Author Topic: Solo Sailing a Legacy?  (Read 11865 times)

Offline Mike K

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Solo Sailing a Legacy?
« on: February 09, 2015, 03:45:38 PM »
Hi guys,

I will soon be attending a WCTSS sailing event in Florida in March.  Unfortunately, my beloved first mate has no vacation time, so I will have to single hand the Legacy on this 3 day event.  I'm pretty sure I will be OK raising the mast and launching off the trailer by myself, but I had a question about raising the main and jib halyards solo.  I know anchoring will be "fun" also.

The jib is a standard, hanked-on jib.  I already have a down-haul rigged up so I can "douse" the headsail when needed.  However, I think I may need something to keep the tiller straight (and hopefully headed into the wind), while I run up  to the companionway hatch and pull up the mainsail halyard and then once I get control again, raise the jib halyard to start sailing.

The question is, what devices have any of you guys used to keep the boat at least going straight while the halyards are raised?  I'm too cheap to buy an auto-tiller such as Raymarine ST1000 or ST2000 and they seem to fail a lot too with time and when exposed to water (what, water on a small sailboat??).

I looked at the Tiller Tamer, and it seems a little cheaper than one that had a trigger release.  But, i really am hesitant to drill lots of holes and mount all the cam or jam cleats that hold the rope ends.  And there's already lack of space without adding 2 more lines to trip over.

I was seriously thinking about just adding a removeable Forespar tiller extension, and extending it while I walk up to the halyards, so I could do a little steering with one hand and halyard pulling with the other?  Here's the link to the 2 lengths of tiller extenders:

http://www.westmarine.com/buy/forespar--twist-lock-tiller-extensions--P002_074_001_502

Has anyone used these tiller extenders on a Legacy tiller?  Any idea which size would get me within reach of the halyard ends on the bottom of the mast? (I can't measure it as the boat is 1400 miles away)  I was afraid the long one would be too big collapsed on such a small boat, but the 48" extended seems tempting?

Does anyone have other great ideas about making single handing any easier on a fairly stock Legacy?  Thanks.
Mike.  '13 Legacy "Santosha".

Offline Craig

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Re: Solo Sailing a Legacy?
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2015, 04:09:02 PM »
Not really that difficult. I sail singlehanded most of the time. A very simple tiller control is simply an appropriate length bungee cord stretched across the cockpit across the tiller. Take one turn around the tiller. The tension of the bungee will cause enough friction to secure the tiller. To adjust simply take tension off the bungee, adjust the tiller and release. Will keep the tiller under control. The stretch of the bungee will allow you to make corrections but return the tiller to the position it was set to. I call it a "Redneck Tiller Tamer". As to anchoring.....again not a problem. Prepare your anchor rode , secure to the forward cleat/bitt, bring the anchor and flaked rode to the cockpit. Drop anchor, let the rode run out while backing down. When the anchor sets, use the OB to make sure it is secure and not dragging. Relax, have a well earned adult beverage!
Craig, Horizon Cat "Kailani"  Punta Gorda, FL

Offline hoddinr

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Re: Solo Sailing a Legacy?
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2015, 05:41:39 PM »
I'd like to add to Craig's excellent advice. 

Get clear of all obstructions, like docks and day markers before going forward to set your sails.  Tie off the tiller, the bungie idea is a good one.
You don't have to be "head to wind" to raise your sails.  Just make sure you've got the boom out far enough that the main will luff as you raise it.
The jib or genoa can be raise while sailing.  You can raise it up "behind" the main sail so that there's little pressure on it as you run off down wind on a broad reach. Better not to run directly down wind while going forward, as you might get "boomed" if you jibe accidentally.  Don't ask me how I know.

Also - bring two anchors.  You'll want to anchor off the sandbar with the stern nearest the beach so you can step off easily.  Get your bow anchor down and back up to the beach.  There will be 5 or 6 guys ready to help you set the stern anchor into the sand on Pelican Bay's north cove.

See you there!
Ron Hoddinott

Offline Mike K

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Re: Solo Sailing a Legacy?
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2015, 08:06:26 PM »
Thanks Craig, excellent advice on the cheapo method of bungees going around the tiller.  I may even splurge and spend a few bucks to get the correct length shock cord for the purpose!
And the anchoring advice is appreciated also.

And Ron, thanks, I will definitely bring my second anchor down with me to Florida to put on the stern of the Legacy.  Boy, I'm getting excited to be sailing without having to wait for spring!
Mike.  '13 Legacy "Santosha".

Offline Craig

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Re: Solo Sailing a Legacy?
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2015, 07:44:55 AM »
Good advice Ron! Two anchors are a "must"! I carry a less expensive version of  the Fortress (aluminum alloy) anchor and its rode in a 5 gallon pail in the portside cockpit locker. It is light and easy to handle but has good holding power. It can be deployed in a matter of seconds if need be. Six feet of chain helps it set without being too cumbersome to handle and store.
Craig, Horizon Cat "Kailani"  Punta Gorda, FL

Offline capt_nemo

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Re: Solo Sailing a Legacy?
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2015, 08:04:48 PM »
keougmi,

With plenty of searoom...

1. Turn the engine OFF.

2. Head into the wind.

3. MAKE SURE MAINSHEET IS FREE TO RUN!

4. Move to mast and raise main'sl (If caught by wind in process, wait momentarily by mast 'til boat settles, pressure on sail is reduced, and boom is free, then continue)

5. Cleat off main'sl halyard.

6. Return to cockpit, sheet in, grab tiller, go sailing.

capt_nemo

Offline Citroen/Dave

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Re: Solo Sailing a Legacy?
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2015, 11:59:15 AM »
I too am looking at solo sail-handling problems on my CP 16/2.  This season I will practicing heave to maneuvers for dousing sails, as the wind rises.  But, I am concerned about loss of boat control as the sail areas are being changed, with me being forward.  [My first mate was not able to keep the boat under control this past season as I tried to douse a head sail . . .]

My back up is a recently acquired "drifting anchor" or drogue.  It will be attached it to the free end of my main anchor rode and stored under the aft hatch on the opposite side from my stored anchor.  The rode will drape for and aft on opposite sides through the bow cleat/bitt and bow chocks secured to the aft cleats.  If need be I can drop the drogue and let the boat drift backward facing the wind while I make adjustments to the head sail size and/or to reef the sails.  Or I can drop my anchor in the shallows, either from the helm.  For either anchor, I will cleat the opposite end of the rode from the appropriate aft cleat.

Has anybody tried this system?
« Last Edit: February 12, 2015, 11:46:57 AM by Citroen/Dave »
"You can't judge a skipper by the size of his dingy."
'85 ComPac 16/2  "Keep 'er Wet" renamed "Slow Dancing"

Offline Mike

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Re: Solo Sailing a Legacy?
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2015, 12:11:17 PM »
I have a tiller tamer on a 19 which came with the boat.  It is a very useful tool as I always single hand the boat.  No big obstruction with the required blocks.  First year I used it when hanking on the jib but now have roller furling.  Still very nice when going below for an item or moving forward in the cockpit.

Offline Craig

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Re: Solo Sailing a Legacy?
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2015, 08:34:47 AM »
Dave, The system should work but seems like a lot of extra hassle. Just getting the drogue deployed and retreived could be tricky in and of itself! If dousing the headsail is a problem add a jib downhaul(or a furler). There have been several discussions here on jib downhauls. They are cheap(almost free!) and really simple to install. Dousing the jib is a quick way to shorten sail quickly(although the boat may not sail as well) if you need to. Adding a single line reefing system on a 16 is not difficult and makes reefing a WHOLE lot easier. Do you have a topping lift and lazy jacks? Cheap,easy and essential for a singlehanded or semi-singlehanded sailor. Again many discussions here. Capt Nemo has a neat system he uses. Very simple and effective!
Craig, Horizon Cat "Kailani"  Punta Gorda, FL

Offline Jim23

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Re: Solo Sailing a Legacy?
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2015, 11:17:11 AM »
I highly recommend the TillerClutch...worth the install effort.

I agree with the simplicity and benefit of a jib downhaul. My last sailboat had a hank-on jib and I found myself fighting to get it down in building wind. I installed a downhaul for about $50 and it made all the difference. Quick and easy dowsing of the headsail from the safety of the cockpit.

Offline Duckie

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Re: Solo Sailing a Legacy?
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2015, 11:30:35 AM »
I second that.  A jib downhaul can make all the difference in a tight spot.  They are easy and cheap to install, but make sure that you can use it from the cockpit in a sitting position. 

Al

Offline Mike K

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Re: Solo Sailing a Legacy?
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2015, 11:35:22 AM »
Great information everyone!  I feel much better about going solo now.  Thanks
Mike.  '13 Legacy "Santosha".

Offline Citroen/Dave

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Re: Solo Sailing a Legacy?
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2015, 12:06:24 PM »
Craig,

I have jib downhauls on my standard jib and the 150, a two position topping lift one for holding the boom up for the boom tent and the other position to let the loose footed main run free, plus two sets of reefing points on the main, one on the standard jib.  My problem is keeping the boat under control while I go forward to adjust the sail areas in increasing wind. 

I think handling the drogue will make life easier should I get overpowered, solo.  I have not had much experience heaving to.  What concerns me is changing the sail area balance while not being at the helm possibly loosing the heave to benefit of a stalled boat.   Things can happen fast in rising wind.  I'm not the athlete I once was.  Balance is an issue.  I also do not want to scare my first mate, if she is aboard, while dealing with increasing winds.  I can drift backwards while getting the drogue deployed.  I agree that getting the drogue back aboard may be a bit problematic, but hopefully, its benefit will out weigh that hassle.  With a boat hook handy, I should be able to snag the rode and retrieve the drogue, or simply pull it back to the bow and retrieve it later.
"You can't judge a skipper by the size of his dingy."
'85 ComPac 16/2  "Keep 'er Wet" renamed "Slow Dancing"

Offline Craig

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Re: Solo Sailing a Legacy?
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2015, 05:56:03 PM »
Dave, Do you have all your lines run aft to the cockpit and cleated there? Very important for singlehanding! If so I would, based on your needs, next rig your main with a single line jiffy reefing system. Luff up, lower main to reef point, tighten reef line(at the aft end of the boom), cleat off, rehoist main, done. Use reef tails to tie up sail below the reef cringles at your leisure (or not) . That being said reefing when the wind pipes up is always a little stressful, especially when the Admiral is apprehensive. A violently luffing main while not necessarily dangerous can still be noisy and unnerving and scary to less experienced crew! Better to start out with a reef tied in to start with. A lot easier to shake out than tie in!
Craig, Horizon Cat "Kailani"  Punta Gorda, FL

Offline Citroen/Dave

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Re: Solo Sailing a Legacy?
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2015, 04:41:54 PM »
I love Lazy Jacks and rigged them on my previous boat, a Rhodes Picnic 17.  But as often as I raise and lower the mast with the thought of that additional tangle, I have forgone the Lazy Jacks and use a two position topping lift.  [The topping lift also allows me the use of a boom tent, over the boom; good drainage in a rain.] All lines are aft except those forward on the boom for reefing; the halyards are cleated at the aft end of the cabin top.  I agree that reefing the main to the first reef point before leaving the dock is reasonable for me in any kind of a breeze.  I often do that with the 150 flying, knowing that I can rapidly lower the 150 with the down haul, even with the First Mate at the helm. The balance of the helm is very nice this way . . . I have an Ida rudder, too.
Thanks for your comments, can't wait for some warm weather.  Thankfully, this year we have missed the northern and the southern storm tracks in Central Virginia.
"You can't judge a skipper by the size of his dingy."
'85 ComPac 16/2  "Keep 'er Wet" renamed "Slow Dancing"