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So I took advantage of the light winds today and played a little hooky from work this afternoon to try my 1st ever solo sail on my 'new' boat which I have had for just a year now. It was short, only 2.5 hours in the afternoon, but it was almost perfect.

It seemed like it would be great weather for it and it was. The winds were out of the SW at 5-8 kts (nice and light) and that gave me the opportunity to tack out from home base and run home.

I was a little nervous I must say but the sound you hear from the wind and the waves when you shut the diesel down is really what it is all about.

I had planned a lot in advance, thinking about it in my mind all last night and today....
which lines to cast off 1st and last, boathook at the ready, getting out of the slip, preparing the main sail and rollup dodger window before i left the dock, etc.
Backing into the slip at the end of the sail went better than I hoped. I had left a long line on the pilings on the open side (where there is no finger pier). My only real issue was on one tack the old autohelm4000 decided to pick its own course and my jib started to get tangled. I had to grab the wheel and the mechanism didn't like that without being disengaged first. So now the autohelm wheel drive unit and the cluch lever are quite loose. I brought it home to see if I can fix it.

I love the bay on a weekday. I basically had the place to myself!

So excuse this post if it is too self-involved but I thought I'd see if others felt so pumped up after their first time.

Any good stories about your first solo?








 

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It's great that the 1st time was good! Now add to it! Yes, we all feel that way on every boat we buy, even the 14th boat!
Dennis W.
 

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I really don't remember my first solo sail, but I'm sure it probably seemed like quite a big step to me at the time.
I can appreciate your anticipation, planning and excitement though. Good job.
 

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jsl3 - the first time is the best - i still remember mine how great is was - preparation is the key and safety must be the upmost in your mind at all times - i hope you had your life jacket on and clipped in with jacklines if you had to go on deck
i currently am singlehanding a 40 jeanneau up from miami and can tell you i never ever start the engine without the jacket on and once the anchor is up and i am in the cockpit i clip in - and have 2 clips one for the helm and one for the jack lines - i never never ever move around the cockpit without being clipped in - only time is when i go below -
please remember that if you go over there is no one to save you
i use to be a mountain climber and while i was pretty good at it i was known as one of the safest climbers around - took up sailing at 55 and i will never be a great sailor but will always be one of the safest
congradulations on a great big step
just my thougths
chuck and svsoulmates
ki4sry
on the hook in deltaville leaving for the solomons tomorrow
 

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By next spring you will be ready to do the single-handed race from Newport to Bermuda and double handed back. It is a great bunch of guys who do that race. You will love it.
 

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Telstar 28
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Congratulations... and nice photos. :) I would highly recommend using jacklines, tethers and harnesses whenever singlehanding. :)
 

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Congrats! Sounds like you did great.

Heh, my first time singlehanding was on a Laser. (Which doesn't really count, I guess -- it's hard NOT to singlehand a Laser hehe.) I haven't ever singlehanded in a bigger boat than that, although I guess I have had the helm when the owner was asleep below, but that doesn't count either. I hope to buy a boat and change that. :)
 

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thinking of this...
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Discussion Starter #9
i currently am singlehanding a 40 jeanneau up from miami and can tell you i never ever start the engine without the jacket on and once the anchor is up and i am in the cockpit i clip in - and have 2 clips one for the helm and one for the jack lines - i never never ever move around the cockpit without being clipped in - only time is when i go below -
please remember that if you go over there is no one to save you
Chuck , thanks for the comments. In general, I'm very safety conscious. I thought long and hard about being clipped in and have read many a post on this site about it. Frankly, I was waiting for someone to mention it. :)
In my case today, I decided not to go through the process. For one thing I currently don't have the gear to set up jacklines. I ultimately decided that since today's weather forecast was about as calm as you can get, I'd 'risk' it. Probably not the absolute safest way to go, but not reckless either. FWIW, I did wear a PFD.

SD, ditto.

If I end up making this a habit, which I most likely will, I'll definately invest in some jacklines and a harness.

My family generally likes to go sailing with me, but for when they are busy with other things, there is something about doing it alone that is appealing and like being out on the water in general, really recharges the internal batteries.
 

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Congrats! JSL3,

There is nothing like singlehanded sailing. It's fun with friends but the peace and quite with the wind and waves out alone can't be beat.

I remember my first and all I can say is don't forget yours. The uncertainties and fears help keep you prepared for the next time.

Once comfortable try a singlehanded night sail. And always take all the necessary steps for safety.
 

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Great post, and great memories that it brought back.

It seems that I single hand even when I have a bunch of people aboard. The only time I don't is with a few sailing friends, and those are also great times and it is amazing what the boat can do with crew. The family gets to do what the family wants. I have a grand daughter that wants to be involved, so maybe some family crew is in the offing.

You are absolutely right, planning is what makes it work. My slip partner cannot understand why I come in easy as can be, and he struggles every time with 4 helping, on a twin screw motor cruiser. The reality is, I weight twice as much as he does, with 10% of his power, and I HAVE to plan ahead.

The nice thing is we share a dock, but never share a dock. I sail mostly during the week when it is blowing, and he is mostly on the weekends when there is no wind. A perfect marriage.

You will find that solo is a most blissful experience. I only had an hour today after prep, but when the wind is blowing 15+, you have to go. Had the entire bay to myself for that hour. Got in 6 KM and still made it to pick up my grand daugther for basketball camp. Hey, got to keep the crew happy!
 

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congrats, sounds like you had a great time. i cant wait till the day i can singlehand my own boat and then ill really know how you feel. cheers.
-kai
 

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Unless your family can handle the boat well enough to do a COB recovery....wear the harness and tether and use the jacklines, even when they are aboard.
If I end up making this a habit, which I most likely will, I'll definately invest in some jacklines and a harness.

My family generally likes to go sailing with me, but for when they are busy with other things, there is something about doing it alone that is appealing and like being out on the water in general, really recharges the internal batteries.
 

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That's great... it's what I'm working towards!

I've got some more practicing to do with someone aboard first... but I'll get there!

inspired!
craig
 

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Well already I am learning from just reading these threads and yes a harness and tying of sound like a good idea. I have soloed my small 16' and I am moored and sometimes stalling the boat out up wind and running and crabbing the mooring line and tyeing off before the wind catches he sails is hard and can be humorous for my neighbors watching
 

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Hello,

Congratulations, nice story, and good pics too.

I love to singlehand and do it often. It is very peaceful and quiet. It teaches you to be prepared and to plan ahead. A reliable autopilot is very helpful.

I don't clip in, but do wear an inflatable pfd and carry a handheld VHF. When I singlehand, I am never more than 5 nm from land and there are always other boats around.

Take care,
Barry
 

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Congrats. Singlehanding gives you a great feeling and sense of accomplishment. I regarded each of the big steps as landmarks of accomplishment and great satisfaction (and nervousness): my first time as captain of my own boat, my first time single handing, my first time overnighting at anchor, my first cruise to a destination. Still awaiting my first transAtlantic, though. In all my singlehanding, though, even today the parts that were the most concern were docking and undocking, and lowering the mainsail. My autopilot and lines to the cockpit took care of most of the latter, but I still worry with no one to help grab the lines, and no one to fend off when I screw up. So far so good, though. One of the best things about sailing is the sense of accomplishment as you achieve the next goal.
 

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Congratulations on your solo. The P28-2 is a great boat to do this on. Everything leading back to the cockpit is helpful. We love ours.
Rick
Equal Partners
1986 P28-2 #182
 

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Unless your family can handle the boat well enough to do a COB recovery....wear the harness and tether and use the jacklines, even when they are aboard.
I have got to get better about this myself. I didn't on Saturday and at one point, I got away with something stupid - flipping up and fastening the boarding ladder while motoring out. Right after I sat down we hit a wave at an angle that made the stern dance a little. The "what if" scenarios with that are not good. It was just me and my 8 year old triplets. Hannah could probably steer well enough to turn around and run me over (isn't that comforting :eek: ).

The biggest problem I am having with SH is tangling the jib sheets. All it takes is to be about a half second off in timing and they are a mess.
 

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thinking of this...
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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Congratulations on your solo. The P28-2 is a great boat to do this on. Everything leading back to the cockpit is helpful. We love ours.
Rick
Equal Partners
1986 P28-2 #182
Rick,
I recognize your name from the P28 forum on yahoo. Keep the great advice coming! (Oh, and I think I'm hull #186 - I'll have to confirm)
Yes it is a great boat for single handing. It is interesting though steering from a position in front of the wheel when tacking so that you can man the jib sheets. It takes awhile getting used to it.
 
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