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.