Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 07-01-2016, 19:31   #76
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 6
Re: Go solo, go now ... or wait a few more years?

Hi Lizzie

Very interesting post, especially because I find myself in a similar situation regarding setting off now or later, but especially going solo or not on longer passages. I bought myself a very nice Sparkman and Stephens 34 about 8 months ago and brought her back from Albany in Western Australia to Perth. Although I have been on the racing circuit for many years I was glad I engaged a delivery skipper who knew what he was doing because I soon found out that coastal racing is a very different thing from ocean sailing, especially if you hit winds close to 40 knots as we did in the Southern Ocean.

Just like you I prefer sailing alone and am not keen on being in close company of someone I hardly know. But without doubt there are practical advantages in having more than one person on board, especially for dealing with the lack of sleep, as I found out from the trip from Albany to Perth, even though there were two of us. The ideal situation (as mentioned in this post) would be sailing as a couple, but my wife is not keen on sailing at all - she would make a great companion but it is fair to say, she is not much of a sailor. So I find myself in a similar situation in the sense that except for my wife I definitely prefer to sail alone. Yet I am not fully confident about setting out solo on long passages.

Although I have limited open ocean going experience, this is what I worked out for myself:

I would look for someone who has a clear understanding of solitude and privacy but has some sailing experience. I would then, for the initial passage to a first destination, team up with that person, with the understanding that later on I will be going solo. In my case I was thinking of teaming up with someone for a trip from Perth to Bali or to the Cocos Islands. Once, say in Bali the other person can have a nice holiday there and fly back. I then would keep going solo. This offers the best of both worlds, namely getting used to open water sailing with someone else, then, when gaining more confidence, going solo. In your case a possible scenario is that you team up with another person who is a best possible fit (i.e. has some sailing experience but understands / has a need for privacy) when still in busy shipping lanes and for example sail together to the Canary Islands after which you can make the Atlantic crossing alone.

In respect to all the posts about having the right gear, from what I learned from the delivery skipper (who was very experienced) I would definitely say that having the right gear for open ocean sailing is a must. To me this would include IAS, but also radar for boats that have no signalling, a wind vane and for coastal sailing an autopilot (very handy when having to move around the boat such as when putting up / taking down the mainsail and keeping her in the wind). I would double up on my navigation gear (I have a Raymarine chartplotter, but also have Navionics software on a software device) and include paper charts. Of course when going offshore sufficient water and fuel and the ability to generate power (wind generator, solar cells) are also important. One of the things I found of concern is that in the middle of a storm and not far from shore my Yanmar diesel engine gave out. We needed that engine at the time. Luckily the delivery skipper knew how to get her restarted, but I doubt whether I would have found out what the problem was. So at least for me a course about diesel engines is something I would like to do at some point.

In elk geval, stel het zeilen niet te lang uit, ga ervoor, en goede vaart toegewenst uit het zuidelijk halfrond! (ik ben oorsponkelijk uit Belgie en spreek Nederlands).
__________________

__________________
Hugo B is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2016, 20:47   #77
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 756
Re: Go solo, go now ... or wait a few more years?

Lizzy, not much to add...It is a mind set, wouldn't you agree? What is our predisposition psychologically? How we are genetically wired. Some people are stubborn. Some people are afraid of their own shadow.


Many women's stories available who have circumnavigated the world. Did you read the story of Tania Aebi who had almost no sailing experience? Her father said he would buy her a boat and she would sail around the world as a teenager to get her away from a group of friends who were a poor influence in her life. She had no GPS and didn't even do a sea trial on her 26 foot Contessa. What a father....what a story. Lizzy how about your own country woman Laura Dekker who set a world record at 14 years old sailing around the world? You gave birth to a son and raised him till adulthood. You tell me which is harder...raising a child or crossing the Atlantic? I'll put my money on raising a child as much more stressful than sailing across the Atlantic....every single time I will be on that side of the bet. You are due for doing something for yourself after that long an arduous job title....don't you think?


Lizzy you can do this on whatever platform you wish. As the line goes in Shawshank Redemption..."get busy living...or get busy dying" You already have the knowledge base and the sailing experience. One thing follows the other...It will be one of the richest times of your life and a growth spurt like no other. You are a cool chick and stop the doubting ...How about getting yourself down to the ARC in time for the crossing? I wish I could be in your position to leave now. Hospital is slowly killing me at work...smile
__________________

__________________
alansmith is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2016, 21:18   #78
Registered User
 
Celestialsailor's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: In Mexico, working on the boat
Boat: Hallberg Rassy 35. and 14ft.Whitehall pulling skiff.
Posts: 8,013
Images: 5
Re: Go solo, go now ... or wait a few more years?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
I've had great luck finding good crew in the Crew Wanted section of CF. Some have become lifelong friends, and never any really bad experience.

Single handing can be a fun challenge, and I do do it, but it's exhausting over long distances. I would personally never cross an ocean like that, when it would be SO much more relaxing and fun with a few friends on board.

I can't imagine you'd have much trouble finding crew for a transat, which is a dream of so many sailors. I'd just put up a crew wanted ad, if I were you, and start interviewing candidates.

Sent from my D6633 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
I concur...While living in Hawaii, I found SkiprJohn and he was great and recently another member, Jim who was also very pleasant and knowledgeable.
__________________
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: Wow - what a ride!"

http://wwwjolielle.blogspot.com/
Celestialsailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2016, 00:26   #79
Moderator
 
Don C L's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Channel Islands, CA
Boat: 1962 Columbia 29 MK 1 #37
Posts: 4,405
Images: 35
Re: Go solo, go now ... or wait a few more years?

I can see why you like the Centurion, but, personally, for what you are planning, I'd avoid spade rudders and wheels. You are near the land of Contessas, could a 32 fit your budget? Or could some remodeling of the salon/galley make your boat more feasible? It does sound from your posts though that you are looking toward a more livable boat... I am not one of those to say go now no matter what. I say go the moment you and your boat are ready, and the weather forecast is good! If you have any doubts about your boat, as lovely as she is, I say look for the right one, the one you have no doubts about.
__________________
DL
Pythagoras
1962 Columbia 29 MKI #37
Don C L is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2016, 02:38   #80
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Cruising the Gulf of Mexico.
Boat: 1980 Morgan 415
Posts: 1,439
Re: Go solo, go now ... or wait a few more years?

Ya got a boat. How far to your first port? If your comfortable with your first leg, take your first step.




I'd rather be lucky than good.
__________________
Working on spending my children's inheritance.
Cap Erict3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2016, 05:12   #81
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 4,413
Re: Go solo, go now ... or wait a few more years?

I would like to add one thought on the boat to take this trip.

Larger is also faster.. because of water line length... This essentially means your passages out there are shorter, you need less provisions, have less fatigue and so forth.

Of course as the boat get bigger the forces on the sails and rigging get bigger too. In fair conditions this probably is not an issue. But when the wind and sea pipes up the forces require more strength and other strategies. Just hauling up a huge main for offshore (heavy cloth) can be taxing... not to mention just dragging it around in a sail bag.

The other point mentioned about spade rudders is excellent. They have been known to literally drop off. So a partial skeg or even a full skeg which protects the rudder is something to consider when you buy a boat.

I was at the boat yard checking on my boat and the cap across the doc (in water winter storage) remarked about his Waquiez 36... I don't recall the model but it looks like the one Lizzie Belle posted... had a very difficult stuffing box to service... access I recall... This to me, if true is not a good thing. You definitely want the stuffing box or dripless shaft easily accessible to service.

If you are really thinking of getting a 36.. you might look at the Dutch Contests which have a number in that size range. Shiva is a 36s and a terrific design for single handing and live aboard. They come in fractional, masthead, deep fin, wing and shoal keel versions, GRP decks or teak. I've sailed tens of thousands of miles offshore and in some very very nasty conditions and the boat performs like a champ. I can clock 150 NM a day and have done 175 on2 24 hr period. I do the LIS to Bermuda leg (675NM) in 4.5 days and so that's a pretty fast passage maker. Obviously I am both biased and clearly do not have the experience with other boats that I have with the 36s... But if you are looking for a larger boat you really should look at the Contests.... which are very well built.

a few listings:

http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/1985...s#.Vo-pnpfDef8

http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/1987...s#.Vo-pMZfDef8
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Yachting monthly.JPG
Views:	80
Size:	196.0 KB
ID:	116391  
__________________
Sandero is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2016, 11:46   #82
Registered User
 
rognvald's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Summer: In the land of Wooly Mammoths
Boat: Pearson 34-II
Posts: 2,252
Images: 2
Re: Go solo, go now ... or wait a few more years?

In life, it is better to focus on what is possible rather than to focus on what you believe is not possible. I would imagine one could spend a lifetime cruising single-handed throughout Europe/Mediterranean with little more than an overnight sail ,at times, on your 29 foot boat and without the need of company. Go now. Life is full of curveballs. You may never have the chance again. Good luck and safe sailing.
__________________
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."
Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathrustra
rognvald is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2016, 21:42   #83
Moderator
 
JPA Cate's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: aboard, cruising in Australia
Boat: Sayer 46' Solent rig sloop
Posts: 10,722
Re: Go solo, go now ... or wait a few more years?

I have hesitated to post on this thread, because I have never singlehanded. Only during Jim's offwatches. So all these years a cruiser and never a singlehander. So not qualified in some ways.

Of all the posts here, Boatman 61's seem most to the point. Here's why:
If you and the boat are ready now, and you go, and you don't like it, you can go back and work for the bigger boat, feeling good about it because you proved to yourself that this boat is too small for you. However, I would like to say that smaller boats have smaller sails, hence easier to drag around. Smaller means less expensive spare parts, less expensive marina fees.

I don't know how small your boat is, but Jim and I sailed to Hawaii and back to San Francisco on a S&S Yankee 30. That particular boat was quite tender, and having made that trip, Jim decided to buy a 36 footer, and it was that boat that we lived aboard while working, then lived aboard while cruising for 18 years. The larger boat was more comfortable. And carried more stuff. But we left the heavy #2 behind, because it was such a struggle for me to get it out of the hatch and dragged along the deck.

If you choose not to take Boatie's advice, then understand that it is time to buckle down and get the larger boat now, fixed to what you consider is necessary --don't mess around with perfectly ready--and then, go fast. You can and will add bits & pieces along the way. It's okay. You're sitting on the fence now, and you'll find it more comfortable once you've committed, one way or the other.

Incidentally, we know two couples who circumnavigated in 26 footers, and one lady singlehander who had a 30 footer.

If you are a romantic soul and you meet your soul mate, well and good; if not, well and good, you will never regret exciting, stimulating sailing.

Ann
__________________
Ann, with Jim, aboard US s/v Insatiable II, in Oz, very long term cruisers
JPA Cate is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2016, 00:48   #84
Moderator
 
Don C L's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Channel Islands, CA
Boat: 1962 Columbia 29 MK 1 #37
Posts: 4,405
Images: 35
Re: Go solo, go now ... or wait a few more years?

Yankee 30 sure is a nice little boat too.
__________________
DL
Pythagoras
1962 Columbia 29 MKI #37
Don C L is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2016, 01:03   #85
Moderator
 
JPA Cate's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: aboard, cruising in Australia
Boat: Sayer 46' Solent rig sloop
Posts: 10,722
Re: Go solo, go now ... or wait a few more years?

Oh, yeah, Don, she was a nice sailing boat, but she sure spent a lot of her time at 25 deg. heel, tiring on a long passage. Our fastest day's sail ever was done on storm jib alone, off the wind. Nice memories.

To Lizzy Belle, about pickup crew, choose a female backpacker. Stow the pack in the bunk, and at the foot of the quarterberth while she sleeps. All you really need is a nice young person to be eyes, to whom you can teach a little bit of sailing. Someone you can trust to get you up if something is wrong. You don't need a male, as long as you are competent to maintain the boat's systems, or can read manuals, if that's not so, you might want to look at young engineering students..

If you go for a larger vessel, you will have to be beforehanded about reefing and such. Bigger sails are harder to handle without roller furling.
__________________
Ann, with Jim, aboard US s/v Insatiable II, in Oz, very long term cruisers
JPA Cate is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2016, 03:52   #86
Registered User
 
HankOnthewater's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: West Australia
Boat: production yacht, suitable for deep blue water ;)
Posts: 310
Re: Go solo, go now ... or wait a few more years?

Hi Lizzy
You received lots of good advice and particular that of Boatman and Ann T.C (as is standard for her and Jim).
Sofar I have never responded to a thread with a theme with a large social component. Hehehe, I like to think of myself being technical, logical and pragmatic.
Anyway here goes my take, for you to consider such approach, written in the first person:

In solving (perceived) problems a multitude of options are often obscuring the best/desired/optimal answer. Therefore questions could be asked and solved singularly and sequentially.
My (Lizzy’s) initial question can be split up in six or seven questions, and one can list them as follows:

1. A previous poster mentioned: selling my yacht in Holland and buy another one in USA ie Florida
a. If I favour such option, because of alleged cheaper boat prices there, not having to cross the Atlantic, then go to #2, making the starting point of all options being in USA
b. If I don’t like it, go to #2 as well (hehehe, does not alter the initial question really)

2. Do I want to be able to sail by myself, if I want to or need to?
a. If not, need to find a crew for my boat or a sailor with a boat
i. I can go when a suitable sailor with boat is found; initial question becomes irrelevant, problem solved…., hmmm, or bigger problem in the making?
ii. Only when a suitable crew for my boat is found, go to #4
b. If “yes”, go to #3

3. Can I (as a solo sailor) make that trip?
a. If not, stay put and get the experience and skills, review this question regularly, until this question get a positive answer.
b. If “yes”, go to #4

4. Is my current boat suitable for a trip to the Caribbean?
a. If “no” and I can never go in this boat, better start saving, get a suitable boat and review question #4 again
b. If not currently, but if I spend $$$$ (oops, euros) then it will be suitable
i. If I have not the money (yet): need to start saving, then go back to #4
ii. If I have the money now go and willing to spend it: go to #5
c. If “yes” go to #5

5.
Now that I already have established that I am capable, the boat is capable, I do not need a crew, what kind of practical reasons stop me from going ….now or later
a. Finances?
b. Family?
c. Health/fitness?
d. Job/career?
e. Lack of plan how to manage (financially or otherwise) when things go wrong: also called ‘Plan B’
f. Lack of plan how to manage ( ie financially or otherwise) when I decide to come back or go ashore: also called ‘escape plan’
If the above reasons, and others not listed, are all negative or can be resolved, only then go to #6

6.
Should I go now?
a. If “yes”, it is likely I have no finances to trade up to a bigger yacht ie around 36 ft, and I will go in my current 29 ft yacht; better get my sh!t together soon; go now to #7
b. If “no”, then I will go later (likely in 1 to 3 year’s time) and that opens two options:
i. I can still go in my current yacht, but with more money in the bank, go to #7
ii. I may be able to afford a bigger suitable boat, but still with an bank balance as in option in #6a, go now to #7
c. Note to self: availability of a suitable crewmember is not a prime consideration here: to go now or go later; see footnote 1)

7.
At any stage of questions #1 to 6 and their options, I can consider: To take another person along as crew or not?
a. Situation as in option #6a it will be very tight, space wise, both in personal space and storage wise. It is likely only successful if you both get along very well, or as lovers.
b. Option #6bi, as above, very tight
c. In option #6bii, sailing with a crew becomes more of a possibility

8.
With crew I have some options, some of them has been mentioned by previous posters
a. Just go when I have satisfied questions #1 to 6 and when the opportunity arises, ie meeting compatible sailor(s), take him/her/them on board
b. Take on crew when the need arises. This might cause some delay in that port
c. Crew can be engaged for one leg of the trip, part of the trip or the whole trip
d. Crew can be dumped anytime. Hmmm, more politically correct would be “crew could be released in next suitable port”

Footnote
1) Taking on a crew is NOT part of your decision making process after you went passed #2a. If it were to be then one could argue that other things/decisions in your live would depend as well on finding a suitable crew: what you have for dinner tonight, what book you might read next week, if you call your friends on their birthdays, whether or not to believe in a deity.

All above: for what it is worth, and apologies for it has become rather long
__________________
Wishing you all sunny skies above, clear water below, gentle winds behind and a safe port ahead,
and when coming this way check http://www.cruiserswiki.org/wiki/Albany,_Australia
HankOnthewater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2016, 06:50   #87
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 19,766
Re: Go solo, go now ... or wait a few more years?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Oh, yeah, Don, she was a nice sailing boat, but she sure spent a lot of her time at 25 deg. heel, tiring on a long passage. Our fastest day's sail ever was done on storm jib alone, off the wind. Nice memories.

To Lizzy Belle, about pickup crew, choose a female backpacker. Stow the pack in the bunk, and at the foot of the quarterberth while she sleeps. All you really need is a nice young person to be eyes, to whom you can teach a little bit of sailing. Someone you can trust to get you up if something is wrong. You don't need a male, as long as you are competent to maintain the boat's systems, or can read manuals, if that's not so, you might want to look at young engineering students..

If you go for a larger vessel, you will have to be beforehanded about reefing and such. Bigger sails are harder to handle without roller furling.
Very important point about crew qualification.

Crew who is a good sailor is wonderful to have, but crew which at least has two hands and a good attitude is already 90% of the battle. You can teach almost anyone to stand a watch, and that is already an enormous help on a long passage.


I have often taken inexperienced crew with me, often with great results. Big caveat about totally inexperienced crew, however, is that the risk of the person coming down with debilitating seasickness, or a panic attack, or just simply hating being offshore, is much greater.
__________________
"Parce que je suis heureux en mer, et peut-être pour sauver mon ame. . . "
Dockhead is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2016, 19:56   #88
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Cruising the Gulf of Mexico.
Boat: 1980 Morgan 415
Posts: 1,439
Re: Go solo, go now ... or wait a few more years?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Very important point about crew qualification.



Crew who is a good sailor is wonderful to have, but crew which at least has two hands and a good attitude is already 90% of the battle. You can teach almost anyone to stand a watch, and that is already an enormous help on a long passage.





I have often taken inexperienced crew with me, often with great results. Big caveat about totally inexperienced crew, however, is that the risk of the person coming down with debilitating seasickness, or a panic attack, or just simply hating being offshore, is much greater.

I too am happy with inexperienced crew. As for them wanting to jump ship, a 100 mile first hop gives them a little time to change their mind a few times.


I'd rather be lucky than good.
__________________
Working on spending my children's inheritance.
Cap Erict3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2016, 19:37   #89
Registered User
 
Ribbit's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 655
Re: Go solo, go now ... or wait a few more years?

Awww I think if you don't have an adventure with your present boat, you may always regret it.

So do it a fun way. Can you be ready by May 15th?

JESTER AZORES CHALLENGE 2016

Start off western end of Plymouth Breakwater at 1200 noon BST (TBC) on
Sunday 15th May 2016
(HW Devonport 1603 BST - neaps)

http://www.jesterinfo.org/


I really wanted to do this, this year, but no boat I looked at over here, that I would have wanted to keep, would have been possible for me to get ready in time (I got really tempted by an insanely beautiful impractical boat though - This is what it looked like before all the upgrades and cabin addition were done http://www.yachtworld.co.uk/boats/19...m#.VpRn4I_XK70).

After a week of partying in the Azores, I think you will be ready for the rest of the journey to the Caribbean.

Only thing though, by the time you get to the Azores, arriving in the Caribbean will be the start of Hurricane season. So maybe go down to the Canaries for the Summer?

Is your boat tiller or wheel steering? If tiller, the Autohelm 1000+ works really well, even in really bad weather.

At last I am chasing a boat (Yaaaay!), in Florida. Wheel steering though, so 4 x as much for an Evolution EV-100 Wheel Sail Autopilot (but I am definitely going to get it, I can't afford the price of a windvane this year).

Autopilot means R&R. If it gets rough, chuck a drogue out, go below, and dunk biscuits in tea while reading a book. Or knit a storm jib or crochet an anchor or something.

You obviously like yourself enough not to worry about being on your own. There's always downsides to doing what other people do when out together anyway (nearly got me killed a few times on a motorbike for instance, following a friend overtaking, and when I got past what I was overtaking, they weren't paying attention and shut the door on me, by hogging the white line - so I soon learned to let them all go off how they wanted, leaving me clear to do my own thing safely).

It's pretty clear you want to do it, it's just stage fright before the start, is all.

So when the curtain's up, or the starter gun sounds, get stuck in with gusto, style, and elegance.

If you decide to skip round the hurricane track and land up out of their way say in Trinidad, the first pint's on me.
__________________

__________________
Ribbit is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Would you sail now or wait until Spring 2016? Holland to the Med AFKASAP Monohull Sailboats 48 22-11-2015 14:58
Crew Available: Charleston-Intermediate Sailor That Can't Wait to Learn More Chloe C. Crew Archives 5 14-05-2014 20:03
To Wait or Not to Wait? capngeo Marine Electronics 10 20-09-2011 14:25



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 13:40.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.