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Old 11-04-2011, 00:14   #31
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Re: Long Distance Solo Sailing

I've single-handed 24- and 29-foot sailboats for daysails and expect to do the same occasionally with my future recreational diesel trawler. I see nothing wrong with this, but realize the need to be extra vigilant (got only two eyes). Can't afford to be "laid back" unless I'm properly anchored or at a marina.

We all need to take extra care in congested waters (such as SF Bay with 38-knot ferries, the many freightors, tugs/tows, and recreational vessels in the area). Where shipping traffic is absent, then there is more flexibility of what represents a proper look-out, realizing the inherent risk. Just hope my vessel is stronger (got steel?) than the one encountered.

Solo-boating has unique challenges worthy of discussion, such as berthing, anchoring, sail handling, and so on; definitely a topic worth discussing. Just how do you do it all by yourself?
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Old 11-04-2011, 00:29   #32
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Re: Singlehanding Sub Forum Possible?

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Originally Posted by Eleebana View Post
If I get run down by a yacht, I guess we'll dust ourselves off and all climb aboard the one that's not sinking. However, the closest I've ever come to being run down was by a huge ship off Newcastle in broad daylight and he was overtaking me! These fully crewed ships present an enormous danger so the issue is not single handing, it's not assessing the risks and taking appropriate safety measures. I don't think any of these ships feel threatened by me nodding off for 20 minutes. Good night!

Greg
I presume the other boat/ship is unaware of my existence unless there is overt evidence to the opposite.
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Old 11-04-2011, 00:52   #33
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Re: Long Distance Solo Sailing

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Joshua Slocum is turning over in his grave. Freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeedom!
"It REALLY bugs me when people operate their boats as if they are the only ones there."
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Old 11-04-2011, 01:07   #34
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Re: Long Distance Solo Sailing

I have to admit I was seriously considering single handing this schooner I am building, like I did my other schooner 30 yrs ago. Long trip to S America. But given the discussion here, I may have to relent and take a couple of the local hot chicks who want to go along with me. Dang!
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Old 11-04-2011, 01:28   #35
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Re: Long Distance Solo Sailing

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I may have to relent and take a couple of the local hot chicks who want to go along with me. Dang!
The burden of responsibility is heavy.
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Old 11-04-2011, 01:31   #36
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Re: Long Distance Solo Sailing

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I may have to relent and take a couple of the local hot chicks who want to go along with me. Dang!
See, you singlhanders are dreamin even before you leave the dock!

Greg
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Old 11-04-2011, 03:05   #37
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pirate Re: Long Distance Solo Sailing

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Originally Posted by markpierce View Post
Solo-boating has unique challenges worthy of discussion, such as berthing, anchoring, sail handling, and so on; definitely a topic worth discussing. Just how do you do it all by yourself?
Its only difficult if you don't know how....
Since '85 I've been hit twice.. once at anchor by a speed boat whose skipper and crew were to busy 'Letching' us nudists on Studland Beach to watch where they were going and the second was a fully crewed french boat in broad daylight with no one on deck while they motorsailed at 6kts....
Solo sailors... I find... take more care than any crewed vessel when sailing, anchoring or berthing... in the main they are also a lot more competent.
Yes there are exceptions like Captain Chaos who set off with a road atlas for their navigation but they are rare and usually end up sailing round and round some island coz they figure always keeping the land always on their right is the way to go for a circumnavigation...
But when someone who's only experienced offshore voyaging on Cruise Ships starts lecturing me on experience, competence and skills I tend to file them alongside 'Captain Chaos' .... sorry Mark P
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Old 11-04-2011, 05:05   #38
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Re: Long Distance Solo Sailing

The examples cited above of accidents involving poor/lack of watch-keeping are far more about negligent behaviour than they are about single-handing. Yes, international law states that a watch must be kept at all times by all means available, but do you all imagine that if that law were vigorously enforced, you'd be significantly safer from other people's incompetence?

It's a dog-eat dog world out there and you really do need to be able to look after yourself. If you can't afford to lose the boat you left at anchor then insure it. If you can't afford to insure it, don't leave it at anchor where some idiot can come and hit it.

Yes things are crowded along popular coastlines but crossing oceans, it can be extremely lonely. On a 27-day passage I saw 1 other vessel.

Single-handing is not something that I'd want to do myself, although maybe I'll change my mind later. I think we should all spend more time worrying about how we take care of ourselves than about what other people should or shouldn't do.
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Old 11-04-2011, 06:12   #39
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Re: Long Distance Solo Sailing

It takes a great deal of planning to singlehand when anywhere near other boat traffic. # 1: You can't safely leave the helm. #2: When in doubt, see #1. This involves having everything you need up on deck with you. I have a "pre-flight" checklist of stuff that I will need once underway: food, water, charts, binoculars....it's a long list. Everything goes in a box on deck. There is a pail on the list. Even have a little gimballed stove mounted to the pedestal to make fresh coffee. The only time I will set the windvane and go below is when there is virtually no chance of crossing other boats. Even then, will visually check frequently enough to pick up any boats coming into view. We singlehanders are not kamikazis, just willy-nilly tooling around like bumper cars. We're probably more aware of what's going on around us because this issue is always front and center in our minds. Compared to the moronic things I've seen people do, most single-handers are infinitely more responsible than your weekend warrior who has just paid his $250,000 and has been given the keys to some huge spaceship-like, 40 knot, wake throwing stinkpot and doesn't even know the basic rules of the road!
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Old 11-04-2011, 06:37   #40
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Re: Long Distance Solo Sailing

I do not see any problem with single-handing. There is the radar alarm, AIS alarm, depth alarm, XTE alarm and wind alarm. There is enough alarms to wake up the dead should the boat be doing something else than expected. There will be the wind-vane and autopilot too.

On top of that there is the equally equipped watch on the other ship. If not, then the other ship deserves being run down, NOT? ;-)

Sleep management (and sleep deprivation) is not such a big ho-ho either, much as it seems to remain the No1 culprit in many mishaps. Try to enter the traffic / difficult zones with your sleep batteries fully topped up. Not always possible, I know, but often possible if the driver has some self-management skills.

Re-reading Alec Rose's book. Good lecture for all nay-sayers.

b.
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Old 11-04-2011, 06:43   #41
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Re: Long Distance Solo Sailing

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I have to admit I was seriously considering single handing this schooner I am building, like I did my other schooner 30 yrs ago. Long trip to S America. But given the discussion here, I may have to relent and take a couple of the local hot chicks who want to go along with me. Dang!
They call it " suffering for your art ". The least you can do is allow us all to share your pain by posting the occasional update or scorecard as the situation requires.
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Old 11-04-2011, 07:06   #42
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Re: Long Distance Solo Sailing

It sounds like many here thinks that sailing is what they experience, exclusively.

I have been sailing around Newfoundland and met other single handers. The chances of a problem up there are very slim, not zero but nearly.

Single handing the Maine coast would be a lot different, hell the pots would probably preclude it.

One of my goals, should I ever achieve it, would be to go to Greenland. You mean to tell me you think making that crossing would be unwise from a collision perspective? On that leg the greatest obstacle is 'growlers'. But they exist within a well mapped range and should be avoidable.

Just trying to get people to think from the other guys perspective.
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Old 11-04-2011, 07:10   #43
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Re: Singlehanding Sub Forum Possible?

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Originally Posted by Mark Johnson View Post
My boat was anchored in a "designated anchorage", I was on shore. He was going 100 mph in a 16' speed boat with a 175 HP motor, while drunk & tripping! M.

I suggest a sub forum on Sailing 16" Boats 100 MPH while Drunk and Tripping.

Could be interesting.
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Old 11-04-2011, 07:10   #44
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Re: Long Distance Solo Sailing

[QUOTE=barnakiel;664302]I do not see any problem with single-handing. There is the radar alarm, AIS alarm, depth alarm, XTE alarm and wind alarm. There is enough alarms to wake up the dead should the boat be doing something else than expected. There will be the wind-vane and autopilot too.

On top of that there is the equally equipped watch on the other ship. If not, then the other ship deserves being run down, NOT? ;-)

Sleep management (and sleep deprivation) is not such a big ho-ho either, much as it seems to remain the No1 culprit in many mishaps. Try to enter the traffic / difficult zones with your sleep batteries fully topped up. Not always possible, I know, but often possible if the driver has some self-management skills.
-seems to me this thread has got off topic as to whether solo or just using autopilot is right/wrong,,advice on solo sailing by those who have done it is interesting..we would use autopilot and proximity alarm radar as well and didnt think ourselves irresponsible,,cheers and fairwinds
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Old 11-04-2011, 14:34   #45
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pirate Public apology for percieved abuse...

Mark,
I'm sorry my posts have offended you... they were meant as a gentle leg pull to someone who'd been out there... and whom I thought may understand.
We do have differing views on this matter in as much as I still single hand across oceans..
I'm aware of and respect the risks involved and cheerfully accept them.
However... to me... someone advocating the banning of single handing is equal to someone calling for a ban on tobacco or alcohol...
both of which I also do and once again am aware off and accept the risks involved.
Like solo sailing.. if done/used correctly and with respect for others... ie.. do you mind if I smoke..
I do no one any harm.
If my posts have offended... once again my sincere apologies.. no malice was intended.
But as a solo sailor I felt obliged to respond to a call for the outright abolishment of something I love...
I light my boat well at night and in daylight 'Hove to' should be easily discernible.. if someone hits me I'll look on it as "**** Happens"...
as in the past.... when 'crewed boats' have rammed me through incompetence..
Take it easy mate..
Best wishes...
Phil.
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