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Old 29-11-2015, 00:16   #121
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Re: Tell me about Solo Sailing

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I have single line reefing on my 40 footer (37sqm slab reef main) and it works perfectly fine for ALL 3 reef lines.

I have 3 marks on my main halyard so I know how far to drop it, then I wind in the appropriate reef line from the comfort of the cockpit
I have a 31sqm main on a 30 footer and tried both single and 2 reefing lines. Two lines on each reef is much faster especially for getting rid of the reef when you no longer need it. I'm not suggesting you change if you're happy.

If you wanted to try 2 lines you could easily rethread your 3 rd reef line to pull down the luff on reef 1. It doesn't need to loop through the luff cringle but simply tied on, down and back. You can have a knot in the right place on the turning block at the deck level and you don't need a mark on the halyard though no reason not to do so. I don't imagine you want to experiment. But then you would be able to compare.

I just looked up Harken single line reefing and it is recommended for yachts 6 to 8 metres with mains up to 14 sqm
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Old 29-11-2015, 00:57   #122
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Re: Tell me about Solo Sailing

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I have a 31sqm main on a 30 footer and tried both single and 2 reefing lines. Two lines on each reef is much faster especially for getting rid of the reef when you no longer need it. I'm not suggesting you change if you're happy.

If you wanted to try 2 lines you could easily rethread your 3 rd reef line to pull down the luff on reef 1. It doesn't need to loop through the luff cringle but simply tied on, down and back. You can have a knot in the right place on the turning block at the deck level and you don't need a mark on the halyard though no reason not to do so. I don't imagine you want to experiment. But then you would be able to compare.

I just looked up Harken single line reefing and it is recommended for yachts 6 to 8 metres with mains up to 14 sqm
I don't see how....

My procedure for getting rid of a reef is...

1) Release reef clutch lever
2) Put halyard on winch and wind

Job done

It should be noted that I have the ZSpars SLR which is built into the boom and not external like with the Harken kit. I also have blocks on the sails so the SLR line is not rubbing against the reefing rings.
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Old 29-11-2015, 04:11   #123
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Bike helmets? Next you'll be wearing PFDs all the time. Kinda ruins the sailing nekkid thing, ask me. Plus what about yer sailor hat? Does Tilley make sailing helmets? No suh, he does not.

For you new schoolers, here's a link discussing helmets: Apparent Wind: An Incomplete and Non-scientific Guide to Finding Yourself a Sailing Helmet Part 2- Selecting a Sailing Helmet
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Old 29-11-2015, 04:47   #124
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Re: Tell me about Solo Sailing

A bike helmet might be a good idea for a beginner, but not for experienced sailors.

You add few inches to the top of your head with a helmet especially a bike helmet. If you are on a small boat with low boom and tight companionway/hatch you will find yourself banging into everything with your head.

By the end of the day, you might have quite a stiff neck......
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Old 29-11-2015, 04:59   #125
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Re: Tell me about Solo Sailing

The biggest issue in solo sailing is watchkeeping. If MarkJ is reading, I'm curious as to his method, and especially how many contacts he had after leaving Beaufort just a couple of weeks ago.
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Old 29-11-2015, 05:04   #126
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Re: Tell me about Solo Sailing

I'd say before he goes any further he should find a friend who owns a boat, go sailing with them. See how ya like it. Then sail some more....Then go to a boat yard and work for someone for free fixing up a boat, bash your knuckles, cut yourself, breathe some toxic fumes ...Then you'll know what owning a boat is really like
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Old 29-11-2015, 05:59   #127
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Re: Tell me about Solo Sailing

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I'd say before he goes any further he should find a friend who owns a boat, go sailing with them. See how ya like it. Then sail some more....Then go to a boat yard and work for someone for free fixing up a boat, bash your knuckles, cut yourself, breathe some toxic fumes ...Then you'll know what owning a boat is really like

Great advice. Exactly how I learned and out of that experience came a lifelong passion for sailing.
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Old 29-11-2015, 06:44   #128
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Re: Tell me about Solo Sailing

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I'd say before he goes any further he should find a friend who owns a boat, go sailing with them. See how ya like it. Then sail some more....Then go to a boat yard and work for someone for free fixing up a boat, bash your knuckles, cut yourself, breathe some toxic fumes ...Then you'll know what owning a boat is really like
Actually, you can skip the boatyard step. Some guys just love spending way too much time working on their boats.

This guy's in Colorado. He can singlehand small boats that are kept on trailers for many, many years before he will ever need to go to a boatyard.

I started boating in 1971, sailing in 1993, and my first time in a boatyard was 2011.

As far as bashing your knuckles, breathing toxic fumes, etc that comes with many hobbies/sports including cycling where you have to breath in car exhaust and bash your knuckles unplugging your air pump after pumping up your tires to 120 psi. (and worse if you crash in a large group)

He could go to any place where they rent small sailboats like sunfish on a light wind day, get a few instructions from the folks there, and go sail to see if he likes it.

And if he then likes it and wants to learn to Sail, start racing on small boats.

NOT as crew but as Skipper. Racers sometimes do as many tacks and gybes in race prestarts than cruisers and daysailors do in an entire day.Then there are the concerns about land effect on the wind, boat setup, current (if there is any), calling tacks. The list is endless
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Old 29-11-2015, 07:53   #129
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Re: Tell me about Solo Sailing

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The biggest issue in solo sailing is watchkeeping. If MarkJ is reading, I'm curious as to his method, and especially how many contacts he had after leaving Beaufort just a couple of weeks ago.
Biggest issue is when to poop, and where. Not a good idea to do it off the stern, even if your strapped in. Cant go forward to the head while in lots of traffic. And so on. Need a cockpit poop bucket.
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Old 29-11-2015, 08:20   #130
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Re: Tell me about Solo Sailing

In the 35 years that I have owned and sailed boats there have only been a handful of time that I have had guest aboard who actually know how to sail.
So in essence I am pretty much always solo sailing while having to work around people in the way. There have been several times that I have sailed and made passages "all by myself" and it is, in my opinion, easier and less complicated than having non-sailors on the boat.
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Old 29-11-2015, 10:43   #131
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Re: Tell me about Solo Sailing

OK, my report on the Beaufort to St Martin passage

Just finished the 10 day passage.
The Gulf Stream was good. It was blowing 18 from due north and still the sea was dead flat.

The GS was exactly 50nms across with no eddies before or after.

I 'lost' exactly 20nms from my course line. (but see how exact my loss prediction was!)

(I have to change computer to upload the charts)
Note: I didn't touch the auto pilot, so the deviation is just current. The inner and putter edge were my estimates which were pretty spot on.

So I am very happy with the crossing and recommend the area for those conning out of Beaufort.

Other interesting things: after the GS it did not cool down much, so it wasn't cold like the land side. I did have warm gear on a few days but nothing extreme.

I went out to 24n 63.5w before turning S to St Martin.
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Old 29-11-2015, 11:14   #132
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Re: Tell me about Solo Sailing

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Originally Posted by Blue Crab View Post
The biggest issue in solo sailing is watchkeeping. If MarkJ is reading, I'm curious as to his method, and especially how many contacts he had after leaving Beaufort just a couple of weeks ago.
I have 2 timers. I set them both for th same time and sometimes an alarm clock for backup set at 1 hour.
When theres traffic about I set the timers at 20 minutes. The AIS alarm normally is set to 20 minutes .98nm CPA but I changed that to 30 minutes 1.98nms in the deep ocean.
The timers get extended to 30 minutes when I haven't seen a ship for ages, and if I think its safe I will do a 1 hour sleep at dawn if I haven't seen a ship for some days.
The 20, 30 mins just takes a little time to train into and its quite easy for me because I haven't gotten into REM (deep) sleep yet, so I bounce up, have a quick scan outside and quick look at the AIS and hit the buttons again and go back to sleep.
If theres a ship I will either stay awake or take a 10 min nap depending on the situation.

On this trip there was the normal traffic on the coast side of the Gulf. A few ships in the GS itself and none, nothing, nada on the outside of the stream.
When you do see a ship there is likely to be more because they are going SOMEWHERE and it will likely be on a shipping route. One example is on the route from Gibraltar to New Providence Channel, Bahamas, there is a steady stream of ships in a 5 mile wide (aprox) band. So even though I was 600nms east of the Bahamas all of a sudden I saw 10 ships in 6 hours on AIS (all too far off to effectively see lights).
But when theres nothing there really is nothing.
Only other point is that EVERY vessel from the moment I left Beaufort had AIS. EVERY VESSEL! I know everyone will tell me I am wrong and American flying ducks with weird colors don't have AIS but that's just total crap. There were NO VESSLS WITHOUT AIS ON. Even fishing vessels. Even Navy vessels. That doesn't mean you stop looking for them, it just means that people who influence people not to buy AIS because no boats use ais are total bs.

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You mentioned all upwind. Did you take the "thorny path," or head across the stream from Beaufort & then down "I-64"? Not exactly sure, but I thought a strong point of your particular Bene was its good upwind capability. And yes, Mark was just in NYC as I recall for the summer, and before that the Carib again last winter -- all singlehanded passages I believe, and sometimes with video!
No, it wasn't the Thorny Path. its the route as described by Jimmy Cornel. Head out to due north of your destination (65w for BVIs or 63.5w for me)n so you intersect 65w at 25S which is the line the Trade Winds kick in.
I was upwind all the way but not working to windward. ie I was close hauled or one ump off close hauled but not tacking to windward. than g because I did that last time when I went out from the Bahamas. The whole idea of leaving from Beaufort or further north is you don't have to tack to windward.

I didn't do a video tis time because the funny idea I as thinking up didn't quite work so I didn't video it


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Originally Posted by reed1v View Post
Biggest issue is when to poop, and where. Not a good idea to do it off the stern, even if your strapped in. Cant go forward to the head while in lots of traffic. And so on. Need a cockpit poop bucket.
Poop and piddle ONLY in the bathrooms otherwise known as heads. Never, ever, ever piddle or poop over the side.
There is always time to go below unless you are in a channel when you might just have to hold on until you get a clear space.
Generally I feel that if its that busy you cant go below to the heads or check the computer you must be doing something wrong.

General advice: what I did right that should be noted:

Just a few minutes ago I got a Facebook post from someone mid-Atlantic (ARC Canaries to Caribbean surfing down waves at 13 knots in a 45 footish monohull. That's CRAZY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I sail my boat at under hull speed. so my hull speed is 7.96 kts. If I start averaging 8 kts and surfing t 9 kts I reef the damn floppy bits and pull it back to 7 or 7.5 and surfing to say 8.5.
Why?
Because stressing the boat leads to breakages. for a solo sailor that's danger red flag no-no. So I did uphill into 25knots for days and broke nothing. that's why I averaged about 120nms per day and took 10 days to do this route. that 5 knot average. I don't stress the boat! I don't stress me. I don't endanger my boat -> I don't endanger me.

So theres a big circle: If I am not relaxed on passage I will get tired and sleep through my timers and alarms. So I keep relaxed in everything and stay alive.



And I hope that's the way I will continue To be alive and happy and I don't give a rats bum if I am a week longer doing it than anyone else because I have an extra week of being in the best place on earth: At Sea!
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Old 29-11-2015, 11:27   #133
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Re: Tell me about Solo Sailing

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I don't see how....

My procedure for getting rid of a reef is...

1) Release reef clutch lever
2) Put halyard on winch and wind

Job done

It should be noted that I have the ZSpars SLR which is built into the boom and not external like with the Harken kit. I also have blocks on the sails so the SLR line is not rubbing against the reefing rings.
I'm sure that reduces the friction but you still have 20' of line to pull through in one go for a 5' reef.
You would have 80' feet of line for your 3rd reef. (If you drop a 40' luff half way).
With 2 lines you have 20' to pull in on the luff, and then 40' to pull in on the leach line.
Using 2 lines you don't need to buy an expensive kit. I also like to have my reefing lines external where I can see them, but that's just me.
I don't expect you to change but others might like to try 2 lines.
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Old 29-11-2015, 12:04   #134
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Re: Tell me about Solo Sailing

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I'm sure that reduces the friction but you still have 20' of line to pull through in one go for a 5' reef.
You would have 80' feet of line for your 3rd reef. (If you drop a 40' luff half way).
With 2 lines you have 20' to pull in on the luff, and then 40' to pull in on the leach line.
Using 2 lines you don't need to buy an expensive kit. I also like to have my reefing lines external where I can see them, but that's just me.
I don't expect you to change but others might like to try 2 lines.
Nothing wrong with two lines, but to say that single line reefing doesn't work is just incorrect. Actually, you point out an important limitation of the in-boom single-line reefing systems like Selden: the amount of sail you can pull down is limited by the length of the boom. In my case, the second reef is at the limit, so if I decided to add a third reef it would need to be a conventional 2 line style.
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Old 29-11-2015, 12:12   #135
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Re: Tell me about Solo Sailing

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I'm sure that reduces the friction but you still have 20' of line to pull through in one go for a 5' reef.
You would have 80' feet of line for your 3rd reef. (If you drop a 40' luff half way).
With 2 lines you have 20' to pull in on the luff, and then 40' to pull in on the leach line.
Using 2 lines you don't need to buy an expensive kit. I also like to have my reefing lines external where I can see them, but that's just me.
I don't expect you to change but others might like to try 2 lines.
True, the 3rd reef has a lot of line, but not really a problem shaking it out, and when it comes to the reefing, better to be only using one winch than two when solo
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