Singlehanding Dangerous???

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maddmike
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Post by maddmike » Sat Jul 21, 2007 12:05 pm

After 13,764 nautical miles (as best as I can tell) to date, single handing Zeno's Arrow on two contenents, plus another several 10's of thousand of single hand miles on a CSY 44 on a couple more continents, plus a heck of a lot of delivery trips, I feel somewhat qualified to address this one. and the anwser is-----

It all depends:

If you are talking about trips that include several day and NIGHTS, the answer is definately yes, BUT maybe still less dangerous than having a crew that falls asleep during watches, or a crew that really can't tell the cargo ship to Port is on a collision course, or does not really understand right of way issues, or is not real sure the nasty black clouds headed directly at you while your below making sandwiches is going to blast you in a few min. with 60 kt. winds, or gets sick and barfs unwind, or--oh well you get the picture.

You really want to play it safe, here are the options in priority order.

1-Stay home and watch sailing on TV, unless of course you live near a major airport flight path.

2-Only go out with a crew that just came back from the America's cup.

3-Learn everything you can about handling your boat as if you were the only one on board, because sooner or later you might just be, regardless of who you left port with.

4-Learn to depend on yourself before depending on others, especially an inexperienced crew.

5-Never take out your mother-in-law or someone you have never sailed with just to avoid single-handing.

6- Did I mention staying at home and watching sailing on TV?

7-Never ever, expect an inexperienced crew to help get you out of a jam you put yourself in, in the first place.

8-If you're not willing to go out and learn to single hand, at least during the daylight hours, because nobody is available to crew, then you're really not that much into the sailing aspect of boating. Take off the mast, become a full time dock junkie, and use the stick to make canopy polls for your backyardBBQ shade.

Of course, I might be wrong about all this, but I guess as I'm still here to give my 2 cents, it can't all be bad advise. MM

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Scott
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Post by Scott » Sat Jul 21, 2007 2:04 pm

3-Learn everything you can about handling your boat as if you were the only one on board, because sooner or later you might just be, regardless of who you left port with.
Sage advice Mike.

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tangentair
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Post by tangentair » Sat Jul 21, 2007 2:35 pm

D@mn the torpedoes, full speed ahead. Sorry guys, Eric6a is all too right, we seldom make one mistake that leads to a crisis, it is usually a slippery slope of little poor judgments that ends in disaster. And it is the collateral damage that annoys me. I was listening to a "mayday" last weekend on the vhf - the Coast Guard had to tell them to put on PFDs, had to help them figure out where they were on the gps, how to deploy a sea anchor 'cause it was a little rough and choppy, and keep them calm till the tow boat could get there - they ran out of gas, it all happened on channel 16 because the panic'd skipper didn't know the radio had more than one channel and wasn't sure how to change channels. The guy at WM just told him to turn it on, hold down the button and yell mayday 3 times. This is the type who backs over you with a drink in hand, bragging into a blue tooth earpiece about the size of his tanks and how much it cost to fill'em up, and spilling fuel out the overflow because he topped off - all while grinning at some Double Ds 'cause he stiffed the kid at the pump out of a two dollar tip.

IMHO if your your judgments good enough to know your limits and seek out advice, then going it alone can be emotionally and mentally uplifting. Pick up a copy of Maiden Voyage by Tania Aebi and after reading it pass it along to any teen standing wistfully on the pier.

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bastonjock
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Post by bastonjock » Sat Jul 21, 2007 4:17 pm

ive enjoyed this thread,ive found the debate most informative.

I have very little sailing experience,but what im doing is reading up on the subject and getting some practical lessons before i take charge of my boat.

I have alway envisaged sailing singlehanded,for all the reasons listed above.

Singlehanded sailing must be one of the best confidence boosters that a skipper can do

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Scott
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Post by Scott » Sat Jul 21, 2007 4:37 pm

Singlehanded sailing must be one of the best confidence boosters that a skipper can do
More than that, for myself and I'm sure a number of others here it is also the single best escape from the world including drugs.

Every time my wife and kids travel my wife doesn't worry about what I'm doing (she trusts me) more so she knows I will be on the boat with Israel Kamakawiwo'ole on the boom box.

It is a great stress reliever and I carry it with me all week in reflection!!

eric3a

Post by eric3a » Sat Jul 21, 2007 4:41 pm

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Last edited by eric3a on Tue Mar 11, 2008 8:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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bastonjock
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Post by bastonjock » Sat Jul 21, 2007 5:05 pm

the biggest plonker that ive come accross was the guy who stole an erpb
from a life boat on an oil rig that i worked on,how did he get caught?

when he got home,he placed the unit in his wardobe and the aerial flicked up and the unit started to transmit,it was picked up by a russian satelite,relayed to the UK coastguard who sent the cops to the guys address.

he got jail and lost a well paid job and was banned for life from working offshore.

personnaly id have made him walk the plank

as for getting stress release from sailing............................................................ thats the idea :D :D

maddmike
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Post by maddmike » Sat Jul 21, 2007 5:51 pm

Sitting on Zeno's Arrow Maho Bay St. John some years back, VHF on, scanner on:

Call comes over channel 14(as I recall?)

"Moorings base Tortola, this is Moorings boat 'Sunrider', Virgin Gorda, we require imediate assistance".

"Sunrider, This is Moorings base what is your situation?"

"We are in need of an anchor, unable to anchor for the night and it's starting to get dark".

"Sunrider, Moorings base, your have three anchors on board, what is the problem?"

"Yes Moorings base, we did have 3 anchors, but this is our fourth night out".

:o !!!!

Bill at BOATS 4 SAIL
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Post by Bill at BOATS 4 SAIL » Sat Jul 21, 2007 6:46 pm

maddmike wrote:Only go out with a crew that just came back from the America's cup.
The only one that I knew personally, that was in the America's Cup challenge, Heart of America, with Buddy Melges, in the 90's, had never been on a sailboat before that. He had been a football player at the University of Wisconsin and got hired as a grinder.
I learned something watching it this time from the guy that cut off part of the bill of his hat, for less wind resistance.

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Jack Sparrow
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Post by Jack Sparrow » Sat Jul 21, 2007 6:59 pm

We did a bareboat charter out of the Whitsundays a few years ago and woke up to the search and rescue helicopters and rescue boats hovering around a yacht moored in the same cove as us. Apparently he set off his epirb because his tender had run out of petrol.

Jack Sparrow

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rickjnav
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Post by rickjnav » Sat Jul 21, 2007 8:29 pm

I'm looking for some advice on how best to raise the main when singlehanding, when the boat is NOT rigged for it. My current procedure is to have the Admiral steer into wind under power while I go forward, but that wouldn't work too well if I was out there alone.

Rick J.

eric3a

Post by eric3a » Sat Jul 21, 2007 9:11 pm

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Last edited by eric3a on Tue Mar 11, 2008 8:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

johnnyonspot
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Post by johnnyonspot » Sat Jul 21, 2007 10:19 pm

rickjnav wrote:I'm looking for some advice on how best to raise the main when singlehanding, when the boat is NOT rigged for it. My current procedure is to have the Admiral steer into wind under power while I go forward, but that wouldn't work too well if I was out there alone.
Rig for it. Its easy and relatively inexpensive.

James V
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Post by James V » Sat Jul 21, 2007 10:22 pm

rickjnav - it is best if you get the main sail rigged to raise and lower from the cockpit. If the wind gets to much you could get into trouble fast.

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Graham Carr
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Post by Graham Carr » Sun Jul 22, 2007 1:31 am

Hi John
During the process of training my young apprentices (carpentry), I quietly watch their actions. Before I am willing to let them work solo, I want to see how they proceed with the task. Did they perform the task with skill while addressing the safety aspects? Now of course I am putting that in the simplest terms. One of the biggest things I am looking for is; are they working with confidence and I don’t mean mucho arrogance. Because if the can repeatedly proceed with confidence, I know they truly understand what they are doing.
My point is this; if you truly want your wife’s blessing, give her the opportunity to allow her confidence to grow. With each trip quietly let her see how you handle yourself and the boat. Have her just kick back, relax and let her enjoy herself. Don’t ask for help, do it all yourself. If she shows an interest, explain what you’re doing. Don’t force feed her and don’t push-it by putting the rail in the water. That would be showing off and may just terrify her. Over time she will come to realize that your truly do know what your doing, and she develop a trust in the boat. Plus in the process you will gain more confidence for the solo adventures. Remember sailing is about the journey and not how quick you get their. So what if it takes a few months or years to solo just have fun. During that time do what ever you can to prep the boat for single handed sailing. I see that you have just recently joined us, if you haven’t realized it yet there is a wealth of knowledge and experience on this board. Your biggest challenge will be finding the time to read some of the great past post. Hey that’s what winters are for!

Graham

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