Single hand a 40 foot boat? - Page 3 - SailNet Community
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post #21 of 28 Old 08-29-2018
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Re: Single hand a 40 foot boat?

When you singlehand any boat, large or small, you have to prioritize, and do the most important things first. If you lock the traveler in the center, it makes the mainsail self-tending, so that you only have to deal with the jib when you tack. If you're preparing to gybe around a mark, bring in the mainsheet and lock it in the center during the last 100' before the mark. That saves you having to pull it in after the gybe, when you also have to pull in the jibsheet, and it also controls the boom during the gybe. After rounding, you can adjust the mainsheet.

Get some things done in advance, when you can, do what's important first, and make adjustments afterwards.
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post #22 of 28 Old 09-03-2018
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Re: Single hand a 40 foot boat?

ok having solo'd in sloop and ketch, i prefer ketch. all in cockpit no need for mainsail use and comfy under sail. easier to manage.
am old lady in formosa 41. no issue except occasionally i would not mind self tailing winches.....

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post #23 of 28 Old 09-03-2018
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Re: Single hand a 40 foot boat?

While refit costs may be lower in odd corners of the world, the equipment you need may have to be air-freighted in, and that's not quick or cheap. The help may not speak English, so you may have fun with communications errors. My friend had a hull repaired and repainted and somehow "paint everything" was translated as "fill in the cove stripe and make it disappear" along with the paint. That's pretty much lost forever now.
And then there's the question of what can happen to the boat during five? ten? thousand miles heading to the remote place. It can sink and kill you. Refits or anything structural or non-cosmetic are best done before or at launch--not put off for many weeks in the water.
But that's just me, I really don't want to get the SAR guys up in the middle of the night to take me home.
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post #24 of 28 Old 09-03-2018
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Re: Single hand a 40 foot boat?

I got to thinking about this thread a bit last night, and IMHO, the easiest way to learn as much as possible about single hand sailing would be to go sailing with someone that IS a single hand sailor and just ride along and take mental notes. You can learn a lot this way, and as in most aspects of life, you get to learn from the mistakes of others. At least that has been my experience. Over the years, I learned a lot from every sailor, fisherman and musician I encountered first hand. And, I even learned a fair amount from the good folks on this forum.

Good luck,

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post #25 of 28 Old 09-04-2018
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Good idea. Personally learned by having someone on board (Wife) but making believe she wasn’t there.
Single handing is very boat specific. Watching some someone singling their boat is helpful but singling your own boat is the real deal.
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post #26 of 28 Old 09-04-2018
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Re: Single hand a 40 foot boat?

I agree 100-percent, Outbound. When I was trying to teach my daughter's roommate how to sail, after a few hours of onboard instruction in the open expanses of the upper Chesapeake, I put her behind the helm, went below, made a sandwich, opened an ice cold Coors Light and turned on the TV. She was doing pretty good for the first 20 minutes, then I heard the sails begin to flap a bit, went topside, showed her why it happened and went back below. She did damned good after such a short instructional period, and after a week onboard, she could handle the boat very, very well. But she said she would not be behind the wheel when a thunderstorm hit. I don't blame her. Don't enjoy being there myself, but **** happens.

All the best,

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post #27 of 28 Old 09-04-2018
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Re: Single hand a 40 foot boat?

Many folks single hand 40' cruising boats as has been noted, myself included. I find reefing my 420 ft^2 main at the mast while single handing a bit overwhelming and suggest that the ability to reef from the cockpit would be really helpful for single handed off shore sailing. I also think a really beefy auto pilot would be wise.
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post #28 of 28 Old 09-04-2018
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Re: Single hand a 40 foot boat?

Boats as large as Vendredi 13 have been single handed. The sail handling improvements since I've been sailing are tremendous. We've gone from techniques that were little improved from millenia ago to roller reefing everything, self tailing and powered winches, etc. Makes handling larger and larger sail area reltatively easy but there in lies the rub. What happens when things screw up and they will if you sail long enough. Moving a 135% genoa about on deck for a 40' boat is not easy at the dock. Throw in 30k wind and 10' seas and things become a whole lot more interesting. For the typical 'experienced' sailor, things will get quickly out of hand changing out a headsail. Yeah, if you're 30 and in good physical shape handling a large headsail is doable, at 60 and not doing regular Iron Mans, a much smaller boat's sails can be a challenge.

If you are going to sail a larger boat like you are contemplating, figure out how you are going survive without all the labor saving devices. I wouldn't want to have to change out even a small sail on a roller furler solo when it's nasty out at my age. How are going to handle a jammed in mast furled sail, grind that winch by hand, raise that anchor with a dead windlass. Oh then there is the issue of maintaining the goodies. Have seen more than one boat that has been enslaved keeping their gear working. No big thing if you are the type than can say, oh well! and carry on but have seen too many that have a phsychological addiction to keeping the toys functioning to the point of a divorce and sale of the boat.
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