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Old 14-04-2016, 13:20   #46
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Re: Too big to singlehand??

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Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post
Beth Leonard wrote a good article about it on their website. http://bethandevans.com/pdf/tenBiggerboat.pdf
I think that's true no matter what "it" might be, so long as it's related to sailing. Between her book and their website, well, I feel like I need to buy them both (Beth and Evans) a few beers for all I've learned from them.

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Old 14-04-2016, 13:28   #47
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Re: Too big to singlehand??

New things are often a challenge. And I've not done it, so everything I say might be utter bollocks. But ... every time I see forum naysayers warning that you shouldn't singlehand a big boat, I think of the girl who took a ~40' Jeanneau around the world by herself. She was 14. From everything I have read, she was (and remains) a top-tier sailor, so it's not fair to say that if she can, you or I can. But damn: she was 14. So yes, there will be challenges, but you can probably master it quickly enough. I say live the dream.
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Old 14-04-2016, 14:05   #48
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Re: Too big to singlehand??

I have a classic 46' Cal ketch. I sail her singlehanded all the time in/ around Chesapeake Bay now days. So as others have said, need good auto pilot, and stay ahead of the curve on sail adjustments, dock lines/ fenders. But I admit there is a calculated added risk that if something goes unexpectedly wrong (many of them already mentioned... but there are many more!) you really have your hands full! So I recommend that you think through the what ifs and have a plan/ any special tools/ come-alongs/ extra blocks & lines already set up. All that said, I do really study wx before leaving for my overnights, week, or longer trip alone. I have either not gone or modified my original float plan to be a bit more conservative/ planed alternative posts and bailout options.

When wife comes, it's great! Hardly know what to do with all the extra help! But I must say, I'd rather be out there alone than with guests aboard who know nothing about boats/ sailing, docking. To me that's more dangerous and distracting to me. But, I still do it in hopes it may trigger a new sailor to be. Good luck with your decision. Also, you might take on an attractive first mate... wife might want to lean sailing/ go on your trips!


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Old 14-04-2016, 14:07   #49
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Re: Too big to singlehand??

Size of your boat does not have as much to do with single handling, as is how your boat is set up. I have a 50,000#, 53 ft Gulfstream Ketch, center cockpit, with a Pilothouse, that has all of the lines running inside so it can be single handled. I have six winches inside with two of them electric powered.
The first thing I did when I bought the boat was to add a remote controlled, bow thruster. Best decision I ever made.
Under normal circumstances, less than 20 knots cross wind, I can single handle her in and out of a narrow dock between two very large Hatteras Motor Yachts.
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Old 14-04-2016, 14:16   #50
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Re: Too big to singlehand??

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Originally Posted by Tayana42 View Post

On second thought, given the big cost of buying a bigger boat for more headroom have you considered having your legs shortened? Could cost way less and a lower center of gravity may increase stability.😉😉


S/V B'Shert
i say that maybe trimming your head down a few inches might work too
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Old 14-04-2016, 14:53   #51
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Re: Too big to singlehand??

I have seen a 72 year old guy sailing (or better motorsailing) his 75 foot motor sailer singlehanded
I dont think that you are looking for gale force winds, and the weather forecasts are wonderful now days - so go ahead
My previuous boats were all of them above 43 feet and i was always singlehanded in East Med- not the most friendly sea in the world.
planning ahead and do not take unessesary risks is the name of the game
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Old 14-04-2016, 15:35   #52
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Re: Too big to singlehand??

I'm surprised no one has mentioned this but you should consider a bow thruster, which can come in way handy when you are in a windy marina. I know, I know, the purists are going to mutter, but especially since you mentioned marinas and slips, I would strongly suggest you look into it. Get the type that is mounted into the hull, not attached to it. If you have the money to do it, why make life harder if you don't have to?
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Old 14-04-2016, 16:11   #53
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Re: Too big to singlehand??

You may want to read about John Letcher who designed and built the Aleutka 25. He is 6' 7". He single handed her and I suspect kept his back in good shape through the exercise he got.
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Old 14-04-2016, 17:03   #54
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Re: Too big to singlehand??

I'm trying to perfect singlehanding a 44ft cat and you certainly learn quickly about marina manoevering.

Bow thrusters can be easily retro fitted these days at a reasonable price for a capable self fitter.

Go for it
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Old 14-04-2016, 17:58   #55
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Re: Too big to singlehand??

I've single handed boats that size half my life. Bigger stuff means more work. If rigged right it helps a lot. Practice docking a lot. Long bow line that you can bring back to cockpit helps.
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Old 14-04-2016, 18:45   #56
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Re: Too big to singlehand??

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Originally Posted by bruceinOz View Post
Hi All. For the last four years I've owned and sailed my first yacht, a Cavalier 32 here in Oz.
This was supposed to be my training boat, easily handled by a newbie.
Over the years I have rebuilt every system on this 30 year old girl. Rebuilt engine, rewired, new plumbing, new shaft and prop, new sails, new boom, you get the picture.
So here I am with a boat completely rebuilt around myself, with a wonderful safe sea motion, yet hankering for headroom.
That's the killer. I'm 6'7", and any tall sailor out there will tell you, very little beats headroom.
There are two places I can stand up in my boat. At the bottom of the companionway and under the butterfly hatch in the saloon.
After a couple of days away my back starts getting sore from stooping all the time. Some say sailing involves sitting most of the time, but that's daysailing
An American boat came into our marina a while back, an Apogee 50, custom built for a very tall sailor. Wow!, such room. Sadly you need dot com money for a boat like that. I have dot-some money, not dot-com.
One yacht that I know I can stand in the saloon is the Catalinas 42. Affordable.
My family are all avowed land lubbers. Can't even convince the boys that sailing would make them cool in the eyes of girls.
So I singlehand, and my boat is just about perfect for that. Well set up, new systems etc. a boat I can muscle around with warps.
If I go to a boat the size of the Cat42, will I lose that?
Do many of you fine sailors singlehand boats of this size? Or will it all go to hell in a handbag as windage, weight and inertia conspire together to once again make me marina entertainment fodder?
Thanks



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Have owned and operated my Irwin43 for 18 years and sailed extensively single handed including 3500 miles from Canada to the Caribbean. No problem with an AP and all lines running back to the cockpit with a windlass switch at the helm and a remote anchor chain counter. Less hassle than incompetent seasick crew.
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Old 14-04-2016, 19:05   #57
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Re: Too big to singlehand??

Went from a 26 to a 30 to a 38 to a 47, and have singlehanded all of them, but it's much more fun when I have the family there to help, which is most of the time. I'm lucky because I have a strong frame and muscle build but the 47 can't be muscled. Everything has to be planned out, you need a good auto pilot and sail conservatively when at sea, if the wind even looks like it's going to build just reef. So you lose 1/2 a knot of boat speed, you'll be happy you did. Everything on the 47 requires mechanical advantage, there's no muscling it, even Arnold would pop a nut. Can you do it, sure, if the boat is laid out correctly and you use a bit of forethought. Just don't "assume" anything, if it doesn't feel right it probably isn't. Reef it.
I haven't sailed a 42 Catalina but I've sailed other Catalinas and found them to be pretty forgiving by design. You might want to look into the Catalina owners association site to see what other 42 owners think.
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Old 14-04-2016, 19:08   #58
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Re: Too big to singlehand??

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Originally Posted by sailorjed3 View Post
I'm surprised no one has mentioned this but you should consider a bow thruster, which can come in way handy when you are in a windy marina. I know, I know, the purists are going to mutter, but especially since you mentioned marinas and slips, I would strongly suggest you look into it. Get the type that is mounted into the hull, not attached to it. If you have the money to do it, why make life harder if you don't have to?
I'd love one but haven't won the lottery yet so I'll have to make due. But if the money magically appeared.......
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Old 14-04-2016, 19:10   #59
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Re: Too big to singlehand??

Have met an English couple sailing in a 25 ft sloop, she is about 5'9", but he is like you 6'5" and the sailed they boat from England all the way to SE Asia, I don't think either of them can stand up inside, but have adapted to the situation, so my thoughts are that you should see what you can do about your back, before going into the expense of a bigger boat, good luck with what ever your choice.
I am also a single handler, but luckily only 6' and on a 37' boat, headroom is mostly 6'2" but only along the spine in the saloon
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Old 14-04-2016, 19:51   #60
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Re: Too big to singlehand??

Properly set up the 42' should be easily single handled. In fact mush larger boats can be single handled in set up to do so.
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