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Old 03-13-2009, 01:56 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by redbopeep View Post
Hi, I didn't run the video as I'm on a low bandwidth access right now--but...I always though the double ended sheet was useful in that you can use the windward sheet to set the sail position and the leeward one to pull downward on the boom--essentially as a vang.
ah, see now that would make sense.. the way they had it set up it was just another normal sheet for the main... which in theory could be run where ever you want it while the other sits idle in the jammer on your coach house... ... seems pretty pointless to me.
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Old 03-16-2009, 11:40 PM   #16
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Hi. Following this thread has been a good read. Here are my 2 cents worth.

In reply to the initial question, yes, I can easily reach the mainsheet from the helm. The helmsman also has direct access to the traveler, which is located directly behind where he sits. The Genoa winches are also within close reach. Hence, the helmsman can adjust all the sails and even tack by himself without leaving the wheel. This is one of the great advantages of a center cockpit vessel.

I've uploaded an image of the layout:

Link: http://greyraven.typepad.com/photos/variou...-traveller.html

The entire arrangement is designed for solo-sailing without stress and with a high degree of safety in mind.

It works really well.
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Old 03-17-2009, 04:54 AM   #17
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This is one of the great advantages of a center cockpit vessel.
Actually, having everything in reach of the helmsman is not limited to center cockpit vessels. Many older aft-cockpit vessels have (lower aspect) rigs which happen to include a boom that extends over the cockpit and allows the same traveler arrangement behind the helmsman. I must admit when I look at the new boats with short booms I kinda wonder a bit about the ease of using such a rig--also about the typically high aspect nature of such rigs.

The head sail winches of course can be set up where ever one wishes. Of course, frequently, people set up their boats for racing rather than short handed cruising and thus the winches are entirely in the wrong places...

I'm glad your boat is set up in a way that suits your cruising style and hope you enjoy your travels!
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Old 03-18-2009, 11:48 PM   #18
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I'm glad your boat is set up in a way that suits your cruising style and hope you enjoy your travels!
I must admit that Iím as pleased as punch as to how beautifully Spirit sails and how easy she is to manage, even when Iím sailing her alone. When I started looking for my ďidealĒ boat many years ago, I knew that I wanted to be able to sail her solo if I wanted to. When sailing a 50 ft. boat with an aft cockpit and a crew of eight, there is no question that enough hands are there to help handle the ship in almost any situation. When sailing a 46 ft. boat and youíre sailing alone, thatís a different matter entirely.

What Iíve learned from sailing Spirit is the following: as a center cockpit vessel and with everything pretty much within reach, there is absolutely nothing behind me or the traveler, which is of any interest. There are no ďuser serviceable partsĒ back there, especially at night, which effectively reduces the size of my boat by 7 or 8 feet. So, from where Iím standing at the helm, all I have are about 38 feet of boat in front of me.

The distance to the mast is also quite reduced, making working on deck in foul weather at least somewhat safer. Again, I am viewing this from the perspective of having to reef-in the mainsail alone (possibly at night) and having her on autopilot while Iím doing so. Thus, about the only concession I have to make is being quite sure to in reef the mainsail early and in due time, whatever the circumstances. I would agree with other posters here that when sailing at night, the mainsail should have one or (even better) two reefs tied in, especially when underway solo.

While sailing to Langkawi, I used the night watches to try out how it all worked on Spirit. I was pleased to determine that I had no trouble handling her alone, at least in light to moderate winds. Everything remained in the green. Yet, again, that mainsail must go down at the right time because there are over 115 square meters of sail on her, all told, and that is a lot of sail to try and handle alone at 5-6 Bft.

Although I donít really plan to sail Spirit solo in the near future (unless the economic crisis forces my hand and I have to sail her back to Europe for some reason) I know that in a pinch, I could do so. All the other aspects which come into that picture have to be looked at from another - very critical - perspective.

I hope my first posting above didnít sound smug or anything. Iím simply pleased to know that I can easily sail and handle my boat alone if I have to. Thatís already something to be grateful for, especially if youíve already bought the boat.

May you always have a handís width of water beneath you keel.
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Old 03-19-2009, 01:27 AM   #19
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I hope my first posting above didnít sound smug or anything. Iím simply pleased to know that I can easily sail and handle my boat alone if I have to. Thatís already something to be grateful for, especially if youíve already bought the boat.
Oh, those of us who love our boats are truly "pleased as punch" and that is very close to smug . But, no, never smug

I really am glad that you can visualize how you'll use your boat solo and you're able to do so on this particular boat. So many people try very hard to "get it right" and somehow it doesn't work out for them. I know another fellow who has an absolutely lovely center cockpit boat (oh, I must tell you that I thought we'd end up with a center cockpit boat because they have so many good features....but we did end up aft cockpit after all...) ...back to my story...this guy has a wonderful boat but somehow can't get it all together to solo sail and its just driving him to distraction. So, these things are very, very important.

Our boat, aft cockpit, was originally set up for solo/shorthanded sailing but then some nut (owner before last) put that aside and made it a "racing" boat with winches midships and the only thing one could do from the cockpit is manage the main sail and the running backstays--but not the foresail or headsails on this, a 54' schooner! That nutty fellow actually solo sailed the boat back from HI after a Transpac (dunno how!) and often the owner before us solo sailed the boat. They both must have been very quick on their feet to run all around and manage everything.

Well, lucky us, we've got the drawings showing the sail plan, winches, and lines as they were before the nut came along So, we can put it all back to the solo sail/short handed way it really should be.
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Old 03-19-2009, 05:19 AM   #20
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Hello Spirit,

Good to read of your setup and techniques. Your input much appreciated.

I believe I have spoken to you on HF radio a number of times - last year? There are not many boats with the name "Spirit".

Regards

Richard
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Old 03-22-2009, 04:39 PM   #21
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I believe I have spoken to you on HF radio a number of times - last year? There are not many boats with the name "Spirit".
Hello Richard,

Thanks for the feedback and Iím glad that I am able to contribute something here, despite not (yet) being a full-time cruiser.

I assume that it was another boat called ďSpiritĒ with whom you were in contact. At the moment the microphone cable of my HF unit is a bit frayed and Iím not even sure itís working correctly. These issues will be addressed in the summer when I come down next.

My call sign is ZDIT9.

Best regards,

CruisingSpirit
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Old 03-22-2009, 10:42 PM   #22
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I can single-hand our Pearson Vanguard very well, so getting this Tartan to fall in line is somewhat important to me. We are going to put a cam-cleated triple where a becketted double is on the bottom of the main sheet where it mounts to the traveller and run it aft to allow the helmsman to release the main if needed. This will keep the racing setup intact yet add to safety. The traveller leads have been lengthened to achieve the same effect. I am working on the Vang solution.

I learned something even more important in all of this... My wife stated that if I left it the way it was, I might need her for something again. Apparently cooking and looking good doesn't keep her busy enough! She seems to miss handling sails?! Wow! How did I get this lucky?

Thanks for everyone's input. Learning so much this year that I may have to take a second vacation!

Spring is starting to look like Spring! We are away from the boat for a few days, this thing called work, and we are boat sick (we miss them both). I wish this house would sell so we can get out there!!!

Best wishes to all,

David & Brenda
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Old 03-22-2009, 10:48 PM   #23
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Oh, those of us who love our boats are truly "pleased as punch" and that is very close to smug . But, no, never smug

I really am glad that you can visualize how you'll use your boat solo and you're able to do so on this particular boat. So many people try very hard to "get it right" and somehow it doesn't work out for them. I know another fellow who has an absolutely lovely center cockpit boat (oh, I must tell you that I thought we'd end up with a center cockpit boat because they have so many good features....but we did end up aft cockpit after all...) ...back to my story...this guy has a wonderful boat but somehow can't get it all together to solo sail and its just driving him to distraction. So, these things are very, very important.
I learned to sail solo on a 21 ft. Yngling. I think some of the happiest moments of my life occurred when I had the Spinnaker set, the tiller between my knees and I was roaring up the Alpine lake I live on, seeing the water rush by and feeling her react to the tiniest pressure on the tiller or letting the Spi up a bit higher. Sailing alone is unlike anything I’ve ever done and it is a very personal thing.

I still have the Yngling, of course, and she is what keeps me sailing and sane when I can’t fly down to Langkawi and be on Spirit. The way we love our boats is a story unto itself. Mine developed in a way, which is not unusual but certainly effects how I relate to Spirit.

For over 20 years I chartered all the boats I sailed on. So they “belonged” to me for a week. It was a long list of different boats and the boats themselves became longer, over time. On the first day we would set the sails and those first hours getting to know my ship under sail are the ones I treasure most. A sailboat will “talk” to you, if one is willing to listen. And sailboats love giving up their special secrets, as each 1/10th of a knot is carefully negotiated and she starts really moving.

I developed a special bond with every ship I’ve sailed on. But in the end, the week did pass and I had to give her up again. I would then give my list of “required maintenance” to the charter company and she was out of my life.

Life, however, cannot consist of a countless number of “one week stands”.

So, when I found “Spirit” and recognized her and all of her excellent attributes, I really fell in love with her. She now belongs to me and will be sailed only by me. She is my home and an expression of my self.

I have learned that she sails exquisitely but has a mind of her own when backing up under engine power. We are working on this issue. A lot of work needs to be put into her, especially regarding things like her radar and plotter. These will simply be replaced this summer.

But she sails like a dream and all the rest is second tier.

This was originally only to be a short reply and has turned into an “Ode to my Boat”. I wonder whether I should post these comments, but presumably will. At the end of the day, it’s just a story about a guy who could finally love the boat he loves to sail.

And I think you know where I’m coming from.
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Old 03-23-2009, 03:45 PM   #24
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Spirit,

I enjoyed your response! Must chime in though... I would agree that it is nice to find that boat to be true to, but I recently experienced something a bit different:

We have a friend that has been out on our older boat twice. It is known that he grew up building model ships, and the sea is in his blood though he had never been on the sea. Last week, after working on our newer boat all Winter, we were set for our mainden voyage, OK test-sail, and we invited he and his girl along. As we left the dock I had the helm which I quickly handed-over to my wife so I could raise sail. As this post mentions, I cannot reach all from the helm, and I wanted to adjust everything my way initially to ensure there were no hidden problems, burr in the sail slide, etc. After setting sail in a light breeze my spouse struck up a conversation with his girl and they became less interested in the boats' performance... go figure! So when I wanted to change some things I instructed him about the Windex and gave him the helm... It was a sight to behold! The glow that emanated from his whole being lit up the evening! Though in his late twenties, he became the sailor in all of his childhood dreams! I spent the rest of the sail experimenting with sail trim, adjusting this and that, and happily coaching our friend through tacks, jibs, and even a bit of wing on wing. He learned about a beam reach, and next off; the spinnaker. We sailed for a few hours into the night well past dark. I only retook the helm in time to experiment in open water so I knew how she stopped, and what she did in reverse before docking. I handed him back the helm as we dropped sail in the harbor and rigged handling lines for him to use when I slid the boat near the dock. When he stepped from the rail near the bow to the dock holding both bow and stearn lines he was still glowing!

You mentioned a boat that "only you could sail", and I just wanted you to know what that could cause you to miss!

You are all such wonderful people,

David
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Old 03-30-2009, 09:32 PM   #25
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You mentioned a boat that "only you could sail", and I just wanted you to know what that could cause you to miss!
Wildernestech,

Thanks for the story about your friends as well, which I enjoyed immensely. Perhaps I was unclear in my writing because I extolled the pleasures of sailing solo so enthusiastically. When I stated that “only I would sail her” I was referring to not having to charter her out week after week to anonymous and essentially uncaring crews.

On many of our voyages in the Mediterranean, with crews of eight or nine on board, we often took one or two newcomers sailing with us each trip. All of the older hands would teach them as much seamanship as they were willing to assimilate, while adjusting to the new environment on board. And during the course of the week, I would often see that incredible glow of joy cross their faces when they stood at the helm and learned to steer the craft under sails.

We placed a lot of value on good seamanship, maintaining a polite and happy ship and enjoying all of the culinary delights the Mediterranean has to offer. Over time most of these sailing colleagues have gone on to become well trained and certified skippers in their own right.

I take a lot of pleasure knowing my crew and I were able to turn so many amazing people on to sailing, one of the greatest joys a person can ever know.

CruisingSpirit

PS. Link: http://greyraven.typepad.com/photos/variou...s/imm006_7.html
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