Setting up for easy single handed sailing

letlmt

.
Oct 21, 2018
151
Catalina Capri 22 Lake George
I am trying to set my boat up for easy single handed sailing. It is a new boat, tall rig with a wing keel

I plan on adding a boomkicker, single line reefing, and jack lines to control the main.
I plan on cross sheeting the roller furling 135% jib to the windward side.

I typically like Harken products. Does anybody know if these are the correct items for me to buy?
https://www.harken.com/productdetail.aspx?id=5324&taxid=1562
https://www.harken.com/productdetail.aspx?id=5710&taxid=362
https://www.westmarine.com/buy/seoladair--boomkicker-boom-supports--P002_063_003_501?pCode=1973296

I have heard that I should add ratchet blocks for the jib. Does anyone have a recommendation as to which ones I should get?

Am I missing anything?
 
Jul 7, 2004
8,033
Hunter 30T Cheney, KS
Do you have a topping lift already? A boomkicker might be redundant. I made my topping lift adjustable on my Mac.
I have not heard many good things regarding single line reefing. Too much friction. If you don't want to go to the mast to reef the luff, consider two reefing lines. Just my opinion
(lazy) jack lines are a great idea I think for single handing. There's a lot of info here on how and what to use.
I don't know what "cross sheeting " is.
I went overboard, no pun intended when I led my lines aft. A mast plate, blocks, deck organizers and clutches. Pretty pricey project that way.
Good luck!
 
Last edited:
Aug 1, 2011
3,959
Catalina 270 255 Wabamun. Welcome to the marina
And, if you really want to be able to "sail" with the AP, then get the wind input.
Have we emptied your bank account yet? :)
 
Jul 12, 2011
986
Catalina 36 1771 Ft Pierce, Florida
Great questions, and a noble goal. The most important single-hand goal is the ability to lock the rudder in place so you can play with sail hoisting / dousing, and also trim. There's nothing worse than going to the mast to raise the main, and having the boat turn 90 degrees. Personally, for a small tiller boat like, I'd save money on a tiller autopilot and just get something like a tiller tamer, or just lash with a line mounted to both sides at the end of your tiller. You mainly need to lock the tiller in place for five minutes at a time, rather than the complete functionality of autopilot of having it hold course.

As for the reefing and lazy jack kits, remember that Harken makes its money making and selling blocks, so these kits will maximize the number of blocks used. Particularly for lazy jacks, there is very little motion over the turning points (only one movement per sail) so a 1.5-inch stainless ring is just as useful and 10x cheaper. I've seen much bigger main sail systems that have only rings. The added advantage is that rings are lighter and don't swing around up there as much. Based on the photo in the ad, you could probably figure this system out for your boat much cheaper than the Harken setup. The single-line reefing will require a few blocks to run along the boom and then back to the cockpit. For good reefing, remember you want the tack to be secured first, then the clew end. If you use a block on the sail to reduce friction, only put one on the mast side to bring the tack down first, then pull down the rest.

The boom kicker is a wonderful device and will eliminate the need to have a topping lift, which is not used for sail trim, by the way. They are well made and simple to install with common tools. I always would forget to take up my topping lift, and would inevitably drop my boom into the cockpit on douses.

I always recommend learning single-handing with another sailor on-board. Tell them you want to practice and do everything you can to avoid asking for help. That way, you can bravely try everything, and still be safe.
 
Jan 2, 2017
722
O'Day & Islander 322 & 37 Scottsdale, AZ & Owls Head, ME
The greatest advantage of an autopilot for singlehanded sailing is not that it will hold the boat on course (a tiller tamer will do that as Parson points out); it is that it will steer the boat through a tack or gybe while you are wrestling with the sheets. No tamer, lash or lock will do that.
 
Dec 13, 2015
499
Catalina Capri 22 1139 Mamaroneck, NY
I think an autopilot is overkill on the CP-22. The most I get up and away from the tiller (have a tiller lock) is 10-15 sec to hit the main halyard clutch after raising the main from the cockpit. That’s it.... Extending the length of the sheets/halyards so they reach back to the cockpit is key to be able to single hand.... I thought about lazy jacks but in my opinion the main sail is still small enough (have a tall rig) to take down quickly and temporarily use sail ties to tie down to the boom....Also ultimately decided to use a boom kicker instead of topping lift. I prefer less lines on the boat/around the main (another reason why i decided against lazy jacks....different on big boat especially if using a sail pack in connection with lazy jacks....).
 

letlmt

.
Oct 21, 2018
151
Catalina Capri 22 Lake George
if you really want to be able to "sail" with the AP
Thank you all for your input and please keep it coming.

I am not sure that AP stands for though. I have a B&G Vulcan 9" system with wind inputs.
 
May 29, 2018
300
Canel 25 foot Shiogama, japan
Hi LE
AP is autopilot, tiller pilot, autohelm or what ever electrically assisted steering system that you can get you hands on.
You mentioned "easy single handed sailing"
That means an AP. If you are not convinced, go out on a boat that has one.
As for your list.
Number 1 would be home made lazy jacks.
here is Stingy's guide https://stingysailor.com/category/boom-2/
Number 2 would be learn to reef efficiently with the rig that you have,

Not so sure how necessary a boom kicker is if you already have a vang.and a topping lift.
As you can see there are a real variety of opinion about these issues.
Justin= boomkicker redundant. vs parsons = a wonderful device.
Gary = AP is a must vs Slatybartflass = overkill.
and so on.
So look around your marina or yard, talk to others here and while you are deciding, get as much sailing in as you can

Gary
 
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Dec 13, 2015
499
Catalina Capri 22 1139 Mamaroneck, NY
There is not right answer on this. Trial and error (for me...). Keep in mind it is a 22 footer not a 25-35 foot boat that some of the other comments are referenced from (no offense intended....). My opinion would be totally different on a bigger boat as soon as the boom height allows me to stand underneath... Sailpack and lazy jack a must for single handing.....
 
Aug 1, 2011
3,959
Catalina 270 255 Wabamun. Welcome to the marina
I think the point was based around "singlehanded" as adversed to boat size. There are a large number of advantages to having an AP, if you are out by yourself, it's not always about going to the mast to put the sail away; sooner or later you gotta go, or want to make a bite to eat, or let go of the tiller to restore the circulation in your fingers, or any number of things. A tamer or rope apparatus is good for seconds away, but not so much so if you are down below and upsetting the balance of the boat or the wind is blowing. A wind input will let the thing steer the boat on the set angle irrespective of you hanging off the other rail, and a side benefit to a wind input is that it can steer the boat to wind as well, and sometimes better, allowing a huge amount of time to trim.
 
Jul 28, 2016
95
476
Lazy jacks are overkill on a CP-22 IMHO, even with a tall rig. With the slides on the bolt rope, the sail pretty much flakes itself at the luff, and all you need do is to get the leech of the sail to fall in line.

What year is your boat? I have an '89, and can tell you that the Boomkicker does not like the rotating gooseneck. You need to prevent the boom from rotating if you are going to use a boomkicker. They offer a bracket for this purpose.

A topping lift is a better option for flaking the main - the Boomkicker will hold the boom up, but will still allow the boom to move pretty easily when flaking the sail. The topping lift will be more stable. I still like the Boomkicker to support the boom in light air, or when putting in a reef.

For single handing, a tiller tamer will be a big help. A tiller pilot would be great, but I would have concerns about power consumption for extended use.
 
Jul 31, 2010
35
Catalina Capri 22 39 Seneca, SC
A new Capri 22 probably does not have a rotating boom, so you probably won't have the issue Delling3 noted. But if your boom rotates, Catalina Direct sells a custom boom kicker designed to accommodate the rotation. You may want to call Catalina Direct, they usually give good advice.
 
Sep 20, 2014
1,282
Rob Legg RL24 Chain O'Lakes
Lazy jacks are overkill on a CP-22 IMHO, even with a tall rig. With the slides on the bolt rope, the sail pretty much flakes itself at the luff, and all you need do is to get the leech of the sail to fall in line...
Maybe some do, but mine never did. The sail always fell off the boom. I've heard the argument that you can tie it off as you bring it down. That takes waaaay too much time - especially if you have a storm kick up that you underestimate. I'd like to see anyone bring the sail down quickly on my boat in a storm and get the sail to stay anywhere near the boom. It won't happen. Buy some pad eyes and rivet them to the boom and 2 on the mast. Don't bother making the lazy jacks raise up. Just attach the line to the mast as high as you can reach. That should be good enough. IF you set up the line to only pull tight when the boom drops to just above the cabin, you won't need a boom kicker. When you drop the main, the boom will drop and pull the lazy jack lines tight. This will catch the main and hold it nicely as well as hold you boom. When you raise the main, the boom will raise, and the lines will go slack and droop away from your sail. Simple and cheap.

As far as an autopilot, put a cleat or tiller tamer on your tiller first. I used just a standard cleat and looped the dock line around it. That worked, and should buy you enough time to shop on Ebay for a used tillerpilot. I got one for around 80 bucks, and it works great.
 
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Mar 26, 2011
2,941
Corsair F-24 MK I Deale, MD
^^ Try sailing main-only.
I've had boats with self-tacking jibs, and I didn't like them. In fact, in both cases I took them off. The sail trim controls, particularly reaching, where poor. Better to sail main-only in tight spaces.
 
Nov 30, 2018
9
Catalina Capri 22 San Francisco
^^ Try sailing main-only.
I've had boats with self-tacking jibs, and I didn't like them. In fact, in both cases I took them off. The sail trim controls, particularly reaching, where poor. Better to sail main-only in tight spaces.
What sorta system did you have? I'm thinking of playing around with just a block at the base of the mast, but I might then try building something like a traveler using another block and line.