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Old 27-11-2015, 14:34   #76
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Re: Tell me about Solo Sailing

Most of the replies are full of BS. Sure sounds like a lot of non sailors are voicing their uninformed, misinformed, and just plain wrong opinions. Single handed sailing is safe enough even a young teenage girl can sail around the world on her own. My grandfather routinely sailed from Maine to Newfoundland by himself in an old gaff rigged friendship sloop and he was well into his late 90s when he stopped doing that.

As long as you can walk move your arms, and hopefully swim, that really is all the strength you need nowadays to sail a boat. In fact, the bigger the boat, the less strength you need. Stabler platform, bigger machinery, and more options give larger boat sailors a leg up on those trying to solo with a 24 footer.

Once your over 35 or so feet, you should have hydraulics for anchors, self tailing multi speed winches, and always keep tethered.
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Old 27-11-2015, 14:38   #77
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Re: Tell me about Solo Sailing

@Coloradoveto #66 with a nod to Hamburking #67:

Passage times are easily worked out - in principle :-) In practice you gotta be damn good to keep to your itinerary if you set it too tight - or tight at all.

Count on going 5 knots THROUGH THE WATER. Calculating ETAs are one thing under power and quite another under sail. So start with the easy bit, and learn to do your TDS (Time, Distance, Speed) calculations for a power-passage. Learn to do them in your head, on the fly.

Easy example: Transit Porlier Pass on maximum flood: 1.5 NM at 5 knots on a 4 knot foul tide. Thus (5 - 4) = 1 knot OVER THE GROUND. Thus Transit time for 1.5 NM at 1Knt = 1.5 hours. Do it on a fair maximum flood and you get SOG (5 + 4) = 9 knts. Thus 1.5 NM at 9 knts = 10 minutes.

That was a rather silly, rather primitive example, but you get the drift.

Now when I think about it, a few times in the year the stream runs 7 knts in Porlier. You can see what that would do to your ETA on a foul tide. But even when the steam is fair I wait till it slackens because at 7 knts the tidal overfalls and whirlpools in the pass can give the unwary a nasty turn.

West Van to Long Harbour through Porlier is roughly five and thirty seamiles. Add the time required to slip in WV and to come along alongside in LH. That makes it an 8 hour day, or, if you prefer, 2 watches if you have a competent steersman aboard. But even then, as skipper, you won't be relaxing at all, for you will be "on call" the whole time.

So make up a passage plan for the voyage you wish to make. Even an imaginary one. The very making up of it will give a lot of insight into what is possible, and what would be a case of biting off more than you can chew :-) Tide and current tables for any water in North America are freely available on HolyMotherNet. Google Earth will give you a "chart" good enough for determining distances for your TDS practice calculations.

These are the things you do on blowey winter nights when you are dreaming of the coming season, and if you are serious about going to sea, you might as well start now. It's how you begin to learn seamanship ;-)!

TrentePieds
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Old 27-11-2015, 14:39   #78
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Re: Tell me about Solo Sailing

Quote:
Originally Posted by reed1v View Post
Most of the replies are full of BS. Sure sounds like a lot of non sailors are voicing their uninformed, misinformed, and just plain wrong opinions. Single handed sailing is safe enough even a young teenage girl can sail around the world on her own. My grandfather routinely sailed from Maine to Newfoundland by himself in an old gaff rigged friendship sloop and he was well into his late 90s when he stopped doing that.

As long as you can walk move your arms, and hopefully swim, that really is all the strength you need nowadays to sail a boat. In fact, the bigger the boat, the less strength you need. Stabler platform, bigger machinery, and more options give larger boat sailors a leg up on those trying to solo with a 24 footer.

Once your over 35 or so feet, you should have hydraulics for anchors, self tailing multi speed winches, and always keep tethered.
Actually, if you bothered to read the replies most of them are from those with experience, and most of the replies are supportive and encouraging.
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Old 27-11-2015, 14:44   #79
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Re: Tell me about Solo Sailing

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Art gives good advice.
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.
You also give very good and experienced advise. I would say though that solo long distance sailing or passage making is not necessarily foolhardy and dangerous.

I think that Slocum, Chitchester, Knox Johnston, David Lewis, and countless other long distance solo racers and solo passage makers such as Graeme Kendall (who circumnavigated 28,000 miles via the Arctic Northwest Passage in 2010); were not foolhardy.
More foolhardy to go driving in your car as statistics show.
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Old 27-11-2015, 14:52   #80
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Re: Tell me about Solo Sailing

Love the Contessa tho' it is so small. Updated "frozen snot" version of the Nordic Folkboat in whose baby sister, the Junior (not to be confused with the Junior dinghy), I learned the basics so many years ago.

The Contessa inherits the characteristics of the NF that was designed for Baltic conditions. The Baltic can be rather more trying than the Salish Sea!

Another "Baltic" boat I've always thought well of is the King's Cruiser. At 29Ft she is ALMOST big enuff for extended cruising, but being slack in the bilges to suit Baltic conditions she certainly hasn't the creature comforts of

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Old 27-11-2015, 15:23   #81
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Re: Tell me about Solo Sailing

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Originally Posted by TrentePieds View Post
@Coloradoveto #66 with a nod to Hamburking #67:

Passage times are easily worked out - in principle :-) In practice you gotta be damn good to keep to your itinerary if you set it too tight - or tight at all.

Count on going 5 knots THROUGH THE WATER. Calculating ETAs are one thing under power and quite another under sail. So start with the easy bit, and learn to do your TDS (Time, Distance, Speed) calculations for a power-passage. Learn to do them in your head, on the fly.

Easy example: Transit Porlier Pass on maximum flood: 1.5 NM at 5 knots on a 4 knot foul tide. Thus (5 - 4) = 1 knot OVER THE GROUND. Thus Transit time for 1.5 NM at 1Knt = 1.5 hours. Do it on a fair maximum flood and you get SOG (5 + 4) = 9 knts. Thus 1.5 NM at 9 knts = 10 minutes.

That was a rather silly, rather primitive example, but you get the drift.

Now when I think about it, a few times in the year the stream runs 7 knts in Porlier. You can see what that would do to your ETA on a foul tide. But even when the steam is fair I wait till it slackens because at 7 knts the tidal overfalls and whirlpools in the pass can give the unwary a nasty turn.

West Van to Long Harbour through Porlier is roughly five and thirty seamiles. Add the time required to slip in WV and to come along alongside in LH. That makes it an 8 hour day, or, if you prefer, 2 watches if you have a competent steersman aboard. But even then, as skipper, you won't be relaxing at all, for you will be "on call" the whole time.

So make up a passage plan for the voyage you wish to make. Even an imaginary one. The very making up of it will give a lot of insight into what is possible, and what would be a case of biting off more than you can chew :-) Tide and current tables for any water in North America are freely available on HolyMotherNet. Google Earth will give you a "chart" good enough for determining distances for your TDS practice calculations.

These are the things you do on blowey winter nights when you are dreaming of the coming season, and if you are serious about going to sea, you might as well start now. It's how you begin to learn seamanship ;-)!

TrentePieds
What?

This guy has never sailed yet.


Hi there. Total newbie. Thinking of retiring in 7-10 years and the idea of solo sailing is appealing for many reasons. I enjoy solitude and would love to explore the world or park at my own pace and discretion. I am not misanthropic and wouldn't mind a companion, but I'm not counting on it and don't expect it. Is it realistic to go into this with the idea of solo sailing from the start? Should I plan on having a crew, etc.? I plan on learning to sail over the next few years, chartering, etc. I'm just wondering if this is nothing but a pipe dream.

Cheers,

Veto

You may want to let him figure out what a tack vs gybe is first eh?

And the tides and currents in Colorado!?
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Old 27-11-2015, 15:28   #82
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Re: Tell me about Solo Sailing

Good book on singlehanded sailing:

Singlehanded Sailing: The Experiences and Techniques of the Lone Voyagers: Richard Henderson: 9780070281646: Amazon.com: Books
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Old 27-11-2015, 15:29   #83
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Re: Tell me about Solo Sailing

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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.
If you have a ReefRite furler you can easily raise and lower a couple of sails as with hanked on. They have 2 luff grooves and sail slides on the headsail luffs. The sails can be dropped as with hanked on and the slides can stay in their luff grooves.

I use one as a roller furler with the ability to do very quick sail changes, but you could simply haul up or down one of 2 sails, or both together if you want to go wing and wing. They also have a ratchet in the drum mechanism to prevent unfurling accidentally. It's released by a small wire back to the cockpit.

The more usual roller furler designs have a bolt rope in the headsail luff and they can be hard to pull up / down or do a sail change quickly due to the friction in the luff groove. I've several times helped with furler sail changes on other peoples yachts using a luff bolt rope and it's not always quick or easy to do especially while sailing.
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Old 27-11-2015, 15:35   #84
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Re: Tell me about Solo Sailing

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If you have a ReefRite furler you can easily raise and lower a couple of sails as with hanked on. They have 2 luff grooves and sail slides on the headsail luffs. The sails can be dropped as with hanked on and the slides can stay in their luff grooves.

I use one as a roller furler with the ability to do very quick sail changes, but you could simply haul up or down one of 2 sails, or both together if you want to go wing and wing. They also have a ratchet in the drum mechanism to prevent unfurling accidentally. It's released by a small wire back to the cockpit.

The more usual roller furler designs have a bolt rope in the headsail luff and they can be hard to pull up / down or do a sail change quickly due to the friction in the luff groove. I've several times helped with furler sail changes on other peoples yachts using a luff bolt rope and it's not always quick or easy to do especially while sailing.
Some of us spent time on deck pulling up anchor on our 16' Whirlwind wooden power boats in 3'-4' waves

https://www.google.com/search?q=16'+wooden+whirlwind+boat&biw=1280&bih=62 7&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjHiYTa1LHJA hVBL4gKHWfPD8sQ_AUIBygC#imgrc=IInKV5ZQmLTlOM%3A

An old guy like the PO would have to start from scratch since he is learning sailing and boating at the same time. Many have done it but it may be wise to stay below and above certain latitudes for a while

ps. My furler has the double 2 groove setup, but I haven't used it that way yet....and I have had to go forward under autopilot while quite seasick (when I first got this boat) and free the jammed furler so I could bring in the jib properly in maybe 20 knot winds. I didn't blow chunks though ..... just a few dry heaves then a beer when I got in the creek
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Old 27-11-2015, 15:45   #85
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Re: Tell me about Solo Sailing

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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.
One line reefing of the mainsail simply doesn't work on any thing bigger than a trailer sailer. There are pretty diagrams on the web by the likes of Harken. They do have a proviso that they are for sails up to 100'sq or something like that.

You may be able to pull in a reef with a single line on a bigger sail but you can never pull it out owing to all the friction.

Better to have 2 lines. One pulls the luff down as you release the halyard. Then you re-tension the halyard. Then you pull down the leech with a second line. Takes me a minute all going well.
They can both run back to the cockpit along with the halyard all with their own jammers which is how I do it.
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Old 27-11-2015, 15:55   #86
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pirate Re: Tell me about Solo Sailing

Dunno about that.. recently delivered a 434 with single line reefing... worked okay.. just not a fast as slab reefing IMHO..
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Old 27-11-2015, 16:46   #87
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Re: Tell me about Solo Sailing

@thomm225 #84

Why? Nobody is going to being doing any tacking and gybing in Colorado in December and January. No harm in starting to think about the things that are quite as essential as mere boat handling.

As the OP confessed right off the top, and as we have all acknowledged, he is new to the game. Let's give him a hand. If anything is said by any of us that doesn't make sense to the OP, he is clearly free to do one of two things: 1) ignore it or, 2), ask for clarification and augmentation.


As I said before, and as I'm sure you will agree: Boat handling and seamanship are two discrete universes. Boat handling is mostly manual work. Seamanship is brain-work!

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Old 27-11-2015, 17:07   #88
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Re: Tell me about Solo Sailing

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Dunno about that.. recently delivered a 434 with single line reefing... worked okay.. just not a fast as slab reefing IMHO..
I knew someone would say that. I'm talking about single line or 2 line slab reefing.

Are you talking about single line in boom roller reefing? That's where a single line rotates part of the boom and winds the sail down.

I was talking about single line slab reefing where a single line goes up to the luff cringle and down to the boom, then along to near the end of the boom and up to and down from the leech cringle to the boom or variations. There is too much friction in that setup. Harken have diagrams of single line reefing you can look up on the web.

Slab reefing with 2 lines as I suggested is super fast.

I've often seen in boom roller reefing being done and it seems slow. A friend crewed on a yacht from Fiji to NZ with in boom roller reefing and found it a bit slow when tropical squalls hit.
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Old 27-11-2015, 17:13   #89
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Re: Tell me about Solo Sailing

Folks have this guy training for the SHTP, crossing the gulf stream, checking currents and he doesn't even know how to sail!

I think Good Witch Glenda may have the best advice and that is

It's always best to start at the beginning! It seemed to work for Dorothy

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Old 27-11-2015, 17:26   #90
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Re: Tell me about Solo Sailing

I don't recall saying I was leaving tomorrow. It might be ten years and I know I have to learn a great deal and have no intention of proceeding recklessly. Jeez!


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