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Old 30-08-2009, 14:18   #16
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Talbot, there are no silly questions, only silly answers.

No, this has absolutely nothing to do with the amount of risk one is willing to take. It is purely a query of opinions on what the folks here consider a large single handed cat. Granted, yes, quite a bit of it has to do with experience as well as design. Example, a less experienced sailor could single hand a great design easily, where as with a less forgiving design it would take more skill or more hands.

From my personal perspective I would like to say that I have sailed every cat design out there but that's just not possible in my case. Nor is it reasonable. Not only that, I'm not a SME on singlehanded design so other's hands on opinions are valuable.

EH, I echo your sentiment on the Catana. While I love the living design on the Catanas I just can not get over the lack of consideration of protection for the helmsman. While they may have other pros and cons we eliminated them quite early in our search due to the position of the helm alone.

As for Ellen Macarthur's tri, the fact that she single handed a 75' tri in a full 'round is an awesome achievement. It however has no bearing on this discussion as I wouldn't consider her tri fit for a family of 6 cruising the globe. Would I like a try at the helm of that boat? Hells yes, but I would want to come home to my cruiser with all of the amenities after it was all said and done.
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Old 30-08-2009, 15:12   #17
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Some Cats can only be single handed:
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Old 30-08-2009, 15:45   #18
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Experience?

I think personally that it's more experience. I mean hey I have had almost zero experience sailing big cats, anything bigger than 10 feet. But it's just mostly a matter of experience, some people can't even sail a Laser Dart single handed let alone a 75ft tri; while others are up to the challenge.
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Old 30-08-2009, 23:29   #19
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I sailed my Voyage 38 from St. Martin to Grenada this year. My boat has all the usual things for a singlehandler. Halyards and reefing lines led to the cockpit, a good robust autopilot, a remote for the windlass at the helm and jacklines for when I have toleave the cockpit. That said, when I singlehand, the level of caution goes up a notch, I wear my lifejacket with harness more often, I reef earlier, and pay more attention to the weather and of course wait for weather.

This of course isfor any boat, it does not matter what the size. The limiting factor is your strength to handle a bigger boat, or you budget to pay for all of the toys and aids needed the bigger it gets.
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Old 31-08-2009, 03:37   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talbot View Post
This is a very silly question that either reveals a lack of understanding, or slight wind-up.

T
What an unfortunate comment . On what basis was the question regarded as "silly" ? How patronizing !
Why not take questions at their face value ? without the negative psychoanalysis.
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Old 31-08-2009, 03:46   #21
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What an unfortunate comment . On what basis was the question regarded as "silly" ? How patronizing ! .
Perhaps if you read my answers rather than just jumping in, you will see that I have answered your own question already.

I have certainly not just looked at it from the point of view of a single boat - for example your own "On Prout 50 Exec - easy to single hand and to maneuver into and out of berths"

Some cats are actually significantly more difficult to manoeuvre than monos - specifically those with a single engine. and some of those have a bow thruster (I fitted one to mine) A cat with a single engine is roughly equivalent of driving a mobo of equal size, that has a single outdrive - interesting in strong winds
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Old 31-08-2009, 04:34   #22
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Perhaps if you had quoted more than just part of my post ie: "On Prout 50 Exec - easy to single hand and to maneuver into and out of berths" and the rest of the sentence - "but also better to have someone around to pass or take a line if wind is coming from the wrong direction." That would indicate at least a sincere response in a debate

In fact, your answers were read very carefully, again the question is put :-
On what basis was the original question regarded as "silly" ?

Why not take questions at their face value ? without the negative psychoanalysis.

On the assumption that your experience regarding the subject of the modern catamarans is far greater than that of most people, the patronizing comments accompanying posts serves little purpose.



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Old 31-08-2009, 05:26   #23
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Laidback : While Talbot's language may have been a tad inflammatory, he does make a valid point. Each of us can only vouch for the largest Cat that we may have singled handed and thought was suitable. Thus none of the answers are valid unless there is one lucky poster who has sailed Cats of all possible sizes and can make a comparison.

Of course, there is an upper limit of size that can be singlehanded, but I'm not sure any of us know what that upper limit is. By way of a ludicrous example; I seem to recall that the Maltese Falcon (290 feet) has the technology and automation to be controlled by just one person. Thus for now, one can presume 290 feet to be the upper limit of size which can be singlehanded - when money is no object.

Talbots point being, the question could have been better defined.

As for my limited personal experience, the Broadblue 46 is very easily single handed, my wife does so with ease. And prior to this boat, the largest Cat I would have said that would have been suitable to single hand was a Wharram Tiki 21 because at that time, it was the upper limit of size for me. Each of us can only comment on our own personal experience.

Therefore you will get a range of numbers which have no value to the original poster. They will ranging from 16 feet to 290 ft depending upon how lucky each poster has been in life.
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Old 07-09-2009, 09:20   #24
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Neelie hits the nail on the head. Which is why in my original post I asked for first hand experience. As I said, I have my opinions but I was curious as to what y'all had experience with given that y'all (the cumulative group) have sailed more variety than I alone.

Neelie, you also touch on a point which originally brought about this thought, at least from my/our perspective. God forbid something were to happen to me would my crew (read as remaining family of 5) with their very limited experience be able to sail her with little to no input with me. While that brings up a complete different set of discussions that I don't want to digress into, my point was this...limited experience, largest possible single handed cat.
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Old 10-01-2016, 19:04   #25
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Re: Largest Single-Hand Cat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laidback View Post
Perhaps if you had quoted more than just part of my post ie: "On Prout 50 Exec - easy to single hand and to maneuver into and out of berths" and the rest of the sentence - "but also better to have someone around to pass or take a line if wind is coming from the wrong direction." That would indicate at least a sincere response in a debate

In fact, your answers were read very carefully, again the question is put :-
On what basis was the original question regarded as "silly" ?

Why not take questions at their face value ? without the negative psychoanalysis.

On the assumption that your experience regarding the subject of the modern catamarans is far greater than that of most people, the patronizing comments accompanying posts serves little purpose.



Except, of course, realizing it would pad an "I'm smarter and better than the rest of you lowlifes" crab mentality.
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Old 10-01-2016, 21:11   #26
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Re: Largest Single-Hand Cat

Once the sails are set and you just have to steer, not much of a limit.

For anchoring and docking where a second hand comes in handy, something below 20' is about right.
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Old 11-01-2016, 06:39   #27
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Re: Largest Single-Hand Cat

My 440 is set up to easily manage the mainsail, Genoa and the screecher all singlehandedly. I have not used my ASI singlehanded yet. Reefing the mail is straight forward. Dropping the anchor likewise easy from the helm. Leaving the dock is not a problem nor is returning to Dick if the wind "blows on". If the wind blows me off the dock I generally will need assistance often from a "Neighbour". Lifting the anchor usually needs a set of eyes on the chain direction. When solo I used a GoPro with wifi vision on the iPad to see the chain run when steering and working the windlass from the helm. So generally it's all doable. I've done 48 hr coastal voyages solo in winds to 35kts and crossed several coastal bars solo. So I'd say 43-44 foot with the right sail handling setup is an option.


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Old 11-01-2016, 13:10   #28
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Re: Largest Single-Hand Cat

I sailed my 44 foot Orana from Greece to the Canaries last year.


As stated, docking could be a challenge, especially Med mooring. Just avoid if there is a sizable crosswind.


When **** happens is another challenge. Ripped my gennaker in 15-20 knots wind which prevented the furling to work. It got down OK in lee behind the genoa, but dousing it with the hands and controlling the halyard at the same time was a challenge.
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Old 11-01-2016, 20:43   #29
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Re: Largest Single-Hand Cat

As others have pointed out, most any modern cat (or mono for that matter) can be single handed easily under sail if set up properly.

Docking a larger cat single handed can be a challenge because of distances from helm to cleats (both horizontal and vertical in the case of fly bridge layouts). High freeboard also contributes.

The hardest thing Ive ever done single handed was getting the hook up in a blow (unforecast unfavorable shift) without a working windlass. On a larger cat, with larger ground tackle, that would border in impossible.
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Old 11-01-2016, 21:25   #30
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Re: Largest Single-Hand Cat

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Originally Posted by Sail IC View Post
I sailed my 44 foot Orana from Greece to the Canaries last year.


As stated, docking could be a challenge, especially Med mooring. Just avoid if there is a sizable crosswind.


When **** happens is another challenge. Ripped my gennaker in 15-20 knots wind which prevented the furling to work. It got down OK in lee behind the genoa, but dousing it with the hands and controlling the halyard at the same time was a challenge.
Out of curiosity how did you handle the canaries leg solo? watchkeeping in particular as im planning that leg later this year and as it happens wont have the usual crew onboard at this stage.
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