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Thread: What is the upper size limit for singlehanding, for someone in his sixties?

  1. #141
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    Default Re: What is the upper size limit for singlehanding, for someone in his sixties?

    I admit being surprised by the number of people who don't halyards being lead aft to the cockpit, on the grounds that you have to go forward to reef anyway. I can't recall sailing any boat that couldn't be reefed from the cockpit in decades. At the risk of repeating myself again, on the J/36 reefing singlehanded is done from the cockpit in less than a minute, and it's not an unusual system.

  2. #142
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    Default Re: What is the upper size limit for singlehanding, for someone in his sixties?

    Intelligent rigging may take many forms. I consider Marmalade - small enough to be bouncy, a very low boom, and given the hull and deck geometry the impossibility of useful lifelines - to be a great candidate for total sail control from the cockpit. Reefing lines, halyards, and lifts all lead back.

    But Granuaile's three masts with five sails would lead to insane clutter in the cockpit. Because Granna would lie calmly when hove-to, I found it far more comfortable to do halyards and reefing lines on deck by the mast. I continued this in designing Meg's rig because I wanted a system that requires and has no winches. Even on small boats, leading the halyards and reefing lines back to the cockpit involves too many winches for my taste.

  3. #143
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    Default Re: What is the upper size limit for singlehanding, for someone in his sixties?

    Cockpit reefing is attractive but its not that easy to mimic a system that is designed and planned from the start including the boom exits , the turns at the foot of the mast , the deck organisers and jammers back at the cockpit. J boats do a wonderful job or setting all that up , if you want a template for making a system work those boats are a great setup to look at. Certainly you can do it but I'm continually amazed by how much extra effort it takes to shift a line with even small amounts of added friction. I've looked at it and enacted a couple of variants on original and they work , but not without friction issues.
    I recall being extremely impressed by the german mainsheet on a jboat of about 42 ft , its run in its own channel in the deck with capping so its concealed right back to the winch.
    There is nothing as fast as being able to go forward and swig a main up with your weight, we'd have our mainsail up and sailed off while our mates in their modern were still sorting out the tailing and then grinding the last 5 or 10 ft up on boats 10 ft shorter. So I see the cockpit reefing as a trade off. Its safer ultimately if you can get it working properly, but its a pain for just normal day to day sailing off and on full main.
    Right now I have a hybrid with the halyard back and the reefing forward. I didn't think it would work but surprisingly it does. pretty easy single handed but super easy two handed.

    Its like boom furling, you get any size set you want, sail shape is fine if a fraction flat ( ok for a cruiser), stows away to nothing and no big cover to fit, windage when down is great, tidy looking. Ony problem ... they need grinding all the way up and all the way down , slow as a wet week to set and dowse.
    Last edited by John B; 08-06-2018 at 04:44 PM.

  4. #144
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    Default Re: What is the upper size limit for singlehanding, for someone in his sixties?

    Everything John said is true, plus when all the line come back to the cockpit it requires some place to stow all the lines or it becomes spaghetti . Mine are at the mast and it isn't to big an issue however I thinking of installing granny bars to lean on when it's sloppy.
    Last edited by navydog; 08-06-2018 at 09:30 PM.

  5. #145
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    Default Re: What is the upper size limit for singlehanding, for someone in his sixties?

    I have had halyards and reefing lead to the cockpit on a couple of boats....both smaller boats....seemed like a good idea. I currently have my halyards and reefing up at the mast and would not change it. I do not ever find the motion untenable. The job of reefing is easier and I get a better reef in. I do not like to sail for long without at least some of the reef points tied in. It puts unnecessary strain on everything, unless it all, including the sail are built with those stresses in mind.

  6. #146
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    Default Re: What is the upper size limit for singlehanding, for someone in his sixties?

    Most of my sailing has been single handed, but also on a tight budget. I have single handed ketches up to 55ft, but if the powered winches failed, both sail handling and anchor work would have been excessive. My comfort zone has always been up to 30ft, 5-7 tons and manual everything. Motion comfort is an issue, but its no good having a comfortable motion when your hydraulic furler fails and you are in a small bay with lots of anchored yachts trying to fight 500sq ft of dacron that is trying its best to knock you overboard. I find "comfort" in knowing all the systems and sails are within my control, not the other way around. YMMV

  7. #147
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    Default Re: What is the upper size limit for singlehanding, for someone in his sixties?

    Quote Originally Posted by John B View Post
    What a fun time. The conclusion being what we all expected though isn't it. I have a room filled with Riada's headsail and spinnaker wardrobe. #1, #2 spare#4, spare storm jib , light kite , heavy kite , mizzen spinnaker and some I've forgotten I'm sure . All of that replaced with the 5 to 50 knot #3 on the furler, a storm jib and trysail, a staysail and a mizzen staysail ( all pretty compact sails). Oh plus one dumpster carbon #4 tucked right up the back of the boat in case we blow the jib while away.
    One of my wish lists is to wangle a ride on Steinlager (the RTW maxi ketch)some time, we were out on the weekend and saw her setting sail and taking off. I even know someone who might help me with that dream.

    I'm loving that presto 30.

    Thought I ought to add some pictures.


    The Needles from the north:



    The Needles from the west:




    The first light of day... reefs out. I love this cockpit, but would like a rigid boom gallows.





    Lyme Bay... I only got the porpoises on video.







    Approaching Plymouth; Charles driving his first Big Boat:

    Last edited by Andrew Craig-Bennett; 08-07-2018 at 03:45 PM.
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  8. #148
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    Default Re: What is the upper size limit for singlehanding, for someone in his sixties?

    Tell us about the 3 winch setup on the cabin top. Is that your jib and main halyards? What do you have leading to the center winch?

  9. #149
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    Default Re: What is the upper size limit for singlehanding, for someone in his sixties?

    It is interesting that some posters here recommend larger boats, for the comfort of a less active motion mainly. There is an assumption of various power systems to assist with the weight of the work of sailing. Winches, powered winches and windlasses, roller reefing/furling...perhaps in all sails, lots of spare in the electrical budget to operate navigation systems, and auto-pilots etc. I don't disagree that if everything is good and reliable, ( and it really mostly is) this can be a good way of voyaging. Most of my friends who are embracing this life are choosing boats around 40'. Most are couples, which is almost the same as single handing in terms of crew works load, the difference being watch-keeping. Most are on a fairly tight $$$budget...this is important.

    Ian is the one person here that has chosen a larger boat, specifically and is setting everything up for single handing or short-crew operations without winches and power systems. I am not sure I agree with his insistence in having no winches, and in terms of single handing I might consider a power windlass. I have done the hand windlass thing on a large boat, and there were a few somewhat tense times in a blow in a crowded anchorage. In any case I agree with Ian's basic approach of specifically keeping everything as simple as possible. Many years ago I took care of a friends 45' ketch which was set up pretty close to Ian's ideal. Tramp had a self tending staysail and main and mizzen. She was pretty darn easy to sail, and in the time I was caring for her we never felt overwhelmed by her size and power, but then we never experienced winds of force 7 +, nor seas greater than ~2-2.5 meters.

    I have cruised extensively on a couple of traditional ( one bermudian and the other gaff rigged) small cutters around the 30' range. In each I have experienced winds to at least force 8 in open waters. They were both fine and able and pretty easily handled. It was a bit of a surprise to find the 33' Meadowlark vastly easier to handle in nearly all conditions. Each of the sails are smaller and more easily handled. She is a steadier platform. The Meadowlark has a very quick roll....very stiff, but this is seldom a problem when there is a wind to lean against. This stiffness I now think is good because it translates as power to carry sail. It occasionally is a problem, but all boats have certain conditions where the motion becomes a problem. The bigger difference is in pitch. The Keel boats were pretty good at pitching, the Meadowlark hardly pitches, the motion can be described more as rising and falling, with almost no plunging/lunging, the difference being very noticeable.

    I mostly single hand, and find Whimbrel pretty close to ideal for the purpose in these waters. I have worked to windward in force 8 gusting 9, in seas around 3 metres....surprisingly easily.

  10. #150
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    Default Re: What is the upper size limit for singlehanding, for someone in his sixties?

    Quote Originally Posted by navydog View Post
    Tell us about the 3 winch setup on the cabin top. Is that your jib and main halyards? What do you have leading to the center winch?
    Jib (to starboard) and main (to port) winches are on the mast.

    There are three winches each side in the cockpit - two speed backstays, three speed primaries and three speed secondaries. The main sheet has its own self tailing winch on the traveller bridge.

    On the deck aft of the mast to starboard is the topping lift (42:1 self tailer) then on the cabin top from starboard to port are: kicking strap (42:1), reefing winch (52:1 self tailer) and outhaul winch (42:1).

    The reefing lines and the outhaul are on clutches. The mainsail is loose footed, 500 sq ft. The PTFE track means that you can get the mainsail 3/4 hoisted by hand before gravity gets the better of you and it becomes easier to use the winch!




    Last edited by Andrew Craig-Bennett; 08-07-2018 at 03:43 PM.
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  11. #151
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    Default Re: What is the upper size limit for singlehanding, for someone in his sixties?

    That's a whole boatload of winches. My 55 odd foot steel boat had 2. Both electric. Both within easy reach of the helm.

  12. #152
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    Default Re: What is the upper size limit for singlehanding, for someone in his sixties?

    I think there are 11 on Riada including the one on the boom, plus 2 electric windlass. Might have forgotten one. Gotta love the '70's, when in doubt add a winch.

    Self tailing is really important for shorthanded big/ heavy sail work, I've changed 3 over to self tailers. I also moved the primary sheet winches back in the cockpit so I can trim them from the helm, its a policy change from a crew boat to a short handed boat. Like adding a furler.

    I see those photos, now I want .

    I was at the Classic yacht association AGM last night and suggested to someone who could make it happen that I need a sail on Steinlager, the old RTW maxi.

    just on that small boat / big boat seaway thing, it reminds me of sailing back up a local straight on Iorangi , the 51 ft Logan from 1901. The Tamaki straight has a reputation for a chop and that day it did. It was lovely sail hard on the wind and we just happened to bridge that chop because of her length. We rapidly were pulling down some keel boats in front and as we approached I could see they were really bucketing and going a lot slower because of that. As we overtook I was amazed to see they were much bigger than I thought ,34 ft keelers from the late 70's / 80's, a class well known for their on the wind performance.
    We were in sync and bridging the chop, boats with just a few feet less waterline were really struggling.
    Last edited by John B; 08-09-2018 at 08:13 PM.

  13. #153
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    Default Re: What is the upper size limit for singlehanding, for someone in his sixties?

    I think I plan to keep the primaries as they are and to make the secondaries into self tailers - or, in my dreams, electric self tailers. They are in easy reach of the helm, and powerful enough for the No3 Genoa, which is as big as one would want, short handed. The mainsail is manageable as it is, subject to the questions of a fixed gallows and a Dutchman flaking system (hate lazyjacks!).

    The top item is a good electric windlass, followed very shortly by an autopilot. And of course the roller headsail issue and put back the Onan genset and put back the Aquair and... and...
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  14. #154
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    Default Re: What is the upper size limit for singlehanding, for someone in his sixties?

    Sounding suspiciously like its going to happen ,so I'm changing my tune from those sails will be heavy to 200+ miles/24 here we come.

  15. #155
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    Default Re: What is the upper size limit for singlehanding, for someone in his sixties?

    Dont need a genset. Just solar and 12 volts for everything. And Ill say it again, we absolutely loved the dutchman system on our 55 footer. But yes, "I think I plan to keep..." sounds like a decision has been made. WoooHooo! In the wake of Tilmouth.....

  16. #156
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    Default Re: What is the upper size limit for singlehanding, for someone in his sixties?

    “How many monohulls come with a patio and patio doors?” (The washboards slide in right behind them).



    She has quite a history. Eg: https://gallipoli2015asa.wordpress.com/page/3/


    One slight puzzle is the windvane. Scanmar do list the Nic 55 as a boat to which they have supplied a Monitor, but it’s got to be at the upper end of the range. The helm is light and the wheel gearing is two turns lock to lock.
    Last edited by Andrew Craig-Bennett; 08-10-2018 at 03:55 AM.
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  17. #157
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    Default Re: What is the upper size limit for singlehanding, for someone in his sixties?



    just nothing I can do within P bucket will make this rotate . In a 1970 seaspray magazine

  18. #158
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    Default Re: What is the upper size limit for singlehanding, for someone in his sixties?

    Looking upright from here. There's a lot of boat underwater there.

  19. #159
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    Default Re: What is the upper size limit for singlehanding, for someone in his sixties?

    This design seems to exist in several variants; there are some built in aluminium (one is for sale in Australia at the moment)

    https://yachthub.com/list/yachts-for...lson-55/216502

    and some have wooden decks. The ones built for the Joint Services are all GRP (not foam core) with solid GRP (not foam core) decks.

    Some have “retrousse” archboards and some have the regular sort.

    “Lutine”, the first one, was recently rebuilt in the USA and is now in Lymington under the name “Eager”.

    There seems to be some controversy about the displacement; some say 18 tons, some say 22 tons. I suspect that the alloy boats will be lighter.

    I am still making discoveries, eg the short, heavy, tracks inboard of the jib tracks are for the trysail... duh!


    Last edited by Andrew Craig-Bennett; 08-10-2018 at 03:43 AM.
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  20. #160
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    Default Re: What is the upper size limit for singlehanding, for someone in his sixties?

    Plenty of boat under the water, indeed...



    Some would say, plenty of boat altogether!





    Last edited by Andrew Craig-Bennett; 08-10-2018 at 03:41 AM.
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  21. #161
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    Default Re: What is the upper size limit for singlehanding, for someone in his sixties?

    Those are some loooonnnggg overhangs. Makes her look rather elegant.

  22. #162
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    Default Re: What is the upper size limit for singlehanding, for someone in his sixties?

    That was the style of the era. Since it’s what I grew up with, I like it!

    The Camper and Nicholson boats of the late Sixties and early Seventies were particularly nice. Raymond Wall also designed the 45 (rather rare, only 8 made, but very beautiful) and the 43 (37 built) in very much the same style, as well as a good lot of “sensible cruisers”.
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  23. #163
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    Default Re: What is the upper size limit for singlehanding, for someone in his sixties?

    It's a beautiful boat. Wish I knew the first thing about handling something like that. Can you clear out some PM space Andrew?
    Tom

  24. #164
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    Default Re: What is the upper size limit for singlehanding, for someone in his sixties?

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Craig-Bennett View Post
    Plenty of boat under the water, indeed...



    Some would say, plenty of boat altogether!





    Excellent taste. I always liked that hull shape and builder.

    Maybe you could take Dylan Winters out for a overnight cruise. He could make a video on how to get along with a larger boat short or single handed.
    Be wary of your critics, at peace with your decisions, and work hard to be a better man.

  25. #165
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    Default Re: What is the upper size limit for singlehanding, for someone in his sixties?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Wilkinson View Post
    It's a beautiful boat. Wish I knew the first thing about handling something like that. Can you clear out some PM space Andrew?
    Thanks, Tom. Space made!

    Andrew
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  26. #166
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    Default Re: What is the upper size limit for singlehanding, for someone in his sixties?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Hoppe View Post
    Excellent taste. I always liked that hull shape and builder.

    Maybe you could take Dylan Winters out for a overnight cruise. He could make a video on how to get along with a larger boat short or single handed.
    Rule One: slow down, stay a bit under canvassed, don’t press the boat. She’ll get there quicker than a smaller one anyway.

    Rule Two; take a few minutes to get your breath between tasks.

    Rule Three: avoid all tight corners.

    Rule Four: let the sea and the boat do the work.
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  27. #167
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    Default Re: What is the upper size limit for singlehanding, for someone in his sixties?

    Andrew, your going to have so much fun with that boat.

  28. #168
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    Default Re: What is the upper size limit for singlehanding, for someone in his sixties?

    I've always liked that hull shape too. Congratulations Andrew. I reckon a headsail furler would be the first big ticket item on my to do list. And a hull (topsides) polish, just to make her feel better about herself.

  29. #169
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    Default Re: What is the upper size limit for singlehanding, for someone in his sixties?

    Congratulations Andrew.
    Such a strong project to plan with your Sons and friends.

  30. #170
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    Default Re: What is the upper size limit for singlehanding, for someone in his sixties?

    I feel a need to produce my ticket to the Woodenboat Forum, given that we are discussing a huge lump of frozen snot, here:

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  31. #171
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    Default Re: What is the upper size limit for singlehanding, for someone in his sixties?

    Congrats Andrew, you put up with the negatives and survived! All All can say is give it time and I am sure you wont be single handed very much.
    whatever rocks your boat

  32. #172
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    Default Re: What is the upper size limit for singlehanding, for someone in his sixties?

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Craig-Bennett View Post
    This design seems to exist in several variants; there are some built in aluminium (one is for sale in Australia at the moment)

    https://yachthub.com/list/yachts-for...lson-55/216502

    and some have wooden decks. The ones built for the Joint Services are all GRP (not foam core) with solid GRP (not foam core) decks.

    Some have “retrousse” archboards and some have the regular sort.

    “Lutine”, the first one, was recently rebuilt in the USA and is now in Lymington under the name “Eager”.

    There seems to be some controversy about the displacement; some say 18 tons, some say 22 tons. I suspect that the alloy boats will be lighter.

    I am still making discoveries, eg the short, heavy, tracks inboard of the jib tracks are for the trysail... duh!


    The Australian alloy one is Pacha, which was designed by Wall for an owner who wanted a downwind flyer. She's significantly flatter in her hull lines and was not successful for her original French owner. She had issues getting upwind in chop but won the 1970 Sydney Hobart which was a very tough windward bash, when there were very big swells rather than chop.

    I think the 55s were development of the successful Phantom, which was a member of the British 1969 Admirals Cup team. Quailo III went on to make the British AC team in 1973, by which time she was a two year old I think. Add to that the success of Adventure, which so nearly won the first Whitbread RTWR, and we've got a stable of designs that were not just beautiful and seaworthy but also very successful on the race course.

    My brother and I still remember Pacha easing into a cove one evening when we were kids, looking stunning as always. She had huge amounts of work done on the keel area a few years back; it must have cost a fortune to get her put right again. Good luck with your lovely new toy!

  33. #173
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    Default Re: What is the upper size limit for singlehanding, for someone in his sixties?

    Thank you Chris. The flatter sections would perhaps account for the difference in displacement. She does look very pretty, inside and out.

    Here is another Nicholson 55 for sale:

    https://www.yachtworld.co.uk/boats/1.../#.W28_SuPTWaM


    The boat that I think was the very first aluminium big yacht, the 1948 Laurent Giles offshore racer “Gulvain”, lives near me in Suffolk Yacht Harbour. She has the length and draft of a Nicholson 55 but less beam and shorter overhangs. She is probably a good advertisement for alloy construction, but I can only say “probably” because whilst she looks fine now I don’t know what she may have cost her owners over the past seventy years! She is one of the heroines of the early editions of Adlard Coles’ “Heavy Weather Sailing”.


    Last edited by Andrew Craig-Bennett; 08-11-2018 at 02:59 PM.
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  34. #174
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    Default Re: What is the upper size limit for singlehanding, for someone in his sixties?

    Yes; I’ve gone and done it. Eight tons of lead, a ton of aluminium, thirteen winches and eleven tons of frozen snot.

    Feel free to blackball me.
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  35. #175
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    Default Re: What is the upper size limit for singlehanding, for someone in his sixties?

    Have fun with it!Sneak the occasional account of your voyaging in here somewhere...

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