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Old 11-01-2016, 21:50   #31
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Re: Largest Single-Hand Cat

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
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.
True re the docking except for dual aft helms. I can now even med moor solo but it did take awhile to get the skills up. Alongside and pens even easier as long as you have engine controls at both helms - no need for shore help if its not around. Ive seen 50 foot catana skippers do the same.

Good point on the anchor too - a valid part of shorthanded considerations as is anything that can only be done on electrical power like large sails needing elec winches etc.

Not directly relevant but still paints the picture- A 40 foot mono dragged into a 52 footer in front of us this year in greece. the 40 footer was able to dive on their chain and manually untangle their 25kg mess while the 52 footer with a 60kg delta and who was solo on board lost his windless in the carnage (35knot gusts) we had to use the bolt cutters or risk the rocks in the end as even when we had 3 on board we couldnt even lift it once off the bottom in those winds.
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Old 12-01-2016, 06:16   #32
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Re: Largest Single-Hand Cat

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...

Good point on the anchor too - a valid part of shorthanded considerations as is anything that can only be done on electrical power like large sails needing elec winches etc.

...
Thats one of my concerns on current bigger cats, if you lose juice in heavier conditions you have a problem. On many I think the winches are undersized with the assumption of at least power assist...without that assist it could be a challenge in heavy conditions. Eventually I think this is going to get some of the aging cruisers who are buying them in trouble.

By contrast a friend has a custom built Shuttleworth 65. Big honking primaries that can get the job done. Power is a convenience in that case, not a necessity.
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Old 12-01-2016, 09:52   #33
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Re: Largest Single-Hand Cat

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Thats one of my concerns on current bigger cats, if you lose juice in heavier conditions you have a problem. On many I think the winches are undersized with the assumption of at least power assist...without that assist it could be a challenge in heavy conditions. Eventually I think this is going to get some of the aging cruisers who are buying them in trouble.

By contrast a friend has a custom built Shuttleworth 65. Big honking primaries that can get the job done. Power is a convenience in that case, not a necessity.
I think for the "ageing" boater. Or even the 25 year old body builder who would have trouble using brute force to lift a large vessels anchor the best plan would be to have back up power. Be it an extra power line in with switch for your genset or even a portable genset for backup. Goes for all major electrics and electronics but most certainly in my case winches and anchor.

Thanks,
Chaya
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Old 12-01-2016, 14:54   #34
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Re: Largest Single-Hand Cat

the anchor issue is relatively easy to deal with, rolling hitch a line onto the anchor chain or roade, bring the line back to a manual cockpit winch, and wind. You may need to lead the line through an appropriately placed snatch block. when you get the hitch back to the winch tie off untie do it again. if you have two people aboard, you can do it fairly quickly as the majority opf the time is consumed tie off etc. Its not fast but it works well.
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Old 12-01-2016, 15:55   #35
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Re: Largest Single-Hand Cat

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the anchor issue is relatively easy to deal with, rolling hitch a line onto the anchor chain or roade, bring the line back to a manual cockpit winch, and wind. You may need to lead the line through an appropriately placed snatch block. when you get the hitch back to the winch tie off untie do it again. if you have two people aboard, you can do it fairly quickly as the majority opf the time is consumed tie off etc. Its not fast but it works well.
Great advise to slot away in my non electronic bio memory bank. Thanks.
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Old 12-01-2016, 17:19   #36
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Re: Largest Single-Hand Cat

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the anchor issue is relatively easy to deal with, rolling hitch a line onto the anchor chain or roade, bring the line back to a manual cockpit winch, and wind. You may need to lead the line through an appropriately placed snatch block. when you get the hitch back to the winch tie off untie do it again. if you have two people aboard, you can do it fairly quickly as the majority opf the time is consumed tie off etc. Its not fast but it works well.
Been there done that. It does work, but its tedious.

Another twist on the same trick: use the spin halyard if lead is fair. On my current boat, spin halyard can be led straight to the anchor chain on the bow roller. Still tedious, but no additional blocks to rig.

Of course, you could always just buy a smaller boat more suitable for single handing. My first cruising boat was a 37' mono, no windlass. Second cruising boat, 35' cat, no windlass. I sailed both for years without a windlass. Could haul primary Bruce + chain from a max depth of about 35' without assistance (good exercise!). I vowed to install a windlass after I turned 50...finally did at about 53...went the full monty with wireless remote...now Im getting fat!

Of course, hauling up by hand is not a realistic possibility for a larger cat.
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Old 14-01-2016, 03:49   #37
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Re: Largest Single-Hand Cat

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the anchor issue is relatively easy to deal with, rolling hitch a line onto the anchor chain or roade, bring the line back to a manual cockpit winch, and wind. You may need to lead the line through an appropriately placed snatch block. when you get the hitch back to the winch tie off untie do it again. if you have two people aboard, you can do it fairly quickly as the majority opf the time is consumed tie off etc. Its not fast but it works well.
The issue with bigger boats and exponentially bigger loads still applies. The solo skipper plus 2 helpers from other boats and we were not able to retrieve the anchor using exactly this technique. At least not before we had dragged across the channel and into rocky leeshore at which point the boltcutters came out.

A 40 footer would have been able to do as you say i reckon though i wouldnt say it would have been easy.
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Old 14-01-2016, 05:56   #38
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Re: Largest Single-Hand Cat

Another consideration is a windlass with a realistic manual operation mode. Many today are a bad joke.
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Old 15-01-2016, 04:09   #39
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Re: Largest Single-Hand Cat

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h point the boltcutters came out.
Why were bolt cutters needed, genuine question, I never attached the end of the chain to my vessels in a way that requires anything other than a sharp knife, I usually use a couple of loops of VB cord and have the last metre painted red as a warning we are at the end for precisely the reason that if you are at full chain out and you need to dump, cutting some vb cord is way easy than trying to undo a shackle or get out the bolt cutters.

Of course these days I go for a lot more rope and a lot less chain, so that issue sort of takes care of it self.
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