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i would like to have a short list of sailboats from 35to 40 feet that are most easily handled by one person. I will be using the boat to sail the east coast.
 

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It's not so much the boat it's self , but more the way it's rigged . Like all lines leading to the cockpit and a autopilot .
 

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Just coastal or some bluewater? Can you give everyone more of an idea.

If you plan on singlehanding by yourself, i think i would stick to the small side of your range.

If you are just hopping down the coast, i think you would find a wide variety of boats to fit your description.
 

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Bombay Explorer 44
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Almost any 35 to 40ft boat can be singlehanded comfortably IF you have a good autopilot. You don't really need all lines led to the cockpit. I am 67 and singlehand a 44ft boat with nothing led back other than the sheets. Just reef early!

Some one has suggested that smaller is better, well there are benefits from going smaller but the larger boat will often give you a more stable working platform.

Things to avoid are hank on head headsails, tape luff sails that you have to change. Roller furling headsails are a singlehanders friend.

Ketches and cutters are good because the sails are smaller. My current boat is a cutter and it balances nicely with two reefs in the main and only the staysail, this is good for 30 knots. My previous boat was a 38 ft ketch and the ability to drop the main and have a balanced boat with mizzen and partially furled headsail was great.

If you plan to anchor out as I do then an electric anchor windlass is an essential safety item. Being able to reanchor multiple times until you are certain you have a good grip on the bottom after a long days sailing is good.
 

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i would like to have a short list of sailboats from 35to 40 feet that are most easily handled by one person. I will be using the boat to sail the east coast.
If you really want to SAIL the boat I would look for boats that have sail controls for main and headsail close to the helm. J boats, C&C, some Beneteau's, will have the traveler aft, by the wheel, where the helmsman can reach it while steering.

I single hand (SH) my O'day 35 all the time but I really need an autopilot to do it. The main sheet and traveler are forward, and that requires me to leave the helm to make adjustments. With the autopilot (very old Autohelm 3000) on, and in decent weather, this is simple to do. In big winds and following seas the autopilot doesn't steer well, so I need to be very quick in leaving the wheel, going to the front of the cockpit, adjusting the sails, then getting back to the cockpit.

You will also want something to make raising and lowering the main sail easy. I have Lazy Jacks on my O'day and they work great. I can lower the main quickly, safely, and easily by myself. A furlling main would be even easier (but would not sail as well). A 'stackpack' or comparable would make covering the main easier.

A windlass would be helpful if you will be anchoring. The smaller and lighter the boat, the easier docking will be.

As mentioned, a good reliable autopilot makes it relatively easy to SH any boat. And again, smaller and lighter boats are easier to handle than larger and heavier boats.

Barry
 

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One other thing I can think of is one of those electric winch winders . My friend took me out on his Catalina 32 , he was rigged all lines aft , roller furl head sail & a boom furl . We only used the winch winder to hoist the main . This was really nice because the main halyard made some turns before it got to the winch and there was some resistance on it the e/winder easily over came it . I forget the name of that winder (help out there)but it was the one that is purpose made not the converted angel drill motor. Also IMOP The Catalina 32-34 is a excellent boat , I have sailed on both . The boom furler was made by Leisure Furl Ray my Friend had his really dialed in and it worked good . The day we went out we had to reef , I found out that you have to kind of watch it when reefing( you have to get the battens rolled up parallel with the boom) . So we had to re do it the e/ winder made it easy . Another friend got a Leisure Furl, after much trying to get it to work he couldn't and got rid of it.
 

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bell ringer
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I always wonder why people feel a 40 foot boat is a problem to single hand :confused:

My feeling is that if you have to ask such a question, there the answer is no YOU can not do it.
 

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If I were buying a boat now to singlehand often, I would want a boat that backed well. My previous boat, a Bristol 29.9 had a mind of it's own in reverse and with no crew to fend off other boats, docking with a cross wind isn't a pleasant experience. I would want a fully battened main, a low friction sail track and at least well located lazy jacks (I have a Dutchman system). I have an autopilot that is linked to the wind instrument that can sail the boat probably better then I can and will tack through a preset angle while I handle the sheets. I sailed my boat for two years without the AP and I would never want to do that again.
I changed my slip so the finger dock was on the lee side for the prevailing Westerly winds we have. So it's pull in- stop boat- and let wind pin the boat to the dock. Much better than trying to get from the helm to the dock before it's too far to jump!
I have easy to attach fender mounts and usually put two on each side when docking at an unfamiliar marina(going toward the end of a fairway to your assigned slip and discovering that the dockhand was in error about it being port side tie up is really a problem when alone.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I have had 3 previous boats from 34 to 40' and single handed them all easily on the Chesapeake Bay. My question has more to do with as I get older, I want to more easily reef, adjust, backup and keep out of trouble. I also want to be able to get into my dinghy without alot of trouble. Given my cruising grounds of the east coast without alot of off shore work, I don't need a Valient. I was considering something maybe with self tacking jib and reverse transom. Most newer boats now come with lines led aft, I am speaking generally, As in a J-boat, is probably easier to sail(well) than an Island packet.
 
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