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Old 02-09-2018, 20:37   #31
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Re: Is Single-handed cruising Fun?

Sailing is no different from the rest of my life, including trips, rock and ice climbing, cycling, and the like.

  • Some is alone, of variable duration. A part is the challenge, a part is alone time, and a part is because it is a different experience.
  • Some is with wife and family.
  • Some is with friends.
The point is that it depends on the person, not the activity. Anyone can learn to singlehand. Whether it is fun depends on many things, and the sailing is the least important of those.
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Old 02-09-2018, 21:39   #32
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Re: Is Single-handed cruising Fun?

What shocks me most is the number of folks who think buying a boat, sailing a boat, cruising on a boat, or anything to do with a boat will change a person. If you are happy on land you will most likely be happy on a boat. Several years ago I took a my RV from Florida to California stopping and exploring along the (think of the book Travels with Charley). But unlike Steinbeck I never stayed in a motel and never had any traveling companions. Also unlike Steinbeck I was not close to death and was not viewing America as darkly as Steinbeck was.


I have almost never had crew on my boat. Not saying I as against it, just that I always seem to wind up single handing. In both cases I completely enjoy single handing. But I also understand that there are others who would much rather have company.


The only person who can answer your question is you. No one here has any idea how you will react to sailing alone. I know folks who would never even leave the dock alone; always wanting others around them. You know which type of person you are.
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Old 02-09-2018, 22:03   #33
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Re: Is Single-handed cruising Fun?

Yes it is fun--but sooner or later a kindred spirit of the opposite sex comes along--and what starts out as a day sail and a picnic afloat can drag on for the next fifty years or so--
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Old 02-09-2018, 22:40   #34
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Re: Is Single-handed cruising Fun?

It's a matter of one's personality. Most of humanity (like me) does not like prolonged isolation.
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Old 03-09-2018, 01:18   #35
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Re: Is Single-handed cruising Fun?

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Originally Posted by tomfl View Post
What shocks me most is the number of folks who think buying a boat, sailing a boat, cruising on a boat, or anything to do with a boat will change a person. If you are happy on land you will most likely be happy on a boat. Several years ago I took a my RV from Florida to California stopping and exploring along the (think of the book Travels with Charley). But unlike Steinbeck I never stayed in a motel and never had any traveling companions. Also unlike Steinbeck I was not close to death and was not viewing America as darkly as Steinbeck was.


I have almost never had crew on my boat. Not saying I as against it, just that I always seem to wind up single handing. In both cases I completely enjoy single handing. But I also understand that there are others who would much rather have company.


The only person who can answer your question is you. No one here has any idea how you will react to sailing alone. I know folks who would never even leave the dock alone; always wanting others around them. You know which type of person you are.
You nailed it, or was it screwed ?? Bronze of course. When you are alone you become an animal. I love it. Very basic. No lies. Enjoy your time here on this planet, Hope to see you on the next one.
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Old 03-09-2018, 03:17   #36
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You nailed it, or was it screwed ?? Bronze of course. When you are alone you become an animal. I love it. Very basic. No lies. Enjoy your time here on this planet, Hope to see you on the next one.
Nicely said..
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Old 03-09-2018, 04:08   #37
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Re: Is Single-handed cruising Fun?

Single handed half the legs from a Brisbane to Tasmania and back earlier this year. Longest leg single handed was 320nm from Eden to Port Stephens over 3 days. You learn to manage your sleep, adapting to circadian rhythms (ie nap at 2:30 pm etc). A good AIS transceiver high up helps. You get an amazing sense of achievement and confidence in your own ability/ self reliance. Very peaceful, lots of highs (natural), and spectacular scenery. Crewed legs are great, but Solo is great too.
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Old 03-09-2018, 04:16   #38
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Re: Is Single-handed cruising Fun?

The toughest part is sleeping. Try singling handing for a few days at first then go from there.

I think if you get the chance to live/sleep on your boat for a couple weeks you will adjust especially if you do it when the temperature is say highs in the 70's

The first few days though in Summer after living in an air conditioned home or apartment are the toughest especially when the temps are above 90 degrees and still hot at night

The sailing, being alone, etc I have no trouble with but adjusting to sleeping onboard is the thing to me that's the toughest
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Old 03-09-2018, 04:31   #39
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Re: Is Single-handed cruising Fun?

Iíve Found sleeping 20mins at a time works OK if you can get a longer period in once a day. I usually start napping from 10am, so by 2am, Iím more alert. Always keep most alert at night when visibility less. 2:30pm is a good time for a longer nap. AIS will pick up targets about 20 to 25nm away from top of mast. Always a visual and AIS scan each time.
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Old 03-09-2018, 05:00   #40
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Re: Is Single-handed cruising Fun?

No, I sail out of Haverstraw Marina.
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Old 03-09-2018, 05:11   #41
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Re: Is Single-handed cruising Fun?

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I’ve Found sleeping 20mins at a time works OK if you can get a longer period in once a day. I usually start napping from 10am, so by 2am, I’m more alert. Always keep most alert at night when visibility less. 2:30pm is a good time for a longer nap. AIS will pick up targets about 20 to 25nm away from top of mast. Always a visual and AIS scan each time.
That will be another huge adjustment. (sleeping for 20 minutes at a time) This guy so far says he sails 5-6 hours then gets sleepy/bored?

Most of us like 8-10 hours of sleep depending

It also depends on where you will sail. I saw maybe 6 sailboats in the last two days and maybe 20 ships (container, tanker, navy) and 2 submarines. 10 of the ships were anchored (in the way) but the rest were moving

This all in a bay 30 miles wide by maybe 150 miles long. Once offshore I'm thinking you would rarely see any sailboats and if not in the shipping lanes not many ships. The few times I've been 50 miles or more offshore, I saw nothing but water, sky, birds, and fish etc

Many would be walking zombies on 20 minutes of sleep at a time after a day or so...…

Looks like the OP has at least 40 miles to sail just to get to open water of some type then he will have another new adjustment besides sleep.

The sea and the waves it produces which for some cause seasickness whereas inshore waves do not.

These two things make for huge adjustments for the single hander
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Old 03-09-2018, 05:44   #42
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Re: Is Single-handed cruising Fun?

The third adjustment especially for the singlehand sailor is time, and what to do with so much of it when just sailing and navigating.
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Old 03-09-2018, 05:46   #43
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Re: Is Single-handed cruising Fun?

I've been single handing all my life, self taught at 10 off the South Florida coast and still doing it today at 65. It's a mixed bag to be sure, on the up side you and the boat will become as one. You will know her every move, her every sound, you will know what to do to get her to respond the way you want with little to no effort. Sometime, most times, it's magical, you can't imagine anything better.



The worst kind of single handed sailing is when you have a schedule, a time you have to be somewhere and that always involves some other person. A travel lift date with weather delaying you, a visitor flying into an island you have to pickup and they only have a week. Having friends, family or visitors on the boat will change things, it always does. But on long cruises, you also find yourself needing company, another human to talk to. Radio is fine, but nothing replaces face to face conversation.



If you love sailing, you will love single-handed cruising, it can be magical and is most times, but it can also be hell on earth. It's living...
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Old 03-09-2018, 06:04   #44
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Re: Is Single-handed cruising Fun?

Many people buy boats to get away from the crowds, responsibilities and rules of living on land. Taking a crew along defeats that purpose If one has to deal with someone elseís needs and personal problems. If one really has concern and cares for others, then having another person onboard is a responsibility so leaving that all behind is fantastic. But it also means getting far enough out and away so the smart phone hasnít a signal and then it is only you and the sea.
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Old 03-09-2018, 21:02   #45
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Re: Is Single-handed cruising Fun?

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It's a matter of one's personality. Most of humanity (like me) does not like prolonged isolation.

The thing is most of humanity does not sail; less yet cruise; and even more so cruise single handed.


My experience has been that a lot of folks cruise to get away from some of the negative aspects of humanity.


Nothing wrong with not liking prolonged isolation. But there is something to be said for getting away from it all.
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