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  #1  
Old 04-03-2010
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the best 'short-handed' boat out there

The 'short handed' search churned out 199 relevant threads.
.....So what have you done for me lately?
Please define the boat which best describes your vision as "the best short handed sailing vessel' out there.
(btw, that's what I want)
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Old 04-03-2010
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Old 04-03-2010
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Perhaps something like this? Sailed across the Atlantic multiple times in bedroom slippers. No need to venture outside.
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Old 04-04-2010
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Freedom. Any model.
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Old 04-04-2010
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A lot of what makes the best short-handed boat out there depends on what kind of sailing you want to do. That said, here are some guidelines IMHO, of what makes the best boat for cruising.

SIZE:

The best short-handed vessel is going to be one that you can handle yourself, that is large enough to carry what you need to carry, yet small enough to be easily managed. For most people, this will be a boat less than 40' LOA.

The issue with boats larger than 40' LOA is that the sails, lines, and other equipment start getting to the point where managing them single-handedly gets to be difficult. While powered winches and windlasses can help manage the sails and ground tackle in use—they have a nasty habit of breaking down and do nothing for you when you're trying to get that sail or anchor out of the locker down below...

RIG:

The boat should be a sloop rig, as that is probably the simplest of rigs to handle, with the best compromise of simplicity, pointing ability and speed. Some may argue that a split rig, like a yawl or ketch, is better for single handing, but I disagree, as they increase the number of sails you have to control as well as the amount of maintenance you have to do.

HULL FORM

Multihull or monohull, that is a good question. Personally, I think, at least for short handed sailors, a multihull makes a lot of sense. Many monohulls require a fair bit of crew to keep them on their feet, especially in heavier weather. It is also much more tiring to be on a boat that is heeled over 15˚ all the time.

Multihulls also tend to track better in terms of steering, and are far less likely to broach due to the multiple hulls tracking in the water. Finally, it is much easier to fall off of a narrow boat that is tipped 15˚+ than it is to fall off one that is twice as wide and only heels <10˚.
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Old 04-04-2010
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It Isn't The Boat So Much

Okay, this ought to be right up my alley. But before I get started I need to mention all advise given above is spot-on. Size matters, intended use matters, and generally speaking multihulls have inherent advantages over monohulls.

Okay, here goes. Due to a nasty fall at the age of three I became partially paralyzed on one side. Among other things I lost most of the use of one hand. You could say I am one of those singlehanded singlehanders (there must be others).

From the point when I started to learn how to sail and the 35 years since I've been aboard and underway on countless designs. Through that experience I am fairly aware of things that make life easier underway. Which brings me to a fundamental statement: IT ISN'T THE BOAT SO MUCH AS IT IS THE SYSTEMS. Let's face it, we are all handicapped underway. Even the most physically capable sailor requires some sort of mechanical advantage, design consideration, other specialized set of tools, and a fair bit of planning to succeed.

Here is a case in point. I currently singlehand a 30' catamaran most times she is underway. She is of no known pedigree (home-built, one-off design) and when I bought her she was unfinished. I knew even then I could make her user friendly, though. On a boat this size self-tailing winches are almost essential for me if I'm not using the self-tacking foresail. But when on a simple daysailer all I need to do is tie the ends of the jib sheets together. I'd benefit immensely from roller furling, but it isn't in the budget right now; the stability of the cat makes going up to the foredeck so easy it doesn't matter much. While I'm up forward I can either secure the tillers or employ the autopilot. While I can do it, a lot of hand-over-hand action under tension isn't my strong suit; and so, I installed an electric windlass.

There are countless other ideas I've incorporated into my current boat, but I'm still sipping on my first cup of coffee and am a bit foggy at the moment. Really what it all comes down to is a matter of forethought. Trial and error plays a part, too. Yes, I've had to re-work a few of my systems. While I appreciate the OP may be asking for the best design for the purpose, I think finding a boat in good condition and modifying it to suit makes far more sense.

Last edited by Michael K; 04-04-2010 at 09:23 AM.
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Old 04-04-2010
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And don't forget, it needs to be set up for single-handing.

I picked the Ontario 32 as a liveaboard cruising boat and love it.
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Old 04-04-2010
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Nemier it all depends what you want to do.

There is a 72 metre jobbie somewhere that did the business for Alain Colas at one time, single handed across the Atlantic.

More information please.
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Old 04-04-2010
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What size boat are we talking about here? Under 15'? Hobie wave

Bigger? Nonsuch, or any cat boat (not catamaran, cat rigged)

Sloop? Anything Hunter made in the last 15 years or so
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Old 04-04-2010
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I have never sailed on one so I am no expert but I do not agree that a Nonsuch or similar would be preferred over a sloop rig.

If it is just me I do not want one very large sail to hoist and handle. A sloop designed with a largish main and working jib or smaller overlapping jib to me would always be easier to handle.
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