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Old 13-08-2009, 22:42   #16
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I like the idea of a bigger boat 25 vs 21, but I think I am leaning more toward the trailerable 21, just because it will make getting the boat in and out easier when the need arises. Plus the 25 needs both sails which could run some pretty good money. Money that i could spend on some intstructional lessons.

Used sails are available if money is kinda tight. Trailering can be a hassle in terms of time on water. If you are close to the sailing area leaving it in the water will be a bonus in terms of getting out more often.

There is a huge difference in 21 feet vs. 25 feet.

Single handing a 25 footer is no problem. "Setting it up" for easier single handing if it is not already is not that difficult.

If you get the 21 footer you will be yearning for 25 feet soon. Of course if you get the 25 footer you will be yearning for the 27 footer, then the 30, then the 32...

<sigh>
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Old 13-08-2009, 23:07   #17
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Wow that incredible. I would never have even thought something that large could be single handed. Well thanks for the info. I guess going by what you and the others have replied, it really all boils down to experience and rigging. I like the idea of a bigger boat 25 vs 21, but I think I am leaning more toward the trailerable 21, just because it will make getting the boat in and out easier when the need arises. Plus the 25 needs both sails which could run some pretty good money. Money that i could spend on some intstructional lessons. I just hope I don't turn it into an accident waiting to happen.

You wont...it aint rocket science.
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Old 14-08-2009, 03:11   #18
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The Pearson is a real boat. Built strong enough to cross oceans should you be so inclined. They are old but were layed up using real fiberglass and lots of it. The keel is firmly attached to the boat and will stay down there keeping the boat upright. The McGregor is made from recycled Tupperware with a swing keel that can and will swing up when you need it the most. You are talking two entirely levels of construction and ability. Just pound on the hulls of the boats, think you'll know real quick which is the stronger boat.

As far as single handing, 25' is a piece of cake with a little practice and possibly some modifications so you can reach the strings from the helm. One thing you'll need to single hand is some form of self steering. I like windvanes but a tiller autopilot will be cheaper.

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Old 14-08-2009, 03:33   #19
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From my own experience, the biggest problem singlehandling my 25'er came when I needed to leave the helm to go up front to raise and lower the main (jib roller furled). Locking the tiller never did work very well, so an autopilot would be my first recommendation. Secondly, I would invest the additional money in routing all lines to the cockpit, though in my case this would have meant installing a whole bunch of expensive hardware, including winches.

In this respect the biggest difference between 25 and say 35 is that the smaller boat requires more fiddling with the sailtrim to deal with puffs and such.

Docking alone is easy at 25'. Just keep it dead slow and have bow & stern lines to hand as you step off. At 35', you can't manhandle the boat to the same exent, so correct positioning is the key.

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Old 14-08-2009, 05:43   #20
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Yep, ain't that the truth. Our 93 foot rig likes to go where it wants when slowing to dock.

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My only problem is getting it back into the slip. That's what dock hands are for.
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Old 14-08-2009, 20:06   #21
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I don't know what you are looking at and it would help if we really knew. As mentioned before the Pearson Triton is 28'-6" long and the Ariel and Commander by Pearson are 25'-6" and all three have a long keel. If the choice is between the Triton and the MacGregor 21, go for the Triton. It is built like a tank sails OK, has as much room as the Macgregor 21 and with the longer waterline and greater sail area should sail faster.

I personally would prefer a boat between 28' and 40' to single hand. If a boat is too small it may be easy to sail, but it is slow and too frisky. They move too easily due to weight shifting as you move around, or when they get slapped by a wave.

Now, you have said the 25' boat was a fin keel, so it's obviously not a Triton. You will have to give better data if you want a worthwhile answer. OOps that sounded harsh and thats not intended. Please check on the 25' boat and come again.

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Old 15-08-2009, 05:51   #22
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As far as actually sailing the boat goes, if you have it well rigged for single-handing (roller furling sails, all lines led to the cockpit, and electric winches if needed), and you have the skills, you could handle a pretty large boat--50'-60'--no problem.

For docking, I think mid-to-upper 30s is a good rule of thumb. Mine is almost 40' overall with the bowsprit, and weighs about 12 tons. It has pretty significant windage with it's high freeboard, dodger and bimini, so fending off in a stiff breeze can be a challenge by myself. We never spent much time in marinas, and the slip at our home on a creek off the Chesapeake Bay was a "drive through", so that all helped. I only got into trouble once in a marina, and that was due to my own stupidity--shouldn't have happened.
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Old 15-08-2009, 06:18   #23
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Hud3 has it right on, but you need to read the post at least twice to absorb all the good simple advice. I single handed my 45 footer, (twenty tons) many times and actually looked forward to bringing her into marinas on my own—just to see the look on some of the other yachties faces, especially the ones I was sliding in next to. The secret, as Hud3 says, is set-up, planning and anticipation—for everything you can think of which can go wrong. There should be double lines on all corners when docking, including a heaving line. If you never need them, so much the better, but when you do you will be damn glad you set them up.
The best advice is to read, listen, learn and practice, which leads to knowledge, experience and skill—plus of course a good autopilot, a reliable engine and a whopping great bow thruster!
Good sailing to all.
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Old 15-08-2009, 15:35   #24
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the above 2 are good---is all up to the level of expertise of the sailor and the boat----any size is good for single handing if the sailor is able to do it----
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Old 15-08-2009, 15:49   #25
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well kcmarcet i have a beneteau 500 clipper and regularly sail it solo but i wouldn't if it had different rigging to what its got i have a facnor mast rigging so this system makes it easy and plus i practised a few times in mooring solo and after awhile i got use to the prop walk and now i no exactly where to place the yacht on the water when mooring
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Old 15-08-2009, 16:27   #26
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how big is too big

Hi,

Mine is 26 feet long. 7500 pounds displacement. A perfect first boat but a bit too small for offshore and liveaboard (for two). In retrospective, I would have gone for 30-34 footer.

cheers,
b.
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Old 16-08-2009, 10:27   #27
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Thanks for all your advice folks. The Pearson sold a few days ago, so I went with the boat that I was leaning towards anyway. The 21' Macgregor. I just got back from picking it up. It needs a little tlc and then it will be ready for the water. I figure I should be ready for my first experience with it in 2 or 3 weeks.
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Old 17-02-2011, 13:55   #28
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Single handing

Have single-handed a Valiant 32 and 40 for over over quarter century and i am now 79 years of age. No major problems as long as you are mindfully of reducing sail promptly.
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Old 01-06-2014, 06:12   #29
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Re: How Big Is Too Big to Singlehand ?

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Originally Posted by svquest2 View Post
I don't know what you are looking at and it would help if we really knew. ... Now, you have said the 25' boat was a fin keel, so it's obviously not a Triton.

Joe S

For the record, the 25-foot Pearson he was considering actually was a "Triton", built in 1984 and designed by Gary Mull (according to Sailboatdata dot com). Pearson bought the molds for its '80s Triton line of sailboats from US Yachts/Bayliner. Not many of these "Tritons" were built. They were lightweight, fin-keel toys, not offshore boats.
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Old 01-06-2014, 18:24   #30
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Re: How Big Is Too Big to Singlehand ?

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Originally Posted by kcmarcet View Post
Wow that incredible. I would never have even thought something that large could be single handed. Well thanks for the info. I guess going by what you and the others have replied, it really all boils down to experience and rigging. I like the idea of a bigger boat 25 vs 21, but I think I am leaning more toward the trailerable 21, just because it will make getting the boat in and out easier when the need arises. Plus the 25 needs both sails which could run some pretty good money. Money that i could spend on some intstructional lessons. I just hope I don't turn it into an accident waiting to happen.

I was in your situation of deciding on about 30 ft boat on a mooring or a 21 ft trailer sailer, which I have now. Easy and cheap as chips to maintain in my yard. The trick I found for singlehanded was have a furling jib, all line to the cockpit and dont have too much sail out-a common fault. To 15 kts useing jib and main, 15 to 25 kts main only, 25 to 30 kts first reef main, 30 plus kts second reef main. Better to have too little sail than too much if sailing alone.

PS- Don't buy a Macgregor. If it is like the one they sell here, it sails like a pig. Nice inside but is really a motor boat with sails.
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