Humbling attempt at single-handing - SailNet Community

   Search Sailnet:

 forums  store  


Quick Menu
Forums           
Articles          
Galleries        
Boat Reviews  
Classifieds     
Search SailNet 
Boat Search (new)

Shop the
SailNet Store
Anchor Locker
Boatbuilding & Repair
Charts
Clothing
Electrical
Electronics
Engine
Hatches and Portlights
Interior And Galley
Maintenance
Marine Electronics
Navigation
Other Items
Plumbing and Pumps
Rigging
Safety
Sailing Hardware
Trailer & Watersports
Clearance Items

Advertise Here






Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
 Not a Member? 


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 09-13-2009
cghubbell's Avatar
1977 CS27 ~ Ravat
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Ontario, NY (PYC)
Posts: 161
Thanks: 5
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 6
cghubbell is on a distinguished road
Humbling attempt at single-handing

I'm now going on about a month of owning my first "big" (to me) boat, a 27 footer. I spent a weeks vacation sailing every day with at least one crew before. Then I started trying to "single hand" with someone standing by in case I goofed... And then last weekend I single-handed for a half-day sail which was as close to perfect as I think it gets. I had dreams about it I enjoyed it so much.

So today rolls around and I had another 1/2 day to take her out. I thought, this is easy... Just take your time, think things through, and all is well. I never should have thought about it being easy.

This time the wind was 10-15 kts compared to 5 kts last week. Waves were 2-4 feet compared to almost flat last week. And where the heck did all those floating obstacles (boats) come from that I needed to tack around? Ugh.

My technique for S.H. is to lock the wheel on a moderate turn, then handle the jib sheets as she comes about. As soon as I have the jib tacked and hand-tensioned, I straighten out the wheel and return to trimming the sheets. Today I couldn't get things done fast enough to pull it off. Man, that wind was grabbing my bow and pushing it every which way. One time I managed to botch a jybe right in front a large racing fleet. Hopefully they were too busy to notice.

I finally decided that I wasn't quite ready to solo in today's conditions, so I dropped the sails, secured the ties, and motored. No biggie, I still loved being on the boat.

So then it comes time to dock. I have just learned the midships cleat and rudder to dock technique, and it's worked well a few times for me. Today I managed to drop the line after I snagged it with the boat hook, requiring a "throw 'er in reverse" moment.

I managed to stop the forward motion, and get the line secured. I then put the rudder to the dock, and shifted into forward, forgetting that I had the rpms a bit higher then usual following my emergency brake routine. In my haste to slow down the engine I managed to drop the throttle too far and kill the engine.

At this EXACT moment a puff grabs my bow and sends it toward my 32' neighboring boat. I scramble for the bow, hook in hand. As I reach the pulpit and strain for the dock lines, I realize they are now too far away to grab. Ugh! I snag a join in the dock, and slowly pry the boat back towards the lost dock line.

All ended well with no damage, but what a blow to the newbie confidence. Never, ever, tell yourself this is easy! It's like renaming a boat without a ceremony. Later on as I was doing some maintenance I watched a bunch of my neighbors come into their slips like it was nothing. Someday...
__________________
CS27 #1254 ~ Ravat
PYC, Lake Ontario

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

Last edited by cghubbell; 09-13-2009 at 10:10 PM. Reason: Removed the smilies.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #2  
Old 09-13-2009
BarryL's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 1,615
Thanks: 3
Thanked 27 Times in 26 Posts
Rep Power: 12
BarryL is on a distinguished road
Hello,

Don't worry, you'll gain more experience, and soon, weather like that will make you just yawn and think 'no big deal.'

HOWEVER,

No matter how much experience you have, sailing can always surprise you.

Just a few weeks ago, I went out on the boat with my 15 year old daughter. I just replaced the raw water impeller and I wanted to test run the engine. So we rowed out to the boat (my boat is kept on a mooring), left the dingy tied to the boat and not the mooring, dropped the mooring lines, and motored out.

After 15 minutes of running, all was well, so we headed back to the mooring. I have been pulling the boat to the mooring for years, and it's a piece of cake: motor upwind towards the mooring, have the boat hook ready (just in case), approach the mooring float at dead slow speed, walk forward and pick up the mooring stick, or grab it with the boat hook, place the mooring pendants on the bow cleat and that's basically it. I usually do by myself, no problem. This time my daughter asks if she can help, so I tell her to go forward and pick up the mooring float. The weather is calm, I motor towards the stick, then walk forward to help. It seems that I stopped the boat a little short of the pick up stick, and she could not grab the stick. I offer to help, but I was too slow and the boat drifted a little to far away. No big deal, I walk back the wheel, put the boat in reverse and then shift forward, except that now I can't turn the steering wheel. The wheel is locked and I can't move it! This is very bad. We are now drifting into the channel. I run forward to drop the anchor but now we are headed right at my mooring neighbor's boat. I run aft and put the boat in reverse. Fortunately we backed right up to an empty mooring, so I grabbed it to find the problem.

It turned out that when I originally backed up, the dingy painter got wedged between the rudder and the hull and prevented me from turning the wheel. By pulling the line out, I could steer, and all ended well.

So, no matter how many times you have done the same thing, sailing can always surprise you!

Barry
__________________
Barry Lenoble
Deep Blue C, 2002 C&C 110
Mt. Sinai, NY

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
  #3  
Old 09-13-2009
johnshasteen's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 649
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 13
johnshasteen is on a distinguished road
Just remember, no matter how long you've been sailing - every sail is an adventure.
__________________
s/v Paloma, Bristol 29.9, #141
Slipped in Bahia Marina, easy access to Corpus Christi Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #4  
Old 09-14-2009
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: John's Island SC
Posts: 118
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 6
WheresTheBrakes is on a distinguished road
I love to single hand my boat.. A friend reminded me that if there's a bit of breeze, to tie a line, any line, around your waist and the mast.. just in case..

One of my favorite quotes about sailing is that it's 99% boredom punctuated by 1% sheer terror
__________________

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

--------------------
1984 Starwind 22
"Julianne"
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #5  
Old 09-14-2009
deniseO30's Avatar
Move over Joan Rivers!
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Bristol pa
Posts: 6,145
Thanks: 52
Thanked 89 Times in 79 Posts
Rep Power: 9
deniseO30 will become famous soon enough deniseO30 will become famous soon enough
in 10-15 I think a reef in the main would have been a good idea. easy to shake out later. You didn't say if you have a roller furling jib which would be a great help.
__________________
Denise, Bristol PA, Oday 30. On Tidal Delaware River, Anchor Yacht Club. New Website!
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

my current "project"!
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
  #6  
Old 09-14-2009
cghubbell's Avatar
1977 CS27 ~ Ravat
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Ontario, NY (PYC)
Posts: 161
Thanks: 5
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 6
cghubbell is on a distinguished road
You know, on the way to the marina I was thinking to myself that I really ought to learn to reef the main. There were reef points rigged in the sail when I bought the boat, but I haven't yet tried to rig it. As I was out in the wind I was thinking the same with even greater emphasis!

I do indeed have roller furling on my 150% jib. I only had it out to about 100% this time, but I think even that may have been too much, especially given how new I am to the boat.

What really blew my mind was the multiple races going on where I was seeing boats putting out their kites! That had to be a pretty wild ride. If I weren't so busy scrambling around my cockpit I would have taken some pictures of them.
__________________
CS27 #1254 ~ Ravat
PYC, Lake Ontario

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
  #7  
Old 09-14-2009
cghubbell's Avatar
1977 CS27 ~ Ravat
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Ontario, NY (PYC)
Posts: 161
Thanks: 5
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 6
cghubbell is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by WheresTheBrakes View Post
I love to single hand my boat.. A friend reminded me that if there's a bit of breeze, to tie a line, any line, around your waist and the mast.. just in case..

One of my favorite quotes about sailing is that it's 99% boredom punctuated by 1% sheer terror

Up until this particular day I loved it too

I have been very good about wearing my life jacket when I'm out alone. It has harness clips built in. I found a decent harness in one of the cockpit lockers when I cleaned it out last weekend, so now I need to rig up some convenient places to clip to. There have been a few times when it was a bit dicey that I wouldn't have minded a little tether.

Good thoughts!
__________________
CS27 #1254 ~ Ravat
PYC, Lake Ontario

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
  #8  
Old 09-14-2009
deniseO30's Avatar
Move over Joan Rivers!
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Bristol pa
Posts: 6,145
Thanks: 52
Thanked 89 Times in 79 Posts
Rep Power: 9
deniseO30 will become famous soon enough deniseO30 will become famous soon enough
My boat is a 30 and only needs about 60% headsail to make way in 10-15 and I don't have to wrestle the sheets. As was told to me. if you even think about reefing you waited too long! Don't worry about others, that comes with experiance. just get comfy handling your boat. I don't have self tailing winches but I put a cam cleat on top of the coaming port and starboard, and within easy reach from behind the wheel. It helps allot Also, the higher wind speed the flatter you need to make your main. I'm surprised you didn't have a knockdown with a 150 flying and a full main up! "when in doubt let out" works too. but you can shred your sails.
__________________
Denise, Bristol PA, Oday 30. On Tidal Delaware River, Anchor Yacht Club. New Website!
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

my current "project"!
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
  #9  
Old 09-15-2009
cghubbell's Avatar
1977 CS27 ~ Ravat
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Ontario, NY (PYC)
Posts: 161
Thanks: 5
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 6
cghubbell is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by deniseO30 View Post
I'm surprised you didn't have a knockdown with a 150 flying and a full main up! "when in doubt let out" works too. but you can shred your sails.
I didn't have a knockdown, but I had two pretty aggressive moments in which I quickly dumped the main. I think it would take quite a bit to knock down a 27 footer. I only had the jib furled to 100 - not 150, but yes, I think I would have been much happier around 50 or 60%. Definitely a good learning experience.
__________________
CS27 #1254 ~ Ravat
PYC, Lake Ontario

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
  #10  
Old 09-15-2009
deniseO30's Avatar
Move over Joan Rivers!
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Bristol pa
Posts: 6,145
Thanks: 52
Thanked 89 Times in 79 Posts
Rep Power: 9
deniseO30 will become famous soon enough deniseO30 will become famous soon enough
2 years ago I was real nervous about my boat's heeling, now I trust her and she always brings me home. I've seen guys running all the sail they have in higher winds and yet the boats with reefed mains seem to go faster. It's exciting to see the toe rail getting dipped but I do think most boats sail better at less heel.
good luck!
__________________
Denise, Bristol PA, Oday 30. On Tidal Delaware River, Anchor Yacht Club. New Website!
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

my current "project"!
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
Reply


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
Single handing Irwin32 Seamanship & Navigation 140 06-01-2011 02:26 PM
I am a single handing GOD! jbarros General Discussion (sailing related) 24 07-01-2008 10:06 AM
single handing yawls scottmillington Boat Review and Purchase Forum 6 11-20-2005 07:47 AM
Making single handing easier stephens84 Seamanship & Navigation 3 08-01-2004 04:50 PM
single handing foredeckman Cruising & Liveaboard Forum 0 01-18-2003 07:38 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:09 PM.

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

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