SailNet Community banner

1 - 20 of 75 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My experience has been very small sailboats or 30 ft with another person years ago.

Now retired and divorced I'm looking at something 30 -35 ft that can be sailed alone. I'm thinking I'd need a roller furloughing genoa, maybe also a jib and then some kind of auto pilot or what I rememberer as a tiller tamer. Raising the main is no issue if the lines come back to the coxpit but the fore sail I think is an issue especially when you bring it down and it tends to fall over the side and you have to go forward and retrieve it onto the deck. Did I get that right?

So I've been looking at boats that have an autopilot where I thought I could set it and if necessary go forward or down below to grab a sandwich. Now my sailing will probably be on the Columbia river in Oregon so the need to tack back and forth, short tacks, will be and issue.

I've looked a a few boats mainly with the furloughing genoa because of the above but I found one with the normal jib/genoa and was wondering if that could still work or would I have to purchase a furloughing genoa and some kind of autopilot etc??
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23,445 Posts
You definitely want a furling foresail for single handing. A furling mainsail would make single handing much easier too, but they're less common on boats of that size. My primary requirement for singlehanding would be not needing to leave the cockpit for normal operations. How the cockpit is organized is important too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,940 Posts
Single handed an AP is mission critical... you definitely want a furling head sail and probably a 130 or a 110... Also control for the main is very handy.,... lazy jacks, or ductchman... reefing lines led to cockpit and self tailing winches. You'll want a gps plotter in the cockpit... Navionics on a smart device works...
The rest is practice and technique.
 

·
Registered
1981 Endeavour 32
Joined
·
1,060 Posts
I single hand my 32’ boat almost always, and from my experience would definitely second the recommendations for furling jib, autopilot and having lines led aft to the cockpit as much as possible. Would also add making sure the jib winches are self tailing and placed so that you can tend them from the helm station. A lot of boats have the jib winches placed for crew use, which is too far forward for a singlehander to reach them comfortably.
 

·
Administrator
Farr 11.6 (Farr 38)
Joined
·
9,568 Posts
I too single-hand my 38 footer a lot and in a broad range of conditions. Like the others I agree that an autopilot makes short-handed sailing much easier. Like the others, I also think that running the major control lines back to the cockpit really helps a lot. I think that it is critical to be able to adjust the mainsheet, traveler, and jib sheet from the helm.
A jib furler certainly makes short-handed sailing more convenient. That said, conventional hanked on jibs work well for short-handed sailing. You do need to go old school and rig a downhaul so you can drop it from the cockpit. You might even rig the jib so it can be reefed, although that usually involves working on the leeward side of the boat to tie on the sheets.

While I think that it is important to be able to reef reliability from the cockpit, I am opposed to a furling mainsail for short-handed sailing because they need too much care when furling to avoid a jamb on the size boat that you are considering. But that said, ideally you want to be able to reef the main sail from the cockpit. I don't like single line reefing and strongly prefer two line reefing.

All that above is mostly about sail handling but doesn't really look at the design of the boat's hull and rig. Ideally you want a boat with a lot of stability relative to it's drag, which means a moderately high amount of form stability, and an efficient fin keel and spade rudder. Ideally you want a fractional rig, Ideally you want an SA/D over 20.

Ideally you want a rig with a bendable mast and an easy to use backstay adjuster, allowing you to depower the rig quickly rather than having to reef.

Depending on your physical condition, there is a maximum displacement that is easy to handle, (for me that is around 11,000-12,000 lbs.) after which it becomes much more difficult to handle the boat, and/or you end up with a boat with a smaller SA/D making the boat less capable of using sails designed for short-handed sailing.

If you end up single-hand sailing a lot you may end up developing a purpose built jib for that purpose. That jib would be designed for a very broad wind range (from maybe a couple knots of wind up to perhaps 25-30 knots of wind) It would be cut slightly full and for a bit more headstay than idea, for the lower end of the wind range, and heavily reinforced and designed for a flat flying shape with the forestay and halyard tensioned in lots of wind. The clew of that jib should be just high enough that the sail doesn't hang up on the lifelines.

Other suggestions are to look at the Deck plan and figure out whether there is hardware where jib sheets are likely to get caught during a tack or hardening up, and remove, relocate or otherwise rig ways to minimize the chance of that happening.

It is important to be able to rig jacklines and hard points that allow you to move quickly around the cockpit and deck.

There's a ton more but those are the basics.

Jeff
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
220 Posts
I've looked a a few boats mainly with the furloughing genoa because of the above but I found one with the normal jib/genoa and was wondering if that could still work or would I have to purchase a furloughing genoa and some kind of autopilot etc??
Have you looked at the Freedom boats? With a self tacking jib and all lines run to the cockpit, its about as simple to single hand as it gets... You can even fly a spinnaker without leaving the cockpit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,990 Posts
What kind of budget are we talking about? Most boats come with a headsail furler these days. Autopilot definitely is nice to have, but not absolutely necessary. Having the ability to lock the helm works fine too. Regardless, it is not too difficult or expensive to add autopilot to most boats, so the absence of ap shouldn't stop you from considering a particular boat.

For single handing you also might want to look for boats with the mainsheet and traveller in the cockpit rather than the coach roof. It is nice being able to adjust both the main and the headsail without leaving the helm.



Sent from my SM-G981W using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
We got an autopilot last year and it made such a difference for me. I didn't think I could enjoy sailing any more till we got the ap. My wife will sail with me occationally, but she gets sea sick very easily, so I'm alone out there mostly, which is fine, alone time is great, but I don't think I could do it with the ap.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,500 Posts
I'll add to the above suggestions that you look for a boat with a fractional rig. They usually need a smaller jib, often non-overlapping. What that means for a singlehander is that the sail doesn't get snagged on the stays when you tack, and the jibsheets are much shorter, and you won't have to tail in nearly as much line. That all makes tacking much easier for a singlehander.

I occasionally crew on a 45' 20,000 lb masthead sloop that I could easily singlehand, and I'm 78 and a shadow of my former self. Except for flying a spinnaker, everything can be done from the cockpit and the winches are all electric powered. My own boat, which I singlehand, is a 35' 12,000 lb masthead sloop with unpowered winches, and it's also organized to sail from the cockpit.

The keys to singlehanding are rigging the boat so that it can be sailed without leaving the cockpit, and figuring out how to economize your motions so that you alone can accomplish all the tasks required within the limited amount of time. That means figuring out the minimum tasks that you must accomplish to perform the maneuver, such as a tack, and deciding what tasks can be performed before you begin the maneuver and what tasks can be deferred until after completing the maneuver. If you need help with the physical effort, that's why God made electric winches.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,087 Posts
the rigid vang has the problem that they are not really rigid. they are spring loaded and with out a topping or other means to hold the boom up solid every time you lean on the boom it will push down. and not support you. with a topping lift you can make the boom rigid at the required height by pulling the boom up with the topping lift and locking it in that position by tightening the main sheet. All the rigid vang does is keep the boom falling to the deck when you release the topping lift
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,908 Posts
It eliminates a line to deal with
I dont remember leaning on the boom, but sometimes using the vang as a handhold.
I moused some 1/8th cord and removed the topping lift from uv
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
I remember renting a small 20 ft centerboard sloop in Coronado, Cal. once. It had a jib with a boom on the bottom that allowed it to swing left or right without hitting the mast. Made it really easy by myself. Is there a name for that?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,990 Posts
I remember renting a small 20 ft centerboard sloop in Coronado, Cal. once. It had a jib with a boom on the bottom that allowed it to swing left or right without hitting the mast. Made it really easy by myself. Is there a name for that?
That is a form of self tacking jib. You don't necessarily need a boom to rig a self tracker.

Sent from my SM-G981W using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
66 Posts
I single hand my 32’ boat almost always, and from my experience would definitely second the recommendations for furling jib, autopilot and having lines led aft to the cockpit as much as possible. Would also add making sure the jib winches are self tailing and placed so that you can tend them from the helm station. A lot of boats have the jib winches placed for crew use, which is too far forward for a singlehander to reach them comfortably.
I mostly single-hand my Dufour 31 and I completely agree with bigdogandy...He nailed the important parts
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
97 Posts
My experience has been very small sailboats or 30 ft with another person years ago.

Now retired and divorced I'm looking at something 30 -35 ft that can be sailed alone. I'm thinking I'd need a roller furloughing genoa, maybe also a jib and then some kind of auto pilot or what I rememberer as a tiller tamer. Raising the main is no issue if the lines come back to the coxpit but the fore sail I think is an issue especially when you bring it down and it tends to fall over the side and you have to go forward and retrieve it onto the deck. Did I get that right?

So I've been looking at boats that have an autopilot where I thought I could set it and if necessary go forward or down below to grab a sandwich. Now my sailing will probably be on the Columbia river in Oregon so the need to tack back and forth, short tacks, will be and issue.

I've looked a a few boats mainly with the furloughing genoa because of the above but I found one with the normal jib/genoa and was wondering if that could still work or would I have to purchase a furloughing genoa and some kind of autopilot etc??
Looks like you know what you need. I would add a place to tie off of some sort, jack lines or something to keep you on the boat so your autopilot does not sail you boat away while you are in the water. For sail handling I wait till I have plenty of room, let the boat turn into a weather vane and raise or lower the main. Tying the tiller scares me when I am alone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,068 Posts
I single-hand my Catalina 28 MKII often. Roller furling is essential. Whether the sail is overlapping or not isn't a big issue, although when I replaced the worn out 150 genoa, I went with a 135. It's more manageable, and I'm glad I did it. And, I pretty much never miss the additional sail area.

I installed a good autopilot. I'd call an auto-pilot essential if you're single-handing a lot. Not only do you use it so you can leave the helm and adjust your sails, it also allows you to leave the helm for breaks. Depending on where you are, go down and take a pee, heat some chow, etc.. There's nothing quite like locking the helm (no auto-pilot) going down to take a pee, and suddenly the boat goes off course and into a spin.

Another consideration for single-handing is to rig your slip properly. Don't skimp on fenders, and make sure they're well positioned and don't shift when you hit them. I also run a preventer line. As I'm slowly entering my slip, I step away from the helm and grab the preventer and loop it once around a genoa winch. That prevents me from hitting the end of the slip, which is concrete. And, with the line taut, the forward momentum of the boat forces it to snuggle up against the dock. At that point, I secure the end of the prevent line to an aft mooring cleat, and leave the engine in gear, idling. Then, I can exit the boat and start attaching the other mooring lines. Other people in the marina know me as the guy who can dock a boat like no other. I know myself as the guy who is reasonably competent, but cheats.

Sailing's a lot like flying. It's the takeoffs and landings that'll get you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
I agree with Siamese that the way you set up your slip can take some of the stress out of docking by yourself. But I use a different set up to help with docking my Catalina 320. If you have pilings on both sides of the slip you can run a line from the outer piling (or mid pilings if you have them) forward to just short of the end of the slip, then back to the piling on the other side. I put a fender at the forward end of that loop to catch the bow and stop me when I return to the dock. A second loop runs from the dock on the inside end of the slip out to the fender and back, to hold the fender out of the water (so it doesn't grow slime). The lines wind up looking like an "X", but they're really 2 "vs" joined at the fender. I also run the lines from the pilings to the fender through pool noodles, both to protect the lines from UV degradation, and to protect the hull and the lines if the hull rubs against them.

When I return from sailing, I just pull into my slip slowly, and the lines from the pilings to the fender center the bow and hold it away from the sides and the end of the slip. Like Siamese, I can leave it idling in forward and take as much time as I want to get the dock lines. On a good day, the boat never touches anything but the fender at the inside end of the slip.

This system also makes getting out of the slip easy too. I ease the stern dock lines as I idle slowly forward into the fender, then leave the engine idling in gear while I untie the dock lines and stow them where I'll be able to reach them from the boat on my return. When everything is cast off and ready, I shift from forward into reverse, and back out as easy as pie.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23,445 Posts
it also allows you to leave the helm for breaks
If remote and single handed, this is done all the time. I'd be very careful, however. I've had APs randomly drop off line, even begin to strangely command a unnecessary turn. We were once motoring out of the Bay, in near zero wind, and had the AP on. Suddenly, the boat started turning notably, while I was at the helm. We had sea room, so I decided to see what it was going to do. It held the turn for a full 360 degs, before I hit standby. I hand steered for a minute and then put it back on heading and it held for the rest of the trip. Never fully trust George.
 
1 - 20 of 75 Posts
Top