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Old 10-05-2012, 05:30   #1
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Singlehand an Ingrid 38 Cutter?

How long do you think it would take an average fellow, 62 and in reasonable good shape, to learn to safely and reasonably singlehand the above mentioned boat. He is a newer sailor but with gusto and a great ability to learn. He desires the additional living space over a Westsail 32 but is worried about ever being able to enjoy the lovely Ingrid. Carrying it a step further, will he be able to handle the Westsail? He needs to singlehand but will of course take any training needed. He has already been training and sailing with a friend on a Hunter 37 Legend. He has spent much of his life on or near water and is 62 years wise, slow and cautious. He plans to live on board also. His cruising ground for the Ingrid would be the Mexican Riviera and the Bahamas for the Westsail. The Ingrid costs 25% more than the Westsail but both are fair deals. thanks so much, for considering this possibly silly question.
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Old 10-05-2012, 06:25   #2
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Re: Singlehand an Ingrid 38 Cutter?

Hi: The Ingrid is indeed an eye catcher,but way too much boat for an inexperienced singlehander and probably low down on any experienced single handers list also. It's not so much the open water bit that works against the singlehander on a larger boat but all the inshore stuff,bridges,docking ,kedging off when aground ,heavy spars,sails,complications,costs, crew problems ,etc. etc.etc..
Most singlehanders that i have met have boats in the 30' range for good reason. And they go places! As others will tell you here : It's all compromises. If you want a roomy live aboard and can afford the dockage ,maybe go big, but you will not be going any where very often.
If you truly want to sail off to tropical climes,then go as small as you can stand and start an extensive program to get out on the water with your chosen boat and acquire something approaching expertise.
Do I think you can you can " pull this off" ? Oh yea, but get yourself a handy boat.

Good Luck
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Old 10-05-2012, 08:26   #3
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Re: Singlehand an Ingrid 38 Cutter?

Sounds like you've got the right attitude, so go for it.

An autopilot, roller furling headsail, and a reefing system for the main that you can easily handle will make it much easier to handle alone. Just start off slowly and deliberately to gain experience in progressively more challenging conditions. Maybe take an experienced sailor along at first to watch and advise, but let you do all the sailing. I learned to competently single hand my Island Packet 380 in a season. My previous boats were an ODay 222 and a Hobie 16.
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Old 10-05-2012, 08:46   #4
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Re: Singlehand an Ingrid 38 Cutter?

I'm more than a decade older than you, and have been singlehanding my 42' sloop for 23 years.....up and down the ICW, on the Chesapeake, in Maine, and for 11 years in the Eastern Caribbean.

Single-handing is no big deal if:

1. you have the right attitude and experience, and if you plan well; and
2. if the boat is set up properly.

Over the years, I added a roller-furling genoa and, later, a roller-furling boom. All sheets lead to the cockpit, and I can comfortably handle the boat in most any conditions. A reliable autopilot is very desirable as well; I have a W-H P3C with hydraulic ram.

Offshore, though, and on longer passages I like to have a minimum of 3 crew. Fatigue is your enemy; it's good to have backup. Inshore and coasting where you have options for route and stopovers/anchoring, etc., the extra crew is not so necessary.

With a cutter, folks often worry about how they're going to handle both headsails when tacking in close situations. The answer is: you don't have to! Just sheet the staysail amidships and forget it. Just deal with the outer jib/genoa.

I'd say, go for it. The Ingrid will have more room for liveaboard and is a faster boat than the Wetsnail, with lovely lines by Archer/Atkin. But, it will also be more expensive to maintain.

Bill
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Old 10-05-2012, 08:47   #5
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Re: Singlehand an Ingrid 38 Cutter?

I speak from experience having owned an Ingrid 38. In my opinion?...NO WAY, if he is going offshore!!! It's 26,000 lbs. boat with 900ft. of sail. I usually had at least one experienced crew member with me when I sailed her. At the time, I was 52. Now if he just wants to day sail or over-night, that is a different story.
Why not get a vessel that sails better with less rig? It is a lot easier to learn how to live on a smaller boat than it is to sail a larger one. Remember this is just all opinion on my part, but a bad experience can turn a person away from the lifestyle where a good experience can enhance it.
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Old 10-05-2012, 09:49   #6
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I have to effectively sail my 42' boat single handed as my wife is full time looking after two kids under 5 while we are on passage. Let me tell you it is tiring. If I was single I would go for a boat under 30', my last boat - when I was single - was 26' waterline and 32' overall and she went everywhere. It felt like a lot of space for a single man and I never felt like I was camping. She had standing room which is easy to find for a guy who is 5'8" but something I would say is important for long term cruising...

The smallest boat you feel comfortable in is a good way to look at a criteria for single handing,otherwise you will find yourself avoiding the harder passages and possibly limiting your cruising experience...
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Old 10-05-2012, 10:10   #7
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Re: Singlehand an Ingrid 38 Cutter?

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I have to effectively sail my 42' boat single handed as my wife is full time looking after two kids under 5 while we are on passage. Let me tell you it is tiring. If I was single I would go for a boat under 30', my last boat - when I was single - was 26' waterline and 32' overall and she went everywhere. It felt like a lot of space for a single man and I never felt like I was camping. She had standing room which is easy to find for a guy who is 5'8" but something I would say is important for long term cruising...

The smallest boat you feel comfortable in is a good way to look at a criteria for single handing,otherwise you will find yourself avoiding the harder passages and possibly limiting your cruising experience...
+1~ Now you know why I went from my Ingrid to my HR 35. 1/2 the weight. 1/2 the rigging. 1/4 the cost to operate and 1/4 the hassle.
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Old 10-05-2012, 10:11   #8
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Re: Singlehand an Ingrid 38 Cutter?

The basics are the same 32 ft or 38 ft.: think conservative, plan well ahead when docking etc. Handling sails, cranking winches etc takes a lot more energy on a big boat. I think he's on the right track with those boats though... long keel will keep on track easily while he's up top reefing etc. I've heard Ingrids can be somewhat tender though...? The 32 would be a lot easier to handle....
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Old 10-05-2012, 11:44   #9
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Re: Singlehand an Ingrid 38 Cutter?

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The basics are the same 32 ft or 38 ft.: think conservative, plan well ahead when docking etc. Handling sails, cranking winches etc takes a lot more energy on a big boat. I think he's on the right track with those boats though... long keel will keep on track easily while he's up top reefing etc. I've heard Ingrids can be somewhat tender though...? The 32 would be a lot easier to handle....
The W-32 and I-38 might be the same in looks but try docking an Ingrid alone, downwind in a shared finger with a 8ft (yes, thats right 8ft) bow sprit. There is a big difference. All the safety and planning can't prevent chaos when the crap hits the fan.
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Old 10-05-2012, 11:51   #10
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Re: Singlehand an Ingrid 38 Cutter?

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Originally Posted by Celestialsailor View Post
The W-32 and I-38 might be the same in looks but try docking an Ingrid alone, downwind in a shared finger with a 8ft (yes, thats right 8ft) bow sprit. There is a big difference. All the safety and planning can't prevent chaos when the crap hits the fan.
Yeah, docking any long keel boat. with a bowsprit and with poor steerage is an issue. But adding bodies to the crew really doesnt help that.... unless you're willing to let your crew start "jumping the gap"! I' m thinking in Mexico or the Caribe he will be anchoring out.... maybe it's a bad assumption.
For me it's the Capn Ron approach: "Come in hot or come in NOT!"
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Old 10-05-2012, 12:18   #11
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Re: Singlehand an Ingrid 38 Cutter?

To answer your question,simpley put you are always learing,experience makes the new learning faster the been there done it brings everything into focus at critical times,One needs to start by learing the rules of the road,then you intemidation factor will lessen.All boats regardless of size work the same way,hit something hard something breakes,You have a Good and thoughtfull attitude you won't get in to much trouble with that attituide.I,just returned from a 1200 mile sloug down the AICW in a 38 ft Cabo Rico my prievous experience on the AICW was NILL,currents yep wind that too dock aplenty problems small I,don't care if its 32 or 38 bad currents and bad wind will be a PITA,a Westsail 32 is not a small boat measure boats by displacement.You are asking for a measure of confidence you already have just use it,it will all come to gether.As a last coment if going offshore for an extendd passage do you think anything is different on 32 ft vs 38 except your comfort level on the larger boat.By the way I,am 66.
Safe sailing to you
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Old 10-05-2012, 12:26   #12
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Re: Singlehand an Ingrid 38 Cutter?

I agree with Celestial. Much easier to handle a smaller boat when you are alone. Docking, mooring, steering, sail handling. I can't think of a more arduous activity than single-handing a monster of a boat. I'm only 5 years older than the OP but already can attest to the fact that I'm no longer up to the task. I don't want to go off-shore without a crew anymore and not just for the work related reasons.
Although you might think the Westsail is slower, it isn't that much slower and both boats require the right conditions to kick up their heels. 12-15k winds on the beam.
kind regards,
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Old 10-05-2012, 12:30   #13
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Re: Singlehand an Ingrid 38 Cutter?

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
Yeah, docking any long keel boat. with a bowsprit and with poor steerage is an issue. But adding bodies to the crew really doesnt help that.... unless you're willing to let your crew start "jumping the gap"! I' m thinking in Mexico or the Caribe he will be anchoring out.... maybe it's a bad assumption.
For me it's the Capn Ron approach: "Come in hot or come in NOT!"

Ha ha..."Leaned that driven the Saratoga...yup the Old Sara". I brought "Faiaoahe" my beloved I-38 into San Leandro with 15kts on the ass. I swung around into the slip, then full reverse 30 ft from the stern of that Grand Banks 42. As the sprit swung through his stern rail, all you could hear was...'penk!...penk!...penk! As I wiped out 3 of his stern rail stantions. His wife was on-board watching.
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Old 10-05-2012, 14:12   #14
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Re: Singlehand an Ingrid 38 Cutter?

Geez, a Westsail 32 isn't exactly a dainty daysailer. If you can singlehand that, you can probably handle the Ingrid if you follow Cheechako's basic advice. Plan ahead, think it through, don't rush.

I singlehand my Bristol with some frequency, and I'm older than you. The hardest thing is picking up a mooring in a crowded anchorage.
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Old 10-05-2012, 15:50   #15
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Re: Singlehand an Ingrid 38 Cutter?

if i can dock a 41 formosa, then anyone can dock a 38 ingrid. much naysaying--but sailing is not docking a boat. sailing is sailing. duh.
i say--dont ask--GO FOR IT. you CAN do it--practice and have a ball whille you are at it.
shouldnt be any harder than solo sailing a formosa 41, except ye dont have that second mast.....
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