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Old 20-11-2010, 03:21   #1
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Good Single-Hander

I have a Renken 18 and i'm not on the market for another boat just yet, but i was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for my next boat. It is going to have to be easily single-handed. My wife and kids enjoy the occasional sail, but no longer than 4 hours max for them on my day-sailor. I don't require any cabin luxuries, but a head and galley would be nice for a long weekend. I was thinking about something from 25-30'. I sail in Coastal North Carolina...usually winds no greater than 20mph. Ive toyed with the idea of a Cape Dory, but im open to any and all suggestions...thanks for the input.
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Old 20-11-2010, 04:37   #2
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Originally Posted by jjohnsonmarine View Post
i was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for my next boat. It is going to have to be easily single-handed. My wife and kids enjoy the occasional sail, but no longer than 4 hours max for them on my day-sailor. I don't require any cabin luxuries, but a head and galley would be nice for a long weekend. I was thinking about something from 25-30'.
The Brand itself is not necessarily the important factor, but rather how the boat is already set up for single handing. Ie: Masts, winches, furling systems, ground tackle etc..
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Old 20-11-2010, 04:46   #3
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Well... if your wanting to stay 'Low Budget'.... and don't plan on going round the World 2moro....
Take a look at this one... its owners in New Bern...
My Girl 27 ft. Admiral 1973 Sloop Loves to go out dancing with the wind. 2oo5 Tohatsu 9.8 hp remote controls. Wheel Steering,swing keel, fresh bottom paint spring 2010,vee berth sleeps two dining table drops down for two more. Double stainless sink with hand pump water tank">fresh water tank,Ice box, 110 volt refrigerator with 800 watt converter, 30 amp power cord, AC panel,DC panel,two batteries with selector switch, marine charger for two batteries. VHF, CD stereo system,three bilge pumps two automatic. Main and Gib lines run back to cockpit,110% and 140% jib all sails in great shape. $5,000.00 FIRM email my27sloop@yahoo.com

I'd go for it myself if I had the cash and airfare.....
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Old 20-11-2010, 08:08   #4
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I agree that it is systems, more than the boat which make it easy to single hand. Obviously size plays a factor as well. Things I find can really help single handing:

Autopilot. (biggest help by far)
Roller furling headsail.
Convenient mainsail reefing.
self tailing winches
VHF convenient to cockpit
Anchoring system (my current biggest headache going solo)
I prefer a single, long tether to jack lines, but know others will feel differently

My first cruising boat was a 26-foot Westerly Centaur. Solid boat, standing headroom, enclosed head. Solo sailed it for up to a month several times. Cals, Catalinas and Hunters would certainly be other boats I'd consider for weekend sails.
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Old 20-11-2010, 08:37   #5
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Pay careful attention to the winch locations. My last boat was a joy to single-hand, but the primaries where a pain. To steer I had to stand behind the wheel, to trim in front of the wheel. I would for sure look for a boat that has winches that can be reached from the helm.

If you are not dead-set on a wheel, I would also strongly consider a boat with a tiller. On a boat in the size you are looking for, you should be able to reach almost any line in the cockpit without taking your hand off the tiller, instead of jumping around a wheel.

I would also personally try to find a boat with a safe passage from cockpit to foredeck. Many smaller boats the first step out of the cockpit really exposes you. Single handing, this dangerous step could be fatal if you fall overboard. Same goes with going around the shrouds. Make sure there is some safe way to get around them to go forward.

I agree with the mainsail reefing suggestions. Make sure you can reef without leaving the cockpit. This should be pretty easy and inexpensive to add to a boat that does not already have it.

Finally, make sure you can heave-to on the boat. Heaving-to is the single handers best friend. Everyone needs a sandwich or a bathroom break now and then.
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Old 20-11-2010, 09:42   #6
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I sail an Edey & Duff Stone Horse on the Neuse R. and Pamlico Sound. I find it very well suited for the sailing you describe in these waters. It is very well set up and is very easy to sail single handed. You can find lots of information and several for sale online.
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Old 20-11-2010, 14:40   #7
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Chuck Paine even did a larger Stone Horse for tall people. At 31 ft. it should be easy to single hand with the tiller and self-tending staysail. I bet you could get the plans. Alas, it is almost certainly out of your price range (and mine).

http://www.chuckpaine.com/pdf/31TANGIER31.pdf
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Old 20-11-2010, 15:02   #8
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I recently purchased a Cal 2-27 which was built in the late 70's. The price was right, and the boat was in excellent condition. I easily single-handed it down the Chesapeake, a trip of about 200 miles or so. She is small enough to easily get to everything without a lot of effort but still big enough to handle some fairly rough weather.
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Old 20-11-2010, 16:04   #9
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Our prior boat was a Bristol 27. Extremely easy to single hand, bulletproof, and a very seakindly motion. Agree that the tiller is a big plus. We couldn't reef from the cockpit, but that could have been set up. Below, it was tight for two for more than a week, but would have been fine for one.
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Old 20-11-2010, 17:18   #10
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That Stonehorse is beautiful! I like the Cape Cutter 19's as well...the price is definitely WRONG...as Adam Sandler would say! I looked up the Bristol as well today.
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Old 21-11-2010, 09:03   #11
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Those Cal 2-27's are right on the money...Those things are very inexpensive and really nice looking, simple interiors...
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