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FirstCandC 07-09-2013 11:49 AM

First True Single-hand
Went down to the boat all alone this past Saturday, as always to do more work. But i was broke, and work costs money. And it was HOT- but I felt a tiiiinyyy little breeze on the back of my neck. Could this be the day? Could this be THE day?
I started getting anxious- chest tight, breathing heavily, I started getting everything ready. PFD, river chart, depth sounder, registration, Boat US stuff all good to go. Depth reading six and a half feet at the dock. It's not too late to back out.. Got the sail cover down, main halyard tied on, and all but one dock line off (corner slip- the owner knew I was a newbie!).
Now to start the A-4, blower on for a few mins, and as only me and whomever has had this particular boat knows how to do, juuust the right amount of choke. She fired up with a throaty little roar :) Cast off the last line and I am free!
It took what seemed like FOREVER to get out to the river, but there was just enough breeze to form ripples on the water- which seemed like Hurricane Andrew to me! Four sailboats in a row, all motoring South, none under sail. EVERY small family in the tri-state area just anchoring out to enjoy a reprieve from the hot day. Here goes nothing, maybe no one will notice me going forward to hoist the main.
A beautiful sight indeed, just one idiot under main alone heading almost directly into the the southerly wind. But it felt GREAT. I had to be going 20 knots against a 3 knot wind, or at least it felt that way. Working the main sheet, over working the main sheet, working the main sheet some more. Time for the first tack! Plenty of momentum, just pop that cleat and turn the wheel hard- I made it!
There is no moral to this story, just a thanks to all with the patience to put up with a newbie's stupid questions. Now if I could just figure out how to balance the main AND jib!

Skipper Jer 07-09-2013 12:01 PM

Re: First True Single-hand
The important thing is you did it and that the river monster didn't get your boat or the water molecules didn't dis-associate.


MarkofSeaLife 07-09-2013 01:34 PM

Re: First True Single-hand
1 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by FirstCandC (Post 1056433)
I am free!

Way to go!!!!!!!!!!!



Sal Paradise 07-09-2013 01:55 PM

Re: First True Single-hand
Hey Congrats..

I also did my first single handed sail on Sunday, on my Catalina 22 which was very easy but still a memorable moment for me. Felt truly liberating. Who new it was so great to stand on the forward deck of a pilotless boat as it moved on its own .......and untangle lines,... :D

Seriously I was only worried about docking but it proved to be a non event. My crew is usually a rabble from the bar who know nothing about sailing anyway so it was no great difference. I notced I paid attention and planned everything a little more.

Sabreman 07-09-2013 02:07 PM

First True Single-hand
These are the stories that make all the "What boat should I buy" queries worth it.

Great job! I still remember my first solo with great fondness.

jimgo 07-09-2013 02:22 PM

Re: First True Single-hand
Congratulations! I remember that feeling very well. I did my first single-hand about 3 weeks after we bought our first boat. I couldn't stay out long, but like you I realized that I had a beautiful day and I wasn't going to miss such a great day just because I was alone. So I cast off and headed out to Barnegat Bay in about 8-10 knots. The jib and main were both full, pulling me along at a fair clip, and it was the most amazing feeling. Here I was, handling a 25' sailboat all by myself, after having been sailing only about a dozen times. What at first seemed somewhat intimidating was now something I had tamed (I wouldn't go so far as to say "mastered!") and could handle, and I was doing it all on a boat that I had earned. That was a good day indeed. Thanks for the reminder; I hope this is only one of many, many fun days for you aboard your C&C!

FirstCandC 07-09-2013 02:49 PM

Re: First True Single-hand
Thanks! Is it just me, or did you always seem to end up at about the same spot when close-reaching? I wanted to follow the motoring boats out into the wider stretch of the river, but I COULD NOT point any higher than about 20 degrees off the wind. And when it fell off, it really fell off. A couple of times, the boat and I just spun around. I am sure that provided a few laughs, but I don't care. And tacking back across through boat traffic wasn't very fun at all.

Also, after a few times back and forth across the river, I got a little greedy. I rolled out the working jib a little. I SWEAR the sail started to shimmy and shake, telling me to roll out more! When I did I ran into a bit of trouble, because I was drifting off course a bit with all of that sail. Also, it is easy to over-correct with the rudder. Need to learn how to use the sails more and the wheel less.

Can't wait to go back.

deniseO30 07-09-2013 03:02 PM

Re: First True Single-hand
Looks like you have a masthead rig. So I'm guessing the main only would make for a sluggish time. If you set the main to just self tend, it's pretty easy to concentrate on tacking with the jib when single handed. River sailing makes single hand tacking pretty routine! Depending on flow, it's very easy to sail standing still in light air too! Up here, we actually have to tack back up river sometimes just so the next tack will take us down! LOL it's strange but fun, if you don't plane to use sails to get somewhere on a river.
Congrats on your first time out there A L O N E...

FirstCandC 07-09-2013 03:09 PM

Re: First True Single-hand
Thanks. I had the main in a bit tight, just over the companionway. This was probably due to experiencing my first big accidental gybe on the delivery trip. That was scary!

deniseO30 07-09-2013 03:30 PM

Re: First True Single-hand
You're welcome :) I like to practice rounding a buoy when single hand. it can be a quick study on how to (or not) use current and wind The main and jib can "take you right around" if you get it right LOL or you can wind up "kissing" the buoy. If I want to get some sailing in, I often motor sail down river or depending on wind coming down or up and at least wing and wing it coming back. This time of the year is light air just like on the Chesapeake so it's not much fun.

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