View Poll Results: Longest cruising yacht for single-handed sailors?

Voters
158. You may not vote on this poll
  • 27-29ft

    8 5.06%
  • 30-32ft

    13 8.23%
  • 33-35ft

    28 17.72%
  • 36-38ft

    43 27.22%
  • 39-41ft

    19 12.03%
  • 42-44ft

    47 29.75%
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Results 21 to 30 of 84
  1. #21
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    32,180

    Default Re: Poll: Longest cruising yacht for single-handed sailors?

    Quote Originally Posted by yodave View Post

    I guess itís about reaching a balance that youíre comfortable with both physically and mentally. Itís about having a yacht that you know you can park when youíre out on the water, so that you can enjoy your time out there, rather than being stressed and fixated on how youíre going to get into port. Thatís what Iím trying to understand via the poll; itís both sides of the equation Ė sailing and parking.
    You are back to a different question again. You now seem to be asking what people would choose, which is different from what is possible. You are also narrowing down the type of usage by saying sailing and parking are both important.

    As with the original question. length is still not the main determinant and the type of boat and how it is set up is far more important. In many ways it is easier to deal with the open water sailing bit and avoid the close quarters stuff by motoring in and out of congested sailing areas before setting sail. Parking requires a boat that steers predictably in both directions and is not affected too much by windage, but unfortunately those two tend not to go together. A bow thruster is one way of dealing with windage, so a fin keeler with a big rudder and a powerful engine plus a bow thruster is likely to be the easiest to park as you have more control over it in all directions. Will tell you whether it works in practice when I get my new boat - although others who have the same set up assure me that it does.

    So, if you are choosing a boat for single hander (ignoring budget for the time being) think about how you intend using it and where the difficulties lie, then assess the boat against that, or more likely, how you can adapt the boat to minimise the areas of potential difficulty.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    uk
    Posts
    480

    Default Re: Poll: Longest cruising yacht for single-handed sailors?

    So....lets muddy the water even more..... A ketch rig has smaller sails which are easier to handle by one person. Reefing becomes a very simple matter of just dropping the main into a stackpack.....and heaving-to is a breeze. Progress is often adequate to good on genoa and mizzen alone......and likely you will get a centre cockpit...which puts you near the boats centre of gravity (for comfort) and never too far from where the action might be in terms of reefing and mooring
    Last edited by NOHOH; 04-06-15 at 10:07. Reason: omission

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    West London/Gosport
    Posts
    5,557

    Default Re: Poll: Longest cruising yacht for single-handed sailors?

    I occasionally sail single handed on a 39ft boat.
    If I was sailing predominantly single handed I wouldn't want to go any bigger.
    It's not just about the sailing and parking, it's also about the costs. There is only one person paying for a night somewhere so I'm not likely to use a marina.
    I want to be able to choose from the cheaper places to park. This might be an anchorage i.e. Newtown River, it may be a Town Quay i.e. Lymington or Hamble.
    The moment you get above 40 feet the options start to become limited. Draught as well as length.
    Before I bought the current boat I looked at bigger boats. They never appealed. It felt as if I was buying an extra cabin for someone else's benefit. Not mine.
    34ft is the smallest that I would want to buy for single handing in the area I sail but smaller still would be better if I was doing what Dylan did.
    So minimum size I think very much depends upon the type of sailing you want to do and the distances involved. But max size I reckon is 40ft.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    1,759

    Thumbs up Re: Poll: Longest cruising yacht for single-handed sailors?

    Quote Originally Posted by yodave View Post
    I'm looking for a broad range of views from forum members on the longest cruising yacht for a single-handed sailor assuming that sailor has average skills, not a seasoned professional. All input greatfully received.
    Thanks
    I can tell you of my experience and I can give you some advice, but ultimately it is mostly up to you and your sailing grounds.

    I sail most of the time single handed. Five years ago I moved from a 36ft to a 42ft. My first sail with the 42ft looked daunting and I did it with plenty of caution. It was more a matter of necessity: either I did it on my own or I did not go sailing at all. So I did. I was reassured by the fact that the new 42ft had a bow thruster which the 36ft didn't, nevertheless my first maneuver was from my berth to the fueling pontoon with a light breeze. The first thing I noticed was how high the freeboard was when I jumped off from midship to tie alongside. Longer with modern boats means also significantly higher. After refuel eventually I went for my first sail. The autopilot helped, and an in-mast furling main was invaluable. The greatest difference I found was when I had to roll the giant Genoa no.1. It was heavy, very heavy to pull in just using my hands like I always did. Eventually I resorted to using the winch that I always thought it was inappropriate in case of a jam at the drum. But again I was driven by necessity.

    After my first two day sails I assessed the situation and I decided to upgrade and increase the number of clutches and deck tidy to take all controls to the cockpit. That made a huge difference. I also upgraded the Raymarine autopilot with a model that had a gyro and I fine tuned it for my sailing conditions. I found absolutely invaluable that my new boat had an opening transom. This helped a lot when going back to my berth on my own. This way I prepare my bow and mid lines hanging on the guard wires and my two stern lines running out around the inverted V backstay tensioners and into the cockpit. So I just reverse into and simply _walk_ on the pontoon, I tie the stern line that holds the boat in and then I walk on the finger to grab the mid and bow lines. Perfect!

    So as you see it isn't just a matter of length but also a matter of the cockpit and transom configuration for simple single handed berthing. If my boat had a flat sugar scoop for example, without any step, I could not do this. If my boat had instead an opening transom, but with one of those new modern flipping bathing platforms, I could not do this either!

    I find that the greatest challenges are in close quarter maneuvering. Once I am out sailing, really it does not make a great deal of difference. Or rather it does in that I no longer use the spinnaker. On the 36ft I could do it single handed. On the 42ft ... not a chance, the pole is way to big to handle on my own.

    So to summarize: close quarter maneuvers are the most challenging time of your day sail. In-mast furling is recommended, all controls lead to cockpit are essential. A well tuned autopilot is also essential for sailing. A bow thruster is highly recommended. But the most essential feature of all is the ability to just walk on the pontoon from the transom for trouble free single handed berthing.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Me - Zumerzet Boat - Wareham
    Posts
    11,576

    Default Re: Poll: Longest cruising yacht for single-handed sailors?

    If you have deep enough pockets then any size is possible, you could even hire a crew!
    For me, it's down to cost. Only one person to pay port dues so something around 30 - 33ft gives reasionable comfort and economy.
    MontyMariner.co.uk
    Facilitated by AWESEM WP Agency

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    1,759

    Default Re: Poll: Longest cruising yacht for single-handed sailors?

    Quote Originally Posted by Retired in Crete View Post
    My 28ft Beneteau First has ample accommodation for one and has all the comforts of home (H & C shower etc). If I have guests it will sleep four in comfort, it is a doddle to park and sails well. Why would I want anything larger?
    John
    The main reason I wanted a larger boat was because I wanted to go faster than the LWL limit my previous boat had. The second reason was to sail through the Atlantic in comfort and feeling safe in a big swell, which I did.

    It makes a big difference to me that now my average speed is greater than what I could achieve as top speed with my previous boat. It makes a difference to my family that I can sail a 60nm passage in 8 hours at 7.5kts average instead of 12 hours at 5 kts average.
    Last edited by haydude; 04-06-15 at 10:41.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    UK - Solent region
    Posts
    37,528

    Default Re: Poll: Longest cruising yacht for single-handed sailors?

    Quote Originally Posted by yodave View Post
    I'm looking for a broad range of views from forum members on the longest cruising yacht for a single-handed sailor assuming that sailor has average skills, not a seasoned professional. All input greatfully received.

    Thanks
    A mate sails an Ocean 72/single handed.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    up North
    Posts
    371

    Default Re: Poll: Longest cruising yacht for single-handed sailors?

    Wow... lot's of food for thought there. Thanks to all voters and contributors.

    I suppose that I was thinking under 50ft due to budget and a general feeling of being in control. I accept that lots of electric winches and thrusters make a huge difference. I also accept that a bigger yacht can be better to move around than a smaller yacht based on the bigger yacht having all mod cons, and the smaller yacht being an older less agile design. All things being equal though, it seems that a smaller yacht should be easier to park, but less good out on the water.

    I can't help but think that part of the equation is what each skipper can handle in his/her mind.

    Oh, and I'm not thinking of the smallest yacht possible because there's only one of me. My question is based on more than one person being aboard ...but there being a crew of only one, possibly two with the addition of others who aren't particularly interested.

    Thanks to once again to all very much!
    My Macwester Malin website, blog & photobank http://macwester.wordpress.com

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    East coast UK. Mostly. Sometimes the Philippines
    Posts
    7,502

    Default Re: Poll: Longest cruising yacht for single-handed sailors?

    Quote Originally Posted by yodave View Post
    Wow... lot's of food for thought there. Thanks to all voters and contributors.

    I suppose that I was thinking under 50ft due to budget and a general feeling of being in control. I accept that lots of electric winches and thrusters make a huge difference. I also accept that a bigger yacht can be better to move around than a smaller yacht based on the bigger yacht having all mod cons, and the smaller yacht being an older less agile design. All things being equal though, it seems that a smaller yacht should be easier to park, but less good out on the water.

    I can't help but think that part of the equation is what each skipper can handle in his/her mind.

    Oh, and I'm not thinking of the smallest yacht possible because there's only one of me. My question is based on more than one person being aboard ...but there being a crew of only one, possibly two with the addition of others who aren't particularly interested.

    Thanks to once again to all very much!
    I singlehanded a 37ft gaff cutter for thirty years; she had been designed to be handled by a couple and was very easy despite the lack of any modern gadgets. She had a manual windlass, no wInches, staysail was self tacking, roller furling jib, roller reefing mainsail. When I bought her she actually had no electrics at all and had been sailed by the previous owners, an elderly couple, for thirty years. Displacement was 20,000lbs and of course long keel.

    I am now thinking of "modernising" my sailing and thus far I have been dismayed by how far backwards, rather than forwards, we seem to have gone! The thing that really dismays me is how much more hard work seems to be involved in sailing a modern boat. This boils down to the following factors:

    1. Much, much, more friction in the rig. Very often the approach seems to be "add a winch" rather than "eliminate the friction". I absolutely detest, and consider unsafe, sails that don't come down or reef when they ought to, which is when I first think about it!

    2. Sloop rather than cutter rig means graunching the expletive deleted headsail in on every single tack. On the old gaff cutter the staysail took care of itself and you just cast off the old and belayed the new jib sheet at the psychological moment. Easy.

    3. Very many boats have cockpits optimised for sailing with a crew on deck. I think that a cruiser should be capable of being sailed by one small woman on deck!

    I cant afford bowthrusters and suchlike, so my modern boat is going to be a little smaller (she will none the less have better accomodation, I fancy) and I am voting 33-35ft

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Essex countryside
    Posts
    1,204

    Default Re: Poll: Longest cruising yacht for single-handed sailors?

    I used to sail my 50' Bavaria single handed across the North Sea to Holland, Belgium, France from the East coast and in the Mediterranean. The boat was set up so that it was possible for me to sail single handed. Autopilot connected to the chartplotter, in mast furling and all lines back to the cockpit.
    The purists would probably frown on the above but it enabled me to go sailing when I wanted to.
    Out means out, completely out. No single market. Time to walk away. The silent majority.

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