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Old 25-10-2013, 11:52   #31
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Re: Best Size Sailboat For Singlehander

I've done it with a Catalina 22 (four years), Catalina 25 (12 years), and, like Steve on page 1, our Catalina 34 for 15 years. With boats this size, the midships spring line is essential. Good access from the cockpit to the side decks is helpful.

Here's what some of our other C34 skippers have found:

Single Handing 101 single handing

"Getting to the bow" is actually the very LAST thing one needs to do.

Given my knowledge of other boats and my experience, I would have no difficulty singlehanding a Catalina 42 or 470 (or other manufacturers, either ).

Good luck.
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Old 25-10-2013, 11:54   #32
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Re: Best Size Sailboat For Singlehander

My wife and I do a fair amount of double handed medium-distance racing and I move/delivery a variety of boats single handed. The best SH/DH boats are easy to move around and have essential gear close at hand. Usually, when I am single handing, it is to move boats to or from a mooring at my sailing club. I take time to set lines and fenders, boat hook, etc. carefully and appropriate to the destination objective.

Here's what I have learned: You either have the right gear properly rigged or you do not.

Now, there is a topic: What is the short list of must have equipment for a single hander? I offer some ideas...

Docking: long docklines and enough fenders
Sailing: nav gear and VHF on deck
Comfort: a water bottle for "in" and a pee bottle for "out"
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Old 25-10-2013, 11:54   #33
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Re: Best Size Sailboat For Singlehander

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I think you are on the right track. I hate bringing my 40 footer into the slip with a cross wind alone. Esp if that wind is blowing me away from the dock and onto that cabin cruiser motorboat next to me. Smaller boats are less stress.
Yeah, but if given the right opportunity to buy a Valiant 40 it would be hard to pass up. One came in and anchored a few weeks ago at Kiptopeke. There were already 6 or 8 other sailboats anchored there but this Valiant (maybe it was a Valiant) definitely stood out. We never did see the Skipper. I'm wanting to think he was catching up on some much needed sleep as Kiptopeke is just in the Chesapeake Bay from the Atlantic Ocean..

The boat was out of San Francisco.............s/v Crimera or something like that. It was a ketch ............I was told it was maybe a Valiant. The guy that told me that was on a Mel which I had never heard of. Another awesome looking boat.

All that being said, I would like a sailboat that will point a bit better than average but still be a good cruiser. I raced a long time and although I really get a kick outta the way my Bristol hangs tough sailing into a 22 plus knot breeze a more efficient sailing boat woud be nice.
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Old 25-10-2013, 12:13   #34
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Re: Best Size Sailboat For Singlehander

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Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
I've done it with a Catalina 22 (four years), Catalina 25 (12 years), and, like Steve on page 1, our Catalina 34 for 15 years. With boats this size, the midships spring line is essential. Good access from the cockpit to the side decks is helpful.

Here's what some of our other C34 skippers have found:

Single Handing 101 single handing

"Getting to the bow" is actually the very LAST thing one needs to do.

Given my knowledge of other boats and my experience, I would have no difficulty singlehanding a Catalina 42 or 470 (or other manufacturers, either ).

Good luck.
I'm just trying to get ideas as to what is about the right size boat for singlehanding.

I wouldn't buy a Catalina 470 for some crazy cash when I can get twice the boat with an older Wauqueiz Pretorien 35 for a lot less that would also do what I need it to.

It's not about how big of a boat a singlehander can sail, it's about what is the most practical size boat for a single hander.

I also like the 51% Bal/Disp ratio of the Pretorien 35 as compared to the 33% for the Catalina 470.
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Old 25-10-2013, 12:20   #35
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Re: Best Size Sailboat For Singlehander

Yes, I understand. I was simply pointing out that singlehanding can be done, as others have said, on larger boats. I like the size of my C34 just fine.

Your boat, your choice.

Good luck, again...
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Old 25-10-2013, 12:44   #36
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Re: Best Size Sailboat For Singlehander

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I've seen quite a few Catalina 34's around. How would you say they compare as cruising boats. Could be a good size for a singlehander. And what is the oldest that one should buy? I've heard 1986 or so on the Catalina 30's.

A cruising boat for me will probably be one where I run along the coast from here (Virginia Beach) to maybe New Orleans. Going outside a ways and coming back in.

I have to get back to land to run and do some cycling.......working out, etc.
Having had mine for 15 years, and being the Secretary of the C34 International Association for 14 of those years, I'd say I pretty much like my boat.

For your use, and FYI, many of our skippers have "done" The Bahamas from the SE coast of the US, and one cruised from Vancouver, British Columbia, all the way down the coast to Mexico. At least 6 have done the Baja HaHa from San Diego to Cabo.

Here are his comments which may be helpful in your research, in conjunction with my previous Singe Handed link:

1500 Mile Interim Refit Report & 3596 Update

PLEASE read the sequel, too, link's in that topic.

Mine is a 1986 boat. We love it. A fiend with a Mark II (maybe 1996) is now just getting to all the stuff I've already done: replacing hoses, the hot water heater, etc.).

We have assembled a TON of information about the C34, which is just as applicable to many other boats, Catalinas or not. You may be interested in our C34 Tech wiki:

http://www.c34.org/wiki/index.php?title=Main_Page

Poke around, lots of good stuff.

Consider also if there is an active owners group for the vessel you buy. Saves you reinventing the wheel. A LOT. I just purchased a slightly used muffler for my boat (2700 engine hours, engine's fine). One of our skippers had already replaced his muffler and wrote a "How To" so I don't have to figure it out myself. Priceless.
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Old 25-10-2013, 14:53   #37
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Re: Best Size Sailboat For Singlehander

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Yeah, but if given the right opportunity to buy a Valiant 40 it would be hard to pass up. .
Careful buddy, you're falling in love with a big woman than demands your attention....
Say goodbye to your weekends and looking at other boats, esp. Catalinas!
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Old 25-10-2013, 15:49   #38
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Re: Best Size Sailboat For Singlehander

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Cool Suijin, I never read the small print. Your the 3rd Valiant owner that posts a lot around here. What number do you have?
270. I think she was the third boat built in Texas, but I've real conflicting accounts of when that happened in the numbering scheme.

Third from the right, with the yellow horseshoe. She's getting blue topsides as soon I I finish all the prep.

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Old 25-10-2013, 15:55   #39
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Re: Best Size Sailboat For Singlehander

Well, I'll throw my 2 cents in for what it's worth. I own a Cape Dory 27 Sloop rigged and a Cape Dory 31 Cutter rigged. Both boats are set up for singlehanded sailing both daysailing and cruising. I don't think I would go over 31 feet just because the gear starts to get a lot heavier, and the boats start to have more systems on board which is more time consuming in terms of maintainence and having to carry more replacment parts. Just a thought. Also I can still muscule around my 27 if needed, but not my 31. You are talking about 7500lbs vs 11,500lbs, big difference. Also it is more expensive for docking, haulout etc the larger you go. I know I have spent more time maintaining the 31 than I have the 27. So, there you go, most of the people here have boats a lot larger than mine, and if they can do it, so be it, I just prefer something a little smaller.
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Old 25-10-2013, 16:31   #40
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Re: Best Size Sailboat For Singlehander

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Well, I'll throw my 2 cents in for what it's worth. I own a Cape Dory 27 Sloop rigged and a Cape Dory 31 Cutter rigged. Both boats are set up for singlehanded sailing both daysailing and cruising. I don't think I would go over 31 feet just because the gear starts to get a lot heavier, and the boats start to have more systems on board which is more time consuming in terms of maintainence and having to carry more replacment parts. Just a thought. Also I can still muscule around my 27 if needed, but not my 31. You are talking about 7500lbs vs 11,500lbs, big difference. Also it is more expensive for docking, haulout etc the larger you go. I know I have spent more time maintaining the 31 than I have the 27. So, there you go, most of the people here have boats a lot larger than mine, and if they can do it, so be it, I just prefer something a little smaller.
Yep, I was just thinking for the sailing that I'll be doing probably for the next 10 years, the boat I have now may be all I need.

I've never had ballast before (except my own weight) since all my prior sailing was racing small catamarans. Sometimes now I set the autopilot going upwind in 18-22 knots then go forward and sit on the cabin top, have a beer, and watch this ole boat deal with it.

Also, having verizon 4g helps. I knew I couldn't drop technology all together......now with my laptop, cell, inverter for charging, coffee pot............what else could you want............

except maybe a Cape Dory 31, Contessa 32, Gladiatuer 33, Catalina 34, Pretorien 35, Islander 36.............Ericson 35 (phrf 123) and it goes on.
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Old 09-02-2014, 06:24   #41
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pirate Re: Best Size Sailboat For Singlehander

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Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
I've done it with a Catalina 22 (four years), Catalina 25 (12 years), and, like Steve on page 1, our Catalina 34 for 15 years. With boats this size, the midships spring line is essential. Good access from the cockpit to the side decks is helpful.

Here's what some of our other C34 skippers have found:

Single Handing 101 single handing

"Getting to the bow" is actually the very LAST thing one needs to do.

Given my knowledge of other boats and my experience, I would have no difficulty singlehanding a Catalina 42 or 470 (or other manufacturers, either ).

Good luck.

Thanks Stu. I followed that link and the subsequent one to midship cleats, that I'd read before. Very helpful stuff. As my strength wanes I need my savvy to continue to improve. I read Henderson years ago. Time to renew my acquaintance.
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Old 09-02-2014, 07:06   #42
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Re: Best Size Sailboat For Singlehander

I solo my Slocum all the time. Very easy with my setup.

If I'm feeling particularly lazy, I'll bring my daughter.
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Old 09-02-2014, 07:17   #43
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pirate Re: Best Size Sailboat For Singlehander

There is no such thing as 'Best boat to Singlehand'... it all boils down to your needs and what you are comfortable with..
I've lived aboard and singlehanded boats from 21ft to 54ft and taken them on long trips in all kinds of weather..
Any boat in the above sizes can be singlehanded.. by someone who knows what they are doing.. and is intelligent enough to know their limits in certain conditions and act accordingly..
Day sailing is easy enough as you get to choose the conditions you play in.. and always come and go in a place that's familiar and predictable... but long trips/crossings are something else.. no guarantee of nice wind and tide on arrival... so one must be adaptable with tactics and always have a plan B, C, and D if need be..
Its not the boat... its the man at the helm... if your crashing a 27ftr around you'll crash a 40ftr around a lot more..
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Old 09-02-2014, 07:21   #44
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Re: Best Size Sailboat For Singlehander

I have a 43' cutter. I love to single hand but not easy. What I mean is you gotta think about what you're doing and you have to work.

Docking can be hard. Lots of bumpers and a plan and skills.

It takes me almost an hour after I arrive at the boat until I'm settled and cruising offshore.

All in all if you are just sailing for fun go smaller you'll sail more often alone is just a guess.
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Old 09-02-2014, 10:45   #45
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Re: Best Size Sailboat For Singlehander

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All in all if you are just sailing for fun go smaller you'll sail more often alone is just a guess.
+1. For daysailing, the smaller the boat, the more often you will sail it.
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