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Old 07-10-2020, 12:03   #1
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Solo Cruising

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.
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Old 07-10-2020, 12:11   #2
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Re: Solo Cruising

Interesting question. I have often asked myself if I would keep our current cat if I found myself alone. I would think that a L450 would be doable....a hand full, but doable. A 380 or 40 for sure.
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Old 07-10-2020, 12:30   #3
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Re: Solo Cruising

I sail a 1999 leopard 45 alone, with little concern, but 1) I have been doing it for years and 2) I sailed a monohull solo for over twenty years before that, so I may have an edge. It's actually not the sailing that is the challenge, but tactics when something goes wrong.....might be something as simple as a maintenance job where four hands are really needed and you have to figure out how to do it with only two...which you sometimes cannot. And, then it is not simple.


The key is thinking far in advance, and trying things before you need to do them. For instance, let's say you are going to have to short tack up a channel or river or whatever. Have you practiced doing this under main alone? That simple tactic makes the exercise child's play, even though you will sail a bit more slowly. But, if you have not done this, then you may not realize that the main has to be eased out quite a bit, as it is getting clean wind, instead of wind off the jib that is "bent". Fail to ease the main, and the boat stalls, and you tell everyone how the boat can't sail well under main alone! Sailing solo can teach you many, many things, and I have always told my students that they will be better sailors for having tried. Nothing to do with pride or macho, and everything to do with sailing more efficiently.
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Old 07-10-2020, 12:37   #4
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Re: Solo Cruising

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).
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Old 07-10-2020, 13:41   #5
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Re: Solo Cruising

Quote:
Originally Posted by contrail View Post
... It's actually not the sailing that is the challenge, but tactics when something goes wrong.....
Quote:
Originally Posted by ohdrinkboy View Post
... I think the bigger challenges are docking/mooring and handling sails (especially if something goes wrong).
Yeah, what they said.

Once upon a time, the wifey and I were sailing and we had multiple problems, including running aground, that happened all at once, while under sail. The poo hit the fan. We figured it out, nothing was broken, but it required her at the helm and me working on the various problems, one after the other, in priority order.

Without a second person, this would have been very difficult because we were near an inlet, with little room to maneuver, lots of little boat traffic, ship traffic, and at least four boats from the USCG and law enforcement responding to a boating accident with injuries in the inlet.

Good Times. Good Times.

On another trip, the wifey was not feeling well. Turned out to be a non issue and she was able to helm the boat while I put away the sails and prepared for docking. Without her at the helm, I would have had to figure out how to get ready for docking in a confined waterway with lots of traffic. I would have gotten it done but it just would have taken more time and it was getting ready to storm on us. Just have to think ahead as much as possible....

AND NOT PANIC.

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Old 07-10-2020, 13:49   #6
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Re: Solo Cruising

Hi scarlet. Havent seen you on here for a while. Sorry to hear that there are problems.
Any boat can be set up to single hand, but it takes time to setup and time to build confidence in it. As others have mentioned, most of it is when docking or in tight quarters.
Hopefully it works out for you.
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Old 07-10-2020, 15:04   #7
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Re: Solo Cruising

People do. But will you be happy sailing solo? I mean - there are so many good (and bad) moments to share when sailing.


You will be happy though, if you are a 'solo' kind of person. Many people do sailing exactly for that.


You should have zero challenge handling this boat, assuming you are a keen sailor.


(Your post made me think of a person who wanted to hire me about 3 years ago in the Bahamas - she was a solo sailor too, and her boat was a Lagoon (45 or 450, can't remember). I could not take up that offer as I was with our boat in Martinique back then.)



Fair winds,
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Old 07-10-2020, 15:54   #8
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Re: Solo Cruising

We own a Lagoon 400. Fairly easy to sail single handed. It’s all the other parts that are not “sailing” that a second person is beneficial.

Anchoring and pulling anchor. Tough to do in a wind without one person at the bow telling the helmsman which direction to go to keep the anchor chain from running the hull.

Coming on or off a dock. Especially if it’s on the off helm side. Great to have someone there to tell you distance and put lines/fend off as required.

Have done both of these myself and it is a major stress point for me. Much nicer with two
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Old 07-10-2020, 17:26   #9
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Re: Solo Cruising

There are remote engine controls which allows you to get off the flybridge and onto the hulls for docking etc. They're not cheap but would make life easier.
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Old 07-10-2020, 17:44   #10
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Re: Solo Cruising

I can suggest all sorts of scenarios that, even with 2, 3 or 4 aboard it could be disastrous. That said, what I thought might be most challenging - docking - has gone quite well. I have a 450F and sight lines are tough; I think it all through and have everything ready far in advance. With the Elec windlass and all Elec winches, I’m managing.

BUT, if I was starting over solo I would go with a 42, if for no other reason than to reduce the maintenance. The 450F is a lot to take care of, and a 42 has plenty of room for me. Just my $.02 worth...
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Old 07-10-2020, 23:29   #11
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Re: Solo Cruising

Quote:
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.
While technically it is possible, and some people are cruising solo on both mono and cats (and for sure, there are tons of stories), I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. There is a long list of reasons, starting from safety but probably the main question is about the mental and physical fatigue related to it.

Regardless, I stopped racing Lasers, years ago, as it wasn’t fun to sail alone and also as I never liked the galley and head arrangement on a Laser
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Old 08-10-2020, 01:18   #12
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Re: Solo Cruising

Sorry, Scarlet, but I agree with DeValency. I've been sailing for 30 years and I know I could potentially single-hand a Lagoon 45 if I had to, but I wouldn't consider it prudent seamanship to choose do so, nor, ultimately, would I want to. It's just too much boat for one person.

I know you've put so much work into her, but that'll make it in perfect shape to sell. Then you could trade down to something smaller that'll be fun for you to single-hand.

You've certainly learned how to fix everything yourself!!!

So sorry,
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Old 08-10-2020, 01:40   #13
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Re: Solo Cruising

Looking at it from a different angle, I am pretty sure you would have no issues picking up Crew when needed/wanted which would take away most of the concerns aired above.
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Old 08-10-2020, 03:19   #14
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Re: Solo Cruising

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeValency View Post
........snip....

Regardless, I stopped racing Lasers, years ago, .....snip.... as I never liked the galley and head arrangement on a Laser
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Old 08-10-2020, 03:40   #15
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Re: Solo Cruising

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Looking at it from a different angle, I am pretty sure you would have no issues picking up Crew when needed/wanted which would take away most of the concerns aired above.

Try this https://www.findacrew.net/
Set range to 1000 miles
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