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Old 21-09-2015, 14:56   #46
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Re: What Size Sailboat Can Be Safely Operated by a Solo Sailor ?

been there, done that. now live a board Morgan 33. But I have some years with a 19' lightning and later a 26' Grampian. I would urge you spend that 1-st winter in Florida. Winter sailing further north is cold. I join those who urge starting slow. You might also try living in a small studio apartment to see what tight quarters feels like. A roomy sailboat is still very small. Anything big enough to be reasonably comfortable will be harder to learn on so start with a day sailor and learn the basics. Another Florida benefit, you can be on the water learning 12 months a year. Finally read some books, take some US Power Squadron courses. Don't let the name fool you, they are very relevant for all boaters.

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Old 26-04-2016, 20:20   #47
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Re: What Size Sailboat Can Be Safely Operated by a Solo Sailor ?

from 9 years of solo sailing in all weather conditions in blue water, i think there are a few simple tests to check as to if a boat is to big for you or not...

can you raise the mainsail with out the help of the winch... and i am not talking about can you with all your might do it once... are you comfortable raising the main by hand every time you sail...

next test is... if the boat did not have a motor would that cause you any great consern? as in if the motor fails and you must sail 2000nm to a place to get parts would that worry you? if such a thought makes you uncomfortable the boat is to big for you....

many here are talking about electric winches... if you think you may need an electric winch the boat is WAY WAY to big for you...

the truth as i see it, is if you are a competent sailor on a boat you can handel solo, when a winch is used it is only used for one or two cranks... when you are really comfortable and on top of your game in fair weather, often using a winch for tack or jibe is because you have made a mistake and you need to pay more attention to perfecting your timing... but yes a winch is a great tool in hard winds for sail trim... and that is what i use them for.

i sail a robert perry 39foot sloop so she is a sound easy boat to sail... and i would say she is about my limit... clearly i could sail a bigger boat solo but i do not think i would want to in any and all conditions...

one last point from the comments i have been seeing... if you need all your lines run to the cockpit because you are not comfortable on deck in heavy weather, never take your boat into blue water. does not matter what size boat you have, your mindset will not keep you safe in open ocean... or a coastal storm for that matter... you should be as comfortabe in the cockpit as you are on deck no matter the conditions... and you should spend time on both in all conditions, so when things get ruff and at times they will, you are used to it and think nothing of it...

i think people who set up there boats with every little toy so they can do as little as possibe from there cockpit are putting themselfs into wheel chairs... making them selfs disabled crusers over of compatent sailors...

i think if you follow these basic ideas and you are capable of paying attention to your surroundings consistatly, there is no reason for you to ever loose control of your boat or yourself as you sail....

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Old 27-04-2016, 04:53   #48
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Re: What Size Sailboat Can Be Safely Operated by a Solo Sailor ?

^^+1 Lev, thats pretty much my thinking, and why I dont want to go much over 40 foot (and even then its a lightweight 40 footer). I could handle much bigger if everything is going well.

I have shorthanded 60 footers. But I there are times where stuff gets very hard to deal with on your own, and to be honest I just find sailing smaller boats more fun and way less stress.
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Old 27-04-2016, 07:02   #49
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Re: What Size Sailboat Can Be Safely Operated by a Solo Sailor ?

the boat you are able to sail depends on your love for boat.
i sail a 41 formosa, usually sola.
i love my boat.
ketch has all in cockpit without having to go forward. foresail is rollerfurled. mizzen is at cockpit. what is not to love about a gorgeous style boat easily sailed by 1-4 folks. no sweat. wide flat decks so going forward is not so much a fatal accident waiting to happen.
as for experience, you will gain that if you love boat--it will be used.
if you merely go with flow of popularity, you may find you donot love boat as much as
you thought you did when it comes to repairs on your head with ass in air and face in a very small and tight space. like getting an elephant into a small elevator..
the monkey shines required for repairing some boats is ...... ridiculous.
how easy to repair while underway should be your first concern, as all good things happen while in midocean, or other locale far from services one becomes accustomed to.
can you reach packing gland while sailing? can you manage to fit into the area needed to fit into to replace packing while you are underway??
stuff happens. be ready.
even when you have perfection, you will learn there is no such thing.
LOVE your boat and you will use it more often than if you donot.
search and look and investigate all options before buying--it isnt so easy to sell boats these days, so if you get one you donot find appropriate, it could take a few years to resell.
and make sure the autopilot is a good one so you have time to repair stuff while it drives boat.
i find that, as i am different than most, that i can handle my 41 even in tight spaces without a thruster.
i can flip a fin spade sloop in its own length with out difficulty. handling it in a storm is yet another issue--i prefer to handle a ketch in weather, as it is a lot easier to handle sola.
handling boat comes with time behind wheel or at tiller. is not magic. is actually easy once you learn things can be done.
it is often easier to sola than to have helpers on board in a passage.
i would not trade my 41 for anything. it is perfect for me.
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Old 27-04-2016, 12:38   #50
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Re: What Size Sailboat Can Be Safely Operated by a Solo Sailor ?

On this same topic, can you single hand a 37 or 38 ft. catamaran? If you are a couple and one doesn't feel well and you have to move for whatever reason, would be nice to know one person can handle it. Or when one passes away and the other doesn't want to leave the boat, would be nice to have one you don't have to sell.
Or is it better to stick with a 40 or 43 ft. monohull?
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Old 27-04-2016, 13:05   #51
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Re: What Size Sailboat Can Be Safely Operated by a Solo Sailor ?

OK, I'll be the smart alec again... This one is set up for one person to singhlehand... Luxury Sailing Yacht “Maltese Falcon” | iDesignArch | Interior Design, Architecture & Interior Decorating eMagazine

1962 Columbia 29 MKI #37
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