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maddie123 11-22-2008 08:18 PM

Any recommendations for singlehanded sailing boats
Well, I'm getting ready to leave dry land and would appreciate any suggestions of boats to start investigating. I travel nationwide with my job, consulting RN, and last year mostly stayed in motel rooms. I love to sail, although inexperienced at singlehanded sailing, but plan on living aboard around a 30 footer in the southeast, probably NC,GA, or FLA. I feel as though the design of the traveler would play a part in the ease of sailing alone, but any other suggestions as to brand of boat? Oh, in case you haven't guessed, I'm female and also only 5ft. 2in.

camaraderie 11-22-2008 08:39 PM

hi Maddie and welcome.
Do you have a budget? I would suggest you focus more on the liveaboard aspects you MUST have rather than the sailing characteristics or things that can easily be altered like a traveler. Any good rigger can help you set up any 30 footer for ease of single handing. More important to your living will be things like:
Propane or alchohol stove
Air conditioning
Stand up shower separate from the head.
AC power
Space and storage

All you really need is a production boat that meets your needs and is in good condition verified by survey and diesel mechanic.
Suggest you visit and use their advanced search to input your price range and size range and geographic area to get an idea of what can be had and to see different layouts.
Glad to help further as you refine your ideas.

badsanta 11-22-2008 11:41 PM

You sound busy, are you retiring or just taking a break. Don't buy one, you can stay on mine till you decide. Me, retired paramedic/firefighter. Look at the island packet 27,29 or 31.

Leither 11-23-2008 12:01 AM

I agree completely with Camaraderie. The liveaboard elements are what counts, as long as you stick to boats of well-tested design and in good condition. From my own experience, the only comment I would add is that an autohelm is a wondrous aid to singlehanded sailing......

Good luck with your search.


sck5 11-23-2008 12:11 AM

and self-tailing winches. They are expensive to put on if the boat doesnt already have them though it can easily be done.

sailingdog 11-23-2008 04:28 AM


It would help if you said what your rough budget for said boat would be, as well as what kind of sailing you intend to do with it.

There are lots of boats that would be suitable, but the type of sailing you want to do will influence your choice a bit. Also, are you willing to sacrifice living space for sailing qualities??

A good place to start would be James Baldwin's boat list. Be aware that his boat list focuses on boats that could be decent pocket bluewater passage makers. The coastal cruiser variant of boats would give you significantly more living space at the cost of some seaworthiness.

As for singlehanding a boat.. an autopilot, lines led aft to the cockpit, proper traveler design and mainsheet location, are all going to make a boat easier to singlehand. However, I generally recommend reserving a decent part of your boat buying budget, 15-25% depending on the budget, for upgrading, repairing, and modifying any boat you do purchase. Most boats will require some work to make it work for you, since the layout of a boat's sail controls is often very specific to the individual sailor, more so if you're singlehanding the boat.

I'd also recommend you read the POST in my signature to help you get a bit more out of your time on sailnet. Welcome to the asylum. :)

Good luck and keep us posted.

CrazyRu 11-23-2008 10:06 AM

The "Freedom Yacht" line of boats is designed for your intended porpoise
They are designed from a scratch to sail singlehandly and they are perfect live-aboard boats. They have simple rig, plush interior, hot water, shower, and other niceties. Quite a few models made around a globe too.
Boats are not cheap, but they are low maintenance boats and build very well
There is a lady living aboard Freedom 30. She is active on Fleedomís e-mail list; you may try to talk to her.
FreedomOwnersGroup : Freedom Owners Group

theartfuldodger 11-23-2008 03:59 PM

if you would like some first hand contact and help check out this Nurse as sounds like you both are doing the same thing Sailor RN
good luck

Giulietta 11-23-2008 04:13 PM

May I interst you in a nice Sailnet all time favorite??? They are called Salty's...reall good boats..born to sail (ehehehe) not really...they sail like shoes...but if you dont have're not a sailor

maddie123 11-23-2008 05:13 PM

Thanks for all the comments. I really don't want to spend over about 30,000 for one, so I'll be limited to probably 1 1985 or older, wouldn't you think? I have done most of my sailing on a 30ft Catalina, 5 weeks at a time, both intercoastal and outside to Cape Lookout. Of course that was with a sailor who had been doing it for 40 years, but learned alot on those 5 week trips, including what can go terribly wrong. I'll check out the boats you suggested, and also contact that RN, Artful Dodger!
Thanks again, and it's great having so many knowledgeable people to talk with!

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