How many sail solo - Page 2 - SailNet Community

   Search Sailnet:

 forums  store  

Quick Menu
Boat Reviews  
Search SailNet 
Boat Search (new)

Shop the
SailNet Store
Anchor Locker
Boatbuilding & Repair
Hatches and Portlights
Interior And Galley
Marine Electronics
Other Items
Plumbing and Pumps
Sailing Hardware
Trailer & Watersports
Clearance Items

Advertise Here

Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
 Not a Member? 

Like Tree32Likes
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 12-30-2011
BubbleheadMd's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Edgewater/Annapolis
Posts: 2,862
Thanks: 1
Thanked 56 Times in 52 Posts
Rep Power: 5
BubbleheadMd will become famous soon enough
Send a message via Yahoo to BubbleheadMd
Originally Posted by addict View Post
I pretty much always sail alone. After my first solo sail I almost prefer to sail solo. When I do have company on board I give them the option of being crew or passenger, and to be honest I hope they pick being passenger.
My biggest precaution sailing solo is wind speed and reefing sooner than later. I normally get a quick buoy report from a few locals and set a reef at the dock if need be...
Addict makes a good point that I forgot- It's far easier to put a reef in at the dock, than it is to put one in while you're single handing. If the breeze gets light, you can always shake it out, but putting it in alone is harder.
S/V Old Shoes
1973 Pearson 30 #255
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Old 12-30-2011
Bene505's Avatar
Glad I found Sailnet
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 3,588
Thanks: 5
Thanked 40 Times in 39 Posts
Rep Power: 8
Bene505 will become famous soon enough Bene505 will become famous soon enough
I'll second what others have said.

Our boat is 50' long, so I value a clear path forward. It takes longer to get to the bow or even the mast. That's the primary difference. (Or rig isn't proportionally higher, so the sail forces are probably akin to a 45 foot boat.) When I need to hurry, there is nothing in the way that will trip me up.

When docking in winter, I sometime kick my heavy (warm) boots off, in favor of being quick on my feet as I approach the dock.

Keep the dock lines tied onto the boat's cleats; tie the other ends to the life line, right next to the gate (fore and aft). That way when you step/jump onto the dock, the lines are right there for you. If the lines could possibly reach the propeller, tie them to the lifeline with a knot. For thick lines, even a single half hitch will sometimes be enough.


I always tend to over-reef too, and end up going forward to shake out from 2nd reef to 1st reef. That's ok by me.

I also try to minimize my time out of the cockpit (true when other crew is below decks too), and sometimes will keep a reef in much longer than needed, so I don't have to go forward. It's not like I'm in a rush to sail that extra know faster. (If needing to get to a destination before dark, I'll turn the engine on.)

smurphny likes this.
Great minds discuss ideas;
Average minds discuss events;
Small minds discuss people.
The best minds discuss sailing, anchors, batteries, rode length, fridge-or-not, freezer-or-not, and guns-on-board. I don't know why. It's a mystery!

Last edited by Bene505; 12-30-2011 at 01:28 PM.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Old 12-30-2011
cb32863's Avatar
Lake Sailor
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 713
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 5
cb32863 is on a distinguished road
Forgot about reefing too. My rule of thumb is, if I think about whether I should or not before I get on the boat then I put in a reef. Like others have said, better to shake it out on the water then put one in.
Cherp likes this.
Umquam Porro

S/V Papillon 1977 O' Day 25

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Old 12-30-2011
smurphny's Avatar
Over Hill Sailing Club
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Adirondacks NY
Posts: 2,853
Thanks: 55
Thanked 63 Times in 61 Posts
Rep Power: 6
smurphny is on a distinguished road
I sail solo almost 100%. When someone else is aboard it makes sailing more difficult because I'm so accustomed to doing everything myself I wind up "making work" so the other(s) have something to do. It is always good, however, to have rope handlers in docking or someone to steer while I fiddle with something up at the bow. Sometimes.... no... OFTEN, you get stuck in the cockpit for many hours. Having a checklist of things to have on deck is important because when you cannot get away from the wheel, little things like having a cup of coffee or getting rid of the recycled coffee or not being able to dig around for your rain gear or that chart you need can become a problem.
Alberg 35: With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Old 12-30-2011
flyingwelshman's Avatar
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 1,733
Thanks: 17
Thanked 18 Times in 15 Posts
Rep Power: 8
flyingwelshman will become famous soon enough
I sail solo most of the time as well.

The big difference between having crew and not is that I try to anticipate things far more when I'm alone.

I always have my lines flaked and ready (or draped over the lifelines etc.) when approaching a dock. I have my boat hook extended and within easy reach. I always have my anchor unhitched and the rode flaked before entering an anchorage. When I have crew the anchor is generally prepped as we are in the channel. When alone, I always stop and check to ensure that all lines are running free and look for trip-hazards etc.

We always wear PFD's regardless of conditions, so wearing one when solo is not an issue. What's different is that, when alone I run jacklines and clip on when leaving the cockpit.

When I'm alone I tend to get a much earlier start in the morning. I usually don't have an itinerary so I might stay at an anchorage for a couple of days or a couple of hours, depending on my mood and conditions.

As much as I love having a crew on board, I think I secretly prefer to be alone on the boat. Maybe not so secretly.
1989 Hunter 30'
Southern Georgian Bay

The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever. - Jacques Yves Cousteau
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Old 12-30-2011
Join Date: May 2011
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 82
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 4
sfchallenger is on a distinguished road
I sail alone about 60% of the time I'm out. It's relaxing, good for your body and mind, and a hell of a lot of fun. I generally wear a PFD, and offshore, use jacklines. I don't have halyards run back to the pit so I spend time on the foredeck, but my wheel locks so I can maintain course within about 10 degrees.

About the best thing I've read on the subject is that the superior sailor uses his superior judgement to avoid using his superior skill.
MedSailor likes this.
Sailing a '74 Challenger 40' Ketch rig out of San Francisco
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Old 12-31-2011
NewportNewbie's Avatar
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Newport Beach
Posts: 504
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 4
NewportNewbie is on a distinguished road
Almost always solo....I am just a bit more cautious....takes me a while to relax actually....but its VERY nice to be able to do it.
S/V Cuajota - 1975 WD Schock Santana 30

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Old 12-31-2011
Faster's Avatar
Just another Moderator
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: New Westminster, BC
Posts: 14,685
Thanks: 68
Thanked 195 Times in 187 Posts
Rep Power: 10
Faster has a spectacular aura about Faster has a spectacular aura about Faster has a spectacular aura about
I enjoy the challenge of sailing alone, but don't get to do much of it mostly because my wife is happy to come along... And I'm not inclined to mess with that!
Jeff_H and chef2sail like this.

1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"

".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Old 12-31-2011
centaursailor's Avatar
Senior in age only!!!
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Balbriggan
Posts: 554
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 4
centaursailor is on a distinguished road
Worry less, stress less and shout less.
Safe sailing
The great appear great because you are on your knees. James Larkin, Irish Labour Movement.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Old 12-31-2011
chef2sail's Avatar
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Maryland
Posts: 6,964
Thanks: 29
Thanked 54 Times in 50 Posts
Rep Power: 7
chef2sail will become famous soon enough
Send a message via AIM to chef2sail

Like Faster my time alone is somewhat infrequent as my wife loves to be out as much as I. She works (nurse) every thord weekend giving me the option either to invite friends or go it alone.

I enjoy the challenege of going alone. As others have said it hones the skills by making you reakky preplan many of the maneuvers such as exit or comming into the slip, anchoring etc, sail reefing.

I am more conservative as far as sail area deployed when single handing and ofteen have furled in the job long before I would when with company. I usually plan my pee breaks etc to when the water is wide oipen and I can set the autopilot safely and head below.

It is far different however when I am not doing a daysail or a small overnighter.

I have done a few coastal passages solo along the NORTH EAST coast so it has taught me differing and more refined tactics such as sleeping in the cockpit with one eye open as well as alarms set. being alone for seven days inj blue water really challeneges your skills as well as gives you an entirely different perspective and trust of your skills as well as for your boat.

When I have done longer open ocean passages I keep my mantra...whats the safe thing to do in the forefront of my mind on every planned move out of the cockpit. Even in my moves up and down the stairway into the cabin. Cannot afford to get injured on a stupid move. Seems when you are alone on a longer voyage you enjoy some of the pleasures even more like a shower, shaving, reading etc. What do I miss on these. A good nights slepp.

Faster likes this.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
S/V Haleakala (Hawaiian for" House of the Sun")
C&C 35 MKIII Hull # 76
Parkville, Maryland
(photos by Joe McCary)
Charter member of the Chesapeake Lion posse

Our blog-
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

“Sailing is just the bottom line, like adding up the score in bridge. My real interest is in the tremendous game of life.”- Dennis Conner
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may post attachments
You may edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Looks like a solo sail again... Thestar General Discussion (sailing related) 4 08-30-2011 07:15 PM
First SOlo Sail severnmd Learning to Sail 16 06-12-2011 07:58 PM
First Solo Sail CapnRon47 General Discussion (sailing related) 12 09-02-2009 12:41 AM
first solo sail TomScanlan Learning to Sail 16 03-03-2008 12:16 PM
I did my first solo sail. RayMetz100 Learning to Sail 38 05-17-2007 08:49 PM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:16 AM.

Add to My Yahoo!         
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
(c) LLC 2000-2012

The store is owned and operated by a company independent of the forum. You are now leaving the SailNet forum. Click OK to continue or Cancel to return to the SailNet forum.