Thursday, September 27, 2012

Single Handing

   Over the next few weeks I will be setting our Sal up for single handed sailing. I am doing this because while I have the best first mate there is.....she doesn't always like to bob around in the bay without a destination. I single handed an O'day Daysailor II and 19ft wooden sharpie as a kid. I  have also gone solo on Sal before on the last leg of our trip home with her.  It was quite easy as there were no slips to get in and out of. I am fairly confident I won't have a problem with the sailing portion of singlehanding, but I am working now to set up our slip for this. We share a berth with another sailboat, meaning there is no finger pier on our starboard side with the bow in. I am terribly afraid of being blown into that or another boat.
   The first mate was very hesitant about the idea but as long as I have all of the safety equipment that I need, she's ok with it. I have a harness, tether and jacklines that I will use once away from the slip. I also have a nice handheld ICOM waterproof VHF radio that I will keep clipped to my harness. I have a whistle that I will keep on me and a strobe light.
  As far as Sal goes I have most of the lines run back to the cockpit. I  also set up a downhaul on the jib in case I need to get it down quickly. That also runs to the cockpit. This will save me a trip to the bow. I have rigged her very simply so it should be fairly easy to handle all the lines. I still have to install a padeye in the cockpit.....might do that this weekend. Still contemplating a tiller pilot. I will probably hold off on that because of expense. While out sailing the last few times I had been working on a sheet to tiller setup that works ok for now....I will have more time to mess with it once I get out there by myself.
I may try to head out this weekend and see how it goes....I will report back (good or bad). Wish me luck!



  1. Do the tiller pilot if you can swing the money. It was probably the single best purchase I ever made for my boat and makes single handing so much easier.

    But I'm a horrible helmsman, and tend to steer towards whatever has caught my attention at the moment which means my course wanders all over the place.

    I haven't seriously tried sheet to tiller. Unless I'm planning on being on a course for a long time I'm not sure it's worth the trouble. Of course, I'm a rather lazy sailor.

  2. I am saving for one, just not sure its in the budget at the moment. Was hoping to get to the boat show this next weekend in hopes to get a deal....that prolly won't either. Not a big deal. I figure if I learn to do without it, it will make it all that much better when I do get one. Which units are you guys using? I was looking at ST2000