Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Gaithersburg, MD
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I sail on the right coast, The Chesapeake Bay, so I can't offer any advice on Catalina. Although I do sail a Catalina 27 myself, shorthanded and solo often.
Some thoughts on that, I think your first trip should be short and in good weather. I find the key to solo sailing is PRE planning, and anticipating what will happen. My boat is rigged with roller furling and lazy jacks so I can remain in the cockpit and manage the sails. But little things like dropping anchor can be maddening when trying to get from cockpit to the bow and then race back...so I learned to rig anchor line from the cockpit to the bow and back on the outside to the stern pulpit. Dropping the anchor can then be done from the cockpit.
I think Catalina Island is a fair distance, you might, if you don't a have an autopilot, figure how to deal with your personal needs when nature calls.
Navigation is another area where preplanning will help greatly. If you are manually navigating on paper, have your route PRE planned so you can sail the boat and navigate, and if you ave a GPS chart plotter you might also take paper chart to cockpit and keep track of your position. Things can change quickly on the water and you have many hats to wear just getting there. Good luck and lets know how it goes.
Sailing on The Central Chesapeake Bay, West River, MD on my Catalina 27, Aelous II with my wife and friends.
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