Single handing w/o roller furling - SailNet Community

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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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  #1  
Old 09-14-2007
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Single handing w/o roller furling

When single handing a boat, say in the 25-27' range, tiller steered, it is necessary to have a roller furling? I know it would make life easier but if I didn't have it, is it still doable?
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Old 09-14-2007
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Perfectly do-able, just takes more work on deck, and as always a tiller pilot makes an obedient crew member.
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Old 09-14-2007
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I can singlehand my 28 and 32 footer without roller furling. All you need is an auto helm for when you need to run up to the mast and drop a sail.

I usually power into the wind at about a knot or two, letting helmer hold the course, then I can raise and lower or reef as required, even in a squall that comes from nowhere.
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Old 09-14-2007
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You can also rig a downhaul on your headsail, to make bringing it down easier, and from the cockpit. It involves running a line up with the hanks to the top of the sail, which you can then pull it down with after releasing the halyard.
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Old 09-14-2007
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Sorry if I'm hijacking a bit, but when you folks single-hand and have to leave the cockpit, do you clip in with a harness?
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Old 09-14-2007
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I used to single hand our old 25'.
Tiller steered, no Autopilot, Hanked on Headsail, and all Halyards on the mast.
It was a lot of fun.
Takes some practice, but you can do it.
I always looked for plenty of sea room.
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Old 09-14-2007
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My 27' (wheel steering) came with head sails with bolt ropes. Hoisting the genoa required at least three hands to guide the bolt rope and crank the halyard. All this on a bouncing, rocking foredeck.

My first investment was roller furling. I went with Alado. Reasonably priced, and I installed it myself in about two hours. It's worked perfectly ever since.

I wouldn't even consider a boat without roller furling unless I were many, many years younger (and considerably more foolish).
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Old 09-14-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PBzeer View Post
You can also rig a downhaul on your headsail, to make bringing it down easier, and from the cockpit. It involves running a line up with the hanks to the top of the sail, which you can then pull it down with after releasing the halyard.
I second the jib downhaul. You can use something as small as a 1/4" line on a dinghy block, because basically you are just assisting gravity.

If you don't have a tiller autopilot, get a tiller tamer type of cam thingie and run a line across the cockpit. Power into the wind at low speed, clip the tiller and dash forward to drop the jib. Sail in a circle under main only until you stow the jib, and then repeat for the main.

Docking solo is usually best accomplished by approaching the dock and throwing the engine into neutral and aiming with consideration to prevailing winds. For me, this means five boat lengths; for you, it might be different. When the bow enters my slip, I go amidships and take a midship spring line in one hand, and the upper shroud in the other. I hop off and stop the boat. Then I pick up the boat hook I've left by the midship cleat, and I bring in the stern. I ignore the bow until I've got two lines on.

This system took the better part of a season to perfect, but I am pretty secure doing it now. Practice on an otherwise empty sea wall to see how far you coast and how side breezes affect your way on.
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Old 09-14-2007
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On the "downhaul" concept, it works best if you have 3 or 4 rings around the forstay through which the downhaul line is led, and a small turning block at the base of the forestay. then lead back to the cockpit by whatever means works best for your boat.
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Old 09-14-2007
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Yes by all means rig up a down haul!. But don't forget you can also "steer" the boat somewhat with your weight when your on the bow or anywhere on a smaller boat. It also means thinking about the jib, fixing that hank you were sure you clipped on, the oncoming traffic, the tiller coming loose, the wakes from other boats, looking up, looking aft, looking forward, looking port, looking starboard, not triping over the jib sheets, hoping the boom doesn't swing out, not getting gored by the anchor you were sure wouldn't be a problem, not twisting an ankle on the anchor locker that once had a door on it, and holding a beer in the other hand! (in my case a cosmo or margarita)

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