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Old 22-07-2014, 23:44   #1
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One Hand a Big Schooner Anyone?

An 87 year-old sailer, schooner skipper told me about his one handing a 63 foot schooner.


Anyone else have that blessed experience?
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Old 22-07-2014, 23:48   #2
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Re: One Hand a Big Schooner Anyone?

This fellow is handling the schooner OK by himself. The second fellow is just keeping him company. Unless one gets into extras, it is merely a matter of one additional sail beyond a sloop and no more than a ketch.

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Old 23-07-2014, 00:22   #3
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Re: One Hand a Big Schooner Anyone?

And the sail arrangement probably makes it an easy yacht to manage - can pick and choose yer sails for easiest sailing.


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Old 23-07-2014, 00:29   #4
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Re: One Hand a Big Schooner Anyone?

Back in the early 90's, my father and I sailed Panope (she was schooner rigged back then) in an annual schooner regatta. One of the races was called the "iron man": Beach start, row dingy to anchored vessel, raise anchor, hoist sail, sail around a nearby mark and reverse process with the finish line back on beach - 100% single hand.

My father won the competition one year and I the next. We were successful on account of our ability to row, handle the anchor and get underway quickly - not because of supierior sailing speed.

The real iron man was the skipper of the schooner Alcyone who did complete the course in repectable time. I remember him doing lots of running up and down her 65 feet of deck between the helm and her two masts. It was amazing to watch his display of superb skill and brute strength.

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Old 23-07-2014, 00:29   #5
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Re: One Hand a Big Schooner Anyone?

That (post #2) looks like a 63-foot motorboat to me!

It is totally do-able to singlehand this ship under sail, but it does take some skill, and some endurance. The 87 year-old part has nothing to do with it.

I hope!
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Old 23-07-2014, 00:36   #6
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Re: One Hand a Big Schooner Anyone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by markpierce View Post
This fellow is handling the schooner OK by himself. The second fellow is just keeping him company. Unless one gets into extras, it is merely a matter of one additional sail beyond a sloop and no more than a ketch.
And he has the advantage that each individual sail is considerably smaller, lighter and easier to handle than the sails on an equivalent sized sloop.
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Old 23-07-2014, 04:09   #7
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Re: One Hand a Big Schooner Anyone?

I'm sorry. I don't understand what you mean that it's just one additional sail and just like a ketch.

My question had to do with SAILING the schooner, not motoroing it.


My skipper had the main and two head sails up. He said he simply couldn't hoist the staysails and hold the helm by himself. Because after he got the main, the foresail and the jib up, the auto piolet was under too heavy a helm.

Do I have my staysails and my foresails mixed up? He couldn't get the middle one up by himself.
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Old 23-07-2014, 04:44   #8
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Re: One Hand a Big Schooner Anyone?

I spent a couple of seasons as mate on a 100 foot brigantine running up from NZ to the islands. More or less a schooner with a square rigged foremast. The main was a bear at times, by far the hardest sail to handle, 1500 square foot and about half a ton or so. It took at least 12 people to set, and all hands to reef. but the good thing with it being aft was that it could be set and dropped at anchor, both at leasure. We often left it up for short stops, and even a couple of times left it set overnight while at anchor for a early getaway.

An interesting rig with many good qualities. Sadly less and less seen. A modern varient I used on Blizzard was great for a bigger vessel. She was a 64 alloy boat with equal height masts, and a masthead main staysail. Very powerfull, easy to handle and chafe free with the main stowed. and would have been fine singlehanded with some common sense.
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Old 23-07-2014, 06:26   #9
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Re: One Hand a Big Schooner Anyone?

A friend of ours delivered his schooner from West Indies to the US. She was about 60', I think.

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Old 23-07-2014, 07:15   #10
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Re: One Hand a Big Schooner Anyone?

We left 8 yrs ago, 42,000 nms ago on our 64' OD schooner with my girlfriend and 6 yr old "Coco". I have to say it's been pretty easy to sail out at sea. Many times I would have 5 sails (including spinnaker) set before the girls would have their arses out of bed when getting underway. My most unpleasant job is flaking our 13oz Marconi mainsail. I would have no problem doing a passage single hand on her.
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Old 23-07-2014, 11:59   #11
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Re: One Hand a Big Schooner Anyone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ryon View Post
That (post #2) looks like a 63-foot motorboat to me!

It is totally do-able to singlehand this ship under sail, but it does take some skill, and some endurance. The 87 year-old part has nothing to do with it.

I hope!
The post with those guys on the motor was definately not the question of my post Nice boat, and the photograph is a pleasure to look at.


The 87 year-old part was an indication of the experience and endurance of the skipper. He did say once he got the staysails up, with the main up; he couldn't manage the foresail.
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Old 23-07-2014, 12:07   #12
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Re: One Hand a Big Schooner Anyone?

I know a guy..... But I'm not that old... yet
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Old 23-07-2014, 12:07   #13
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Re: One Hand a Big Schooner Anyone?

Ah! This is the encouragement I was soliciting. 64 feet and sailing it single handed.


It HAS been said many times that once the sails are set on a schooner there's little need for tacking. The skill here is navagation I'm sure.
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Old 23-07-2014, 17:51   #14
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Re: One Hand a Big Schooner Anyone?

I admire those that can do this. I'm busy enough in my Valiant, and all lines come to the cockpit!
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Old 23-07-2014, 21:19   #15
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Re: One Hand a Big Schooner Anyone?

Keep in mind the endurance is needed in racing, not traveling up and down the coast which is what they were principally used for.

Head sails go up last of the main set of sails, otherwise you have a lee helm which is why the autopilot can't keep up. You want a weather helm while hoisting.

Main first, then mizzen then heads, then tops, then stays'ls.

A gaff rigged schooner is much easier to handle with smaller sails with less tension on them while being hoisted because they spill wind very well.

This is exactly what I am building, a 65ft LOD version of Buehler's Archimedes.


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