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Old 26-01-2007, 19:04   #1
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single sailing

I know this question may have been asked before, but I am going to ask it anyway. Is it really possible for one person to sail a 40 ' or 45 ' sailboat by themselves. A friend of mine is an accomplished sailor who was in the navy for nearly 8 years, the Greek Navy and has been around the world 8 times and has sailed the atlantic and pacific. He is unusual, but he says a good sailor who is well trained can sail a boat that size by themselves.

what are your opinions, oh yea he has a nautor 45 ' , absolutely beautiful boat....

thanks
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Old 26-01-2007, 19:16   #2
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Aloha Newbie,
Welcome aboard!! Of course you can sail anything by yourself if you are experienced and the boat is set up to single hand. Just read about the round the world single handed races. Why you would want to sail that size boat by yourself is quite another question.
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Old 27-01-2007, 00:33   #3
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I always sail a 40' by myself. The first mate just comes along for the ride.
Not really, but I do take'r out on my own quite often. If they're set up to soot the cap'n, even a 60' would be fairly EZ.
Power winches, roller furlings, all lines to cockpit, boom brake and auto pilot. It's the main sails that can be a pain. But with lazy jacks, or simular
equivalent, it's not really that bad.........................._/)
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Old 27-01-2007, 07:19   #4
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The IMOCA Open 60 is commonly raced single handed by the top sailors and boats as large as 200 feet have been successfully campaigned by single handers. But generally these are exceptions and not the rule. I believe that Hiscock wrote that in his day that a 28 foot boat was as big as a single hander could manage by himself. Whit due respects to Del's comments this was before a lot of the labor saving devices available today. I would guess that most serious single handers are sailing between 28 and 35 feet LOA. Imagine working you way down thrity feet of deck in rough weather to fix a snagged furling drum instead of twenty feet of deck or trying to hold a 20,000 lb boat at the dock in high wind instead of a 10,000lb boat. Practice and technology can make sailing bigger boats practical but the compromise will likely be toward the smaller end. best of luck
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Old 27-01-2007, 09:27   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newbie20
I know this question may have been asked before, but I am going to ask it anyway. Is it really possible for one person to sail a 40 ' or 45 ' sailboat by themselves. A friend of mine is an accomplished sailor who was in the navy for nearly 8 years, the Greek Navy and has been around the world 8 times and has sailed the atlantic and pacific. He is unusual, but he says a good sailor who is well trained can sail a boat that size by themselves.

what are your opinions, oh yea he has a nautor 45 ' , absolutely beautiful boat....

thanks
On the right day I recon anybody could fly the space shuttle singlehanded.Getting it home is the hard part.Mudnut.
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Old 27-01-2007, 11:27   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pura Vida
Imagine working you way down thrity feet of deck in rough weather to fix a snagged furling drum instead of twenty feet of deck or trying to hold a 20,000 lb boat at the dock in high wind instead of a 10,000lb boat. Practice and technology can make sailing bigger boats practical but the compromise will likely be toward the smaller end.
This is all relative to the boat, skills and ones knowledge. As a beginner, I'd recommend a smaller boat (28) but the answer is still "yes"! One person can sail large boats on their own. As for docking, I have found it EZer to bring in a 40' then a 23'. The 23 was like a leaf on the water. The wind would just carry it away, not so much with the 40 but skill is the key........................._/)
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Old 27-01-2007, 12:07   #7
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Quote:
but skill is the key
As long as you don't hit anything you are just fine.
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Old 27-01-2007, 12:17   #8
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"In His Day" Was a Good While Ago

Quote:
I believe that Hiscock wrote that in his day that a 28 foot boat was as big as a single hander could manage by himself.
I admire Hiscock and don't doubt his opinion, but this quote must be understood in its historical context Hiscock is referring to, i.e., almost assuredly pre WWII, which limited his technological resources to the level of BBC time signals and weathervanes. There were certainly no synthetic fibers in common use. And it must be remembered that Hiscock was at that time sailing gaff cutters, with running stays and hanked-on foresails, requiring a hale and hardy singlehander indeed.

Wander III was a 30-footer double-handed with his wife Susan.

Their later yacht, the Wanderer IV, was a 50' double-headsail (still hanked on) steel center-cockpit ketch (lwl 40') displacing some 20 tons, with around-the-boom roller furling on the main, and sailed by the middle-aged couple across oceans, so even the venerable Eric Hiscock's abilitiy to handle larger craft as his agility, strength, and eyesight diminished was augmented by improvements in technology and double-handing.
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Old 27-01-2007, 13:44   #9
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In my opinion, the biggest single contribution to ease of single-handing is the availability of reliable autopilots. With the A/P I have few concerns singlehanding my 40' boat with all halyards at the mast, roller furling headsail, and conventional main. I fly the chute single-handed off the bowsprit, but don't use the pole unless I have someone else aboard.
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Old 27-01-2007, 13:56   #10
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Autopilots may be the single best improvement for "couples", as well.
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Old 01-02-2007, 03:30   #11
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So, here is the BIG question! You folks elaborated a lot about single handed but nobody specify what type of set up. Is a Sloop easier to sail than a Ketch? To be more specific lets compare a 43ft Ketch with a 43ft Sloop, both 14ft beam and same.

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Old 01-02-2007, 05:22   #12
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Quote:
[To be more specific lets compare a 43ft Ketch with a 43ft Sloop, both 14ft beam and same.
Just being the same "size" and being different in terms of it's rigging isn't enough to say either one is easy to sail. Nothing about sailing any boat is actually easy. The tradition of multiple small sails was that each sail was then easier to handle than fewer larger sails. Smaller sails could be handled on deck easier.

Modern technology, designs, and materials make the advantage almost unimportant. All that said is just based on Ketch vs Sloop. Modern hull deigns make the sloop rig possible because modern materials add so much to boat design. Two sails with reffing built in means you don't have to hank a head sail on and off. In days of old you could not make a sail as large as we do now nor spars to support them. That sort of dictates the boat quite a lot wouldn't you say? Suddenly possible vs not possible enters into the picture.

Sailing is also a lot about tradition. All the limitations aside some people still like older styles and designs. Recreational sailing is about enjoyment not commerce. As we like to say some power boats are going places and "we are already here". Throw that into the mix and you find that people just "like" this one boat vs another. You'll find that here on this forum. All types of sailors and all types of boats and they don't always seem to go together but they do.

So, here is the bigger question! Where is it that you want to sail? What things do you like? What experiences do you have that might influence what you would want? All else not being equal the amount of money you have does matter. When you can work through all that you get to pick the boat yourself. That is where you want to end up.
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Old 01-02-2007, 09:51   #13
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It's not so much the sailing of a large vessel alone that's the biggest challenge, it's the coming and going from the dock that's the real issue. A few feet one way or the other is not a problem till there's a solid object alongside.
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Old 01-02-2007, 10:40   #14
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Quote:
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It's not so much the sailing of a large vessel alone that's the biggest challenge, it's the coming and going from the dock that's the real issue. A few feet one way or the other is not a problem till there's a solid object alongside.

I don't know how it is in other places but here in the Pacifc NW,USA & Canada we can radio ahead to marina's/yacht club's and request for assistance for docking during regular hours. A tip for the deck hands is customary.

But to answer the type of vessel. And it depends on your equipment. A GOOD auto pilot & motor can maintain the boats direction while one handles the sails. Being alone, a jackline and harness should become required gear. I feel a modern set up sloop/cutter would be the best. With roller furling(s) and a quick dropping mainsail with lazyjacks/Dutchman makes things quick and EZ.

A Cat rig (not catamaran) probably wouldn't be bad either, set up right........................._/)
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Old 01-02-2007, 10:52   #15
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Delmarreys spot on and also right to remind people we can make use of shore side help when both departing and docking.
In the UK it is possible to radio in and ask for assistance - but few do it - and many really don;t know they can do it.
In Turkey where crowed berths filled with Gullets mandates a call ahead to let them know your coming in - it often leads to you being met by one rubber duck and then being gently shuffled into a spot by one or more others without even turning your wheel!
Good luck with your choice
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