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Old 03-26-2013, 11:31 PM   #1
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Default Who sails solo?

Hi All,

Due to work and financial commitments my lovely Lady is unable to sail with me for long periods and so we are looking at the compromise of me sailing and she who must be obeyed meeting me in different places.
Probably sounds a bit strange but after many sometimes heated conversations this seemed like the ideal middle ground.

Can I get some strategies for dealing with the boat pros and cons.

Robert & Annette
S/V Blue Lady

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Old 03-27-2013, 05:20 AM   #2
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What's the yacht? Whether this is doable or a nightmare depends on whether you can handle her solo.

I'd trade in the gf too. :-)


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Old 03-27-2013, 07:14 AM   #3
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Sailing my yacht solo can be hard work especially if things get a bit rough ... I prefer taking on crew for passages and making a bit of an adventure out of it so everyone enjoys and the cruising is easy on us all ...

Ditto the GF suggestion as well.

"No matter where you go, there you are".
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:56 AM   #4
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Robert, what you are suggesting seems to be a not uncommon strategy for dealing with your problem. I know a guy here in Hobart who very regularly takes his Swanson out into the Pacific via NZ where his lovely lady flies in and joins him for all the good bits.

Its only my view, but if you are going solo, I would rather go off shore than coastal. Even 2 up, I find the Aussie coast hard going - too many things to hit. Off shore you should be able to get more rest, land fall being the biggest issue. Either way though, its hard work.

AIS is clearly your friend if you are going solo. We have had good results with the rather cheap Smart Radio SR161 receiver, but if I was heading off shore solo, I think I would look at a transmitter.

Where are you thinking of taking Blue Lady? Got to stay in Aus or heading further afield?

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Old 03-29-2013, 12:00 PM   #5
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At least in North America you have a lot of company. Many "significant others" seem to have long lists of more "significant" responsibilities (visit the grandchildren, visit the children, get the house cleaned, do their nails) when it comes to offshore passages. Ask yourself if you really want to sail solo - because it sounds like you will be doing that and only having company in the nice marina with a pool and restaurant. Otherwise you need to find a group of friends that will join you whenever your GF gets tired of the current marina.
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Old 03-30-2013, 08:04 AM   #6
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Hi Robert,

It's not strange nor uncommon - just practical.

I often sail down to the Whitsunday's from Cairns and have my wife fly into Hamilton for a couple of weeks cruising the islands and then solo back again.

As a freelance designer and photographer I have the luxury of pretty flexible work routines whereas, working for the man (Qld gov) she does not.

By meeting me there we are able to optimise the time we do have aboard.

We now do this for our sailing in Borneo. I head up for a couple of weeks to prep the boat and my good lady flies in when we are ready to cast off. I then stay on for another week to pack everything away.

I'm certainly the one most keen on blue water passage making and enjoy the journey whereas she is more 'destination' orientated.

With still some concerns about losing me overboard on a long blue water passage, we've allayed some of her fears by taking on friends for part passages or sailing in company. Not my ideal choice but a fair compromise that allows us both to get the most out of our sailing.

I do not find the Queensland coast a problem whatsoever as far as solo sailing. Most of the time you are day sailing and can have the anchor down by sunset. If you keep a good eye on the weather and are prepared to stay at anchor for an extra day or two if it turns bad, then you are pretty well right.

Essential solo gear?

A good auto helm is a must, preferably with a backup and/or wind vane - it allows you to do most things on deck with confidence.

We have a wifi remote connected to our auto helm as well - this is extremely handy when approaching an anchorage - especially if I need to climb the rigging to negotiate through some reef areas.

Lazy jacks and a boom bag make dropping the main in a hurry pretty easy.

A wifi remote for your anchor winch, while not essential, does make things a bit easy - especially if you have to go below to flake the chain as we do on Mico.

The rest I think is just good seamanship - stuff which you'll be very familiar with.

The major solo 'con' is usually coming into a marina but if you take it slow and have all the lines ready to go, it's still manageable.

Fair winds,

Mico/ Australis
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Old 05-29-2013, 02:38 PM   #7
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Definitely agree tha the hardest part of single handing is in coastal waters or in coming into tight marinas... the best piece of advice I can give is don't be to proud to turn around and go back out... even when I have crew I often do this... go in, take a look around, turn around and go back out and reset the lines so they are just so and no one feels pressured... it may look slick when you fly in at three knots flip into the slot but I'd rather know we are set up right than have someone hurring around trying to get something on last second and drop a line in the water or get hurt.... and don't let dock personnel pressure you... ... getting a bit off topic but single handed or with crew I never hand a stranger a line... had people do all kinds of weird things with them that just made tying up more awkward than it had to be....
“The world turns aside to let any man pass who knows where he is going.” (Epictetus 55 - 135 AD)

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Old 07-22-2013, 10:59 PM   #8
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Thanks Guys,
As for ditching the wife, that is neither an option or a want.
The hints are good and I have been experimenting with different set ups to get her more single handed. I apologise that I haven't responded to your email Mico. I will be in touch.
Rob & Annette
S/V Blue Lady
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Old 03-31-2014, 09:15 AM
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Old 12-05-2014, 12:28 AM   #9
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Is it single handing if I do all the work and the others just sit around and drink beer ?
Just kidding , I do it , don't particularly like it . But I have to admit , I'm fascinated by a group of people who do the Single handed Trans Pac. http://sfbaysss.org/shtp/ Their web site is having problems right now ( couldn't be me ). Anyhow they do Ca. to Hawaii . single handed and some of them are using a Moore 24 !
Mr. Oldcruisre I'm sure you know the drill for setting up a boat for single hand, all lines lead aft to a winch and a rope clutch , auto pilot , roller furling, jack lines . But for me it's a mental thing , I just have a hard time getting into it anymore . By the way what type sail boat do you have ?
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Old 08-28-2016, 09:02 PM   #10
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Except for one trip from BC to Ensenada , I have always cruised offshore solo. In my 20s and early 30s I met a lot of young women who claimed they wanted to sail. Some practically begged me to take them sailing. I invited them, and over 95% of the time, they never showed up.
Had I insisted on having a crew, I would have ended up doing very little cruising.
Other singlehanders tell me this is the rule, rather than the exception.
When you have the sea room, and are tired ,don't hesitate to drop your sails and get a good nights sleep, before going in. Adjustable time and destination is a huge safety factor.

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