involved in option #2? (Roller furling jib, roller reefing, self-tacking, smaller sails, etc.)
I have also been told that a centerboard boat of this size is probably not a good idea because of light crew weight (< 200 lbs). Adding fixed ballast would make self-rescuing very difficult, so a keelboat is safer in the ocean swells.
In addition, they tell me that modifying a centerboard boat to make it a lifting keel boat is seldom feasible due to the added weight and centerboard trunk/floor stress.
Do you have any ideas? I would like any comments you may have.
Are there any other good single-handed sailing forums online?