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Discussion Starter #1
I am a new sailor, just started on the asa courses and I am hoping to retire on the sailboat. I currently am looking at a whitby and a bristol (both above 36') as the retirement boat. Will I need at least two people to sail or will I be able to single hand the boat? I have about 10 years to retirement and am open to any direction that I receive. Thank you for all your help.
 

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TROUBLE
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I'd say go sailing on a 36+ boat with someone. I think you will get a good idea about what is involved in sailing a boat this size. It can certainly be single handed, if equipped properly and your experience level is up there. My boat is a 36', and I find an extra set or two of hands helpful, especially when docking and undocking. If the weather kicks up, it is nice to have help with the sails.
 

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Hey Less - the general rule is "the bigger the boat, the harder to single-hand". I've seen a lot of guys around here single handing up to 38' (I think SimonV's is an Ericson 38 if I recall). The boat just needs to be set up for it.

RTB's advice is good I think. Find some people to sail with. Actually SN is a great place to start doing that.

BTW - I love your user name. I sail on a fairly narrow lake, and I'm always looking forward to the ocean where there will be less tacking.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The name is a blur between less taxing and less Tacking. I kind of like to do both. Had a sail boat back in the 70's my ex said I had to gie it up or my ex unfortunately it took me awhile to get my priorities straight.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Let me restate.. My ex said I had a choice, give up the boat or her. Unfortunately it took me awhile to get my priorities straight. Therefore I am looking to retire to a sailboat. I tend to gravitate to a full keel because I thought they would be more stable.
thanks for all your help, comments and or criticisms. I need all the help I can get.. by the way I found sailnet to be excellent.
 

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full keel

Full keel boats do tend to be more stable, but much less agile - believe me, going from a fin keel to a full keel is like starting over is some ways. docking, for instance. In reverse the direction we go is more up to the boat than me, she has the turning radius of a transport truck and stopping is a long, drawn out affair.
Don't get me wrong, on the water in chop or heavy wind I appreciate the full keel, but my next boat will be a fin keel again.
Try looking at the Gulfstar 44, 1980's and up - similar to the Whitby but fin keel, and wonderful cavernous interiors, not to mention an engine room!
 

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Lots of choices here for a retirement boat - take your time, don't buy until you have enough experience with a variety of boats to make the right choice for yourself. But - that being said, of the two boats, I'd be liable to choose the Bristol - there's two 45s for sale in Annapolis right now - these are a sweet, reasonably modern boat - the Whitby is dated and you may find the interior less roomy than you might like. Just my 2 cents worth, same as every other sailor here.
As for singlehanding, I teach sailing and do deliveries and have singlehanded boats to 42 feet from Toronto (with crew in the Welland Canal of course) to the North Channel and back on several occasions.
Generally, most boats handle much the same, the key is that with the bigger boat, you need to be thinking ahead more - you have greater momentum, more windage, etc. It's a matter of experience, which you have lots of time to get from the sound of it.
You have to pre-plan everything - when you dock, you have to have lines and fenders ready in advance, you need to advise the dockhands that you are singlehanding so they can properly assist you - with a bigger boat, you'll need help from the dock except in the calmest of conditions, until you have a lot of experience.
I have a friend who bought his first boat at 43 - a Catalina 47 - took lessons and now singlehands it to the Dominican Republic from Lake Erie. It can be done, the key is in the learning.
Good luck, if I can help, let me know.
 
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