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Old 28-08-2009, 15:15   #1
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Largest Single-Hand Cat

Ok, here's one to stir the pot.

I have my opinions but I would like to gather yours so I'll keep quiet for a while.

What in your opinion is the largest cat that you would consider comfortably single-handing? Disregard issues like watches on passages. I'm talking purely singlehanded control. Now I understand that a lot, if not most of this depends on boat design so if you have a first hand experience based opinion (not here-say) on a particular model include that as well.
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Old 28-08-2009, 15:22   #2
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Mine is 35 foot and I can sail {and dock} her single handed easily
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Old 28-08-2009, 15:43   #3
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St. Francis 43....so far no problem with just me on board...........!
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Old 28-08-2009, 16:36   #4
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Ditto Manta 40, I think skill is more of a factor than boat size. I'd dock a 150 footer with enough thrusters and fenders and good visibility from the helm
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Old 28-08-2009, 19:39   #5
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Chris White's Atlantic 55 (or possibly the 57). Rigging and all is set up well and easy to handle. I'd chose those because the cockpit is safer and impossible to fall out of. Also there is an interior cockpit as well so you dont have to spend all your energy weathering the conditions. Also its built to be a real sailors sailbot. Accomidations are not fancy, but very smartly designed for pure functionality.
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Old 28-08-2009, 19:41   #6
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Ditto Manta 40, I think skill is more of a factor than boat size. I'd dock a 150 footer with enough thrusters and fenders and good visibility from the helm
Thank goodness that cats have the advantage over monos - no need for thrusters !
On Prout 50 Exec - easy to single hand and to maneuver into and out of berths - but also better to have someone around to pass or take a line if wind is coming from the wrong direction.
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Old 29-08-2009, 11:40   #7
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I've single handed my 47' Crowther design but never longer than a 4 day passage.

For me, I think weight and sail area would be more a limiting factor than length.
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Old 29-08-2009, 12:03   #8
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Chris White's Atlantic 55 (or possibly the 57). Rigging and all is set up well and easy to handle. I'd chose those because the cockpit is safer and impossible to fall out of. Also there is an interior cockpit as well so you dont have to spend all your energy weathering the conditions. Also its built to be a real sailors sailbot. Accomidations are not fancy, but very smartly designed for pure functionality.
I think it a wee bit dangerous to think that. Mother Nature will take you any time she wishes to have you. extremely difficult, but not IMPOSSIBLE!.......i2f
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Old 29-08-2009, 13:11   #9
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My pahi 42 is very well behaved when I single hand her.
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Old 30-08-2009, 02:05   #10
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I think it a wee bit dangerous to think that. Mother Nature will take you any time she wishes to have you. extremely difficult, but not IMPOSSIBLE!.......i2f
I'm not saying mother nature cant take you, but you can't fall out. I said nothing about being...ejected 6ft in the air over a 14ft distance to clear the waist high walls of the cockpit and the sides of the boat. Besides you can steer from inside the cabin as well...where mother nature will have to pull you through a broken window or some such to get you out. Not strictly impossible...but hard enough to be "close enough" and much better than pretty much everything else in this respect.
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Old 30-08-2009, 02:17   #11
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This is a very silly question that either reveals a lack of understanding, or slight wind-up.

The factor that controls the maximum size of a cat for single handing is not the length so much as the equipment and how it is set up.

Ellen MacArthur's trimaran was 75 ft - I seem to recall her sailing it single handed for a reasonable distance
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Old 30-08-2009, 12:41   #12
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This is a very silly question that either reveals a lack of understanding, or slight wind-up.

The factor that controls the maximum size of a cat for single handing is not the length so much as the equipment and how it is set up.

Ellen MacArthur's trimaran was 75 ft - I seem to recall her sailing it single handed for a reasonable distance
I think this question might have only concerned boats built for the public with a "typical" loadout. Not the super awesome boats that were double worked over by engineers to take a lady around the world.
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Old 30-08-2009, 12:49   #13
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Any boat can be worked on to enable them to be singlehanded.

There is no real difference between a singlehanded boat and one being run by a couple, except, the boat for the couple needs to be modified so that she can be handled by a 100lb weekling, rather than a 200lb gorilla. (yes I have been looking in the mirror again).

The only problem with these bigger vessels is the docking, and even that is really only a question of finding and being familiar with an effective berthing technique.

It is well within the capability of most people who consider themselves blue water, to be able to make these changes. The design of the change is either experience or cheque book time.
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Old 30-08-2009, 13:06   #14
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Excellent point. Perhaps then we should be talking about boats we absolutly DON'T want to single-hand.

Also, in my mind the single hand questions isn't so much "is it possibly" but how safely and easily can it be done on that paticular boat. For example, I wouldn't be comfortable on a Catana alone in bad seas having to steer the boat a single mis-step from overboard.
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Old 30-08-2009, 13:46   #15
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I expect this is a question that is really more about how much risk are you willing to take. For me I would rather arrive a week late than run the risk of not arriving. That means I tend to slow down, rather than crowd on sail, and was never very comfortable on a racing boat. Thus for me, the boat needs to be forgiving of error, and capable of being left to get on with the job without 24/7 supervision. This is not really a feature of length, but of design and purpose.
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