Singlehanding a Snipe? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 24 Old 06-18-2011 Thread Starter
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Singlehanding a Snipe?

I bought a 30 year old used Snipe for $850. It seems to be in decent shape overall. I want to know how difficult will it be to singlehand?Can I simply spill wind because of the reduced crew weight to avoid capsizing.( Recommended crew weight for racing this boat is about 320 lbs.) It will be used mostly in Mission Bay ,San Diego, Oceanside(sometimes I will venture out going south hugging the shore) and Newport Bay. I weigh 205 lbs. and am fit. I owned a Macgregor 26m for a year and singlehanded it once or twice so I have some sailing experience. I got the Snipe because I liked the looks of it, wanted a Main and a jib and read online that it tacks well. Also I wanted to reduce my set up time.Another question : How fast will this boat go either in knots or MPH? What should I expect as a cruising speed when singlehanding in Mission Bay 3-10 Knots of wind ? I have knot been able to find out the speeds this boat is capable of anywhere on the internet Thanks

Last edited by Curtisfromcarlsbad; 06-18-2011 at 12:18 PM.
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post #2 of 24 Old 06-18-2011
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My first sailboat was a Snipe. I used to single hand it as a kid.

"When in command, command." -- Admiral Nimitz

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post #3 of 24 Old 06-18-2011
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post #4 of 24 Old 06-19-2011 Thread Starter
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Sailed the snipe today in Mission Bay solo. Used only the main.Will try jib on next sail.The boat is very fast. Got it to heel and hiked out a bit in puffs. I am nervous about capsizing it if I use jib too(singlehand).Mission bay is shallow and I am not sure I could right it as I have never done this. I would worry the mast would get stuck in the mud. I spilled wind many times today to ease the heeling. I think this is a great boat for me as I am very interested in going fast and having to hike out a bit is exciting to me. The boat seems to tack very well.
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post #5 of 24 Old 06-20-2011
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Good news for me

Very happy to read this thread as I recently bought a used Snipe (~ 20 y.o) with the intention of sailing single-handed a fair bit of the time.

I am just a novice, but am looking forward to getting some experience asap.
Guess I'll also be getting wet too!

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post #6 of 24 Old 06-20-2011
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It'll take practice, but you should be able to single hand it. If you haven't gone dinghy sailing yet, you'll earn a whole new respect for those sailors. Things will happen much faster on it than on the macgregor. You'll probably end up in the water a few times so make sure it's warm enough and/or your dressed appropriately.

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post #7 of 24 Old 06-20-2011 Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info. I wonder if I run the jib and am solo will the risk of capsize increase a lot? It heeled substantially yesterday but that was the best part because the boat was really moving fast and I hiked out a bit. The Snipe appeared to be quite faster than a lot of the other daysailors that were out there. And I was on main alone ! A few of the other daysailors could tell I was novice with this boat and smirked a bit when they saw me struggling and getting used to the boat but I could see they were surprised later when I screamed past them while hiking out on main alone. And my boat did not come with a boom vang. I managed to pull down hard on the section of boom that the vang would attach to and the boat went even faster! This was once on a beam reach and once downwind. When I add in a vang it should be even faster! My only doubt is if I will be able to handle the power of the boat with the jib up also when singlehanding. You have to temporarily let go of the mainsheet to free or secure the jib sheets when coming about. This could lead to a knockdown if I couldn't spill wind from the main fast enough because my only free hand would b on the jib sheet.
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post #8 of 24 Old 06-20-2011
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Just take the boat out and capsize it. Learning to right the boat is a necessary dinghy skill.

For more info:

United States Snipe Sailing - The best in one design dinghy sailing

Last edited by puddinlegs; 06-20-2011 at 03:27 PM.
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post #9 of 24 Old 06-20-2011
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Second puddinlegs advice.
The only way to gain confidence for when you do get knocked down is to take the boat out and capsize it. Then right it by getting your weight on the center board.
Once you get really good at it you can lay the boat over while climbing onto the C/B, then climb back into the cockpit when it rights without actually getting in the water.
You will want to sail with the jib and main as using both sails will make your boat go even faster. When you start trying the jib try to get someone to go with you who can handle the jib sheets for you while you handle the main and tiller.

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post #10 of 24 Old 06-20-2011 Thread Starter
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Thanks to both. Yes, I think what I'll do is manually capsize the boat in about 8 feet of water near the shore. I'll have a 50 foot line from the boat to the shore. If I can't right it using centerboard I'll swim to shore and pull boat to shallow water. Then I'll keep trying until I get it. Then I'll capsize it farther out gradually over time. I'd like to see in shallow water how easily the boat turtles. Can a 200lb. person right the Snipe solo in deep water if it is completely turtled and with windy conditions?
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