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Old 01-09-2018, 08:07   #1
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Is Single-handed cruising Fun?

I have read several recent posts regarding the Safety, Moral and Ethical points of cruising Single-handle, but what I want to ask "Is it really enjoyable?". I do all of my sailing on the Hudson River single-handed and enjoy the peace and quite of sailing alone, but after 5 or 6 hours, I sometimes feel my eyelids drooping and know it's time to head back to the dock. How do you handle a cruise of 4 to 5 weeks? Is it Fun? One of my goals is to cruise up to Maine, and I know my wife would join me(via car) but getting their would be up to just me
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Old 01-09-2018, 08:09   #2
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Re: Is Single-handed cruising Fun?

It's fantastic fun!

Others hate it...
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Old 01-09-2018, 08:20   #3
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Re: Is Single-handed cruising Fun?

What do you mean exactly, "cruising"? Sailing long distances? Or cruising around?


Sailing alone is an intense experience and challenge which is different from sailing in a crew. There is even something mystical about it, for some people (including me).


Sailing a longer distance than you can do without sleep is really hard, and entails certain risks, so I prefer to do that in a crew. 100 miles is my personal limit, for what I am happy to do in one passage single handed.



Sailing with a well-functioning and happy crew is another one of the very best experiences of sailing, so I like this for its own sake, personally.


CRUISING single handed is a different ball game altogether. Not particularly challenging, and offering the pluses and minuses of traveling alone. Could be lonely or boring. OR, could intensify the experience of new places, and make it much easier to meet new people. Depends really on your own character.


I do like cruising single handed -- I have extremely interesting experiences like that and always meet a lot of new people. I am mostly single handed in the winter. But then I love to travel alone, too -- so probably it's not for everyone.
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Old 01-09-2018, 08:22   #4
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Re: Is Single-handed cruising Fun?

I enjoyed all my singlehanded cruising, you are very free. I'd like to do it at least 3 mths every year.
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Old 01-09-2018, 09:12   #5
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Re: Is Single-handed cruising Fun?

Did 6 days (light winds) from Ft Myers to Jacksonville. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Very peaceful with the only company being a dove that joined me for 8 hours
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Old 01-09-2018, 09:19   #6
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Re: Is Single-handed cruising Fun?

when things are nice out, its nice

when things are sucky out, its sucky

at anchorage it depends how long you can talk to yourself before you start losing the arguments in your head

the real answer I believe is, its the same as on land
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Old 01-09-2018, 11:19   #7
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Re: Is Single-handed cruising Fun?

Like asking a group "are roller coasters fun?"

If you ask on an amusement park fan forum, most will say hell yeah!

But that doesn't mean **you** will enjoy it.

Get out there and try it, before sinking any big investment of time & energy.
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Old 02-09-2018, 09:18   #8
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Re: Is Single-handed cruising Fun?

Single handing is fun, you learn to be fast but safe, taking your time is important and thinking outside the box.
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Old 02-09-2018, 09:27   #9
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Re: Is Single-handed cruising Fun?

I love it.

If I go to some place populated, I make a concerted effort to meet people, chat etc. Obviously the quality of that experience varies based on who you meet. I also get out and explore and while that is fun there is something about sharing those experiences with companions that usually enrich them.

If you’re not particularly social I could see going to populated places being a bit lonely.

At the other end of the spectrum, going to some wild and deserted location is I think enhanced by being alone. The feeling of being the only one there can be exceedingly compelling, even mystical.
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Old 02-09-2018, 09:28   #10
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Re: Is Single-handed cruising Fun?

Single handed cruising for me is the most beneficial time for learning how to handle the boat.
In rough weather, it good for learning what your able to do safely (at least in that moment), its a personal time for you and the boat.
Every one. Would benefit from single handing their vessel even when there are crew aboard, as this is the best scenario for safe learning.
Safety, requires you to not only be the crew, but the Captain in all decisions requiring the handling of the boat.
The "enjoyment" for me is usually later, when I look at the whole trip or adventure, not so much in the moment, which can be very difficult.
For all persons aboard, an experienced vessel owner is the best assurance of a safe and enjoyable voyage.
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Old 02-09-2018, 09:35   #11
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Re: Is Single-handed cruising Fun?

It's not a matter of "is it fun" it's really a matter of "is it more fun than the alternatives"
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Old 02-09-2018, 09:39   #12
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Re: Is Single-handed cruising Fun?

Check out the YouTube channel "adventures of an old sea dog " Barry is a single handed sailor and vlogs his days on his steel sloop "Shadow" . He has crossed the Atlantic without a buddy boat and seems to love single handing ! He did have help transversing the Panama canal though ! Entertaining to follow him for sure
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Old 02-09-2018, 09:44   #13
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Re: Is Single-handed cruising Fun?

from a 40year single handling sailor..
NO, but it beats arguing with a woman.
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Old 02-09-2018, 09:56   #14
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Re: Is Single-handed cruising Fun?

The big concern is remaining alert and attentive, particularly in the coastal waters you are considering. That aside, I don't know if "fun" is the right word to portray the experience but I find it satisfying and am much more comfortable being alone than having to be concerned about the welfare and happiness of crew members.
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Old 02-09-2018, 10:36   #15
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Re: Is Single-handed cruising Fun?

Do you sail out of Shattamuc YC???

I love being alone on the boat offshore.

Grew up on the Hudson racing out of Chelsea YC and Shattamuc. That is not the kind of singlehanding we’re talking about, that’s sailing singlehanded as opposed to cruising.

Tonga to Fiji alone, magic ;-)
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