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Old 09-02-2013, 10:42   #1
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How Old to Sail Single Handed

I am 66 years old and as far as I know am in good health-touch wood-my question is: i currently sail a C and C 27 Mark V, mostly on Lake Ontario. It is very easy for me to sail single handed, even flying the asymmetrical-i have no difficulty docking it-i am thinking of buying a Beneteau First 305-just about 30' in length.

Does anyone thing that if i intended to sail well into my 70's I should stick with the smaller boat?
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Old 09-02-2013, 10:45   #2
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Re: how old to sail single handed

You won't have any more difficulty single handing a 30 footer than your 27. Go for it!
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Old 09-02-2013, 10:49   #3
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Re: how old to sail single handed

There's not that much difference between a 27' & 30'..I'm a couple of years older than you (& not in very good shape) & I singlehand my Newport 30 with no problem.

You have to think ahead, plan your moves & even though I can't scamper about the foredeck like I used to, if I give myself plenty of time, I manage to get it done..that includes going to the mast to raise/lower/reef the main.
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Old 09-02-2013, 10:51   #4
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Re: how old to sail single handed

Freedom to do what you like, is priceless. As we age, we tend to be forgetful and we tend to get tired sooner. Perhaps, you should start sailing with another person, just in-case you don't feel like doing anything for a day or so. Mauritz
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Old 09-02-2013, 10:53   #5
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I am older and I do single handle my 35 endeavor

It's not the age it's the way your boat is rigged
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Old 09-02-2013, 11:02   #6
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Re: how old to sail single handed

A 30 is still a pretty easy boat to sail.. and the stability of a newer ,beamier design may actually be an assett.
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Old 09-02-2013, 11:07   #7
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Re: how old to sail single handed

Sailed solo to Hawaii on my 35' boat at 66. Still sailing it here in Hawaii. Planning on a solo sail to Alaska in '14 for my 70th birthday.
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Old 09-02-2013, 11:18   #8
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Re: how old to sail single handed

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Sailed solo to Hawaii on my 35' boat at 66. Still sailing it here in Hawaii. Planning on a solo sail to Alaska in '14 for my 70th birthday.
I'm 56 and selling my condo. Thinking of buying a boat I can single-hand live aboard instead of move to another place on dry land. My question is, if you are single-handing in blue water, what do you do about standing watch? I do like my sleep!
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Old 09-02-2013, 11:19   #9
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Re: how old to sail single handed

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Originally Posted by Alecadi View Post
I am older and I do single handle my 35 endeavor

It's not the age it's the way your boat is rigged
and I think also a big difference between starting at 66 (and older) and simply continuing on - especially on a boat you are already familiar with.

I dunno about OP's specific upgrade but I would be thinking ahead 15 years to "what if I am a bit doddery on the the pins?", and therefore how are the sidedecks and simply getting onboard (and off!).

In any event very likely that the desire will go before the absolute physical ability (when things become more of a PITA than fun - time to stop, whatever age or activity).

FWIW, me father is coming up to 80, has been talking about going back to sail for a few years now - has had a 33 foot motorboat for the last 20 years, nowadays mostly singlehanded (or with me) but the days of months abroad are long over (crew dead!). A sail boat probably will not happen as just not quite enough enthusiasm anymore (if he has stuck with sail would likely still be doing it), plus would mean selling the motorboat (2 boats to look after would be pushing it at any age!) and after 20 years of Papa DOJ TLC she is a minter .....this year she will be used as a Holiday cottage here locally, not because he is incapable of using her but simply because not so much fun as it was - that mostly centered around crew being dead or in nursing homes (too happily in there )........... and in any event has other stuff to occupy his time, including a Motorhome that wanders off to Europe for varying periods each year. Oh, and work , he is saving up for a long retirement .......mine .
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Old 09-02-2013, 11:25   #10
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Re: how old to sail single handed

IAM...Consider sailing as part of a crew, or consider having a crew on board. There are very few alternatives. Mauritz
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Old 09-02-2013, 11:31   #11
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Re: how old to sail single handed

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Originally Posted by iyamwhatiyam View Post
I'm 56 and selling my condo. Thinking of buying a boat I can single-hand live aboard instead of move to another place on dry land. My question is, if you are single-handing in blue water, what do you do about standing watch? I do like my sleep!
It's tough. Especially for those of us that "like our sleep". It's very tough for me even when offshore as a couple. I tend to never sleep well . Once in rough weather for 2.5 days I never slept. Then I "woke up" in the middle of talking with my spouse. (fell alseep on my feet) At that point I told her to take it...
As a single hander all you can do is have a egg timer and take your chances. Wake up every half hour or so and scan the horizon. Or some just go to sleep and figure the odds are with them.... I saw on boat on the west shore of baja; the single hander had went to sleep and sailed her ashore! They were stripping the boat as we passed.. talked with them on the VHF.
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Old 09-02-2013, 11:44   #12
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Re: how old to sail single handed

I am 70 and still single hand. Daysailing single handed is more of a matter of your skill level and physical condition. Longer passages seem to be easier because I don't sleep all that well anymore anyway. I rely on the Monitor windvane, AIS, radar and stay far enough offshore to be out of the coastal fishing boats. twenty minute naps get through quit well but by the third or fourth day I am ready to take a break. My only problem is that my wife says it makes her too nervous even though I check in one a day by SAT phone.
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Old 09-02-2013, 12:11   #13
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Re: how old to sail single handed

I,m 63 and just retired, only a gosoon to some posting here..
Love single handing my 26ft Centaur along the Irish coast.
Gives me hope I,ll make the Med yet.
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Old 09-02-2013, 12:25   #14
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pirate Re: how old to sail single handed

I sleep....
Its unavoidable... its just a matter of weighing up the options... if I go to sleep I run a slight risk of getting run down...
If I don't sleep... as I get increasingly tired and stressed the risk levels of my making a stupid mistake that breaks something... or me..
So Far... So Good...
Yeah..! Yeah..! I know... I'm a liability... a danger to others...
Ain't we ALL...
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Old 09-02-2013, 12:50   #15
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Re: how old to sail single handed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Black View Post
I am 66 years old and as far as I know am in good health-touch wood-my question is: i currently sail a C and C 27 Mark V, mostly on Lake Ontario. It is very easy for me to sail single handed, even flying the asymmetrical-i have no difficulty docking it-i am thinking of buying a Beneteau First 305-just about 30' in length.

Does anyone thing that if i intended to sail well into my 70's I should stick with the smaller boat?
This wandered off into a how do you sleep offshore discussion...

Get the bigger boat, you won't regret it. We stepped up from a C25 to our C34 14 years ago, I'm 67 now. Much easier to sail this boat. Docking? Midships spring line takes all the jumping onto the dock completely out of the equation. I broke my leg skiing four years ago, and still sail once a week, no daysails, all overnights at anchor, no windlass.

Go for it.
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