U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Hobbies and Recreation
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Old 08-10-2008, 08:13 PM
295 posts, read 324,406 times
Reputation: 40


How big of a sailboat can one man handle safely by himself...22ft? 28ft???

How big for a crew of 2,4,6etc......
Quick reply to this message

Old 08-10-2008, 08:52 PM
28,643 posts, read 39,149,896 times
Reputation: 44326
The answer to all those questions is "Depends." A 45-footer can be rigged to be singlehanded.

You probably won't get many satisfactory responses on this forum. I would recommend the bulletin boards at www.latsandatts.net/forum for the expertise you need.
Quick reply to this message
Old 08-10-2008, 11:14 PM
295 posts, read 324,406 times
Reputation: 40
thanks a lot!
Quick reply to this message
Old 08-13-2008, 12:14 PM
Location: San Fernando Valley, CA
1,719 posts, read 5,602,537 times
Reputation: 764
Dad has a 50 footer...I mean he could handle it alone, but that is just cruising in perfect conditions. It's always best to have a min. of 2 for his boat. HE races regularly with 6-8 people though....those same people could easily handle a bigger boat though.
Quick reply to this message
Old 08-13-2008, 01:42 PM
Location: Central Coast, Ca
1,709 posts, read 726,693 times
Reputation: 440
We had a 65 ft MacGregor sailboat that hubby and I cruised around Mexico and Southern Cal. He took the boat out by himself as well. So, yes, it depends on how well it is set up for single-handed sailing.
Quick reply to this message
Old 08-13-2008, 02:59 PM
Location: Happy wherever I am - Florida now
3,359 posts, read 9,589,190 times
Reputation: 3738
Get a sailboat with roller reefing for ease of single-handeness. These are the boats you see when the main sail is wound around the mast in a unit that allows for easier deployment.

Also make sure you have a safety harness so you don't get left behind while the boat cruises off without you.
Quick reply to this message
Old 08-15-2008, 01:00 PM
9,878 posts, read 34,521,680 times
Reputation: 11514
It depends upon so many factors ... the waters you intend to sail and the prevailing conditions, what your "risk tolerance" is for sailing safety, the type of sailboat and how it's rigged, what your expectations are for a "good day" on the water, passagemaking vs day sailing use, etc. etc. etc.

I've delivered a 1960 built 63' Ketch from the CA West Coast to Hawai ... singlehanded. The boat wasn't set up for singlehanding, but was relatively mellow to handle, albeit rather slow. I had to anticipate wind changes and reduce sail very early, erring on the side of caution/safety, which made the trip slower and longer in duration. But I was comfortable with plenty of food and supplies onboard, and it didn't matter.

I've got friends who consistently singlehand 38' wooden boats built for cruising in open waters, all the way up the West Coast to Alaska, and over to HI. On the inland passage to Alaska, they plan on having to lay over some number of days due to weather and conditions. Again, it's prudent planning, good information, and a properly set up boat that make the risks manageable.

I've been on some boats that I wouldn't leave the dock without a fairly sizeable crew, because the boats were laid out for many hands in lots of locations.

I've done ocean passages (and races) with more people on board. It makes the sailing work a lot easier, with lots of hands to take on a lot of tasks on a 24/7 basis. We've never had a roller reefing main, but we've had good reefing systems and prudent on-board management. Lazy jacks and multiple headsails (roller furling) helped keep things a bit more under control at times.

There certainly are a lot of ways to minimize the rig loads and labor requirements ... it just comes down to how much physical labor you are willing to take on, how much complexity you want on your boat, how many companions you are comfortable with re the social, workload, and physical accomodations are, and how big your sailing budget may be.

Sometimes a "bigger" boat is the solution to your sailing ideal and needs/wants.

Sometimes a smaller boat will perform adequately, safely, and happily, too.

It's such a personal decision that you may find yourself not making the ultimate "best" decision until you've sailed/owned several boats. Each of them along the way will teach you a lot about what you need/want, and what you'll settle for. Any boat is a compromise ... you just have to learn what factors are most important to you and find the boat that "best" meets your needs.
Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.

Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Over $99,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Hobbies and Recreation
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2017, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 - Top