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  #1  
Old 06-21-2010
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Boat question

What is the largest boat that one person can sail on their own. I am looking for something that would make a trip around the coast of Michigan. Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-21-2010
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The largest boat that has been singled handed is a bit over 112' LOA IIRC... however, that was probably a special case.

Now, the largest boat that most people would want to sail on their own is probably about 40' LOA. However, some types of boats are easier to sail singlehanded than others. The design of the boat and how it is setup will greatly affect how easy it is to single hand.

There are a lot of boats from 27-40' LOA that would be suitable for you to sail around the coast of Michigan.

A bit more information would be useful. 1) How much sailing experience do you have? 2) what is your budget? 3) what is your timeframe?
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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
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—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 06-21-2010
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Not so SAILINGDOG, Alain Colas, sailed the 236-foot (72 m) four-masted schooner Club Mediterranée single handed across the Atlantic.

Francis Chichester sailed a 54 foot ketch around the world. He was 65 with only one lung at the time. He had lots of 200 mile days.

In practice I think something around 40 to 44 feet is a comfortable size. However lots of people are going to tell you about their ability to handle larger boats.

Mine is 44 foot and I frequently single hand her. I have roller reefing on the headsail, a stack pack on the main and an electric anchor winch. However I reckon, at a pinch, if any of those failed I could cope with the problem. If he sails were bigger or my anchor heavier I could not.

Last edited by TQA; 06-21-2010 at 08:53 AM.
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Old 06-21-2010
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I knew I was missing one... I remember reading about that stunt... Thanks TQA...

I'd point out that as the boat gets bigger, the costs associated with owning it do too... a 30' costs about twice as much to own as a 20' and costs double with every 10' of boat length as a rule of thumb.

Slips and such also get a lot more expensive once you get above 40'. Many marinas charge a premium rate for larger boats.
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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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I think the big questions here are your skills and abilities (and budget). Have you sailed before? If not, you should take some classes, and crew a bit before taking your dream trip.

That said, too small, and the boat may not be safe in the lake: If you don't know enough right now to know what general single-handed rigging setups you would be comfortable with, I think you got some (fun) learning to do first..
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Old 06-21-2010
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The size approproate for single handing also depends on the person's strength. The husband can singlehand our 42 footer, I have trouble with anything over 32 feet. I don't have the upper body strength to easily handle big sails alone.
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I'd point out something that relates to what Mimsy said...

I generally recommend the boat be sized so that the smallest full-time crew member can single hand the boat in a pinch. If that is not the case, then you might find yourself having to abandon the boat in an emergency. Cruising as a couple is often two people singlehanding the same boat at different times. The other person may be using the head, cooking, sleeping, etc...and not available to assist.

IMHO, if both members of a cruising couple can't singlehand the boat themselves, they should probably learn how to.
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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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Old 06-21-2010
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Yup Dog, I'm working on this big time.
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LOL... I know you are... the post wasn't really directed at you.
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Yup Dog, I'm working on this big time.
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Telstar 28
New England

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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