Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Vancouver Island
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Rep Power: 10
So far everyone has only discussed sail handling. I find sailing the easy part to single handing. Some of my lines are led aft:
Everything led aft is within reach of the helm but Auto usually steers.
I have to go forward to raise, reef and lower my jib (a blade). I have to go forward to anchor.
A big consideration is the other stuff you do during the day. Where is your galley and will the kettle stay on the stove while you are up top sailing? How do you go to the bathroom? Where is the radio and chart table? Are the tide books and other navigation references handy? Where is all the safety gear (flares, EPIRB, first aid kit, flashlight). Is everything properly stowed for when that big stinkpot goes by and you take a deep roll. Where is the sunscreen and your foul weather gear?
Like I said, sailing is easy, it is all the little other things that you do that require planning and practice. Most people who go for a sail around the harbour for a couple hours need nothing special to singlehand a modest boat. If you are navigating, sailing, cooking and talking on the radio, life can get very interesting.
Every read that story about the single hander who went for a dump and while he was sitting on the head the boat took a roll and something jammed the door to the head so he couldn't get out?
There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
Shakespeare, Julius Caesar IV, iii, 217