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Old 06-17-2021, 03:19 PM   #1
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Question on single handed cruiser

I know this is opening a LARGE can of worms but my question is what is the largest cruiser to use by one person?
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Old 06-17-2021, 03:46 PM   #2
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There is no answer to THAT question, so can you make it easier and put a bit more info in the question so someone might get closer to what you are really asking?


There are just so many conditions is why it really can't be answered.


Do YOU have a practical cutoff.... economically or experience wise? Lake boating or ocean going? and on and on and on......


Or is it just a hypothetical question ???? or for research?????
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Old 06-17-2021, 04:23 PM   #3
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I think a lot is going to depend on how often you embark/return from your slip, and how accomodating your marina is. Will your slip neighbors always be there to grab a line.....is there dock staff to help.....is there a big place you can get in easy and then go enlist some volunteers.....will you be anchoring out all the time....how often will you be going to strange marinas etc.
It depends somewhat on the boat....and A LOT on your boating style ( and experience )

And then your insurance company may have something to say on this as well.
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Old 06-17-2021, 04:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GLRawley View Post
I know this is opening a LARGE can of worms but my question is what is the largest cruiser to use by one person?
Herb Seaton - you will find him on th AGLCA website - has done the Great Loop twice solo on a 53-footer. Another Looper has done it alone five times on a 43-footer.
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Old 06-17-2021, 04:43 PM   #5
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There's one question. When the term cruiser is used, it it the description of the boat or the activity of the boat?

Cruisers shold be able to handle their boat with just who is on board for the few times it may be critical...including leaving and returning to a slip.
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Old 06-17-2021, 06:08 PM   #6
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Eight years single handed cruising here. I started small with a 29 foot Ranger Tug and have been in a 42 foot Nordic Tug for the last three years. I anchor, tie to mooring balls and go to docks. I’m always happy to get a hand when coming to a dock, but don’t rely on that!

A lot has to do with the configuration of the boat. IMO, a cockpit is a must. I also don’t have a fly bridge.... Thrusters with a remote are a great help in keeping the boat positioned while you secure the lines, ditto for getting off the dock in tricky situations. Windlass controls should be on both the bow and at the helm, and access to walkable side decks is likewise important.

I have seen people who can single hand an 80 foot boat (and some who can’t manage a 25 footer).

Practice!
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Old 06-17-2021, 06:58 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
There is no answer to THAT question, so can you make it easier and put a bit more info in the question so someone might get closer to what you are really asking?


There are just so many conditions is why it really can't be answered.


Do YOU have a practical cutoff.... economically or experience wise? Lake boating or ocean going? and on and on and on......


Or is it just a hypothetical question ???? or for research?????
It's a little of both. I am retired and kind of planning on finding a live aboard that I could handle by my self in the North West, Puget Sound, Washington-Oregon coasts and the Columbia/Snake rivers.
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Old 06-17-2021, 07:25 PM   #8
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Sufficiently talented and practiced, 80' is not too big. Insufficiently talented and practiced, 16' is too big. So somewhere in between those. If you are trying to manhandle docking lines and suchlike to recover from mistakes, it's really about displacement and windage. 20,000 lbs isn't too bad, 30,000 starts to be a handful, likewise something really tall with a flying bridge.
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Old 06-17-2021, 07:34 PM   #9
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As always - it depends.

For example, I mostly single hand these days, and this weekend I'm planning to join an overnight get together/raftup. The forcast says breeze gusting over 30 knots on day one and nearly that on day two.

So, In those conditions I can certainly single hand my 50ft, single screw, 40 tonnes of iron bark off her berth and out of the marina. She's seaworthy and her ground tackle is up to the job in any weather.

But how about getting back in?

On sunday, the evening breeze will be down to 25knots, tidal current 1.5 knots - both blowing me off the finger dock. Lines are preset with leaders hung on the grab hook as per usual, but my neighbour is berthed 3 feet downwind.

I wouldn't enjoy getting her back in single handed, but In these conditions the weekend wouldn't be drama-free no matter how big the crew was. I'll probably give it a miss.

IMHO if you're experienced, happy with constantly adjusting your ambitions to your boat's parameters, and understand the reality of your piloting skills, then go as big as you need.
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Old 06-17-2021, 09:49 PM   #10
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Nordhavn 475.

https://nordhavn.com/models/n475/
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Old 06-17-2021, 10:48 PM   #11
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Largest solo - depends on your experience, skill and the boat. I mostly solo an 83', twins, no thrusters. Docking needs to be planned, lines out and ready. And some times wind and current dictate waiting. People in a hurry usually get into trouble.
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