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Discussion Starter #1
I'm curious to hear about anyone's experience singlehanding a Union 36 or similar (Tayana 37?).

I singlehand my Catalina 27 and sail in and out of the slip like it's a dinghy. Piece of cake.
But the Union....well.... that seems a bit tricky to me.

Have you found it easy enough to manage when entering an unfamiliar marina? What about anchoring solo?

Thanks much!
 

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My last boat was a Fantasia 35, similar dimensions. My keel was a little less full but the boat weighed a couple thousand pounds more. I single handed the boat routinely. Took her in and out of tight slips no problem. I used a really long midship spring for docking. So basically, put her along side then toss the line around something to spring her in.

Didn't anchor her much, because my preference is for marina slips, but when I did, seemed straight forward enough with a power windlas.

You can check out youtube for handling and docking tips.
 

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Anchoring doesn't really change with the size of the boat, just the size of the tackle. All the principles are the same. If you are anchoring a lot, as we do, more than 300 days a year, you would probably want all chain and a good quality electric windlass.
Folks will try to steer you toward a manual one siting reliability as the main reason. Funny though, the manual back-up on most good windlasses is just the same as the manual one: a long handle!
The real difference is that an electric windlass should pull your gear in at around 60 feet a minute, and nobody is going to get a manual one to do that. That means that between the time your anchor has broken free and is housed, your boat, which you are single-handing, will be at the mercy of the elements (not under command) a shorter time. Seems a cheap insurance policy to me.
As far as the size of a boat goes, the bigger it is the slower it reacts to your intentions. That means you actually have a little more time to make your maneuvers when docking.
 
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One of None
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Single-handing is more about the logic and set up of the boat than the boat itself.

If 80 or 90% of your anchoring is just 4 mild weather you don't need a super big anchor either,. Use the big one when you're doing overnight in questionable conditions,
Practice practice practice!

My boat used to be on a river mooring and I used to match the current against the fwd momentum of the boat, walk forward and pick up my mooring stick, it was a very casual routine after 10 years!
 

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I bought my Contest 36s new in 1985 with the intention of being able to single hand in all circumstances.

To accomplish this I added a robust below decks AP - Alpha 3000 which has a course dial (no button pushing for 1 or 10 degrees) which is like a tiny helm. The control head is mounted in the forward end of the port coaming where I can reach it while sitting in the protection of the dodger. I good weather I can sit on the coaming and steer by reaching down. Who needs to look at the steering wheel? I rare drive from the helm... only through crowded anchorages/mooring fields... fairway/channels and to and from the gas dock. I avoid slips for many reasons... but I hand steer in and out when I enter a slip... for in water winter storage. AP is and a reliable robust one is mission critical for single handing.

Self tailing winches...

Electric windlass with all chain, foredeck foot swtiches raise and lower, and a control in the cockpit... next to the AP in my case.

Roller furling head sail

All control lines led aft to the cockpit:
reefing
halyards (now I use a milwaukee drill w/ winch bit to raise the main)
topping lift
vang
out haul, down haul

except

spinnaker halyard
pole lift
pole guy

all winches and lines and engine controls, gauges and instruments including AP in easy reach / view from forward end of the cockpit. Forget about dual helms and helm mounted instruments. Behind/at the helm the only thing you can do is steer, and start the engine/throttle... and that's not enough to operate the boat.
 

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If 80 or 90% of your anchoring is just 4 mild weather you don't need a super big anchor either, Use the big one when you're doing overnight in questionable conditions,
Practice practice practice!
I'm sorry, but I disagree with this.
I believe that there is a formula for the proper size anchor tackle for a boat. An extra big anchor isn't the answer to not learning how to anchor properly. A properly sized anchor for the chain and boat one is using should hold you in anything less than a tropical storm, day or night. And big squalls can pop up just about anytime, not just when conditions were questionable when you dropped your anchor.
The anchor manufacturers' sites all have a chart which should steer you toward the perfect anchor size for your boat. From that choose a suitable chain and snub line and you should sleep soundly at night or find your boat where you left it if you go for a swim after lunch.
 

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One of None
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Ummmm, I just used less words CAPTA

BUT, everybody should have at least two anchors I think can all agree on that? And the OP wasn't just about anchoring.
 

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Blowing like snot and rough, and need to up anchor, is when the windlass is much appreciated.
On 2 occassions ive elected to cut tje rolling hitch on the snubber...safer to get it up right away and motor away.

If you are solo, anything that helps...is good.
In my mind, lee shore might get closer the less help onboard...:)
 

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I have used the anchor which came with the boat... 36# CQR for 34 years very successfully. I upgraded the nylon rode to all chain and windlass.
I used a genuine CQR for at least that many years and was quite satisfied with it most of the time. Occasionally I'd need to re-anchor several times and on the rarest occasions, I'd drag a bit.
In Bequia, there are a couple of chutes with a few inches of sand on a flat coral bottom. Since they are nice open spots, newbies will try to anchor there and of course, fail. We call it the afternoon drag fest and it has nothing to do with guys in dresses.
Anyway, while I'm sitting comfortably on my genuine CQR, one day this boat comes in and drops his gear in one of these chutes and hooks! I waited for the anchor to drag, but it didn't. So I jump in my dink and ask him what anchor he is using. It was the first time I'd heard of the Rocna, but in general, I had been ignoring the move toward the 'next-gen' anchors. After all, what is anchoring but tossing a bunch of heavy metal overboard and letting it do its thing? However, now I was intrigued and began researching. End result was that if I wanted a Rocna, we were gonna have to lean out our expenditures for a few months.
And then fortune smiled upon us and we found a lightly used one (88#, just right for our boat) for a quarter of the new price.
For a year we dove on that anchor and it was a rare day when it didn't set in its own length. It never drug more than about three feet once it had set, just getting deeper till the bar was hidden.
And just to top the experience off, we squeezed into a tiny hole in a very crowded new year's day crowd in Clifton Harbor, Union Island, but the chain got hung up in the pipe and I was left standing on the foredeck thinking of all the disasters that were about to befall us because we only had 60 feet of chain out in 40 feet of water in 20 knots of wind. But almost before I had run through the first scenario of bouncing off both boats behind us, Skipping Stone swung bow to wind and remained where she was until Nikki could free the chain. Boy was I relieved AND impressed.
Over the years we have been shortening up our scope to 3:1 and it has been extremely helpful in the crowded season anchorages, but we still have yet to drag in anything up to 60 knots or so.
I loved my genuine CQRs, but do believe there is something to this 'next-gen' anchor thing now.
 

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Ummmm, I just used less words CAPTA

BUT, everybody should have at least two anchors I think can all agree on that? And the OP wasn't just about anchoring.
I would have to agree that we should carry multiple anchors aboard if one is cruising, but my #1 is still the largest of all 5 of my setups.
I don't have a lot of input to offer on a smaller boat like the OP is talking about, but in my experience, even operating a vessel of 80 feet or more with 2 crew isn't much different from operating something in the 45-foot range except that the bigger the boat the more time you have, as mentioned above. So I would assume that holds true when moving up in smaller boats. But you know what they say about assuming.....lol
 

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Cap... I have heard only good reports on next gen anchors. I will definitely get one if where I typically anchor changes. However I am anchoring in LIS, and Southern NE and the CQR seems to work fine. I will use 5:1 scope typically. The snubber I use with a mooring compensator is very effective because it will SHOW the tension of a set anchor rode when the wind pipes up a bit. Without the compensator the snubber simply will stretch a bit or... if dragging doesn't stretch and it's not very obvious. The snubber's compensator is the tell if the anchor has set.
 

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The snubber's compensator is the tell if the anchor has set.
First I've heard of the snubber compensator. I'll have to check it out. Thanks.
 

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First I've heard of the snubber compensator. I'll have to check it out. Thanks.
For a chain hook I use a ss reefing tack hook... slips right into the chain links. Snubber line is 3/4" or 1" braid on braid nylon.. compensator has 2 or 3 twists. Under tension you can see it untwist. A snubber under tensions does not show a thing... just a taut line. A dragging anchor with a snubber with show a taught line. a dragging anchor with a snubber will show no tension "unwinding".

The unwinding of the compensator is the tell that the anchor has set and under tension.
 

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For a chain hook I use a ss reefing tack hook... slips right into the chain links. Snubber line is 3/4" or 1" braid on braid nylon.. compensator has 2 or 3 twists. Under tension you can see it untwist. A snubber under tensions does not show a thing... just a taut line. A dragging anchor with a snubber with show a taught line. a dragging anchor with a snubber will show no tension "unwinding".

The unwinding of the compensator is the tell that the anchor has set and under tension.
Cool. I'll check it out though by now I have very few worries about dragging. We use a standard chain hook, SS or galvanized. Seems to do the trick.
 

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Cap... I have heard only good reports on next gen anchors. I will definitely get one if where I typically anchor changes. However I am anchoring in LIS, and Southern NE and the CQR seems to work fine. I will use 5:1 scope typically. The snubber I use with a mooring compensator is very effective because it will SHOW the tension of a set anchor rode when the wind pipes up a bit. Without the compensator the snubber simply will stretch a bit or... if dragging doesn't stretch and it's not very obvious. The snubber's compensator is the tell if the anchor has set.
Well, someone just reminded me that we/ve had this conversation a year or so ago. I'm sorry, just getting forgetful in my old age I guess. Not intending to be pushy. And I guess I had the date wrong this time in Clifton, I guess it was Dec 31.
 
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