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Old 25-06-2013, 23:16   #16
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Re: Singlehanding Tips?

i'd say forget the autopilot for now its really not necessary and you'll get to understand your boat better. you should be able to set everything, balance it all out and spend some time admiring it all from the bow.
When you are comfortable with that and still want autopilot - then go for it.
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Old 25-06-2013, 23:27   #17
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Re: Singlehanding Tips?

Quote:
to get an idea of the kind of weather i have to deal with in and out of the docks, visit
The Squamish Windsports Society :. Wind
and pop in this date
2012-08-26
Yep, Gastineau Channel can be very similar with the Taku winds piping up in the afternoons. Some people call storms hurricanes. We just call it a normal winter. Storm surge? Who cares unless it hits at an extreme high tide?

All that joking aside, it can get rather tricky. My bow is fairly high and there's not much keel up forward, so the boat often acts like a wind vane when under engine power and especially at slow speeds. I try to take that in to consideration when deciding whether to back in or go bow in. Also, having at least one fender on the opposite side to the docking side (if you have an extra-I found a great $0.50 garage sale find a few years ago) to help protect not only your boat, but the one moored next to you as well. The same can be done on the stern if you're fore-aft with your neighbors. It's cheap insurance...
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Old 25-06-2013, 23:37   #18
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Re: Singlehanding Tips?

My first boat was a Columbia 26 Mk II. Found the boat had zero directional stability. Let go of the tiller and the boat was going to round up right now. I often sailed the boat with just a girl friend most of whom didn't have a clue about sailing so I was essentially single handed. Sailed the boat between the Islands but that required 24/7 on the helm and were not relaxing passages. If you are going to do anything more than daysailing, an autopilot or windvane would be way up there on my list.
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Old 26-06-2013, 00:40   #19
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Re: Singlehanding Tips?

The biggest singlehanding run I did was ~1200nm, down Baja and across the Sea of Cortez.

I found the psychology to be the hardest part. It's difficult to put your finger on, but there is a subtle difference that exists (or should exist) when you go into singlehanding mode. You have to be hyper aware of what's going on, you need to be more conservative, you need to favor offshore routes, and you really need to plan things out before you do them.

Before you anchor, sit there and think of all the steps you'll go through. Think of what you'll need. Think of what you'll do if there's a problem. I wrote down two pages of notes on what I was going to do and how I was going to do it. In the end I never had a single problem but in large part I think it's because I did a lot to stack the odds in my favor.

Regarding docking, enter and exit with help from others. Hit someone up on the VHF and be patient if it means waiting half an hour for people to be available. I can dock solo now but I try to avoid if it possible.

Regarding sleep, get as much as you can as often as you can. Because there will be times when you need to stay awake and alert. You don't want to be dead exhausted and then need to stay up for twelve hours straight. If nothing's going on, sleep.

I wouldn't take a boat outside of a harbor without self steering.
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Old 26-06-2013, 01:39   #20
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Re: Singlehanding Tips?

I would really recommend halyards and reef lines come back to the cockpit.. and an auto pilot.
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Old 26-06-2013, 01:42   #21
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Re: Singlehanding Tips?

Agree with all above I single hand mostly the only way to get confident is to do it.My auto helm is my best friend,and always reef before you have to.Enjoy your fishing.
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Old 26-06-2013, 04:06   #22
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Re: Singlehanding Tips?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
The biggest singlehanding run I did was ~1200nm, down Baja and across the Sea of Cortez.

I found the psychology to be the hardest part. It's difficult to put your finger on, but there is a subtle difference that exists (or should exist) when you go into singlehanding mode. You have to be hyper aware of what's going on, you need to be more conservative, you need to favor offshore routes, and you really need to plan things out before you do them.

Before you anchor, sit there and think of all the steps you'll go through. Think of what you'll need. Think of what you'll do if there's a problem. I wrote down two pages of notes on what I was going to do and how I was going to do it. In the end I never had a single problem but in large part I think it's because I did a lot to stack the odds in my favor.

Regarding docking, enter and exit with help from others. Hit someone up on the VHF and be patient if it means waiting half an hour for people to be available. I can dock solo now but I try to avoid if it possible.

Regarding sleep, get as much as you can as often as you can. Because there will be times when you need to stay awake and alert. You don't want to be dead exhausted and then need to stay up for twelve hours straight. If nothing's going on, sleep.

I wouldn't take a boat outside of a harbor without self steering.
+1 on self steering, adjusting expectations, and planning.

You need to develop systems and routines for docking. There will be situations to avoid, and be prepared to wait for help or even for changing conditions.

Choose benign conditions and just start doing it and your confidence will grow. The better you are at planning and preparing, the more successful you will be, but also requires ability to adapt.

From one you has run himself into the ground, I have to agree on the sleep thing. Steering a boat for a day or two with no sleep is brutal.
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Old 26-06-2013, 04:33   #23
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Absolutly you need an autopilot. Many boats will not reliably self steer , especially in poor sea states.

Dave
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Old 26-06-2013, 04:34   #24
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Re: Singlehanding Tips?

HI,

Off topic but have you ever run in to an old mate of mine that lived (lives) on his boat at Squamish... his name is Scott Hall.

Cheers,
Anthony.
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Old 26-06-2013, 05:07   #25
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Re: Singlehanding Tips?

Auto pilot for short hops ,wind vanes are for longer passages. This guy just wants to go fishing and have some learning experiences.
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Old 26-06-2013, 05:12   #26
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Re: Singlehanding Tips?

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Originally Posted by mr-canada View Post
I have no autopilot, windvane or otherwise. My PFD is designed to double as a harness though, very strong webbing with a stainless ring at the front, its the West Marine inflatable type with 3" webbing and two stainless rings and it instructs by icon on the front where to install the tether to the jackline and how.

I'd like to get an autopilot, I have the mount for it in the cockpit but that is yet another purchase to be made. I dont plan on going more than a days travel on my own and with all the rigging and extended tiller my only need for an auto is to go down below to drop a duece in the head or grab a drink or grab some lunch. It would be useful.

The reef lines as described are a dream to operate. Using the spinny downhaul to pull down the jib is an interesting and crafty idea I hadnt thought of at all.

Don't forget to put netting on the bow if you use a downhaul from the cockpit to release a sail on the bow. Having an uncontrolled sail go over the side in rough seas can sink a boat.
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Old 26-06-2013, 05:14   #27
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Re: Singlehanding Tips?

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Ahh, I forgot the PFD part. I'm always wearing when single handing, and not an inflatable. Due to the temperature, it's usually a Mustang jacket, but I've also got a lighter weight vest for the odd warm days. Also, when I tack, I very rarely use the autopilot (no windvane on it, just a compass). However, with a wheel I might not have as many challenges as with a tiller. I do generally prefer a tiller in most cases, though. Also, when tacking in lighter winds, I often have to go forward to get the genoa around the cutter stay. Personally I don't use jack lines or clip in unless it's getting rougher out. I also usually have at least a dozen charter fishing boats, whale watching boats, or personal skiffs in the vicinity and keep a waterproof VHF radio in my pocket and tied on to the brightly colored lifevest (never understood the blue, black or camouflaged ones).

Tether the handheld radio to your body in some way. I use a fanny pack and several "camera strings" designed for small point-and-shoot cameras to keep the radio with the fanny pack.
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Old 26-06-2013, 05:17   #28
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Re: Singlehanding tips?

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Another tip is to get an auto pilot. Most of them have a "Tacking" feature which makes tacking real easy. Just press a button, the auto pilot will tack while you tend the sheets.

And another.... keep a 1 gallon bucket and rope in the cockpit. When its rough out, you can pee on the cockpit sole and then rinse with sea water using the 1 gal bucket and never have to leave the cockpit.
Why not just pee into the bucket?
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Old 26-06-2013, 05:21   #29
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I have only done a small amount of single handed sailing, but with an auto pilot and a plan most taking your time things work fine.

After 24 hours of solo sailing (15 minute rests near shore and 20 minutes offshore) I feel like **** and only think about unbroken sleep. How do people manage this, and how long does it take for your body to adjust on long passages?
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Old 26-06-2013, 05:40   #30
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Re: Singlehanding Tips?

Consider building a wind vane for self steering.

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Originally Posted by gunnado View Post
I have only done a small amount of single handed sailing, but with an auto pilot and a plan most taking your time things work fine.

After 24 hours of solo sailing (15 minute rests near shore and 20 minutes offshore) I feel like **** and only think about unbroken sleep. How do people manage this, and how long does it take for your body to adjust on long passages?
It takes me a few days because in 3 meter or more swell I get seaseeick, after 2 days of feeling ill it passes and then I'm ok for weeks.. or months.. it somehow resets after being in a port out of swell then going back again.
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