First solo sail

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First solo sail

Post by MartinDreaming »

This is a big step for me, though hardly an epic journey. The conditions were good, so I went out for my first solo sail. Launched from Manly at lunchtime, motored out of the leads, got under sail, did a few tacks, motored back, and retrieved the boat by tea.

A couple of things worked well - the rubber wheel-chocks made the car practically immovable on the ramp (the thought of it sliding into the water still scares the Admiral) and the auto-pilot ST1000 was essential when I had to leave the cockpit to sort some things out whilst underway.

Some tweaks for next time - longer mooring lines to tie off to the finger jetty while launching and retrieving, say 10m. They will also have less chance of me dropping them or getting to the end of the line when retrieving.

Wish-list - trailer winch with a remote and lazy jacks. If I get the winch, I'll save myself an aching arm and all the trickery of getting the bow to 'key' onto the trailer and getting up to the manual winch to wind it in before the wind pushed the stern around again. But a good one may cost about $1K, including fitting. Found that tying off the stern to the finger jetty helped.

The main thing is that solo is now do-able. I enjoy social sailing, but usually have to do it at short notice, when everybody already has plans for the day.

A little scary, but worth it. Moreton Bay was fabulous.
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Re: First solo sail

Post by impulse »

Good stuff, well done. It gets easier but going solo always keeps you on your toes.
A good rule of thumb I seem to recall with mooring lines is 2 x boat length each.
Cheers Robin.

Robin & Terry.
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Re: First solo sail

Post by lloydyboy53 »

Check out I-Max winches on E-Bay. They are for 4W/drives but are cheap and come with remotes and synthetic rope.
Cheers John
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Re: First solo sail

Post by mees »

Retrieving the boat back on the trailer is something that can take a while to figure out. Every boat / trailer combi is a little different and it takes time to sort out the problems you encounter. I usually retrieve by myself with a manual winch and doesn't give me too many issues anymore but that wasn't always the case. The public ramp in Manly (next to the Coast Guard )gives you the choice to retrieve on the lee or windward side of the finger. Landing is a bit easier on the windward side but if you retrieve on the lee side you can control your stern with a long line from your stern looped over a cleat on the finger and all the way forward to where you are at the winch post.

Lazy jacks definitely a big + when solo sailing. I have a very basic system that works for me. It can be tidied up away from the sail when sailing but requires a bit of reaching on toes on the cabin roof. Search on this forum for different set ups.

Sailing with the right crew can be fun but I think solo sailing is still a bit more enjoyable. You will find you can master any condition sailing solo as well as with a crew if you prepare the boat well and anticipate the conditions.

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Re: First solo sail

Post by Furstin »

Re: lines, 2x as impy says but have different lengths with colours so you know at a glance what will suit, breadth, springers, etc. Breadth lines might be a few M.
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