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  #1  
Old 03-22-2008
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What is the largest length boat you have single-handed

I have alot of work to do on my current project, and with that - can not see NOT being on the water in the PNW this summer as that kinda defines my social activity for the year....

So I am looking for a 30+ boat but curious what the largest vessel the community here has single-handed and your experiences.

Boat brand, likes, dislikes, and issues you had to overcome to do such... This is about your personal experience and should not be judged...
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Old 03-22-2008
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The two biggest boats I have single handed were a Hunter 40 Legend and a Cal 39 (bit older than the Hunter). I found by far the Hunter was easier (due to lines led aft, autopilot, self tailing winches, and so on).

I am sure there are people here who have singled handed _much_ larger boats - but from my own experience the more comfort oriented (and less blue-water capable boats) tend to be more set up for single handing. This could, of course, be remedied in the more classic boats. And I am sure isn't an issue with newer blue-water capable boats.

Take it as you will.
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Old 03-22-2008
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I singlehand my 43' all the time and have occasionally gotten into situations where I think "I could use another person on board now"; but so far have never really needed another person at sea. All lines and winches are accessible in the cockpit and I don't need to take more than 5 steps to reach them.

Docking, on the other hand, is a completely different issue. Only rarely is the pier orientation, wind & water flow aligned just right to make it easy to dock without assistance. Getting off the dock is easier alone, since one can use slip(ped) lines.
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Old 03-22-2008
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Ip 380

Hi, Jody.

I single-hand my Island Packet 380 (39.5', 12 tons). My wife is usually aboard for coastal and inter-island sailing, but she has a bad back, and doesn't participate in the boat-handling part at all.

The boat is rigged for single-handing: roller furling 110% genoa, rf staysail, and mast-furling main. All lines lead to the cockpit. I installed a Garhauer solid boom vang so I can adjust it from the cockpit. There's a B&G autopilot on board that can tack the boat when I push the buttons. The anchor windlass has a rocker switch on the steering pedestal, and the anchor (a Delta) is self-launching, so I can do the anchoring solo, too. The rudder is attached to the keel by a "shoe", or strap, at the bottom, so lobster trap float lines skim right by the prop.

Being a heavy, full-keel boat, sailing in breezes under 7-8 kts can be a bit wearying, so I had an assymetrical spinnaker made, with an ATM snuffer and Tacker. Easy to set up, deploy, and sail by myself. The spin tack downhaul leads to the cockpit for control. So I don't need to motor in light winds 80 to 140 degrees apparent. I have a line-control whisker pole for sailing downwind with the genny. If I do end up motor-sailing upwind, the 56 hp Yanmar pushes her along easily, burning about 0.7 gph at 6 kts.

Most of my sailing time has been offshore or in the Tradewinds. Offshore, I've always had crew to help, but even at night, alone on watch, it's easy to reef down for a squall without needing to wake up anyone to help. The cutter rig is perfect for the sailing that I do. Enough sail combinations to match anything I've come up against. It's easy to balance the helm. And the boat heaves-to with little effort if I need to make lunch or whatever.

My previous boat was an ODay 222, with a 6 hp Johnson, and before that, a Hobie 16. The IP 380 was easy to get used to, nonetheless. I couldn't be more pleased with a boat. And Lynne loves the space below, queen size bunk, galley layout, and huge shower (with fold out doors) in the head.

Hope you find one that pleases you--it's a good market for boat-buying.
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Old 03-22-2008
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I single hand my 58 footer all the time. Its easier than some smaller boats as everything is powered - thruster,winches, sail handling, furlers. The biggest problem is docking but there is usually help on the dock to catch lines.
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Old 03-22-2008
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So far 24' but soon 41'... As it is rigged similar to hpheon's IP 38 sans main furling..but being ketch rigged the sails are not to bad to handle buy me alone...and I have a bad back also...But I have to admit I would want a lot more experience on her befor being by myself in a real blow because of that bad back...If it goes so will control of the boat to some degree..

I Agree with everyone about docking though ( has been challenging at times with 5 aboard if real windy) and a bow thruster would be a God Send..Next year maybe..

Speciald: Sounds like you have my dream boat...How about sharing some pic's and updating your Avitar and profile info...

Last edited by Stillraining; 03-22-2008 at 01:11 PM.
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Old 03-22-2008
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I single hand my 35' Citation all the time. Having all lines tail to the cockpit and self-tailing winches made it easy. Now I have an autopilot and can get away with tacking a 135 genoa alone, but you best not blow the timing in brisk winds or else.

Bob C s/v Valkyrie, 1988 Irwin Citation 35.5
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Old 03-22-2008
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I single hand my 34' Irwin Citation. have to work from in front of the wheel at times as the winches, although self tailing, are forward of the wheel. It's simple enough, even w/out auto pilot.
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Old 03-22-2008
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I choose 32', as that is a length and displacement, that I can still manhandle by myself. Docking and the size of the ground tackle needed with a larger boat where my main concerns.
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Old 03-22-2008
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I single hand my 35', 15K pound displacement. As others have said above the hardest part of single handing is the docking. If you know your boat and you're in open water on a day sail there's not much of an issue once you know your boat.

Good luck on the new boat, let us know what you're looking at.
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