Over Hill Sailing Club
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Adirondacks NY
Thanked 108 Times in 105 Posts
Rep Power: 8
As noted by Jeff, physical ability is very important. Handling gear requires strength and agility, knowing your procedures, and what your boat does in different conditions. I single hand all the time and have no problem with any of the normal procedures. Knowing what I CAN'T safely do; things like raising a spinnaker alone if there's ANY chance of wind piping up beyond where I can control the boat, or getting into a tight anchorage with tricky wind and current is as important as knowing the things I can do. Single handing requires a different mindset and thinking farther ahead than sailing with more hands available. Things as simple as eating need to be choreographed because you may well not get away from the wheel for many hours! Is you rain gear where you can reach it? A 45' boat is larger than I would want to try to handle on a regular basis just because of the size and weight of things.
Watching a guy get the in-mast furling on his zillion dollar boat stuck hard for many hours and having to call for help convinced me that this is a technology that needs improvement. Keeping it simple and repairable alone is of primary importance. If doing it from the cockpit requires a lot of rigging to break or get tangled up, it may be better to just plan on going up to the mast. The fewer lines to get tangled when the going gets hairy, the better. A single handed boat must have mast steps, a windvane, good tether points and jacklines, and a way to get back on board if you do fall in. It must heave-to easily and be equipped with a sea anchor and/or drogue. So, I guess what I'm saying is that the type boat is important, it should be <40' but the mindset, planning, and set-up for single handing is equally important.
Alberg 35: With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship.
Last edited by smurphny; 11-13-2011 at 10:09 AM.