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