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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > How big is too big for one man?
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Thread: How big is too big for one man? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
09-23-2014 07:06 PM
SHAO
Re: How big is too big for one man?

Points taken, thanks!
(I realize it is OT, this discussion of heavy weather tactics. Valuable though.)
09-23-2014 04:25 PM
killarney_sailor
Re: How big is too big for one man?

We have a big(gish), heavy (20 tons) boat and have all of the gear needed for the Pardey's heave-to method. I think we could manage since the winch we would use for control is a Lewmar 65 (keep in mind that the load on the tether is going to go up and down and you do not need to move it much). Having said that, in 33,000 miles we have never used it and have not come close to thinking that we should. This includes getting off the beaten track a bit to Easter Island and doing the approach to South Africa which can be nasty. I actually think that a Jordan series drogue would be something that we might have used along the way a few times - and yes I know they are not identical in purpose.

About the Japanese guy with the Jeanneau, I am also in my late 60s (damn!) and can quite easily sail the Bristol alone. We do have electric furling for the main but could imagine doing it with manual furling or reef points. You need to have the systems worked out well, including having excellent self-steering and honking big winches.

Edit: I did say sailing alone. Docking and undocking would often be a different story. You can't horse a big boat around like you can a lighter one.
09-23-2014 03:03 PM
MedSailor
Re: How big is too big for one man?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SHAO View Post
The Pardeys' "Storm Tactics Handbook" (1996) and "The Cost Conscious Cruiser" (2010) seem pretty useful to me, just sayin.' It's OT, but I'm curious what's not relevant about their advice to heave-to in heavy weather conditions offshore.
It is the belief of many (including myself) that with a larger and heavier boat, the Pardey bridle method will not work. The loads on the bridle line get too high to be handled by a winch, which is a crucial part of the tactic. It likely works well for small, full keeled boats, but is unlikely to work on large displacement boats due to the loading issues. Heaving to in general, with or without the assistance of the parachute, sometimes doesn't work on fin-keeled boats or some lightweight designs.

MedSailor
09-22-2014 10:47 AM
krisscross
Re: How big is too big for one man?

As they get bigger, most boats also draw more, so if you are thinking about sailing in shallow areas that can be a big disadvantage. One person does not really need more space that a 35-37 footer can provide, and these can be sailed solo without too much problem, if they are rigged properly.
09-22-2014 03:19 AM
SHAO
Re: How big is too big for one man?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post
- Lyn Pardey's "Care and Feeding of Sailing Crew" (I don't think much of their other works as it isn't relevant to the boats most of us sail today).
The Pardeys' "Storm Tactics Handbook" (1996) and "The Cost Conscious Cruiser" (2010) seem pretty useful to me, just sayin.' It's OT, but I'm curious what's not relevant about their advice to heave-to in heavy weather conditions offshore. In any case your booklist, and any good booklist is invaluable -- learn from the experience of others -- there are some great books on circumnavigations by circumnavigators, and reading about mistakes and tragedies at sea can be quite instructive and sobering -- gives one pause. Peter Nichols has written "Sea Change" and "A Voyage for Madmen" among others. Free online is "Across Islands and Oceans" by James Baldwin -- his experiences and "pocket cruiser" approach are instructive (as is his website).

Here in Japan, 34'-36' seems a "popular" size for soloing offshore (sailing is not popular, cruising less so, offshore cruising even less so, solo cruising offshore definitely rare and heroic). I sail with a fellow in his late 60s, has a Jeanneau 37' with no electric assists -- that boat is too big for him to solo comfortably, it's sad. The dream of a younger man. If most of your time is spent on the water, and your budget is juicy, great. If most of the time your boat is at the dock, and you need to care for finances, there is something to be said for "the smallest suitable boat" as a starting point. Then there's what you can actually get. Not only is this just my opinion (and the Pardeys' by the way), it's just one opinion, and not necessarily right for you.
07-19-2014 06:32 PM
sailpower
Re: How big is too big for one man?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evongelo View Post
I'm basically trying to gain knowledge right now. I've been doing a lot of reading on this topic, but it's so much to take in that it's nice to just ask direct questions instead of browsing for hours upon hours through the the internet or forums when you have one thing you want answered specifically.
There is no answer to your specific question other than, "it depends".

Thousands of people before you have asked the same question. The forums are full of those responses which will be pretty much be what you will hear here. How many ways are there to answer an unanswerable question?

In your case it seems that you will have no way to even quantify the responses as suitable or not for you not due to your lack of experience. Don't worry, it won't matter because what you are getting is personal opinion not an answer to such an open ended question.

Why not try sailing, gain some experience and see what YOU are comfortable with. Does it really matter if someone else does it an 18 footer and someone else in a 70? How does that apply to you?

The reality is that almost any size will do it. The sailor is often the limiting factor.

I wonder how many who ask these questions actually go on to do it? Almost none I would suspect.
07-19-2014 06:18 PM
MedSailor
Re: How big is too big for one man?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chall03 View Post
Nah. As long as you have a sat phone you'll be fine

We have spent a bit of time cruising the Australian East Coast so we were going to head out into the near Pacific this year but for varying reasons we are now looking at "going larger going later". Please don't tell the Pardeys.

No RH didn't influence this decision.
(If something that happens to a boat on the the other side of the world influenced our confidence offshore then we probably shouldn't be there anyway).

Sorry about the thread drift.

We're "in the same boat." We really want, for sanity reasons, to get both kiddos through the toddler phase and into the kid phase before we go off and spend long periods in a confined space. This delayed our departure time and allowed us to buy a better (arguably bigger) more comfortable and family oriented boat. Yeah, don't tell the pardey's what I'm doing either. They were my heroes above all others when I was broke and living on a wooden boat. They still have my total respect, but their way just isn't for me.

MedSailor
07-19-2014 01:37 PM
hpeer
Re: How big is too big for one man?

This book is a good start.

Singlehanded Sailing: The Experiences and Techniques of the Lone Voyagers - Google Books
07-19-2014 12:07 PM
RobGallagher
Re: How big is too big for one man?

Purchase an sail the boat that suits you now. Sail, sail, sail. Grow with it.
By doing just that I learned that my sailing desires evolved as I grew. No one can tell you were it will take you.
No shortage of 22 - 30 ft boats in sail able shape from 2K to 10K. Fixing stuff and sailing around will teach you more in a season than a lifetimes worth of reading.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
07-19-2014 01:10 AM
chall03
Re: How big is too big for one man?

Quote:
Originally Posted by christian.hess View Post
when do you set off chall? im waiting for my kid to grow a bit before we head out...jajja
Nah. As long as you have a sat phone you'll be fine

We have spent a bit of time cruising the Australian East Coast so we were going to head out into the near Pacific this year but for varying reasons we are now looking at "going larger going later". Please don't tell the Pardeys.

No RH didn't influence this decision.
(If something that happens to a boat on the the other side of the world influenced our confidence offshore then we probably shouldn't be there anyway).

Sorry about the thread drift.
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