What a great post - I'm wiping tears from my eyes ....
Our esteemed mate makes a telling point. Singlehanders should think hard about eliminating (if building) or fairing (if existing build) all toe-magnets and rope-catchers forrard of the shrouds - especially those of us who are not gifted with the linguistic depth
of Tintin's seadog sidekick.
Sampson posts (for a new build, especially on a metal yacht) can drop roughly flush with the deck
, and re-emerge from a blind socket - I thought this was an idea I cribbed from Nicolson, but the only reference I can find in any of his books
is p85 in "Marinize your boat" where he shows a disappearing bollard emerging through a close-fitting deck
plate: By his admission this would be appropriate only for a racing
boat which hardly ever used the thing in anger (a case of 'never mind the bollards'?) because any wear would see it leaking.
Alternatively sampson posts and towing bollards can bolt onto a reinforced plinth, so they can be removed entirely before sessions of foredeck combat.
Failing that, horn cleats
and sampson posts can be 'muffled' by a removable "cleat-defeater" consisting of a couple of wooden or foam shoes shaped to form a fairing for each horn while effectively swallowing it. A length of bungy cord each side will cause them to embrace the cleat.
Sometimes fixed fairing pieces can be provided for cleats
, turning blocks, hatch
lids or other potential traps, stood away (if necessary) JUST enough to get a rope
in, in the case of cleats. If the 'moat' for rope
insertion is curved, you have to be pretty unlucky for a random rope to find its way in and not be able to escape when needed.
Naturally these need to provide a smooth, negative overhang profile, all the way down to the deck, when viewed from any direction.
These will also alleviate the excruciating toe-stubbing propensities of all cleats, padeyes, etc etc.
Ventilator cowls need metal hoops over them of smooth profile from all directions, negative overhang as above. Often these are designed with insufficient angle (ie vertical uprights instead of sloping)
If this seems like too much trouble for a singlehander, better get practicing your French: as suggested above, you'll be needing it.