Easiest to sail ~30ft boat

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Nico Crispi, Aug 2, 2017.

  1. Nico Crispi
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    Nico Crispi Junior Member

    Experienced mariner friend wants to join the sailing world and can not be bothered with sailing lessons. He can do some things, such as launching and rigging my sons' Force 5 and sail it inside the Long Beach CA breakwater. No knockdowns and no crashes so far, maybe an accidental jibe or two.
    He thinks that, given a simple 30ft rig, he could singlehandedly sail the open Pacific for days and hundreds of miles and he has asked me to recommend the best boat for the task. He wants no more than one line to deal with and a hull that has a monster Righting Moment.
    I don't know about their GZ but I suggested a cat rig like the WylieCat or the Freedom or the Nonsuch, in that order.

    Your suggestions?

    Nicolò
     
  2. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    Bad approach to cruising the Pacific! Sounds to me like he needs to learn a whole lot more before " singlehandedly sailing the open Pacific for days and hundreds of miles". He needs to make a plan that includes lots of time at sea with a very experienced ocean sailor as well as extensive training on the care and feeding of an ocean going boat and its equipment . The plan that you just wrote about is a formula for disaster.
     
  3. Nico Crispi
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    Nico Crispi Junior Member

    Thank you Doug Lord.
    I could've written the same warning opinion myself and I've communicated it verbally to him many a time.
    The man is and has been intransigent his entire life.
    As I said he is an "experienced mariner", he has owned large powerboats -currently a 55'- and he has CG certificates, knows boats and big blue water.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2017
  4. JosephT
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    JosephT Senior Member

    Sounds like he's basically looking for a good single handed sailboat around 30ft. He won't find one with "one line", but he can shave many of his tasks down with a properly rigged single handed boat. He will surely want to invest in a wind vane for self steering. Below are some threads you might pass on to him for further reading. As Doug and others will warn though it's never a good idea to just take off and try to sail the world for 30 or more days without some training. I would suggest he spend at least a solid week with an experienced solo sailor to cover the essentials. Florida, Carribean & Gulf weather is usually pretty tolerable and easy to sail in (minus hurricane season). If he ventures further out than that he should get some experience in sailing in foul weather during the day and night. In short, he should be prepared or he might not make it back. It's as simple as that.

    Five cruisers for short-handed sailing - boats.com http://uk.boats.com/reviews/five-perfect-cruisers-for-short-handed-sailing/
    Top 10 Sailboats Easiest & Best to Single Hand - SailNet Community http://www.sailnet.com/forums/boat-review-purchase-forum/94729-top-10-sailboats-easiest-best-single-hand.html
    http://www.cruisingworld.com/getting-started-in-solo-sailing
     
  5. JosephT
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    JosephT Senior Member

    And I would not take a catamaran or other multihull. Recovering from a capsize in those hull types may be impossible. Only a proven, bluewater capable monohull with a good capsize ratio should be considered.
     
  6. Nico Crispi
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    Nico Crispi Junior Member

    Yes JosephT, all very well stated and thanks for the links which I'll check out.

    As I said in the OP
    "I don't know about their GZ but I suggested a cat rig like the WylieCat or the Freedom or the Nonsuch, in that order."
    And off course by cat rig I meant monohulls.

    He says that he will confine himself (at first?) in waters South of Point Conception and East of San Clemente. This is a well protected -at times- stretch of the Pacific where he might be within VHF range and with USCG fast deployments from several points.

    You say "I would suggest he spend at least a solid week with an experienced solo sailor to cover the essentials" but I've offered and he refused, he says the point is to do it solo and without coaching.
     
  7. JosephT
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    JosephT Senior Member

    I forgot he was on the Pacific side. A few things I would offer him:

    • Keeping in VHF range would be nice.
    • As a backup, bring a sat phone or Spot/Garmin position tracker.
    • When starting out don't raise the mainsail all the way. Sail with 2 reefs in. With the mainsail de-powered like this it will allow him to figure things out in a more forgiving manner and allow him to focus on navigation and tending to the boat. If a big wind blows in it won't capsize him either.
    • Stuff sailing books & DVDs in the boat! Provided he knows how to navigate & deal with weather, then he should be able to read up when he can.
    • Urge him to get a life raft just in case he has to abandon ship.
    These basic suggestions are all assuming the boat is all rigged out with proper equipment. It's a shame you're working with a stubborn individual who is refusing training up front. These days this is definitely not the norm. I just left Newport & Dana Point a few days ago...many good skippers in that area. Regardless of powerboat experience his adventure could be a recipe for disaster. I'm sure you've warned him plenty of times. At a minimum friends or family should inform the local coast guard of his plans. Hopefully they'll keep a loose eye on him while they can.

    As the Irish say: "Good luck"
     
  8. JosephT
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    JosephT Senior Member

    And one other thing I would mention is surface radar. Being solo he should get a surface radar that can detect surface obstacles and other passing vessels. It should have a good, loud alarm. If he's sleeping and it goes off he knows he's got to get on deck fast and avoid whatever obstacle is nearby. Ideally, he should avoid sailing at night and either drop anchor or tie up to a mooring. It goes without saying he should not drop anchor on a reef.

    I recall an amateur yacht race out of LA several years ago. Their route took them south through the shipping Long Beach shipping lanes. One boat was hit by a huge cargo ship and the boat and crew were lost forever. All that was found the next morning were chunks of the vessel. Needless to say, he should avoid the shipping lanes at all costs.
     
  9. Nico Crispi
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    Nico Crispi Junior Member

    He has the Iridium, the EPIRBs, the VHFs etc on his powerboat and I'm sure he'll take all of them as well as the smaller of his two liferafts along. He will be lifevested at all times and harnessed when topsides.

    He knows about the commercial shipping lanes though frankly I'm more concerned about the Navy ships speeding toward the Naval Weapons Station in Seal Beach. That is one crowded ocean there.
     
  10. JosephT
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    JosephT Senior Member

    Good deal. At least he's not totally cut off from the world and a plan to bail out if needed. As long as he doesn't try to challenge the power of Mother Nature (wind, huge waves) hopefully he can figure it out. With all those accessories something tells me he's already read up on what to do and just wants to give it a try. Bragging rights at the bar! To each his own.
     
  11. Nico Crispi
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    Nico Crispi Junior Member

    For him it is mostly about not being brushed aside as a stinkpotter at club events where the sailing rock stars get all the attention. He thought that sailing my Force 5 would've erased the stigma but that has gone unnoticed.
     
  12. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    There's no such thing as the best 30' off shore boat. Solo sailing is mostly mindset, not design type or equipment. As you gain solo sailing experience, you develop ideals and preferences and these evolve over time and more experience. For instance, many like to bring the lines back to the cockpit, but after a while (as it was in my case), you'll find you'd rather not have the rat's nest of line on the cockpit sole, so you move several back to the mast or other locations. Also when younger, my idea of a good deep water cockpit, was a footwell that couldn't carry much water when swamped and this is a prudent bit of advice for offshore work. In time, as you get older, you'll find the best cockpit is one with a dodger, if not a full pilothouse, comfortable, tall backed seats, of appropriate shape for good support, underway. This is the evolution aspect of the equation and no one's version will be the same as your friends rendition of a solo, deep water 30' sailor.

    Forget about equipment, winch locations and number or type, rig types and all the rest. The best advice anyone can offer is to tell him to just go sailing, preferably staying near shore in the meantime, as he develops his preferences, desires and must haves, in a solo 30' yacht. With some time, he'll figure out what he prefers and needs and the search will be much easier, not in terms of a specific design so much, but how he'll tailor it to his needs and requirements.
     
  13. Nico Crispi
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    Nico Crispi Junior Member

    He has finished his tailoring ^ and he has whittled it down to one winch, one cleat and one line. Oh yes, and one Cohiba at the helm.

    The man is no dummy, you see. He has sailed several times with me on my Olson 30 and he just doesn't want to deal with all the constant trimming etc. He understands the reason for every line, cleat and winch but he thinks that it is just a lot of racer nonsense and that sailboat cruising can be a much simpler affair.

    Can't say that I blame him much and Beneteau must've thought of customers like him when they designed their Wingsail back in 2013(?). Arteriosclerosis of the sailing establishment killed that one. Garry Hoyt had many such stories and he would've understood my friend just fine.
     
  14. CT249
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    CT249 Senior Member

    Is there any evidence that Beneteau met market resistance? This is a market in which, years ago, boats were made obsolete within two years; a market which has gone ga-ga over foilers; a market which led Formula 1 on adoption of things like carbon fibre; a market which has seen top speeds double in a few decades. I don't think there has been any sport that has gone through such leaps.

    No one has actually provided independent objective evidence that the Beneteau-style soft wing would work properly. We were promised a boat-on-boat test for one such rig here about ten years ago - they still make big claims about it every now and then but nothing ever happens. One manufacturer did get the chance to do boat-on-boat testing and found that such a rig was slow.

    After several decades of soft wings being hyped, I don't think a single one has ever been put on a popular hull and sent out to race a bunch of sisterships. Claims about racing rules don't cut it - such wings are eligible in many races. It's such an obvious step (and one so often promised but never followed through with) that the only inference is that they don't actually go well. Many of them are actually based on pretty old claims about aerodynamics, arguably.

    I was an admirer of Hoyt until I realised how many of his claims just had no evidence. The very name of his "Need for Speed" column, for example, inferred that there was a "need" to go faster, but that just doesn't exist (and that's coming from someone who has sailed classes that sit on 30+ knots and another class that is about the fourth fastest of all the 100 or so International classes). The average person doesn't "need" to go faster.

    Sailing can actually be seen to be very receptive to proven new technology, and justifiably sceptical of rubbish claims that belittle existing gear and are never backed up by independent testing.
     

  15. Nico Crispi
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    Nico Crispi Junior Member

    None other than that several French dealers, who had spoken with the factory, told me so.

    And how about the rig on the Maltese Falcon, how's that for successful independent testing ^ ? Tom Perkins was told even by his friend and builder of the boat, Fabio Perini, that he was crazy. Perkins off course was proven right but only after he put his money on the line.

    Unstayed cat rigs, WylieCat and such, work fantastically well but the are vastly shunned because they are anti-establishment.

    Amaryllis, Nat Herreshoff's famous catamaran in 1876 was banned by the the traditionalist board members of the NYYC thus setting catamaran design back for several decades. etc, etc.

    One can carry on ad infinitum and sidetrack this thread but I'd rather go back to the OP question.
     
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