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Old 27-08-2015, 17:27   #1
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First Solo After Four Years

Well, after fours years of owning my own boat I'm finally doing a 'proper' solo.

I was meant to be doing a 200 mile skip with a crew person but that didn't happen so I decided seeing I had the time off work, I'm going anyway. So on Wednesday I set out of our River to just pop along the coast to a little port to stay the night. Not much that day, four hours of motoring as there was no wind. Port Sorell for those familiar with this area of Tasmania.

Then yesterday I went to Devonport, managed to have the main sail and Genny up for about two hours before the wind died.

And this morning, I've set off to do the return 65 miles to the Tamar River with a square on broad reach, all three sails up and I'm doing 4.5 knots in 8-11 of wind. Beautiful sunny day, hardly any waves. Just waiting for the dolphins to come say hello.

Now I know it's not such a big accomplishment to you experienced solo sailors, but hey, got to start somewhere. As long as I manage to get back today without becoming a CF subject of discussion then I'll plan my first overnighter for the summer. Deal Island I'm thinking.

wow, now the winds sitting on 14 and I'm cruising
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Old 27-08-2015, 17:45   #2
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Re: first solo after four years

Hey, Fantastic!

Please post an extended report on how things develop.

Life is good,
b.
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Old 27-08-2015, 17:49   #3
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Re: first solo after four years

Congratulations ... that first solo gives you a really great feeling.

It sounds like perfect conditions for your first, and no doubt you will be inspired to do many more and wonder what the fuss was about.
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Old 27-08-2015, 17:57   #4
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Re: first solo after four years

now the winds are sitting on 18 - 20. makes a big difference to comfort level. The waves are less than a meter so it's reasonably comfortable. But, normally I'd have someone with me that I'd say, 'hey, perhaps I should drop some sail?', whereas on my own, I'm like, 'don't panic, this is normal'.

Looks like I'm sitting on 5.5 knots. but I've just notices it's started to gust at 22 knots briefly. so, me thinks I might drop some sail soon.
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Old 27-08-2015, 18:33   #5
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Re: first solo after four years

Well, that wasn't a lot of fun.

The wind increased to 25 and the seas began having white caps. With full sail I was leaning over quite uncomfortably so I decided to reef the main. But couldn't turn her into the wind to get it down. So I pulled the Furlor in and tried. Still couldn't pull her around into the wind. So I started up the engine and with the auto pilot motored into the wind and then struggled to get the main down. Eventually got it down and decided to put in the third reef. Then struggled to get it up again. Eventually got there.

Then I put the fulor back out and I'm away again. Sill doing the same speed but not quite so much of an uncomfortable angle.

Sitting on 20 knots now for most of the time.

my jack lines are *****. I have to unclip several times to do all that. I need longer safety lines and jack lines that run the length of the boat at least to the mast.
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Old 27-08-2015, 18:55   #6
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Re: first solo after four years

The Met say's 10-15 for this area, but it's more like 20-25. It hasn't dropped below 20 for the past 15-20 minutes. But I'm going to hang in with what I got and go as far as I can because by 1pm (2 hours away) I'll probably not have any wind, looking at the forecast.
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Old 27-08-2015, 19:04   #7
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Re: first solo after four years

Life sounds good RC, well done.

We all know to reef early like as soon as you think about it but when I SH, I like to reef before I think about it

Seriously what I mean is it is better to go slower than to be over canvassed IMHO. YMMV.

Right now only a few hundred miles south, we have frequent showers, cold wind and snow to 300 metres.

Enjoy your sail and again, well done.
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Old 27-08-2015, 19:10   #8
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Re: first solo after four years

Awesome. Sounds like some good sailing combined with some learning experiences. What more could you ask for?
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Old 27-08-2015, 19:54   #9
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Re: First Solo After Four Years

How you worked with an instructor, most of your problems would be easily solved.

1) if reefing ever comes to mind - DO IT>

2) you can reef on any point of sail; you do have to be head to wind, in fact you do not want to be.


3) jacklines always run bow to stern.

4) that which does not kill you, makes you strong.
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Old 27-08-2015, 20:20   #10
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Re: First Solo After Four Years

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How you worked with an instructor, most of your problems would be easily solved.

1) if reefing ever comes to mind - DO IT>

2) you can reef on any point of sail; you do have to be head to wind, in fact you do not want to be.


3) jacklines always run bow to stern.

4) that which does not kill you, makes you strong.
I can't see how ' I' can reef on any point of sail. It would not move. The pressure of the wind was just too much. It wouldn't drop.

The second point you make is contradictory. What did you mean? 'YOU DO' have to be head to wind, or 'YOU DON"T' want to be?
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Old 27-08-2015, 20:30   #11
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Re: First Solo After Four Years

Methinks jack has few typos.
Try can't in place of can.
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Old 27-08-2015, 21:07   #12
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Re: First Solo After Four Years

RC, congratulations. You're FREE! Go anywhere, almost anytime, now.

You NEED to sort out your reefing gear and technique. Sooner than later.

While we have Harken Batt Cars and can reef pretty much on any point of sail (by reefing earliest), I also strongly urge you to install double line reefing and lead your main halyard aft.

You should, at the very least, be able to reef sailing upwind on just the jib, traveler down and mainsheet out enough to luff the main and be able to do so within no more than a minute.

Good luck.
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Old 27-08-2015, 21:09   #13
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Re: First Solo After Four Years

Hey RC this is fun. We can sit here and critique your sailing from the comfort of our office chairs.

Regarding trying to get the head into the wind, regardless of whether it is required for reefing or not, that boat of yours is a ketch, right? So do you have the mizzen up at the moment? If not, putting it up might balance the help a bit and make rounding up easier.

Our Swanson will not happily come up into the wind if I have the jib cars set too far forward for much the same sorts of sail balance reasons.

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Old 27-08-2015, 22:02   #14
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Re: First Solo After Four Years

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Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
RC, congratulations. You're FREE! Go anywhere, almost anytime, now.

You NEED to sort out your reefing gear and technique. Sooner than later.

While we have Harken Batt Cars and can reef pretty much on any point of sail (by reefing earliest), I also strongly urge you to install double line reefing and lead your main halyard aft.

You should, at the very least, be able to reef sailing upwind on just the jib, traveler down and mainsheet out enough to luff the main and be able to do so within no more than a minute.

Good luck.
'Double Line' reefing? Is that where I have a line leading down that I can pull it down with? If so, it had that on it when I purchased it and I took it off. Because it fell okay without it. But as I'm must finding out, not once the wind blows up.

My rigger wants to lead the main lines aft. But it's going to cost a pretty penny to do it. But If I'm going to solo more often I can see I'm going to need it for sure.
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Old 27-08-2015, 22:06   #15
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Re: First Solo After Four Years

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Originally Posted by GILow View Post
Hey RC this is fun. We can sit here and critique your sailing from the comfort of our office chairs.

Regarding trying to get the head into the wind, regardless of whether it is required for reefing or not, that boat of yours is a ketch, right? So do you have the mizzen up at the moment? If not, putting it up might balance the help a bit and make rounding up easier.

Our Swanson will not happily come up into the wind if I have the jib cars set too far forward for much the same sorts of sail balance reasons.

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Yes, a ketch. I had the Mizzen up earlier when I had the problem reefing. I've lowered it when it got too breezy. I"ve got two chain plates on the Mizzen yet to be replaced so I didn't like the tension it was under.

The last hour the wind came back with my main fully up again. But I didn't try to lower it this time, thought I'd just put up with the lean as the forcast is not dismal. ANd now I'm almost home, (just entering the River heads), the winds are right on the nose.
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