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Old 06-04-2015, 10:32   #1
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Single Hand? Is it possible?

Hey everybody,
My first post and questions? I am retiring and looking to buy a sailboat. In my previous younger life I built sailboats and lived aboard for a year. Have dreamed of returning to the sailing life. Now is the time. I have some questions for those experienced.
1. Going to be solo, until I meet the right woman.
2. Looking at 35-37' boats, monohull, full-keel.
Goal is to buy in the NE, take the Atlantic coastalway down to Florida and cross gulfstream there to Bahamas.

???Is it feasible to do this solo? If not, can certainly find friends to join me. Is it feasible to handle that size boat solo? Is it safe/feasible to sail the islands solo?
I appreciate any feedback. I hear alot of stories both pro-con about it. But, I want an adventure and warm weather.
Thanks,
John
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Old 06-04-2015, 10:44   #2
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Re: Single Hand? Is it possible?

Sure. Learn how to use a midship spring line for docking and you're there.

Docking 101 DOCKING 101 -- Mid Ship Cleat and Aft Spring [includes a link in Reply #1 to a very good single handed topic]

Single Handing 101 single handing

Single Handing 101.1 Midship Cleats Pictures Midship cleat PHOTOS / Flix

Safe journey, fair winds.
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Old 06-04-2015, 10:44   #3
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pirate Re: Single Hand? Is it possible?

Of course it is.. just take things easy till you get the feel of her.. how she handles under sail and motor.. which way she kicks in reverse.. how far to lose way etc etc...
You'll have a ball..
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Old 06-04-2015, 10:51   #4
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Re: Single Hand? Is it possible?

I single hand a 35', 24000 lb mono. No risk of broken telephone if you're single handing.

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Old 06-04-2015, 10:57   #5
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Re: Single Hand? Is it possible?

Alain Colas sailed this 246ft boat single handed for a transat:-

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Old 06-04-2015, 11:05   #6
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Re: Single Hand? Is it possible?

I think your size is pretty good for single handing. What do you get going from 35 ft to 42? ........a second head.
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Old 06-04-2015, 11:17   #7
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Re: Single Hand? Is it possible?

Thanks for the input. I am spending my time now reading posts like this and learning all I can.
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Old 06-04-2015, 11:28   #8
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Re: Single Hand? Is it possible?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
I think your size is pretty good for single handing. What do you get going from 35 ft to 42? ........a second head.
Well put.

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Old 06-04-2015, 16:12   #9
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Re: Single Hand? Is it possible?

Sailsarefull,

Welcome aboard.

Well, yes, that's a nice size boat to manage by yourself, even smaller would be good at haul out time.

However, the critical part of the whole deal is you. Are you content to take the risks of not maintaining a proper watch? taking crew (friends you mentioned) can address that, for the overnight parts. Is your physical health good? Are you reasonably strong? I'm thinking you understand boats, but what do you know about seamanship? How good are you at figuring out weather patterns?

Please excuse the somewhat confronting tone, but there's a lot of "sure you can do it, do it now" advice on CF, when someone then leaves ill prepared and has to be rescued:
how to encourage, but also bring up important issues is my problem. The ultimate fact is that being out on the water, you're in an environment that can kill you and it's up to you to make it as safe as you want it to be--on land, you may walk away.

Being able to keep up your boat is going to help a lot, and your projected itinerary is not too challenging, in season.

Ann, cruising full time since March 1989
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Old 06-04-2015, 16:25   #10
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Re: Single Hand? Is it possible?

I just wonder if a full keel and solo is a good match especially for someone not so experienced.

Sailing is no problem, but docking a full keeled yacht must (I assume) be more challenging than with a fin keel. My father's full keel yacht was a pig to manoeuvre into a dock. To me that is avoidable stress you don't need when solo and newish to sailing.
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Old 06-04-2015, 16:30   #11
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Re: Single Hand? Is it possible?

there are plenty of older full keel classics in the NE to choose from. solo is feasible .. actually you will end up being captain and need be able to single hand your boat. there is plenty of warm weather (and retirees) in Florida and the Bahamas
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Old 06-04-2015, 16:38   #12
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Re: Single Hand? Is it possible?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hoppy View Post
I just wonder if a full keel and solo is a good match especially for someone not so experienced.

Sailing is no problem, but docking a full keeled yacht must (I assume) be more challenging than with a fin keel. My father's full keel yacht was a pig to manoeuvre into a dock. To me that is avoidable stress you don't need when solo and newish to sailing.
I prefer a heavier boat when I'm single handing. They're more predictable and they don't get blown around as much. They give you more time to stop, put it in neutral and run and grab a line before they blow away.

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Old 06-04-2015, 17:16   #13
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Re: Single Hand? Is it possible?

I don't think he said anything about crossing oceans..... I think a full keel is great for soloing...
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Old 06-04-2015, 17:30   #14
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Re: Single Hand? Is it possible?

In my opinion, you can certainly single-hand a boat of that size. I have a 31 footer and actually look forward to single-handing, for the peace and quiet. Sometimes it's nice to have crew. Variety is good!

I do find that the forces on the sheets are towards the upper limit of what I can handle. In that respect, smaller boats are better. But a 35-37 should be OK.

For single handing I've made a few modifications : self-tailing main halyard winch with halyard back to the cockpit, solid vang with sheet back to the cockpit, lead the reefing lines back as well (2 lines per reef). An autopilot is nice. The one mod I would like now is an electric windlass.

There's something to be said for buying a boat set up for single-handing, as opposed to doing it yourself.

A cautious approach would indicate a buildup to your planned voyage to the Bahamas, over a reasonable period, where you get used to the boat, optimise the setup and shake out any glitches, fit the boat out for ocean crossing, etc.
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Old 06-04-2015, 17:49   #15
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Re: Single Hand? Is it possible?

full keel tracks better. nicer for single handling. like boatman says build up your skills a step at a time

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