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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Essex
    Posts
    658

    Default Is a Sigma 38 too lively to singlehand?

    I'm well aware that the Sigma is an OOD and designed to be sailed with a large crew but, is it too much to sail singlehanded?

    Is it not possible to sail it more conservatively and not cranked up to the max?

    Thinking of looking at one, bit wondering if I should save myself the drive?

    Thanks,

    James

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Where life is good
    Posts
    14,213

    Default Re: Is a Sigma 38 too lively to singlehand?

    The thing with larger boats is the weight of the sails and difficulty in doing things like setting a kite. Then there is mooring by yourself. It is further from the helm to the midships cleat to do a single point grab a pontoon.. These things make if more difficult. But not impossible. The waterline will make it faster than a 30ft even when not fully tooled up.

    You will get loads of nice room inside ... But if you are single handing why do you want the extra internal space?
    Life is too short to drink bad wine.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Essex
    Posts
    658

    Default Re: Is a Sigma 38 too lively to singlehand?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tomahawk View Post
    You will get loads of nice room inside ... But if you are single handing why do you want the extra internal space?
    I'm single handing, but that doesn't necessarily mean I'm on my own. My wife will have her hands full with three little monsters!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Posts
    2,029

    Default Re: Is a Sigma 38 too lively to singlehand?

    Bigger yacht = longer legs, so longer distance & less effort in same time as existing yacht

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Home Berkshire, Boat Hamble
    Posts
    8,449

    Default Re: Is a Sigma 38 too lively to singlehand?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tomahawk View Post
    The thing with larger boats is the weight of the sails and difficulty in doing things like setting a kite. Then there is mooring by yourself. It is further from the helm to the midships cleat to do a single point grab a pontoon.. These things make if more difficult. But not impossible. The waterline will make it faster than a 30ft even when not fully tooled up.

    You will get loads of nice room inside ... But if you are single handing why do you want the extra internal space?
    Whilst it is further, lets be real here. A 30 footer is 8 feet shorter. the midships cleat is 4 feet closer. Whilst getting and out of the cockpit, grabbing a line, getting ashore. making fast etc will all talk about the same time, travelling that extra 4 feet is pretty inconsequential.

    My suggestion re mooring would be single line back from the midships cleat - bowling in the end dropped over the cleat on a pontoon, motor slowly ahead with the helm hard over to keep her stern tucked in. You'll have all day to finish moor her.

    In addition - 2-3 year when your wife can help, the mooring will be really easy! Other advnatge of bigger boats is less affected by small wind gusts

    Bigger issue is sails and handling gear though.

    One positive of performance based boats is that sail handling gear is usually better quality but make sure it all runs freely, is not worn out or gummed with salt.

    You may struggle to bend sails on or remove at seasons end but if the halyards, blocks, winches are ok, you can get round the hoisting of the main.

    So doable with planning and care.

    Only thing I would say about older performance boats is that they may have had a hard life and be showing it but if you can live with that and want to enjoy the actual sailing, then go for it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Argyll
    Posts
    6,458

    Default Re: Is a Sigma 38 too lively to singlehand?

    Probably not, I have sailed ours on delivery trips etc. before we moved over here I did a trip to move mine from Carrickfergus to Ardrishaig leaving at 19-00 on a Friday to catch the tide and berthing in the sealock at around 0-800 Saturday morning including changing an oil filter when I tried to put the engine on at Skipness. Can't remember a longer solo trip, most of the rest of the time my wife had been on board.
    The mainsheet and traveller is nice and close to hand when you sit with your legs astride the wheel and easy to dump or harden but the sheet winches are a long way away on raised platforms either side of the companionway, if not too blowy you could perhaps use the spinnaker winches which are right beside you but I tended to depend on the autopilot for tacks when on my own. If you have 'cruising' sails with a high clew to keep the boom above head height it is a lot safer, the racing main is big and cut so that the boom very low and heavy, not something you want near your kids, though it did have a 'flattener' which raises the boom.
    They make a great cruiser and I have always regretted the decision to downsize, I can not think of a similar size boat that would be much easier to cope with on your own.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    493

    Default Re: Is a Sigma 38 too lively to singlehand?

    I singlehand a modern 40' (heavier and has a lot more windage!) I used to singlehand my previous David Thomas design and she sailed beautifully. The only issue I can see is ensuring you have a reliable pilot as I would imagine the sheet and halliard winches will be mounted out of reach of the helm so you will need to put the pilot on whilst trimming these at least.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Greenwich
    Posts
    7,746

    Default Re: Is a Sigma 38 too lively to singlehand?

    The hardest bit will be parking - and by far the easiest way to do that is astern with a couple of big fenders on the stern. You can go in at a decent speed and hold the stern across a wide base in reverse whilst you do the other ropes. It’s also a lot easier to leave as you get from zero to steerage way in much less distance.

    It’s more effort handling sails on my 42 footer than a smaller boat but the platform is more stable and the winching positions are better generally too. You will have to decide how many more lines to lead to the cockpit and get a reliable autohelm as it makes a huge difference when boosting or reefing.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    4,858

    Default Re: Is a Sigma 38 too lively to singlehand?

    You can always slow down and tame a fast boat: you can't speed up a slow one.

    It was really brought home to me once when we went from 12-14 knots white sails broad reaching in a similar size but lighter racing yacht - boat going near airborne at times off waves, wheel-spinning to keep it under control. Then a rigging wire started to strand and we backed it up with halyard, reefed right down. Still doing 7-8 knots, but with fingertip control. As we were still 200 odd miles from the finish we were out of the race.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Essex
    Posts
    658

    Default Re: Is a Sigma 38 too lively to singlehand?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quandary View Post
    They make a great cruiser and I have always regretted the decision to downsize, I can not think of a similar size boat that would be much easier to cope with on your own.
    A glowing recommendation from someone with experience. Another one to add to the viewing list!

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