Originally Posted by j9gillik
OK, this prompts a follow-up, out of curiosity. Are there boats that are more or less easy to rig for efficient single-handing?
I'm still in the "look for a boat" phase, and I have no intention of remaining perpetually tied up. For that reason, for myself, I'm interested in a boat that could be comfortably double-handed, but which could also be safely and effectively single-handed in the event that Mrs. Right continues to elude me.
I see a fair amount of hulls at Yachtworld and elsewhere that might be promising, but I don't know enough about rigging
, etc., to be smart (yet) about which models or manufacturers to avoid.
Anyone have some general thoughts on identifying the characteristics of a boat (say, around 34-38 feet) that might make it more or less desirable an option for singlehanding
Again, I don't think that it realistic to class specific boats as better than other specific boats. I, for one, have insuffucient experience with a broad enough range of boats to make that sort of call. It is better, in my opinion, to look at certain characteristics. Furthermore, "suitability" is in the eye of the end-user, not the recommender. Your budget
will also be a huge factor in detemining the boats that will be in the ballpark for you. My partner and I cruise
2-up on a racing
boat, with (currently) running backstays
, checkstays, etc no furling
, no autopilot, no fridge, no hot water
, etc. But we are relatively young & fit, but relatively cash-poor (in other ways, we are the richest people in the world). I wouldn't recommend our particular choice of cruising boat to anyone else, though.
For single-handing, assuming that you are reasonably fit, I think (a) sail-handling (raising, lowering, shortening, changing) while under way, and (b) manouvering around docks / marinas
are probably the most challenging areas. With this in mind, I, personally, would be looking for:
(a) A masthead rigged cutter
, with about a 130-150% (i.e #1) genoa
on the forestay and maybe a 80-90% (i.e. around #3 to #4) jib
on the innder, with furling
on both. Combine this with a slab-reefing main, with 3 reef points and a decent batt-car type system and you really ought to be able to handle any breeze between 5 knots (everything up) to, probably, 50 knots (3 reefs
and inner jib
only) without leaving the cockpit.
(b) either, if money
is no object, a 38' - 44' monohull
with a decent bow thruster and a 3-blade feathering prop, or if money
is tighter, a 34-36' monohul without a bow thruster, with a 3-blade feathering prop (I like 3-blade feathering props because I feel that they give the best combination of motoring performance, marina manouverability and sailing performance).
Other than that, you pays your money and you takes your choice. Again, the ease / difficulty of making a boat into a "good boat for single-handing" will depand on how much money and/or time you can afford to throw at the problem.