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Old 12-11-2012
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Re: Top 10 Sailboats Easiest & Best to Single Hand

Agreed that for your two stated criteria the Nonsuch is way ahead. It has much more beam (and carries that beam far forward) than marconi rigs. If you haven't been below on one, you'll be impressed with the room. It does feel like a house. It is also set up for easy sail handling right out of the box. Short tacking up a channel? No headsail, no problems!

If you go with a marconi rig I'd say that what you are looking for is what Jeff H suggested. The lighter the boat, the less sail area you need to handle and the lighter and easier those sails are to handle. So you want something lightweight.

You probably also want roller furling headsail(s) and a roller furling main. The furling mains have some disadvantages, but for single handing, they can't be beat. Easy to put away, hoist or reef. Lines should obviously be led aft and as many as possible should be within reach of the helm(s). You'll want an autopilot and/or tiller lock and you might also want a saysail boom for your headsail so you don't have to mess with it when tacking or jybing.

Island Packets are famous for always having staysail booms....

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