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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Boat Review and Purchase Forum > Top 10 Sailboats Easiest & Best to Single Hand
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Topic Review (Newest First)
07-09-2013 02:25 PM
mad_machine
Re: Top 10 Sailboats Easiest & Best to Single Hand

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
In this size range you have two real options. The first is a cat rigged boat like the nunsuch, everything else you just have to set the boat up to do it. No boat out of the factory is set for single handed sailing.
catrigged are very nice for singlehanded. Only one sail to worry about. If you were looking for a sloop, I would suggest something with a self tending jib

most any boat can be set up for singlehanding.
07-09-2013 01:54 PM
SailingJackson
Re: Top 10 Sailboats Easiest & Best to Single Hand

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diceman View Post
Hello Sailor's
There are some great sailors on this site. In your opinion. What sailboats would you consider to fall into a top 10 category for easiest and best to single hand sail in a coastal environment. This would also include the possibly of living aboard? ( length 30 to 38 foot ) Use Up and Down the East Coast, Bahamas
Thanks
Diceman
When it comes to single handed operation, everybody seems to be talking about boat size and rigging. Single handed operation on open water is possible on nearly any size boat in open water, but if you want to single hand docking then you should look to some other factors:
  • Amount of freeboard
  • Keel configuration - as it impacts turning and sideslip
  • Propellor. Some give miserable reverse, others have good thrust in reverse

Essentially you want the boat to be strongly influenced by steering and engine (fwd and reverse), and less influenced by cross winds. Full keel does not want to turn and wing keel doesn't mind going sideways. Fin keel, low freeboard, and Maxprop or similar will keep you in control. Bow thruster is possible, but not needed unless other factors are working against you.

GJ
12-18-2012 12:30 AM
multiboat
Re: Top 10 Sailboats Easiest & Best to Single Hand

Thanks MedSailor, and Yes, I'd be single handed doing this as I don't plan on support crew, although the wife would be onboard.
12-17-2012 02:20 AM
MedSailor
Re: Top 10 Sailboats Easiest & Best to Single Hand

Quote:
Originally Posted by multiboat View Post
How long (years) would you say it would take a beginner to learn sailing and be able to handle a 40' along the coastlines of US?
Your question is a lot more like "How long is a piece of string?" than you probably realize. I'll let others chime in with more nuanced answers, but to answer your question directly, I'd say 1-3 years if you were FULL TIME dedicated to it, and 3-7 as a part time proposition depending on your effort and study, 6-15 as a background thing that you didn't devote a lot of time to, but did devote some.

BTW I'm assuming that you mean singlehanded since that's the title of this thread. Cut the times by 30-50% if you are taking COMPETENT crew with you.

Medsailor
12-17-2012 12:47 AM
multiboat
Re: Top 10 Sailboats Easiest & Best to Single Hand

How long (years) would you say it would take a beginner to learn sailing and be able to handle a 40' along the coastlines of US?
12-14-2012 01:08 AM
Waltthesalt
Re: Top 10 Sailboats Easiest & Best to Single Hand

I vote the Flicka. Smaller is easier.
12-13-2012 10:27 PM
Diceman
Re: Top 10 Sailboats Easiest & Best to Single Hand

Thanks Everyone Again. I think that all of your suggestions thought's will be very useful to me and other's who read these different post in a search for the boat they think they my want to buy.
Diceman
12-11-2012 08:14 PM
MedSailor
Re: Top 10 Sailboats Easiest & Best to Single Hand

Agreed that for your two stated criteria the Nonsuch is way ahead. It has much more beam (and carries that beam far forward) than marconi rigs. If you haven't been below on one, you'll be impressed with the room. It does feel like a house. It is also set up for easy sail handling right out of the box. Short tacking up a channel? No headsail, no problems!

If you go with a marconi rig I'd say that what you are looking for is what Jeff H suggested. The lighter the boat, the less sail area you need to handle and the lighter and easier those sails are to handle. So you want something lightweight.

You probably also want roller furling headsail(s) and a roller furling main. The furling mains have some disadvantages, but for single handing, they can't be beat. Easy to put away, hoist or reef. Lines should obviously be led aft and as many as possible should be within reach of the helm(s). You'll want an autopilot and/or tiller lock and you might also want a saysail boom for your headsail so you don't have to mess with it when tacking or jybing.

Island Packets are famous for always having staysail booms....

MedSailor
12-11-2012 08:04 PM
Skol
Re: Top 10 Sailboats Easiest & Best to Single Hand

To echo what others have mentioned, "easiest and best" I believe come with experience and familiarity, regardless of the boat. I am pretty comfortable single handing my own boat. But stepping aboard the exact same make and model boat, yet setup differently for the skipper's preferences, I am flat out lost.

This statement will likely draw scorn but, for older boats (like mine) that still have all the halyards at the mast, I've come to the conclusion that an autopilot will be easier to fit and more useful for singlehanding than retrofitting the onslaught of deck organizers, blocks, stoppers, and cabin top winches to run everything aft to the cockpit. I've made the decision to stick with hank on sails and keep a modest inventory to change the headsails to conditions as I sail mostly on the bay. Your preferences for furling or non-furling and local waters will dictate how the boat is rigged. I'm definitely in the "less is more" category, which seems to be against modern thinking.

cheers,
-Ike

s/v Skol
Berkeley, CA
12-11-2012 03:17 PM
Ninefingers
Re: Top 10 Sailboats Easiest & Best to Single Hand

The one Nonsuch I have been on was a 30 Ultra with the dinette table removed.

I thought I had stepped into a house.

It was an Alice in Wonderland moment. My brain actually started imagining a ping pong table in the middle of this 'room" I was in.

They are cavernous. And that comes from someone who is used to a modern Hunter.
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