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  #1  
Old 07-17-2008
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1st Time Singlehanding

So I took advantage of the light winds today and played a little hooky from work this afternoon to try my 1st ever solo sail on my 'new' boat which I have had for just a year now. It was short, only 2.5 hours in the afternoon, but it was almost perfect.

It seemed like it would be great weather for it and it was. The winds were out of the SW at 5-8 kts (nice and light) and that gave me the opportunity to tack out from home base and run home.

I was a little nervous I must say but the sound you hear from the wind and the waves when you shut the diesel down is really what it is all about.

I had planned a lot in advance, thinking about it in my mind all last night and today....
which lines to cast off 1st and last, boathook at the ready, getting out of the slip, preparing the main sail and rollup dodger window before i left the dock, etc.
Backing into the slip at the end of the sail went better than I hoped. I had left a long line on the pilings on the open side (where there is no finger pier). My only real issue was on one tack the old autohelm4000 decided to pick its own course and my jib started to get tangled. I had to grab the wheel and the mechanism didn't like that without being disengaged first. So now the autohelm wheel drive unit and the cluch lever are quite loose. I brought it home to see if I can fix it.

I love the bay on a weekday. I basically had the place to myself!

So excuse this post if it is too self-involved but I thought I'd see if others felt so pumped up after their first time.

Any good stories about your first solo?








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Old 07-17-2008
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It's great that the 1st time was good! Now add to it! Yes, we all feel that way on every boat we buy, even the 14th boat!
Dennis W.
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Old 07-17-2008
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I really don't remember my first solo sail, but I'm sure it probably seemed like quite a big step to me at the time.
I can appreciate your anticipation, planning and excitement though. Good job.
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Old 07-17-2008
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jsl3 - the first time is the best - i still remember mine how great is was - preparation is the key and safety must be the upmost in your mind at all times - i hope you had your life jacket on and clipped in with jacklines if you had to go on deck
i currently am singlehanding a 40 jeanneau up from miami and can tell you i never ever start the engine without the jacket on and once the anchor is up and i am in the cockpit i clip in - and have 2 clips one for the helm and one for the jack lines - i never never ever move around the cockpit without being clipped in - only time is when i go below -
please remember that if you go over there is no one to save you
i use to be a mountain climber and while i was pretty good at it i was known as one of the safest climbers around - took up sailing at 55 and i will never be a great sailor but will always be one of the safest
congradulations on a great big step
just my thougths
chuck and svsoulmates
ki4sry
on the hook in deltaville leaving for the solomons tomorrow
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Old 07-17-2008
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By next spring you will be ready to do the single-handed race from Newport to Bermuda and double handed back. It is a great bunch of guys who do that race. You will love it.
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Old 07-17-2008
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sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice
Congratulations... and nice photos. I would highly recommend using jacklines, tethers and harnesses whenever singlehanding.
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Old 07-17-2008
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Congrats! Sounds like you did great.

Heh, my first time singlehanding was on a Laser. (Which doesn't really count, I guess -- it's hard NOT to singlehand a Laser hehe.) I haven't ever singlehanded in a bigger boat than that, although I guess I have had the helm when the owner was asleep below, but that doesn't count either. I hope to buy a boat and change that.
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Old 07-17-2008
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Great post and pics...good thing that autohelm didn't go crazy while you were up front taking those pics!
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Old 07-17-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck5499 View Post
i currently am singlehanding a 40 jeanneau up from miami and can tell you i never ever start the engine without the jacket on and once the anchor is up and i am in the cockpit i clip in - and have 2 clips one for the helm and one for the jack lines - i never never ever move around the cockpit without being clipped in - only time is when i go below -
please remember that if you go over there is no one to save you
Chuck , thanks for the comments. In general, I'm very safety conscious. I thought long and hard about being clipped in and have read many a post on this site about it. Frankly, I was waiting for someone to mention it.
In my case today, I decided not to go through the process. For one thing I currently don't have the gear to set up jacklines. I ultimately decided that since today's weather forecast was about as calm as you can get, I'd 'risk' it. Probably not the absolute safest way to go, but not reckless either. FWIW, I did wear a PFD.

SD, ditto.

If I end up making this a habit, which I most likely will, I'll definately invest in some jacklines and a harness.

My family generally likes to go sailing with me, but for when they are busy with other things, there is something about doing it alone that is appealing and like being out on the water in general, really recharges the internal batteries.
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Old 07-17-2008
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Congrats! JSL3,

There is nothing like singlehanded sailing. It's fun with friends but the peace and quite with the wind and waves out alone can't be beat.

I remember my first and all I can say is don't forget yours. The uncertainties and fears help keep you prepared for the next time.

Once comfortable try a singlehanded night sail. And always take all the necessary steps for safety.
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