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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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  #31  
Old 06-10-2011
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Quote:
Do you have to worry about skidding the stern/prop into the mooring or do you fall off fast enough to not have a chance of that?
Once when I was motoring off, I already had the main up, and motored forward while turning. Just as you suggested the stern turned into the pin and caught the prop. I was left haning there by the OB with the boat blowing downwind.
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  #32  
Old 06-11-2011
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If you worry about it, give her a kick astern first. That will give you more room and turn the bow away a bit. With the helm over when you start ahead, the boat will tend to turn more than go forward.
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  #33  
Old 06-11-2011
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Ratchet Block w/ Headsail Furler

In handling my boat single handed (without an autopilot), I have had difficulty adjusting the size, or taking in the headsail with the roller furling system. The problem exists when there is relatively high wind. If the wind has filled the sail, it is difficult to take in the line (I'm older and not as strong as some younger sailors). If I put the boat in a position that the sail is luffing, in a high wind, the sail is trying to beat itself to pieces, and in either case, without an autopilot, my fin keel boat won't hold the desired position long. Typically, I take the furling line to a winch, which works well. However you have to take care to make sure the system or sail isn't hung up on something, or you will break something with the winch. The problem comes in holding the furler line when I transfer it to/from the winch. At this time, it is extremely hard to hold the furler line if the boat has fallen off and the sail has filled with the wind. I found a solution, that you may want to adopt, in shackling a 57mm Harken Carboratchet block to the forward end of the furling line cleat. The ratchet block gives about a 10 to 1 mechanical advantage in holding the furling line. It switches off easily by flipping a small lever on the block. Now switching line to/from winch, or just taking in the sail is made much easier since the block will take the load. The line is cleated to the furling line cleat once adjusting the sail size is complete. In my case, because of the lead angles, I used a block wih a becket, so look before you buy a block.

Last edited by NCC320; 06-11-2011 at 09:07 AM.
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  #34  
Old 06-13-2011
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Call for Comment, Let's Share Those Little Tricks

All you singlehanders out there:

Those of us who single hand have found ways to make it easier....generally it's no problem for us. Those contemplating singlehanding often fret about doing it. And, we old hands can always learn a new trick. Lets share those little tricks by posting here. No matter how small, simple, or even obvious, others may not have recognized the technique. Thanks to those who have posted already, but let's keep the tidbits coming.
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Old 06-14-2011
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A Few More Tidbits:

Boat Hooks.....I find it advantages to use have two boat hooks. I prefer the expanding length versions. I keep one boat hook on the seat by the helm station on the windward side for use while I am at the helm. Since, with bimini, wheel, backstays, pushpit, etc., the area is a little crowded and the version with adjustable length is very handy at the helm station. The second one is placed on/at the handrail on the cabin top about midway up the boat, ready to be used. It is easier to get to this second boat hook as opposed to carrying one forward, and often, when you find that you want it, you are already in the amidships or forward part of the boat.

Contact with Pier, Piling, Other Boat......If in docking, it doesn't go exactly as you planned and you come into contact with these items, you want to do three things: 1) immediately stop the motion of the boat, whether due to engine power or wind and current, 2) minimize the damage, and 3) gain time to figure out what you are going to do to get out of this mess. Often you can use your engine/transmission to stop the motion, but sometimes, that is not possible. In those cases, you need a line or two to help stablize the situation. Usually, then between the engine and these temporary lines tied to the piling or object that you are against, you can stop the boat's motion. At this point, if you can, insert a boat cushion (they are flat, thinner than a fender) or a fender in between the boat and the object that you are against. Generally, such an event will be on the downwind side of the boat, and if conditions are dicey, you can preplace lines on the cleats on that side just in case you need them. Once you make contact, there will be little time to go to the storage locker to get the lines. Even if you don't place them, have at least two extra dock lines available in the cockpit whenever you are transiting a fairway, or entering a dock area or slip for such unplanned events.

Heaving Line......Sometimes you need the assistance of someone on the dock. But often, they are on the dock, you are on the boat, and the lines aren't long enough to reach, or you can't quite reach them by throwing the line. A simple heaving line will help here. This is a small line, generally weighted on one end, that can be thrown further to someone on the dock. The other end is tied to your heavier/larger dock line, and the person on the dock can now pull your heavier line to the dock piling or cleat. One way to make such a line is to get 50+ feet of 3/16-1/4" polypropylene line (line floats) from the hardware store, and tie to a tennis ball (drill a hole in the ball so you can tie the line, and insert a few fishing weights to give it a little weight). You don't want too much weight, just enough to help carry the line to the pier. Just keep this in you cockpit locker for when you need it.

Quick Turns in Fairway...Use with Caution...... One of the good techniques in maneuvering your boat in tight spaces is what is commonly called a "quick turn". This technique will allow you to turn your boat 360 degrees within just a little more than your boat length (especially with fin keels). In this turn, you do it in the direction where your prop wall will help you make the turn. If you boat walks to port, this will be a starboard turn. Start the turn by putting the rudder hard over to starboard and use the engine in forward to start the turn. When the boat starts to move forward, shift to reverse and the prop wall will continue the turn. Just before the boat starts to move astern, shift back to forward. Always keep the rudder hard to starboard, and go alternately between forward and reverse until you have completed your turn. Now the caution: While you are turning the boat using this or any other technique, the wind and current are still working on your boat and you are being pushed somewhere that you don't want to go. In a narrow fairway, you can get into a position that you are trapped in that you can neither go ahead or back out without hitting something. I have been in this position a couple of times, both of which, there was fortunately an empty slip nearby and I made an immediate, unscheduled docking in that slip. Once with no lines on deck (see the item above). So take care in dockings that require you to go down the slip, turn around and head back up.

Float Line......If your undocking while single handed will require you to retreive a long line while maneuving the boat, there is a good chance that line is going into the water before you can get it on board (because you are occupied with turning and motoring), and the line could get tangled on your prop...not a good situation. Against this possibility, I keep a long float line to be used in such situations to help minimize the possiblity of the line getting tangled in the prop. I use 75' of Samson MFP 1/2" double braided polypropylene line. It has a soft hand and works like a nylon line, but has less strength and stretch. It is yellow, so you will not mix it with your regular lines. This type of line degrades in sunlight so don't use it for a permanent mooring line. It is rather expensive and has to be ordered on special order at most boat supply houses. If you want to go cheap, you can get three strand at the hardware store, but the MFP is worth the extra cost (I bought the cheap stuff first and quickly changed to the MFP).

Last edited by NCC320; 06-14-2011 at 10:03 AM.
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  #36  
Old 07-01-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barquito View Post
Once when I was motoring off, I already had the main up, and motored forward while turning. Just as you suggested the stern turned into the pin and caught the prop. I was left haning there by the OB with the boat blowing downwind.
I did that with the little Rhodes in really light wind sailing onto the mooring with the dinghy on the opposite side. In my haste to untangle the line from the rudder, being worried my weak ruder track would go, I forgot to drop the main. Picture this, your captain blissfully holding the freed mooring line just as the main jibes. I had a big black eye for work. Claimed it was from my wife.
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  #37  
Old 03-26-2012
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Single Handing Made Easy - What Are Your Techniques?

Bump. Old thread but these single handing threads add value I think.
For hoisting and lowering sails, with my last boat I always raised and lowered the jib first. My rationale was that I could raise the jib either motoring into the wind or from pretty much any position adrift, could get enough speed and steerage to maneuver myself into a heave to and then raise the main at leisure. I would do the same thing lowering sails, would heave to, lower main and take my time properly flaking it as best I could, then start off under power and lower the jib. I found that I could manage to keep enough tension on both jib sheets to keep the job on the foredeck while driving the tiller, although an extra arm wouldn't have hurt.
That was a very well balanced boat. I have another now that I just got and am working on haven't sailed it yet so whether that technique works or not remains to be seen.
Point though, I guess, is that being able to heave to is a huge plus in giving you some working time to get things situated, and gets the main relaxed so you can handle it.
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  #38  
Old 03-27-2012
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Re: Single Handing Made Easy - What Are Your Techniques?

I didn't realize that you could heave to with jib alone and have the boat balanced. Do you lock down the helm to do this?
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  #39  
Old 03-27-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by williamkiester View Post
I didn't realize that you could heave to with jib alone and have the boat balanced. Do you lock down the helm to do this?
Depends on the boat I suppose but I have done it in a Colgate 26, a Catalina 16, a Cal 2-27, and a Hunter 33, you just build up enough speed under jib almond then tack and back wind the jib, steer really close to the wind until you stop the throw the tiller all the way to leeward, or if a wheel the all the way to windward. You have to find what the boat likes though.
I've actually never learned how to heave to in any way that uses the main at all.
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Old 03-27-2012
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Re: Single Handing Made Easy - What Are Your Techniques?

I'll have to do some heave to practice this season and see what she likes.
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