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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail > Boat for Single-Handed
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Thread: Boat for Single-Handed Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
07-01-2013 02:42 PM
Jeff_H
Re: Boat for Single-Handed

It looks like Jazzman,who was the original poster has left the site in April 2012 after only being here for a short spell and mostly contributing in this thread.
07-01-2013 11:30 AM
CaptnR
Re: Boat for Single-Handed

Duh, disappeared? I went sailing yesterday, and the day before. I am not posting from my phone, so not online when sailing...Sorry, one day I will take you all along for a ride when my tech level get's there! (You didn't miss much, light air regatta)
07-01-2013 08:02 AM
abrahamx
Re: Boat for Single-Handed

Sooooooo, what did you end up doing? Just curious why you disappeared from this thread?
06-30-2013 10:53 AM
CaptnR
Re: Boat for Single-Handed

Having taught sailing in the Pacific NW, and learned the ropes mostly by osmosis; here's my nickles worth.
The smaller the boat, the less expensive the errors. Make all your really dumb moves in a self bailing skiff like a laser, or topper; they are cheap to purchase, and if well maintained, will sell easily when you want to move up.
Most of my instructing was done on 35 ftrs, as economics force a certain class size 3 or 4 students, hence the need for 4 or 5 bunks for a 5 day cruise and learn. As noted above, not the ideal size to really knock about in, the wear on running rigging and sail fatique with all those slow sloppy tacks, gybes and man overboard manouvers can get expensive when a single sail is commonly costing over $1K. Learn on small boats! Get lots of hours in various conditions, and without an engine, you will quickly learn to read the weather and tide guides after being forced to paddle for a few hours to get in! Also volunteer as crew on as many different boats as you can.
Also re: docking. Rig a midship line, as it can slow your way easily, and gently use your momentum to snug up to the dock, whereas snubbing a bowline will take some paint off, and a stearnline will often be too late.
05-09-2012 04:09 PM
casey1999
Re: Boat for Single-Handed

Quote:
Originally Posted by JazzmanSailor View Post
Wow, lots of great responses. Thanks for all the helpful input.
Lots of votes for small boat/small lake, and lots more for big boat/big lake. Sounds like you can't go wrong either way. My inclination is to pick up a cheap used small boat and sail it like crazy for a couple seasons. I could probably sell it easily and not lose much when I decide to move up to the big lake boat.

I'm mainly reluctant about buying a bigger boat in the hopes that I can consistently dock it single-handed. A smaller boat is probably a lot more forgiving at the dock. If I get really good at docking a smaller boat smoothly, I'm hoping that stepping up to something line a 27' boat will be an easy transition.

More ideas on a smaller (not too small) daysailer that's easy to find cheap are always welcome. I'm seeing some 22' Tanzers, Catalinas and Hunters that look intriguing. I'm assuming a boat that size would be a lot more manageable both at the dock and under sail than a 27-footer.QUOTE]



I think you should try the small lake with a small day sailor. Get good at that then move up to the big lake bigger boat. I think you want to get your sailing skills down so they are second nature, then move up.

I single my 34 and the hardest part of all is the docking followed by undocking. If there is little wind, no problem, but add some wind and things get not only difficult, but stressful with the worry of damaging someone elses boat in the process. Trying to dock a big boat in very windy conditions is like driving a car on black ice. You have little stopping (wind blowing bow off) and steering power.
04-22-2012 01:02 PM
Sail The World
Re: Boat for Single-Handed

i'm still learning so i'm not one to give advice, but for what it's worth:

i sailed for the first few times as crew on a buddy's 28 footer. he races so that's how i learned. i actually bought my boat before i went sailing for the first time. crazy move but i somehow picked the right boat. i got a vandestadt & mcgruer siren 17. so far i have sailed her a few times and i love the boat. love it. we were definitely meant to be together LOL. i have single handed her a few times and it's really all about practice. and being physically able to manage your equipment.

i never set foot on a sunfish, although i don't see anything wrong with learning on a sunfish if that's what is available... and in hindsight if i had bought a sunfish instead of my siren i'd probably be able to go out alone more often because stepping the mast would be easier.

anyway, on my buddy's boat we have gone racing in some very aggressive weather, something i would never want to be out in my smaller boat on. that said, if i planned on taking long boat trips across open water i would want to be in a big full keel boat. however, knowing that i am not yet even close to ready to take that type of trip, i went with the smaller boat and it turns out to be perfect.


good luck

PS as far as picking the larger boat to sail rougher waters, wait until you are ready to sail big water. i would have been calling the coast guard if i was out alone on my boat rather then with other people on my friends larger boat in the weather i described above.
if i had a small lake nearby i'd be learning there on a sunfish and then stepping up when i was ready.
04-11-2012 10:14 PM
Lou452
Re: Boat for Single-Handed

I am not going to try to tell you what kind of boat will be the best I just do not want to see you look at Lake Erie like it is a wild beast. A lot can be said for a small lake to learn in and do not leave a safe fun level if you do not feel safe it is not fun . This is true for others with you and how they feel they are not going to have fun. I did say if you go to the lake you will find the weather you like. Look at what other boats are doing on the lake. I was and am still amazed at the huge amount of high $ boats that sit at the dock others that never left the bay. I have crossed the lake more than a few times. The best part of the lake is from 1 to 4 miles out. You will have know one else's wake to bother your boat. You can hold the course you want for as long as you like. Stay in close untill you feel safe then enjoy the lake . To repeat the lake will have the weather you like almost twice each day late in the summer because of a land sea breeze. Study this make notes time date wave height 4 hours apart if you want. You will see how it is almost like a time slot for what you want to do. You live near some of the best water on the planet and the warmest of the great lakes.
04-11-2012 09:09 PM
Rhapsody-NS27
Re: Boat for Single-Handed

Quote:
Originally Posted by JazzmanSailor View Post
I'd hate find myself discontented with my boat purchase after a single season, especially if I ended up taking a beating on the resale. I'll keep an open mind.
starting off with something smaller might be a good way to go just to have fun and get started. this will help for learning sail trim and getting a feel for the boat. once you get some experience, you can get a larger boat you'll be more serious about that you wouldn't worry about costs and just take care of the one you really like.
04-11-2012 08:52 PM
JazzmanSailor
Re: Boat for Single-Handed

Sounds like my tentative plan was to follow in your foot steps going from a small boat up to a bigger one, Denise. I'll be training on a 30' boat, so we'll see how that feels.

I'd hate find myself discontented with my boat purchase after a single season, especially if I ended up taking a beating on the resale. I'll keep an open mind.
04-11-2012 06:02 PM
deniseO30
Re: Boat for Single-Handed

Quote:
Originally Posted by misfits View Post
I'd go right for the gusto & get the boat you want. If you go small, before your first season is up you will come down with the infectious disease know as "boatitis".

A smaller boat will be fun at first
Been there done that!
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