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post #1 of 9 Old 03-22-2003 Thread Starter
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Which boat to buy to SOLO


Hope you can answer a question for me... I am considering purchasing a Sailboat..

I have been recently certified through bareboat charter.

I would like to know what is the largest sailboat that one person can easily SOLO sail all by themselves if it is already rigged and sitting in a wetslip ready to go?

I live in Arizona, and am considering keeping the boat in a wetslip at Lake Pleasant.

Would also appreciate your thoughts, or advice about sailing on Lake Pleasant if you have knowledge of that lake.

Thanks in advance,

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post #2 of 9 Old 03-22-2003
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Which boat to buy to SOLO

The largest boat that a single person sailed across the Atlantic was ''Club Med'' at 315 feet or so. Round the world and trans-oceanic racers routinely solo sail 60 footers. Lots of single-handers handle 40 footers. I personally routinely single-hand my 38 footer. But somehow I don''t think that is what you have in mind.

Starting out in sailing, you will learn a lot more about how to really sail if you start out with a responsive sloop rigged keel boat in 22 to 26 feet range. A boat that size is small enough to teach you about boathandling and sail trim and let you learn without killing someone, and with a little care, big enough to keep you out of trouble.

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post #3 of 9 Old 03-23-2003
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Which boat to buy to SOLO

Ahoy, A Supertanker. Silly really when you think of it. Lake huh? Wet slip? what kind isn''t? Goofy really when you think of it. Ok fits on a trailer simple enough for a beginner try a sunfish or one of them floatee things you see the kids have at the pool, You know like a blow up Pirate ship. AARRGGHH Pirate of Pine Island
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post #4 of 9 Old 03-25-2003
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Which boat to buy to SOLO

As a beginner, I agree, don''t go too big. It will take you some time to learn the tricks of handling sails and the boat in dicey conditions - which are amplified when soloing. Autopilots have their limitations. You need to learn how to keep a boat under control why you go forward in a squall to unfoul the jib sheet that just wrapped around itself and your bow cleat. Big boats mean a bigger mess. If you are going to be spending a lot of time living on board you will want a litlle bigger than a 22. Take a look at the Catalina 27 - this may be a good choice for your area.
Another problem in single handing is bringing the boat into the slip. A 40 footer is awfully heavy to be fending off the dock by yourself, while a 5000 lb. boat is not too tough to fend off.
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post #5 of 9 Old 03-26-2003
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Which boat to buy to SOLO

I asked and answered for me, the same question last summer. I bought a Hunter 306, 30'' long, with in mast furler. I sail it solo half the time; which was 22 times in 2002. I sail solo even in the Gulf of Mexico with this boat and have been confronted with sudden high winds. It is a cinch to sail. Oddly, the most treacherous time for the solo sailor is at docking, hence the advantage of a lighter boat that can be easily fended or manuvered alone. Again this boat is very easy to dock. It even backs up straight! I am completely satisfied with this boat and solo sail it with total confidence.
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post #6 of 9 Old 03-26-2003
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I don''t know how big Lake Pleasant is, but if you have to tack a big boat frequently, it can be physically tiring. Also, it can be dangerous to sail a big boat amidst lots of small boats. The smaller boats are sometimes hard to see behind your huge sails, and the speed differential is so great that it can be difficult to judge cross-tacking situations. If a little guy misjudges your closing speed, well, you get the idea.
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post #7 of 9 Old 03-26-2003
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Which boat to buy to SOLO

I have the perfect boat for you. Its a 1984 Catalina 30. It is in great shape with a new genoa, air. I have been living on it for the last 5 mos at Lake Pleasant. I just bought a houseboat as I am gearing up to purchase a Catalina 36 in San diego. If you are still looking for a boat at Lake Pleasent, I have just the one. (slip and all). you can reach me at 603-799-7245.
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post #8 of 9 Old 03-31-2003
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I have a Hans Christian 33 which I sailed to the Caribean and back solo it is for sail at a good price if you are interested.
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post #9 of 9 Old 04-04-2003
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Which boat to buy to SOLO

I have a 33 foot boat which I singlehand regularly. Also, I used to live in Arizona and go to Lake Pleasant regularly; although my sailing experience there is limited to a sailboard. My recollection is that the Lake Pleasant Marina had a few 30-35 footers after the higher dam in the early 90s substantially increased the size of the lake. However, the most popular sailboat seemed to be the Catalina 22 and others of that size.

While you can singlehand a boat bigger than 33 feet (40 feet, or more if its set up right), I don''t see the point on Lake Pleasant. It''s not that big, I doubt you''d do anything but daysail (I suppose there might be some anchorages you could overnight in). The biggest problem is getting in and out of the slip -- the bigger the boat the less manueverable, and the harder to stop if it''s still moving when you jump off to tie up the dock lines (as they always are, especially if there''s any wind). If the wind is pushing the boat away from the dock, you jump off, and can''t control it in time you''re in big trouble as there''s nobody on board to bring it in. That''s one reason I keep my boat on a mooring and go into the dock only in moderate winds.

Furthermore, tacking also becomes progressively tiring on a bigger boat. There''s a fixed amount of energy required to move the headsail through the wind which increases with boat size. And, you''d be doing a lot of short tacking on Lake Pleasant.

I''d suggest 27-30 feet as a maximum practical size unless you''re planning to keep on Lake Pleasant for a while and then move the boat to San Diego.
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