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Old 01-28-2009
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Sam in Anchorage, Alaska

Hi All,

I'm hoping to get some feedback or some points in the right direction. I started sailing up here a couple of years ago and have made it through Bareboat certification and am now in shopping mode. I've been in this mode since I started sailing. I'm sure you all can relate to this!

I'm a single father of three boys and I am looking for characteristics in a sailboat that is set up more for single handed sailing. My boys are young, 11, 9 and 7 so they aren't going to be much help just yet, i.e. trimming the sails, setting anchor. They could probably hold the wheel steady for a couple of minutes though if need be while I did the above.

First what should I be looking for in this type of boat other than all lines led aft to the cockpit? Are there any boats (models/manufacturers) that are better suited for single handed sailing than others? I saw something on the Shannon website touting their boats as being particularly suited for single handed sailing.

Currently doing mainly coastal sailing here in Prince William Sound and Kenai Fjords...deep, cold water sailing and anchoring but will want to eventually go bluewater and explore Kodiak, the Alaska Peninsula and the Aleutians.

Budget is around 80,000 to 100,000.

Thanks!

Sam
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Old 01-28-2009
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Have you checked on the availability of slip space yet? Last I knew there was a waiting list in both Seward and Whittier.

Welcome aboard and best of luck with your search.
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Old 01-28-2009
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Sam

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Old 02-01-2009
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hey sam, i am hoping to cruise up to your waters this spring/summer. used to guide on Denali many years ago. i would not agree that all lines lead aft is necessarily what you want, though it is the current trend. what matters is correctly thought out systems and how they interrelate.

happy hunting...
tom
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Old 02-01-2009
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Thanks Tom.

I've heard that as well. Was are the characteristics of a well-designed system in your mind? My thoughts are in general that I just need to be able to handle the boat myself when its just the boys and I or I am taking friends and family out.

Roller furling jib and main? all lines led to the cockpit, a bomb proof autopilot/self steering mechanism?

What about anchoring systems? Is there a way to anchor and control the engine from the bow using some type of remote autopilot?

So many questions...this is an amazing learning curve...part of what attracts me to it is that there is so much to learn and know. They could offer college level courses on this stuff...the list goes on and on doesn't it?

Really feel the need to get this stuff wired before making the leap.

FYI: They've constructed a bunch of new concrete docks in Seward. Are you coming all the way over to Seward? Whittier has had some new construction as well with the new Princess lines coming in.. as far as transient moorage...I don't know.. you might have better luck in Seward.

Do you have the Cruising Guide to Prince William Sound by the Lethcoe's? Probably a good investment.

Sam

Sam
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Old 02-01-2009
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Hi Sam,
and welcome. I am myself a new member to sailnet, but could not help realizing that you are following a similar path to mine. I live "very close to your area", just down the road, Eastern Mediterranean sea.
Although I've been sailing for ages, only recently have I decided to change my 38 footer to a smaller one, precisely because of my 10 year old son. I too wanted to have a boat that would suit a single-hander with a 10 year-older, that would make him be more involved. FYI just bought a Beneteau First 27.7, which fits the bill, both for the needs as well as the budget. Don't know whether it is suited to your climate though.
Enjoy sailing with your kids!
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Old 02-01-2009
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Welcome Sam...I do agree with all lines led to the cockpit but you can pretty easily do that with ANY boat. You might look at boat with either fractional or cutter rigs (with furlers) to minimize headsail handling issues. You should have a mainsail that is also easily reefed or furled from the cockpit. An autopilot is a must. For anchoring...a windlass with cockpit remote control will allow you to drop the hook while controlling the boat.
Check out the bluewater boats list on the buying a boat forum as a good starting place.
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