Sounds like another great learning experience!So went out again overnight with my uncle. Practiced setting up and raising the sails on my own. We pretended like he wasn't there, so I could learn how to do it myself for sailing solo. Put the jib upside down on the first try oooops lol that doesn't look right. On our way back to the marina, the winds picked up quite a bit and I needed his help keeping the boat pointed into the wind to drop the sails.... and even then the boat wasn't holding it's course.....should have powered up the motor a bit more, the boom flew over hard and the sheet pulled through the block into the water (didn't have a knot on the end of the line), all the while my clueless dog is right under foot while we're scrambling to fix all this lol. It was a little embarassing, if anyone was watching. If I had been alone, I think the only thing I could have done would have been to drop the anchor out in the bay to keep the boat pointed to the wind and then dealt with the sails before motoring back in to the marina.
I know you probably usually go out with Wren so you have help, but if you are by yourself do you usually drop anchor while under sail? or do you have autopilot on board or what?
Looked for Quinn, but I didn't see the boat in the marina anymore.
Wren actually didn’t know a single thing about boats until I kidnapped her and press ganged her into service. Ha! She is still learning and at a novice level despite being on boats with me for the better part of 5 years.
This is kinda my fault you see, as I actually spent the majority of the 10 years of sailing prior to her singlehanding...that means alone.
I sailed my first boat singled handed (a little 30’ schooner of Atkin design) from Adam Francisco, down to Mexico, our to Hawaii and back to SF. I did the same in the Florida keys and Bahamas a year or so later.
Because of the habits I developed all those years, I actually feel more comfortable working my boats alone. Sailing isn’t natural to Wren, and so i end up feeling like she is in my way sometimes. Thus we kind of fall into a routine of her only being called on when I really just want the convenience of an extra set of hands to help with some manouver or another. Otherwise she is content to keep our log book, record video, keep hot coffee and little hot snacks filtering up from the companionway, and being my eyes (mine are shit and I broke my glasses over a year ago and haven’t been able to replace them.)
So, the long version of the short answer is: you can do it all alone no problem! Especially in a small, light boat like yours.
My boat weighs 22,000 lbs and spreads almost 700 square feet of canvas. I regularly sail her for a weekend alone. I can dock her under sail just as easily as under power. Just takes time to learn. Keep at it!
So, here’s how ya take your sails down, alone or will crew.
1. Round up into the wind, pointing the bow as close to the true wind as possible.
2. As your round up, sheet the main in as hard as she’ll go.
3. Keep the main sheeted in hard and as the sails luff, move forward and cast off your jib halyard. Hand in the jib using a hand on the sheets, or leech, or whatever you can grab to keep it from blowing over the side of the boat. Don’t forget to belay the bitter end of your halyard so you don’t lose it aloft.
4. Maybe by now the boat has either tacked herself or has fallen off the wind enough to start sailing again. That’s ok. Slowly walk back to the tiller and decide what comes next. If you’ve lost too much ground to leeward and need to step off a bit, then ease out your main a bit, fall off the wind, and do a short tack or two under mainsail to get back the ground you lost. If you still have plenty of sea room, then get her settled by using the tiller to luff her back up.
5. If you have a topping lift, top up, then walk to the mast and cast off the main halyard. Douse the main and throw a few quick ties around it so it would spill out and block your view.
6. Take your time getting back in the cockpit, ensuring no lines are in the water. Fire up the motor and motor on.
Learn a “figure 8 knot” if you don’t already know it. Make it at the ends of all your sheets and halyards. It’s the best stopper knot for this job and prevents the bitter end from whipping through a block and becoming a pain in the ass.
Nice work man! Don’t get discouraged. Sounds like you’re doing great!
I’m free all day if you want to call and we can discuss this stuff in detail over the phone.