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Old 10-24-2002
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Sailer opinion on what to buy?

Have never sailed before. No nothing of sail boats but what you guys tell me and I can research. Live near Galveston, Tx coast. Would like to live on boat approximately 6 months out of the year. Would be used for light sailing in the bay, as well as a possible sail to Costa Rica, Conzumel, and some of the islands in the Gulf Coast. Would like something that could handle the seas well. Does not need to be a racer or fast. During dock would like it to be pretty comfortable for a few guest. Biggest things I am looking for would be large water capacity, and a large head for I am disabled and can not bend or sqaut. I was looking at used Bene''s, Jeannu''s, Hunter, and Catalina''s from 35'' to 45''. Would like it to be sailed by a single hand if possible. Hope these sizes are not to big for that or to small for comfortable sailing. Appreciate al answers to this and thanks. Even bias opinions are welcome LOL.
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Old 10-24-2002
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Sailer opinion on what to buy?

Boy, that is a tall order. While a very healthy person can single hand boats as large as 60 feet in length, for most of mere mortals, 38 to 40 or so feet is a more reasonable limit with 32 to 35 feet being a lot easier to handle by yourself. In more traditional terms, you should try to limit the size of the boat to a displacement between 5,000 to 10,000 lbs or so. While I don''t know the nature of your disability, I can''t think of a boat in that range that can be safely operated by a person who can not bend or sqaut. I would normally suggest trying to stay at the bottom of the size range but with your description of your limitations that would start to push you towards the upper end of the range and then fitting the boat out with special gear intended to compensate for your limited mobility. The problem here will be maintaining that gear should it fail underway.

In that size range I would suggest that you look at Dehlers and Tartans for example. Used they tend to be priced pretty close to the larger production companies but offer a little better construction.

Jeff
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Old 10-25-2002
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Sailer opinion on what to buy?

Well, I had just mention the disability for the understanding of the head. I do have a picture on file. But was asking about the boat handling of one person for the ease of only having to find one to go on a trip for a month at a time. I would be able to help some, but want to make sure that it can be done in capable hands of one normal body. Thus disfusing the frustration of cordinating time to get two or three at once to come along and help. But I do appreciate the insite. No, I can honestly say that to take on a boat that large would be asking a bit much of myself. Not having ever even been on a sail boat, I would have to say I would only be capable of something in the 20'' range, if even that.

Just in case any one is needing to know about what i can and can''t do, I would be able to sit at the back and use the hand cranks, steer, and tie. Can pick things up from ground, but not real small things. And I would not be able to move in any fast manor to get to the mid or front of the boat, but can get there holding on and moving carefully. In all I would just be more like the "captian" LOL, doing the lazy style things, and the mate would take care of the hussle and bussle.

Thanks again.
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Old 10-26-2002
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Sailer opinion on what to buy?

I have known boats where that was the case. In other words where a couple of people were cruising and one had severe limitations such as a bad heart so the the other person did all of the physical work. That worked reasonably well for coastal cruising where the daily runs are short and the boat and crew are at rest at night (in other words passages that are short enough that they don''t require a watch system).

Its not that boats cannot be built that can be operated by a disabled person. In fact the equipment exists out there to put together a boat that could be operated by a person with severe challenges. Obviously this would be a very heavily customized boat, but in theory you could have electric winches and a windlass to handle sails and anchor. Roller furling mainsails and jibs with all lines lead aft to these winches would help as well.

As long as all of the equipment works properly and you don''t get caught in a storm you should be able to handle the boat. Still and all, docking will not be easy without a person who can get around easily and of course if something mechanical fails, you would need to have an able bodied person along to manually correct the problem.

Boats for the physically challenged tend to be pretty customized affairs and so cost more to construct or customize and which may have a limited market as a resale. Still there is a long history of boats that were specifically prepared for single or short handing by someone with limited mobility or physical strength.

Probably one of the best known was a boat designed in the 1930''s by Starling Burgess called Barnsparrow. Barnsparrow featured winches in the cockpit that were intended to allow a man with a single leg to still sail by himself. It was one of the earliest uses of a roller furling jib. The boat was full of small innovations such as using a stainless steel cable anchor rode that was stored on a reel winch back in the cockpit and which could be operated from the helm. Barnsparrow lived on a mooring making docking a lot easier.

Good luck,
Jeff
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