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Old 10-02-2014, 13:54   #61
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Re: Best Size Sailboat For Singlehander

I single hand my Alden 44 all over the place and go in and out of a slip regularly. When I originally got her she was rigged for racing with a crew so she was not a good boat to single hand. I spent some time re rigging most lines aft and now she is a breeze to sail and dock solo. I have no bow thruster and still back right into the slip with ease. I know people that shorthand or solo much larger vessels than my own and it's all dependent upon (in most cases) the way the rigging is planned.

I can reef my vessel now right from the cockpit after adding in boom furling. Before I just kept an eye on the conditions and reefed early before I could get into trouble.

I think length is less relative to ease of handling. I would consider weight and rigging when planning to sail solo. As for docking that's just plain experience and skill. Once you've done it enough on any boat you should be fine.
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Old 27-03-2014, 13:31   #62
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Re: Best Size Sailboat For Singlehander

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I think length is less relative to ease of handling. I would consider weight and rigging when planning to sail solo... Once you've done it enough on any boat you should be fine.
Yes, I agree… even a smallish boat that you have to go out on deck for the slightest chore can be unexpectedly taxing… After larger boats I’m a fan of the small/ hefty / low-cost variety (certainly not everyone’s cup of tea), but even smallish ones (maybe, especially smallish ones) are more enjoyable with a well thought out rig – now that I’m drifting into my less athletic years…
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Old 27-03-2014, 14:12   #63
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Re: Best Size Sailboat For Singlehander

Remember displacement Thomm. Your 27 is probably a third of the size of a 36 footer. And that one one half the size of my Valiant. Try one twice your displacement first. It may be all the boat you need. I'm always hauling around two families or I would go smaller.
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Old 27-03-2014, 14:18   #64
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Re: Best Size Sailboat For Singlehander

Yes lets not forget maintenance. Easier to maintain a smaller boat (painting, finances etc) if only one monkey.
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Old 27-03-2014, 18:31   #65
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Re: Best Size Sailboat For Singlehander

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Yes lets not forget maintenance. Easier to maintain a smaller boat (painting, finances etc) if only one monkey.
While I can agree with you that is is always better to start smaller (when starting out) Size and maintenance cost is almost always relevant to the type of boat, condition, age, skills (both maintenance and sailing) etc.. when you buy it other than slip or mooring cost I can almost bet my Alden 44 is cheaper to maintain than an 80's vintage Hans Christian 33 and also maintenance is going to depend on you available skill set starting out. Also lets not weigh out buying smaller boats with tree trunks growing from the bow adding to your LOA.

Obviously if you're a (simi) beginner I would agree buying a boat between 26 - 34 feet if you plan to do some decent cruising seems to be the sweet spot for single buyers because if you wreck the rigging obliviously the replacement cost is lower than a 40ft + boat. But that is not even always true depending on many factors.

If I had the where with all to own the boat I have now at 18 years old I would have de-masted the thing several times, blown out some sails several times a year and I'm sure started a few fires on board just based on the way I operated back then.

But for the arguments sake I do get tired of hearing people say bigger boats are always more money in maintenance. It's not always true.
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Old 27-03-2014, 18:37   #66
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Re: Best Size Sailboat For Singlehander

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Originally Posted by satdiver View Post

Obviously if you're a (simi) beginner I would agree buying a boat between 26 - 34 feet if you plan to do some decent cruising seems to be the sweet spot for single buyers because if you wreck the rigging obliviously the replacement cost is lower than a 40ft + boat. But that is not even always true depending on many factors.
I agree with this size 100%, and not just beginner. Its a good size range for someone alone, less energy (maintenance and sailing) and dollars spent.
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Old 27-03-2014, 18:46   #67
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Re: Best Size Sailboat For Singlehander

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I agree with this size 100%, and not just beginner. Its a good size range for someone alone, less energy (maintenance and sailing) and dollars spent.
So would you say a Hans Christian 33 would be cheaper in time in maintenance that was not taken care of by a skilled owner would be cheaper in maintenance than a 38ft Island Packet of similar vintage with equal care.?
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Old 27-03-2014, 19:21   #68
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Re: Best Size Sailboat For Singlehander

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Originally Posted by satdiver View Post
I single hand my Alden 44 all over the place and go in and out of a slip regularly. When I originally got her she was rigged for racing with a crew so she was not a good boat to single hand. I spent some time re rigging most lines aft and now she is a breeze to sail and dock solo. I have no bow thruster and still back right into the slip with ease. I know people that shorthand or solo much larger vessels than my own and it's all dependent upon (in most cases) the way the rigging is planned.

I can reef my vessel now right from the cockpit after adding in boom furling. Before I just kept an eye on the conditions and reefed early before I could get into trouble.

I think length is less relative to ease of handling. I would consider weight and rigging when planning to sail solo. As for docking that's just plain experience and skill. Once you've done it enough on any boat you should be fine.
+1

Sir Francis Chichester's Gypsy Moth -- the first nonstop RTW single-handed circumnavigator - was 54 feet. Chichester was 64 years old at the time.

I regularly single hand my 54 footer.

Length doesn't make much difference. What is tough single-handing is any handling of the rigging which needs more than two hands or requires you to be out of the cockpit. So a rig which is set up to avoid that will be better, whether it's 30 feet or 60 feet.

By the way, the Star Mooring Hook really transforms single-handed docking. It's now made by Kong, I think: http://www.kong.it/products/HI_QUALITY/65020.jpg. Allows you to get a line on a cleat in a half a second without stepping off the boat -- useful when you have a meter of freeboard amidships as I do, and you're single-handed.
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Old 27-03-2014, 19:30   #69
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Re: Best Size Sailboat For Singlehander

Sat Diver I can't read your sentence. It made no grammatical sense. All I can do is interpret:

It has definitely been my experience that a smaller boat is easier and cheaper to maintain. I would not want a taiwan wooden boat disguised as a plastic one such as the HC 33, or a floating fart like an IP 38 - way too big and too much work for me alone. I would rather have something between 27 and 34 ft, something easier to pull the sails up and down and steer, paint, amanauver, mast climb yadda yadda. OK, I could probably feel nice up to 37-38 if it was a modern design such as a Bennie or Jeanneau.

So, my list:

PSC: 27, 31, 32 PH, 34
Fisher: 30, 34
Southern Cross: 28, 31, 35 (maybe)
LM: 27, 28, 290, 30, 315, 32
Valiant: 32
Cape Dory: all

But what i really really really want right now is:

Jeanneau: SO 349, 379
Beneteau: 37
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Old 27-03-2014, 19:31   #70
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Re: Best Size Sailboat For Singlehander

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+1

Sir Francis Chichester's Gypsy Moth -- the first nonstop RTW single-handed circumnavigator - was 54 feet. Chichester was 64 years old at the time.

I regularly single hand my 54 footer.

Length doesn't make much difference. What is tough single-handing is any handling of the rigging which needs more than two hands or requires you to be out of the cockpit. So a rig which is set up to avoid that will be better, whether it's 30 feet or 60 feet.

By the way, the Star Mooring Hook really transforms single-handed docking. It's now made by Kong, I think: http://www.kong.it/products/HI_QUALITY/65020.jpg. Allows you to get a line on a cleat in a half a second without stepping off the boat -- useful when you have a meter of freeboard amidships as I do, and you're single-handed.

YEs and he was also a RICH F**K
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Old 27-03-2014, 20:09   #71
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Re: Best Size Sailboat For Singlehander

FWIW,

I used to singlehand my Catalina 22 a lot, routinely sailing in and out of my marina berth and generally being able to do everything on board easily.

Then I got my Yankee 30. After some experience, I was able to singlehand her, and became involved in offshpre single hand racing and set up the boat accordingly. Did lots of ocean miles, flew and changed spinnakers, changed headsails (no furlers back then), reefed, anchored and so on, but didn't feel competent to sail in and out of my berth (croswind in a windy part of SF Bay).

Then we bought Insatiable I, an old IOR one-tonner. After LOTS of experience I singlehanded her while Ann was back in the states practicing grandmothering. I was in the Whitsunday Island area in Oz, and had a good time for a fortnight or so, even flew the kite once in light airs. Didn't even come close to a marina berth, and was glad of that! Getting the anchor up (manual windlass) in a blow was a bitch, too.

Now with Insatiable II I can sail her around alone, but many things are awkward, reefing being one... because she's not set up for single handing. Getting her in and out of a marina berth alone in windy conditions would be a risky biz, 'cause she's pretty sensitive to wind gusts and it's a long way from the wheel to the lifeline gate for a senior citizen. I'm sure that I could manage on my own under most conditions, but it wouldn't be much fun and could be more exciting than I like.

What's my point? Well, that one can learn to singlehand most any boat, that it is easier on smaller vessels in close quarters (but harder at sea in many cases), that setting the boat up for singlehanding makes a huge difference, and that one's agility and quickness plays a part in the game, as does one's experience in sailing. All in all, I think that the 30 foot area is about optimal for most singlehanders, but obviously one can stretch that either way.

Finally, remember that for passage making with the usual two person crew, you have two singlehanders sharing the boat. Each sailor must be able to do most tasks alone or the off watch will not get their needed rest.

Cheers,

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Old 27-03-2014, 20:10   #72
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Re: Best Size Sailboat For Singlehander

As with so many posts here I refer to the lifelong sailing wisdom of the Pardeys...they first of all say that singlehanding is not wise...and I agree...but if you wish to singlehand which is about the most autonomous and independent thing you can ever do, then why do you ask a bunch of strangers how we think you should it...it's your thing man! But I digress...the Pardeys say, if you are going to singlehand, do it on a boat where you can handle the biggest anchor you will need.... what does size of the boat have to do with anything when you are sailing alone? Really....
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Old 27-03-2014, 20:36   #73
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Re: Best Size Sailboat For Singlehander

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Originally Posted by SaltyMonkey View Post
Sat Diver I can't read your sentence. It made no grammatical sense. All I can do is interpret:

It has definitely been my experience that a smaller boat is easier and cheaper to maintain. I would not want a taiwan wooden boat disguised as a plastic one such as the HC 33, or a floating fart like an IP 38 - way too big and too much work for me alone. I would rather have something between 27 and 34 ft, something easier to pull the sails up and down and steer, paint, amanauver, mast climb yadda yadda. OK, I could probably feel nice up to 37-38 if it was a modern design such as a Bennie or Jeanneau.

So, my list:

PSC: 27, 31, 32 PH, 34
Fisher: 30, 34
Southern Cross: 28, 31, 35 (maybe)
LM: 27, 28, 290, 30, 315, 32
Valiant: 32
Cape Dory: all

But what i really really really want right now is:

Jeanneau: SO 349, 379
Beneteau: 37
My grammar is a regular issue and I apologize for that. writing was always my weakest subject.

I like all your boat choices and I think they are great starter boats for the OP but my question was related to the your post that smaller means less in maintenance cost and effort. That is not always true or even consistently true.

Just like size of boat means easier single handing. Just telling people to get a small boat instead of a big boat I think is bad advice. More emphasis should be put on rigging, condition, age, skills etc.. in a perfect world the OP or anyone who ask such questions would be really specific about their sailing background, cruising aspirations and physical condition which would make it easier to help people start to make short list.

My 44 I can send up the main and reef the main in a gale solo from the cockpit. Because I worked heavily on perfecting my rig to do this safely and have had to do it several times even if the in boom furling fails I can QD it from the cockpit. And have a separate rigging system set up for a traditional rig that takes me about 5 minutes to set up requiring less than 2 minutes on the foredeck. My bottom paint last about 3 years per application because I invest initially in doing it right every three years. I have no problem heading to the top of my tall rig under sail because I'm in the (physical condition) to do this. My overweight brother got his tail up the mast once on his own.

Docking is a sinch typically because I'm used to the boat. Also she moves slow under power. I popped a spring line last week in a blow where I left the cockpit and to throw a new one on and by the time I got back I had to do very small corrections in a tight slip because my boat is so heavy she barely moved.

I'm a single hander and comparing myself to another single handing friend at my old marina that has a PSC 37.

He has more money in that boat than I have in my 44 footer. And they are close to the same age. My boat could circumnavigate now and his still is not safe to cross a lake. He has about 10 years of sailing experience and I grew up on a sailboat so I have about 40 years.

I could have gotten his boat offshore ready (for me) with about 25k and it's going to take him 125k complete the work he's started and cover the mistakes he's made doing his own work. He's told me he is now 80k into the boat. He might as well built one for the money he has put in it now. I know of a offshore ready 45ft boat rigged for single handed sailing that he could buy now for 3/4th the money he has in his PSC 37 and a 53ft boat he could also afford now that could also be solo'd offshore.

After his work is all done he'll be so far upside down he might as well have bought one of these bigger boats.

Just for the sake of argument. I'm sure their are smaller ones out there for the price of these bigger ones that would be less in cost to maintain I'm just making a point.
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Old 27-03-2014, 21:09   #74
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Re: Best Size Sailboat For Singlehander

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...Then I got my Yankee 30...
This is one of the all-time best in class. It showcases Olin Stevens impeccable taste, good judgement and sense of grace and beauty. All the boat an average size person needs. And it's fast!

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Old 27-03-2014, 21:43   #75
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Re: Best Size Sailboat For Singlehander

Yankee 30's are very nice indeed, but never see many on the market. Rare.
1973 Yankee 30 MkIII Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com
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