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Old 05-31-2013, 11:57 AM   #21
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Yes, in my humble opinion, the hard part is docking. The hardest part of the actual trip was running to the head leaving the autopilot driving. The channels were pretty congested, being a Sunday, but I was able to wait for a gap in the traffic.

We had an early Monday morning appointment with an orthopedic surgeon. I had to rent a wheelchair and roll my wife up the ramp before the tide went out.

The marina we were going to was on the leeward side of the island, so I knew I'd be OK at slack tide. A good navigation system helps a lot in planning your arrival time around the tide.
Just curious, what was your boating experience at that time?
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Old 05-31-2013, 12:03 PM   #22
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On long passages single handling is not wise...even shorter ones....especially on a large power vessel. Too many chores to be taken care of while still moving and stopping may not be an option due to motion.

Just because you can single hand for short trips, doesn't really mean much....in the long run you do what you have to do in dangerous situations to survive. But that's NOT how the voyage is supposed to be planned.

If voyaging with kids...you aren't single handling because they still can be look outs, basic watch standers and drop a loop over a cleat or a piling while docking. With at least 2 adults and several kids...most coastal cruising and reasonable ocean legs can be done in relative safety.
Totally makes sense. We will have at least 7 people aboard so I will be far from single handing, but I have heard folks mention more than once to only purchase a boat that you can single hand if need be in an emergency, so I got to wondering what size boats could be single handed if the need came up and what size would be totally out of the question.
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Old 05-31-2013, 12:07 PM   #23
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60+ years old, crossed the Atlantic 7 times single handed (the 8th time brings me back to Europe) I can tell you that single handle a vessel is the best there is. Being alone with the elements, walking naked, not need to be social, eat catch and just accept what Neptune gives.

This is not the live for every one, my first wife did not like boats. My beautiful young Brazil wife is very afraid of boats, coming from a small island in Brazil, ones when she moved house from one island to an other, with the help of her grandmother, she needed to dump all her lovely belonings like her washing machine, television etc. just to keep the boat flooting. She thinks i am a mad man with my love for the seas.

But she like the ride of our over hp machine.
I really think that's amazing. I feel like I have pretty tough skin, but I honestly can't imagine trying to cross the Atlantic alone.
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Old 05-31-2013, 12:58 PM   #24
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When you get above a certain size 90% is basically solo since most family/friends and/or SO have little/no knowledge/experience and strength. Actually I prefer they help on a limited bases, like pulling in/out the bumpers, and stepping off to secure the lines when the Eagle is up against the dock. So basically been solo for 10+ years now. Time the tides, wind and weather and ask/cry/beg/request for dock assistance as most marines will do if you ask, especially in emergency and bad weather.

If you buy the size of boat you plan on, you will probable be required to have a license captain crew until you have the knowledge and experience, which may take years. What you should also include in your plan is another person with the knowledge/experience/strength, which many times is required, even docking in certain situations. Believe me I know from experience been there, done that!
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Old 05-31-2013, 01:06 PM   #25
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Just curious, what was your boating experience at that time?
I boated as a kid in small power boats on lakes and after collage I took four sailing classes at a community collage. The year before I single handed, we took a one week cruise and learn charter (you charter a boat and hire a skipper/instructor through the charter company who turns you loose once he decides you are qualified). We found out that my wife wasn't any help in docking, either at the helm or on deck, so the instructor wouldn't turn us loose until he was convinced I could handle the boat alone.

In the San Juan Islands many of the harbors have current and winds that make singlehanded docking much more interesting. It is pretty easy to dock singlehanded with no wind or current, just take it slow and if you need to back out and start over. However, with a contrary wind or current you have less margin for error and less time to get her secured. The bigger the boat and the higher the freeboard the longer it takes to get from the helm to the doc.

I feel you shouldn't plan to operate singlehanded, however you should be ready and capable to operate singlehanded encase the need arises.
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Old 05-31-2013, 02:38 PM   #26
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Totally makes sense. We will have at least 7 people aboard so I will be far from single handing, but I have heard folks mention more than once to only purchase a boat that you can single hand if need be in an emergency, so I got to wondering what size boats could be single handed if the need came up and what size would be totally out of the question.
There's no limit.... as in aviation if things are set up and automated....

I've seen a guy drive a 60 footer from the dock with a remote control...he handled the lines to move the boat forward about 40 feet.

What I'm trying to say is that emergencies don't limit the boat as you do whatever it takes when you have to....it's the day to day planning, equipment and crew for a RECREATIONAL, FUN, within budget ride that sets the limitation.
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Old 05-31-2013, 10:29 PM   #27
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Good info guys, gotcha.
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Old 06-01-2013, 01:39 AM   #28
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I agree that docking is the challenge although I found tying up to a floating mooring challenging as well because I'd drift back before being able to run to the bow and grab the buoy from 8 ft up in the air.

I owned an ancient 65ft Burger twin diesel displacement cruiser, very high windage, no thruster. Honestly, over the several years that I owned her I think that I singlehanded her about 80%+ of the time. Having my sweet little girlfriend onboard was not much help at all.

Docking in winds and currents was nerve-wracking but I feel I developed really good abilities and confidence eventually.

You should ask yourself if you will be living off the hook and cruising most the time versus weekending from your dock? Will you be floating off a permanent mooring? Size isn't as critical in those situations and neither is a thruster.

Do you have the luxury of timing your runs to the fuel docks for off-hours versus during busy weekends?

IMO, my next big trawler will be 50 ft long. Period. Easier to handle and finding guest docks to handle anything bigger becomes almost impossible and are charged extra fees also.

Hope this helps.
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Old 06-01-2013, 08:03 AM   #29
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I think thrusters both bow.and.stern would be a great help. My boat is only 44', but a lot of windage , with no lower station. Can be a challange alone with any.wind
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Old 06-01-2013, 12:31 PM   #30
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GG as others have indicated the problem is docking, not cruising for the most part.

If you can choose a place to dock that has the wind blowing you into the dock, then its a piece of cake.

Being blown away from the dock is more difficult. Generally a quick call on the radio will bring a person or two dockside to grab a line.

Anchoring out in a big boat is cheaper and easier. That can be done every time single handed. Then just take the skiff to shore.
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Old 06-01-2013, 12:51 PM   #31
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GG as others have indicated the problem is docking, not cruising for the most part.

If you can choose a place to dock that has the wind blowing you into the dock, then its a piece of cake.

Being blown away from the dock is more difficult. Generally a quick call on the radio will bring a person or two dockside to grab a line.

Anchoring out in a big boat is cheaper and easier. That can be done every time single handed. Then just take the skiff to shore.
I disagree with long that cruising and anchoring is easier being solo as you have to be constantly on the alert and go. That is why I prefer the dock and seldom anchor as I can relax and take a nap rather than honey/dad/Grandpa can you?

If you watch and time the tide current and wind docking not town much of a pucker factor besides is over in a couple of minutes. Ok, so I been know to kiss the dock a few times.
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:13 PM   #32
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Docking with wind: 32' w/ twin outdrives
Docking without wind 48' Pacemaker w/ twin Cummins

Docking is the only issue.... unless it is single handed in the open ocean a thousand miles from land.... then you better be an expert diesel mechanic, electrician, plumber, carpenter, navigator, etc
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Old 06-06-2013, 01:10 AM   #33
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Docking with wind: 32' w/ twin outdrives
Docking without wind 48' Pacemaker w/ twin Cummins

Docking is the only issue.... unless it is single handed in the open ocean a thousand miles from land.... then you better be an expert diesel mechanic, electrician, plumber, carpenter, navigator, etc
John
Funny you should say. I found this diesel engine course in Maryland and I have been trying to decide if I should sign up now or wait.
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Old 06-06-2013, 10:50 AM   #34
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Funny you should say. I found this diesel engine course in Maryland and I have been trying to decide if I should sign up now or wait.
Very smart thing to do.

Best diesel course I ever took was when I bought my boat and had to tear apart both engines and give them in-frame overhauls (Detroit 6-71Ns).
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Old 06-06-2013, 01:02 PM   #35
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Well, it looks like I win soloing the biggest boat so far by a few feet and tons. I have come to the conclusion I need a SMALLER BOAT!

Luckily we have the 12 ft Livingston and the 19 ft run about.

Take the basic boating required courses first as it will help financing and insurance to buy the dang boat. I would wait until you know what engines the boat has, and then have a diesel mechanic go through them and be there when he does to ask questions. I have a diesel mechanic check the engine each year and each year I am having to more and more of the general maintenance.

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Old 06-06-2013, 01:22 PM   #36
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Funny you should say. I found this diesel engine course in Maryland and I have been trying to decide if I should sign up now or wait.
"Education is good" Faber College
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Old 06-06-2013, 04:50 PM   #37
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Very smart thing to do.

Best diesel course I ever took was when I bought my boat and had to tear apart both engines and give them in-frame overhauls (Detroit 6-71Ns).
Holy crap. Were you a mechanic by trade?
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Old 06-06-2013, 06:57 PM   #38
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Faber College!!!

Thats where i got my degree!

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Old 06-07-2013, 12:40 AM   #39
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Holy crap. Were you a mechanic by trade?
No, Galaxy Girl. I was in my mid-20's and had the guts to do it. Just obtained the detailed manuals and some books and followed them step by step, religiously. Tons of information out there in print. And honestly I was not one of those kids who rebuilt cars when growing up either.
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Old 06-07-2013, 01:51 PM   #40
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Well, it looks like I win soloing the biggest boat so far by a few feet and tons. I have come to the conclusion I need a SMALLER BOAT!

Luckily we have the 12 ft Livingston and the 19 ft run about.

Take the basic boating required courses first as it will help financing and insurance to buy the dang boat. I would wait until you know what engines the boat has, and then have a diesel mechanic go through them and be there when he does to ask questions. I have a diesel mechanic check the engine each year and each year I am having to more and more of the general maintenance.

Not so fast. Read up a few posts...Mako at 65ft...
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