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Single Handing Catalina 25

Nov 1, 2017
585
Catalina 25 Tall Rig Watergate Marina, Kemah, TX
Hey Everyone,
Good morning! This weekend, my mother is going to be out of town and my father will be working as well, leaving my brother and I to our sweet demise (rubs hands together like an evil scientist). I've never gotten to sail Valiant alone, simply because I believe it requires at least one other crew member to head forward to the mast and tend to raising/lowering the main. I have a 135 furling genoa, so that's easily accessible from the cockpit, but the task of tending to the mains'l might prove to be challenging, as keeping the boat in irons would be impossible without having the tiller in hand. Any thoughts?

God Bless,
S.S.
 
Jan 8, 2015
351
MacGregor 26S, Goman Express 30 Kerr Reservoir
Easy enough, just get yourself a tiller tamer. For a temporary quick fix, wrap a bungie cord around the tiller and hook it to both sides of the boat.
 
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Likes: Simon Sexton
Jan 22, 2008
288
Islander Freeport, 41 Ketch Longmont, CO
Or use a line and lash the tiller amidship. It's not that hard and you soon learn how to raise the main even when off the wind just a bit.
 
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Likes: Simon Sexton
Nov 1, 2017
585
Catalina 25 Tall Rig Watergate Marina, Kemah, TX
even better with the bungie--, tie it to the tiller, and take the other end to the boom then as the main tried to fill, it pulls the
tiller back to center and heads the boat into the wind. You DO have a topping lift ? If not you should rig one
Oooooh, THAT is a good idea. I do have a topping lift, but it's hung off the split backstay; therefore, it isn't mechanical and doesn't move anywhere (that's something I'm thinking about upgrading).
 
Nov 26, 2012
1,343
Hunter 34 Berkeley
I had a C-25 and I sailed alone all the time. It depends on how windy it is but I just pointed her into the wind and went forward and raised the main. She would fall off a bit while I was doing this but no big deal I just got the main up asap and then went back to the cockpit and got her under control. It's a bit sloppy but no big deal. MAKE SURE YOU WEAR A LIFE JACKET AND MAKE SURE YOU CAN GET IN THE BOAT IF YOU FALL OUT.
 
Jan 19, 2010
8,674
Hunter 26 Charleston
Google sheet to tiller self steering. If you rig this up on your head sail instead of the main, you should be able to veer just off the wind a little and stay on course while you raise and lower the main.
 
Oct 22, 2014
12,836
CAL 35 Cruiser Portland OR, moored EVERETT WA
MAKE SURE YOU WEAR A LIFE JACKET AND MAKE SURE YOU CAN GET IN THE BOAT IF YOU FALL OUT.
Better words were never spoken. Also tell someone where you will be and when you are getting back.

Simon... It is not a big deal once you have tried it. You can dive right into it out in the lake or you can try it at the dock a few times. Time yourself. Leave the tiller, go to the mast raise the sail get back to the tiller.... Oppps you forgot to undo the mainsheet and you could not get the sail up all the way... No big deal Try it again this time main sheet free... Opps the halyard was wrapped around the Shroud... Start again

You run a few test runs at the dock and you will soon develop a check list of things you have to do before you raise the sail and you will find it's a 15 second job. Plenty of time to leave the tiller, raise the sails and then scramble back to the cockpit and take command. Lash the tiller and you'll get a couple of extra seconds to fiddle with wrapping the halyard in a neat bundle.
 
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Likes: Ward H
Oct 22, 2014
12,836
CAL 35 Cruiser Portland OR, moored EVERETT WA
Oh... Lowering the main is nothing. head to wind. Release the halyard. Sail comes down on boat... Wrap it with a line and back to the tiller. Worry about making it all neat once you are back at the dock.
 
Oct 30, 2017
161
Catalina c 27 Lake Pueblo
I agree with everyone else... go for it.

I have a Catalina 27 and had never sailed before my 2nd time out I went out alone. You are way up on where I was at that time.

Be safe and have fun.

I use the line from the genoa when underway, taking it from the cleat then wrap it around the tiller twice then on the the opposite side and cleat it off if I want to leave the cockpit.

The biggest issue is returning to the dock alone. But if you are practiced enough at docking even that is easily managed solo.
 
Oct 22, 2014
12,836
CAL 35 Cruiser Portland OR, moored EVERETT WA
The biggest issue is returning to the dock alone.
Just approach so dock is up wind. Bleed off speed back wind the sails let them luff. Coast in to dock... Grab quick and tie up.
No way you don't mess it up a little. Perfect would be lucky. Just don't draw any attention to the event till you are safely tied up then shout.. "That's the way you do it!" and get on with putting the boat away.

If old enough... grab a long neck and thank your lucky stars your back on the dock in one piece.
 
Sep 30, 2013
3,158
1988 Catalina 22 central Florida
Just approach so dock is up wind. Bleed off speed back wind the sails let them luff. Coast in to dock... Grab quick and tie up.
No way you don't mess it up a little. Perfect would be lucky. Just don't draw any attention to the event till you are safely tied up then shout.. "That's the way you do it!" and get on with putting the boat away.

If old enough... grab a long neck and thank your lucky stars your back on the dock in one piece.

Reminds me of Slocum's account of his first time docking the Spray. :biggrin:

"The bay was feather-white as my little vessel tore in, smothered in foam. It was my first experience of coming into port alone, with a craft of any size, and in among shipping. Old fishermen ran down to the wharf for which the Spray was heading, apparently intent upon braining herself there. I hardly know how a calamity was averted, but with my heart in my mouth, almost, I let go the wheel, stepped quickly forward, and downed the jib. The sloop naturally rounded in the wind, and just ranging ahead, laid her cheek against a mooring-pile at the windward corner of the wharf, so quietly, after all, that she would not have broken an egg. Very leisurely I passed a rope around the post, and she was moored. Then a cheer went up from the little crowd on the wharf. "You couldn't 'a' done it better," cried an old skipper, "if you weighed a ton!" Now, my weight was rather less than the fifteenth part of a ton, but I said nothing, only putting on a look of careless indifference to say for me, "Oh, that 's nothing"; for some of the ablest sailors in the world were looking at me, and my wish was not to appear green, for I had a mind to stay in Gloucester several days. Had I uttered a word it surely would have betrayed me, for I was still quite nervous and short of breath."
 
Feb 20, 2011
7,456
Island Packet 35 Tucson, AZ/San Carlos, MX
If you miss the dock, don't jump for it unless it's an easy one!

 

FDL S2

.
Jun 29, 2014
398
S2 7.3 Fond du Lac
I use the line from the genoa when underway, taking it from the cleat then wrap it around the tiller twice then on the the opposite side and cleat it off if I want to leave the cockpit.
This is what I did on my last boat when I needed to leave the cockpit singlehanded with all the sails up. On that boat I raised and lowered the sails at the mast and I would just put the bow into the wind and lash the tiller with two bungees-one on either side. On my current boat, my halyards run back to cockpit and i have a tiller pilot and I feel pretty spoiled by all that (I still have a hank on jib though). If you have a hank on jib rig a downhaul (I did mine with $10 worth of 1/4" nylon line and a spare block and some fairleads I had laying around) it will life easier.
I too would suggest practicing going forward and raising and lowering the sails while at the dock. Like @jssailem said you will be surprised at how little time it actually takes.
 
May 4, 2018
23
Catalina 25 SV Colorado
I have a auto pilot on my Catalina 25. Helps a lot when your by yourself.
 
Apr 16, 2017
834
Federation NCC-1701 Riverside
even better with the bungie--, tie it to the tiller, and take the other end to the boom then as the main tried to fill, it pulls the
tiller back to center and heads the boat into the wind. You DO have a topping lift ? If not you should rig one
Gonna try that out. Sounds genius. Should the mainsheet be cammed so that there is weather helm?
 
Jan 21, 2009
220
Catalina 30 Lake Perry, KS
When I am sailing solo in addition to the above suggestions I do one more thing. When I need to go forward I always lower the ladder in case I make a big splash. A lot easier than trying to do chin ups.
 
May 20, 2016
2,941
Catalina 36 MK1 94 Everett, WA
When I am sailing solo in addition to the above suggestions I do one more thing. When I need to go forward I always lower the ladder in case I make a big splash. A lot easier than trying to do chin ups.
Your ladder should be able to be deployed from the water. An easy way is to fasten a snap shackle to the bottom rung of the ladder. Fasten the snap shackle to a bungee or loop fastened to the pushpit. Attach some line to the shackle release.
Pulling on the line while in the water releases the ladder and pulls it down in on motion.

Les