Length limit for single handers??? - Page 4 - 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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  #31  
Old 11-12-2011
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And then there is anchoring. Power windless is great but if you can't anchor without it then your options can be limited by any one of several glitches.
For most full time cruisers anchoring is something they do almost every day
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  #32  
Old 11-13-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeinLA View Post
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
I agree that docking is a major issue, especially if the wind/currents are "up". I have a full keel. I normally will go bow in rather than stern in, and when docking at most facilities will notify the dockmaster that I am single handing and would appreciate an assist if it is available. If not--or if so--I have my lines ready (attached to my cleats) and ready to heave. I find that securing the mid-deck spring lines first minimizes the tendency of either the bow or stern (which ever has not yet been secured) to swing away.
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  #33  
Old 11-13-2011
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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.
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Last edited by smurphny; 11-13-2011 at 10:09 AM. Reason: more
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  #34  
Old 11-13-2011
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We often focus on big stuff like falling over board or crashing at dock or sinking.
That stuff dosent happen too often but muscle sprains and bumps are common especially as we age. The biggger the boat the bigger the bruise.
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  #35  
Old 11-13-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeinLA View Post
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
Hi Mike,
I looked at the liberty 458. It looks similar in many ways to my peterson46. You might be 10 yrs older than me but my peterson is sailed solo. I do agree coming into a berth may be interesting and is different everytime - but it is done. As for the heaviness - big winches, teflon slides, reliable engine etc. So Mike - go for it.

Someone said a comment that a bigger boat causes bigger bruises. Well, it is a faster and smoother ride, so I can argue against the gentleman's comment. As long as you have good handholds topsides and down below [some new flashy bendy type toys don't]

Two of my family friends are almost 80 yrs old and were crossing oceans until ~2 years ago [SOLO]. One just sold his cavalier 395 for a chugger and the other went from a bowman 46 to a HR 38. So age and boat size are often a state of mind!

cheers
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  #36  
Old 11-13-2011
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My boat is 45' and weighs in around 38,000 lbs and was considered a performance boat when it was designed in the late 70s - original owner did at least one Newport-Bermuda - with a crew of eight to give you some idea of what sailing a boat this size can be like. I would not have a problem, in general, singlehanded cruising with a number of provisos:
- Ainia has electric, in mast furling so mainsail handling is not an issue (as long as works and it has since we have had the boat - there is manual override if needed)
- new furler of generous size helps with reefing and furling the jib.
- primary winches are Lewmar 65 STs which makes sail handling much easier.
- boat has inner stay for staysail and separate track for trysail if the conditions become really snotty.
- we have both wind steering (Monitor) and electric autopilot - really need both
- I have been sailing for 40+ years
- I am in very good shape for someone 63 and was racing in a doubles scull until a few years ago (not at a high level but fit enough to enjoy it)

All that being said, I would not want to dock by myself in other than ideal wind and current conditions. Anchoring would be OK unless the anchorage was crowded (I don't have a remote for the windlass which I would want).

Based on what you have said about yourself and the nature of the boat (much bigger than mine even) I would suggest that it would not be a good idea - but you might get lucky.
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  #37  
Old 11-13-2011
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Not entirely true

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
And then there is anchoring. Power windless is great but if you can't anchor without it then your options can be limited by any one of several glitches.
For most full time cruisers anchoring is something they do almost every day
A full-time cruiser may be anchored every day but that does not mean they are anchoring like on a charter where you are moving around to see more places in less time. Once you get anchored in a nice spot you may stay for many days or weeks.

This is not to imply that a good windlass is any less important. With proper (ie all chain) ground tackle I would not want to be handling anchoring chores on even a boat of 12,000 lbs. It can be done but loses its appeal very quickly indeed - like once. With any boat with a windlass it is a good idea to figure out how you will handle the anchor if the windlass quits - usually a process involving a couple of lines with chain hooks and a big winch.
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  #38  
Old 11-14-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by St Anna View Post
Hi Mike,
I looked at the liberty 458. It looks similar in many ways to my peterson 46.
Hi St Anna. That makes sense since the Liberty 458 used the original Peterson hull, can't remember if it was the 44 or the KP 46.

Mike
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  #39  
Old 11-15-2011
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The best advice I can give is to reiterate what was mentioned earlier, and really emphasise it. You must be able to handle the boat when EVERYTHING goes wrong.
Electric winches that suddenly jam.
Electric windlass that breaks.
Spinnaker that is sailing wonderfully until the pole downhaul breaks in 25 knots of wind.
Motor stops in 15 knots of wind inside the docks.
Etc, etc, etc,.....

You get the point.

Singlehanding is more about handling all of the many things that go wrong than anything else. Get a boat that you can handle when the absolute worst goes wrong, and you will be happy.
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  #40  
Old 11-16-2011
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Excellent point, FoolishMuse.
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