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Old 08-12-2013
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Advice needed on boat for short person!

Hi, I'm new to this forum and looking for some advice. I'm looking to purchase a 4 berth boat. 26 footers look a lot more roomy than 24/22ft, and the extra space would help with my much older partner (who doesn't sail) but I'm a slight 5 foot female! I need to be able to handle a boat in Portsmouth harbour/around the Solent. Just passed RYA Level3 dinghy sailing, and have two kids who are dinghy sailing. Would I be able to handle a 26 footer? I thought bilge keel would be safest. Any advice about particular boats or anything else very welcome. Many thanks, Julie
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Old 08-12-2013
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Re: Advice needed on boat for short person!

Hi Julie,

First let me say welcome. There are many helpful people here who I'm sure can give far better advice than I can, but as a fellow vertically challenged (4'11") sailor, I'll offer up my two cents. I sail and liveaboard a 30' boat and I can singlehand and very easily double hand my boat, so I would think that with some practice, a 26'er should be very doable. I think the key to success is in having your boat set up to make your life as easy as possible. Even if the boat you choose doesn't have all of the lines run aft, just having a furling jib, auto pilot, and maybe lazy jacks will make your boat more single hand friendly. A good furler will allow you to adjust your headsail with ease, the auto pilot is a definite for singlehanding...especially if you will have to hoist your main at the mast. Being short and small, I really have enjoyed having lazy jacks on my current boat because it saves me from wrangling with the main while the boat is underway and keeps it out of the way until I get back to the dock. Something I really wish I had on my boat are self tailing winches. Not only would they undoubtedly make singlehanding easier, but for those of us with less body mass to throw around, it allows you to use all your effort to grind and not tail and grind at the same time.
Good luck with your search and welcome aboard!
-Jess
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Old 08-12-2013
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Re: Advice needed on boat for short person!

Thanks, Jess, that's very encouraging. Equipment to make life easier certainly a really useful point. Hope you are having a good summer and moderate winds over there!
Best regards, Julie
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Old 08-12-2013
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Re: Advice needed on boat for short person!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Julie in Gosport View Post
Hi, I'm new to this forum and looking for some advice. I'm looking to purchase a 4 berth boat. 26 footers look a lot more roomy than 24/22ft, and the extra space would help with my much older partner (who doesn't sail) but I'm a slight 5 foot female! I need to be able to handle a boat in Portsmouth harbour/around the Solent. Just passed RYA Level3 dinghy sailing, and have two kids who are dinghy sailing. Would I be able to handle a 26 footer? I thought bilge keel would be safest. Any advice about particular boats or anything else very welcome. Many thanks, Julie
An excellent boat option for you: Folkboat 26 Boats for sale UK, Folkboat Used boat sales, Folkboat Sailing Yachts For Sale International Marieholm (IF) Folkboat - Apollo Duck
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Old 08-12-2013
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Re: Advice needed on boat for short person!

As I'm over 6' and 250 I can confidently state that ALL boats are designed & built for short people.
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Old 08-12-2013
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Re: Advice needed on boat for short person!

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Originally Posted by TheTardis View Post
Hi Julie,

First let me say welcome. There are many helpful people here who I'm sure can give far better advice than I can, but as a fellow vertically challenged (4'11") sailor, I'll offer up my two cents. I sail and liveaboard a 30' boat and I can singlehand and very easily double hand my boat, so I would think that with some practice, a 26'er should be very doable. I think the key to success is in having your boat set up to make your life as easy as possible. Even if the boat you choose doesn't have all of the lines run aft, just having a furling jib, auto pilot, and maybe lazy jacks will make your boat more single hand friendly. A good furler will allow you to adjust your headsail with ease, the auto pilot is a definite for singlehanding...especially if you will have to hoist your main at the mast. Being short and small, I really have enjoyed having lazy jacks on my current boat because it saves me from wrangling with the main while the boat is underway and keeps it out of the way until I get back to the dock. Something I really wish I had on my boat are self tailing winches. Not only would they undoubtedly make singlehanding easier, but for those of us with less body mass to throw around, it allows you to use all your effort to grind and not tail and grind at the same time.
Good luck with your search and welcome aboard!
-Jess
I'd agree with that + being small(ish) it's often easier to move around working on many (most boats). Most jobs considered to require brute force often does not (tacking smartly instead of winching most of the genoa in), however self-tailing winches are a great help especially if you have short arms
On bilge keelers: I've never owned one, but like the concept - see my signature for some inspiration (strange old geezer, but funny man that mr. Winter). You're spoiled for choices, and the August edition of Practical Boat Owner has an article on Bilge keel cruisers.

/Joms
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Old 08-12-2013
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Re: Advice needed on boat for short person!

Being on the short side (of life also), I say, "It's Better To Be Short, Smart, and Cute, than Tall Dumb and Ugly"! And HERE IT COMES! I'm kidding BIG people, remember 'Randy Newman', ya got to pick us up just to say "HI"! I have a 26', and as some will tell you on here,(and I know they know way more than I) the length isn't the issue, it's the set up. My.02.
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Old 08-12-2013
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Re: Advice needed on boat for short person!

I'm thinking of all the steps of the process ... For the most part i can't see your height being a major disadvantage. One challenge may be when you are at the dock vs. underway ... Uncovering the mainsail, removing ties, and flaking it down to cover it again when you return could be a stretch for a shorter person, but not impossible. One help could be installing a stack pack bag with a longer zipper lanyard or zipper-block loop.
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Old 08-12-2013
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Re: Advice needed on boat for short person!

[QUOTE=dvuyxx;1072937] . . .could be a stretch . . .QUOTE]

Being short gives me the opportunity to crawl into all those lockers and spaces average (what's that?) people just don't fit. So I understand the boat from the inside, not just the outside. If you are looking at Contessa 26 - check out the cockpit lockers & lazarette - I've been in there.
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Old 08-12-2013
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Re: Advice needed on boat for short person!

Good point.
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