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Old 08-06-2015, 10:58   #196
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Re: What Is The Big Deal About Single Handling?

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Typical Cat sailor..
I can't.. so its not possible.. therefore unsafe..
Another guy who needs stabilisers..
Multihull owner getting exercise

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Old 08-06-2015, 12:53   #197
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Re: What Is The Big Deal About Single Handling?

Could single handing be a chance to prove to yourself that you are capable, competent and worthy to do what you love? Maybe. Or maybe it's the choice to live a more solitary and introspective life. As one poster said, it's the ability to come and go at your own pace without having to be mindful of someone else's wants and needs.

Reminds me a bit of the feminist slogan from years ago, "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle." Some of us don't need someone alongside us to be "complete."

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Old 08-06-2015, 13:03   #198
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Re: What Is The Big Deal About Single Handling?

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I have to disagree on how adding crew improves the ability to keep watch. The jump from 1 to 2 crew is a massive improvement. Realistically a solo sailor on a long passage will not be keeping watch for 25-35% of each day because they are asleep. With 2 crew, you should be able to reduce that to zero. In addition, ability of the off crew to relax and get uninterupted sleep should result in a fresher crew less prone to mistakes
(as opposed to the "egg timer" approach where they try to just power thru and never get a good nights sleep).

3 crew is even better. If you need to do sail change or other on deck activity, you can let the sleeper stay asleep while having backup further reducing strain by allowing uninterupted sleep. After that, you start getting into the laws of dimiishing returns after that.
I don't entirely disagree with this, which is certainly a valid point of view.

But even a "massive improvement" over typical single hander's watchkeeping may still be very poor watchkeeping from the point of view of the rules. I don't think you typically get 0 no one on watch with just two crew, very often. Much more typical would be one guy sleeping below, and the other guy cat napping in the cockpit much of the time. That's because with just two on board, you're still never going to get a really good rest. No way with two or even four on board will you have constant, intense visual lookout as required by the rules -- you need at least two on deck at all times to really have much assurance of having that. And even with four on board, no one is going to devote that much crew workload to an intense visual watch -- it just doesn't make sense.

That's why I'm saying that on pleasure boats, it's typically a matter of degree of the poorness of the visual watch. I think we need to be realistic about this and make sure we have excellent electronic aids used with skill to enhance a disciplined but not staring-out-over-the-bow-every-second visual watch.

On my boat, I don't like the watchkeeper napping in the cockpit, but in my experience ALL experienced sailors do it. I banned one guy from reading in the cockpit in my early years as skipper, but I doubt that helped much. In open sea out of shipping lanes, people just won't spend hours at a time staring out -- against human nature unless you're on a well-manned commercial bridge with the OOD ready to whack you for failing to do it.

So these days I settle for regular, disciplined horizon scans PLUS very good electronic warnings, when well offshore and out of the shipping lanes.

Near land and/or ships, I like to have one guy in the cockpit on a visual watch, ideally completely focussed on this with someone else on the helm, if there is enough manpower to separate these jobs, plus me at the nav table doing collision avoidance and pilotage by radar and AIS, totally focussed on the radar screen, with pencil and paper to do plotting where necessary, record bearings, etc. And operate the radio when necessary.

What I am saying is that the procedure should be different, depending on where you are sailing at the moment.
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Old 08-06-2015, 14:03   #199
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pirate Re: What Is The Big Deal About Single Handling?

I think there's a lot of paranoid sailors on CF..
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Old 08-06-2015, 14:14   #200
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Re: What Is The Big Deal About Single Handling?

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I think there's a lot of paranoid sailors on CF..
Longwinded sailors too, that judged upon their frequent posts come across as know-it-alls... And no, I'm not referring to you. In keeping with C.F. rule #1 - Be nice - I ain't gonna name names either.

I figger 40,000 thereabouts nautical miles of sailing mostly alone gives me enough experience to know the difference and right to say so...
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Old 08-06-2015, 14:31   #201
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Re: What Is The Big Deal About Single Handling?

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Sorry for the thread drift, maybe it's appropriate for a new thread or maybe there's an old one but...regarding the Jessica Watson report posted earlier. I find it staggering that she was not maintaining a visual watch 15M off the coast in a busy shipping area. The report showed three ships within 10M of her position. She checked the radar but didn't see a ship visually when it was 1M away with good visibility!?
My assumption from that report are
The AIS was installed and receiving, but MMSI # wasn't input so it wasn't transmitting. It should have been if it was checked properly by the installer, but I guess there was a rush to get underway as there usually is with this kind of event.
Her use of the radar was inadequate with range rings at 1M and 4M. 4M would only give her a 10 minute warning of an approaching ship. She somehow missed a ships radar image at 1M!? I assume she wasn't familiar with radar at all and maybe had North up display and course up on her plotter and couldn't reconcile the two.
She didn't bother to poke her head out of the hatch and have a quick horizon scan between catnaps.
She's lucky to be alive!
I'm all for solo sailors sailing as far and wide as they desire, especially when they do it safely. But really, if you have the equipment on board and you are relying on it, at least learn how to use it effectively!
Surprising also that the lack of VHF use prior to the collision was mentioned, considering VHF isn't recommended for collision avoidance.
Monte, couldn't agree more. Question, I wonder if she had a radar reflector or of any size up? Clorox bottles don't made a good target. That may sound old school with AIS but everyone doesn't have a transponder.
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Old 08-06-2015, 14:40   #202
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Re: What Is The Big Deal About Single Handling?

Yeah I don't see a reflector on the mast in the link posted earlier.
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Old 08-06-2015, 15:31   #203
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Re: What Is The Big Deal About Single Handling?

It has been a while since I read the report, but I don't remember that the watchkeepers on the ship ever checked the radar at all. After all, they had a visual of her running light and chose to ignore that info.

And FWIW ship's radars should easily pick up a yacht in calmish conditions and at a few miles range, even without a reflector on the yacht... but ya gotta look at the display every now and then.

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Old 08-06-2015, 15:50   #204
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What Is The Big Deal About Single Handling?

To me single-handing has nothing to do with personality or solitude. I rarely sail alone, although I'm often the only skilled sailor if my wife isn't aboard.

Single-handing is a safety measure to be practiced like any other skill. We (my wife and I) practice single-handing so that we can both operate the boat in the event that the other party goes overboard or is otherwise incapacitated.

Instead of relying on each other to sail or take direction, we single hand the boat while the other rests and relaxes. Then we turn the boat over to the other person who is solely responsible for sailing it.

This works for both of us, and we'd both rather be completely relieved than directed anyway.

A boat that cannot be single-handed is not a safe boat in my opinion.


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Old 08-06-2015, 16:05   #205
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Re: What Is The Big Deal About Single Handling?

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Originally Posted by monte View Post
Sorry for the thread drift, maybe it's appropriate for a new thread or maybe there's an old one but...regarding the Jessica Watson report posted earlier. I find it staggering that she was not maintaining a visual watch 15M off the coast in a busy shipping area. The report showed three ships within 10M of her position. She checked the radar but didn't see a ship visually when it was 1M away with good visibility!?
My assumption from that report are
The AIS was installed and receiving, but MMSI # wasn't input so it wasn't transmitting. It should have been if it was checked properly by the installer, but I guess there was a rush to get underway as there usually is with this kind of event.
Her use of the radar was inadequate with range rings at 1M and 4M. 4M would only give her a 10 minute warning of an approaching ship. She somehow missed a ships radar image at 1M!? I assume she wasn't familiar with radar at all and maybe had North up display and course up on her plotter and couldn't reconcile the two.
She didn't bother to poke her head out of the hatch and have a quick horizon scan between catnaps.
She's lucky to be alive!
I'm all for solo sailors sailing as far and wide as they desire, especially when they do it safely. But really, if you have the equipment on board and you are relying on it, at least learn how to use it effectively!
Surprising also that the lack of VHF use prior to the collision was mentioned, considering VHF isn't recommended for collision avoidance.
Too many assumptions here Monte. It would help to read the report. It's freely available if you google for it. Or I can send you the link. It responds to a number of things you have said.
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Old 08-06-2015, 16:10   #206
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Re: What Is The Big Deal About Single Handling?

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This is what I disagree about...
Racing and winning is the apex of sailing and single handing is not how you win.
If you are cruising, arriving safely is the 'apex' and that is advanced by having crew.

Here ya go, let's hold hands and sing along, one of my favorites.
The single handers can use both hands.
It may be 'your' apex, but it's not everyone's. I would find absolutely no 'apex' to racing, yet alone the motivation to win.

To me, the 'apex' of sailing, would be to actually head off to warmer destinations without need of time tables or calendars. The icing on the cake would be to say I've past beneath the horn.

But of course, it's a personal thing.
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Old 08-06-2015, 16:10   #207
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Re: What Is The Big Deal About Single Handling?

mstrebe,
Far be it from me to pick nits, but I think what you describe is practicing single handing. I believe the objections to single handers regard those who go out for long voyages and there is not adequate crew to have someone on watch at all times... only if you and your spouse sleep at the same time, would you qualify as irresponsible.
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Old 08-06-2015, 16:14   #208
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Re: What Is The Big Deal About Single Handling?

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To me single-handing has nothing to do with personality or solitude. I rarely sail alone, although I'm often the only skilled sailor if my wife isn't aboard.

Single-handing is a safety measure to be practiced like any other skill. We (my wife and I) practice single-handing so that we can both operate the boat in the event that the other party goes overboard or is otherwise incapacitated.

Instead of relying on each other to sail or take direction, we single hand the boat while the other rests and relaxes. Then we turn the boat over to the other person who is solely responsible for sailing it.

This works for both of us, and we'd both rather be completely relieved than directed anyway.

A boat that cannot be single-handed is not a safe boat in my opinion.


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What your describing is not single handed sailing. It's short handed sailing I would think. Being entirely alone on a boat, with no other person as back up, or to take the reigns when your exhausted, or stuck entirely with your own abilities, is solo sailing.
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Old 08-06-2015, 16:27   #209
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Re: What Is The Big Deal About Single Handling?

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What your describing is not single handed sailing. It's short handed sailing I would think. Being entirely alone on a boat, with no other person as back up, or to take the reigns when your exhausted, or stuck entirely with your own abilities, is solo sailing.
Well, with so many things in this practice the definitions are not quite standardized. To me, single-handing is operating the boat by yourself. Could be day sailing, gunkholing, or passage-making. Solo sailing or soloing is making passage alone over at minimum a 24-hour period.

When people talk about significant voyages, they use the term solo rather than single-handing. And there needs to be a term for one person operating the boat irrespective of the number of people aboard, and to me that term is single-handing.

By that definition, I single-hand all the time, but I've never soloed.
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Old 08-06-2015, 16:31   #210
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Re: What Is The Big Deal About Single Handling?

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Well, with so many things in this practice the definitions are not quite standardized. To me, single-handing is operating the boat by yourself. Could be day sailing, gunkholing, or passage-making. Solo sailing or soloing is making passage alone over at minimum a 24-hour period.

By that definition, I single-hand all the time, but I've never soloed.
So by your definition, a person who is entirely alone on a boat travelling along the coast for two hours to another port is not 'solo', but is 'single handed'.

The OP can answer for him/her self, but I think most people understood he's talking about being 'on your own without anyone else on your boat'. However you may define that.
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