Everyone chooses to do things different, here's my choices given what I understand your position to be..
Could be way off the mark but what the heck!
Anchor: My favorite is the Bruce. Or maybe, for a little boat, Danforth? 'Bout 30 ft chain and the rest strechy double braid. No winch
or anyhting like that. One good strong deck
cleat for dealing with the anchor.
Sail handling : Local condtions kinda' set what to have as sail selections. In the SF Bay
area its either 20-25kn or drifting. So I run a little headsail for 90% of the time and a big 150% for the drifters.
No roller furling
or any of that sillynes for a 26 footer, hanks work fine for me. To hold the sail from blowing away when its on deck
, I just wrap the halyard
around it, clip it to itself and give it a tug. That and webbing for the first section or so of lifelines
. (Not netting, webbing)
Speaking of halyards and reefing, I set up my O'l 27 footer with one winch on the mast with a triple rope clutch
. Main, jib
halyards. Yes, this ment going up to the mast to deal with raising, lowering and reefing the sails
, and no, it wasn't a problem. I really liked the setup, it was very simple and worked great. I think the "lead everything to the cockpit" deal is way overrated. Sail shape controls? Yes, halyards and such? No. But this is just me.
Wenches : The 27 footer had wenches and cleats
, they worked fine. The big boat (35') has wenches and camcleats. When I first got the big boat I thought "Those will have to go". Why? Because someone might kick out a jibsheet and that would be bad. Well yeah, people do sometimes kick out a jibsheet, big deal. The winch and camcleat is a really great system. I'd never go back.
Self tailers? I've used them on other boats and to tell the truth, for jibsheets, I'm not all that impressed with them. Halyards? I do like them for halyards, but not for something like a 26 footer. Rope clutches
work fine for a 26 footer.
/ Tiller tamer : Never tried a tiller tamer. Having a taste for light, fin keeled boats that probibly don't track all that well. I don't know if it would help or not. I never had an autopilot
on my 27 footer.
When I put the 35 footer togather one of the "upgrades" I installed was a tiller pilot. Oh my Lord! That was the one biggest change I ever made. It changed sailing from, something like a car that is minded constantly, to more like a train or a ship where your on deck and watching the scene drift by. I'm not able to really put it into words but I'm sure your not going to get that big of a bang for your buck with a tiller tamer.
: Not on a 26 footer. Unless your planning on crossing oceans. I have a Monitor
vane on my 35 footer and just love it to death. The wind
vanes shine in open water sailing. Are you planning on open water sailing?... Maybe a bigger boat by that time?
: People think they "need" so much stuff. My short list would be..
guage that can read fathoms. I like this for anything near shore and calculating anchor scope
. (Hence fathoms, 'cause they are an armspan [6']. That and chain length as a multiple of 6 makes the math easy.)
guage 'cause they're fun to watch. And, helps a lot in learing what the boat really ikes in sail trim.
is really handy for fog
I guess that's my long list as well..
How are you going to charge your battries? Does this have an inboard? Some outboards have generator
outputs.. This bit is up in the air. I don't like wind
-might- work for this lite load of stuff, don'no..
Inside : Fridge? Not for a 26 footer. A WELL insulated ice box works fine for a weekender.
Don't forget installing a charcol filter in the sink water line. Works wonders for the taste of the water! (After the tank has, at least, been cleaned out.)
My 27 footer had a gymbled cooking
pot with a propane
cartrage for the galley
. This was another "That will have to be changed" item when I bought the boat. Today, I wish I could get that gymbled pot back. I loved it! It worked great for all sorts of stuff. And, want something grilled? Just use the barby on the stern rail.
Bolt a propane
barby to the stern rail, great fun those!
Man! Add a little one cylnder diesil, toss in a sleeping bag and where do I sign? I guess I just layed out my dream 26-28 foot boat! Sounds like fun!
A couple other things about single handing. My bigger boat, the 35 footer has a few "features" that make it very single hander friendly.
First reef : Can be acheved from the cockpit, just reach back and pump up the back stay. Many cruisers see a bendy mast as some sinful thing. I feel exposed and in peril if I -can't- bend the mast. The ability to depower your main with a bendy mast is just wonderful!
Easly driven hull
: When I'm out with the wife n' kiddies, or singlehanding
, typically I just run the main alone. With this setup I can pretty much keep pace with the average dirty bottom sailboat and not worry about reefing at all to about 25-30kn. This is a common practice for the go-fasty race
boats when not running in high gear
. No, I'm not going to win any races like this, but for kicking about, it sailes fine and BOY is it relaxing!
A bad thing about the go-fasty race
machines is.. Well, at least mine, they don't track at all. You need something at the helm at all times. Either carbon, silcon or stainless. Also, in the bumps, they tend to have a pretty.. Er.. Firm ride. But for those that complain about the rough ride to weather, my reply is, "At least it -will- go to weather if you need it to."
Good luck and have fun!!