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Old 06-01-2011, 14:41   #1
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Single-Handing a 39' C&C Center Cockpit

Obviously single handing will take some skill regardless of layout, and is something I will have to master, but how difficult is it to single hand a CC boat like the one listed above compared to a rear cockpit?

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Old 06-01-2011, 14:44   #2

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It's all about you and your ability to anticipate the changes you need to mak to keep the boat chugging along in a well controlled manner. If you are fit and healthy and reasonably intelligent I think you can do it.

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Old 06-01-2011, 14:53   #3
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Once you get past the stress and trepidation I think you'll find its pretty much the same on the water... just sitting in a different place...
As for docking... just lay out your bow and stern spring lines and lead em to the middle... also a short one at your centre cleat.
pull alongside.... step off with bow and centre line, cleat centre first then bow then stern... then fix bow and stern lines... reverse order if reversing
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Old 06-01-2011, 19:44   #4
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I've just started single-handed now with my 40' beneteau. The most challenging aspect for me is getting in and out of the marina. I practiced that in a variety of wind, weather and tide conditions with a crew - eventually getting then to do less and less - so after I felt comfortable with this went solo.
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Old 06-01-2011, 19:47   #5
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Two excellent answers above.
I single hand my boat a lot, 43' CC. Just like above make sure everything is thought out. Sometimes it seems like it's easier to dock and sail than my old 28' aft cockpit.
Probably has more to do with years of sailing than the boat
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Old 07-01-2011, 09:52   #6

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I am often asked by clients "can the boat do this? Can the boat do that?"
My typical smart ass/curmudgeoon answer is usually, "Sure it can. Can you?"

If you look at the huge variety of boats that have been succesful single handed voyagers one thing is clear. It's most often not about the boat.

Docking by yourself is simple. It just takes a lot of practice and an aggressive "i'm in charge here" attitude. The rudder can't work unles thereis water flowing over it.

I used to take my Esprit 37 out by myself all the time. My dock neighbor was almost always down on his immaculate trawler tinkering and he'd watch me go in and out. We were good friends and if I needed any mechanical or elctrical advice he woud be there with his tool box pushing me out of the way. But he never, ever helped me dock the boat. He'd hardly look up when I was docking, always a nervous effort on my part. And to make it more challenging I liked to back into my slip because the stern of the Esprit was so damn good looking.

One day I asked him, "Why don't you grab a line when I am coming in by myself?"
He said, "I just like to know you can do it for the times when I am not here."
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Old 07-01-2011, 10:30   #7
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center cockpit

Originally Posted by Unicorn Dreams View Post
Two excellent answers above.
I single hand my boat a lot, 43' CC. Just like above make sure everything is thought out. Sometimes it seems like it's easier to dock and sail than my old 28' aft cockpit.
Probably has more to do with years of sailing than the boat
Mine also is very easy I was nervous at first just had to get use to the boat its a easy boat to handle at the docks people ask me if I have a bow thurster and at sea its a joy.
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Old 07-01-2011, 10:42   #8
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Single handing a center vs aft cockpit I see no difference as far as sail handling. More a matter of how well laid out the lines and winches are.

Docking I think CC is a bit easier. You have better viz to the bow and just a little closer to bow and stern for the dock lines.

The main limitation I see for single handing is the size and weight of the sails. Not a problem for hoisting and trimming as long as you have good winches. The problem comes if you have to bend on a new main. Much over 45-50' the weight of the sail will become more than one person can easily lift.
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
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Old 07-01-2011, 12:19   #9
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Depends on the set-up. I have all lines brought to the cockpit - halyards, sheets, toping lift, vang, sheets, furlers and have a good autopilot. I also have and Autoanchor anchor drop, electric winches, and chain counter. There is no reason to go forward unless something breaks. I'll admit that I like assistance with docking but have done it myself. this is on a 60 ft, 65000 pound center cockpit. The limitation is not size but mechanical assistants
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Old 07-01-2011, 13:03   #10
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I have single-handed my C&C landfall 39 center cockpit and here is what I had to to to make it "safe". First of all I did not want to have holes through the cockpit combing with a bunch of lines passing in so that the cockpit can be kept dry in nasty conditions. I entirely enclosed the cockpit with side and rear curtains that allow access to the sheets. The top of the enclosure can be climbed on.

Added lazy jacks (a must). Installed jiffy reefing with a boom winch and jam cleats for the lines for two reefs.

Installed a boom gallows and Harken "big boat" mainsheet traveler with athwartships control lines. Made a custom mount so that the traveler sits at the same level as the combing also allowing access to the aft hatch which can still be opened sufficiently so as to get into or out of the aft stateroom if necessary. The stock mainsheet rigging is terrible in that you cannot control the mainsheet properly downwind without interferring with the enclosure and cannot properly depower the main close hauled.

Installed a powerful anchor windlass (vertical) for getting the anchor gear up in a hurry. Installed a powerful autopilot so that the boat will not broach in a large following sea.

Installed a solent rig for a "slutter" design allowing you to roll up the headsail and deploy a smaller sail good up to 45+ knots with inboard sheeting (added about 6 feet of track inboard of the existing genoa tracks) so that with reefed main I can point upwind at the critical windex angle in 30+ kts and make good over ground.

Replaced the safety lines with uncoated S/S cable and good fittings. Removed the safety line stancheons and welded them to the bases so that there is no play when pressure is put on the safety lines and rebedded them.

Re-mounted the electronics including radar forward in the cockpit so that you can see them from any location instead of only behind the wheel.

Does that help?

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c&c, center cockpit, cockpit, singlehanding

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