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post #1 of 4 Old 06-27-2004 Thread Starter
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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?

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post #2 of 4 Old 06-27-2004
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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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post #3 of 4 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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post #4 of 4 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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