I'm new to these discussions and posted similar questions on the "Introduce yourself" forum, but thought I'd come to the horses mouth!
I haven't bought my boat yet - she's out there somewhere, and she's beautiful!
I want to single hand a 34-40 foot live aboard boat in the Caribbean - on the hook rather than in a slip.
I'm looking at the Tayana 37 - a nice solid cutter with ample tankage. But I wonder about tacking and gybing a cutter alone. Can you equip a cutter with self-tending foresails?
Also, I wonder about furlings. Are they prone to jam?
I found a beautiful Tayana ketch for sale with furling sails on the main and foresails. Would such a boat combine all the best single-handed rigging?
I think a cutter with all furing sails would be the best single -handed sailboat.
Yes, I think I have my sights on a cutter for that reason.
But I am still trying to understand what problems I might encounter even with a cutter rig - particularly during tacking or jibing.
I think I understand the advantages of furling sails - reducing the necessity to leave the cockpit when raising and lowering the sails. But do you know if a furling system can be combined with self-tending jib or genoa on a cutter?
It doesn't seem possible to me.
Tanny, I think the larger Island Packets have a furling headsail and then a staysail with jib-boom.
EDIT: Yeah, here's a small pic. And both headsails are furling.
I've never sailed a cutter, but I would think the following problems might occur:
* Headsail getting fouled on inner stay when tacking.
* More lines to make a mess in the cockpit
* That jib-boom would be a tripping hazard
* Not enough open foredeck space for a dinghy
Other than that, I would think that it's a pretty versatile and easily-managed sailplan.
Your size range is fine.
You can have all control lines led aft if not there already.
How long have you been sailing?
Have you piloted a sailboat of this size?
A cutter is fine.
We shopped for 2 years before we made our choice. Our final choice was between a Tayana 37 and a Crealock 37. Single handed sailing was one of our serious condsiderations. We did choose the Crealock because it is a yawl and cutter rigged. Both foresails are on furlers, we love them. Consider what sails you're getting with the boat. We have a Yankee cut head sail. It's cut high enough to clear the stay sail easily. When tacking, we bring the Yankee across and then bring the sta'sil over. No issues, it's awesome. The mizzen self tends and the main is pretty ordinary.
The Tayana is a beautiful boat with more storage than ANY other boat we looked at. Nothing compares to her headroom!!! I'm 5'1' and could NOT wrap my fingers around the interior overhead grab rails. That's what made the boat a poor choice for me personally. Good luck!!
ps Living aboard is challenging enough- consider finding a slip!
s/v Gypsy Palace
see pics under Off Topic - Fight Club thread:D
Yes, cutters are good boats for singlehanding. There are a few important things that will affect how easy they are for 1 person.
The cut of your yankee is very important for tacking. If you get a 140% genoa, it will get fouled on the inner forestay and make tacking hard but a good 100% yankee will tack easily.
Your boat can be setup with a self tending staysail or not. I don't know of any club-footed staysails that are not self tacking. A loose footed one is much harder to set up to be self tacking but it can be done. Either one can be set with roller furling but you will need to have an adjustable outhaul with the club-footed sail.
Having all of your lines lead aft is definitely helpful. If the deckhouse layout is correct, you can do this but it will require some time and money.
Having a way to lock the helm if you need to go forward is important. This can be a simple wheel lock or an autopilot. Being able to set the rudder for long enough to run forward and then back to the cockpit is very important.
You should not be worried about gybing either with a cutter. Some cutters will actually have smaller mains with makes them easier to gybe. To keep the staysail from slamming, you simply sheet it hard and gybe normally.
Thanks everyone for your great replies!
As I understand your advice, a cutter rig with both foresails on furlers, a high cut yankee headsail and a self-tending staysail would be the best set-up for a singlehander.
I wonder if the boom furled mainsails would help - or if they are prone to jaming.
painkiller - I'm hoping to find a boat with a davit dinghy suspended aft to keep deck clutter to a minimum. The jib boom I'll have to deal with I suppose.
lenl1540 - nope - never sailed anything much bigger than 30 feet - and that was many years ago in university. I'm taking an ocean sailing and navigation course in the USVI in April, and will spend the next year learning as much as possible before even buying a boat.
sailorgirl - I'll look into the Crealock 37s also - don't know much about them. I like the tayanas because of the large fuel and water tank capacities, and the heavier displacement.
Klem - I've copied your post and filed it into my 'Sailing' folder. I wonder if a wind vane wouldn't be more reliable than an electronic autopilot? Maybe both, eh? Thanks for the great advice!
Thanks again everyone!
Woulnt touch in boom furling with a bargepole.mime which came with boat fell apart in a force 6 in the tide rip off point of ayre on a pitch black night with a large ship bearig down on us. eventualy managed to lasso the end of the roller and get it all lashed down but not without a few hairy moments.still better than in mast as if they fail your stuffed . have now fitted a slab reefing,loose footed main with lazyjacks and stack pack .sets much better also.
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