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Old 26-06-2013, 05:46   #31
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pirate Re: Singlehanding Tips?

Don't tell people on CF that you sleep while sailing under tiller/Wheel/pilot....
you'll end up feeling like your standing in a toilet...
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Old 26-06-2013, 06:01   #32
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Re: Singlehanding Tips?

download here..
Singlehanded Tips Book

Probably a bit over the top for the first steps you're looking at but free and interesting.

I'd echo others- self steering of some form! Cheap tiller pilot would do it, just something to point the boat while you make some (more ) coffee.

Docking, I usually have dock lines both sides of the boat led back to near the cockpit so I can step off either side with a bow and stern line, a spring line midships through a block onto a winch works great as well, take up the slack and leave the engine in forward tickover.

Your reefing sounds odd for solo if the halyards are still at the mast??

But prep anything you can thing of and get out there and do it, you might get a few good tips on here but many more opinions The real learning starts when you are out there.

Enjoy the fish for dinner
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Old 26-06-2013, 06:07   #33
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Re: Singlehanding Tips?

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Originally Posted by smaarch View Post
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.

I disagree with this. Autopilot will only interfere with learning how to sail your boat if you over-rely on it.

I think autopilot is crucial to single-handing. What if you injure yourself? Then autopilot can give you some much needed relief.

Speaking of relief, do you want to be able to use the head?

I prepare food for the day and keep a small cooler in the cockpit, but it is easy to leave something you need below. I think it's an important safety feature for someone just learning how to manage single-handing.

This comes from someone who learned to do this recently enough that I still have very clear memories of the hurdles I had to jump.

If you really want to sail your boat as best as possible, you won't over-rely on auto-pilot. Since sailing your boat as best as possible can take hours off a shore-hopping trip and even determine if you make it to a safe anchorage or mooring/marina, only an idiot would over-rely on autopilot, which unlike a wind vane, ignores changes in wind, etc.

With a tiller boat one can get a tiller pilot which will give you the freedom to move much more safely around the boat, if, for instance, you have to go to the bow to deal with a sail that didn't drop properly or a roller furler that somehow get fouled.

I forgot there was loose line on deck near the roller furler once and ended up having to deal with a bunch of "angry cats in a bag" on the bow of the boat. Having autopilot helped me deal with my own mistake.

IMO only an idiot thinks he or she will never make any significant mistakes. The combination of an engine that can be used to help maintain steerage (on my boat in moderate conditions that's only about 1.5 knots) and an auto pilot (Wheel pilot, actually) GREATLY simplified undoing snafus, and in *that* process * I *also* learned a great deal about my boat.

I think it's a safety issue particularly for newer sailors.
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Old 26-06-2013, 06:22   #34
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I single hand my T-33 3-4 times a month for log day sails and take short trips every few months.

Raising, reefing or stowing the sails with the AP is a snap, head into the wind engage and do what you need to do. Without the AP locking the wheel in rough weather resulted in the boat falling off the wind after a minute or two.

Get a used AP they are around for $5-600 it is a prudent investment. Docking will come with practice. Best proactive is in open but protected water just getting the feel of the boat.
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Old 26-06-2013, 06:55   #35
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Re: Singlehanding Tips?

+1 for autopilot.
I have logged over 12k miles singlehanded. The autopilot steers the boat 95% of the time. I can't imagine living without one.
As far as sleep goes. I have gotten used to sleeping one our out of every six hours ( with additional 10-15 minute naps) for a total of four to six hours of sleep a day. I can do that for weeks at a time with no problems and I feel aware and energetic. I use a kitchen timer to wake me.
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Old 26-06-2013, 07:00   #36
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Re: Singlehanding Tips?

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+1 for autopilot.
I have logged over 12k miles singlehanded. The autopilot steers the boat 95% of the time. I can't imagine living without one.
As far as sleep goes. I have gotten used to sleeping one our out of every six hours ( with additional 10-15 minute naps) for a total of four to six hours of sleep a day. I can do that for weeks at a time with no problems and I feel aware and energetic. I use a kitchen timer to wake me.

I just don't function well unless I've had a full night's sleep. I'm sure I could tough it out if I had to if things were going wrong and I had no choice, but I wouldn't choose to sail that way. This is not intended to criticize you -- just saying that each person needs to know their limits if they're going to single-hand.
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Old 26-06-2013, 07:21   #37
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Re: Singlehanding Tips?

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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
I just don't function well unless I've had a full night's sleep. I'm sure I could tough it out if I had to if things were going wrong and I had no choice, but I wouldn't choose to sail that way. This is not intended to criticize you -- just saying that each person needs to know their limits if they're going to single-hand.
No offense taken. You are right, each individual is different. Even when I am at home I wake up every two hours or so. I often get up in the middle of the night for an hour or so. Sometimes I get up at 2am and just stay up the rest of the day. My natural sleep patterns (or lack of sleep patterns) seem to help me with getting the sleep I need when cruising.
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Old 26-06-2013, 07:28   #38
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Re: Singlehanding Tips?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr-canada View Post

I'm quite nervous getting in and out of dock even with crew.
...
Mostly it's docking, anchoring (no electric windlass Being alone means nobody can rescue you.


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.
Its not as difficult as you think.

Docking and anchoring are the trickier bits but they are really not so bad after you do it a few times. Now I find anchoring, especially, easier by myself than with crew. Docking I only need crew to make the line throwing easier... they are a nice to have but not at all essential.

Best trick is (like everything!) lots of boring practice.
On a day when there isnt much wind or current practice docking 5 or 10 times. If I screw up I dont try to fix it... I turn around and go right out again and turn around and start the whol thing anew.

Same with anchoring. Though with a manual windlass you might be in hospital!

You will work out ways to make each operation happen.

You have advantages others dont have: TIME. You can take as long as you like to set the pick, or pull it up, theres no one to yabber at you.

Pulling the anchor up in a stiff wind is easy too. Let the boat and wind help. You pull in a bit and then wait till the boat moves forward to make some slack.
The engine in gear but at idle will give you enough thrust... and you dont worry about where the boat is going because the anchor will make the bow come head to wind each swing around. So no throttle!

In anchoring or docking I put on a pretense with myself that I am very relaxed about it. So I slowly walk along the deck from wheel to bow... slow and relaxed. If I start to hurry then I am not doing it right!

And Auto Pilot is great! Very necessary. I would NEVER EVER have wind vane steering on any boat whatsoever and even more so against wind vanes for a solo sailors boat. Every wind change makes to boat go off course... often disastrously. Its life and limb stuff. You wreck your boat for the sake of some battery power.

So you may ask how does one ever enjoy single handed sailing... well I can tell you the girl would have to have HUGGGGGEE maracas before I would take crew again. Solo sailing is great! Its relaxing, its fun, its safe, its everything you want.



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Old 26-06-2013, 07:31   #39
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Re: Singlehanding Tips?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Liam Wald View Post
No offense taken. You are right, each individual is different. Even when I am at home I wake up every two hours or so. I often get up in the middle of the night for an hour or so. Sometimes I get up at 2am and just stay up the rest of the day. My natural sleep patterns (or lack of sleep patterns) seem to help me with getting the sleep I need when cruising.
I've had one experience with "helm hypnosis" -- with a decent night's sleep. I think I'd be a zombie if I tried to do what you do, and not just because of my age. I've always been that way.

I have a good friend who has been sailing for 60 years and who almost always single-hands. He was sailing from the Florida peninsula back to Tampa Bay with a wind vane, at night. A tiller boat. He'd arranged a way to sleep in the cockpit, and had a kitchen timer to wake him up every 30 minutes.

He slept through the timer and woke up because of a wind change -- to find himself steaming along at 6 knots in the middle of a shrimping fleet.

Oops.
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Old 26-06-2013, 07:32   #40
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Re: Singlehanding Tips?

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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?
You change your route planning and get lots of sleep. Go offshore, have gear that will hopefully alert you about most things, and be a good navigator.
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Old 26-06-2013, 07:45   #41
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Re: Singlehanding Tips?

I always like to prepare for my next move prior to its needing to be executed. For instance. When it's time to come in. I get all of my docklines ready for deployment. start motor. Drop sails and dock. If i dropped sails, tried to get ready all at once or dropped sails prior to starting motor or got docklines ready after i pulled into marina, things would not go as smooth. I try and get the next move done prior to execution. That seems to keep me one step ahead. Slow is fast and fast is slow. I don't have to rush and can move effeciently and safely because I have some time on my side because I prepared in advance. Also, for about 400 bucks, you can get a tiller pilot to help out.

I have hank on Jib, ob motor no self tailing winches and all halyards are on the mast, so I have to leave the cockpit to get to them. It is not hard at all. Just a little practice and you'll have down your set in no time.
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Old 26-06-2013, 08:21   #42
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Re: Singlehanding Tips?

Get everything organized and have a backup plan before you enter or leave any dock or anchorage. Neverminding any safety equipment that you may have that may or may not help you, remember that if you fall of you are DEAD. Always keep that thought in the back of your head and you will have no problem working the deck safely. It really does work. Singlehanding is very rewarding if you can get used to it.
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Old 26-06-2013, 09:23   #43
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Re: Singlehanding Tips?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr-canada View Post
---my reef points on the main are also entirely operable from the cockpit. Reef 1 I can just pull on while holding the mainsheet loosely on a winch and reef 2 is largely the same. ---
Having your reefing lines run to the cockpit doesn't do much good if you have to go forward to the mast to operate the main halyard.
Same with having a downhaul for the jib, the jib halyard needs to be run to the cockpit. You might want to Google the Gerr downhaul.
I don't know what the previous owner's rationale was with all the extra cleats and winches, but running halyards to the cockpit is usually the first thing that sailors do when rigging for single handing. In my experience anyway.
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Old 26-06-2013, 09:57   #44
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Re: Singlehanding Tips?

Whoops. Just noticed that you apparently have a roller furling jib, disregard the part about the jib downhaul/halyard.
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Old 26-06-2013, 10:23   #45
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Re: Singlehanding Tips?

I think the autopilot is probably the most important for you. Towing a 12' dingy will eventually cause you grief.... it's only a matter of time...
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