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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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Old 06-27-2004
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stephens84 is on a distinguished road
Making single handing easier

I''ve just changed from a 1979 Catalina 27 with a tiller and traveler/mainsheet on the stern to a Com-pac 27 with pedestal steering and traveler on the cabin top with the mainsheet led aft thru a rope clutch.

In the Catalina I had all sail controls within easy reach. Now I find I''m imprisoned behind the pedestal with the main and jib sheets out of easy reach. I always sail with my wife but one reason weve been sailing and married for 20 years is I could sail our boats on my own. An autopilot is on order, apart from that how do single handed sailors or others make their lives easier given my current setup?

Carl Stephens
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Old 06-27-2004
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jbanta is on a distinguished road
Making single handing easier

I single hand a Lancer 29. The halyards are at the mast step and I have no furling. Still I enjoy a sail alone a peaceful. I do have a Autohelm 2000 as a second mate and I clip onto a double crossing jackline when I am not in the cockpit. I normally raise and lower sails when I am in the main bay and quite alone (At least a 1/2 mile between me and the closest boat). I have been in some intresting weather. From ghosting along in a 3-5 knot puff one min to undergoing a 50-60 knot gust the next. I guess since I have been able to handle that I have knowledge to sail in about anything single handed. Not that I would run for shelter as soon as I could if it got nastey but I have enough confidence to be out there long enough to be able to get out of it safely...
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Old 07-01-2004
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Making single handing easier

As Jb suggests, the wind can change in an instant. For safety, changing the mainsheet from a clutch to a camcleat might be a good idea. I know that our clutches can take a few seconds to release, especially under heavy load. Releasing a camcleat is much quicker and can be done from just about anywhere the line can be grabbed -- you don''t have to go to the cleat itself in order to release it, the way you do with a clutch. In a puff or squall, those seconds could mean the difference bettween a noisy, luffing sail (releasing the cam cleat) or a cockpit full of water pouring down the main hatch (releasing the clutch.) We use clutches on our halyards, but NEVER on a sheet. Maybe changing from wheel to tiller in the new boat would solve some problems too.
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Old 08-01-2004
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Making single handing easier

One''s feet can be as handy as one''s hands. I often give my tiller a good kick to leeward as I crank in the jib on my non self tailing winches. You can do it. Start on a calm day and work up. Remember, most boats will lie ahull. If you need to work on deck, you can always heave to.
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