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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Milton Keynes - Boat at Levington
    Posts
    192

    Default Single hand a Jeanneau 409/419?

    I am very "green" to sailing yachts although I have sailed dinghies for many years. I am doing my RYA competent crew and day skipper in the next few months. I have sailed on a few different yachts as basic crew. I may be jumping a few steps but I have the opportunity to purchase a boat. I plan to do this very soon after my RYA courses and then have a skipper sail with me (Solent area) on my own boat until I feel completely comfortable. My question is, I would expect most of my sailing will be on my own or with my family (who I doubt will actually want to be too involved in the actual sailing). I see that the Jeanneau SO range do keep getting mentioned as suitable for single handed sailing, I am just not sure if this is marketing hype instead of reality. So, what are peoples feelings on the ability single hand a 409/419? As I will most likely be purchasing new I can spec options that will make single handed sailing easier. For a long term keeper I want to make sure I get the spec right. I have read that in mast furling and self tacking jibs may be best avoided (although I would expect this make single hand sailing easier?)? Also I would spec a bow thruster to make getting into the marina berth a little easier. Any other suggestions?

    Cheers

    PS. I did also consider a smaller SO such as the 379/389 and even the 349 but when having a look at these they did feel so much smaller down below than the 409 and I ideally want to make this purchase a keeper and not need to sell and buy again in a few years, especially if the family are willing and eager passengers for cruising as my experience grows.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    4,809

    Default Re: Single hand a Jeanneau 409/419?

    No problem at all singlehanding once at sea, if you have a ram-type autopilot. Once sailing your only annoyance is the mainsheet on the coachroof, but stay forward of the wheel and bung on the autopilot for a few seconds to adjust the mainsheet, kicker etc. or tend genoa sheets.

    The problems start whwn entering or leaving marina berths, the tighter the space the worse, and the windier the worse. Having gone from a heavy long-keeler to a modern Jeanneau (neither with bowthusters), I actually find more problems in tight manouevring with the newer boat, it blows sideways at low speeds so much faster.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    5,753

    Default Re: Single hand a Jeanneau 409/419?

    You can sail pretty-much any boat single-handed once at sea, assuming you have a good autohelm.

    It's the parking that's the problem. To stick a boat that size into a marina berth on your own is quite tricky and you will need to have a good understanding of how the boat behaves, be very good at your boat handling generally, and have a mooring technique that works every time.

    If you're going to be sailing with the family, then (assuming your wife is happy to help), you will be fine. The only thing to think about then becomes the height of the topsides and how far it is to jump down to the pontoon.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    UK East Coast
    Posts
    36,534

    Default Re: Single hand a Jeanneau 409/419?

    Quote Originally Posted by dune16 View Post
    I have read that in mast furling and self tacking jibs may be best avoided (although I would expect this make single hand sailing easier?)? Also I would spec a bow thruster to make getting into the marina berth a little easier. Any other suggestions?
    Ignore anything you've read! For single-handing a 41/42ft boat, in-mast furling will be an absolute boon, as would (to a lesser extent) a self-tacking jib.

    There's nothing special about the Jeanneau; similar-sized boats from Beneteau, Bavaria, etc, will be equally easy to handle if suitably specified.

    As others have said, you need a good autopilot, and I'd strongly suggest you have it factory-fitted rather than dealer-fitted, as you'll generally get a much better quality of installation. Indeed, I'd suggest you specify the majority of equipment as factory options, rather than dealer-fit.

    You mention a bowthruster, which is pretty well essential. However, as you're planning to buy new I'd suggest you look at a combined bow/stern thruster installation, which will make marina berthing so much easier for a single-hander. Side-Power for example offer a variety of variable-speed bow and stern thrusters, plus a dual joystick control with a "hold" function so you can keep the boat pinned against a pontoon whilst you step off and sort out the mooring lines. To get an idea of how manoeuvrable this can make a boat, take a look at this little video of a Side-Power system on a 41ft Hallberg-Rassy.

    Last edited by pvb; 28-07-16 at 17:06.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Scotland.
    Posts
    14,352

    Default Re: Single hand a Jeanneau 409/419?

    The link below is to a PDF document with tips on single handed sailing; well worth reading:-

    http://sfbaysss.net/resource/doc/Sin...irdEdition.pdf

    In-mast reefing, roller reefing and self tacking jibs will make your life easier as a single hander and like all devices provided they are installed correctly, maintained and used properly will be reliable.

    I agree with pvb that thrusters will make berthing easier, also electric anchor windlass with wireless remote control, auto helm with wireless remote control and of course integrated with plotter and GPS. All winches should have self tailing features which frees up hands.

    Many single handers' successfully single hand without some of above items. I single hand my 41' yacht without auto helm, thrusters or in mast reefing.
    Last edited by BlowingOldBoots; 28-07-16 at 17:25.
    "'...contradictions .... are deliberate exercises in doublethink." Orwell from 1984

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Posts
    898

    Default Re: Single hand a Jeanneau 409/419?

    Having just completed my competent crew and finally put my boat in the water albeit much smaller at 21ft than what your considering I can promise you that single-handing even a little 21ft boat into a marina berth is as others have said the most difficult part of it all. its not really covered in depth on the competent crew. simple fact is that single handed you simply don't have enough hands to do everything needed. I would suggest rather than having someone come out with you for the sailing aspect get some extra lessons after the competent crew on getting in and out of your marina.
    I would also suggest talking to the marina staff and getting to know your berth neighbours as they may become a great source of support as mine indeed were.

    www.vagabondtravels.co

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Gone cruising
    Posts
    2,393

    Default Re: Single hand a Jeanneau 409/419?

    I'm usually single-handing my 40 ft Bavaria with centre cockpit. Key difference is that my mainsheet is at the boom end, aft of the helmsman seat, which makes it fairly easy to gybe even without autopilot. The controls on the coachroof are only trim ones - kicker, outhaul and the (unused due to spring rod kicker) topping lift, in addition to the main furling loop. The genoa furler is also lead back to the helm (although the rope clutch is in a less practical location at the rail - I keep meaning to change that or add a cam cleat).

    Furling main is immensely helpful in staying in the cockpit. Tacking the genoa is easy (make sure you can reach the winches from the helm), so self-tacking jib I'd see as very optional. A good autopilot is a must, if you want to go offshore possibly even a backup one or a wind vane.

    Good to learn boat handling early - make sure your RYA instructor understands your desires and lets you practice mooring up single-handed in a bit of wind. Can highly recommend Duncan Wells' Stres-free sailing, which is packed with useful advice for handling and mooring a big boat solo. Read it after your training, not before.

    The sailing is the easy part compared to the mooring up. Key to successful single-handed mooring is preparation and knowing your boat. Also lots of running about, i.e. before going into a marina, have your fenders tied on the inside of the rail and set up mooring lines on both sides (slipknot on the outside of the rail, so they can easily be grabbed from the pontoon by you or if available a helper), then when you're in the protected waters just pop on the autopilot for a few seconds, toss fenders over the rail, go back and adjust steering, toss them over on the other side, etc. If you're kitting out a new boat, go for the wireless autopilot remote control - saves you much of that running around.

    If you're a bit worried about the conditions, don't be afraid of asking the marina for someone to take a line for you. You're paying enough for that berth

    Know your propwalk - saildrives do have it in astern. Use it to your advantage instead of fighting it and trying to go the other way - for me (kicks to starboard) this means going out of the fairway backwards, but that is much easier than trying to turn the other way when the boat does not want to go that way.

    And practice. Pick a calm day with slack tide and just maneuver around in tight spaces until you get the hang of it. Directing propwash sideways (in forward only) with the rudder, then putting it in reverse before it picks up speed is a powerful aide that many bowthrustees seem to have forgotten all about. On a fin keeler, you can do a standing turn using just that (I don't have a bowthruster, so I had to learn). Or buy the Jen "360 Docking" option, which rotates the saildrive and can move the boat sideways with a joystick, like a tug boat. No skill required, although you'll also miss out on the immense satisfaction of having moored your boat without such gimmicks (and the gelcoat repairs when not).

    It's great not having to wait for others to come along when I want to go sail, and less stressful if you can just do it yourself if crew turns out to be somewhat less adept at slipping a line. Although if you do have crew, teach them how to tie a fender, slip and make off a line and tack the genoa - they'll feel more involved and will stand in your way less often

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    2,102

    Default Re: Single hand a Jeanneau 409/419?

    Quote Originally Posted by BlowingOldBoots View Post
    The link below is to a PDF document with tips on single handed sailing; well worth reading:-

    http://sfbaysss.net/resource/doc/Sin...irdEdition.pdf

    In-mast reefing, roller reefing and self tacking jibs will make your life easier as a single hander and like all devices provided they are installed correctly, maintained and used properly will be reliable.

    I agree with pvb that thrusters will make berthing easier, also electric anchor windlass with wireless remote control, auto helm with wireless remote control and of course integrated with plotter and GPS. All winches should have self tailing features which frees up hands.

    Many single handers' successfully single hand without some of above items. I single hand my 41' yacht without auto helm, thrusters or in mast reefing.
    Having gone from many years of dinghies straight to 35ft about 8 years ago I have some comments.
    As clearly pointed out- sailing a bigger boat in open water is easy, albeit a bit lonely when solo. Close quarters manoeuvring needs experience of your own boat and plenty practice. I doubt in mast reefing is needed- plan ahead before it's needed. The last time for reefing is the first time you think about it! Particularly solo. Anchoring and mooring buoys in moderate weather are no huge problem, but need a little extra thought. We chartered a 409 in Grenada last year. It sailed very well, considering the 24-28Kts trade winds all the time. High freeboard is good for headroom in the cabin, but bad for catching the wind when doing something delicate. I have no experience of thrusters, so I have to rely on normal boat handling skills. An autohelm will let you hoist or drop a main quite easily, or tack. I would hesitate about going too high tech, since the more electrics you have the more problem potential will exist in future. Unless you are thoroughly capable with electronics.( or have very deep pockets!)
    It is quite feasible to have a lot of fun in a boat under 40ft. However all the empty cabins and 2nd heads may seem less useful in practice once you go for something bigger on your own.?
    I would suggest you sail for a good bit beyond CC before choosing.
    Last edited by pagoda; 28-07-16 at 18:45.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Home: Saffron Walden... boatless
    Posts
    2,432

    Default Re: Single hand a Jeanneau 409/419?

    Very interesting this. On the question of in-mast reefing, my own (modest) experience is that in addition to actual reefing, it's also much easier (and arguably safer) to stow the main from the cockpit without having to stand atop the cabin roof to flake. Lazyjacks and stackpack ease that a lot. .
    Graham. "Scala" now sold. Boatless.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    2,102

    Default Re: Single hand a Jeanneau 409/419?

    Quote Originally Posted by A1GSS View Post
    Very interesting this. On the question of in-mast reefing, my own (modest) experience is that in addition to actual reefing, it's also much easier (and arguably safer) to stow the main from the cockpit without having to stand atop the cabin roof to flake. Lazyjacks and stackpack ease that a lot. .
    On a 409, the boom is pretty high,so the sail flakes itself fairly well. My moral of "reef immediately when it crosses your mind" generally allows it to be done in safety. Putting off reefing is a bad concept, especially solo.

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