Single-handed Conversion - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 8 Old 07-23-2012 Thread Starter
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Question Single-handed Conversion

I am toying with the idea of converting/modifying a boat so it can be more easily sailed single-handed. However, I have no idea of how to do that or what is involved.

Do you know of any people/companies/publications that have gear for that purpose and/or can help me figure out what modifications to make? (My kids tell me to just sell it and buy a single-handed boat.)

Thanks, Richard
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post #2 of 8 Old 07-23-2012
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Re: Single-handed Conversion

What kind of boat is it? For one, I'd try to have the headsail on a furler, and have all lines (sheets, halyards, furling line, etc..) leading back to the cockpit, with a good number of winches around the cockpit.
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post #3 of 8 Old 07-23-2012
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Re: Single-handed Conversion

Ditto on what JB asked. Single hand set up is one of the lower cost things one can to to their boat.

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post #4 of 8 Old 07-23-2012
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Re: Single-handed Conversion

My Cal 29 does well with simple low cost things

1. I can trim the mainsail and reach the jib winches form the wheel

2. All the sail furling/reefing can be done while standing in the cockpit with no need to go forward unless something failed

3. Spending enough time to understand the amount of sail and trim to keep a balanced helm you do not have to fight with









I owned a J24 for a LONG TIME and know all about modern stuff and old stuff like the twin mainsheets allows a LOT of control WITHOUT a traveler to knock your knees on moving around the cockpit

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post #5 of 8 Old 07-23-2012
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Re: Single-handed Conversion

Lazy Jacks (if no main furler), Auto pilot and a spinnaker sock too.
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post #6 of 8 Old 07-23-2012
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Re: Single-handed Conversion

The single best item for singlehanding is an autopilot. It lets you pay close attention to sail trim, go to the foredeck for extended periods, go below for a beverage, and gives you a break from steering which can be just plain tedious.
Learn to heave-to. It's free.

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post #7 of 8 Old 07-24-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Single-handed Conversion

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Originally Posted by jambone View Post
What kind of boat is it?
Thank you all for your comments. Sorry, I should have mentioned the boat - a 19' Lightning class dinghy. This is not a big boat, but it gets busy in a brisk wind. There is also a ballast problem with just one person aboard.

I know that there is single-handed gear for larger boats. How about for a dinghy?

Richard
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post #8 of 8 Old 07-24-2012
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Re: Single-handed Conversion

Richard,

It's possible, but it would likely cost more to do than it would cost to get a boat more usable from the get go.

First I would suggest looking at the Harken dinghy furler for the jib. They work great, and are stock on a lot of newer small boats (VX OD, Melgus 24, ect).

Lazy jacks for a 19' are a little much, but a multiple purchase sheet system would be a good idea.

My first thought would be to simplify, simplify, simplify. There are a lot of strings on a Lightning, many of which can be eliminated. All tweeky lines, like jib down haul, ect should be dumped.

You might want to look at a non class smaller jib. This would allow a self tending jib track, and eliminate a bunch of extra work. Take a look at the VX OD system. It works amazingly well, with just two lines. A traveler line (in and out) and the sheet, with an adjustable tack attachment that allows you to control leech tension.

For a Lightning in particular you really need a lot of ballast as I remember (haven't sailed one in a few years). Short of redesigning the boat massively I don't see anyway to add ballast.
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Last edited by Stumble; 07-24-2012 at 11:29 AM.
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