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  #21  
Old 01-15-2009
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i single hand my nimble 30 express but i have in boom furling on the fully battened main & roller furling on the headsail ( genny or self tending jib ) i don't try to use the asymmetrical spinnakers when i am alone . an autopilot is essential to hold the bow into the wind when raising the main.
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  #22  
Old 01-15-2009
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I single hand my Gemini 105Mc catamaran all the time. I'd never single handed either of my previous boats even after years of owning them and even though they were smaller. The summer I bought the Gemini I got bored and one day took it out solo for a 'down wind jib only run', wound up sailing circles around the bay until the Rum ran out.

Everything about singlehanding is (in no certain order) planning, practice, and boat setup and equipment. Of course you do need to know your boat and how to sail her. Mine is flat, stable and well balanced. I practiced by taking her out with crew and having them observe only while I did everything as if alone.
No need to have someone serve the drinks, the refridge is on the same level as, and only 4 steps from the helm.
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  #23  
Old 01-15-2009
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How would the Gemini 105mc be for a live aboard?
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  #24  
Old 01-15-2009
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You'd have to ask the dozens of folks that do live aboard, or the handful or so that are circumnavigating right now.

www.slapdash.com is a good example, or my personal favorite SV Footprint

Me and mine, we can't wait to find out.
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  #25  
Old 01-16-2009
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Probably quite good, for two-to-three people, given the size of the boat, weight carrying capacity, and such.
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Originally Posted by soon2sail View Post
How would the Gemini 105mc be for a live aboard?
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  #26  
Old 01-16-2009
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14 months ago I would have said 36 feet is about the limit single handed, but now 47 is manageable if you plan and take you time. What I think is forgotten is while every thing is going well it is easy, but physically a bigger boat can be tough. Could you pull down a torn 135% cruising head sail, fold it and get it inside on your own. I probably should post a link but cut and past is easier, here is a little story of my first single handing of my new to me Ericson 39B:

Solo sail on the bay, started All wrong nice ending

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well today is, Sunday the 17 Feb 2008, BF piked it, said he was feeling a little under the weather. Not me I was going for a sailing, solo. Put everything away down below, a quick trip to the bins to get rid of the empties and rubbish. Double check everything and headed out of the Marina. Head into the wind with the engine just over idle giving 3 knots (no auto pilot), lock the wheel and sprint to the mast grab main halyard and winch away, nothing. ... Realise the main halyard is still connected to the topping lift. Rush back to the wheel, unlock and correct course, try to release halyard shackle, but it is still under tension. Correct course lock wheel. Rush to the mast release halyard run to wheel correct course, lock wheel, remove halyard and take to mast attach to main. Rush back to the wheel correct course lock wheel, stagger to mast and pull up main. Main stops at the second spreaders won’t go up, will come down. Stumble to wheel correct course and study situation, whilst sucking in large quantities of air. Realise main halyard is on the wrong side of the lazy jack line. Lock wheel run to mast drop the main, redo halyard hoist main.... main only gets to the first spreaders (feel heart attack building). Pull on halyard harder. Engine revs, drop main as the third reefing line is around the engine controls. run to wheel correct course, untangle reef line move it out of the way lock wheel stumble to mast start to raise main reef line now hooked on stanchion gate, lower main shake boom while shouting a bad word or two, line come free sail goes up, stagger to cockpit, wait for the heart attack. After calming down and now doing 2.5 knots with just the main up, and a nice main it is, I get passed by a bout with about 10 people on it. Got to go faster ,so now I have my breath back and the throbbing between my ears has stopped it’s time to let out the Genoa, release the furler sheet and pull on the Genoa sheet, perfect, no winch handle, it is still on the mast. Luff up into the wind, pull the sheet in tight then bring her back off the wind and all is good with the world. Who needs a winch handle? I did go up and get it latter. And that was the bad part; the rest of the day was a great solo day with lots of tacking and just playing around. In fact, I think I will do it all again tomorrow as I had the biggest smile on my face once things got sorted.
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Last edited by SimonV; 01-16-2009 at 10:29 AM.
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  #27  
Old 01-16-2009
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While a Gemini 105 might be a reasonable live aboard or even a decent coastal cruiser, it would be near the bottom of the list of boats to learn to sail on.

Back to the original post, single-handing requires a very unique skill set and a well set up boat. As has been noted, anecdotally there have been huge, purpose built boats that have been single-handed by skilled sailors.

As you have probably noticed, there have been a lot of posts from folks who single-hand boats of a variety sizes and descriptions. The size boat that you personally can single-hand comfortably will be dependentg on your own skill levels, level of prudence and taste in boats. I myself routinely single-hand my 38 footer; sailing her in winds up to the mid-30 knot range, in and out of the slip by myself and routinely flying her sym. spinnakers. Its not all that hard once you have done it a while. But you are just starting out and should try to set reasonable expectations, do a dilligent 'apprenticeship' and then you will be able to answer these questions for yourself.

Jeff
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  #28  
Old 01-16-2009
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There is a substantial difference between the largest boat you can sail alone, and the largest boat you want to sail alone.

How do you envision yourself sailing? For long passages out of sight of land, a single person can handle quite a large boat. Things usually happen slower, you're not worried about hittings things, like land.

If you are mostly gunkholing, with daysails thru sometimes narrow or congested areas, something smaller and quicker and easier to tack and handle might be more appropriate. I'm pretty confident that you would have plenty of room for a dog and camera gear on a 35', and the ground tackle and sails on the smaller boat will be lighter and easier to handle.

Some of the boats I see being frequently singlehanded in Maine are smaller schooners, with club footed jibs. Just push the tiller or turn the wheel to tack. I see these being sailed on and off anchor in some pretty small places, but by obviously experienced hands.

Think about the way you are likely to actually use the boat. Will light air performance be important? Light air upwind? Do you want something that is fun and easy to take for a daysail, or are room, salty looks and load carrying going to take precedence?

You sound like a pretty social person, do you have friends you want to take daysailing? Make sure the cockpit can hold them. Boats aimed for offshore, shorthanded cruising sometimes have pretty small cockpits, for a reason. Boats meant for coastal cruising will usually have a bigger cockpit, again, for a reason.

Our usual crew is three: Me, the bride, our young son. For us, a smaller 42', fairly narrow with long overhangs, works perfectly. I don't want any larger or smaller. If I were sailing alone, I would definitely have a smaller boat, probably 30-36', for coastal cruising. If I were going to go long range soloing, I would probably keep the 42'.

Good Luck!
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  #29  
Old 01-16-2009
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I'm not fond of bigger boats I like a smaller one that can be handled without too much stress, although this goes up with experience.
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  #30  
Old 01-16-2009
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One other point--A boat that you might be able to sail and handle alone in 15 knots of wind, might not be a boat that you can manage in 20-30 knots of wind. So you don't want to get anything bigger than what you can safely handle when it starts getting nasty, and saying that you never go out when it gets nasty is not a good answer.... since Mother Nature has a really nasty streak at times.

Yes, there have been people that have single handed 60-70' boats, but these boats were generally heavily and expensively customized to make them possible to singlehand, and the sailors involved were not your average sailors in most cases. Dee Caffari, Ellen McArthur, etc., are not your typical sailors.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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