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Old 27-11-2015, 07:12   #61
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Re: Tell me about Solo Sailing

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Originally Posted by Don C L View Post
A wealth of tips here. I'd echo the part about a boat that is not too big to handle easily, of course run all the lines back to the cockpit...
I know I'm in the minority on running lines aft, but so many of the boats I run seem to necessitate trip(s) to the mast to free up or secure something during reefing, anyway... I just think it's simpler to do it all at the mast, keeps the cockpit less cluttered, you have a better view of what's going on aloft, etc... I figure if I can't make it safely to the mast and back, I probably shouldn't be out sailing alone, anyway...

;-)

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Most people have self-furling headsails but after a nasty experience I had with one getting badly jammed in bad weather I prefer hank-on now. I am probably the last one.
You may very well be, indeed... ;-)

Personally, I can't imagine cruising anymore with hanked-on headsails... But my boat has a small main, and a large J dimension, and thus heavily dependent on headsails for power. I'd be swapping them out/changing gears constantly, not to mention having to sacrifice otherwise valuable storage space for a full compliment of headsails...

There seems little need to be afraid of furling headsails these days, a good quality system properly maintained and used is about as reliable as anything to be found aboard a small today, in my opinion...

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A few here have probably done a fair amount of short handing, but I do not see them north of 40 and out in the ocean,( but they might be there.)
Come East to the Atlantic side, and you might find a few a bit north of 40...

;-)


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Old 27-11-2015, 07:18   #62
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Re: Tell me about Solo Sailing

Sailing solo challenges are technical and emotional. Technical one simply doesn't have people to divide up all the tasks. A lot of the tasks can be handled with "devices" like APs, chart plotters, power winches, multiple self tailing and powered winches, control lines all led to the cockpit, furling sails and so on. Crewed boats use the same.

Captain plans for things... prepares as best as possible for emergencies... But captain has no help... and this can get hairy.... because one loses the luxury of time.

You can set up one line reefing and minimize mast trips... probably can't eliminate them... but a well organized cockpit with control lines is not a bad thing.
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Old 27-11-2015, 07:31   #63
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Re: Tell me about Solo Sailing

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Come East to the Atlantic side, and you might find a few a bit north of 40...

;-)


You guys have the whole continent to block the wind, and then if it does blow, it blows you away from shore (give me a break)
That's a nice bergy BTW.
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Old 27-11-2015, 07:56   #64
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Re: Tell me about Solo Sailing

If you sail singlehand all the time or most all the time, there isn't a lot of unusual planning going on because it's samie same as the last time you went sailing.

Going forward to raise mainsail or reef is just the norm if that is how your boat is set up. Roller furling for the jib is nice though and an autopilot so you can continue on your way when raising sail or reefing.
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Old 27-11-2015, 08:44   #65
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Re: Tell me about Solo Sailing

Said Don CL: "Most people have self-furling headsails but after a nasty experience I had with one getting badly jammed in bad weather I prefer hank-on now."

Beat the drum and sound the trumpet for hank-ons :-) Willy Occam is the best shipmate you could ever have!

This thread started with a request for comments and advice on "solo" sailing and I gather the OP is paying attention :-) IMO novices need to start with hank-ons, partly because learning to sail involves learning to work SAFELY on deck. And betimes! Only one way to learn that! Roller reef and roller furl is all very well once you've learned enuff to deal with complexities on top of the essential basics.

MySaintedMother, who had a habit of cutting to the quick in such matters, said "If you can't mend it with your knife and a bit of codline, don't go to sea in it"

TrentePieds
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Old 27-11-2015, 09:00   #66
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Re: Tell me about Solo Sailing

Perhaps after learning to sail here in Colorado I could find a cruiser in the Detroit area. I am from there. I could get home for visits and hone my skills and hopefully take it up the St. Lawrence and down the East coast when the time comes. How long would a voyage like that take?
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Old 27-11-2015, 09:13   #67
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Re: Tell me about Solo Sailing

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Perhaps after learning to sail here in Colorado I could find a cruiser in the Detroit area. I am from there. I could get home for visits and hone my skills and hopefully take it up the St. Lawrence and down the East coast when the time comes. How long would a voyage like that take?
One month.

Start in late June or early July and take your time...some great sailing along the way, although you will be motoring for most of the St Lawrence until you get past Quebec City. At least the current will be with you.
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Old 27-11-2015, 09:18   #68
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Re: Tell me about Solo Sailing

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Originally Posted by TrentePieds View Post

This thread started with a request for comments and advice on "solo" sailing and I gather the OP is paying attention :-) IMO novices need to start with hank-ons, partly because learning to sail involves learning to work SAFELY on deck. And betimes! Only one way to learn that! Roller reef and roller furl is all very well once you've learned enuff to deal with complexities on top of the essential basics.
If your boat comes with roller furling though, you may as well use it or if you want practice you can raise and lower on the furler similar to hank on.
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Old 27-11-2015, 11:45   #69
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Re: Tell me about Solo Sailing

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The larger the boat, the more physical ability is required.

You don't have to be a body builder or aerobics instructor, but you do have to be in reasonable good health and have pretty good strength to solo sail a boat.

Boats over 34' (monohull) may be too much for a lot of people. Boats under 30' might just be too small. 32-34 seems to be a sweet spot. Still, the fact remains that it is physically demanding lifestyle.

You need to be able to stand, squat, crawl, and sometimes dash or possibly even leap. You need to be able to pull down and lift up with strength and certainty.

There are many tools, accessories, and other features you can use to reduce the load, but those devices can fail or in some cases may simply not be up to certain jobs.

Sorry, this is not meant to be frightening and I don't mean to overstate the case. There are plenty of retirees who are in good health and easily able to handle a sailboat, but then there are also those for whom it would be quite a struggle.
Art gives good advice. Sailing alone is not only physically demanding, but can be dangerous, not only to the singlehanded sailor, but to those who volunteer as good Samaritans, or those who are dispatched professionally, to rescue you when human error or equipment failure lead to a catastrophe that could have been avoided by another set of eyes, another hand, or another voice in the decision making process.
My crew an I spent 6 hours in 40k winds and 10-12 ft seas on the 115' OSV that I captain, attempting to rescue a single hander in Long Island Sound who thought it would be a good night for a sail. After losing his mast, he didn't have enough hands to keep the rigging from fouling his prop and rudder. He was saved, his boat was lost, USCG had to airlift an injured seaman off their rescue vessel, and a crewman on my vessel suffered a back injury.
Could this have been avoided with another hand in the sailboat? Who knows... But if I was invited to go along on this sail, I would certainly have declined after hearing a weather forecast, and would have done my best to dissuade the owner from leaving a perfectly safe anchorage to prove his machismo.
For an occasional daysail in stable conditions, going out alone can be great. But for any sort of distance sailing or passage making, it is foolhardy and dangerous.
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Old 27-11-2015, 12:05   #70
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Re: Tell me about Solo Sailing

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For an occasional daysail in stable conditions, going out alone can be great. But for any sort of distance sailing or passage making, it is foolhardy and dangerous.
It's dangerous but many do it. Also they have the SHTP every few years from San Fran to Hawaii (2,120 nm) and every one that is entered is a singlehanded sailor.

You need to work yourself up to long distance singlehand sailing slowly though. For a total novice, this could take years.

I've been single handing for years mostly on small catamarans since 1993 and the last few years on this much more stable "large" heavy Bristol 27 monohull that I bought for $2,000 to workup to distance singlehand sailing. Big boats are so nice and stable as compared to beach cats.

The problem for the singlehander is always sleep.

A few singlehanders that have sailed long distance alone would include 16-21 year old Robin Lee Graham who sailed a 24' Lapworth 3/4th of the way around the world.

18 year old Tani Aebi sailed her 26' Contessa around the world and Nick Jaffe sailed his 26' Contessa across the Atlantic

https://www.google.com/search?q=nick...GGDC-qXzjas%3D

https://www.google.com/search?q=nick...Acb2VEtUeAM%3A

Speaking of Contessa 26's they are pretty boats but small:

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Old 27-11-2015, 13:33   #71
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Re: Tell me about Solo Sailing

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Good link, but right out of the gate:The Mental Challenge, Emotions and Crying?

Is that about solo sailing or the cash flow needed for the boat?
This book also covers a number of mental challenges - as to cash flow everyone has there own way of meeting their costs if they love the sport.

As a aide I'm 70 and own a 15 meter masthead cutter open 50' ex BOC 8.5 tons that I have sail solo for the last 28 years.

At first when I bought this boat I was scared of the challage I set for myself in fact first day I fell off the boat on my new mooring..but after a few seasons I placed or won a number of races sort handed and fuly crewed. My boat design allowed me to easly come to terms with sailing her. Also the human body and mind is a wonderful thing just challage it and it will come up to the mark you set.

As to boats design and size I learned that bigger is more stable but. you need to insure the boat is not an old IOR rate boat regarless of size or setup it is designed to be fully crewed not solo sailing... old racing boats mostly are setup for windward work and the rating rules, which guild the designer....and not for solo sailing...

You must first talk to or contact the designer of the boat you may be interested in, before you buy or if you own the boat then contact them anyway what you learn about a design will more then help you out of the concerns you expressed. Other wise you may endup with a most difficalt boat to short handed sail.

Let me say it again Designer is everything my boat tracks strait will not round up in heavey seas, exprences very little weather helm in heavy condisions it runs and reaches like a dream but windward it can't compete with a round the bouys design of the same size....Because it was designed for solo sailing and not rating rules.

Good luck sorting yourself out to meet the challage head on what ever you set for yourself.

SV Skoiern IV
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Old 27-11-2015, 13:50   #72
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Re: Tell me about Solo Sailing

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For an occasional daysail in stable conditions, going out alone can be great. But for any sort of distance sailing or passage making, it is foolhardy and dangerous.




;-))
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Old 27-11-2015, 14:02   #73
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Re: Tell me about Solo Sailing

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For an occasional daysail in stable conditions, going out alone can be great. But for any sort of distance sailing or passage making, it is foolhardy and dangerous.
****...!!
Now you tell me...😂😂😂
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Old 27-11-2015, 14:15   #74
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Re: Tell me about Solo Sailing

Race! You've received a lot of great replies!

If you can though I would find a boat to crew on and find a competitive one (J24 up to something in the 36-40' range, something where the owner really likes to push everything but is still manageable and just on the edge of dangerous.

Given your good condition and fitness volunteer for foredeck. So much happens so fast and over and over again and every mess up or gear failure is dealt with. This experience I believe is invaluable when you are woken at 2am with a whatever going on and you have to just go deal with it without thinking much. Muscle memory.

I was sailing solo down the east coast last month and off of Cape May had wind change numerous times and required reefing in and out and etc and etc, at one point was a bit lazy and a bit too much sail up when the wind piped up and shifted 90's, lots of noise and fussing around to tidy all up but nothing compared to being buried under a ton of genoa while getting the chute out of the bag, broaching, hour glass, then jibing around a mark etc. In those (minor change in conditions really) situations solo, given the beating one gets racing, looks like a walk in the park.

Good stuff! Have a blast!
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Old 27-11-2015, 14:18   #75
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Re: Tell me about Solo Sailing

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Originally Posted by stormsail View Post
Art gives good advice. Sailing alone is not only physically demanding, but can be dangerous, not only to the singlehanded sailor, but to those who volunteer as good Samaritans, or those who are dispatched professionally, to rescue you when human error or equipment failure lead to a catastrophe that could have been avoided by another set of eyes, another hand, or another voice in the decision making process.
My crew an I spent 6 hours in 40k winds and 10-12 ft seas on the 115' OSV that I captain, attempting to rescue a single hander in Long Island Sound who thought it would be a good night for a sail. After losing his mast, he didn't have enough hands to keep the rigging from fouling his prop and rudder. He was saved, his boat was lost, USCG had to airlift an injured seaman off their rescue vessel, and a crewman on my vessel suffered a back injury.
Could this have been avoided with another hand in the sailboat? Who knows... But if I was invited to go along on this sail, I would certainly have declined after hearing a weather forecast, and would have done my best to dissuade the owner from leaving a perfectly safe anchorage to prove his machismo.
For an occasional daysail in stable conditions, going out alone can be great. But for any sort of distance sailing or passage making, it is foolhardy and dangerous.
Well, firstly welcome to CF.

But I'd recommend you read up on the rules. Trolling is not permitted, though sometimes I think it's given s lot of tolerance. And to post such a post on a cruising forum, especially as your very first post is really not very bright. So please, have a good look at the rules.
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