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Old 18-09-2013, 03:47   #1
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Seeking Teacher for Singlehand Sailing in Europe eg for Seafarer 26

Dear Forum Members. Thank you for allowing me to participate, it was nice reading a few posts on Seafarers 26.

I am based in Europe and have just come back from a bit of cruising in Croatia. I wondered if anyone knows of someone who specialises in teaching to sail singlehandedly. I have read the threads on singlehanded sailing, but would want to try all the suggestions out with a teacher (picking up a buoy, etc), before I do the same alone.
I would be happy for the teaching to happen in Croatia, England or Portugal . Learning it on a Seafarer 26 would be particularly handy, it seems from your posts.

Thank you and kind regards!

p.s.: this post was first put on the Seafarer 26 thread/forum, then, thanks to useful feedback for a newbie such as me, has been reposted here in Meets and Greets. I have searched the threads for singlehanded.
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Old 18-09-2013, 04:18   #2
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pirate Re: Seeking Teacher for Singlehand Sailing in Europe eg for Seafarer 26

Single handing is just normal sailing... there's no special training for it that a dinghy sailing or Day Skipper course can't teach you... either will teach you all the relevant skills...
The only thing you cannot be taught is the psychological ability to cope with being solo far from land and back-up... people either have it or they don't...
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Old 18-09-2013, 05:17   #3
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Re: Seeking Teacher for Singlehand Sailing in Europe eg for Seafarer 26

A big part of singlehanding, inline with what boatman said, is the psychology. It's pretty hard to learn until you do it. Now that I think about it, it's probably not even a good idea to start singlehanding by doing it with someone else.

Spend time at the dock practicing deck stuff. Anchoring, reefing, launching the dinghy, etc. I wrote down steps so I wouldn't forget.

Sail conservatively. Avoid shipping lanes, stay well offshore, and when you're approaching shore try to make it at a right angle. Minimize the amount of time you're ~50 miles from land.

I did ~1200 miles by myself last year. Did the whole thing double reefed. Slower? A bit, but guess who never had to do anything when the wind piped up?

Safety and conservation of energy take paramount importance.

Regarding sleep, do whatever works for you. Some people can do the catnap thing, others get big multi hour chunks. But whatever you do make sure that you need to be awake (like on approach to land or to fix something) that you're not catatonic and useless. If you're navigating and can't do basic math in your head you're in some deep trouble.
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Old 20-09-2013, 04:34   #4
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Re: Seeking Teacher for Singlehand Sailing in Europe eg for Seafarer 26

Many thanks to boatman61 and rebel heart for your responses. Those thoughts obviously went through my head and I did not post my question lightly. I still think it is different from being on a boat where the idea is 'organise your crew for [picking up a buoy etc]". If someone did read my original question who is in Europe and able to head out with me where I have to do every step myself (and the lines go back to the boat so that it is easier to do), then I would appreciate it very much.

I had to smile re the comment on basic maths

best regards
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Old 20-09-2013, 04:57   #5
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pirate Re: Seeking Teacher for Singlehand Sailing in Europe eg for Seafarer 26

Quote:
Originally Posted by leeholodrio View Post
Many thanks to boatman61 and rebel heart for your responses. Those thoughts obviously went through my head and I did not post my question lightly. I still think it is different from being on a boat where the idea is 'organise your crew for [picking up a buoy etc]". If someone did read my original question who is in Europe and able to head out with me where I have to do every step myself (and the lines go back to the boat so that it is easier to do), then I would appreciate it very much.

I had to smile re the comment on basic maths

best regards
If you've been on a sailing school boat with crew you would likely have been with 3-4 others and each would have taken turns at the helm.. sails.. boathook..
Now you just combine all 3 actions into a flow for just one...
IE; Picking up a mooring solo under sail...
Approach the buoy from what you consider the most favourable angle and assess the wind/current/which side to fall off safely if you miss 1st go etc on that pass... go round again and furl your genoa as you go.
As you come to where you judged your head up to wind point head up and once head to wind release the mainsheet and wander forward picking up your boat hook as you go... if you've judged it right the boat will decelerate and the buoy will be just under your bow... hook it and tie off... if not... fall of and go round again
Its a practice, practice, practice thing... you know the basic's.. now its time to know your boat and yourself.
I'm in Portugal by the way..
Edit: Another secret is 'Prep'... have your mooring line ready on the foredeck, boat hook to hand, decks cleared so's you don't trip...
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Old 02-10-2013, 16:55   #6
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Re: Seeking Teacher for Singlehand Sailing in Europe eg for Seafarer 26

Aloha and welcome aboard!
I've done just a little single-handing and didn't like it much because there was no one there to share the spectacular events with. I'm just not suited for it.
kind regards,
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Old 02-10-2013, 17:32   #7
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Re: Seeking Teacher for Singlehand Sailing in Europe eg for Seafarer 26

I would have to agree with the previous responses. The first thing to do is to learn to do all of the tasks on a boat, usually by crewing for experienced people and getting their instruction. (For some reason modern egos seem particularly resistant to this step, and want to proceed directly to being a skipper. IMHO this is a really bad idea.) Once the tasks have been mastered, and good skippering observed, then advance to being a humble novice skipper. After you are confident in skippering your own boat you should try going out on your own in benign conditions and work on your technique for getting things done safely. Plan ahead and don't use techniques that require you to get tasks done quickly.

While there are some tricks that you might learn from other single-handers, you can't be taught to be a confident self-sufficient individual. By being taught by someone else you are continuing to look outside for the answers, when you need to learn to look inside and rely on yourself.

First become a good sailor, then a good skipper, and only then a single-hander. There are no (safe) shortcuts.

Greg
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