First Time Single handing - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 7 Old 11-13-2011 Thread Starter
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First Time Single handing

Took Ariel out yesterday for the first time by myself!


The winds on the northern Chesapeake were brisk, about 15 gusting to 20, so I kept the mainsail down and used the genoa only. The first tack was a complete disaster, but by the 12th or so it was fairly routine.

An auto-helm would definitely help!

Beating upwind, I took in three turns on the roller furler. That really helped until I got the hang of it. When it came time to head down wind back to Bohemia Bay Yacht Harbor, the wind had dropped to 10-12, so the head sails got let out and I enjoyed a leisurely trip back.

All in all, a great day!

Chuck
Ariel, C&C 24
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post #2 of 7 Old 11-13-2011
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My C&C 24 is on the hard for over a week now. An auto helm is well worth it and I wouldn't single hand without it! with that and a roller furling genoa you are all set. I single hand 75% of the time with no incidents because of the auto helm. Good luck and a GPS and depth finder are nice to have , too!
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post #3 of 7 Old 11-13-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ceddavis View Post
Took Ariel out yesterday for the first time by myself!


The winds on the northern Chesapeake were brisk, about 15 gusting to 20, so I kept the mainsail down and used the genoa only. The first tack was a complete disaster, but by the 12th or so it was fairly routine.

An auto-helm would definitely help!

Beating upwind, I took in three turns on the roller furler. That really helped until I got the hang of it. When it came time to head down wind back to Bohemia Bay Yacht Harbor, the wind had dropped to 10-12, so the head sails got let out and I enjoyed a leisurely trip back.

All in all, a great day!

Chuck
Ariel, C&C 24
Its great sailing by your self.

When I had a yacht with a tiller, I used to start the tack, holding both genny sheets, controlling the tiller with my knees. Easy to do and now with wheel steering, when tacking, I steer with a foot so as to not go too far into the turn and lose my track.

I turn off the auto to tack - do it the 'old fashioned' way. However sailing by yourself, an auto is necessary in my view.

Send some pics of your yacht


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post #4 of 7 Old 11-14-2011
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Cheap autotiller...

The last two weekends have been great for sailing on the Bay!

Here's a suggestion for a cheap autotiller for your purposes - wrap a bungee cord around the tiller and secure either side to the lifeline stanchions. That will hold the tiller in place long enough for you to raise or drop sails. It will also encourage you to learn how to set the sails in order to balance the boat.

For instance, some may disagree, but I prefer to sail with mainsail alone rather than jib alone when singlehanding. You have better control of the sail and the boat will be better balanced. You are also better off with a reefed main and small jib than a jib alone. Unless you are running downwind, a jib alone renders the boat unbalanced - you lose the useful weather helm that protects you and the boat in heavy weather.

Sailing with the mainsail alone will also teach you how to trim the mainsail properly and give you the confidence to gibe safely in heavy weather. It is fairly easy to trim the jib with telltales; however, mainsail trim is more difficult, especially if you need to sail upwind. If you can sail upwind with mainsail only in an IOR-design-influenced-racer/cruiser (small mainsail), then you know you are mastering mainsail trim and boat handling skills.

(Rant: I cannot tell you how many times I have come upon another sailboat out in the Bay, usually a large, new, expensive boat-show-type sailboat with a party in the cockpit, reaching in the Bay with an o.k.-trimmed roller furling jib, but an overtrimmed mainsail, hauled in close to the centerline. I have often wondered how such a person can be successful and wealthy enough to afford a nice new boat, but does not yet know how to trim the mainsail.)

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post #5 of 7 Old 11-14-2011
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Our I-28 has hank on head sails. I added a jib down haul and raise and lower the jib from the cockpit. If things really kick up I drop the jib on the fore deck where I have a couple of bungees that secure it. It goes back up as soon as things will allow. I do have a wheel so locking the rudder when I go forward is easy. I can start the engine if necessary to add some control if I am changing the head sail or tying in a reef. The main is reefed from the cockpit. Planning carefully and taking my time are the keys to comfortable solo sails. Inflatable vest with harness, paired safety lines that clip to pad eyes as I move about. I have a Mustang Coverall & Worksuit that I rarely wear but probably should. I carry a vhf and a plb

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post #6 of 7 Old 11-14-2011
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FUN!!! Just did my first solo Ocean voyage...I have been singlehanded sailing for months in the harbor. I LOVE tacking solo...I am going to get an autopilot system this winter, going back and forth between Raymarine and Simrad. I have an old Tillermaster 1000 that will work for keeping the boat on coarse, but it won't auto tack like the newer systems will.

S/V Cuajota - 1975 WD Schock Santana 30

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post #7 of 7 Old 11-14-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ceddavis View Post
Took Ariel out yesterday for the first time by myself!


The winds on the northern Chesapeake were brisk, about 15 gusting to 20, so I kept the mainsail down and used the genoa only. The first tack was a complete disaster, but by the 12th or so it was fairly routine.

An auto-helm would definitely help!

Beating upwind, I took in three turns on the roller furler. That really helped until I got the hang of it. When it came time to head down wind back to Bohemia Bay Yacht Harbor, the wind had dropped to 10-12, so the head sails got let out and I enjoyed a leisurely trip back.

All in all, a great day!

Chuck
Ariel, C&C 24
where in the Chessy were you? I was out yesterday around Havre de Grace. Took the family out for the first time on our new (to us) boat.

2001 Catalina 310
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