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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail > first solo sail
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Thread: first solo sail Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
03-03-2008 01:16 PM
tjaldur Always keep an auxiliary line long enough to let you reach the bar (and find the way back to your boat.
03-03-2008 10:22 AM
sailingdog How about stepping off onto the dock... shouldn't have a tether on doing that.... makes getting to the bar difficult.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tjaldur View Post
oooops, almost forgot. Never, ever do anything on deck whatsoever without being connected to you boat with a line.
03-02-2008 11:03 PM
DebCon Tom,
Good going on your solo. It's the start of an entirely different level of sailing. I bought my a Pearson 26 in San Diego last year and one of my first year goals was to sail solo. You're absolutely right about in and out of the slip. The boats aft of me are very expensive and starbord of them is a sailing school I have to pass every time I come and go. Fortunately haven't given them anything to snicker about. Reverse is your friend! Very helpful for stopping forward momentum. Also using both the tiller and engine to stear is much tighter. The first few times I went out were dedicated to using only main or only jib. This helped in working out individual details without exponantilly (spelling?) complicating my head trip. I assume that once a tack is completed you prepare your lazy sheet well before the next tack.
When friends come out now they are welcome to do as much as they want but in the end it's like a ballet to me and I do my dance.
Enjoy,
Deborah
Pearson 26 #1396
HONU KAI
San Diego
03-02-2008 02:55 PM
tjaldur oooops, almost forgot. Never, ever do anything on deck whatsoever without being connected to you boat with a line.
03-02-2008 02:52 PM
tjaldur In my opinion you should not hesitate about some sort of autopilot/selfsteeringsystem, if you want to sail alone. Not only for handling the sails, but for also for being able to respond to different sort of calls of nature, whether it concerns output or input. You may need food or something warm to drink.

From time to time you will need both hands for the compass or charts or other functions concerning dead reckoning. Having an autopilot is almost better than a crew member (it does not crave sleep or beer).

With an autopilot you set the course directly in the winds eye and let the engine run at a speed to balance the wind and you have all the time in the world to handle your sails.
02-29-2008 12:25 PM
TomScanlan
Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
Tom-

It does get easier with practice. I hope you have jacklines, a harness and tether installed on the boat, since you're single handing. The primary thing about single handing is to stay on the boat.

BTW, just be aware that the cockpit lazarette locker really needs to be dogged shut when you're sailing a J/24. The lazarette locker, if it isn't dogged shut, can downflood in a broach or when heeled excessively, and fill with enough water to sink a J/24. It is a fairly common cause of J/24's sinking.
I didn't tie in that day, but I will be in the future.

As for the j/24 tipping and swamping. I do keep the lockers locked, and the hatches closed. And, you may find this humorous... but I've been saving and storing 2-liter bottles in all the unused space below deck. I also bought a great used air mattress to sleep on, rather than foam (a steal at 8 bucks). I don't have 33 cubic feet filled up (enough to counter the j/24 weight) with these free flotation devices yet, but I may get there
02-29-2008 12:14 PM
TomScanlan
Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
Try this for the tiller:
http://www.davisnet.com/product_docu...TllrTmrINS.PDF

And try this in your track and on the bolt rope to make things go easier:
McLube Sailkote Dry Lubricant for Marine Environments
I'm a fan of sailkote. It made the sliding hatch over the companionway so much friendlier. No more grunting and squealing, just push with a finger.

as for the tiller helper, That's pretty much what I was talking about, except that I'll just do it with what I have on hand. No need to spend cash if I can avoid it.
02-29-2008 12:11 PM
TomScanlan
Quote:
Originally Posted by chucklesR View Post
If the wind isn't blowing too much from the beam you could try raising the main while in the slip - that depends on strength and ability to get out of the slip and steerage way going before you t-bone a boat or pier. Maybe you could raise the main to the second reef while at the pier.

I'd go with modifying the main with a set of slugs sized to fit the track; and run the halyard back to the cockpit. You also should work out a reefing system you can use while single handing that doesn't require leaving the cockpit - and that means the halyard has to be back there. If the main is old try looking for a place local to you that sells used J/24 sails - maybe you'll get lucky and find one in good shape with slugs, trade in your old to reduce costs.
As to docking, trade up on the outboard and get one with a true reverse, or at least one that swivels around to make reverse. Then try backing in - you get more control that way because you would center the rudder and drive and turn the boat via the outboard alone. Most places that repair and sell used outboards allow trade in values; so that will help.

Don't give up on the jib - not using it will increase weather helm making everything else that much more difficult. I can't tell where you sail out of - but places like Bacon's here in Annapolis have excellent choices in used autopilots, sails and other equipment for reasonable prices.

As SD said, stay on the boat. At a mininum, wear a PFD or at least an inflatible. I don't want to read about you in some 'sailor lost while single handing thread'.

Believe it or not, I visualize leaving the slip under sail, but I'm nowhere near confident enough to try it yet. This motor does rotate for reverse, which has some fun side effects, like dragging the fuel line out behind the motor if you turn it the wrong way . As I get more comfy I think I can live with the rotation, just my first couple of times were hectic.

The main halyard does run to the cockpit, which right now makes the operation slower, because when the boltrope jams, I have to run up to the mast, unjam, run back to the clutch and haul some more. Well, when I say run, it's only a couple steps, but still I haven't called around about adding slugs or swapping sails, but probably will soon.

I'll keep using the jib, I just gave up for that day to let the steam vent and because messing around with it was taking concentration from everything else going on in the eyes of a first timer. I tend to focus on problems until they are solved, to the exclusion of other things... so I chose to forget that problem before missing something important going on that I should really focus on.

I'll admit I was not tied into the boat that day. Winds were pretty light and I didn't feel any concern. But, you guys are right, I should be tied in.
02-29-2008 11:57 AM
Giulietta Cool...Tom...congratulations...

I too sail alone many times...
02-29-2008 11:54 AM
TomScanlan
Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
BTW, if you really want remote steering, get a Raymarine tiller pilot, about $400 or so, and the remote for said tiller pilot, about $370... and then you can steer from anywhere on the boat. No lines to get tangled up either.
I don't want it that bad. I'll be happy with a few dollars of rope for the time being. This isn't a boat I'll be taking super long distances, and I'm on a tight budget.
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