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Old 06-07-2011, 21:57   #31
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Re: Single Handed Cats

Iv had the pleasure of sailing large yachts(40 to 80ft.)single handed quiet a bit,its a great feeling getting the best out of a large sailing vessel,mono or cat.Theres one main facter ,all ways be one jump ahead of the conditions(if you thingk of reefing DO IT)One does become fimillier with a boat over time no matter how big.Maintenance is big to.Over the years ive found sailing a big boat(over 40ft.)more satisfying.
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Old 06-07-2011, 22:28   #32
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Re: Single Handed Cats

Back to the question posed. I kept my Leopard 46 in Fajardo, PR but would meet my family in the BVI. That's about 75 miles. She was easy to sail single handed but I wouldn't like to do night passages alone. It helped to have my main halyard back to the helm. I think it is particularly easy one to sail but a little hard to dock without help from the dock in strong wind.
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Old 07-07-2011, 00:46   #33
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Re: Single Handed Cats

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Originally Posted by NolaScott View Post
Would a Leopard 46 be too much for one person to handle?
Since there have been lots of good and sensible replies let me just add for inspiration that Francis Joyon and Thomas Coville have both circled the globe single handed at racing speed in multihulls far larger and vastly more powerful than the Leopard... It can be done. Here's TC going for style points :



Tom.
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Old 07-07-2011, 02:19   #34
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Re: Single Handed Cats

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsmwebb View Post
Since there have been lots of good and sensible replies let me just add for inspiration that Francis Joyon and Thomas Coville have both circled the globe single handed at racing speed in multihulls far larger and vastly more powerful than the Leopard... It can be done. Here's TC going for style points :



Tom.
That's awesome! Those big tris are just the sexiest boats on the water. And don't forget little Ellen MacArthur coaxed one around in 71 days.
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Old 07-07-2011, 02:25   #35
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Re: Single Handed Cats

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Originally Posted by NolaScott View Post
I appreciate the info. And I certainly understand that I need more miles..(and more salt) before I take the plunge.

Is there a rule of thumb break point on the size of a cat that you would need at least two people to manager her?.
I have a Privilege 37 which is just sub 40ft. IMHO a low 40s ft boat and single handing is about the maximum in marina handling etc. When out at sea, the size of a larger boat is relatively insignificant, provided the handling equipment is set up for that task. After all some of the single handed round world boats are much bigger.
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Old 07-07-2011, 02:35   #36
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Re: Single Handed Cats

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Originally Posted by beiland View Post
I have ONE MAIN CONCERN with any vessel to be single-handed....can I leave the helm unattended for some good amount of time. Is the boat inherently balanced enough that a lashed-over helm, a windvane, or an auto-pilot can steer the boat while I attend to other matters. Can I readjust the sails, or put a reef in while the boat sails itself. The tall, full-battened mainsail is the one I'm most concerned with on a multihull vessel. Can I reef it by myself, perhaps in somewhat of a hurry, and without upsetting the trim of the vessel or causing a severe course change. I've chosen to make my mainsail a roller furling sail, centered between a headsail and a mizzen.
The lars keels tend to help directional stability much more than you would experience with a fin keeled mono. Provided you have balanced the sails reasonably well, there should be absolutely no reason why an autopilot cannot manage on its own, this includes having to cope whilst reefing etc. The issue of coping with gusts etc when not at the helm is really a matter of prudent seamanship. You do not overpress the vessel when singlehanded. Reefing at night used to be the cry, but these days it is recognised that the majority of a single handers sleep ought to be during the day. Thus reef when you are sleeping might be a better cry.
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Old 07-07-2011, 08:33   #37
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Re: Single Handed Cats

The CW 57 that went over was roundly critizided for "bad seamanship" because they were not on station (ie in the forward pit) when the wind went from 15 to 60 in 15 seconds.

How do you sleep when single handing in squally weather when the weather pattern may last 5 days? Drop the sails when sleeping? What about during the day when you are sailing do you drop the sails to go to the bathroom, or make a cup of coffee?

Bad seamanship? Dodging a bullet?


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Originally Posted by mikereed100 View Post
A bold and broad statement and, like most such pronouncements, mostly untrue. I think the implication is that multi's will flip like pancakes as soon as we turn our backs on them, but if I were singlehanding on a passage with sensible sail up in settled weather then I would certainly feel as comfortable taking a quick nap on my cat as I would on my mono. In the vicinity of squalls or in the lee of headlands? Nope. Not with either boat.

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Old 07-07-2011, 16:20   #38
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Re: Single Handed Cats

The TRUE wind didnt go from 15 to 60 in 15 seconds. Didn't and indeed can't.
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Old 07-07-2011, 16:25   #39
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Re: Single Handed Cats

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No, not with a multi.
I must say I learn so much on this forum. Recently I learned that all that tacking I do without backwinding the jib is not possible. I am glad some one told me I was breaking the laws of physics there - who knows what might have happened if I kept tacking by just turning the wheel.

I also found out that I cant do ocean passages with outboards, recently. Thats another excellent learning because having done it a few times I was obviously bordering on delusional.

I now find that I cannot single hand a multi. Again - excellent news because I have been doing it for many years now and obviously I have been fiddling with the laws of nature and I wouldn't want that to happen.
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Old 07-07-2011, 17:29   #40
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Re: Single Handed Cats

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The TRUE wind didnt go from 15 to 60 in 15 seconds. Didn't and indeed can't.
Oh yes it can! But in special, probably rare circumstances. 5 gusting 30 true is not nearly rare enough IME. In any case, gusty conditions can be very frustrating and wearing. A cruising rule of thumb is to rig multihulls for the gusts and monohulls for the lulls. Even a slippery multi rigged for 30 is a slug in 5... If being stopped in the lulls, which may be most of the time, is unbearable options include sailing more actively, motor assist or gambling with a higher probability of capsize. There are elements of luck, judgement and desire for risk aversion at play. The size, strength and skill of the crew are important factors. In most conditions with most "cruising" multis (and particularly large heavish ones) I believe that it is possible to rig the boat so that there is a very high probability that it will be safe from wind induced capsize even left to its own devices for some time. When it comes to short handed voyaging under sail patience is a very great virtue.

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Old 07-07-2011, 18:03   #41
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Re: Single Handed Cats

Tom, that was well said. The problem lies in moving from pro active to re active. You can be pro active and reef for the anticipated gusts but then you must be re active when the gust is higher then anticipated. Tough to do when asleep!

Factor, your comment suprises me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsmwebb View Post
Oh yes it can! But in special,

probably rare circumstances. 5 gusting 30 true is not nearly rare enough IME. In any case, gusty conditions can be very frustrating and wearing. A cruising rule of thumb is to rig multihulls for the gusts and monohulls for the lulls. Even a slippery multi rigged for 30 is a slug in 5... If being stopped in the lulls, which may be most of the time, is unbearable options include sailing more actively, motor assist or gambling with a higher probability of capsize. There are elements of luck, judgement and desire for risk aversion at play. The size, strength and skill of the crew are important factors. In most conditions with most "cruising" multis (and particularly large heavish ones) I believe that it is possible to rig the boat so that there is a very high probability that it will be safe from wind induced capsize even left to its own devices for some time. When it comes to short handed voyaging under sail patience is a very great virtue.

Tom.
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Old 07-07-2011, 18:18   #42
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Re: Single Handed Cats

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Originally Posted by Factor View Post
The TRUE wind didnt go from 15 to 60 in 15 seconds. Didn't and indeed can't.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joli View Post
The CW 57 that went over was roundly critizided for "bad seamanship" because they were not on station (ie in the forward pit) when the wind went from 15 to 60 in 15 seconds.
Maybe have a look thru these accounts
Capsize of Anna - a Chris White Atlantic 57
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Old 07-07-2011, 19:45   #43
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Re: Single Handed Cats

Hence my comment about TRUE wind
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Old 07-07-2011, 21:28   #44
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Re: Single Handed Cats

Somewhere in that text it reads "If truth be told, the whole event left me pretty rattled. We experienced an increase from 20 to 45 kts of wind in a fraction of a minute along with a 90 degree wind shift. I did not expect that at all. And that's the lesson. Sometimes a squall will dish out something that you don't expect and are not prepared for. It may only be one out of 50 or 100 squalls that are truly dangerous but you don't know and can never be sure which ones they are."

I don't know what seas you sail in, but to say these conditions can not arise suddenly is just begging for interpetation. I've personally been off Hatteras sailing at night when the wind went from 10 knots to something over 30 in a matter of less the 1 minute....lets see triple the wind speed, square that figure for the wind pressure (6 times). On one other occassion it went from 10-15 knots to something over 60-70 in a matter of minutes.
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Old 07-07-2011, 21:46   #45
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Re: Single Handed Cats

Conclusions and common areas of agreement:

1) Yes, you can singlehand your Leopard 46 in the Gulf of Mexico
2) Autopilot and good set-up of rigging and leads will make it easier
3) Docking is do-able but may be challenging during adverse conditions
4) Your experience and comfort factor will dictate how successful you will be
5) What can be done, might better be left undone for optimal, repeatable success
6) You can always rely on being 'lucky' and never have a problem
7) Asking such loaded questiions will always result in a variety of conflicting advice and comments.
8) You are the only one who 'knows' what is possible (or comfortable) for YOU...

Keep us informed of what you learn and decide!
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