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Old 26-08-2008, 16:01   #16
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My partner and I were away cruising earlier this year and we met a guy who was full-time live-aboard single-handing a 54' boat. He was in quite poor health, and his boat had no electric winches or other similar aids to short-handed sailing, but he was quite happy with it all. I think you can do what you think you can do.
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Old 26-08-2008, 16:39   #17
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I had as much fun in my 30 footer as I ever did in all the big boats. To me (older also) a sea kindly 30-32 would be plenty of boat for one person. Why do think we need such big boats? To carry more stuff? I was sweating grinding the main halyard up on my big boats. On a 30 footer, a few quick yanks and you're done!
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Old 26-08-2008, 18:31   #18
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The answer is 37 LOD.

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Old 26-08-2008, 19:27   #19
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You simply canít generalize by saying thirty seven foot is the right length. There a too many variables and so much reliable equipment which makes single handed sailing much simpler than it used to be. Cheechako asked why do we need such big boats? Well, in my case I have grandchildren who I want to teach the discipline of the sea, so I need three cabins. I also want to be comfortable myself, so air conditioning, (in Florida and the tropics) is a must. So Iím looking at around 50í, with a whacking great engine and generator, but then Iíve single handed bigger than that, so I personally donít have a problem with that size. Thatís why there are so many different types of boats, and each person makes up his own mind, for better or worse. Thank goodness the sea levels us all out in the end.
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Old 26-08-2008, 20:54   #20
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Ok, you caught me. I was trying to be humorous and also giving my opinion that I consider a well built 36 is all the boat you'll ever need. Maybe it isn't all that you want but it (in my opinion) is all that you need. Of course if you have a bunch of kids or grandchildren and want them to learn the discipline of the sea then you can go as large as you have people to crew it.
Again, this is just my opnion.
Kind regards,
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Old 26-08-2008, 21:21   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiprJohn View Post
The answer is 37 LOD.

JohnL
Actually it is 37.5 - I am also bringing a Brittany Spaniel.

(humor detector set to high...)
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Old 27-08-2008, 05:48   #22
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I am 61 and have had my Contest 36 for 22 yrs and can completely single hand her in most conditions. The only problem I have is in hoisting the big heavy mainsail, but I am working on some solutions for that.

The accommodation plan is very good for a single or couple on this boat, but it is really a superior design in that sense, in my opinion. But most mid 30 boats will be more than adaquate for you and manageable on your own.

You need to get on the boat and have loads of experiences so it all becomes very comfortable and stress fress.

You will need:

Roller furling
below decks stout autopilot
robust anchor windlass (chain road)
midship cleats
rubbing strake is handy
lines led aft to cockpit
powerful self tailing winches
line stoppers
chafe gear
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Old 27-08-2008, 06:04   #23
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defjef's list of features for single-handing is a very good one.

I would add that it helps to have good protection from the elements (dodger, bimini & vinyl side curtains), since you'll be spending a lot of time in the cockpit when passagemaking. Getting wet and cold will sap your energy.
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Old 27-08-2008, 07:30   #24
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Much of this discussion is dependent on your abilities. What is the right size for one guy is the wrong size for another.
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Old 27-08-2008, 08:04   #25
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Originally Posted by defjef View Post
I am 61 and have had my Contest 36 for 22 yrs and can completely single hand her in most conditions. The only problem I have is in hoisting the big heavy mainsail, but I am working on some solutions for that.

Keep on keepin' on Defjef!

The wonderful gentleman we bought our boat from finally gave up due to kids all grown and an increasingly difficult time raising the main. He had a winch added to the coach roof but finally in his late 70's he finally hung up his winch handle.

I remember our sea trial. He helmed and my partner and I manned the sheets. He really had a blast. I have invited him along many times since but he has declined.

I hope his "last" sail - with us - was a good one.
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Old 27-08-2008, 09:52   #26
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Then there was Alain Colas in the 236ft. Club Mediterrain in the 76 Ostar race! Now that's a lot of boat......LOLOLOLOL
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Old 28-08-2008, 14:18   #27
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I agree with this. Why do you ask the question about how large boat you can sail? We built a 36 ft boat, since we are sailing 4+ persons. This boat is easy to sail alone. But if I was planning a boat for solo or sailing two, I would aim for someting like 28-32, full keel, large main, self tacking small jib +ghoster or even better, a junk rig, as we have today. Remember that large genoas are always difficult, even if roller furled. Boomed sails, like a main sail are not that heavy to handle, especially if you have lazy jacks and slab reefs with lines to the cock pit. If you go smaller you can get good equipment, like windlass, wind vane etc, that will make the boat easier to handle alone.

Just make sure the deck can carry a dinghy for easy deployment.

/matti

Quote:
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I had as much fun in my 30 footer as I ever did in all the big boats. To me (older also) a sea kindly 30-32 would be plenty of boat for one person. Why do think we need such big boats? To carry more stuff? I was sweating grinding the main halyard up on my big boats. On a 30 footer, a few quick yanks and you're done!
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Old 29-08-2008, 07:36   #28
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A "Pearl" from Paul

Here's some very good advice from Paul Blais, originally posted in another thread...

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But you can't have it all even with more money. Handling a large boat is serious work on a good day for a young guy (younger than me). For someone retired it could kill you on a less than good day - they happen. It's not about the boat - it's about you and working within your own limits of what one person can and can not do. At this stage of your life - it's supposed to all be fun! Don't go looking for a new full time job writing checks and scrubbing decks.

Don't miss the goal because you couldn't figure out what really is important. When you know that answer you'll be ready to go.

If they wouldn't come on a small boat they won't come on a big boat.

If you have to work to death to entertain why not die now and leave them the money. People that can't take you on terms that are comfortable for you have already passed you by.

A boat you can handle is one you can go where you want and when you want. A large enough boat will make you stuck, unable to move with too much work to do. You need the smallest boat that works - for you! You don't need a boat for other people. If you play that game you don't get to leave because you have too much work to do so others don't have to.
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Old 29-08-2008, 08:18   #29
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It is easier for me to handle an Airbus 320 than a small Cessna 172, I am new at sailing and I hope it is the same when single handling my CL41
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Old 29-08-2008, 09:04   #30
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I reckon Paulís analysis if pretty much spot-on, via Hud3. But even so, I say it still comes down to each individual circumstance. For instance, I actually like working on boats, probably as much as I like sailing them, especially woodwork, which I find therapeutic and rewarding. At my age, (which I regret to say is more than anyone else has so far admitted, but only a tadóIím not bloody Neptune!), I can pay someone else to hang upside down in the bilges or do anything I canít do. I also have experience on big sailboats, so I know my anticipation and experience will compensate greatly for what I (apparently) lack in age. So when you see me steaming into the marina on my sixty foot schooner, and you canít see anyone else on board, thatís because there isnít anyone. Actually, itís quite amazing how many people suddenly appear and stand by to assist, especially those with boats within a hundred yards of your birth.
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