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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.

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Old 10-12-2006
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C-22 single handed

I routinely sail my C-22 single handed on a midwestern lake and all of the advice above is useful. Lots of practice while executing moves slowly under relatively gentle conditions will make a world of difference in your level of confidence, and that will pay benefits when things get more "interesting". Also, be sure to learn to heave to...before coming in to the dock, I heave to, release the main sheet and drop the main. The boat is so stable I'm able to get the sail ties and cover on before coming close to the dock and without ever leaving the cockpit. That makes life lots simpler when docking.

One tip I use that I didn't see above is to lead the leeward jib sheet around the leeward winch and then across the cockpit to the windward winch, where it gets cleated. This makes moving around the cockpit a bit clumsy, but (assuming you sit on the windward side to steer, the sheet is much closer to hand.

Bob F
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Old 10-12-2006
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Smile Auto-Pilot....Number 1

I have been single handing my Apache 37 for 20 years. The most important tool I have found is a dependal auto-pilot (which I bought 20 yrs ago and still use). I bought that instead of roller/furling and have never regretted it. Autopilot lets you go below, make lunch, go to the bathroom, etc. On a long non-stop trip (Annapolis to Marblehead), it gives you tremendous freedom. Even on a day trip with non-sailors, you have the freedom to sail the boat without having to draft an uneducated crew to do stuff. Anyway, autopilot is the last thing I would give up on my boat.

Anyway, good luck. Have fun.

Moe Giguere
Crishelle, Chris Craft Apache 37 Sloop
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Old 10-12-2006
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Forgot to mention

I should add that I don't have self tailing winches which would be a very expensive upgrade. In addition my primaries are next to me (as they would be on a tiller boat), so you can easily tack the boat.

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Old 10-16-2006
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I routinely single-hand my Oday 23, a boat similar in size and temperment to the Catalina 22. I made three changes to my boat that make it a pleasure to single-hand. First and most important: roller furling. Can't say enough good things about it. Having to go out onto the foredeck of my small boat with no one on the tiller in rough conditions was at best a very unpleasant experience. At worst, it can be disasterous. This upgrade was worth every penny. Upgrade #2 was a "tiller tamer". This $25 gadget is terrific. It holds the tiller so I can lean back and relax or go below and take care of some business. There are various versions of these devices on the market, but I have the one made by Davis Instruments. The device is less efficient at holding the boat into the wind when I go to the mast to raise the main, but its much better than nothing. And, it works terrific on a reach or a beat. Upgrade #3: "Winchers". Those blue rubber rings that turn a plain non-tailing winch into a reasonable facsimile of a self-tailer. They work very nicely, although if you expect perfection you will be disappointed. On rare occasions, they do slip, but they are a great value. Also, invest in a good quality self-inflating PFD. IMHO, one should always wear a PFD when solo, and you don't want to give yourself any excuses for not wearing one.
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Old 10-17-2006
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I'm very new to all of this, but I have found that taking time to think out next moves is key. When I first started sailing I had no idea how I would leave and hit moorings, docks, etc... single handed... but now just by planning my moves ahead of time, moving steady and not rushing, and stopping to think about conditions I seem to get through most tight spots without much trouble.

I like SurfEsq's comments... it's true, you end up single handing even when you have a crowded boat!

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Old 10-17-2006
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I think I would simplify the whole operation and lead halyards aft and add single line reefing with slightly oversized blocks to reduce friction. It isn't that expensive to do these couple of up grades, and the mainsail on a
Catalina 22 isn't large enough to present any real problems.

I think self tailing winches are over kill. Unless your flying a 180% Genny you should even need a winch handle.
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Old 10-17-2006
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Whilst I concur with the previous posters, I firmly believe that the single most important thing about single-handing is to get to know your vessel!
If necessary, take a few weeks just doing 'circuits and bumps'. Run your warps from various cleating points and see how she pulls alongside. You may find that if you tie off to a midships cleat, then as you approach the pontoon, drop the warp over a mooring cleat,and tie the helm hard over towards the pontoon whilst still powering slow ahead. This action/counter action will bring the vessel gently alongside. Once again, practise makes perfect. This I have proved to work with everything from RIBs to 1500 DWT
Once you have become a part of the vessel, and have gained sufficient confidence to go out on the blue - Always make sure that someone knows where you are going, and when you can be expected to come ashore.
Is your Coastguard aware of your vessel, and have you informed them about your intentions?
I am not trying to teach granny how to suck eggs, because all of this should be second nature to us all.
I have been a lone sailor for many years, and I think that one of the reasons that I have survived so long is that, until I become a working part of the boat, I am not ready to go anywhere!
There are old sailors, and there are bold sailors. There are very few old bold sailors!
The main thing is to enjoy!

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Old 10-17-2006
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"Is your Coastguard aware of your vessel, and have you informed them about your intentions?" Which brings up a good point, to have a float plan and to leave it with someone.

Some years ago I couldn't make a delivery trip so my friend left the float plan with me. The trip was an estimated 7 days, and he figured it would take tens days at the outside, max, even allowing for the worst wx. Well...a lot of small things went wrong, but on the ninth night I called the USCG to ask them, if I had to report a boat overdue, what exactly would be involved?

It turns out there are MULTIPLE pages to fill out for a search form, including detailed information like hull color and deck color, that sometimes the holder of the float plan just won't know. So...when you leave a float plan, try to find out what the USCG would want for a full S&R report, and make sure that you've left enough information behind.

"It's a boat. I guess maybe a white boat?" just doesn't help much.

They honestly don't mind folks calling up--or showing up--to ask safety questions during normal business hours.

On my friend's trip...first the alternator went out. Then a hurricane came through. Then the engine packed up. They wound up making land about 500 miles off course, because that was the only place they could get to. Safe & sound, but thoroughly off schedule, very late on the tenth day.
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Old 10-17-2006
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sailaway21 is just really nice sailaway21 is just really nice sailaway21 is just really nice sailaway21 is just really nice
Smile Float plan-YES

Just wanted to add my 2 cts to hellosailor's thoughts. I believe that this is easily overlooked by many, myself included.
We probably would tell somebody, "Hey, I"m going to swim across the lake". And that person would keep an eye out for us, grow concerned if they didn't see us, etc...
But, this time of year, I just hop on the boat and away I go. Well, it won't be much longer before our water will be down around 50 degrees and that's about 50 mins survival time. Do I really want to wait for someone to notice I'm capsized? Someone thinking, "he ought to be back by now" is pretty cheap insurance. Heck, we do it when we go to the grocery store, why should my macho bs preclude me from doing it for a quick sail? I like my macho bs but stupidity always trumps it!
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Old 10-18-2006
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Originally Posted by nolatom
An underrated trick for non-autopilot singlehanders in light to moderate air is heaving-to, with main mostly in, jib backed, and tiller tied to leeward. I don't know the Catalina 22, but most boats will jog along at minimal speed and more or less hold course.

This frees you up to go below, fix something, whatever, without having to worry as much about nearby land or traffic.

Easiest way to back the jib is to just tack without releasing the old sheet.
This is a good suggestion, and I do it all the time while single-handing my Sabre 30. One addition is to start your heave-to from a port tack, then when you finally get it set, you'll be on a starboard tack. This gives you a higher status in the pecking order of status (starboard over port). Of course, you still need to keep a watch for leeward sailboats on the same tack, for vessels that are restricted in maneuverability, etc., but at least it's something.
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