woman singlehanders - Page 4 - SailNet Community
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post #31 of 128 Old 05-22-2006
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Single handing a boat isn't a gender specific thing... especially if you consider sailors like Dee Caffari and Ellen McArthur.... who have proven that women are just as capable at single handing a sailboat as men are. It is more an attitude of the sailor in question. Some sailors, both women and men, don't have the proper attitude or self-confidence to singlehand a boat and never will even try. Others see it as something that just needs to be done....

The other thing that helps you singlehand a boat is experience with the boat in all different situations and conditions. If you know your boat, then handling it by yourself isn't as much of an issue.

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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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post #32 of 128 Old 06-01-2006
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Karen-
"but is it as dangerous as their odd looks are telling me? ... being a woman and sailing alone? "
Forget the woman thing, Poseidon and the other gods aren't going to cut you any more or less slack based on gender. Sailing alone is inherently more risky than sailing with more hands, simply because, well, you're alone! If you fall overboard, there's no one to notice. If the boom cracks you on the noggin, there's no one to fetch help. Is that dangerous? Well, compared to what?
I'd call it a personal choice and as long as you're comfortable with it, that's your decision to make. And enjoy.
The NJ shore can be a rough place in bad wx, if the wind or seas are coming in and you're in the shoal areas, the water can be much rougher than you think, so give it due respect. On the bright side, there haven't been any reports of piracy off NJ for many years now.

<> Very gently! The best thing it to do a mental run-through of the docking process before you even leave the dock. Then on the way in, while you are still in free water, lay out whatever you will need so that when you do get near the dock, it is all at hand. You'll need to keep enough way on so you don't lose control, but I've never been ashamed to come in dead slow, even painfully slow, rather than go CRUNCH. The phrase is "with all deliberate speed", i.e. as fast as you can SAFELY handle it, there's simply no reason to rush, ever, for anyone.

If you'd rather get some practice in private, you can take a 2x4 or stick of PVC pipe (capped at both ends) out to an isolated spot, throw it overboard, and use it as your "practice dock". Nothing much to hit, no audience to applaude, and when you've gotten the hang of it, just pull it back on deck and take it home. (A mooring whip or other stick will help you get it back again.) A "lunch hook" or any simple weight will keep it anchored well enough for what you need to do, so the current doesn't move it and you both.

For safety solo, I'd suggest wearing a PFD (as a courtesy to the SAR folks who can't go home until they locate you) and once you get near 4PM, having a personal strobe or other bright light on it as well, since that's close enough to need one if you go over and no one notices for a couple more hours. A handheld VHF in the cockpit, a cell phone in a ziplock bag or EWA pouch...and if you don't file a float plan, at least leave a note on your dashboard that says "Gone sailing...overdue by 9PM" if you're parked someplace reasonably secure. If you're sailing from someplace with a dockmaster, etc. then giving them the float plan and dropping off the occasional cold beverages is another good way to do it.

Last edited by jared; 06-01-2006 at 10:21 AM.
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post #33 of 128 Old 06-01-2006
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I'd agree with Jared on all points. The PFD and strobe are pretty much required if you're singlehanding. I'd also recommend a good tether and jacklines. The floatplan and VHF are a good idea too. The cell phone isn't quite as useful in an emergency for many reasons—point-to-point, limited coverage, no way to contact other boats directly.

One other good idea for singlehanding is having a boom preventer or boom brake.

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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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post #34 of 128 Old 06-02-2006
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great thread

This is a great thread.
I admire all you women out there singlehanders.
I grew up on the water all my life off Miami Beach fl.
My family had big boats but no sailboats.
Sailing is all I have been think about for years, even though I live too far from shore.
The military has brought me to GA where my husband has recently retired.
I am working on finishing my BS degree and returning to the military so I too can retire.
After I finish this year with my BS,
my next studies will be all that pertains to sailing, weather and nav.
because on day I too will be joining the life off shore.
You see all I dream about is living out on the water but he doesn't.
I live for trips to the coast but he doesn't, he just tolerates it.
I know I will end up out at sea and he won't.
I know were my home is. I have been away from it for too long.
So one day I see myself as a woman singlehander and like you I too will be proud.
So ladies in distress about docking remember success does not come to you, you go to it.
Leave your husband on shore and go for it!! and good luck.
You are all very encouraging.
I envy and live in amazement through your lives.
You all give me hope.
For now, I am patient and I know my day will come.
I know it would be hard for any of you but if you're ever in the Atlanta area and want to go rock climbing, look me up.

Jojo
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post #35 of 128 Old 06-05-2006
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That's what I call determination.....best of luck.

John
Ontario 32 - Aria

Free, is the heart, that lives not, in fear.
Full, is the spirit, that thinks not, of falling.
True, is the soul, that hesitates not, to give.
Alive, is the one, that believes, in love.
JCP


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post #36 of 128 Old 06-06-2006
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Good points!

Thank you Gentleman and ladies...Very good advice and tips. Jared...Thank you very much. I like the PVC idea in practicing docking. I will definately give that a try and I appreciate the encouragement. Every weekend I get a bit more comfortable. I have all the safety equipment except the strobe light. I also have been reluctant to run the jackline and attach the tether because I haven't gone that far off-shore yet but I'm probably being a bit foolish. Anytime out of sheltered water is probably a good idea to hitch up? I see so few sailors by with a tether; what is everyone's personal take on this?

JoJo...good luck with getting back to the water. I was patient for 15 years and now I've reached a time in my life when I have the money and a wee bit of time to escape to the water. My other half will not, under any circumstances, leave the dock. However, we have a wonderful agreement to let each other do their hobbies and at the end of the day we love each other twice as much for it. I hope your husband sees the benefit of a happy sailor wife!

Thank you again!
Karen
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post #37 of 128 Old 06-09-2006
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Women should not be single handing. It takes strength, endurance, judgement, perseverence, and intelligence. All traits women don't have. Women should be in the home sweeping floors, doing dishes, cooking, and taking care of children. If God had meant women to be singlehanded sailors they would have been born with one hand and a compass rose imprinted on thier eyeballs. You female singlehanders are upsetting the delicate balance of our universe.
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post #38 of 128 Old 06-10-2006
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Hey Irwin32-

Your knuckles are dragging again... I sincerely hope you're joking...

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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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post #39 of 128 Old 06-10-2006
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sailor woman

Gender is something you are born with so it makes no difference (or should not),but sailing is a choice I happily make!! I sail with my mate, but he regards and titles me "Captain" in every sense of the word.
I do all the repair work on our Buccaneer 240, including outboard maintenance. Have always been handy at fixing and enjoy it ,so for me the work and the sailing is therapy from a 24-7 job schedule!
Sail on ladies!
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post #40 of 128 Old 06-11-2006
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This is a great thread. I have been single-handing my boat for years. (I am not a woman). I have singlehanded from Annapolis to Block Island and Newport-Bermuda-Annapolis. To me, its a sport and brings the challenge to of sailing to another level. Much like climbing mountains or helicopter skiing. I think that anyone, including women, are up to the task. Bear in mind, it is a very high risk activity and appropriate safety measures as suggested in this thread must be adopted. That means anywhere including the Harbor. Just ask the poor fellow who is missing as of yesterday on the Chesapeake Bay. (See the singlehander missing thread posted this morning).
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