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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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  #21  
Old 11-09-2011
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It is correct to think in terms of displacement rather than length.

Also - one needs to qualify what one means by single hand -
single hand for 3-4 hours in a protected lake/bay ?
single hand on an inshore 10 hour delivery ?
single hand for a 48 hour near shore pleasure sail ?
single hand on a 14 day ocean passage ?

We build a specialized line of smallish daysailors (approx. 400 hulls from 14 to 30 ft) , so have a modest amount of experience.

I'd argue that much over 10,000 lbs is going to be too much to single hand 'easily'. Around 3,000 to 8,000 lbs range is a very sensible single handed range.

I'd also argue that Seaworthiness is not a linear function of size. Bigger does not always mean more seaworthy.
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  #22  
Old 11-09-2011
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I am a reasonably fit 64 year old and single hand my 44 foot monohull much of the time out in the Caribbean.

My boat has a conventional mainsail with lazy jacks.

The one thing I fitted that I regard as a must have is an electric windlass.

I suppose there may come a day when I have to downsize but for now I like what I have and the way I have it.

BTW I would NOT have in mast reefing at any price having seen what happens when it goes wrong and jams.
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  #23  
Old 11-09-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WDSchock View Post
It is correct to think in terms of displacement rather than length.

Also - one needs to qualify what one means by single hand -
single hand for 3-4 hours in a protected lake/bay ?
single hand on an inshore 10 hour delivery ?
single hand for a 48 hour near shore pleasure sail ?
single hand on a 14 day ocean passage ?

....
You are right, I mean an ocean passage, not necessarily 14 days, but several days.

On coastal conditions, with accurate weather information, I don't see any problem in single-handing a 50ft, providing it has the right equipment and that I have on the marina guys to help me to put the boat in and out. But one thing is be able too, the other thing is to have pleasure while doing it. I believe that a smaller boat would be much more enjoyable to solo sail

Regards

Paulo

Last edited by PCP; 11-09-2011 at 05:54 PM.
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  #24  
Old 11-09-2011
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Hey Jeff, thanks so much. No apology necessary. Good words, and if I may, reasonably well written.

You make many intelligent points, and given all I've read on this forum, I'm leaning greatly toward passing on the 53' Roberts. I'm thinking that even if I do get a few years under my belt, trying to circumnav a boat that big is just more trouble than it's worth for one person. I'm thinking that you guys are right, a 32 to 42 vessel, or there about, is more wise.

Some said that a boat that big can be singlehanded. But I'm now asking myself, why would I want to? I wasn't looking for a boat that big, it's just that the 53 Roberts being bigger than my Coronado 25, blank on the inside making customizing relatively easy, and having a good price attracted me.

Those of you who said that a 50+er could be handled by one person are, I'm sure, correct. Jeff said: A strong, intellegent and disciplined person, with adequate financial resources might be able to make that happen. So, since I'm a weak, stupid and lazy person, without adequate financial resources, I think the best thing would be to take S/V Spritzer, my cramped little 25, along the coast until I can rake up the cash for something more roomy, yet a little more practical for a singlehander such as I.

So, guess it's back to the ol' grindstone, trafficking in human misery by selling young women into white slavery.

Just kidding.

But seriously, the market is a buyers one right now, so thanks be to God, I won't need a fortune.

Until then, Spritzer and I will work on getting our sea legs via the ICW, gulf, and eastern coast, for now.

But someday, that cold, dark Atlantic will know my name, and I will beg her for passsage. Oh yeah, someday . . .
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Old 11-09-2011
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You have already received a lot of good advice - and for now, going smaller seems like an excellent idea. The little I can add to what has already been said is that I sailed in a larger boat (53') set up for single-handing, and to do that "after a certain age" needs mucho moolah. Bow thrusters, electric winches (heck - electrically assisted everything), in-mast furling, even more attention to redundant systems, excellent autopilot, radar...the list goes on. But it was comfy...so it *can* be done - but personally, even if I had the money, I would prefer something smaller and simpler; less to go wrong, and if it does go wrong, some hope of fixing it....
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Old 11-09-2011
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I can give you tons of information, I've got well over 30k nm singlehanding from Cuba through to the Great Lakes. I'm also an instructor and charter captain, so you can add a whole bunch more miles on to that when I had guests who couldn't sail on board, leaving me effectively singlehanding. Let me give you ONE piece of information and if you want more, email me directly.
A chum of mine, brand new sailor, never owned a boat in his life, bought a 47 Catalina, a lot of boat, and his plan was to singlehand. He did one smart thing - he hired an instructor and learned how to sail the boat properly, in a variety of conditions. Big focus on docking and manouevering in tight areas, since that is where you'll have problems.
He's single handed from the Great Lakes to the Dominican Republic several times now, and although he's had his ass handed to him in the Gulf Stream a couple of times, he's still ok with it.
Boat size doesn't matter all that much, as long as you know your boat AND YOUR LIMITATIONS. That means paying attention, not pushing your luck and staying in the harbour when you should, rather than taking foolish chances with no one to back you up.
There's more, but I'm not going to go into that much detail here. The above are the essentials - with your experience level, get training on the boat that you own.
Have fun!
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Old 11-09-2011
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Thanks, canuck, good advise.

I'd love to take a sailing class, but I'm in Oklahoma and I've checked. There is none available here. I know that sounds crazy, but so far, I haven't been able to find any.

But I think I can go out with someone in my marina who knows more than I do. I'll give it shot.
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Old 11-09-2011
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It it was just me, I'd buy around a 35 and be done with it. But there's the Wife, and she likes her comfort . . .

So there's going to be a bigger boat. But then, we wouldn't be single-handing.
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My $0.02: I regularly single hand a Cape Dory 36. A major adjustment when sailing without crew is my need to sail more conservatively. I reef earlier. I will tack and then fall off rather than jibe, unless the winds are very light. I drop sails further from my destination. I set the jacklines & wear my harness/inflatable PFD.

You need to be a bit more careful.

Last edited by studentt; 11-11-2011 at 11:33 AM.
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Old 11-11-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studentt View Post
My $0.02: I regularly single hand a Cape Dory 36. A major adjustment when sailing without crew is my need to sail more conservatively. I reef earlier. I will tack and then fall off rather than jibe, unless the winds are very light. I drop sails further from my destination. I set the jacklines & wear my harness/inflatable PFD.

You need to be a bit more careful.
Very well put. I've been singlehanding my Catalina 36 for over 20 years. The secret is to just think ahead, have a good autopilot and understand how your boat responds.

Since the topic of docking alone often comes up, I would add that one important component is the type of keel you have. My boat has a fin keel and basically handles like a somewhat long automobile around the dock - very predictable. I have a neighbor with a full keel cruising boat who seems to have a heck of a time docking it.

JEFF - What do you think of singlehanding a Liberty 458? It is my all time favorite liveaboard boat, but I fear it would be too much since I am pushing 60 and do not expect to get stronger as I get older. I'd be interested in your thoughts.

Mike
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