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Old 29-05-2011, 01:36   #1
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How to Setup Your Sailboat for Single-Handed Sailing

I have been trying to find info online about setting up a sailboat for soloing. I have a Grampion 26. I now have a 6 month old baby and its now hard to go sailing with just my wife and kid, i really want to set it up so i can get along solo whilst we sail. I guess im wondering what i need to do and any tips.
Stuff im going to do
1) Im going to run the Halyards back to the cockpit
2) Stop my jib from unhooking from the Sheet when it gets stuck on the Stays =-]
3) Try making my boat sail a bit truer (not sure how or if its possible) but if i leave the tiller for a sec it turns on me
4) Need to try setup something to be able to feed the anchor in from the cockpit or something so i can anchor myself without just throwing the whole anchor, chain and rode into the ocean at the same time.

im sure ill think of other stuff but i would love some feedback
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Old 29-05-2011, 06:02   #2
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Re: How to setup your sailboat for single handed sailing?

Welcome to CF!
I used to solo around between Vancouver & Van. Isle, up to desolation, etc., on my Cal 3-30, without altering/modifying/adding to the boat. The first thing I'd suggest is practicing balancing the boat with the tiller lashed & various combinations of sail. I never had an anchor winch or lines led aft, although they'd certainly be a benefit. I used to anchor by heading to windward with just my main up, dropping the anchor with 2x-3x the depth for rode, then backing the main to get the anchor to dig in & paying out the extra I wanted. Everything just took practice & was done out of necessity. If I had had more money in those days I would have added a lazy-jack system to the main, first, then led the halyards back, then added a winch. To be honest, I'm only adding a winch to my present boat because my shoulders are buggered from my past employment.
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Old 29-05-2011, 06:12   #3
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Re: How to setup your sailboat for single handed sailing?

I would suggest a Tiller Autopilot.
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Old 29-05-2011, 07:25   #4
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Re: How to setup your sailboat for single handed sailing?

http://sfbaysss.org/tipsbook/SinglehandedTips.pdf

But I'd suggest just go sailing. Except the "hook" on the jib sheet. You must use a knot, not a shackle, unless you have a pro race crew handling the sails.
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Old 29-05-2011, 08:10   #5
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Re: How to setup your sailboat for single handed sailing?

My problem is how to pick up a mooring ball or tether by myself.

I was thinking to back up to it and grab from the swim platform and cleat off aft then run a line forward. But I don't know.

As for sailing I don't know if this helps but I made a video in the atlantic of solo sailing. see if theres points in there for you

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Old 29-05-2011, 08:14   #6
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Re: How to setup your sailboat for single handed sailing?

I'd recommend a tiller pilot too. Did a two day trip with one and life was so easy. Just staying awake to keep watch and monitor the chart plotter. I'm adding one to my new boat without question.
How else do you get time to make a decent cup of coffee, an bacon and tomato omelette or just use the facilties?
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Old 29-05-2011, 08:41   #7
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Re: How to setup your sailboat for single handed sailing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by canadianllama View Post
I have been trying to find info online about setting up a sailboat for soloing.
Stuff im going to do
1) Im going to run the Halyards back to the cockpit

Bring the main halyard and reefing lines back to the cockpit. Get lazy jacks for the main as Bankaboat suggests.

The only time you want to bring the jib halyard back is if you put a downhaul on the jib (hanked on) If the jib doesn't have a downhaul or is a roller furler, leave the halyard on the mast for solo sailing. That brings up the next suggestion, roller furling jib, say a 130% yankee, not a deck sweeper.

2) Stop my jib from unhooking from the Sheet when it gets stuck on the Stays =-]

Bowline. As Daddle says no shackles. You don't need shackles until your boat gets up over 75'.

3) Try making my boat sail a bit truer (not sure how or if its possible) but if i leave the tiller for a sec it turns on me

Autopilot as DeepFrz says.

4) Need to try setup something to be able to feed the anchor in from the cockpit or something so i can anchor myself without just throwing the whole anchor, chain and rode into the ocean at the same time.

I hate to suggest it but a low profile, vertical axis rope/chain electric windlass with operating switches on the for deck and in the cabin next to the companion way.

im sure ill think of other stuff but i would love some feedback
Some of this you can kluge together yourself like the lazyjacks.
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Old 29-05-2011, 08:43   #8
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Re: How to setup your sailboat for single handed sailing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
My problem is how to pick up a mooring ball or tether by myself. I was thinking to back up to it and grab from the swim platform and cleat off aft then run a line forward. But I don't know.
That is a great way to do it, shorthanded of otherwise. Do it from downwind. If it's calm you can stay hanging from the stern, while you have a beer, and deal with turning the boat around later. If it's not so calm setup with a long line from the bow - outside of everything and swing her around, automatically, right away.

If it's really windy I push the mooring ball some ways windward with the transom so I have some unhurried moments to get attached without getting dragged off the boat.
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Old 29-05-2011, 08:47   #9
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Re: How to setup your sailboat for single handed sailing?

Thanks guys, tonnes of good info! SO Appreciated!
I was thinking of getting an autopilot, and have done a tiny bit of research on it. I am unfortunatly on a very tight budget (seems to go hand in hand for lots of us wannabe sailers out there.) So does anyone know of a inexpensive autopilot but still decent? I have a tiller and my boat weighs about 5500 LBS not loaded.
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Old 29-05-2011, 09:02   #10
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Re: How to setup your sailboat for single handed sailing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by canadianllama View Post
Thanks guys, tonnes of good info! SO Appreciated!
I was thinking of getting an autopilot, and have done a tiny bit of research on it. I am unfortunatly on a very tight budget (seems to go hand in hand for lots of us wannabe sailers out there.) So does anyone know of a inexpensive autopilot but still decent? I have a tiller and my boat weighs about 5500 LBS not loaded.
A tiller pilot for a Gramp will be about $500.
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Old 29-05-2011, 09:12   #11
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Re: How to setup your sailboat for single handed sailing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
My problem is how to pick up a mooring ball or tether by myself.

I was thinking to back up to it and grab from the swim platform and cleat off aft then run a line forward. But I don't know.

As for sailing I don't know if this helps but I made a video in the atlantic of solo sailing. see if theres points in there for you
Took the words right out of my mouth. Especially in a place crowded with zillion dollar boats crowded into a small space. You get ONE shot with the hook (which seems REALLY short)! I lose sight of the buoy about 20' from it so it's always a challenge. Have you tried one of those grabber/rope loop gizmos? Have looked at them in catalogs and wondered if they'd work. You're lucky if your boat is maneuverable in reverse, that would be a great way to do it. My keel-attached rudder makes backing next to impossible.

If you're going a long way you'll need some kind of windvane.
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Old 29-05-2011, 09:17   #12
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I have a seafarer 26 that I single hand. They were made will all lines coming to the stern. With roller furling the only reason to go forward is to bungee the main sail after you drop it. I do have an old autohelm 3000 that gives me relief from the helm but is not required on a 26 ft boat. My anchor hangs on the bow pulpit. I replaced the old fashion holder that did nothing but jam. I bought a fortress anchor that is much lighter and the bracket that has holes on two sides that make getting the anchor secured or released a breeze. Never used a mooring ball so i am not sure about backing to it. Do you run the risk of fouling you prop? If so i would vote sliding past it and grab it with a boat hook from cockpit then walk it forward. Best of luck and good sailing.
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Old 29-05-2011, 09:19   #13
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Re: How to setup your sailboat for single handed sailing?

No gizmos for me. Just the basic stuff. One favorite mooring is often underwater with no tether. I back up to it. Jump in with the line. Swim down and tie on.

Singlehanded and under sail, of course Kidding. Backing under sail singlehanded is nearly impossible as the autopilot simply doesn't understand without reprogramming.
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Old 29-05-2011, 09:31   #14
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Guess that means summer only. Burrr
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Old 29-05-2011, 10:14   #15
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Re: How to setup your sailboat for single handed sailing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by smurphny View Post
Have you tried one of those grabber/rope loop gizmos? .
I've seen some bloody stupid ones!
But I was showen one the other day and it worked so quickly it looked like majic and I had to slowly look at it to work out how rope can pass through solid plastic! It uses a double hinge ie both sides of the door hnge.


here's one off the net. Not the same as I saw, but same idea.

EasyMoor Mooring Hook
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