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What do you think about it....doing a 2-3 day run Offshore? Has anyone experience on this...How often have you done this...Doug
 

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I think single-handing is fine and I have covered a lot of miles including going trans-Atlantic that way. The only trick is to do everything in a way that doesn’t require that you be in two places at the same time. Plan the flow of work so that things can either be done from one place or that all work can be done sequencely as you move about the boat.

The trickiest thing has been setting and recovering a spinnaker by myself with a close second being planning far enough ahead to allow for boat handling without an engine.
All the best,
Robert Gainer
 

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I know I have very limited sailing experience; but I can't imagine dealing with a spinnaker while singlehanding. It seems to me that even experienced sailors with a small crew can get in trouble with a spinnaker; or is that just a perception created by "You Tube"? . LOLOL
 

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If you're talking about coastal hops offshore, the biggest problem I have found is getting sufficent rest. I plan my "naps" around when I'm in areas where there shouldn't be a lot of, if any, commercial vessel traffic. And as Robert said, you should plan ahead so you don't have to do two things at once.

While you can certainly make some time running overnight, I try to limit mine to one night between inlets. Keeps the fatigue factor managable.
 

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Telstar 28
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Many singlehanders I know prefer to cat nap during the day...and sail more at night... this is due to a couple of factors... one less traffic at night in many areas; two—a better watch is probably required at night, since the other boats are going to be less vigilant.

IMHO, high-traffic coastal areas, like the approach corridors to major ports are a nightmare...and best avoided as much as possible. :D
 

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What do you think about it....doing a 2-3 day run Offshore? Has anyone experience on this...How often have you done this...Doug
This is such a wide-open question with many topics that we could address. There are many articles / books written about this in the single-hand racing context.

To be helpful with a response, could you elaborate with specific questions, or discuss your sailing experience and knowledge of boat systems - are you already comfortable single-handing your boat for day sails and you are asking about overnight / multi-day trips, or do you have little to no single-handing experience.

You also mention offshore, what is offshore to you, Newport to Annapolis following the coast or Newport to Bermuda, what is your experience going offshore with crew, what are your skills with navigation, weather forecasting, seamanship, etc. Does your boat have the requisite equipment and do you know how to use it; for single-handing do you have jacklines and hard points installed, rigging / sailhanding setup, do you have a quality self-steering and do you know how to fix it when it breaks, if not a windvane, have you addressed batter capacity and charging. We could discuss sleep management and watch keeping and egg timers. We could talk about sailing conservatively and thinking out / knowing every step of how to do something before you do it.

More information would help to identify and to answer your questions.
 

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I know I have very limited sailing experience; but I can't imagine dealing with a spinnaker while singlehanding. It seems to me that even experienced sailors with a small crew can get in trouble with a spinnaker; or is that just a perception created by "You Tube"? . LOLOL
Its not hard but you need to keep an eye on the wind. If things look like the wind will increase you need to get the chute down quickly because you will have trouble dealing with any and I mean any problems if you are single-handed.

To set the spinnaker on larger boats I prepare it first by forming it into a long sausage and tying it together ever few feet with thread. Then I can raise it by passing it under the boom and into the lee of the main. When it’s fully up I pull the tack to the pole and that breaks the lower threads. The wind gets into it and breaks the other threads as I am trimming the sheet.

On my 22 footer during my first trans-Atlantic I set the spinnaker by putting it into a paper shopping bag and after hosting it to the masthead pulled the guy and it popped out of the bag and streamed ahead of the boat while I trimmed the guy and then the sheet. I don’t do that any more and now I use the thread stops on all boats unless I have crew. Dropping paper bags allover the place just seems like the wrong thing to do nowadays.
All the best,
Robert Gainer
 

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I've raced with the Singled Handed Society for a few years now, and Last year I brought my 42 down from the north west to San Francisco by myself..Great trip, Flyin a kite is a chalange, I added a "belly button" ring on mine so I could deflate it if things got rough..
My sleep patterns were such that I'd dose off for 30 minutes at a time. and I read a good article recently concerning standing watch..
The next tanker or container ship that passes you, count the time it takes to disappear. thats the time it would take for something UNSEEN to get to your boat...
I did make a point on staying clipped in at all times, use Jack lines, and because the weather was warm, I slept in the cockpit, and set an alarm on your Radar. I set mine for 6 miles, as that would give me plenty time to make adjustments..
The trip took me around 2 weeks...and I loved it.......
 

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How do you rig the trip line to the ring?
Thanks,
Robert Gainer
 

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Its not a trip line, at the center of the spinnaker about half way up. I've sewn in a small loop with backing.. (kind of a belly button) with a light weight line running to the loop. when you pull the loop, the spinnaker deflates or folds up...
The idea comes from racing Dinghys a number of years ago. we had a shoot scoop in the front of the dinghy.. (a tube holding the spinnaker).
the spinnaker would be pulled back into the tube by its "belly button". This way it would be ready to deploy on the next down wind run. Again its not a trip line as all lines stay conected, it just deflates the spinnaker..
If you take your spinnaker into a sail shop, he will know what you are looking for...
 

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I would boom out the headsail. I would never fly a spinnaker alone. My ship is 36 ft and the spinnaker is simply too much alone.
For a 2-3 day run you probably would not sleep much anyway, as it will be so new.
You will when you stop though.
 

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Its not a trip line, at the center of the spinnaker about half way up. I've sewn in a small loop with backing.. (kind of a belly button) with a light weight line running to the loop. when you pull the loop, the spinnaker deflates or folds up...
The idea comes from racing Dinghys a number of years ago. we had a shoot scoop in the front of the dinghy.. (a tube holding the spinnaker).
the spinnaker would be pulled back into the tube by its "belly button". This way it would be ready to deploy on the next down wind run. Again its not a trip line as all lines stay conected, it just deflates the spinnaker..
If you take your spinnaker into a sail shop, he will know what you are looking for...
Not sure I follow this. Where do you run the line? Do you pull the center of the spinnaker down to the deck with the bunt of the sail just streaming forward or do you have the light line lead to the mast above the spinnaker pole track so the entire sail can just billow out forward off the mast. How do you handle the line when you pass the pole from side to side? Does the pole topping lift cross the line to the ring on the sail or do need to drop the sail when you jibe?
Thanks,
Robert Gainer
 

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The line drops to the deck and is run back to the cockpit.. If you pull on the line, it take the bag out of the sail and the sides flop in the wind.. If you drop the halyard and reliese the sheets, you could pull the kite right back down the side of the boat... On my smaller boat I had a bag at the companian way that I would shove the kite into..
On my First-42, i have a sleave, or sock that pulls down over the kit.
The main reason for the belly button ring, is for emergencies to deflate the sail....
 

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I've done most of my sailing single handed. Launching a spinnaker is nuts... kudos to anyone who can do that... I'll stick with drifters. Consider getting a backup auto-pilot... one that has auto-tack is always nice. Radar allows you to setup alarm circles which are a life saver, an alarm goes off when something crosses an imaginary line. It allows you to get some sleep. Jack lines shouldn't be considered optional. I agree with others, coming and going are the toughest part because of traffic, once you're a day out things are easier.

Just keep in mind... I think it's 10 minutes from horizon to impact (something like that) for ships at sea and I've heard, off shore, these guys don't even have people on watch most of the time. Given 2-3 days you might be in too close for radar alarms to work - which means you're really just counting on luck when you're asleep.
 

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The line drops to the deck and is run back to the cockpit.. If you pull on the line, it take the bag out of the sail and the sides flop in the wind.. If you drop the halyard and reliese the sheets, you could pull the kite right back down the side of the boat... On my smaller boat I had a bag at the companian way that I would shove the kite into..
On my First-42, i have a sleave, or sock that pulls down over the kit.
The main reason for the belly button ring, is for emergencies to deflate the sail....
OK, I got it now. An interesting idea and I need to think about it a bit.
Thanks,
Robert Gainer
 

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wiselyb,
While completely agreeing with your point on watch-keeping I am, once again, dismayed to see someone espousing the idea that merchant ships do not have anyone on watch. It is especially ironic that the "belief" comes up while we're discussing how the single-handing sailor can best figure out how to not keep a proper watch in the pursuit of sleep. Reality is that it is the sailboat, single-handed or full complement, that is more likely to not be keeping a proper lookout. The idea that it is common practise to navigate a $150 million dollar ship with no lookout is the same type of thinking that allows 16 year old boys to believe that the Ferrari dealer will let them take one out for a test drive.

Again, I fully agree with the rest of your points, especially that one is essentially relying on luck when relying on non-visual means for watch-keeping.

Why is there no advise or movement for the advocation of say International orange sails for the offshore single hander? See and be seen is the watchword for safety. Is it that they don't look "pretty"? You can always tell the ships that come out of the North Sea, where the normal conditions seem to be Force 4-6 and the whitecaps are omnipresent on a dark sea. Black hulls and white houses of ships blend in as if camoflaged. Most North Sea ships have the Bridge Deck wind dodger painted international orange for improved visibility to other ships. I don't see sailmakers even offering such an option on sails beyond the odd orange dot on a storm jib. Just a thought.
 

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Sailaway....

Keeping watch on a merchantman is a bit more than looking out the window. They could just, perhaps, maybe, possibly, combine that with answering the VHF when I try to call them to tell them that winds are light and my motor's down and I am in the last 80 miles of a 2700 mile trip from Bermuda and I am not quite sure if they have seen me and that their navigation lights look like they are going to run into me and they show no sign of having noticed.

There were 3 on board my ship.
 

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Sailaway-

Part of the problem is getting the material for the sail in large enough sizes. Most sailmakers don't stock much in the way of heavy-weight sail cloth that isn't white.
 

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Do we all forget one of the main reasons we are out there.. For a lot of us, the pease and tranquality of cruising, or sailing is our escape from that which we live daily. the noise, the street signs, the people, and of corse..the laws that govern our silly asses. Out there is our freedom, and If you want to get up in the morning and pee off the back of your boat.
Well by-golly thats my right.. I quit riding motorcycles when they passed the helmet law, for no other reason other than ,that the government is sticking their nose into my life to far.
and how far will they go.. and say its for my own good....Orange sails for singlehanded sailing, Manditory GPSs on your boat so they can track you, or inforcement of wearing PFD while sailing (not to comfortable in bed),
Well I for one, injoy my morning pee off the back of my boat, but I know, someday, they'll take that away from me too...
For those of you that love what you have, dont give it up, and for damn sure, dont put restrictions on what we have now.....
 

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Sailaway21,
An orange storm sail is a great idea. My sail maker is Thurston in RI and he has quoted my storm sails in orange. But how much attention do you want on a typical day. Orange is a recognized signal of distress and I don’t want the ships to make a habit of getting too close to check me out or even worse make orange lose it meaning as a signal of distress. Maybe a good compromise is to use tanbark. It stands out but doesn’t have the same meaning as orange. By the way I got your PM.

Sailingdog,
You can order small runs of cloth so getting enough orange isn’t the problem even if you are an amateur sailmaker.
All the best,
Robert Gainer
 
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