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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Boat Orwell - Me Norwich
    Posts
    8,226

    Default Re: Solo cruising - am I being realistic?

    Lots of good advice above.

    One additional thing I'd emphasise is that a boat isn't like a car. It's comprised of dozens (hundreds?) of different little systems/bits of gadgetry/bodges made/installed by different people at different times, any of which can, and from time to time will, go wrong or not work work as you expect.

    You can't just hop in a boat that's a few years old and new to you, and expect it all to work perfectly so you can drive off to the other end of the country (particularly so if you are new to the game and don't have the experience to know what 'correct' looks like, or know work-arounds to cope with things getting stuck or failing.) You might possibly be lucky, but you need to know whether it's all working - or more realistically, how well it's all working - and you know how to work it, before you set off.

    I'd therefore
    - recommend that when you get a boat, you spend at the very least a week doing day sails from where the boat is when you buy it, to get used to it and find out what works (or how much it works) and what doesn't. That will be both fun and very productive. (don't see it as an impediment).
    -strongly caution against attempting a single-handed delivery trip from the south-coast to the north-west until you are significantly more experienced. Organising crew will be a bit of a challenge (you can put an ad on the 'crew wanted' part of this forum), but you will likely be much safer and have more fun - much less stressed, much less tired, and you'll have several heads and more experience to cope with challenges (and you are almost bound to have some). You will also learn from your companions.

    Happy sailing!

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Me - Zumerzet Boat - Wareham
    Posts
    12,284

    Default Re: Solo cruising - am I being realistic?

    "Am I being realistic?" Probably not!
    A lot depends on your level of risk aversion, endurance, ability to not feel seasick, sleep well at anchor and competence at boat DIY .
    I nearly always sail solo but I don't get seasick, hardly ever sleep more than six hours a night, can survive on twenty minute cat naps and I do a risk assessment every time I think about leaving my (center) cockpit.
    I've had this boat for twenty years and it took me at least eight or nine years to make comfortable for prolonged solo passages down to Spain and Portugal.
    Sailing solo on long passages your absolute minimum of electronic aids will be an extremely reliable Autopilot, a Chart Plotter, AIS and RADAR, all very expensive to fit new and even more so if you have to pay for someone to install them. You will need to know how to use them to a level at least equal to a competent smartphone user.
    You will need to be able to think ahead and prepare the boat for docking well before you enter port (fitting mooring lines and fenders both sides, dropping sails and maybe contacting Port Control).
    That is all on top of your ability to sail the boat in the first place.
    Sorry to be such a damp squib, but if you want to go for it, then do it, as at the end of the day you can always call up the Coastguard to pull you in!
    MontyMariner.co.uk
    Facilitated by AWESEM WP Agency

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Boat Orwell - Me Norwich
    Posts
    8,226

    Default Re: Solo cruising - am I being realistic?

    Quote Originally Posted by LadyInBed View Post
    Sailing solo on long passages your absolute minimum of electronic aids will be an extremely reliable Autopilot, a Chart Plotter, AIS and RADAR

    Oh my goodness! I've been doing it wrong all these years!

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Benfleet, Essex/Keswick, Cumbria
    Posts
    1,892

    Default Re: Solo cruising - am I being realistic?

    You could do it, but it it's not a great idea.

    I took a small boat 18ft) a long way singlehanded with no experience, and then a bigger boat (31ft) from Cumbria to milfordhaven in winter on my own, then round landsend and up to the Thames, with a non sailing mate aboard ( my climbing partner)

    But I have a high tolerance for calculated risk and a reasonable confidence in my own wits to get me out of the shit when it goes pearshaped.

    I also did a lot of research and reading and asked a lot of dumb questions on here ( still do)

    If you are asking because you think it's the way to get your boat back to the nw, then don't.
    If your asking because you like the sound of it and think it would be an adventure, then your right, it would.
    Just be aware it could be more adventurous than you were bargaining for

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Troon
    Posts
    145

    Default Re: Solo cruising - am I being realistic?

    Quote Originally Posted by LadyInBed View Post
    " I do a risk assessment every time I think about leaving my (center) cockpit.
    Sailing solo on long passages your absolute minimum of electronic aids will be an extremely reliable Autopilot, a Chart Plotter, AIS and RADAR, :
    I’ve been doing it wrong all these years!

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Posts
    295

    Default Re: Solo cruising - am I being realistic?

    Lots of excellent advise has been posted.
    In the final analysis, you need to make your own mind up. Ask, but you know you.

    You will get to know the boat better after a bit of time. If it was me I’d get help from an experienced sailor for the initial delivery. I too jumped in at the deep end. My first boat was 40ft. I also did the delivery back to Hamble from Dartmouth with an experienced instructor. He acted like crew and let me do my thing, including plan “b” when the GPS failed and then the chart plotter gave up, all before we got out of the river. I decided to take it easy and stopped in Portland. I’m glad we did, it was a tiring but fun two days. Sailing through the night on a strange boat short handed, would have made it a grind.

    Beware of spending money until you know what truly needs to be spent. You will find lots of helpful yards will offer advice that costs, but you might find a better solution when you “know” the boat.

    Above all enjoy.
    Last edited by Achosenman; 13-09-19 at 07:14.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    333

    Default Re: Solo cruising - am I being realistic?

    Buy a boat in North Wales - there will almost certainly something to suit whatever the budget - and then cut your teeth there too. It is an excellent cruising ground to build up the necessary skills with plenty of 'steps' to take and will teach you a lot about tides.

    There are plenty of shortish distance but challenging trips & when you feel confident, an excellent medium distance single handed voyage is around the island of Anglesey. It's around 60 NM and is a good test of multiple skills, but with the opportunity to anchor or call into a port if necessary.

    Next steps - when you are confident, are the offshore passages to Ireland and the Isle of Man. Very good for single handing as you should be tied up within 18 hours or so of slipping lines even on a slow day, but with a real sense of achievement when you make it.

    Btw I am assuming you wanted to keep the boat in North Wales as you mentioned sailing up from Hamble. If not - ignore ; - )
    Last edited by obmij; 13-09-19 at 07:25.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: Solo cruising - am I being realistic?

    Thanks all!

    I'd like to keep the boat in Liverpool (which I understand isn't the best area for cruising because of the mersey).

  9. #29
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Posts
    7,670

    Default Re: Solo cruising - am I being realistic?

    [QUOTE=ross84;6907653]Thanks all!

    Solent to Liverpool would be regarded as quite a challenging passage for an experienced yachtsman with a crew.

    There are long bits of it with no safe harbours to head for several headlands with critical tide times for passing safely.

    It's not impossible but not sensible for a novice in an unfamiliar boat singlehanded In my opinion.

    I bet there's a great boat for sale in Liverpool right now that would suit you and allow a more gentle learning curve.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    12,475

    Default Re: Solo cruising - am I being realistic?

    Quote Originally Posted by graham View Post

    Solent to Liverpool would be regarded as quite a challenging passage for an experienced yachtsman with a crew.

    There are long bits of it with no safe harbours to head for several headlands with critical tide times for passing safely.

    It's not impossible but not sensible for a novice in an unfamiliar boat singlehanded In my opinion.

    I bet there's a great boat for sale in Liverpool right now that would suit you and allow a more gentle learning curve.
    I would agree that the boat has to be something quite special if it is going to justify the effort of moving it from the Solent to Liverpool - I would expect that you can find something in the 30 foot range more locally at an acceptable price. If you do come across something sufficiently "special", then consider getting some assistance to sail it up there - it is a long haul with several passages that are long for a single-handed day sail and short of bolt-holes if you get into trouble. Hire a professional delivery skipper to sail with you - it will be a far less demanding passage and you will get some excellent tuition which will be worth the money! If you have difficulty finding a professional delivery skipper willing to make the passage, that is probably an indication that you should not be trying it...

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