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Old 12-02-2012
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Re: Small Boat for Solo Sailing

Originally Posted by rlltrash View Post
Hello all;

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?

Have you thought about a sharpie design? Usually on have one sail and easy to handle sprit rig. A drop in unstayed mast. I had 19ft one when I was a kid and it was a great boat. Easy enough for me to handle by myself. Just a thought.

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