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Old 08-10-2020, 09:10   #16
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Re: Solo Cruising

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Just curious if anyone is cruising on a cat alone?

I'm a 53 year old woman, and I am living on my Lagoon 450. I have been planning on cruising for years, but now I'm looking at perhaps having to do it solo. I'd love to hear other people's stories, challenges, tips, etc.
cruising can be a great many different things: sailing from marina to marina oalong a coast, rtw-ing on the coconut-milk-run, keeping to the cold (Patagonia, NW-passage, ...)...
much will depend on how the boat is set up, if you enjoy the maintenance, how physically fit you are/how you can adjust the running of the boat to your physical fitness.
It will have nothing to do with gender (correct term?)
(I personally would be scared stiff singlehanding, & the more stops the more scared [& the more hulls the more scared]. But then 3rtw & some miles, all with my mate (soul- & everything)...what do I know?)
Most importantly: you'll never know if you don't go!
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Old 08-10-2020, 10:14   #17
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Re: Solo Cruising

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Originally Posted by scarlet View Post
Just curious if anyone is cruising on a cat alone?

I'm a 53 year old woman, and I am living on my Lagoon 450. I have been planning on cruising for years, but now I'm looking at perhaps having to do it solo. I'd love to hear other people's stories, challenges, tips, etc.
What a bummer. After all the planning. dreaming, expense and hard work, you now find yourself alone? Sorry to hear that.

There is no doubt that you should be able to manage living and sailing your cat if you are reasonably skilled and healthy.

Question is....do you still want to? I wouldn't, but that's just a personal choice. To me cruising is an experience to be shared.

Best of luck to you Scarlet.
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Old 08-10-2020, 11:05   #18
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Re: Solo Cruising

When it's easy, it's easy. But when it's not.... smaller boat is better IMHO. I solo all the time usually. Mostly no big deal but not always.

I would love the room of a 40 or 45' cat and I chose a 35' cat. Partly finances but mostly because when stuff goes wrong and it will, I have a much better chance of successfully dealing with smaller sails and anchors then with larger ones. Think O'dark thirty, sails have to come down and something is jammed, torn whatever.

I have 1inch tubular SS rails on top and wire rigging below for lifelines. I also have a Harken electric winch that all lines can be fed to. So when I need that extra help, push a button. I have redundant systems all over the place. ( came in handy when I broke my hand on one trip)

In the end, sailing solo is very much a personal judgement/call. Do you feel you can do it safely?
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Old 08-10-2020, 20:25   #19
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Re: Solo Cruising

Scarlet, CF member <gamayun> singlehands, and she did the Transpac race on her Freedom I guess it was last year. You might consider PMing her. Imho, you've bloody well earned to go cruising! Just what boat you select due to changed circumstances...I don't know what to say. Maybe return to your first boat love. And take your time. In the middle of emotional upheaval isn't the best time to make major life decisions.

Ann
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Old 08-10-2020, 20:37   #20
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Re: Solo Cruising

You're really a bit short on info when you say "cruise"...Are you hugging the coast? Coming in at night to anchor? Can pick the best weather window? What are your thoughts?
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Old 08-10-2020, 21:20   #21
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Re: Solo Cruising

It shouldn't be hard to find interesting and diverse crew of all persuasions with a boat like that. They'll even pay to come along if that's your thing!
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Old 09-10-2020, 04:24   #22
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Re: Solo Cruising

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Scarlet,

IMHO, you've bloody well earned the right to go cruising!

Ann
What Ann said.

Most importantly do NOT give up your dream of sailing and cruising!!!

Be strong,
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Old 09-10-2020, 05:26   #23
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Re: Solo Cruising

Ive sailed approx 4000 Nmiles on my lonesome, All open ocean, 34 foot Gemini Cat,
In and out of moorings on my own, There is never any one there to help any way,
If you can repair things that break on your own, Thats all there is to it,
I sail night and day, In all kinds of weather,
The hardest part of my sailing is dragging up the anchor by hand,
I have a chain lock on my anchor chain, So I can pull my anchor up a metre at a time, With out it running out again,

Never, ever, go on deck with out a chest harness and a lanyard attached to a Jack line that will allow you to go over the side even if your unconsious,

Go for it and enjoy your life, Hop onto Sailing Singles on Facebook, Plenty of single sailing women on there,
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Old 09-10-2020, 09:49   #24
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Re: Solo Cruising

Find a partner willing to invest in a percentage so they will have skin in the game.
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Old 10-10-2020, 05:53   #25
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Re: Solo Cruising

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You're really a bit short on info when you say "cruise"...Are you hugging the coast? Coming in at night to anchor? Can pick the best weather window? What are your thoughts?
Right now I'm in Delaware... Would like to move her south to the Caribbean. Our plan had always been to hire a captain or pick up additional crew for the longer passage. So, I will still plan on doing that. From there, at least for now, it would be mainly island hopping.
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Old 10-10-2020, 11:09   #26
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Re: Solo Cruising

Familiar quote from my grandmother " no matter where you are in life there are people more fortunate and less fortunate "

I know it's difficult, but try to remind yourself that you are still at least fortunate enough to carry on. Summon your confidence and carry on. Adjust your sails, as you seem to already be doing. I wish you all of the best and I have confidence that you'll adapt and adjust and be just fine. Maybe a different picture than you painted last year, but you have a lovely blank canvass to paint your future. I have confidence in you. All problems will be worked out, adjusted, and you'll find your way.
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Old 10-10-2020, 19:03   #27
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Re: Solo Cruising

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Right now I'm in Delaware... Would like to move her south to the Caribbean. Our plan had always been to hire a captain or pick up additional crew for the longer passage. So, I will still plan on doing that. From there, at least for now, it would be mainly island hopping.

Well, sounds like a good plan....Crew up for the delivery heading south and perhaps during the travels you'll get a sense if you feel capable.....Besides being capable, there is the added issue of desire to solo. I think it's doable if you're smart and careful...Meaning weather windows and perhaps buddy boating...All the best.
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Old 16-10-2020, 07:57   #28
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Re: Solo Cruising

If you compare my solo sail in Wolfgang Berg Books "Monkey Sail" (Amazon) with one of my cruises described in books like "Banana Log", the answer is pretty clear:
Island Hopping, instead of passages
A good weather service, like Chris Parker, and always wait for best weather.
(chris=mwxc.com@mg.mwxc.com)
Plan everything in advance, each action, have lines ready, tools handy, solo means taking a lot of time for each action, extra care. But it is actually very safe since you don't depend on others.
When docking, always call for hands ready to help you
When making inlets or narrow passages, approaching docks, stop outside and view the area, use binoculars, check currents, winds, waves braking, water color.
Do not only rely on GPS, take bearings and identify buoys.
Check your reverse gear when approaching harbor, see if you get the boat to step. Go slow.
Have boat hooks ready, keep an extra.
Have plenty of large fenders, and extra lines.
Take your sails down way out there.
When an inlet does not look safe, stay outside or inside, or choose a better inlet.
Frequently stay in radio contact with others.
Have your boat and gear inspected regularly, so things don't break.
Safety is always first, never let time push you into uncertain situations.
Your best mate is your autopilot.

Yes, there will be unexpected events, but with everything well prepared you will master it, and will learn from each event.
Good winds and always a hand width of water under the keel
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Old 16-10-2020, 09:55   #29
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Re: Solo Cruising

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Originally Posted by scarlet View Post
Just curious if anyone is cruising on a cat alone?
The short answer is that it very much can be done alone. I've single handed a Leopard 50. The longer answer, like with most things in life, is "it depends."

It's a lot more physical exertion to do it single handedly, scrambling about the decks to handle helm and lines and sail. There are things to make it easier, of course, but it's still a workout, especially when (not if) things go wrong.

Second point with "it depends" is how long a passage do you think you can do alone and are planning to do? Sure, there are people that single hand around the world, racing. If you read their accounts, though, they're grabbing sleep in 15 minute increments oft times. Is that something you want to do?

You could consider one of the many crew finding services to find people to assist in boat handling. That, too, has its drawbacks as well as advantages. Why not take some people along with you as a test run. They are there are there as passengers while you do _everything_ yourself (including meal prep and cleanup, etc.) for a few days of your projected cruising, and then see if it's something you can do and want to do solo.
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Old 16-10-2020, 10:08   #30
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Re: Solo Cruising

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I would think it possible, but I don't think I would choose a boat that big. I've chartered big cats and pretty much single handed them as everyone else were not interested in sailing. I think the bigger challenges are docking/mooring and handling sails (especially if something goes wrong).

I would second that, I cruised a 9M Catalac for years, local not ocean, and it was not a performance boat, think three quarter ton truck of a catamaran, used a single outboard set up to turn with the rudders so it was hyper maneuverable but even then docking in a cross wind was a challenge. Now have a PDQ 36, outboards in wells, the single handed sailing is easy but single handed docking the beast in at all inclement conditions is difficult. The out boards are on the edges of the bridge deck and not center-line in the hulls like inboards so have less turning leverage when maneuvering.
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