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Old 02-05-2012, 14:14   #1
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Single Handing a Prout 37

Is it realistic to think I could single hand a Prout 37 (or any other cat)? My wife is not able to assist much when on board. I'm aware of most of the mods I would need to do if I buy one. This forum always has great advice and I thank you in advance.

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Old 02-05-2012, 16:22   #2
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Re: Single handing a Prout 37

Welcome aboard BV.

I assume your question relates to whether one can single hand a cat (& particularly a Prout 37) rather than the pros and cons of single handing in general or even your personal ability to do so.

That being so, I can't see why not, cats are just another sailing vessel and the Prout 37 is certainly not too large to single hand but let me disclaim - I don't have much cat experience just mono time mainly.

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Old 02-05-2012, 16:49   #3
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Re: Single handing a Prout 37

A 37 ft Prout should be a good choice for single handing. If it's not set up for single handing it will be a little expensive to set up, but so will any other vessel you might find. Remember with the powerd winchs available today, your wife could be a lot more help then you think ! Connies 5ft nothing 110 lbs and with a hand powerd winch wrench, she can and has singlehanded our 42 ft colvin for yrs. Prouts are good sailing boats so when set up properly, it should fit your needs pretty well !! Just our 2 cents
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Old 02-05-2012, 16:50   #4
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Re: Single handing a Prout 37

i do it every day on a cat about the same size- docking is the hardest part - Med moor-
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Old 02-05-2012, 16:58   #5
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Re: Single handing a Prout 37

I single handed a cat, an Island Packet Cat 35 for almost a year. I started in southwest Florida and sailed down to the keys and up the east coast to Maine and back to Annapolis.

A cat is particularly well suited to single handing. It sails flat and going forward to fix something isn't as scary as going forward on a heeling monohull. That being said, always use a harness and tie off. If you ever go over you are probably gone for good.

If the boat has twin engines then it is really easy to handle getting in or out of the dock. I pulled up to a dock many times with no help at all. The twin engines set wide apart let you move almost anywhere you want.

Set it up with windlass controls at the helm station so you can lower the anchor as you back down. Retreiving the anchor isn't as easy single handed, particularly in my case where I had to poke down the chain castle several times. But you power forward, pick up 50' of chain, go forward and clear the rode, go back to the helm and do it again. It all worked out fine for me.

Picking up a mooring was particularly challenging. But I learned to coast up on it and if I got it just right the pennant stick was right at my bow between the two hulls when I went forward. But not always ;-).

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Old 02-05-2012, 17:12   #6
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Re: Single handing a Prout 37

I agree with djmarchand we own a PDQ 34/36 & it is set up for single handling my partner Sonja who is only 56 kg & 5.4' can do most of the work if she had to, We have a windlass & she use's that while i'm on the wheel
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Old 02-05-2012, 17:12   #7
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Re: Single handing a Prout 37

Halyards and downhauls leading to the cockpit would be handy with any of their winches located there too. That's how my sailboat (gone now that I've got a trawler) was arranged, and only one winch was required even though there were three working sails (main, staysail, flying jib).
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Old 02-05-2012, 20:45   #8
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Wow, this is all great feedback. I knew I would need a power windlass but hadn't thought aboit power winches. Wouldn't mind hearing about lazy jacks and such BTW, I'm sending my wife to "sail school" with friends as husbands don't always make the best teachers. I want a single-handed cat so my wife can help without it being essential.
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Old 02-05-2012, 21:08   #9
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Re: Single handing a Prout 37

You can definitely do it. We have a similar size cat, and my wife is typically not too engaged in sailing, as we also have our 2 year old son on board.

In my opinion, the only time when it gets a little hairy is when the winds get above 20kts and I need to go forward on the deck to reef the main.

But, to be honest, this is a largely avoidable situation. Most cat owners know to reef early, at the first sign of sustained winds anywhere close to your recommended point for reefing sail.

I also agree w/ keeping yourself tied off to the boat via jacklines and harness. Here again, I'm guilty of not always following this rule myself when I'm in the cockpit, because it's so deep and the boat is so stable, but if I'm going forward, and my wife is preoccupied, you can bet I'll take the extra 5 seconds to tie into a jackline.

Lastly, yes, I do think lazy jacks and/or stack pack are helpful. Particularly with a stack pack, you can just drop the main completely if needed and not worry about it.

Hope this helps.

Seattle, WA
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Old 08-05-2012, 13:32   #10
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Re: Single Handing a Prout 37

Power winches? PAA! I single hand my 30ft Catalac 900 and the sail area is so light that i dont use the manual winches most of the time! The weight of the sails are not going to be much greater on a 37 so I would say an uneccesary expence (and at $1000+ per winch, a large one at that).

As for 'single handing' the rest of it, the harsest thing is indeed mooring but as you'll have your wife to at least be able to throw a rope to someone on the dock, that should be a piece of cake too.
Previous owner of a 1994 Catalac 900, now sadly SOLD
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Old 08-05-2012, 13:47   #11
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Power winches may be a bit much and drain the budget faster too. Has anyone used those mooring pole clips that are advertised as making the task easier? The more I read the advice here, the more confident I feel about my prospects. Many thanks.
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Old 09-05-2012, 03:52   #12
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Re: Single Handing a Prout 37

I single hand my Privilege 37.

Power windlass - essential
Remote windlass control - essential
Power winches - makes it easier for ladies.
Single line reefing - makes it much easier although not such a problem for a prout.

I use a Bosco 1000 Boat Hook Wire Loop makes it easy to moor in any harbour, boat hook, buoy hook, marine, sailing, yacht from a midships cleat for mooring alongside, using a 12ft (extendable) boat hook. Works great.

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