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post #11 of 51 Old 06-02-2008
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I tend to stand with the tiller between my legs, take two wraps on the winch with the jib sheet (makes it easier to sheet-in) and release the holding sheet with an upward pull as i jib through.

I use three bungies (i'm cheap) instead of a tller-tamer as cam mentioned. Wrap one around tiller and connect the others to each side. The one around the tiller has enough grip to hold but is easilly ajusted with a twist.

Then sheet in tight and relax.
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post #12 of 51 Old 06-02-2008
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I do pretty much what LakeEscape very nicely described when singlehanding a smaller boat. I have found that as the boat gets bigger, the winds get stronger, or a line get tangles/unwrapped/loose etc it can quickly get a little hectic in the cockpit. I second camaraderie's suggestion for a "tiller tamer" (other options are out there, but not as easy to set-up) - a lot of security for only a few bucks (about $30 if I remember correctly).

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post #13 of 51 Old 06-02-2008
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Like Blueranger: Center the main and forget about it until after you tack.

In dealing with the genoa/jib, self-tailing winches sure help. If you don't have them, it helps if you can use spring cleats to trap the lines, and if you tack slowly, so you can stay ahead of the sail and not fight the winches. As LakeEscape says, a winch handle is not necessary if you can stay ahead of things.

Position and cockpit layout really count with singlehanding. If you can't straddle the tiller, you may want a tiller extension, or one of the various tiller-tamers or the arms that snap into a pocket to hold the tiller over. Holding an exact course during the tack is not important. Avoiding a chinese fire drill and then trimming things back up in an orderly manner is.

It is way too easy to tack too quickly, so use "all due speed" rather than making the fastest possible tack. Once you get into a pattern, you'll speed things up.
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post #14 of 51 Old 06-02-2008
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I almost never use the tiller extension, partly because I can generally reach the jib sheets if they are how I like them to be (when I have kids on deck - no guarantees) and partly because my extension swings freely and is pretty hard to control. That makes me curious - is that normal?
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post #15 of 51 Old 06-02-2008
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An autopilot is very valuable. I sail my Catalina 30 single handed most of the time. I have the ability to do any crew work that is needed because I can let the autopilot do the steering.

If you have a tiller you should consider a tiller pilot. It is not that expensive and the fact that it keeps you from being tied to the tiller is a God send!
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post #16 of 51 Old 06-02-2008
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A lot of this is boat dependent, since each boat might be setup differently and require a different approach, even boats of the same make are sometimes setup differently.

There is also a big difference between being singlehanded and sailing with non-sailing guests, since even a non-sailor can hold a tiller and steer the boat in a straight line if taught.

On my boat, I worry about the genny sheets, but ignore the main, since the main will generally take care of itself for the most part. I'll also use the autopilot to tack the boat, since that allows me to use both hands for dealing with the two genny sheets.


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post #17 of 51 Old 06-02-2008
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I am also interested in singlehanding, so this weekend (with crew on board) I tried tacking a couple of times like this...

Coming About or Tacking: Free Online Sailing Lessons | ExpertVillage Videos

I think I did ok for the first time.
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post #18 of 51 Old 06-03-2008 Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the helps folks. This gives me some ideas that I'll try out. It should be interesting. I'll definitely use available non-sailors to aid me during maneuvers as necessary.

As you guys mentioned, I know a lot of this is boat dependent. I am sailing on club boats so I can't really alter anything but everyone's comments are helpful nonetheless!

I sail.
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post #19 of 51 Old 06-05-2008
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On my Pearson 30, I straddle the tiller (as some have already suggested), get a couple wraps on the winch, and steer with my knees as I tack. I wouldn't want to do it this way without self-tailing winches.

I have a tiller pilot, but the throw is so short that it takes forever to come about. Doesn't work very well in light airs.

Aside from my weekly races, I seldom sail with people who know what they are doing, so I'm usually single-handing even when there are other people aboard. It's good practice for when you're actually alone!
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post #20 of 51 Old 06-05-2008
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The mainsail is, more or less, a self-tending sail. Set it before you tack, and then let it flop over during the tack by itself.

Steer the boat between your legs. It's awkward at first, but you'll get the hang of it with practice. A tiller tamer won't help you tack, but, after you come onto the new course, it'll help you hold that course.

If you can steer with the tiller between your legs, then that frees up both hands to haul in the jibsheet. Put two wraps on the lazy winch (I've found that 3 wraps often results in the jibsheet overriding itself) and pull in all the slack before starting the tack. While holding the lazy jibsheet in one hand, release the working jibsheet with the other hand, and pull in the lazy sheet as fast as you can. If you can steer the boat through a slightly wider arc than normal, it will increase the amount of time you have to handle the jibsheets.

After the tack is completed, you can put an extra wrap or two on the winch, if necessary, and trim the jib and mainsail.
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