Single Handing Made Easy - What Are Your Techniques? - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 69 Old 06-07-2011
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First off - get a boat that is designed to be single Handed

absolutes
1) Lead lines to cockpit
2) self tending jib
3) jackstays

Desirable
4) furling headsail
5) single line reefing

Skills good to have
6) humility ( know when not to go out )
7) hove-to
8) sail onto a dock or mooring
10) trim sails so the boat steers itself steady w/o autopilot
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post #12 of 69 Old 06-07-2011
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One useful thing many people don't use is a downhaul line on the main. Before I had a boat with an autopilot, the trickiest thing other than docking was to lower the main. Even though the halyard was led to the cockpit, I would turn into the wind, release the halyard, and I would then have to run to the mast to pull the sail down. The boat would drift off the wind and make things difficult. So I started to rig a downhaul line most of the way up on the main, led to a turning block at the base of the mast and then back to the cockpit. This enabled me to do most of the work from the cockpit and get the sail down most of the way without running up to the mast.
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post #13 of 69 Old 06-07-2011
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Originally Posted by b40Ibis View Post
Electric wenches are key to single handling. The hardest thing is holding the button down!
I'm not at all certain I can handle and electric wench single handed, not at my age.

(when asked how he reached the starting holds on a difficult rock climbing problem that clearly favored taller climbers - he was perhaps 5'5")

"Well, I just climb up to them."

by Joe Brown, English rock climber




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post #14 of 69 Old 06-08-2011
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Originally Posted by tweitz View Post
One useful thing many people don't use is a downhaul line on the main. Before I had a boat with an autopilot, the trickiest thing other than docking was to lower the main. Even though the halyard was led to the cockpit, I would turn into the wind, release the halyard, and I would then have to run to the mast to pull the sail down. The boat would drift off the wind and make things difficult. So I started to rig a downhaul line most of the way up on the main, led to a turning block at the base of the mast and then back to the cockpit. This enabled me to do most of the work from the cockpit and get the sail down most of the way without running up to the mast.
Something seems wrong here. Does your main have slugs, cars, or is it just a bolt rope? I don't think I've ever been on a boat that need a line to help get the main down. Of course if you're going downwind and the main is pressed against the spreaders, all bets are off.
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post #15 of 69 Old 06-08-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WDSchock View Post
First off - get a boat that is designed to be single Handed these are a very rare beast... fortunately, most boats can be modified to work for single handing

absolutes
1) Lead lines to cockpit check! in general, a good idea
2) self tending jib lot's and lot's of very successful exceptions to this
3) jackstays do you mean jack lines? If so, absolutely! And a harness and
tether to go with them!


Desirable
4) furling headsail or hanks for smaller boats
5) single line reefing standard slab is common and works as well

Skills good to have
6) humility ( know when not to go out ) yep!
7) hove-to heaving to? some designs do this well, others not so much
8) sail onto a dock or mooring yep! good skills to have
10) trim sails so the boat steers itself steady w/o autopilot
tough on many fin keel boats that still make fine single handers,


I'd add, a good steering system (autopilot, lashing, or windvane system)
Lazy jacks for the main, a good sea berth, simple accessible/repairable systems (electical, plumbing, mechanical) Really good binoculars. An AIS receiver would be nice. A handheld GPS and a good knife on your person. There are more, but the baby's waking up! Cheers!
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post #16 of 69 Old 06-08-2011
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puddinlegs --

You are right that if the boat was headed into the wind the mainsail would come down without help. My problem in pre autopilot days was that the boat would fall off when I left the wheel to get ready to lower the main. The downhaul helped me do what I needed even as the boat fell off the wind. This was all on a long ago boat. Now, with my trusty autopilot, I don't need to worry about these things anymore.
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post #17 of 69 Old 06-08-2011 Thread Starter
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Dropping the Mainsail

Quote:
Originally Posted by tweitz View Post
One useful thing many people don't use is a downhaul line on the main. Before I had a boat with an autopilot, the trickiest thing other than docking was to lower the main. Even though the halyard was led to the cockpit, I would turn into the wind, release the halyard, and I would then have to run to the mast to pull the sail down. The boat would drift off the wind and make things difficult. So I started to rig a downhaul line most of the way up on the main, led to a turning block at the base of the mast and then back to the cockpit. This enabled me to do most of the work from the cockpit and get the sail down most of the way without running up to the mast.
On my boat, I've found that coating the sail slugs (and sail track) with Sailkote makes the sail easy to hoist and that, on my boat at least, if you get sail luffing first, it will drop very fast on it's own when the halyard is released. I don't have an autopilot (but do lock down the wheel brake to give me a minute to get to the halyard stopper) and have tried several ways. I do have the Dutchman furling system (2 monofilment lines alternately passed through the sail in a number of places, attached to foot of sail at bottom, to topping lift at top). In my case, dropping it quick with boat motoring ahead at some speed into the wind, sail luffing, seems best. The boat doesn't have time to fall off and fill the sail. (my halyard is led to the cockpit so I don't have to leave the cockpit).
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post #18 of 69 Old 06-08-2011
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I don't lead the lines aft. It helps that my boat is heavy and steady on her helm. I set my mizzen first and strike it last. With that set I can walk forward to handle the halyards at the mainmast. Like a previous poster, I try to allow myself time and take my time. Haste is the enemy of the sailor.
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post #19 of 69 Old 06-08-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderingStar View Post
I don't lead the lines aft. It helps that my boat is heavy and steady on her helm. I set my mizzen first and strike it last. With that set I can walk forward to handle the halyards at the mainmast. Like a previous poster, I try to allow myself time and take my time. Haste is the enemy of the sailor.
Very true!
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post #20 of 69 Old 06-08-2011
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This was on another thread on sailnet, upload the tips book- worth its weight in gold.
Singlehanded Tips Book
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