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Old 14-05-2011, 12:26   #31
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Re: What Size Sailboat Can Be Safely Operated by a Solo Sailor ?

WOW!! What a beautiful location. It is definitely on my list.
At work we have an engineer that does the double & triple redundancy thing. That's not my style at all. I believe in doing things correctly the first time and then lots of preventive maintenance and maybe <grin> a backup for the bilge pump back up bilge pump.
Thanks,
Walter


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I'd recommend Oriental, NC and the anchorage at Taylors Creek, Beaufort, NC....
My biggest bestest tip regarding single handing is... if your a worrier...
DON'T DO IT..
it'll cost you a fortune in early warning devices and back ups for back ups...
On the other hand if you enjoy solitude, can improvise and make do.. and are gadgetly challenged... you'll do just fine.
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Old 14-05-2011, 14:32   #32
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Re: What Size Sailboat Can Be Safely Operated by a Solo Sailor ?

I have found this thread pretty interesting, as I too am looking for a boat to retire on. I'm not sure yet whether I want to live on her all the time, or simply cruise to the Caribbean during the season. I have read many blogs of folks having done the live-aboard. IMHO, I've seen single handlers in boats of every size, as well as couples sailing blue water in every type and size of boat. So to me, find the boat that seems to fit you. In my case, I'm looking for a 37'-40' mono with aft cockpit. There are many of these on the market that have been set up for cruising by their current owners. and some that have been rigged for single handed sailing. But most of all, find one you LOVE and go for it. Good luck, and hope to see you on the water.
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Old 14-05-2011, 14:41   #33
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Re: What Size Sailboat Can Be Safely Operated by a Solo Sailor ?

Depends on the Sailor. and his ability and desire.
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Old 16-05-2011, 06:55   #34
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Re: What Size Sailboat Can Be Safely Operated by a Solo Sailor ?

Wow! Some here did not read the op question very carefully.A 40 ft boat as aliveaboard only,sure lotsa room ;but this guy is a newbie by his own admission and sure, you life long hardcore sailors with deep pockets can singlehand offshore in settled conditions, do you really believe that an inexperienced 61year old is going to pull off offshore passages without major difficulties in aboat 40-60 feet? Maybe if the sails never go up (very common) with a very reliable engine he will make it from marina to marina for the repairs he will need when he crashes into docks or those electric "labor saving "devices fail at critical times.
Go any where in the world and one will see smaller boats out on the water while the larger ones rarely move even with experienced owners. There is a truism :"Buy the smallest boat you can live with" ;if you just need to change your lifestyle and live on a boat many craft will serve,after all you can just jump onto the dock when your home sinks underneath you.But an aging newbie bashing about in open waters for days on end? To sugest this is to invite disaster at every level.
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Old 16-05-2011, 06:57   #35
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Re: What Size Sailboat Can Be Safely Operated by a Solo Sailor ?

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Wow! Some here did not read the op question very carefully.
huh... that never happens..
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Old 16-05-2011, 07:03   #36
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Re: What Size Sailboat Can Be Safely Operated by a Solo Sailor ?

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This is often a fable put forward by those who can't afford bigger boats and need arguments to explain why smaller is better.
not so fast there your 60 footer displaces almost 50000 pounds .. the sails weigh in the hundreds of pounds .. tough stuff to deal with unless you know exactly what you are doing and are strong enough to do it. but yes you are correct .. half a million bucks for a boat is more than i can afford
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Old 16-05-2011, 07:52   #37
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Re: What Size Sailboat Can Be Safely Operated by a Solo Sailor ?

Welcome aboard CF and enjoy the site..

I sail my 43' regularly solo. It is just a matter of getting used to your boat
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Old 16-05-2011, 07:56   #38
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Re: What Size Sailboat Can Be Safely Operated by a Solo Sailor ?

I basically agree with Nick on the "Jedi" as I owned for a couple of years a very heavy displacement 60 foot Jay Benford single screw ketch that was about 74 feet long over spars. She was ferrocement, and was a cinch to handle, as Nick's message would indicate. The thing that mattered was she was "heavy", not necessarily big, and she had a big, balanced rudder. Tho big she was. You had time to run a spring, shift fenders, change plans - she'd just wait until you were ready. Sure, I watched the wind and current, but her size meant you had plenty of time to consider your docking plan. It has been my observation that maneuvering issues come up much more frequently in boats that are light for their size.

BTW, is anything sillier than having a bow thruster in a 45 foot JeanBenBavaLina. Have marina alleyways shrunk that far? I guess they have.
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Old 23-05-2011, 13:58   #39
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Re: What Size Sailboat Can Be Safely Operated by a Solo Sailor ?

I think it's as others said...it's all about what you are comfortable with and your experience level.

For me, with no sailing experience at all....but I did grow up in a powerboating family with everything from a small jon boat to a large cabin cruiser, I'm comfortable on the water and the rules of the road. I've owned travel trailers so I'm comfortable maintaing RV type systems. So, for my first boat, I chose a Catalina 25...very affordable (paid cash), very forgiving, (learning to sail) I can spend weekends away (camper on the water)....and if I decide I don't like sailing (not likely) then I'm not out big $$$.

In a few years, as my experience increases and I adjust my budget, I'll spend the money on my retirement cruiser...probably a 38-42 footer rigged to single hand. I'll have the experience to sail her without a huge learning curve, working my way up so to speak. I've sailed on a friend's Catalina 36, rigged for single, and it's a very manageable boat. I think the sweet spot, for ME, is gonna be in the 38-42 foot range.
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Old 23-05-2011, 14:17   #40
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Re: What Size Sailboat Can Be Safely Operated by a Solo Sailor ?

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I think it's as others said...it's all about what you are comfortable with and your experience level.

For me, with no sailing experience at all....but I did grow up in a powerboating family with everything from a small jon boat to a large cabin cruiser, I'm comfortable on the water and the rules of the road. I've owned travel trailers so I'm comfortable maintaing RV type systems. So, for my first boat, I chose a Catalina 25...very affordable (paid cash), very forgiving, (learning to sail) I can spend weekends away (camper on the water)....and if I decide I don't like sailing (not likely) then I'm not out big $$$.

In a few years, as my experience increases and I adjust my budget, I'll spend the money on my retirement cruiser...probably a 38-42 footer rigged to single hand. I'll have the experience to sail her without a huge learning curve, working my way up so to speak. I've sailed on a friend's Catalina 36, rigged for single, and it's a very manageable boat. I think the sweet spot, for ME, is gonna be in the 38-42 foot range.
Joe,
Thanks for the reply. Your story sounds like my history.
This is the kind of info I was looking for.
Walter
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Old 23-05-2011, 14:29   #41
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Re: What Size Sailboat Can Be Safely Operated by a Solo Sailor ?

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Originally Posted by JoeDiver View Post
I think it's as others said...it's all about what you are comfortable with and your experience level.

For me, with no sailing experience at all....but I did grow up in a powerboating family with everything from a small jon boat to a large cabin cruiser, I'm comfortable on the water and the rules of the road. I've owned travel trailers so I'm comfortable maintaing RV type systems. So, for my first boat, I chose a Catalina 25...very affordable (paid cash), very forgiving, (learning to sail) I can spend weekends away (camper on the water)....and if I decide I don't like sailing (not likely) then I'm not out big $$$.

In a few years, as my experience increases and I adjust my budget, I'll spend the money on my retirement cruiser...probably a 38-42 footer rigged to single hand. I'll have the experience to sail her without a huge learning curve, working my way up so to speak. I've sailed on a friend's Catalina 36, rigged for single, and it's a very manageable boat. I think the sweet spot, for ME, is gonna be in the 38-42 foot range.
Couldn't you have just added something on the end about 3 large dogs, 12 children. and a Camel - all powered by recycled wishful thinking?..........just to fit in
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Old 23-05-2011, 15:20   #42
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Re: What Size Sailboat Can Be Safely Operated by a Solo Sailor ?

Wow! This thread has meandered all over the place. I think that everyone is trying to be helpful.

I think the OP asked the WRONG QUESTION. While I'm sure as a newbie to sailing he's concerned about how big a boat he can safely handle -- as well as living space, maintenance, costs, etc. -- it's probably the wrong question to ask at this point.

Strictly speaking, there's no correct answer since, as a couple of folks have said, it's all about experience, training, physical attributes, type of sailing, etc.

I've been sailing all my life, and at 72 have no problem at all singlehanding my 42' sloop. I've handled and delivered all kinds of boats, and even now would have no trouble singlehanding sailing boats up to about 60 feet. HOWEVER, the OP is a newbie, not an experienced sailor, so what size boat I can handle or anyone else can handle is largely irrelevant.

About the smallest boat you could conceivably live on comfortably would be in the 28-30' range, and for many folks...particularly older ones...that would be a bit cramped living quarters. There are tons of boats available in the 30-40' range suitable for liveaboards but, hey, it's too early to say what would be appropriate for you.

YOU NEED TO STOP THINKING ABOUT WHICH BOAT AND WHICH SIZE AND ALL THE REST, AND GO GET SOME REAL SAILING EXPERIENCE!

Join a club. Go out with friends. Charter a boat. Take a course. Read everything you can find. Hang out at a local bar where sailors gather, and listen to their stories (but discount at least 50% of them).

Buy a small starter boat, like a Catalina 22 pop top. Great little boat, 17,000 of them made, can be had very cheaply, and will take care of you in boisterous conditions. Get some real experience under your belt.

Then, spring for a charter in the BVI. Join a crew there, or even go on day charters. You'll get the feel for larger boats and have a chance to operate them. And, you won't have spent all your $$$ on an inappropriate boat which will disappoint you and require years of back-breaking labor.

Then, and only then, think seriously about size and type of vessel you really want, and about the way you'd like to have her rigged.

Some of the advice above is golden. Some, in my opinion, is way off base.

BTW, you absolutely positively DO want a roller furling headsail. Every single charter boat in the Carribean has them, and they're very reliable and make total control of the headsail possible from the cockpit.

I have a roller-furling boom and mainsail and love it. I can and have single-handed my boat in 35-40 knots winds, using the roller furling gear. A good autopilot is just about mandatory. My Autohelm was intermittent for the first 15 years I owned the boat -- including 11 years in the Caribbean -- and gave me fits repeatedly until I removed it and put a real autopilot on (W-H P-3 w/hydraulic ram). My god, what a difference. Like having a couple xtra crew aboard :-)

Would love to talk gear with you AFTER you've got some experience and are actually in the market for a liveaboard boat.

Good luck, and keep the dream alive!

Bill
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Old 23-05-2011, 15:22   #43
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pirate Re: What Size Sailboat Can Be Safely Operated by a Solo Sailor ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrohr View Post
Wow! Some here did not read the op question very carefully.A 40 ft boat as aliveaboard only,sure lotsa room ;but this guy is a newbie by his own admission and sure, you life long hardcore sailors with deep pockets can singlehand offshore in settled conditions, do you really believe that an inexperienced 61year old is going to pull off offshore passages without major difficulties in aboat 40-60 feet? Maybe if the sails never go up (very common) with a very reliable engine he will make it from marina to marina for the repairs he will need when he crashes into docks or those electric "labor saving "devices fail at critical times.
Go any where in the world and one will see smaller boats out on the water while the larger ones rarely move even with experienced owners. There is a truism :"Buy the smallest boat you can live with" ;if you just need to change your lifestyle and live on a boat many craft will serve,after all you can just jump onto the dock when your home sinks underneath you.But an aging newbie bashing about in open waters for days on end? To sugest this is to invite disaster at every level.
One reason I suggested Oriental... thats an area he can find 'the boat' and also it a town that pretty much revolves around sail boats and Shrimp boats... a lot off retirees with nothing better to do than socialise and sail... sheltered waters but close enough to Beaufort to get together with a couple of new found 'sailing' friends for a quick nip out for a night at anchor by 'Lookout'...
Though personally I'd prefer Taylors Creek and the 'Back St Pub'.....
But then I would wouldn't I... seeing as I'm anchored...
just got judge the tide right in case I fall in... going with the tide is so much easier...
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Old 23-05-2011, 22:59   #44
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Re: What Size Sailboat Can Be Safely Operated by a Solo Sailor ?

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Buy a small starter boat, like a Catalina 22 pop top. Great little boat, 17,000 of them made, can be had very cheaply, and will take care of you in boisterous conditions. Get some real experience under your belt.
Great little boat to start with, and they have an almost cult like following. You're sure to find plenty of other C22 owners around you to hang out with, race, raft up, and have a blast.

Or, step up a notch to a C25 like I did....I'm 6'3 and 250# so the C22 was just a tad too small for me in the cabin for weekenders. If you have the cash get a C27...I wanted one of those but could not find one in my budget....I found a few in my price range, but they were not local and shipping blew the budget.

Really though, get a starter boat for not much $$$ and get out there. What you think you want now, or need now, will change radically in the next couple of years while you sail your own boat and spend some weekends (or longer) aboard. Then you'll be in a MUCH better position to make the significant, and it is a significant, investment in your bigger boat to run off and explore the world in.
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Old 20-09-2015, 22:53   #45
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Re: What size sailboat can be safely operated by a solo sailer?

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Dire? Really? If my electric winch dies, I put a handle in it and crank it just like a regular winch. It's no harder and no easier because it's the same winch as the one without the motor.

Understand this point. My starboard primary winch, a Lewmar 48, is electric, and the port primary winch, a Lewmar 48, is not. They are 100% identical pieces of equipment--the only difference is that one has an additional motor added on.

The argument being made here is as if you claimed that you should never buy a car with a CD player, because if the CD player breaks down the car will not be able to get you home.

That's goofy logic, at best.
My logic is goofy? I'm a girl and might not be able to turn that winch. When is the last time your CD player got you home? - lol - not hating. Yea, I know its four years old.
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