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Old 18-09-2009, 03:53   #31
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Too big? One meeeelion feet!


Seriously though, beyond 24,000 pounds the boat can't really be manhandled of the dock. You need springs in some instances to rotate the boat. We are on a pier end and when pinned by a breeze we'll back against a stern spring or if it's blowing the dogs of the chain we'll rotate on the pier end then back off.

Regarding the lazy cradle, we really like it and have been using it for years. The open 60's use a similar set up and they carry more sail then most of us and in far more demanding condiditons.

Here is a pic of ours, the gooseneck is 6 foot of the deck and the headboard is another 6 foot beyond that. The main would be no fun without the lazy cradle.

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Old 23-08-2016, 09:46   #32
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Re: Going Solo - How Big Is Too Big?

I only have a 32'ft.er and I have had one end blown off the dock several times while trying to tie up. So far I have made it back on before losing the boat completely. No bow thrusters. Sometimes no dock help. But I read somewhere and have adapted it, I now have a long line from the bow cleat outside all standing rigging to a stern cleat and with about 10' slack. Now when I step off I can get the line around a cleat or under a rail and control both ends of my boat. This may work on your larger boat also. Just a suggestion, that works for me.
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Old 23-08-2016, 09:58   #33
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Re: Going Solo - How Big Is Too Big?

Talk about raising the dead...

As the OP I should mention that I either listened to or ignored advice and bought a 40 footer, no bow thruster, and have been happily soloing it the last 6 years.
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Old 23-08-2016, 10:01   #34
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Re: Going Solo - How Big Is Too Big?

1sunseeker, the longline sounds like a good idea to me but haven't tried. I'm also 32 feet.

My usual plan when coming alongside for a side tie up.... come in slow as possible with bow closer than stern, then reverse with the prop walk pulling the stern in. Aim for amidships to touch just as the boat stops, then walk up and tie the midship cleat line short.

Neither bow or stern can go far. But whichever end moves away gets attention next.

This allows me to stay on the boat which is a good first choice rather than the boat crewless and untied.
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Old 23-08-2016, 10:05   #35
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Re: Going Solo - How Big Is Too Big?

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Talk about raising the dead...

As the OP I should mention that I either listened to or ignored advice and bought a 40 footer, no bow thruster, and have been happily soloing it the last 6 years.

LOL. At least we have an update.

I think 40 feet would be about max for me. Sailed a Cal39 last year that was a blast and helped me up my theoretical max from 35'.
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Old 23-08-2016, 10:09   #36
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Re: Going Solo - How Big Is Too Big?

If it was as easy to trade up boats as it is cars, then I'd happily go to 50ft now. Probably prefer a bow thruster, maybe stick to slab reefing, but it depends on the boat.


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Old 23-08-2016, 10:16   #37
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Re: Going Solo - How Big Is Too Big?

Our 54 foot Oyster is very comfortable to solo sail and I'd feet as comfy on an Oyster 625 with roller furling everything. Beyond that, things begin to get too heavy.

I can med moor our boat solo, but it is a hand full without a remote windlass control. I wish I had one sometimes.
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Old 23-08-2016, 10:23   #38
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Re: Going Solo - How Big Is Too Big?

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practice and increased confidence will make you the envy of others when you back into a slip fast, slam the boat in forward, and allow the propwalk to walk you to the pier
Praying hard that the gear linkage doesn't break, your prop doesn't fall off, or your engine stall.

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Old 23-08-2016, 10:28   #39
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Re: Going Solo - How Big Is Too Big?

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Our 54 foot Oyster is very comfortable to solo sail and I'd feet as comfy on an Oyster 625 with roller furling everything. Beyond that, things begin to get too heavy.

I can even med moor our boat solo, but it is a hand full without a remote windlass control. I wish I had one sometimes.

Remote windlass is cheap and easy, I don't like foot switches and tried a remote windlass control from Amazon, it was so cheap, why not?
Well it works great, only problem is sometimes if its in my pocket and I bend over that pushes a button so I tether it from a belt loop.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 23-08-2016, 14:24   #40
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Re: Going Solo - How Big Is Too Big?

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Remote windlass is cheap and easy, I don't like foot switches and tried a remote windlass control from Amazon, it was so cheap, why not?
Well it works great, only problem is sometimes if its in my pocket and I bend over that pushes a button so I tether it from a belt loop.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Interesting.

USD price is $39.80
GBP price is 44.95 or $58.50 or nearly 50% more.
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Old 23-08-2016, 15:26   #41
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Re: Going Solo - How Big Is Too Big?

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Interesting.

USD price is $39.80
GBP price is 44.95 or $58.50 or nearly 50% more.
You think thats bad.??
Try 110euros for a pair of Levi's..!!
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Old 23-08-2016, 15:48   #42
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Re: Going Solo - How Big Is Too Big?

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You think thats bad.??
Try 110euros for a pair of Levi's..!!
Go to Turkey. You can get genuine fake Levi jeans for a lot less.......
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Old 23-08-2016, 16:16   #43
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Re: Going Solo - How Big Is Too Big?

The answer varies according to gear, design, objectives, experience, age and fitness, maintenance levels.

15 years with mostly solo on 68 foot, perhaps 28 tonne Herreschoff. With other people on board it got to the stage where it was safer and easier to have people touch nothing.

Roller genoa and staysil, lazy jacks with sail covers main and mizzen (now called lazy racks I see), reefs always ready to go. 3/4 keel, 220 HP donkey. Bowthruster, eventually not used. Two speed manual winches. Nothing electric to break or maintain, except for the windlass (this probably a mistake). Autohelm.

Would've liked a windvane, but she was pretty well balanced so self steered ok without.

You don't want to have more than one or two things failing at a time, so keep tight on the critical maintenance. Be sure to have a backup plan for critical things that might fail.

Docking without help in nearly any wind just requires practice and forward planning ... the method used and preparatory layout of docking lines varies for different conditions when solo. And sometimes you need an alternative dock.

Anchor handling got difficult without a remote windlass and self stacking chain - pulling up, while stacking chain, jumping and then dancing the 15 meters back to the wheel. Means you need to anchor further out, obviously.

Allow more margin for error.

DO all those things and INHO the bigger boat you can have. Bigger = more emphasis on all these things. Take that to an extreme, and where is the limit?

I had a potential buyer, far more experienced than I, who had sailed her solo self over the years, not buy because he felt the boat was now too heavy him as he aged. Damn, I was surprised at that.

Very few occasions of smaller boat envy. Mainly that they can tuck into crowded anchorages, and tuck in closer, out of the wind, or nearer to the pub.
These more than compensated for.
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