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Old 08-02-2008, 19:56   #16
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Originally Posted by Weyalan View Post
The thing about single-handing a boat (from my albeit limited experience) is that it shouldn't matter what type / size the boat is, but it is how the boat is set up for single-handing that really matters.
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?
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Old 10-02-2008, 18:42   #17
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We just sold a 35 Wauquiez and it was a great sailing boat and had lots of storage room. Hal Roth wrote about sailing around the world in this boat and I can see why. We had an autopilot on her which worked great. Good luck with your search.
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Old 10-02-2008, 19:18   #18
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J9,

When I first bought Shiva, a Contest 36s in 85 I wanted a boat that coould handle myself in all conditions. In that sense she fits the billl and others as well.

I added roller furling so I could handle the headsail without leaving the cockpit, below decks autopilot and a windlass with both foot switches and cockpit switch so I can drop and raise the anchor from the cockpit.

The main has slab reefing full batt main with a dutchmen. A snap to drop, reef and handle.

All lines are led aft so that there is no need to leave the cockpit. I adeded a pair of secondary winches so the cockpit has 6 in all. 2 for main and reefing, out haul and vang and 4 for head sail trim.

You can't single hand without a great autopilot and anchor without a windlass if alone in my opinion.

All lines led aft is a safety feature as well as a convenience one as the cockpit is the most secure place on the boat.

I also have a view from anywhere in the cockpit of my nav instruments and the nav station can be seen from the bridgedeck giving me a view of the radar from the cockpit. Nowadays people install MFD with radar in the cockpit.

Shiva is big and comfy inside with great hand holds and terrific in a seaway. She has a huge U shaped galley and full size nav desk. Her cockpit is a sqaure doughnut for seating of 9 feet in length and more than 6 ft wide.

I don't know many other boats for single handing, but this one is great and I have handled her on my own for 22 yrs and more than 35,000 miles by now.

I'm sticking with her and the wife doesn't have to lift a finger.
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Old 12-02-2008, 17:20   #19
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Originally Posted by j9gillik View Post
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.
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Old 12-11-2009, 08:20   #20
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hey guys: what oceans(boats) are you sailing on? have sailed for 40 years with many singlehanded voyages on boats between 10 and 72 feet and have never seen the sailboat that really goes anywhere and ALL can be done from the cockpit.BTW there is ahuge difference between a daysail alone in local waters and going alone on a passage into unfamiliar waters that may (will?) involve trying conditions.This is when the sailor with the smaller craft (say30+-feet will be better able to handle the issues at hand .Of course there are many labor saving devices that can be reasonably relieable,but they surely will let you down sooner or later. Then what? Am i missing something here?
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Old 12-11-2009, 10:56   #21
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A sturdily-built cutter or ketch from 30-35 feet would be my choice. After than, it's all about having good equipment in good working order. I would want slab reefing, a reliable engine, and a good windvane and/or autopilot.
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