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Old 09-07-2009, 15:16   #31
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Often times one say, if you have to ask, don't do it. By this, one means that is complex enough an endeavour that only those who understand their limitations and skills are comptent enough to make the decision. The California coast is a beauiful, lovely,very busy, and in some streches has a LOT of amatuers (I know, I was once one of them). combine that with the comercial traffic, and it can be a prescription for difficulty when you are tired and stressed.

So, if you're comfortable with your skills, then you will be comfortable with your decision. If there are any questions, having crew (SEMI-COMPETENT!!) will make it a much more enjoyable trip IMHO!

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Old 13-08-2009, 09:24   #32
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Sounds like your week or so will be a good trial for the real thing. Especially since you don't need to make a destination!
Give it a go. If after the first night you wish you hadn't you can abort easily and get back to base.
Old skipper I was talking to the other day told me how he fell asleep twice helming into Plymouth UK. Once the waves on the breakwater woke him, the second time was running into the harbour. It's like driving tired. Cat napping ten minutes with a load alarm is OK. Closing speeds with merchantmen mean 'ten minutes from horison to almost too close that time'. Get a rythum and stick to it. Check the horison, let your eyes get accustomed and wake up properly, light stretching exercises, check carefully all around, put a note in the working log, then set the alarm and snuggle down again. Never go anywhere without your harness on. My brother did six weeks solo from Seychelles to Mauritius and only slept through the alarm once (according to him). It's paractice and the safest place to do that is on dry land. You'll soon find out if it suits you.

Ex Prout 31 Sailor, Now it's a 22ft Jaguar called 'Arfur' here in sunny Southampton, UK.
A few places left in Quayside Marina and Kemps Marina.
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Old 13-08-2009, 09:48   #33
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doing this is a 25 coronado is wak(just my opinion--i have sailed those from lost angeles to coronado many times..LOL). but there are many harbors for harbor hopping to make the idea viable---make life as easy for yourself as you are able---you are in a small boat in a large ocean with, at times, huge seas----even taller than your boat is safe--have fun---plan short trips and donot forget to stop in catalina to rest----before going south of lost angeles....go santa barbara to catalina--if you go to avalon, look up steve--he is in the hospital aux run thrift store most of the time--he runs it---and talk with him --tell him his best friend sent you!!!!
is a difficult trip if taken in one long run--but you will have fun if you TAKE IT SLOW and harbor hop A LOT!!!! remember--thereis more chop near shore than away from the beach---10 miles off is good.....
i hope your outboard is in good shape and runs an inline fuel filter--there need not be any reason for its failure just whenye needs it most ...
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Old 14-08-2009, 06:27   #34
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- - Single-handing can be as safe or safer than having crew on board, especially if they turn out to be incompetent. Which you will not find out until you are in your first storm or difficult patch. I have been primarily single-handing for 9 years and the most trouble has been with extra crew onboard.
- - Safe single-handing really boils down to creating another crew mate using electronics. Unfortunately, this means having plenty of electrical power available. On a 25ft boat that is not normal. So find "non-electric" solutions or low power electric equipment and add lots of ship's batteries and a charging system.
- - #1 is a good autopilot - for a small boat that is a windvane system; for a boat with electricity it is a reliable electric tiller pilot. IMHO, stay away from Raymarine, they are very economical but do not have the track record of other brands. I would recommend the Simrad WP units.
- - Along with the theme of autopilot/windvane is a set of sails that easily balances your boat so that tiller deflection is minimal or non-existent. It is common that the boat's set of sails gets mis-matched over time and the boat ends up with too much weather or lee helm. Foresail and mainsail are a "team" and if matched the boat sails itself straight and true with minimal tiller/rudder effort.
- - #2 is a radar, low power draw units are sold for under $1K. Low power draw is important as you need to run it all night, set to alert you of anything comes within 6 to 10nm. That gives you an hour, plus or minus, to figure what to do to avoid conflict. A handfull of portable GPS's and a bucket of batteries. These can be obtained on Ebay for significantly less than store prices, same for the radar.
- - #3 a set of comfortable cockpit seat cushion and a set of very uncomfortable seat cushions. You use the uncomfortable ones at night so that you cannot possibly sleep more than 30 minutes without having to get up and change position.
- - #4 a powerful set of lights to illuminate your sails and boat at night should a large ship come into range and a mast top strobe light to turn on if they get too close for comfort. It is virtually impossible for a small sailboat to be seen visually or on radar as you drop into wave troughs and are lost in the sea clutter. But they will see the strobe.
- - #5 a good radio and antenna and a back up handheld.
- - #6 a calm, cool and collected attitude. Think and plan all the possible problems that might happen ahead of time. Then when something happens you have a recovery plan already in mind.
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Old 25-08-2009, 13:54   #35
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A good wind steering vane is much more reliable then an autopilot. Also requires no power. Lost my autopilot once along the west coast and ended up steering the ship for 36 hrs as the winds were constantly changing.
The very best for your journey

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Old 25-08-2009, 15:02   #36
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I'll go with you, stay quiet about it, and you can just tell everyone you single-handed it ...
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Old 25-08-2009, 15:18   #37
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When I was sailing down the coast of Baja, there was a steel sailboat on the rocks ashore. It had just occurred the night before. I was monitoring the VHF as people were rescuing what they could off the boat. It was a single hander using a windvane. He was asleep and as he neared shore the wind shifted (as it usually does) and he sailed right onto the rocks.... a windvane keeps your sails trimmed to the wind direction, an auto pilot will keep you on course...
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Old 26-08-2009, 10:53   #38
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A tiller autopilot attached to your windvane is the best solution.
Low power, keeps you on course.
Attach a Raymarine 1000+ or similar to windvane and you are set.
Could probably keep it charged with solar panels and samll marine (car-sized) battery.

But I'm not sure this is in the scope of the original query, which I think was to KISS as much as possible. If you have a windvane, use that. If you don't get a tillerpilot, I think they are under 400 at WM or other places.
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Old 26-08-2009, 12:19   #39
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Long distance single handing

There are other things to consider. One more crew would certainly be a help, but more than that, on a 25, and you are going to be somewhat cramped. Also provisions take up space, the more crew, the more provisions, and of course water. An auto pilot is a necessity. One of the tricks I learned long ago, was to not sleep at night. Once you get into a rythm you can do your sleeping in the daytime. You are much easier to see during the day, and less chance of getting run over. But don't be deterred. Don't let those who think any risk at all is too risky. They would probably tell you that being a female, and on a boat under 50' you probably shouldn't get out of sight of you slip. Accept the challenge, and you will forever be glad you did, and always have that memory. Of course, be sure to have all necessary safety equipment, charts, a gps and again, AUTO PILOT. You will have to figure out how much power you are going to use, and a method to recharge batteries. If you have no refigeration, and use the auto pilot sparingly won't need a lot of battery power, and one decent sized solar panel should do the job.

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Mexico, singlehanding

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