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11 Best Single Handed Bluewater Sailboats

sailboat for single handed cruising

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We know that you’re serious about sailing when you finally think of venturing to the ocean. Who can resist dreaming of solo sailing through the Atlantic? This is an adventure to prove your advanced skills, strength, and experience. 

But before going off on your ocean adventure, you need to plan and prepare . We cannot stress enough the importance of good equipment. There is a lot of sailboat types and models in the market and we want to help you choose the best one for your needs.

Do you know what hull, rigging, and keel types you will need? What’s the best material and model for you to buy? 

We will guide you through important sailboat features needed for the cruise. Follow this review until the end and we will share the 11 best single-handed blue water sailboats for your solo ocean sailing!

What Size Sailboat Is Best for Single-Handed Sailing

What type of hull handles rough water the best, sailboat keel types for blue water sailing, keel or decked stepped mast, sloop or ketch, how many spreaders, cutter rig, self steering gear, furling sails, westsail 32, albin vega 27, pacific seacraft 34, canadian sailcraft 36 traditional, hallberg rassy 352, contessa 32, fast passage 39.

If you are planning to manage your boat single-handedly, then size is an important factor to consider. It can affect the size of your accommodation, and maybe the boat’s design for speed and power.

Being alone, you need to have a clear overview of what is happening on your boat. This is especially important when maneuvering or for docking operations. 

Experienced sailors can handle a 60-foot sailboat but novices would find it difficult with its steep learning curve . Check out the Vendee Globe if you don’t believe me. In general, a good sailboat size for single-handed sailing would range from 25 to 40 feet.

We recommend sailboats with sizes under 40 feet. These have good displacement and are great when against bad weather. They are solo-friendly and simply the most manageable.

But in the end, choosing a suitable size depends on your experience and preference. You need to consider your overall health, age, and physique. Make sure to have a complete understanding of your sailboat before going on your journey to prevent accidents.

The hull or the main body of your boat comes in varying shapes and sizes. Each different type of hull is designed for specific purposes. 

When venturing the blue waters, you need to have a hull design that could handle rough waters easily. The hull shape determines the performance of your sailboat and therefore, should align with your strengths and skills. 

Today, the most popular design would be the heavy displacement hull . This design is intended for ocean cruising and longer sailing travels. 

It has great stability and performs better the deeper the draft is. With this design, you would expect a slow and steady motion during your sea travels with minimal effort. 

V-type hulls, on the other hand, are designed to plane or ride on top of the water. You can usually see these types of hulls on powerboats. The V-type hull usually has a bigger engine and best when dealing with choppy waters while moving at high speed.

Narrow beams are also a great option for those who are looking for another ocean friendly feature . These are usually seen in traditional sailboats.

Canoe stern or the double are considered to be the best sterns for offshore sailing. They help cut through a following sea and really helps prevent the waves from pushing the stern over too much. It also has great buoyancy and balance that is perfect for bluewater cruising.

The best materials for hulls would be fiberglass, metal, and aluminum. These are durable and could last for decades if properly maintained.

Aluminum is lightweight and has resistance to corrosion and impervious to magnetism. Boats built with aluminum are fast, stable, and seaworthy.

Fiberglass hulls need less attention. Currently, boats are usually made of fiberglass as the material is easier for companies and also great for seakeeping and stability.

Metal like steel has high abrasion resistance. It helps retain the boat’s appearance but can be prone to rust and corrosion.

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A keel is a fin-like blade found at the bottom of a sailboat. It supports the ballast and helps to control and steer the boat. 

It is generally designed to stop the boat from getting blown sideways because of wind pressure. The full keel, modified full keel, fin skeg, and fin spade rudder are all suited for bluewater sailing.

A full keel runs along the full length of the boat – from the bow to the stern – which makes it the most stable in the water. It carries the vessel well and is the safest to use when grounding as it reduces the chances of damage. 

This is most ideal when cruising and the most comfortable out of the four keel types with its minimal heel. Although the slowest on the list, it has great directional stability and steering capability. 

An improved version is the modified full keel . It is a hybrid with improved windward performance and better heel reduction than the full keel. However, it made small concessions on its stability and comfort.

Meanwhile, the fin keel with skeg rudder has more strength and protection against damage and impact. It also has better mobility and steering capability. 

This type has a faster speed and windward performance compared to the modified and full keel types. It is also more balanced, which is ideal for cruiser-racer types of sailboats.

Lastly, we have the fin with a spade rudder. This is the fastest type on the list but also the most vulnerable as the spade rudder greatly relies on the rudder stock. But if you want speed and great windward performance, then this type is the right one for you.

Sailboat Rigging Types

Rigging is the whole system of ropes, chains, and cables. It supports the sailboat mast and controls the sails’ orientation and degree of reefing.

There are two main groups of sailboat rigs, Deck Stepped and Keel Stepped. The main difference lies in the location of its mast step. Both are fine choices and the better rig would depend on your preference.

Just as its names suggests, you can find the mast stand on top of the deck with Deck Stepped and on the hull’s bottom with Keel stepped. This means that to reach the keel, the mast would need to pierce through the cabin.

Deck Stepped rigs have masts that are more flexible because of their contact points, and are easily adjustable for optimal performance. Keel Stepped rig is rigid and strong and offers slow and steady cruising.

Now let’s move on and talk about Slope rigged and Ketch rigged. Which is better?

A sloop rig is simple. It is composed of a mast with a jib and a mainsail. Ketch, on the other hand, is more complex with its two masts with any foresail, main and mizzen mast combinations.

If you are choosing between Sloop and Ketch rigged sailboats for solo sailing, then we recommend Sloop. Although, Ketch is manageable and can be easily used with less strength and effort. This is perfect for cruising as it can work around multiple sailing conditions.

Screenshot 2020 11 26 at 11.53.30

In terms of spreaders, you can freely choose between a single or dual spreader. This deflects shrouds and supports the mast. We do recommend dual spreaders but single spreaders are also good. 

It’s just that double spreaders give the rig more strength and better sail control.

The cutter rig is sometime referred to as an inner forestay or baby stay. Simplest way of describing it is that you have two head sails instead of just one. Gives you more options on sail configurations.

Single Person Sailboat Equipment and Gear

Your sailboat would not be complete without gear and equipment. You might want to invest in autopilot or wind vane, furling headsails, electric windlass, life jackets, and AIS to make your voyage much easier.

Wind Vane is an autopilot steering that you can use without electricity. It is usually placed on the back to catch the wind and respond to various wind conditions.

It automatically adjusts the rudders in response to the wind to alter the boat’s course. This is helpful because it’s like having another crew member on board you don’t have to listen to and feed.

Headsail furling or roller reefing is necessary for easier management of your headsails. It is important to have a functioning and updated roller furling system in order to reef, dowse, or stow the headsail efficiently.

Another item we would recommend is an electric windlass . You can choose one that works vertically or horizontally, depending on your needs. This will help you move the anchor effortlessly with a single button. Using the two windlasses that god gave you makes anchoring more difficult then it needs to be.

Life jackets are a must in every sailboat. Just be sure it fits you and that you know how to use it. Also, be sure to buy a coast guard approved product with a harness that could support your weight. 

The Automatic Identification System (AIS) will help you avoid collisions . It is recommended to get a receiving and transmitting one when going solo sailing. 

This way, you and the other boats with AIS within the radar area are alerted to each other’s speed, course, and direction.

Really, you won’t know what you might encounter in the ocean so you must always be prepared. We hope that these items will help you achieve a safer and more secure sailing experience.

11 Best Sailboats for Solo Sailing

Now, here are 11 sailboats that are best for solo sailing. Any of these vessels are guaranteed to take you safely and comfortably anywhere around the world.

Westsail 32 solo sailing sailboat

This is a long full keel fiberglass sailboat that was built from 1971 to 1981. Its design was based on a previous model, Kendall 32, and has an amazing interior size geared for comfortable cruising.

W32 is widely noted for its seaworthiness. It is built with a strong and durable design and materials to resist extreme sea conditions.

It was used on various voyages and circumnavigations. Its hull is a heavy displacement and double-ender type designed for long periods of sailing.

It is also a cutter-rigged sailboat equipped with a single mast, forestaysail, mainsail, and jib. Its overall length including the bowsprit and boomkin is roughly 40 feet, which is perfect for sailing single-handedly.

Most people would note that the speed and acceleration of W32 are quite slow. This is due to its larger wetted area and sometimes newbies’ mistake of carrying too much on board.

With the right keel, sails, and rig configurations you can improve on W32’s speed and weaknesses. As seen from David King’s documented modifications, W32 proved to be safe, steady, and fast when sailing on blue waters.

Albin Vega 27 single handed solo sailboat

Vega 27 is a modified full keel sailboat with a masthead sloop rig. It was designed around 1966 and became the most popular production sailboat in Scandinavia.

It has a unique look because of its reverse sheer commonly seen in smaller boats to increase the area of its interior. It is made with fiberglass, but has a narrower hull compared to similar sized boats in its class. 

Its shallow hull has a large cutaway as seen with modified full keel designs. This can make her quite stiff, heeling to about 15 degrees when its shoulders are buried.

Still, it is great for single-handed sailing because of its manageability and balance under different conditions. You cannot help but admire its light helm and great tracking capability.

Vega’s light air performance is okay but it shines when the wind blows at 15 knots or more. It could even maintain its dryness even with rough waves and weather conditions.

The most comforting feature would be its control and stability at all times unlike other more modern vessels with spade rudders. Overall, it is safe and ideal for longer cruises offshore.

alberg 30

This 30-foot traditional sailboat could take you anywhere. Alberg is notable for its narrow beams, long overhangs, and full cutaway keel with its directly attached rudder.

It is strong and durable. Its materials were mostly aluminum, hand-laid fiberglass, and polyester resin. More ballasts were produced in later productions as the early ballast was built with iron as opposed to the original lead design.

Alberg is greatly influenced by folk boats in Scandinavia. It is built with fiberglass and has an interior with comfortable full standing headroom and a well-vented galley.

This classic design from 1962 is ideal to cross oceans and is used for various circumnavigations. Alberg is a stable and seaworthy boat that could even be used in casual racing. Its best point of sail seems to be a beam reach and close reach.

It is praiseworthy when crossing oceans. Unlike modern designs that tend to be thrown around on rough seas, Alberg’s narrow beam design slices through big and rough waves and moves quickly. Under extreme weather conditions, it could perform heaving-to and lying-a-hull with no problems.

pacific seacraft 34 solo sailing

Pacific Seacraft 34 is a smaller heavy displacement semi-long keel sailboat based on the highly successful Crealock 37. It has the same graceful lines and appearance as the Crealock and is known as the Voyagemaker.

It is built with comfort and safety in mind with its large overhanging bow and beautiful sheer line ending with a traditional canoe stern. Constructed with the highest standard, it is a seaworthy sailboat that is ideal for bluewater voyages.

It is a cutter-rigged sailboat with skeg-hung rudders and control lines being fed back to its cockpit. The smaller cockpit may feel cramped but its design lowers the risk of flooding.

Still, it has a great interior suited for living aboard. It has a large headroom, comfortable galley, and up to five berths for comfortable cruising.

Although you may feel some hobby-horsing windward because of the overhangs, Seacraft 34 is overall a very balanced boat with great upwind performance. It has outstanding control capabilities and is able to sustain surfing speed with ease.

Tayana 37 solo sailboat sailing

This is a double-ended full keel cruiser designed by Bob Perry and built-in Taiwan in response to the rising popularity of Westsail 32. It was offered to the market as a semi-custom boat and built with high-quality materials.

You can modify the internal layout and can choose a ketch, cutter, or pilothouse version. There is an option to use wood or aluminum spars. The mast could also be keel-stepped or deck-stepped.

Before, only 20 were ketch sailboats due to the popularity of the cutter design at that time. Now, ketch has proven to be faster and more balanced between the two.

Tayana is relatively faster than any sailboat in its class. Its best point of sail is in its broad reach. It also tracks well windward, and is an ideal choice for the trades. It is also great how the cockpit is secured from any flooding even when traveling. 

Today, a lot of people are still actively sailing this. Tayana 37 has become well known for offshore and blue water sailing.

canadian sailcraft 36 single handed sailing solo

Canadian Seacraft is well known for its fiberglass racer and cruiser. CS 36 is a small traditional fin keel sailboat with a masthead sloop intended for recreational use. It is seaworthy and has good performance in different weather conditions.

It was designed by Raymond Wall and had a production run between 1978 to 1987. It remains to be popular in both north and south borders.

It is a beautiful sailboat with a graceful sheer line and balanced overhangs at both bow and stern. Its details and quality in design and production are clearly of a higher tier.

It is mostly built with fiberglass and balsa wood. It is equipped with an internally mounted spade transom hung rudder. All of its lines lead to the cockpit, which is ideal for single-handed sailing.

CS 36 Traditional also has a deep-depth draft and wide beams with great access to the cockpit and foredecks. It is wide and spacious, which is perfect for comfortable cruising.

The sailboat has great proportion and traditional aesthetics. It is simple and straightforward, which makes it ideal for bluewater sailing.

Hallberg rassy 352 single handing sailboat

This is a sturdy and high-quality sailboat built between 1978 to 1991. It features a progressive design, combining a walk through with the aft-cabin from the main saloon. It is made with a tall and standard rig each supported on double and single spreaders, respectively.

Hallberg Rassy 352 has a nicely balanced hull sporting a fin keel with rudder on skeg, a generous beam, and a 45 percent high ballast ratio. Its water and fuel tanks are placed low in the keel to improve sail carrying ability.

Its production spanning 14 years allowed for continuous improvements in its specifications. Newer sailboats have raised hulls for bigger headroom in the under the deck, aft cabins, and the walkthrough. Engines were also replaced by a Volvo and later a Penta Turbo or the bigger MD 22.

It is impressive how they balanced good interior and sailing performance. It has great seakeeping ability and smooth motion in heavy seas, easily an ideal sailboat for singlehanded sailing.

corbin 39 solo sailboat review

Corbin 39 was designed based on a Dufour design named Harmonie, increasing freeboard, and flushing the deck. Its style is influenced by the classic Scandinavian cruiser, Westsail 32.

It has a long fin keel, blunt bow, and a high freeboard. It was sold as kits, and various deck molds were produced. They have pilot, aft, and center cockpit variations.

It was made of sturdy and high-quality materials. The earlier version’s decks were of marine grade mahogany but it was later changed with Airex foam. Its lead ballast was encapsulated with fiberglass for added protection.

Earlier boats had a single spreader main or a turbocharged double spreader. Later, Corbin used 49 feet double spreader rigs instead, and all were deck-stepped.

Corbin 39 is truly a strong and seaworthy vessel. With its fin keel and skeg rudder, cutter rig, and reefed main combinations, it could take anyone safely and comfortably anywhere in the world.

Valiant 40 solo sailing

Valiant 40 took its looks from Scandinavian double-ender sailboats. It had a successful production run that spanned for 47 years. It proved to be one of the pioneers for modern blue water designs.

Its hull is made from thick hand-laid fiberglass, bolted and covered with teak. Its ballast is cast with lead bolted to the keel stub. Lastly, the skeg is constructed separately from hull molding and encased with fiberglass before being fastened to the hull.

It has a beautiful bow and sheer lines and a longer LWL for maximum speed. At the back are a non-spacious cockpit and a canoe stern ideal for bluewater sailing operations.

Under the waterline is a fin keel with its skeg hung rudder. It perfectly matches with the cruising hall above, minimizing wetted surface area 

Overall, Valiant 40 is a seaworthy vessel with great blue water performance. Extremely balanced and well-mannered, it can withstand extreme weather conditions with ease and minimal effort on your part.

It soon gained a reputation as a fast water passage-maker with high integrity. Now, it is regularly used for circumnavigations by solo sailors and voyagers.

contessa 32 solo sailing sailboat

If you like a sailboat with a proven track record, then Contessa 32 is for you. It is a seaworthy racer-cruiser with good all-around sailing capabilities released in 1971.

Like its younger sister, Contessa 26, it has great speed, integrity, and affordability . Contessa 32 is a definite combination of old and new with its traditional narrow beam, a full hull with a fin keel, and fiberglass rudder protected by a skeg found in more modern yachts.

It has marked overhangs and a narrow tuck-up stern. It has less headroom below in return for its lesser wind resistance.

This configuration delivers fast racing speed and great stability. It could definitely withstand extreme weather and rough waves. Contessa 32 is claimed to be able to right itself when rolled or capsized.

Contessa 32 is known for its forgiving nature. It has a responsive helm and excellent windward performance. With its astounding stability, it can carry full sail for up to 25 knots.

fast passage 39 single handing sailboat

Fast Passage 39 was designed by William Garden and is said to be a legendary cruiser with speed, ruggedness, and fame. It is a stout double-ender comparable to the Valiant 40.

It has the same LOA and LWL as Valiant and also has nearly identical ballast and displacement. The difference is its narrower frame and more evolved underwater shapes resulting in flatter forward and aft keel sections and less wetted area. It also has great directional stability as its rudder allows great control under wind vane and down steep waves.

It is a high performing sailboat but also difficult to find as only 41 were produced. A part of the group was offered as hull and deck kits intended to be finished by the sailboat owners.

Fast Passage 39 also has a proven track record and has won single-handed blue water races. It performs great under a wide range of conditions, especially in light winds.

By now you should have some idea what makes a vessel Bluewater friendly. There are hundreds of vessels that can make long distance voyage safe and enjoyable. These examples above are just a few examples of the Best Single Handed BlueWater Sailboats.

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sailboat for single handed cruising

Best Single Hand Sailboats: The Top Choices for Solo Sailing

by Emma Sullivan | Aug 9, 2023 | Sailboat Maintenance

sailboat for single handed cruising

Short answer: Best single hand sailboats

The best single hand sailboats are typically small in size and designed for easy maneuverability by a single person. Some popular options include the Laser, Sunfish, and RS Aero. These boats offer excellent performance, stability, and agility, making them ideal for solo sailing enthusiasts.

1) Exploring the Best Single Hand Sailboats: A Guide for Solo Sailing Enthusiasts


Solo sailing can be an exhilarating and fulfilling experience for those who appreciate the serenity of being out on the open water with nothing but their own skills and a trusty sailboat. Whether you are an experienced sailor looking to venture out on your own or a beginner ready to take the plunge, finding the perfect single hand sailboat is essential. In this guide, we will explore some of the best options available in the market for solo sailing enthusiasts.

1) The Importance of Choosing the Right Single Hand Sailboat:

When it comes to solo sailing, having a sailboat that is specifically designed for single-handed operation is crucial. These boats are optimized to be easily handled by one person, taking into account factors such as ease of maneuverability, simplified sail handling systems, and overall stability. It is vital to invest in a boat that not only meets your specific needs but also provides safety and comfort during extended periods alone at sea.

2) Top Recommendations for Solo Sailing Enthusiasts:

a) Laser Standard – A True Classic: As one of the most popular choices amongst solo sailors worldwide, the Laser Standard offers simplicity combined with high performance. Designed for speed and agility, this small dinghy-type sailboat features a responsive hull that allows for precise control even in challenging conditions. With its straightforward rigging system, it can be set up quickly with minimal effort.

b) Mini Transat – Compact Excellence: For those looking to push boundaries and tackle longer voyages alone, the Mini Transat class offers outstanding performance coupled with enhanced safety features. Designed specifically for offshore racing while accommodating solo sailors, these compact boats excel in stability even during rough weather. Their ingenious design maximizes space utilization without compromising on handling capabilities.

c) J/70 – Racing Thrills for Solo Adventurers: Perfectly suited for both competitive racing or leisurely cruising days on the water, the J/70 presents an ideal option for single-handed sailing enthusiasts . This versatile keelboat offers a simplified rigging set-up, ensuring easy handling and deployment of sails . With its responsive hull and modern design, the J/70 allows for thrilling speed and agility without compromising on safety.

3) Factors to Consider When Choosing a Single Hand Sailboat:

a) Size Matters: When selecting a sailboat for solo ventures, considering its size is essential. Smaller boats are generally easier to handle alone, allowing for better maneuverability. However, if you plan on extended trips or have specific requirements like cabin space or storage, larger boats may be preferable. Strike the right balance between size and functionality according to your needs.

b) Solo-Friendly Features: Look for sailboats that offer convenient features designed explicitly for solo sailors. These may include self-tailing winches, autopilot systems, well-placed rope clutches, or roller reefing systems. These enhancements make managing the boat easier while minimizing physical strain during long hours at sea.

c) Stability and Safety: Safety should always be a priority when sailing solo . Choose sailboats with stable hull designs that offer excellent stability even in rough waters. Additionally, other safety features such as watertight compartments or integrated emergency equipment can provide peace of mind during your adventures.


Embarking on solo sailing journeys is an incredible way to connect with nature and challenge yourself both physically and mentally. To fully enjoy this experience, it is crucial to select a single hand sailboat that perfectly suits your needs as a solo sailing enthusiast. From the classic Laser Standard to the compact yet powerful Mini Transat and versatile J/70, there are numerous options available in the market today catering specifically to these demands. By considering factors such as size, solo-friendly features, stability, and safety measures when making your decision – you’ll ensure many memorable encounters on the open waters ahead!

2) Mastering Solo Sailing: How to Choose the Best Single Hand Sailboat for Your Needs

Mastering Solo Sailing: How to Choose the Best Single Hand Sailboat for Your Needs

Solo sailing is a thrilling and adventurous experience that allows you to connect with nature, challenge yourself, and find inner peace on the open water. While it may seem daunting at first, venturing out into the ocean alone can be a liberating and rewarding journey. But before setting sail on your own, it’s crucial to choose the best single hand sailboat that suits your specific needs and preferences.

When embarking on the quest for the perfect solo sailboat , there are several important factors that need careful consideration. From size and design to performance capabilities and safety features, each aspect plays a vital role in determining which vessel will be your ultimate companion on this exciting endeavor.

Size Matters: The size of your single hand sailboat is one of the most critical elements to think about when making your selection. Beginners may find smaller vessels more manageable as they offer better control in adverse conditions. Conversely, experienced sailors seeking speed and advanced maneuverability might opt for larger boats that provide enhanced stability and improved sailing performance.

Design Excellence: Another key factor is the boat’s design. Look for single hand sailboats designed specifically for solo sailing purposes – these often feature streamlined hulls, balanced keels, narrow beams, and well-arranged decks that allow easy navigation while ensuring maximum comfort during extended periods at sea. Additionally, prioritize models known for their self-tacking jibs or other innovative features that enable swift adjustments without requiring excessive physical exertion.

Performance Capabilities: A vessel’s performance capabilities can greatly impact your solo sailing experience. Consider boats equipped with efficient rigging systems like roller furling jibs or fully battened mainsails paired with lazy-jack systems – allowing you to adjust sails effortlessly while maintaining excellent control over speed and direction. Opting for lightweight construction materials will contribute to agility and responsiveness while traversing various wind conditions.

Safety Features: Prioritizing safety is paramount when choosing a single hand sailboat. Investigate models that emphasize safety features such as deep cockpits with high coamings to prevent accidental falls, sturdy lifelines and grab rails for added stability, and reliable self-steering mechanisms. Vessels equipped with integrated GPS navigation systems or autopilot functionality can provide an extra layer of security, ensuring your voyage remains on track when fatigue or unforeseen circumstances arise.

Choosing the right single hand sailboat is an investment in both your sailing skills and overall enjoyment of the solo experience. Consider reaching out to experienced sailors, participating in forums dedicated to solo sailing, or consulting with boating professionals to gather valuable insights and recommendations tailored to your specific needs.

Remember, the best boat for solo sailing is ultimately one that aligns harmoniously with your skill level, desired level of challenge, and personal preferences. Choose wisely. Bon voyage!

3) A Step-by-Step Overview of Single Hand Sailboat Selection Process

Title: The Art of Choosing the Perfect Single-Hand Sailboat: A Step-by-Step Guide

Introduction: Navigating vast oceans, feeling the winds propel you forward, and finding solace in the solitude – single-hand sailing offers a unique experience that captivates many adventurers . However, before setting sail on your own vessel , it is imperative to choose a sailboat that perfectly meets your needs and preferences. Join us as we take you through a step-by-step overview of the single-hand sailboat selection process.

1. Define Your Sailing Goals: Before embarking on this exciting journey, carefully consider your sailing aspirations. Are you an experienced sailor seeking thrilling races or a laid-back cruiser looking for peaceful journeys? Identifying the purpose behind your single-hand sailing adventures will help shape your boat ‘s key features such as speed capabilities, durability, and comfort.

2. Determine Sailboat Size: When selecting a single-hand sailboat, size matters! Assessing factors such as your level of experience, navigation demands, and maintenance abilities are essential when deciding on boat dimensions. Smaller vessels may offer enhanced maneuverability but sacrifice living spaces while larger boats provide more comfort but require additional skills for handling.

3. Research Boat Types: Explore the wide array of sailing vessels available to find one best suited to your needs. From traditional monohulls to contemporary catamarans or nimble trimarans – each boat type comes with distinct advantages and shortcomings. Consider trade-offs between stability, agility, speed potential, storage capacity, and cost to shortlist potential candidates.

4. Evaluate Hull Design: The hull is the backbone of any watercraft; therefore, analyzing different hull designs becomes paramount in selecting your dream boat. Traditional full keels provide excellent stability against rough seas while fin keels offer heightened performance in terms of speed and maneuverability. Understanding design concepts like displacement versus planing hulls will aid in finding optimum balance between safety and excitement.

5. Study Deck Layout: A well-designed deck layout optimizes single-hand sailing, enabling easy maneuverability around the boat while managing controls and sails . Assess ergonomic features like winch placement, accessible cleats, and convenient handholds that facilitate efficient solo operation. Additionally, examine cabin configurations for streamlined access to essential amenities needed during your journeys.

6. Consider Rigging Systems: The rigging system of a sailboat dictates how easily it can be operated by a single person. Explore options such as masthead versus fractional rigs and assess their impact on performance and handling in various wind conditions. Features like roller furling mainsails or self-tacking jibs enhance ease of handling when sailing alone.

7. Research Equipment and Technology: Keep up with modern advancements in sailing technology, as they can greatly enhance your single-hand sailing experience . From advanced navigation instruments to autopilot systems, GPS chartplotters, electric winches, and remote control systems – incorporating these high-tech solutions could significantly boost your safety, comfort, and enjoyment aboard.

8. Gather Personal Experiences: Reflect on previous boating experiences or consult with other single-hand sailors to gather firsthand insights into different models and brands. Hearing about real-life experiences can shed light on crucial aspects often overlooked during the boat selection process.

Conclusion: Selecting the perfect sailboat for single-hand adventures requires careful consideration of multiple factors ranging from personal preferences to technical specifications. By following this step-by-step guide, you’ll have an expert understanding of what to look for during the selection process. Remember, finding that ideal vessel sets the stage for unforgettable moments on the open water – where freedom knows no bounds!

4) Frequently Asked Questions About the Best Single Hand Sailboats Answered

Sailing is a captivating sport that offers endless adventures on the open water. And what adds to the thrill is having complete control over your vessel, navigating through the waves with just one hand . Yes, we’re talking about single hand sailboats – the perfect companions for solo sailors seeking both peace and excitement on their expeditions.

Now, if you’re new to sailing or considering investing in a single hand sailboat, you probably have some burning questions. We’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help shed light on these fantastic vessels and aid you in finding the best single hand sailboat suited to your needs. So without further ado, let’s dive in!

1) What exactly is a single hand sailboat? A single hand sailboat, as the name suggests, is designed specifically for solo sailors. These boats are carefully crafted to be easily maneuverable by one person, allowing them to handle all aspects of sailing alone, from steering to adjusting sails.

2) What are the advantages of owning a single hand sailboat? The most significant advantage of owning a single hand sailboat is complete independence. You have full control over your sailing experience and can go wherever your heart desires without relying on crew members. It also gives you an incredible sense of accomplishment and self-reliance when you successfully navigate challenging waters alone.

3) How different are single hand sailboats from traditional ones? The key difference lies in their design and size. Single hand sailboats are typically smaller than traditional sailing vessels since they need to be manageable by one person. They feature simplified rigging systems and innovative equipment that make handling easier for solo sailors.

4) Can beginners handle these boats? Yes! While sailing experience certainly helps when operating any vessel, many single hand sailboats are designed with beginners in mind as well. These boats often come with user-friendly features such as self-tacking jibs or roller furling mainsails that simplify maneuvers. However, it’s still advisable for novice sailors to take some basic sailing lessons before embarking on solo adventures.

5) What are some popular single hand sailboat models? There is a wide range of excellent single hand sailboats available on the market. Some popular choices include the Laser, Sunfish, RS Aero, Melges 14, and the Mini Transat. These boats offer various features to cater to different sailing preferences and skill levels.

6) How do I choose the best single hand sailboat for me? Finding the perfect boat depends on multiple factors such as your experience level, preferred sailing conditions, and budget. It’s crucial to research thoroughly and consider aspects like stability, ease of handling, durability, and performance. Consulting with experienced sailors or visiting boat shows can also guide you in making an informed decision.

7) Are single hand sailboats suitable for long-distance cruising? Yes! Many solo sailors have embarked on remarkable journeys across vast oceanic expanses using single hand sailboats. However, longer voyages require careful planning and preparation to ensure safety and comfort during extended periods at sea . It’s important to equip your boat with necessary provisions, communication devices, navigation aids, and essential safety equipment when considering long-distance cruising.

In conclusion, single hand sailboats provide an incredible opportunity for solo adventurers to discover the serenity of sailing while challenging themselves along the way. With their purpose-built designs and innovations aimed at simplifying maneuvers for one person operation, these boats pave the way for unforgettable experiences. So if you’re ready to embark on your own nautical escapades or simply desire more independence during your sails – a well-chosen single hand sailboat might just be your ticket to maritime bliss!

5) The Seamanship Secrets Behind Excelling in Single Hand Sailing with the Best Sailboats

Single-handed sailing is a true test of skill and seamanship. It requires not only technical expertise but also mental agility and the ability to make split-second decisions. In this blog post, we dive deep into the secrets behind excelling in single-hand sailing with the best sailboats, uncovering insights that will empower and inspire even the most seasoned sailors.

First and foremost, choosing the right sailboat for single-handed sailing is crucial. While there are many excellent options available, certain features make a sailboat better-suited for solo adventures. Look for boats with easily managed rigging systems, efficient autopilot capabilities, and self-tacking jibs. These elements can significantly reduce workload, allowing you to focus on navigating and enjoying your time on the water .

A top recommendation when it comes to single-handed sailboats is the incredible J/Boat series. Renowned for their performance-oriented designs, J/Boats offer an array of models perfectly suited for solo sailing. Their responsive handling and high-quality construction enable smooth maneuvers even in challenging conditions – a true asset when sailing alone. Investing in a J/Boat ensures you have a reliable partner that will elevate your single-handed sailing experience .

Now that you have the perfect sailboat at your disposal, let’s crack open the box of seamanship secrets that will take your solo adventures to new heights!

1. Mastering Sail Trim: Sail trim plays a vital role in optimizing performance and ensuring stability during single-handing excursions. Knowing how to adjust your sails according to wind speed and direction is key. Practice trimming techniques such as twist control, maintaining proper tension on halyards and sheets, and utilizing cunningham or reefing systems effectively. Understanding these nuances will give you an edge over unpredictable weather conditions while providing more control over your boat’s speed.

2. Fine-Tuning Autopilot: Autopilot systems are a single-hander’s best friend! Your skill in fine-tuning this technology ensures that you can trust it to maintain your course while you attend to other crucial tasks onboard. Experiment with different settings under varying wind conditions, learning how to customize and modify the autopilot’s response to achieve the most efficient performance. Strike a balance between letting technology lighten your load and actively engaging with the sailing process.

3. Enhancing Safety Measures: Safety is paramount when sailing solo, which means having comprehensive safety measures in place before setting sail . Invest in advanced navigation instruments like chartplotters or GPS systems to accurately track your position and potential hazards during your journey. Additionally, utilizing AIS (Automatic Identification System) can provide peace of mind by alerting you about nearby vessels, ensuring collision avoidance even when navigating alone.

4. Prioritize Handling Systems: One invaluable tip for single-handed sailors is optimizing your boat’s handling systems for ease of use. Consider upgrading winches or installing electric winches to handle heavy loads effortlessly – a valuable advantage when managing sails without an extra set of hands. Similarly, investing time in modifying control lines and sheets’ arrangement will make it more intuitive and convenient, reducing unnecessary strain on your body during maneuvers.

5. Mental Preparation & Decision-Making: Single-handing requires quick decision-making abilities rooted in mental preparedness. Stay focused on changing conditions and keep calm under pressure; adaptability is key! Develop contingency plans in case of emergencies or unexpected situations while always maintaining situational awareness. Building experience over time will refine both your intuition and judgment, allowing you to make confident calls even at moments when every second counts.

Embarking on single-handed adventures is an exhilarating experience that blends technical proficiency with personal growth like no other form of sailing does. By choosing the best sailboat specifically designed for solo navigation coupled with mastering fundamental seamanship principles, you open doors to endless possibilities on the water – each voyage becoming an unforgettable story waiting to be told!

So, what are you waiting for? Set sail solo, armed with the knowledge of seamanship secrets, and discover the exhilarating world of single-handed sailing with the best sailboats . Bon voyage!

6) Unlocking the Joys of Solo Adventuring: Discovering the Ideal Single Hand Sailboat

Unlocking the Joys of Solo Adventuring: Discovering the Ideal Single Hand Sailboat

Embarking on an adventure alone can be a truly enlightening and transformative experience. It allows you to step out of your comfort zone, embrace solitude, and discover parts of yourself that you never knew existed. And what better way to embark on such an expedition than with the ideal single hand sailboat? In this blog post, we will dive deep into the world of solo adventuring and guide you towards finding the perfect vessel for your journey.

When it comes to sailing solo , convenience is key. You want a sailboat that is not only manageable on your own but also designed with efficiency in mind. Picture yourself smoothly gliding through crystal-clear waters like a true sailor, effortlessly maneuvering by harnessing the power of just one hand. This dream can become a reality with the help of a sophisticated single hand sailboat.

One crucial aspect to consider when selecting your ideal sailboat is its size. While bigger vessels often inspire awe and envy among seafarers, they can be quite overwhelming for solo adventurers. Opting for a smaller sailboat allows you to navigate swiftly through even narrow channels or crowded harbors, adding convenience and reducing stress levels during your quest for pure freedom.

Furthermore, an ideal single hand sailboat should boast excellent handling characteristics ensuring maximum control at all times. Stability is paramount since being able to maintain balance while operating all aspects of your vessel single-handedly guarantees safety during challenging weather conditions or unexpected circumstances.

Now let’s talk about creature comforts! Just because you are venturing out alone doesn’t mean you have to compromise on luxury or enjoyability. The right single hand sailboat will offer thoughtful design features that prioritize your well-being without sacrificing functionality. Imagine having a cozy cabin where you can relax after a long day at sea or enjoy stunning sunsets from spacious deck areas designed specifically for solitary contemplation.

But wait, there’s more! The ideal solo adventuring sailboat should also be equipped with modern technology to enhance your experience . From cutting-edge GPS systems that ensure accurate navigation to user-friendly control panels and top-notch safety equipment – these features create a seamless journey, allowing you to focus on the joy of exploration rather than logistical concerns.

Finally, let’s discuss aesthetics. Sailing is not just about the destination; it is a grand affair where style meets substance. Imagine an elegant sailboat gracefully slicing through the rippling waves, its sleek design turning heads wherever you venture. Choosing a single hand sailboat with eye-catching aesthetics adds that extra touch of panache to your adventure, igniting conversations and forging connections as you dock in new ports.

In conclusion, unlocking the joys of solo adventuring requires finding the ideal single hand sailboat that will become your trusted companion on this remarkable journey. By prioritizing convenience, size, handling characteristics, creature comforts, advanced technology, and stunning aesthetics – you can embark on an adventure that transcends both time and space. So set your sails high and let your spirit roam freely across the vast expanse of the sea as you discover yourself while embracing the beauty of solitude.

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My Cruiser Life Magazine

What are the Best Single-Handed Sailboats and Catamarans?

Single-handed boats aren’t just limited to solo travelers. Many cruising couples will tell you that it’s a good idea to have your boat rigged and ready to be sailed single-handed. Why? What if one person gets injured—or just seasick? If your usual crew complement is only two, it makes no sense—from a safety standpoint—to require them both to be “on duty” all the time.

Of course, there are times and situations when you’ll be headed out by yourself. Maybe you like to travel but lack a consistent crew. Or many you’d just rather not bother with a crew.

The good news is that most modern cruising boats can be modified and re-rigged to improve their single-handed abilities. It all comes down to picking the right boat and making the correct modifications. Here’s a look at some of the things you’ll want to consider and five great single-handed monohull and catamaran designs.

Table of Contents

Goals for your boat, the under-rated importance of ease of single-handing, what does a single-hander need, types of autohelm, what does a single-hander want, single-handing rigging considerations, 5 great sailboats for single-handed cruisers, best single-handed sailing catamarans.

To find the perfect boat for you, whether solo or crewed sailing, is to make a list of goals and find the vessel that best meets them. There is no perfect boat. Furthermore, while you might be interested in solo sailing now, you might find yourself with a crew later on. 

Start with the basics—why are you looking to single-hand your boat? Are you an adventure seeker looking to break records and find adventure with long-distance cruising? Thinking of entering a single-handed sailing race, like the Vendée Globe ? 

Or are you just a solo sailor looking for a production boat that’s easy to operate by yourself? This is more common than you might imagine. Most cruising couples out there will readily admit that one member of the crew does very little to help during the actual act of sailing. 

Even on two-person crews where both partners are capable, it’s often desirable for the boat to be equipped to be handled by just one person. What if one partner becomes incapacitated by seasickness—or worse, an injury? What if, even rarely, one person needs to move the boat while the other person is away?

The point is simply this—every boat that is being considered by a couple or a short-handed crew should be able to be handled by a single sailor. Whether you’re on watch while the rest of the crew sleeps or you just want to be ready for an emergency, no cruising boat should be impossible to handle alone.

What are the Best Single-Handed Sailboats and Catamarans_Where you make

Nearly all modern cruising boats can at least be modified for easier solo handling. Here’s a look at some of the most critical gear and considerations. 

The importance of each of these items will vary greatly depending on the boat, its mission, and its crew. Rigging any boat is a very personal choice. Sailors notoriously like to do things their own ways, and their boats demonstrate this character trait. The way the manufacturer or the last owner set things up is just a starting point from which you begin modifying the boat for your use. 

Probably the most helpful thing to be able to single-hand is a competent hand on the helm. Thankfully, several modern and old technologies can provide solo sailors with just that.

The goal here is to allow the boat to hold a course without the operator being at the helm. Some form of “autohelm” or “autopilot” is invaluable on long passages. While it’s romantic to think of steering your ship through the dark night, in truth, it is exhausting work. An autopilot or windvane lets you relax and know that the boat will hold its course while you keep watch.

In severe weather at sea, it’s not uncommon for hand-steering crews to stand very short watches, sometimes less than an hour. This is simply due to the workload of controlling the boat in heavy weather. Some boats are more work than others, but all require more helm work when the seas are up.

This is the primary reason why the autopilot system, whatever it is, should be considered an essential part of a boat’s safety gear. A sailboat autopilot system is simply invaluable if you plan to travel far distances or do overnights on your boat.

A windvane is a purely mechanical method to controlling the boat’s heading. It has two parts—the actual windvane and then some form of steering. Many wind vanes are so well regarded as to be recognizably by brand name. Monitor and Hydrovane are probably the two most well-known models.  

The windvane assembly is mounted on the transom of a vessel. The windvane itself sticks up like the rudder of an airplane, and it reacts to the wind and spins. As it spins, it uses linkages to either move the ship’s rudder or its own smaller rudder. The operator simply adjusts some small lines to select what direction the boat should be sailing from the wind. The windvane then holds that angle.

There are many advantages to these systems, and their usefulness offshore should not be underestimated. While we’re often dazzled by the digital and the new-fangled, a windvane is dead simple and offers the ultimate in reliability. It uses no battery power and requires very little input to operate. It is nothing more than metal, and short of being severely damaged or bent, there’s just not much that can go wrong with one. And one final bonus—some windvanes can be used as emergency rudders.

For all their pluses, windvanes do have some downsides. They are large and bulky, hanging off the back of the boat. And they are costly to purchase and install, too. 

Electronic Autopilots

Most modern boats are equipped with at least a little bit of electronics, and autopilots are now very common. An autopilot can be described as above or below decks, depending on where the drive unit is mounted. 

Regardless of the details, all autopilots work in approximately the same way. They use either a motor or hydraulic system to move some part of the boat’s rudder linkages. Some move the wheel, while others attach to an arm on the rudder shaft. Either way, the autopilot uses electronic signals to move the boat’s rudder left or right, just like moving the wheel.

Most simple autopilots are connected to an electronic compass, giving the operator a heading hold. Sailing models may also tie into the wind instruments to allow the holding of an apparent wind angle. New models that talk to the chartplotter may track navigation courses between waypoints or entire pre-planned navigation routes. 

The bigger the boat, and the heavier the weather it might encounter, then the beefier an autopilot system needs to be. Autopilots can and do fail—they’re complicated electronics with a lot of moving parts. Single-handers venturing far offshore will likely want to have an entire backup unit installed or use their autopilot in concert with a manual windvane.

For boats looking to travel long distances or make overnight passages, there is no substitution for having a spare set of eyes on board. All vessels operate on the concept of “see and avoid,” meaning each captain’s responsibility to watch out for other traffic. If a single-hander is busy doing something else, like letting the autopilot drive the boat while they make their supper, who’s “on watch?”

There is only one electronic device that can be used as a second set of eyes, and that’s a good quality marine radar. All modern units allow operators to set up “guard zones.” The unit will monitor a pre-determined zone around the boat and notify you if an object is detected inside that zone. 

Of course, there are other benefits to having radar on board. It can see through rain and fog. If you’re sailing solo, there’s no reason not to have a second set of eyes on board, even if they’re electronic.

What are the Best Single-Handed Sailboats and Catamarans_Where you make it

Once you’ve got a reliable autopilot and radar on board, you can move from the items you need into the items you might want. If you have an autopilot that works and you plan your actions carefully, you can likely handle any vessel without the following equipment. But these items might make it all a little more pleasant and are worth considering. 

Electric Windlass and Winches

Cruising vessels that anchor regularly often have electric windlasses. These make hoisting the anchor and chain back aboard as easy as pressing a button. While manual windlasses enable you to bring up very heavy ground tackle, they take a long time to do it and require an awful lot of elbow grease.

The same applies to sailing winches on larger boats. Electric winches are complex and do take a lot of power, but they also make hoisting and handling big sails a breeze. 

Line Control From the Cockpit

Pretty much every sailboat has the most crucial control lines rigged to the cockpit. Jib and main sheets are the perfect examples. But some boats go one step further, also running halyards and reefing lines to the cockpit, too. 

There are plusses and minuses to this approach. Running these lines from the base of the mast aft to the cockpit increases the drag on the system, meaning it will take more effort to hoist or tighten the lines. But the security of not having to leave the cockpit if you don’t have to is worth the investment, so long as you have the rope clutches and winch power to make it all work. 

Some sailors balk at the idea of running these lines aft, often citing that they’ll have to go forward if something goes wrong. But most of the time, they won’t have to. Fewer trips up on deck at sea means a safer and easier voyage all around. For the single-hander especially, the more you can do from one position, the better.

The layout of how the lines are run to the cockpit is important, too. This is often more a factor in the yacht’s design than something you can easily play with. But where applicable, a sailor will want to spend considerable time thinking about where they want to put lines and how they want to get them there. 

What are the Best Single-Handed Sailboats and Catamarans_Where you make

Rig Simplicity

The simpler the rig, the easier it is to sail. While nearly all production boats are sloops, the catboat has some distinct advantages here. With only one big sail to worry about, the amount of work and line handling is instantly reduced by two (or three, in the case of ketches or cutters). Catboats like the Nonsuch are known to be excellent performers and are super easy to sail. There are a few cat-rigged schooners out there, too. 

There are many variations of traditional sailplans that have been played with on modern boats. Junk rigs, for example, are simple to create and very easy to sail. They’re complex in their setup and not very common on fiberglass boats, however.

If you’re looking for something easy to handle, efficient, and really wild, check out this article from Sail Magazine featuring some of the cutting-edge things found on yachts and the very interesting AeroRig.

Related: Best Trailerable Sailboats

Self-Tending Headsails

Some sloops have smaller headsails that are “self-tending.” This is another way of saying that these sails don’t need to be tacked, you can trim them like a mainsail, and you can tack the boat simply by turning the helm. That’s a considerable reduction in workload for the crew, whether they’re a single-hander or not. 

Roller Furlers on Sails

Headsails can either be hanked on or rolled up on a furler. A furler means less hoisting, and you can open the sail from the cockpit. Although somewhat less common, mainsails can be furled too. Some boats have in-mast furlers. On boats with large full-batten mainsails, in-boom furlers are becoming more common. 

The advantage of these systems is that they make reefing and reducing sail extremely easy. The hassle, of course, is that they have more moving parts and are expensive to install. 

Cockpit Layout

The cockpit layout is about more than just the rigging. You’ll also want to take note of where and how the electronics are mounted. For example, is there a handheld VHF or do you have to go down below every time you make or answer a radio call? Are the chartplotter and radar in easy view of the helm? These are easy things to fix but worth looking at and thinking about as you set the boat up.

Easy Docking

Finally, the boat should be easy to dock single-handed. Of course, it’s always preferable to have help on the dock to get the slip safely. But this doesn’t always happen, so you should be prepared to do it yourself. 

Many sailboats benefit from having a bow thruster installed, as this can help control the bow when docking in close quarters, especially in crosswind situations. 

The overall size of the boat is an important factor, too. You can single hand huge yachts, which is all well and good until it comes time to dock it. 

Monohulls Rigged for Easy-Operation

The good news is that you can rig nearly any boat for safe and easy single-handing. The newer the boat, the more likely it will already be set up for single-handing. Modern items like line organizers and rope clutches make it all the easier. 

The boats below are exceptional in that they step away from the now ubiquitous Bermuda sloop rig. As a result, they may lose some performance abilities in some conditions, but they more than make up for it in their ease of handling. 

Nonsuch 36/40

Nonsuches are distinctive boats—they are some of the only large catboats on the water today. They’re rigged with a large mainsail that is made easy to control by a wishbone boom rigging system. In effect, this makes handling a Nonsuch much like sailing a giant windsurfing board. The larger Nonsuches come from the drawing board of respected marine architect Mark Ellis.

With only one sail, the boat is straightforward to operate. First, hoist the main, and then control it with a single sheet. Tacks and jibes are easy. Reefing is as simple as letting out the halyard a little and reducing sail.

Freedom has made various interesting and straightforward rigs that contrast with the run-of-the-mill sloops found in most marinas. The number one thing you’ll notice about Freedoms is their distinctive tapered un-stayed mast. With no spreaders and no standing rigging, Freedoms look sleek from the outset.

Several models of Freedom are catboats rigged with a giant mainsail. Others, like the popular 36, are free-standing, fractionally-rigged sloops with a tiny, self-tending jib. This is the best of both worlds since the jib will provide extra power when going upwind and presents very little extra work for the crew.

Picking a catamaran for solo sailing may seem counterintuitive since they are so much larger than monohulls. But most modern catamarans are rigged from the factory for single-handed sailing. These boats are designed from the ground up for charter work—meaning that a captain will do all the work while their guests enjoy themselves. This flies in the face of the design ethos shared by most older “classic plastic” monohulls built for the club racing scene.

Most cruising catamarans are rigged with straightforward fractional sloop rigs with large, full-batten mainsails. The mains typically feature slab reefing, and the foresails are almost always mounted on furlers. Operating these boats is as simple as hoisting the main and then unrolling the jib.

What are the Best Single-Handed Sailboats and Catamarans_Where you make

Leopard 39/40 (circa 2010)

Leopard catamarans, built by Robertson and Caine of South Africa, is the sole supplier of catamarans to The Moorings yacht charter company worldwide. But their boats are equally popular among private owners who want the catamaran lifestyle and ease of sailing.

Unlike competing brands, Leopard embraced the idea of the single-handed operator from their earliest designs. Even some of their original boats, the 38, 45, and 47 (circa 1998), had excellent walk-through helm stations with all lines led to them. As a result, you can perform every task on these boats—from hoisting the main, unfurling the jib, reefing, and even trimming the traveler—while keeping one hand on the helm.

Lagoon 39/40/42 (2015 and newer)

Lagoon is Leopard’s main competitor, but if you look at their older designs, they spent years catching up to Leopard in terms of helm positioning and single-handed operations. This changed dramatically when Lagoon introduced the 39 around 2015 and the 42 and 46 a few years later.

This new generation of Lagoons went one step better than Leopard. They have ditched the enormous and powerful mainsail in favor of a larger and self-tending jib. These boats carry their masts much farther aft than other catamarans, and the design is more similar to the Prouts of the 1990s than other modern catamarans.

But this setup makes two significant improvements. First, it reduces the power of the sometimes difficult to control mainsail. Second, it also adds self-tacking abilities to the headsail. And since most cats use furling light-wind sails for downwind and calm-day sailing, no real performance loss results. 

Prout Snowgoose (circa 1987)

An older boat that is underrated these days is the Prout 37 Snowgoose. These boats featured a double headsail paired with a very small and easy to tend main. While the headsails aren’t self-tacking, they are both usually mounted on furlers. This provides a lot of sail plan options for offshore adventures. Additionally, the mast on these boats is located so far aft as to be even with the helm, meaning you can do reefing and hoisting chores without leaving the cockpit. 

sailboat for single handed cruising

Matt has been boating around Florida for over 25 years in everything from small powerboats to large cruising catamarans. He currently lives aboard a 38-foot Cabo Rico sailboat with his wife Lucy and adventure dog Chelsea. Together, they cruise between winters in The Bahamas and summers in the Chesapeake Bay.

Yachting Monthly

  • Digital edition

Yachting Monthly cover

Singlehanded sailing for the first time

Toby Heppell

  • Toby Heppell
  • August 31, 2020

Toby Heppell looks at the art of singlehanded sailing and considers what constitutes good seamanship when it’s only you on board

Singlehanded sailing on Sadler 29

Sailing alone gives you freedom to set off when you want, but requires a different approach. Credit: Richard Langdon/Ocean Images

Singlehanded sailing is often something we associate with feats of adventure and endurance, bringing forward ideas of the lone sailor heading off across oceans.

Setting off on a significant offshore voyage on your own is a truly specialist activity.

You are likely to experience sleep deprivation, the stresses of being alone for long periods of time and the possibility of facing inclement weather by yourself.

That may well not be for all of us.

A Sadler 29 on the Solent

Editor Theo Stocker headed out on his Sadler 29 to put the advice into practice. Credit: Richard Langdon/Ocean Images

But closer to home, many of us are likely to go singlehanded sailing – be it regularly or just the odd occasion, a short coastal trip or a longer voyage, or when a crew member is laid low by seasickness or other ailment.

You might end up without a crew and face the choice of leaving the boat in a distant port or taking a fair wind home alone.

You may be a couple sailing with a young child that needs constant attention, leaving the skipper to handle the boat alone.

Understanding the skills and kit necessary to successfully and safely sail by yourself is, if not an essential skill, certainly a useful string to the bow.

Freedom and responsibility of singlehanded sailing

‘Sailing solo there is the dependence on oneself that is really appealing,’ say Mervyn Wheatley, veteran of many solo ocean races and trips.

sailboat for single handed cruising

Toby Heppell got his first boat aged four and grew up sailing on the East Coast. He has been a sailing journalist for over 15 years. Credit: Richard Langdon

‘A great deal of that appeal is that you know if something goes wrong then you are going to have to sort it out yourself.

As a solo skipper, you are master of your own destiny, entirely free to run the boat exactly as you wish.

With that comes total responsibility for everything on board: food, maintenance, sail choice, pilotage – it’s all up to you.

‘There’s an unmistakable excitement in slipping the lines and knowing that success or failure is entirely down to your resourcefulness and seamanship,’ says Wheatley.

‘Completing a solo passage satisfies like nothing else. But with that responsibility comes a significant reliance on making sure everything onboard and yourself are up to the challenge.’

In this article, I’m going to look at the various aspects you should consider to make sure you’re ready for solo coastal daysails, rather than long-distance offshore singlehanded sailing, when considerations around sleep management become more vital.

Is your boat up to singlehanded sailing?

Though the recent trend has been for ever-bigger boats, you need to be fairly agile to singlehand a boat much over 35ft, or have invested some serious money into automation.

Typically at about 35ft you are reaching the point where sail size is a big factor in terms of managing reefing and winching.

Setting up your boat so that you have to leave the helm as little as possible is important.

If you do have to leave the helm when sailing, doing so on starboard tack, keeping a good lookout and setting an autopilot will keep you in control.

A singlehanded sailor clipper on to his yacht

Clip on: Make sure your jackstays are in good condition, and let you work on deck effectively. Credit: Richard Langdon/Ocean Images

A furling headsail saves foredeck work and in-mast or in-boom furling makes mainsail reefing simpler, and the slight loss of performance may not be important to you.

A slab-reefed main can take longer to reef but lines led aft make it easier.

Crucially, if you drop it as you are coming in to harbour, the main will block your vision forward unless you have lazy jacks.

Fortunately, these are easy to add if you don’t have them already, and a stack-pack sail bag makes stowing the sail even easier.

Leaving the cockpit for any reason is among the highest risks for solo sailors, particularly as handling sails at the start and end of your passage is likely to be close to harbour with more traffic around.

Lines on a Sadler 29

Lines aft: Leading lines aft helps avoid trips forward out of the cockpit. Credit: Richard Langdon/Ocean Images

Leading lines back to the cockpit will make life easier, with the caveat that any friction points, particularly in single-line reefing systems, need addressing.

Taking the main halyard back to the cockpit at the very least is a must.

When it comes to mooring by yourself, ‘midships cleats are often underrated and underused, but they are invaluable,’ says ex-Navy navigator and cruising author Andy du Port.

‘With only two of us on board, we have become adept at lassoing pontoon cleats from amidships and hauling in reasonably firmly before the boat has a chance to start drifting off.’

In terms of safety, eliminating risk of going overboard is key and staying clipped on is a good way to do that.

Make sure your jackstays can be reached from inside the cockpit, and let you get to the mast or other working areas on deck.

Webbing rather than wire won’t roll underfoot.

Sensible cockpit strong points should let you move from helm to winches, halyards, instruments, and companionway without unclipping.

Optimal cockpit layout for singlehanded sailing

Whether you have a wheel or tiller, the layout of the cockpit is important as to whether it works well for singlehanded sailing.

It is worth noting, however, that a tiller can be slotted between your legs when hoisting sails or handling lines.

The ability to see a chartplotter on deck is important, as you will need to do much of your navigation from the helm and modern chart plotters make this easier.

Particularly in coastal waters, you will want to spend as little time as possible down below at the chart table so you can keep a proper lookout.

Navigation equipment fitted on the deck of a Sadler 29

Navigation: A setup that works on deck reduces time spent below. Credit: Richard Langdon/Ocean Images

Effective self-steering is essential for singlehanded sailing.

An autopilot is excellent under power as the engine keeps the batteries topped up but under sail, if you haven’t trimmed correctly for a neutral helm, the autopilot has to work hard and will draw more power.

Modern units draw 2-3A but older models can draw double that.

For this reason, an easily visible battery monitor will help.

Some autopilots include a remote control you can wear on your wrist or on a lanyard to alter course.

For smaller boats or longer passages, a windvane is effective on every point of sail and draws no power.

A midships cleat on the deck of a Sadler 29

Midships: A midships cleat is a big help if you don’t have crew to help. Credit: Richard Langdon/Ocean Images

However, they are vulnerable in port, and struggle under motor as prop wash confuses the servo blade.

‘If I am in coastal waters then I use an autopilot as it’s easier,’ says Wheatley.

‘If I’m nipping across the Channel then I know I can plug into the mains on the other side. I use a windvane on ocean passages.’

Ensure essentials such as handbearing compass, sunscreen and water are in place before you slip lines. Finally, get to know your boat well. A refresher on the key parts of each of your main systems might be a good idea before a singlehanded passage.

Physical limitations

Singlehanded sailing requires a reasonable level of physical fitness.

Every manoeuvre is slower and more arduous when sailing alone, so you’ll need the endurance to handle longer passages.

It’s really easy to become dehydrated, so keep a bottle of water in the cockpit, preferably in a pocket along with a few biscuits to keep your energy up and help you deal with tiredness.

Yachting Monthly editor Theo Stocker helming a Sadler 29

The demands of helming, sail handling, manoeuvring, navigation and other tasks on board while singlehanded sailing should not be underestimated. Credit: Richard Langdon/Ocean Images

‘If you’re feeling a bit tired to begin with, if you’re going to sail a long way that is only going to get worse and will probably guarantee seasickness,’ explains ocean sailing legend, Pete Goss.

‘Sometimes if you just take it a bit easy at the start of a longer passage that makes things easier for the rest of the trip.

‘Plan to only go a short distance before possibly anchoring up for some hours, to make sure you get some rest and you have properly got your sea legs.

‘That can be the difference between a great solo passage and a terrible one where you are tired and sick from the off.

‘No-one functions well in that sort of condition.’

A skipper lighting a gas cooker on a boat to make a cup of tea

Nutrition: Keep yourself rested and fuelled. Heave to and put the kettle on for a break. Credit: Richard Langdon/Ocean Images

‘Eating is a really important thing to focus on too,’ says record breaking skipper Dee Caffari.

‘It is really just getting the balance right and realising the effect hunger has on your body and mind.

‘I did a lot of work with sports psychologists before doing big races to understand myself a lot more.

‘Much of it was focused on understanding when I am tired and when I am hungry.

‘There are moments now when I realise I just need to eat and take a 10-minute break, and then I am a totally different person.

‘Clearly not everyone has access to a psychologist, but taking the time to notice the signs of sleep deprivation and hunger and what they mean in terms of how you function is crucial.’

Solo safety

Singlehanded sailing should be approached much like sailing at night in terms of safety.

You want everything you might need ready to hand, and to take a much more cautious approach.

A solo skipper navigating in the cockpit with a paper chart

Make sure you can navigate from the cockpit, whether on a plotter or paper chart in a plastic wallet. Time below is time not keeping a look out. Credit: Richard Langdon/Ocean Images

Going overboard is not a good idea at the best of times and becomes even more serious when solo.

Everything should be done to minimise this risk.

While much of this is a matter of attitude, and planning each manoeuvre to predict the main dangers, having the right equipment in the right place will also help.

Navigation and communication

Being able to manage your boat, and all of the key navigation and safety systems from the cockpit is the key.

Think through your navigation and communications equipment.

A chart plotter and a VHF radio handset on deck will save the need to go below.

A mobile phone showing details of the SafeTrx app

Shore contact: Register your vessel details with the Coastguard on the SafeTrx app, then let a shore contact know your ETA. This can also be done with the app. Credit: Richard Langdon/Ocean Images

Should you need to make a distress call, having a radio that is set up with a DSC button will make things easier.

Modern handheld VHF radios are capable of this, as are command microphones for fixed VHF sets, which also have the advantage of a longer range.

It is worth having binoculars, flares, and a grab bag easily to hand too.

AIS and radar

Making your boat more visible to others will help make up some of the potential shortfall of only having one set of eyes to keep lookout.

A properly working AIS unit, radar reflector, and potentially a radar enhancer and alarm, will help alert you to approaching vessels and you to them.

On board equipment

Though they are key bits of safety kit on any yacht, the lifebelt and danbuoy aren’t so important for singlehanded sailing, as there will be no-one left to throw them after you if you did go overboard.

But the rest of the boat’s standard equipment should be located, inspected and brought up to spec before a solo passage if they aren’t already.

These include the liferaft, fire extinguishers, bilge pump, flares, first aid kit and so on.

Man overboard

Falling overboard, serious enough with a fully-crewed boat, becomes even more unpalatable solo.

Everything should be done to avoid this possibility.

Clearly, a mindset that is consistently aware of the risk is your biggest asset, and will help you avoid doing things that could leave you exposed.

An emergency ladder aft of a yacht

MOB: You’re most likely to fall overboard when mooring. Make sure your bathing ladder can be operated from the water or rig an emergency one. Credit: Richard Langdon/Ocean Images

Keeping clipped can serve as a reminder of this, and goes some way to keeping you connected to the boat, though being overboard on the end of the tether may be little better than being overboard without one.

‘I do wear a tether often,’ says Wheatley.

‘But the thing to remember about going over the side is that a tether does keep you there, but if you go over by yourself and you are tethered on, then you are not going to get back onboard.

‘However, it is much easier to find a boat than a body so I take the view that I wear one to make it easier for my family should I go over.’

Emergency ladder

Often the biggest risk of going overboard for a singlehander is actually in harbour.

Picking up the mooring buoy, or even stepping across from pontoon to boat has often led to an unexpected dunking.

This can rapidly become serious if you are wearing heavy clothing or the water is anything less than balmy, and do not have an easy means of climbing out.

For this reason many solo sailors carry an emergency ladder with a line that can be reached from the water.

In this scenario, a lifejacket will help you float during the initial phase of cold shock, and should therefore be worn, not just when things start to get ‘a bit lively’ out at sea.

Modern lifejackets are far more impressive than their early counterparts.

Lightweight, slimline, and comfortable to wear, the hood helps prevent secondary drowning and the bright colour and light makes it easier to locate you by day and night.

Crucially, technology has moved on so that it is possible to carry AIS and satellite distress beacons in or on the lifejacket.

Along with a VHF radio in your pocket, this is likely to be your only chance of calling for help at sea should the worst happen.

It should therefore be a serious consideration for anyone sailing solo, however far they venture.

Passage plan

As a solo sailor, it is a good idea to have a shore contact who you keep updated with your plans and your estimated time of arrival, and who knows to call the Coastguard with the details of your boat if you become overdue.

A grab bag and other gear on the deck of a Sadler 29

Cockpit kit: Gear close to hand should include binoculars, compass, knife and PLB, as well as grab bag, food and drink. Credit: Richard Langdon/Ocean Images

This can be supplemented by having your details up to date on the RYA SafeTrx app , which the Coastguard now uses as its leisure vessel registry, as well as being an active passage-tracking tool.

Even if the alarm is raised, hopefully a phone or VHF radio call will quickly establish all is well.

Tangled ropes

It’s easy for piles of rope to mount up when there’s no second pair of hands to help.

Keep up with tidying lines away, so you don’t end up with a tangled mess that could jam just when you need a halyard to run free.

With a little patience, singlehanded sailing is rarely more difficult than sailing two- or three-up for the experienced skipper.

Manoeuvres take longer to complete and you are likely to spend more time in the cockpit than you otherwise might, but your approach to most situations will be broadly the same.

Where things can get tricky is in slipping the lines and mooring.

A solo skipper on a deck of his yacht preparing for departure

Springing the stern out is fine with crew, but springing the bow out means you can handle lines without leaving the cockpit. Credit: Richard Langdon/Ocean Images

The latter being all the worse for coming at the end of your passage and so your decision making is likely to be impaired through weariness.

Slipping the lines is clearly much easier if the wind is blowing you off the pontoon.

Here your midships cleat will come in handy as you can get yourself tight to the pontoon with this and then drop the bow line, before heading back to remove the stern line and finally slipping the midships line.

Do remember to have plenty of fenders fore and aft as the boat may pivot around the midships cleat, depending on wind and tide direction.

A solo skipper steering his tiller yacht with his knees

Multi-tasking: Tiller boats can be steered with your knees while coiling lines, but don’t get distracted. Credit: Richard Langdon/Ocean Images

As ever, the process for leaving a windward berth can be trickier.

It is easier to spring off the bow first as you have cockpit access to your sternline.

So this is your best option if there is little to no tide, or the tide is coming from ahead.

If there is no tide running and the wind is blowing to onto your pontoon, then you will probably need to motor astern with the stern line firm to help bring the bow out.

A Sadler 29 moored against a pontoon

Midships cleat: If you can get a midships line on, it will hold the boat to the pontoon while you sort the other lines. Credit: Richard Langdon/Ocean Images

Once it moves clear of the pontoon you can motor ahead as you slip the sternline.

With the tide from astern, use a slipped bow spring.

With sufficient tide the engine does not have to be engaged; simply slip all the lines bar the bow spring, go to the foredeck, watch the stern come away from the pontoon, slip the spring and return to the cockpit.

Once you are in open water, set the engine slow ahead and engage the autopilot while you recover lines and fenders.

Lines can be coiled and fenders tidied away in the cockpit.

On the water

Before taking on any planned singlehanded sailing, your boat handling should be up to scratch, but even the best sailors will find their skills improving quickly from a bit of time on the water alone.

Thinking through manoeuvring into and out of marinas berths and moorings, and then practising this a few times can take away some of the stress of a solo trip.

A Sadler 29 being singlehanded

Heaving to: Lash the helm and back the jib to give yourself a break, but get the boat balanced first. Credit: Richard Langdon/Ocean Images

At sea you need to be able to heave-to or stop comfortably, as this will give you time to boil the kettle, tend to any problems, or even have a quick break.

Manoeuvres such as tacking or reefing can also be rehearsed: which lines are eased or hauled in first, and when to put the helm down will be particular to your boat, but can be practised.

Once you’re at sea, it is worth keeping manoeuvres to a minimum when possible, as they take time and energy, and incur an element of risk.

As beating will involve a heeled boat and some tacking, it is, by its very nature, the toughest point of sail.


Vane steering systems or an autopilot that can adjust the course to the wind shifts, will keep the boat steering effectively.

Some newer autopilots also have tacking and gybing functions, leaving you free to concentrate on trimming the sails.

Autopilot on a Sadler 29

An autopilot or self-steering is vital. Credit: Richard Langdon/Ocean Images

An autopilot remote is also an option, giving you access to control from anywhere on the boat (usually worn on the wrist).

It’s also worth spending time on your passage planning and general theory.

Going below for five minutes to check when the tide turns or to find out what a specific light means will be five minutes that you’re not on deck keeping a lookout.

When coming in to harbour, start the engine relatively far out from your destination to give you time to douse sail and prepare yourself.

Lazyjacks prevent a dropped mainsail blowing off the boom and restricting visibility forward.

Rig your fenders and lines in open water where you have space to drift or motor slowly under autopilot.

If you do not yet know where you will be going it is well worth fendering port and starboard with stern and midships lines on both sides.

A Sadler 29 rigged with fenders entering Lymington harbour

Rig fenders and lines once you’re out of the waves, but before you enter confined waters. Credit: Richard Langdon/Ocean Images

Most marinas will send someone to help you if you radio ahead and let them know that you are on your own, or others on the pontoon will normally be happy to catch a line, but you should be prepared to do things alone if needed.

Coming alongside a pontoon, the midships line is critical.

Position the tail so that it is easily picked up when you move forward from the helm.

Prepare bow and stern lines and bring the ends amidships so you can reach them from the pontoon.

A Sadler 29 coming alongside a pontoon in Lymington

Boat handling: Without someone to take the lines ashore, being able to get your boat stopped where you want it makes life much easier. Credit: Richard Langdon/Ocean Images

Stop the boat dead with your midships cleat as close as possible to your selected pontoon cleat, and throw a lasso of rope over it – a skill well worth practising.

Sweat the line to bring the boat as close as you can.

You are then secure and have more time to take bow and stern lines across and adjust your position.

You can also use the midships line as a spring.

A skipper wearing a lifejacket throwing a line from a yacht

Stern line: Throw a coil of line from each hand to lasso a cleat at the stern. Credit: Richard Langdon/Ocean Images

Once the line is made off, put the engine ahead with the helm towards the pontoon.

This will hold the boat snug alongside while you sort the other lines.

A main sail being dropped on a yacht

Lazy jacks: When dropping the main, lazyjacks help prevent the sail blocking the view and let you delay a trip on deck. Credit: Richard Langdon/Ocean Images

This is harder if the wind is blowing off the pontoon; your boat handling has to be positive and accurate.

If coming alongside isn’t working, getting a line onto a cleat from the bow or stern will get you secure and give you time to warp the boat in.

A solo skipper putting on a midships line

Which line first? If the wind is offshore, the midships line is useful to get on first. Credit: Richard Langdon/Ocean Images

If you don’t fancy it, consider picking up a swinging mooring or dropping the anchor until help is available or the conditions change.

The key to mooring alone is to be ready beforehand, in open water, and to have planned what order you will do things in.

A sadler 29 coming alongside a pontoon

Midships spring: Helm to the pontoon and forward gear will hold you alongside. Credit: Richard Langdon/Ocean Images

This can be practised while you have crew by getting the boat to stop in her berth without relying on lines to take the boat’s way off.

It looks much better too!

Don’t get overpowered

Managing the amount of sail you have set before you become overpowered is more important when you are singlehanded sailing as it takes longer to reduce sail and you will have no extra pairs of hands if things get exciting.

If you know it’s going to be a windy sail, reef before you leave your mooring.

If you have a ramshorn for the tack reefing point, you may need a small piece of bungee to hold the cringle in place until you have hoisted the sail.

Cockpit of a Sadler 29

Reef earlier than you would with crew. It’ll save energy, reduce risk and reflect a more conservative approach. Credit: Richard Langdon/Ocean Images

If you are already out on the water, reef early, before the wind increases too much.

Be conservative with how early you reef.

Before you tackle reefing the mainsail, furl away some of the headsail.

This will slow the boat, making the motion easier and reducing heel, so making reefing the main easier.

Having a more heavily reefed main, and using the genoa to fine-tune the sailing area with the furling line also makes changing gears singlehanded less arduous and avoids trips on deck before needing to shake out or take in the next reef.

A singlehanded sail clipped on to his yacht via a harness

Going forward to the mast, make sure you are clipped on. Credit: Richard Langdon/Ocean Images

‘For short-handed crews, mainsails need to be quick to drop in an emergency and require no feeding when hoisting, to avoid unnecessary trips out of the cockpit,’ says Pip Hare .

‘Avoid using a main with a bolt rope, because when the sail is dropped it will not remain captive at the mast and can quickly become uncontrollable.’

Downwind, keeping the rig under control requires some forethought.

A main boom preventer should be used if you’re sailing deep downwind, but is precarious to rig at sea, so have this ready before you set off, or even rig one on each side.

Most singlehanders are likely to be reluctant to set coloured sails off the wind in all but the best conditions and using a headsail, poled out, is more likely.

A man pulling on lines on a yacht

Keep rope tails tidy when singlehanded sailing to prevent a dangerous tangle in the cockpit. Credit: Richard Langdon/Ocean Images

To set your poled-out headsail, begin by furling it away while you ready a pole on the windward side with uphaul, downhaul and guy.

This will give you full control of the sail from the cockpit.

Once you are set up it is simply a case of unfurling the sail and trimming from the helm.

It’s an easy and easily manageable solution and can be furled away without dropping the pole.

Yellow bungee holding a sail in place on a yacht

If your reefing system has ramshorns, a piece of bungee can hold it in place while you go aft. Credit: Richard Langdon/Ocean Images

It will be easiest to furl the sail before you gybe, then attend to changing over the pole before again unfurling.

Setting a spinnaker or cruising chute is a more long-winded process solo so should only be taken on if you have a long leg ahead of you and you are sailing in relatively traffic-free waters.

A cruising chute is simpler to set up than a spinnaker.

Rigging can be done with the headsail furled and hoisted in its snuffer.

You’ll probably need to be on the foredeck to raise the snuffer, so make sure you are secure before doing so.

Continues below…

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Set the boat on a course deep downwind until you can get back to the cockpit to trim the sail.

Hoisting a spinnaker takes more planning and more time both to set and douse.

For gybing either of them, you would be best to snuff or drop the sail and reset on the new side.

Singlehanded sailing checklist

  • Boat well maintained with all known faults rectified
  • Sail handling arrangement set up with lines back to cockpit if possible
  • Autopilot or self-steering set up, calibrated and working, with remote if available
  • Hove-to practised and balanced sail plan checked
  • Furling headsail and mainsail lazyjacks set up and working
  • Enough fenders and mooring lines to rig both sides, and means of getting midships line onto a pontoon cleat
  • Confident you can handle the boat for the given forecast
  • Practised mooring, manoeuvring and sail handling alone
  • Well rested ahead of passage
  • Food and drink prepared in advance and available on deck
  • Familiar with boat’s key systems and how to troubleshoot each of them
  • Short passages and daysailing in coastal waters are better
  • Avoid overnight passages initially
  • Full passage plan completed with necessary notes available on deck
  • Passage plan and ETA shared with shore contact, coastguard or RYA SafeTrx app
  • Boat details registered on RYA SafeTrx app or website

Safety and kit

  • Adopt conservative approach to risk and safety
  • VHF radio on deck
  • Chartplotter or paper chart on deck
  • Wearing lifejacket at all times, particularly start and end of passage recommended
  • Carry personal safety equipment, including VHF, knife, torch, and PLB or AIS beacon
  • Jackstays rigged, tether clipped on
  • Emergency ladder in reach from water
  • Have easily available: wet weather gear, binoculars, handbearing compass, knife, sunscreen, snacks, and water.

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Better Sailing

Single-Handed Sailing: A Complete Guide With Tips

Single-Handed Sailing: A Complete Guide With Tips

During our last summer holiday, my wife had to go to work for a few days by surprise. So I was alone on board and had the choice between staying in the harbor or going out alone. The choice was clear – out alone. That’s why I started searching for some Single-Handed Sailing Tips.

Single-handed sailing! But what do you have to consider? Internet research revealed surprisingly little information about a Single-Handed Sailing Guide. Whether single-handed sailors are taciturn people? Of course, I read the little I found and decided to give it a try. After having sailed on a dinghy on the Alster in Hamburg on several occasions before, I thought it couldn’t be that difficult. It isn’t, but there are some things to consider, and I would like to share that with you.

What is Single-Handed Sailing?

Single-handed or one-handed sailing means to sail a sailboat or a sailing yacht all by yourself. Derived from the English “hand” for crew member (see: “all hands on deck”, “single-handed”)

Who Should Be Able To sail Single-Handed?

You can always get into a situation where your partner or team on board fails. Seasickness, accident, MOB. That’s why I think: Everyone should be able to sail single-handed.

Also Read: How To Sail Single Handed

What Qualifications Do I Need?

You should be confident in every situation and every maneuver on the sailboat. You should also feel ready for one-handed sailing.

That means you should be able to master the common maneuvers safely. You have already sailed all courses and have experience with different winds, wind forces, and weather conditions. More than that, you are familiar with the boat, you know all the halyards, ropes and fittings and you can get the boat ready to sail on your own. You are familiar with setting and hoisting the sails and mooring and clearing after sailing.

That means you are a safe sailor, a safe sailor! Are you? All right, let’s transfer the whole thing to one-handed sailing.

How Do I Learn to Sail Single-Handed?

Well, you can sail safely, but you’ve never sailed alone? Never mind!

I suggest the following steps to get you started with single-handed sailing:

  • Sail together with a partner, but you do all maneuvers alone.
  • If you are not sure afterwards: Sail one-handed and ask a second boat with friends to accompany you. It should stay close to you and be there when you need it. You won’t need it, but the moral support might be important.
  • Alternative: Sail with the mainsail only, like on the laser
  • You feel safe: Then you are ready and can plan your first trip one-handed.

Which of the steps you do or need to take depends entirely on your assessment. After sailing school, I sailed with a partner one-handed, like under 1. This was rather playful because my “jib monkey” didn’t feel like it. Did I get the one-handed sailing virus then?

Sail First With a Partner Single-Handed

So the easiest way to start is to start on a familiar boat, in the usual place (because of the mooring and departure) with your sailing partner and find a day with little wind and good weather. You will normally start – with one difference. Your partner is only a spectator today and should only – and only then – help you if you ask him to. It is best to arrange this beforehand. 

Why? You should do everything alone today. He or she should not interfere with you, no matter what – pull the boat at the jetty, set the sails, operate the jib, clear the sails, and so on – you alone today. 

All alone! Your partner, your sailing partner, is on board, that gives you security. And you will see: you will not need him or her! And when you’re back: the mainsail will also be rigged up alone and the jib folded. You will be amazed: this will bring you many new insights and a lot of safety in sailing!

If that was good, you can think about sailing with one hand. I myself stood one morning at the jetty with little wind and knew – now it’s time.

Which Boat Do I Need For Single-Handed Sailing?

Do i need a special boat.

No, a special boat is not necessary – if you sail on a dinghy. However, I recommend a good-natured, easy to sail dinghy for a start, not a gliding dinghy or a racer. Nothing tippy or bitchy! Of course, this also applies to the yacht. With a yacht, there is something more to consider, here certain equipment already offers itself. Normally, modern yachts already have this equipment on board. More on this below.

In my explanations, I assume a “first strike” alone, thus in sight and/or call range to the shore. You want to make this stroke for practice.

In any case, I recommend you – from small to big – means: Start one hand on the dinghy. It is easy and direct to steer and can be moved easily by hand or with a paddle.

The advantage of the dinghy is that it is simply but sensibly equipped, and you can operate everything well by yourself. You don’t need any additional equipment as long as you can hoist both sails from the cockpit and operate everything. Normally this is the case, except for the jib. In case of need, you simply cast off the jib and let it blow out.

Of course: paddle and life jacket as well as bailer belong onboard or “to the man” – a matter of course.

Boat and Equipment for Single-Handed Sailing

In principle, the same applies to the yacht. The yacht should not be too big for the beginning. I recommend a size for the first stroke alone of no more than 27 or 28 feet. With this size, everything is easily accessible, and if necessary, you can still push the boat off the pole or the jetty if it is not a “steel steamer”.

In addition, ideally, everything can be operated from the cockpit (except for the anchor), which means that the following is available and you are completely (!) familiar with the operation:

  • Engine – helps with casting off and mooring, maneuvers, lulls or (hopefully not necessary) in emergencies
  • Furling jib, furling genoa – allows setting, recovery, and reefing from the cockpit
  • Mainsail recovery system (lazy jacks, lazy bag, furling mainsail) – allows operation from the cockpit
  • Single line reefing stanchion on the main – operated from the cockpit.
  • Deflected halyards and all trimming devices accessible from the cockpit
  • The main sheet can be operated from the rudder while seated (yes, there are exceptions, e.g., on the cabin roof)
  • Tiller pilot or autopilot – indispensable help when setting and recovering sails, seasickness, fatigue, and of course, when going to the toilet.
  • Extended ropes – to be able to pick you up outside the cockpit or in stronger winds or waves at the latest. Personally, I recommend that you always pick yourself when you are alone on the yacht. Why do you find out later or in the video?

Sounds a lot and complicated? Well, you will be alone on board, and you will probably be surprised by gusts or a thunderstorm even at your first stroke. Then you are outside and alone – and no one can help you. So: “Keep it simple”. These are things for your safety for your life.

If the yacht is older – like our Dehler Optima 830 from 1971, the traps are often not redirected, and no reef or recovery system is available. This can be done if necessary but is a clear loss of safety, as you can see in the video. Only you alone can judge whether you want to take the risk. I can not recommend this for the beginning in any case.

I saw it a bit fatalistically, but after the single-handed stroke, lazy jacks and a single line reefing system are now on the to-do list. And the next time I will also tension the lines at 3 Bft before casting off…

In addition to the usual things like first aid material, sea rescue equipment, compass, and up-to-date maps, etc. there should be at least one radio on board. If you are traveling for a longer period of time, a life raft is recommended in addition to the chart plotter.

Now we have almost everything together. No, the most important things are still missing:

As always, safety on board is the most important thing, which means first of all that you have carefully prepared and planned your strike. Checked the weather forecast, got a picture of the situation, and assessed it for yourself (!), told friends or family, and arranged a time for return.

You should always have the following.

  • automatic lifejacket
  • Lifeline – pickled, of course, otherwise it doesn’t help much 😉
  • Epirb, if available
  • Mobile phone with navigation software, waterproof packed (possibly calls for help and backup for Navi and second GPS)

Personal Preparation

Alone = no help.

You will be on your own, and you will have to manage everything alone, no matter what happens. Therefore, always assess your personal safety first and consider the possible consequences. 

Think about it and assess the situation objectively and according to your personal abilities. It will, and it can go wrong. Even if this happens, you must be able to master things alone. Therefore, prepare yourself for the fact that it will not go smoothly. Before every maneuver and before every action.

For instance, we don’t have any Lazy Jacks yet. The big one therefore needs time and extensive towing if it has to go down in a storm. And this then logically in strong winds and waves. In addition, we have the mainsail and winch on the mast. So the first question for me was always: How does the weather develop? If I set the mainsail now, can I later safely reef or salvage it on my own?

Besides, we haven’t had a mast groove stopper yet. It prevents the mainsail from slipping out of the mast groove. Because I didn’t have it, I secured the mainsail with a rope tied around the mast. 

Unfortunately, I forgot the rope two or three times. When I was hoisting the mainsail, it slipped out of the mast groove, formed a wind sack, and I could hardly control it anymore – especially in strong winds. Of course, I only noticed this when two or three slides had already slipped out of the mast, and the wind had reached into it. Sure, now we have a groove stopper.

You can see how quickly small mistakes can turn into bigger problems.

Alone = One After the Other

And sailing alone also means to do the things that you have been doing as a couple so far, one after the other. Can you handle both sails at the same time when turning? Probably not. So you will operate the main and jib one after the other. But in what order? My tip: Operate the mainsail first and then the jib. That means you go “through the wind” first, the jib is back, then you bring the jib forward.

Alone = No Mistakes

So, think ahead, be calm and deliberate. Reduce stress and failure to a minimum by careful and early preparation. Anyway – a lot of things will go wrong. Stay calm and composed. Do things earlier than usual. Reef earlier, set sails, maneuver, and above all, prepare to moor earlier. You are alone and therefore need much more time. If possible, use the tiller pilot.

Take your time. It is better to do one or two more laps in the outer harbor. Choose your berth in the harbor more carefully than usual. Get help with mooring. A friendly, “I’m alone on board, can you take the lines, please?” usually works wonders. You are gladly helped! Nevertheless, mooring maneuvers are pure stress, even for old hands.

For this, read the two or three most important tricks for yard maneuvers. But that would go beyond the scope here.

Further Single-Handed Sailing Tips

By the way, there are great books for single-handed sailing, which also have many tips for single-handed sailing, read them and try out some things beforehand! I recommend “Stress-free sailing” by Duncan Wells. Richly illustrated, simply put, and good tips.

Order at your little bookstore around the corner, they will be happy to take your order by phone and will be happy to help you. And it’s probably easier for you to pick it up than somewhere else in the parcel shop.

Everything Okay so Far?

Well then: Have fun and good luck with your single-handed stroke! Of course, these hints are written from my personal experience. The application of the tips is – as always with sailing – at your own risk.

Do you have any other Single-Handed Sailing Tips? Write me a comment! Tell me how it went and which tips you still have!


Peter is the editor of Better Sailing. He has sailed for countless hours and has maintained his own boats and sailboats for years. After years of trial and error, he decided to start this website to share the knowledge.

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Solo Sailing: Best Boats for Single-Handed Sailing

Aug 22, 2023

less than a min

Best Boats for Single Handed Sailing

Best Boats for Single-Handed Sailing

Embarking on a solo sailing adventure requires not only skill and preparation, but also the right vessel. Not all sailboats are equal when it comes to handling them single-handedly. Below, we'll explore some of the best options for single-handed sailing boats, focusing on their unique characteristics, strengths, and why they might be the perfect choice for your next solo voyage.

Engineered with meticulous precision, the Hanse 458 is an embodiment of masterful German craftsmanship, showcasing an optimal blend of performance and comfort. This sailboat's key advantage is its self-tacking jib and a fully automated sail handling system that enables smooth sailing single-handedly. The incorporation of a performance-oriented hull, large sail area, and unique rigging designs contribute to its excellent speed and agility. The Hanse 458's high degree of automation and efficient layout reduce the physical demands and decision-making load on the solo sailor, making it a well-suited companion for solo sailing adventures.

The Dufour 430 is a French sailboat designed with versatility and performance in mind. It has been acclaimed by many single-hand sailors due to its impressive balance of cruising comfort and easy handling. The vessel is equipped with a self-tacking jib and an intuitively positioned control panel in the cockpit for hassle-free manoeuvring and sailing. The spacious and luxurious interior design of the Dufour 430 ensures a comfortable stay onboard, making it ideal for extended solo voyages. Safety, seaworthiness, and a sense of freedom on the water make this French-built sailboat a top choice among single-handed sailors.

Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 410

Emerging from the drawing boards of the reputed French yacht manufacturer Jeanneau, the Sun Odyssey 410 is a fine blend of innovation and simplicity. With features such as a walk-around deck and the award-winning inclined side decks, it brings an unprecedented level of convenience for solo sailors. Its balanced sail plan and hull shape, which capitalises on the latest advancements in naval architecture, ensure the vessel remains stable and easy to handle in varying conditions. These characteristics, combined with an ergonomic cockpit layout and a comprehensive set of navigational tools, make single-handed sailing on the Sun Odyssey 410 a joy rather than a challenge.

Beneteau Oceanis 40.1

The Beneteau Oceanis 40.1, hailing from another celebrated French manufacturer, Beneteau, is designed for comfort, speed, and ease of handling. Its unique flared hull design significantly increases the interior space without compromising on performance. The yacht's rigging, centralised sail handling system, and an optional self-tacking jib make for straightforward single-handed sailing. Moreover, the spacious cockpit, equipped with dual helms, enhances manoeuvrability and vision, essential attributes for those sailing alone.

Built by the Slovenian shipyard Elan, the E6 model is an epitome of high-performance sailing and comfort. The use of Vacuum Assisted Infusion Lamination technology results in a strong, lightweight structure contributing to superior sailing efficiency and speed. The boat's deck layout is designed with single-handed sailing in mind, with all sail controls led back to the cockpit. The twin-wheel setup and a balanced rudder ensure precise steering in various sea conditions.

The Dehler 29, manufactured by the esteemed German brand Dehler, is a compact yet robust sailing yacht. Despite its relatively small size, it's equipped with an impressive set of features that facilitate solo sailing. Its fractional rig and self-tacking jib provide excellent performance and ease of handling. A meticulously designed cockpit and easily reachable sail controls further enhance the single-handed sailing experience. Moreover, its smart interior design makes efficient use of space, ensuring a comfortable stay onboard.

Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 490

The Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 490 is a modern performance cruiser that does not compromise on comfort and ease of handling. Its generous sail plan and balanced hull shape ensure fast passages, while the twin helm positions and all lines led aft to the cockpit allow for efficient single-handed control. The high-quality interior, filled with an abundance of natural light, provides a comfortable living space during long solo voyages.

The Oyster 565, produced by the prestigious British manufacturer Oyster Yachts, is an epitome of luxury and performance. Designed for blue-water cruising, it incorporates several features that make single-handed sailing possible. The boat's centre cockpit design, combined with in-mast furling and powered winches, ensures all controls are close at hand and easy to operate. The strong, seaworthy build of the Oyster 565 offers peace of mind for solo sailors when faced with challenging sea conditions.

Each of these boats has unique features that make them suitable for single-handed sailing. However, regardless of the boat you choose, good seamanship and a proper understanding of the boat's handling characteristics are crucial for a safe and enjoyable solo sailing experience. For those interested in exploring other options, our comprehensive boat database at TheBoatDB offers more selections from these boat manufacturers and other brands known for their high-quality sailboats.  

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Best Sailboats for Solo Sailing

It can be really intimidating to think about sailing alone for the first time. But don't let that stop you. Here are some of the best sailboats for solo sailing.

Michael Moris

October 17, 2023

This article may contain affiliate links where we earn a commission from qualifying purchases.

‍ It can be really intimidating to think about sailing alone for the first time. But don't let that stop you. Here are some of the best sailboats for solo sailing.

It can be tough to find someone who's available and willing to go sailing with you on short notice. And even if you do manage to find a partner, there's always the risk that they might cancel at the last minute or that weather conditions will be unfavorable.

The best solo sailing sailboats are easy to maneuver and have all the necessary safety features. The Jeanneau Sunfast 3200, J/109, Hunter Channel 31, West Wight Potter 19, and Cape Dory 28 are all great choices. Each one has its own unique set of features that make it ideal for solo sailing.

If you're looking for the best sailboats for solo sailing, you've come to the right place. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the best options on the market and help you decide which one is right for you. We'll cover everything from small boats that are perfect for beginners to larger vessels that can accommodate a crew. So, whether you're a first-time sailor or an experienced captain, read on to find the perfect boat for your next adventure.

When selecting the best sailboats for solo sailing, we considered various factors, including size, ease of use, and safety features. We also looked at the opinions of experienced sailors to get a better idea of which boats are most popular among those who like to sail alone.

sailboat for single handed cruising

Table of Contents

‍ 1. Jeanneau Sunfast 3200

The  Sunfast 3200  is a highly popular choice for sailors seeking a solo-sailing vessel. It's fast, comfortable, and relatively easy to handle, making it ideal for those who want to enjoy the experience of sailing without having to worry about the challenges that come with larger boats.

There are a few things that make the Sunfast 3200 stand out from other solo-sailing vessels. First, its deep and wide keel helps to provide excellent stability and tracking. This is particularly important when sailing in windy conditions or when making turns at high speeds. Additionally, the boat's hull is designed to provide good aerodynamic properties, which helps to reduce drag and improve performance.

One of the most impressive features of the Sunfast 3200 is its large cockpit. This provides plenty of room for crew members to move around, giving them the ability to access all the boat's controls easily. Additionally, the cockpit features several storage compartments that can be used to keep sails, equipment, and supplies close at hand.

The Jeanneau Sunfast 3200 features two cabins that can comfortably accommodate a single person. There is also a small galley area that can be used to prepare meals or snacks. Finally, the boat is fitted with several navigation and communication systems, making it easy for sailors to stay safe and in touch while out on the open water.

Since this vessel has a keel-stepped mast, we recommend going with the sloop Marconi rig. This will provide you with the greatest amount of control and stability when sailing. The Sunfast 3200 is also available in a ketch or cutter rig, but these options are best suited for experienced sailors looking for a more challenging sailing experience.

According to designer Daniel Andrieu, the Sunfast 3200 was designed to be "the ultimate solo-sailing machine." Andrieu says that he wanted to create a boat that would be "safe, fast, stable and easy to handle." As a result, the boat sits on the wide side and is as light as possible, allowing them to cram almost 3,000 pounds of their 7,496-pound light displacement into the iron fin and lead keel bulb.

The twin tillers, which drive two high-aspect rudders, provide excellent helm control for either tack at any point of sail. The boat's wide beam helps to provide good stability, and the deep keel ensures that it tracks well in windy conditions.

The Sunfast 3200 features a 15hp Yanmar Diesel engine located in a watertight compartment beneath the cockpit sole. This helps keep the vessel's center of gravity low, improving both performance and handling.

One of the most impressive aspects of the Sunfast 3200 is its speed. Under power, the boat can reach speeds of up to 8 knots. However, it shines when under sail. Thanks to its light displacement and high-aspect sails, the Sunfast 3200 can reach speeds in excess of 20 knots.

The Jeanneau Sunfast 3200 was chosen as the European Boat of the Year by the European sailing media in 2008. This is a testament to the boat's design and construction quality and its performance on the open water.

One downside to the Sunfast 3200 is its price tag. At over $160,000, it's one of the most expensive solo-sailing vessels on the market. However, given its impressive performance and features, we feel that it's worth every penny. The 20-gallon fuel capacity isn't great, but it's not terrible either. The engine is very efficient, so you won't have to refuel too often.

The  Jeanneau Sunfast 3200  is an excellent solo-sailing vessel that will provide its owner with years of enjoyment on the open water. It's fast, stable, and easy to handle, and it comes packed with several features that make it a great choice for both experienced sailors and first-time boat buyers alike. If you're looking for a high-performance solo-sailing boat, the Sunfast 3200 should definitely be at the top of your list.

  • Price: $160,000
  • Length overall: 33.08 ft
  • Displacement: 7496 lbs
  • Fuel capacity: 20 gal
  • Water capacity: 21 gal
  • Rigging type: Fractional Sloop
  • Lightweight and fast
  • Good handling
  • Ideal for novice sailors
  • Durable construction
  • Great stability
  • A tad expensive
  • Low fuel capacity compared to others in its class

If you're looking for a fast, fun, and competitive sailboat, the  J/109  is definitely worth considering. This popular one-design racer-cruiser has been winning regattas and impressing sailors since its launch in 2004.

The J/109 is well-suited for both racing and cruising, with a comfortable interior that includes a spacious main salon, two double staterooms, and a large head with a separate shower stall. On deck, the boat is designed for easy single-handed or short-handed sailing, with all controls led aft to the cockpit.

Performance-wise, the J/109 is known for its excellent upwind speed and pointing ability. It's also relatively light (around 10,900 lbs) and easy to tow, making it a great choice for sailors who want to do a little bit of everything.

The J/109 has a purposeful, racy design with only a little bow over the waterline and an open stern. The boat is also equipped with a powerful asymmetrical spinnaker and a North Sails 3Di mainsail, making it capable of some great downwind speed. The deckhouse is nicely proportioned and well-protected from the elements, with a large dodger and bimini for shade.

BaltekContourkore's end-grain balsa composite construction is used throughout the hull and deck, resulting in a strong yet lightweight structure. The boat is also equipped with a watertight collision bulkhead forward and an integrated swim platform aft. The J/109 also features an emergency tiller and a comprehensive set of safety gear, including two anchors, a life raft, and a ditch bag.

The patented "Scrimp" resin infusion process is used to construct the J/109, resulting in a strong, stiff, and lightweight hull. The boat also features a keel-stepped mast, anodized aluminum toe rails, and a set of Harken winches.

A 27 Hp Yanmar 3 engine runs the J/109, providing plenty of power for cruising or racing. The engine is also located in a sound-proofed compartment, making it relatively quiet underway.

The J/109 has a large forward cabin with a V-berth, a settee, and plenty of storage. There is also a private head with a shower stall, making it a great choice for cruising couples. The aft cabin features a double berth, a settee, and plenty of storage. A skylight and opening port provide natural light and ventilation, while an ensuite head with a shower makes it convenient for overnight guests.

The J/109 galley is located on the boat's port side, just aft of the forward cabin. It features a two-burner stove, a sink, and plenty of counter space for food preparation. The main salon of the J/109 is spacious and comfortable, with a large U-shaped settee and a table that can accommodate up to eight guests. There is also plenty of storage space, including cabinets, shelves, and a closet. A flat-screen TV is mounted on the forward bulkhead.

The head of the J/109 is located on the starboard side of the boat, just aft of the main salon. It features a sink, a vanity, and a large head with a separate shower stall. The companionway of the J/109 is located on the starboard side of the boat, just aft of the main salon. It features a set of teak steps and a large hatch that provides access to the cockpit.

The cockpit of the J/109 is well-protected and spacious, with ample room for crew and gear. All controls are led aft to the helm, making it easy to sail single-handed or short-handed. There is also a large lazarette for storage, a hot and cold-water shower, and a swim ladder that makes it easy to get back on board from the water.

One downside to the J/109 is its price tag, which is high for a boat of its size. However, its quality construction, spacious accommodations, and impressive performance make it great for serious sailors.

The  J/109  is a fast, fun, and competitive sailboat that is well-suited for racing and cruising. With a comfortable interior, easy single-handed sailing, and great upwind speed, the J/109 is a great choice for sailors who want to do a little bit of everything.

  • Price: $100000-$150000
  • Length: 35.25 ft
  • Draft: 7.00 ft
  • Displacement: 10900 lbs
  • Fast and competitive
  • Spacious interior
  • Easy single-handed sailing
  • Loaded with features
  • High price tag
  • Not the most stable in rough waters

3. Hunter Channel 31

The  Hunter Channel 31  is a great option for sailors looking for a fast and comfortable solo-sailing vessel. It's lightweight and easy to handle, and it comes with a number of features that make it an ideal choice for both experienced sailors and first-time boat buyers alike. Solo-sailing is made easier by the hull and keel design. The boat is also stable and tracks well in most wind and wave conditions, making it a great choice for sailors who want to explore new areas.

The Hunter Channel 31 is a fractional sloop that was designed by David Thomas and built by Hunter Boats. It has a fiberglass hull and deck with an aluminum mast and keel. The boat's overall length is 30.75 ft, with a beam of 10.33 ft and a draft of 4.08 ft. Channel 31 is constructed using the SCRIMP process, which involves the infusion of resin into the fiberglass to create a stronger, more durable hull. This construction method results in a lighter boat that is also less susceptible to delamination.

The Hunter Channel 31 sailboat is also great for cruising and day sailing. It has a large cockpit that can comfortably accommodate up to four people, and the cabin can be used for storage or as a place to take a break from the sun. The boat also comes with all of the standard amenities, including running lights, an anchor, and a dock line.

The boat has several features that make it both comfortable and easy to sail, including an ergonomic cockpit layout, self-tailing winches, and a furling mainsail. The boat also comes with a number of safety features, such as a keel-stepped mast and an onboard emergency location beacon.

The Hunter Channel 31 features two cabins and six berths, making it a great option for weekend getaways. The forward cabin has a V-berth that can accommodate two people, while the aft cabin has two berths and a sitting area. There is also plenty of storage space in both cabins for gear and supplies.

The boat's lightweight and high ballast ratio make it stable in heavy weather, and its deep keel provides good tracking ability. The Channel 31 is also equipped with a bowsprit, which allows for the use of larger headsails.

The Hunter Channel 31 is a fast and responsive boat perfect for sailing in coastal waters. It has a cruising speed of 7 knots and a top speed of 9 knots. The boat also handles well in strong winds, making it a great choice for sailors who live in areas with rough seas.

In addition to its high performance, the Channel 31 is also very comfortable to sail. It comes with several features that make it easy to adjust to different wind and wave conditions, including a self-tacking jib, roller furling mainsail, and V-berth with storage below.

The Channel 31 isn't the fastest boat on the water, but its speed is more than enough for most sailors. The boat is also comfortable and easy to handle, making it a great choice for both experienced sailors and first-time boat buyers alike. Furthermore, at $50,000, the Hunter Chanel 31 is an excellent value for a solo-sailing vessel.

The  Hunter Channel 31  is the perfect boat for anyone who wants to enjoy the thrill of sailing without worrying about being cramped up in a small space. It's also a great option for those who want to sail in style, as the boat's sleek design is sure to turn heads out on the water. Whether you're sailing around your local harbor or crossing the Atlantic Ocean, the Hunter Channel 31 is a great option for anyone who wants to experience the best of sailing.

  • Price: $50000
  • Length Overall: 30.75 ft
  • Displacement: 9500 lbs
  • Draft: 4.08 ft
  • Rigging type: Fractional sloop
  • Great value for money
  • Sleek design
  • Comfortable cockpit
  • Well-made and durable
  • Not the fastest boat on the water
  • It may be too large for some sailors

4. West Wight Potter 19

The  West Wight Potter 19  sailboat is a great option for those who are looking for an affordable and easy-to-use sailing boat. This boat is perfect for both beginners and experienced sailors and can be sailed in various settings. The Potter 19 is made from durable materials that can withstand even the harshest conditions. It also comes with all the necessary rigging and accessories allowing you to get out on the water as soon as possible.

The West Wight Potter 19 sailboat is designed for both performance and comfort. It has a spacious cockpit that can accommodate up to four people, and the high-quality materials make it durable and weatherproof. The boat also comes with various standard features, including anodized aluminum spars, ballasted fin keel, and molded incluses.

Due to its compact size, the Potter 19 can be easily trailer-launched and stored in a standard garage. It's also easy to sail, even for beginners, and can be rigged in minutes. The galvanized keel retracts vertically into the hull for easy beaching or trailering, and the included trailer has brakes for extra safety.

The mast can be raised manually with the mast-raising mechanism, which is a simple process that requires only one individual. The boat can also be sailed single-handedly, and the jib can be reefed without leaving the cockpit.

The Potter 19 also features a self-tacking jib, which is ideal for beginners or those who don't want to fuss with the sails. The jib can be easily raised or lowered from the cockpit, and there's no need to go forward to the bow to adjust it.

The hull is made of fiberglass, and the deck is made of marine-grade plywood. The boat has a length of 18.75 ft, a beam of 7.5 ft, and a draft of 0.5 feet. It has a displacement of 1225 lbs and a sail area of 145 sq ft.

The hard chines of the hull mean that the boat is slower to heal in a breeze, but this also makes it more stable and forgiving. And while the Potter 19 may not be the fastest sailboat on the water, it's still able to reach speeds of up to 6 knots. The one disadvantage of sailing on this boat is that it thumps its nearly flat hull when entering waves or the wakes of other boats.

With a genoa, the boat may heel excessively with the wind over 12 knots under full sail, but it can still be sailed in winds up to 15 knots. The jib is very effective in light air, and the boat can be sailed comfortably with winds as low as 5 knots.

The Potter 19 sailboat is an excellent choice for those who want a fast, responsive boat that can handle various conditions. It has a sleek hull design that easily cuts through the water, and the ballasted fin keel ensures good stability even in rough seas. The boat also comes with a comprehensive set of sailing instructions, so you can get up and running quickly.

The Potter 19 sailboat is fast and agile, making it perfect for sailing in tight quarters or along the coastline. It has a well-balanced hull that provides good stability, and the ballasted fin keel ensures that it tracks well in open water. Thanks to its flared bow and hard chine, the boat also handles choppy seas and windy conditions well.

The West Wight Potter 19 is an excellent value for the price. It's a high-quality sailboat that's built to last, and it comes with a variety of standard features that are typically found on more expensive boats. It's also easy to sail and trailer-launch, making it a great option for novice sailors or those who don't have much sailing experience.

Overall, the  West Wight Potter 19  sailboat is an excellent option for those who are looking for an affordable and easy-to-use sailing boat. It's perfect for both beginners and experienced sailors and can be sailed in various settings. The Potter 19 is made from durable materials that can withstand even the harshest conditions. It also comes with all the necessary rigging and accessories to get you out on the water as soon as possible.

  • Price: $5000-$25000 (Depending on features)
  • Length: 18.75 ft
  • Draft: 3.58 ft
  • Displacement: 1225 lbs
  • Very responsive
  • Can handle various conditions
  • Comes with many standard features
  • Easily trailerable
  • Hull may thump in waves or wakes
  • May heel excessively with the wind over 12 knots under full sail.

5. Cape Dory 28

The  Cape Dory 28  is a popular choice for sailors looking for a reliable and affordable boat. This model is known for its simple design and easy-to-use features, making it ideal for beginners and experienced sailors alike. The Cape Dory 28 is also praised for its durability, as it is built to last through many years of use.

The Cape Dory 28 was designed by world-renowned designer Carl Alberg. The Cape Dory 28 shares many of the same features as the Triton, including a comfortable interior layout and a simple rig. The boat was first introduced in 1984 and has been a popular choice among sailors ever since.

The Cape Dory 28 is available in sloop and cutter configurations, allowing sailors to choose the rig that best suits their needs. The sloop configuration is ideal for cruising and racing, while the cutter configuration is perfect for coastal sailing and weekend getaways. No matter which configuration you choose, the Cape Dory 28 will provide you with hours of enjoyment on the water.

The Cape Dory 28 is typically equipped with a mainsail, jib, and spinnaker. The boat can also be fitted with a furling genoa for easier sailing. It features a "full keel," which makes it very stable in the water and handles choppy conditions well.

While the Cape Dory 28 does not have all the bells and whistles of some of the more expensive models on the market, it still offers everything you need for a comfortable and enjoyable sailing experience. The cabin is spacious and well-appointed, with plenty of storage space for your belongings. The cockpit is also large enough to accommodate several people, making it perfect for a day out on the water with your friends or family.

Fiberglass laminates are used throughout the hull construction of the Cape Dory 28, ensuring that your boat will withstand even the harshest weather conditions. And if you ever need to make repairs, the simple design of this sailboat makes it easy to do so. The foredeck is large enough to store your sails and other gear, and the mast is easy to raise and lower. The Cape Dory 28 also comes with a self-tailing winch, making it easier to operate.

The core of the deck is made from plywood or balsa, which is then covered with fiberglass. This provides a strong and durable surface that is also easy to maintain. The hull is designed to provide good stability and handling, perfect for beginners and experienced sailors.

The aft section of the cabin has a v-berth forward followed by a port head. There is also a settee that can be converted to a double berth. The galley is well-equipped with a sink, stove, and refrigerator, and there is plenty of room for food and drinks. The Cape Dory 28 is an excellent choice for anyone who wants a durable, easy-to-use sailboat that won't break the bank.

The galley is aft to the port side and features a two-burner stove, icebox, and stainless-steel sink. The V-berth is located in the bow of the boat and can comfortably sleep two people. The Cape Dory 28 also has a self-tailing winch, making it easy to operate.

The Cape Dory 28 is a great choice for sailors who are looking for a small but sturdy and reliable sailboat. The main issue with the Cape Dory 28 is the deterioration of fuel tanks, so it is important to have them inspected regularly and replaced if necessary. Additionally, the stern tubes and rudder bearings should be inspected and replaced as needed.

The majority of Cape Dory 28s come with welded aluminum tanks mounted on a plywood base and supported by wooden cleats around the bottom of the tank. When wood comes in direct contact with aluminum, it causes pitting and corrosion. As a result, it is important to have your fuel tanks inspected regularly and replaced if necessary.

The  Cape Dory 28  is a great choice for anyone looking for an affordable and durable sailboat. This model is known for its simple design and easy-to-use features, making it ideal for beginners and experienced sailors alike. Additionally, the Cape Dory 28 is praised for its durability, as it is built to last through many years of use. If you are in the market for a new sailboat, the Cape Dory 28 should definitely be at the top of your list.

  • Price: $25000
  • Length: 28 ft
  • Draft: 4 ft
  • Displacement: 9000 lbs
  • Water Capacity: 60 gal
  • Fuel Capacity: 32 gal
  • Excellent value for money
  • Timeless design
  • Easy to use
  • Great for beginners and experienced sailors alike
  • Decent fuel capacity
  • Fuel tanks may deteriorate over time
  • Stern tubes and rudder bearings may need to be replaced periodically

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Going Solo: Getting Started with Single-handed Sailing

The idea of single-handed sailing appeals to cruisers and racers alike. Quantum’s Yannick Lemonnier shares his single- and short-handed sailing experiences to help you get started.​

sailboat for single handed cruising

On November 8th, 2020, 17 registered single-handed sailors will set off on the most challenging sailing endeavor in the history of yacht racing: the Vendée Globe, a solo, around-the-world, nonstop marathon, in which no outside assistance is allowed. In the 31 years since the inception of this race, a total of 167 sailors have started the race, but only 82 have finished the course. Armel Le Cleac’h holds the record for fastest race; in 2019, he managed to lap the planet in 74 days.

But single-handed and short-handed sailors aren’t all Vendée Globe racers with single purpose built, ultra-high-tech racing machines. The magic of being alone at sea is something that almost anyone can experience with a well-found vessel and the desire to venture out alone. Whether you’re racing or cruising, sailing short-handed requires a change in thinking, as now the individual sailor takes on every role in the operation of the boat.

Boat Set-Up and Handling

Once you’ve made the decision to sail short-handed, it’s essential to focus on ease of handling your boat, since you are now assuming all roles: skipper, dial trimmer, navigator, bow-person, engineer, and chef. The goal is to make each of these positions as simple for yourself as possible. One of the best ways to begin this process is to take out your boat on a calm day and go through the motions of sailing as if you were racing or cruising−hoisting sails, steering, trimming, and navigating, and see where you run into problems. Can you reef the mainsail by yourself? Is the spinnaker pole too much to handle on your own? Can you reach the sheeting positions from the helm?

Generally speaking, if you’ve never sailed short-handed before, this first outing may be a disaster. Simple things, such as not being able to reach the main traveler while you’re steering, can be problematic when you’re by yourself, so take notes as you flail around, and start investigating changes that will simplify your life.

These changes may be as basic as moving a halyard clutch or two or a bit more involved such as converting to a single-line reefing system. A single-line reef system is convenient where possible, but even adding a reef tack line and jammer back to the cockpit can be even better and requires less line that ends up tangled in the cockpit. The goal for single-handed sailing is to make the boat easier to sail. Your local loft can also help you with ideas on how to best solve problems and set the boat up for solo sailing.

Because of the rising popularity of short-handed racing and cruising, there has been a trickle-down effect in the technology used by Vendee Globe sailors. Equipment manufacturers now offer less expensive products based on the effectiveness of the prototypes used at the highest levels. Roller furling headsails and canting keels are examples of short-handed racing tech that has filtered into the mainstream. More robust and reliable autopilots interfaced with wind instruments to use apparent wind angle upwind and true wind from broad reach to run are now available to the general public. Sail handling systems such as top down spinnaker furlers, electric winches, and code zeros are further examples of commonly used hardware that originated from short-handed offshore racing. I recommend you use a releasable inner forestay with hanks and make your headsail reef-friendly. Make sure you have enough reefs, and use a cushion to make the long hours of driving more comfortable.

Think through the experience you’re looking for as well as your budget to prioritize a hardware and equipment list. Again, consult your local loft with your list. They will have good recommendations and access to industry partners to help you get exactly what you’re looking for.

Safety and Communication

Sailing Sailing without a full crew creates serious safety considerations that must be taken into account. There is always increased risk when fewer hands are on board, whether it’s a solo weekend trip or a solo ocean crossing. Jacklines (stout webbing straps running bow to stern that are clipped into the tether on your harness) should always be in place and used even in the calmest weather. The advice “one hand for you, one hand for the boat” should be followed as well. It’s also important to make sure you have the appropriate life preserver for the conditions and events, perhaps investing in a few designs for different circumstances and weather. There are pros and cons to the different styles of deck vests, so do your research and consult a specialist to decide which ones will be right for you.

You will also want to create a sail and communication plan and share it with a trusted contact on shore. This plan should include a rough estimate of where you plan to sail along with an estimated timeline. It should also include a check-in plan as well as an agreed upon course of action should you fail to check-in. Onboard wi-fi and satellite phones, while more expensive, are reliable methods of communication if you’ll be far offshore. Otherwise, a trusty cell phone can do the trick (Just make sure you have a battery!). I recommend using an AIS transponder with the call sign changed to “SoloSailorName” and a phone with Navionics with offline maps loaded. Never forget extra battery packs and proper charging ports.

Before venturing out, consider attending one of the Safety at Sea Courses (a requirement for many popular offshore races such as Newport-Bermuda or the Transpac), where you will learn the basics you’ll need for staying safe offshore.

Going Solo Doesn’t Mean Going it Alone

Finally, one major misconception about single-handed and short-handed sailors is that they’re introverted loners who go it alone for a variety of escapist reasons. In truth, you would be hard-pressed to find a more supportive and engaging group of men and women who are always happy to share their knowledge with newcomers. Getting involved with local short-handed sailing clubs like the P.S.S.A. on the West Coast and the Bermuda One-Two community in the Northeast is a great way to meet like-minded sailors and ease your way into this type of sailing. You can also consider sailing solo but leaving at the same time as other boats, which still makes it something of a social activity−one with help nearby if needed.

Single-handed and short-handed sailing is a unique challenge that is not to be taken lightly but one that will push you as far as you are willing to go. For some, it could be a solo passage to Bermuda and for others it could be as simple as going for a day sail without assistance. Whatever your motivation, it’s a special kind of sailing that can be highly addictive and extremely satisfying. Consider yourself warned.

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sailboat for single handed cruising

How to choose the best solo / single-handed sailboat?

What to consider in a sailboat for one person or a short-handed crew.

Keeping control of your yacht in all circumstances is usually on top of the list for most sailors. Because you are planning to be alone at sea, or because your crew is not necessarily savvy, or just does not intend to participate in the maneuvering and tasks, or even just wants to enjoy your RM’s interior comfort and modern cabins without being responsible for the navigation planning.

There are a few features to take into account when looking for the best solo or short-handed sailboat to live on – whether for coastal cruising or ocean crossings. If you are going to be the only one responsible for all operations, you might want to consider the yacht’s safety features, stability, easy maneuverability, and size, according to your sailing experience.

RM Yachts offers two plywood sailboats under 32 feet, which are strong, comfortable, and easy to maneuver for a single-handed sailor:

  • RM 890+, liveaboard yacht of about 29-30 feet
  • RM 970, a fast and comfortable 32-footer

Optimal features for safe and comfortable solo sailing

RM monohull yachts have been designed with optimized deck plans, which make them great single-handed sailing yachts: the deck fittings, the layout, the running rigging organization, and the ergonomics have been thoroughly thought to facilitate not only the solo navigation or the short-handed crew, but also the safety on board.

This ergonomics enable the single-handed sailor to:

  • Have a perfect fore vision from the helm station.
  • Have a panoramic vision from the inside charts table, thanks to the fore window.
  • Have a direct access to the sheets and traveler, thanks to the “German sheet” display, and take action within seconds: hardening or easing, deal with gusts, etc.

This ergonomics also enables an easy task distribution: the blockers and jammers, the sails trimming, the winches at the right height for a standing crew member, etc. All this without having to run to the mast’s foot in heavy seas – ideal for a solo sailor or a person sailing without assistance.

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sailboat for single handed cruising

Home Single handed sailboat

Have you been dreaming of solo afternoons, a short coastal trip, or a day’s sail all by yourself? Experience the magic of single-handed sailing...

All our yachts, whether it is the 38 or 70, have in common that they are easy to handle and suitable for single-handed sailing. All the controls, such as the jib winches, are located at the steering position. If desired, the mainsheet can be made electric on a captive winch allowing you to adjust the mainsail by the touch of a button. The excellent manoeuvrability of our single handed sailboats will make sure leaving and returning to your dock is never a hassle. But who better than one of the Eagle owners can explain the easy handling and manoeuvrability of our single handed sailboats:

sailboat for single handed cruising

Hi,   Just wanted to let you guys know that the boat has been an absolute joy so far… I absolutely love it. I’ve been sailing it 2-3 times a week since it arrived and it has basically been flawless.  I do a lot of single-handed sailing and it has been really perfect for that. Not to mention the number of compliments I get from people in the marina, which is incredible… It is probably the most talked about sailboat in Marina del Rey right now. Anyhow, just wanted to pass along this feedback – thanks for making such an amazing boat!

I first encountered the Eagle range of sailing yachts in Sainte Maxime, VAR, Southern France. Needles to say the area is awash with magnificent craft, however the Eagle 54 stopped me in my tracks. It started me on my journey seeking an Atlantic-coast seaworthy modern day-sailor. Believing that something around 10m would fit the bill, I spent about 24 months investigating, and test-sailing, several options.

At the end of the day the deciding factors were (in no particular order): Maneuverability, Ergonomics, Single handed sailing not critical, but advantageous, Stability and predictability, Ability to point, Off wind sailing, Centre of gravity, Feel when helming - which was very important, Ability to keep the skipper and crew dry, even in Irish Atlantic swells and conditions, Fun, Performance. And of course, design, build-quality, and finish.

Our Eagle 38 was ordered, and delivered, and launched on the 30th August of this year. She is a beautifully and highly technically well built and appointed day-sailor, and one that ticks every single box on the wish-list. She arrived on time, in wonderful condition, Steven having arrived the day before. The launch was seamless, by no means rushed, and had been clearly well planned by Leonardo Yachts.

Within 24 hours of her arrival, and on day one post her launch, we were beating at a steady 7 kts in a 1m swell, with about 10kts true wind. We bared away to a reach and were managing 8 to 8.5 kts without any effort whatsoever. Coming alongside the pontoon is a pleasure.

In terms of value for money, I would have to say that while these magnificent yachts may seem to be expensive, once fully kitted out, these boats represent very good value for money.

Thanks Leonardo Yachts,

Gary Delaney.

With the classic lines but modern technology and underwater body, our single handed yachts are fast but comfortable sailers. Due to the relatively low weight, of which a substantial part is placed in the keel, the Eagles are stable sailers. And due to the classic lines, the waterline increases when the single handed sailing yachts catch some wind and slightly heel. Just a small breeze will get the Eagles starting to fly and they will remain comfortable in stronger winds as well.Our Eagles are the perfect yachts for a single hander. If you share our passion for single handed sailing, we would be honoured to help fulfil your aspirations.

Get in touch and explore all our options.


5 Best Liveaboard Bluewater Sailboats

5 Best Liveaboard Bluewater Sailboats | Life of Sailing

Last Updated by

Daniel Wade

December 28, 2023

Liveaboard bluewater sailboats are both comfortable to live on and capable of making long, offshore ocean voyages.

The best liveaboard bluewater sailboats must strike a balance between comfort and seakeeping abilities. These boats are generally heavy and stable and roomy enough to spend time in. They must also include the necessary hardware to make cooking, sleeping, and bathing possible in choppy conditions.

Table of contents

Bluewater Liveaboard Sailboat Design

What makes a good bluewater liveaboard sailboat , and how is it different from a coastal cruiser? There are a few aspects of purpose-built bluewater sailboats that make them different from most production vessels. The first and (possibly) most important is the hull design.

The classic bluewater sailboat hull shape features a long, deep, full keel. The keel acts as a hydroplane and keeps the boat stable on course in all sea conditions. Deep keel sailboats aren't the only kind of bluewater-capable vessels, but they're a tried and tested design.

Other vessels gain stability from having a wide beam. Beamy sailboats are far more comfortable in rolling seas, as they tend to buffett and pitch much less than leaner, narrow boats. Most ideal liveaboard bluewater sailboats balance length and beam carefully to make the most of the space and hull shape.

Space is another important quality to consider when choosing the best bluewater liveaboard sailboat. Interior space comes first, as living quarters are a key element of comfort.

Cockpit space should also be considered, especially if more than one person comes aboard. Most liveaboard bluewater sailboats sacrifice cockpit space for cabin space.

A comfortable liveaboard sailboat should include several amenities, including a head (toilet), a shower, two sinks, a galley with a stove, an icebox, a place to eat, and a place to sleep. Ideally, the dining area is separate from the primary sleeping area.

A separate chart table is ideal as well because it keeps food and clutter away from important navigational equipment. A chart table is less important on liveaboard sailboats that spend the majority of their time docked. That said, the chart table functions well as a spot for a microwave, toaster oven, or TV when you're not underway.

A separate forward V-berth, known as a master cabin, is a big plus on liveaboard boats. Separating the sleeping area from the rest of the cabin can increase comfort and coziness.

However, on a bluewater sailboat, a side berth near the hatch is essential as well. This is because you may need to quickly take control of the vessel after waking up, and it's best to sleep close to the helm.

Power and Water

Power and water shouldn't be overlooked when choosing a bluewater liveaboard. Many liveaboards spend most of their time docked and hooked up to shore power, water, and sewage. But bluewater liveaboards are designed for cruising, which means everything must be self-contained.

The best bluewater sailboats have sufficient freshwater storage tanks for several weeks on the water. Some have desalination (water maker) machines, which require electricity to run.

Solar panels are an excellent option for power generation, and they can be installed on almost any sailboat.

But all bluewater sailboats should have battery banks and a gasoline or diesel generator built into the system. On many vessels, the inboard engine also functions as a generator.

Safety is an essential factor to consider when choosing a cruising sailboat , especially if it doubles as your primary residence. Basic safety equipment such as bilge pumps and radios should be maintained and tested regularly. Backups and spare parts should also be kept aboard.

Other safety features, such as watertight hatches, can keep your cabin safe and dry during inclement weather. Self-draining cockpits are helpful when sailing offshore, as spray and waves drain from the exposed cockpit without the use of electric or mechanical pumps. If the drain ports are kept clean, no bailing is ever necessary.

Radar is another useful safety feature that, while not mandatory, can keep you in-the-know and alert you to the presence of nearby ships. Radar is especially useful at night, as the automatic alarms can wake you whenever a potential obstacle appears nearby.

Bluewater Sailboats for Living Aboard and Cruising

Living aboard a sailboat is one of the most interesting and rewarding lifestyles available today. It's even more alluring when you can sail your vessel across oceans, which is what bluewater sailboats are designed to do.

A liveaboard cruising sailboat combines comfort, seakeeping ability, and ease of handling in a compact and thoughtfully-designed package. Here are the best liveaboard sailboats for bluewater cruising.

1. Pacific Seacraft Flicka 20


The Flicka 20 is the smallest and most interesting sailboat on our list. At only 20 feet overall in length, the interior accommodations of this vessel are spartan at best and suitable for minimalist living.

What makes the Flicka 20 stand out is its exceptional bluewater performance. This sailboat is truly an ultracompact pocket cruiser. With a full ballast keel, self-draining cockpit, and wide beam, the Flicka 20 is more capable offshore than some boats almost twice its size.

This sailboat has the profile of a traditional keel cruiser. From a distance, it would be easy to mistake for a much larger vessel. Its hull shape, manageable Bermuda rig, and small size make it a perfect starter sailboat for single handed offshore cruising.

Inside, you have (almost) everything you need to live comfortably, albeit in a minimalist way. The cabin features standing headroom throughout, which is highly unusual for a 20-foot sailboat. On the port side, you're greeted with a small but functional galley. On the starboard side, there's a small head with a toilet and a shower.

The Flicka 20 displaces a hardy 5,500 lbs. Due to its large keel, there's no centerboard trunk to obstruct interior space. A V-berth upfront makes up the sleeping accommodations, and some models feature settees on both sides with a pop-up dining and chart table in between.

The Pacific Seacraft Flicka 20 has achieved somewhat of a cult status amongst bluewater sailboat enthusiasts. Only about 400 were built, so purchasing a Flicka 20 is somewhat of a rare and expensive proposition. That said, the benefits of owning a 20-foot bluewater liveaboard sailboat are hard to beat.

Cheap slip fees, low maintenance costs, and simplicity are the major selling points of this vessel. It's trailerable behind most heavy-duty pickup trucks and technically small enough to store on the street or in a driveway.

2. Pacific Seacraft Allegra 24


If the Flicka 20 is too small for your taste, try the Pacific Seacraft Allegra 24. It follows the same design principles of the Flicka 20, but with four feet of additional space for cabin amenities and seaworthiness.

Four feet may not sound like a lot, but it makes a world of difference on a sailboat. The additional space on the Allegra 24 adds room to the head, extends the port and starboard settees, and increases the size of the galley.

If you like the idea of a small, semi-trailerable offshore sailboat with liveaboard amenities, you'll love the Allegra 24. This stout sailboat has almost miraculous handling and seakeeping qualities while retaining the benefits of small overall size.

With the Allegra 24, you'll be able to make virtually any offshore passage and save on slip fees, maintenance costs, and overall labor. This vessel is easy to sail single handed and large enough for a minimalistic couple to live, eat, and sleep comfortably.

The Pacific Seacraft Allegra 24 is not ideal for people who need space for pets, children, or guests, as the interior is quite small when compared to other sailboats. That said, there's enough room for an occasional passenger, and the cockpit is comfortable enough for four adults to sit and interact.

3. O'Day 28


The O'Day 28 is a popular sailboat that makes a great liveaboard cruising platform. This affordable vessel was produced between 1978 and 1986, and over 500 examples were produced over the years.

All in all, the O'Day 28 is a stout cruising sailboat that's suitable for offshore and coastal sailing. It features a raked stern and hidden rudder, and a helm that's similar to what you'd find on much larger boats.

The O'Day has a large fuel tank for its inboard engine and an even larger 25-gallon freshwater capacity, which is excellent for offshore cruising. Additional tanks can be added in storage spaces, making the O'Day 28 suitable for long voyages.

The cabin of the O'Day 28 is spacious and includes everything you'd need to live aboard comfortably, along with plenty of storage space throughout. The wide beam of the O'Day 28 gives it lots of space, so the cabin doesn't feel cramped for its size.

Two models of the O'Day 28 were built; one featured a swing keel, and the other had a fixed swing keel. The swing keel model is ideal for coastal cruising and shallow-water sailing, while the fixed keel O'Day 28 is more suited for bluewater cruising.

That said, both keel variants make fine offshore sailboats. The cabin of the O'Day 28 features a large galley with a stove and icebox, two large settee berths, a large center table ahead, and a V-berth forward. The head serves as a separator to the forward cabin, giving the V-berth an extra layer of privacy.

4. William Atkin "Eric" 32


"Eric," designed in the 1920s by famous marine architect William Atkin, is a radical departure from typical modern liveaboard sailboats. However, as a bluewater liveaboard sailboat, this vessel likely outshines all the others on this list in almost every conceivable way.

Eric is a 32-foot traditional wooden ketch. This planked full- keel sailboat displaces over 19,000 lbs and has a draft of about five feet. The basic design of the hull is based on early Norweigian fishing boats, which were known for their resilience in rough North Sea storms.

Eric is a traditional gaff-rigged vessel with two short masts and a long bowsprit. Though complex to rig, it sails beautifully in all weather conditions. One of the earliest examples built survived a hurricane offshore in the 1930s, and subsequent models have completed numerous long-range ocean voyages.

Eric is a purpose-built long-range ocean cruiser. Interior accommodations are spacious and designed for comfort and utility. Unlike most sailboats of the time, Eric features a full head with shower, a 'master cabin' style V-berth forward, a full galley with an icebox, and standing headroom throughout.

William Atkin's Eric is, by all definitions, an ocean-crossing sailboat designed to take between one and four adults just about as far as they want to go. It has all the qualities of an oceangoing sailboat in a compact package, along with excellent seakeeping characteristics.

The primary drawback of this 32-foot Atkin sailboat is maintenance. Most of these hulls were constructed using traditional oak planking, which lasts forever if taken care of but requires skilled maintenance. The planks are caulked using cotton wadding, and they'll need recaulking if the boat stays out of the water for too long and "dries up."

If you're looking for a beautiful and historic liveaboard sailboat with serious offshore cruising capabilities, consider an Atkin Eric 32. Although somewhat rare, examples of this design occasionally pop up for sale on the used market.

5. Pearson 35

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The Pearson 35 crosses the rubicon into the 'big boat' category, as it has everything you'd expect of a large oceangoing sailboat. The vessel also has a unique displacement keel with an additional swing keel at the base.

The Pearson 35 is a roomy sailboat with excellent seakeeping abilities and a large sail plan. It's a typical Bermuda-rigged sloop with a tall mast and the usual sheet and halyard arrangement. As a result, it's fun to sail and easy to handle. It's also a fast boat, making it ideal for longer voyages.

The swing keel certainly doesn't make the Pearson 35 a shoal-draft sailboat. It has a modified full keel which (with the swing keel retracted) draws 3 feet 9 inches. With the additional swing keel down, the draft of the Pearson 35 increases to over 7 feet.

The Pearson 35 is a heavy boat with good sea keeping abilities. It was introduced in 1968, and over 500 units were produced. That makes it one of the more popular sailboats in its class, and plenty of Pearson 35s are still sailing around the United States.

Down below in the cabin, the Pearson 35 is roomy and comfortable. It features a full galley, an enclosed head with a shower and sink, and several berthing areas, including a forward V-berth. Plenty of storage is available throughout the cabin, making the Pearson 35 an excellent choice for living aboard.

There's something empowering about piloting a 35-foot sailboat through rough weather. The size of the boat provides both safety and a sense of security, which can help you keep a clear head during stressful situations at sea. The vessel is beamy as well, making it less likely to heel aggressively and increasing roll comfort in dicey seas.

Overall, the Pearson 35 is an excellent choice for a liveaboard bluewater sailboat. It's a large boat in comparison to the others on this list, and it's known for easy handling and excellent windward performance. The Pearson 35 is a common sailboat that's widely available on the used market.

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I've personally had thousands of questions about sailing and sailboats over the years. As I learn and experience sailing, and the community, I share the answers that work and make sense to me, here on Life of Sailing.

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Raising the Mainsail Single Handed: 5 Pro Tips

Single-handed sailing can be the most rewarding time you spend on your boat. And nothing makes you feel like a rockstar like sailing past a boat full of people by yourself when your boat looks fast and trim. But little feels worse than messing something up and spending half an hour grunting and sweating in front of a crowd to fix it.

Getting your mainsail up can be a challenge when single handing. So what are some tips to get the sail up?

Here are five solid tips to improve your single handed main hoists:

  • Fix your rudder in place
  • Use the right sail management systems, like lazyjacks, a Dutchman, or a Stay Pack
  • Replace your bolt rope with slugs or sliders
  • Use properly placed line clutches - especially rope clutches come in handy
  • Prepare your sails and rigging dockside

sailboat for single handed cruising

On this page:

1. fix your rudder in place, 2. sail management systems, 3. sail tracks and bolt slugs, 4. line controls and clutches, 5. plan ahead.

You want to keep your rudder in place so you can stay head-to-wind while you set the main. A boat spinning around off the wind will make setting a main much more difficult, so you need that rudder locked.

The easiest to use is an autopilot. If you have one, just engage it in "auto" heading mode when you go head to wind. That should hold you while you work.

If you have a smaller boat without an autopilot, figure out a temporary arrangement to keep the wheel or tiller centered. It should be quick to engage, and easy to get off.

Bungy cords on a tiller are easy. You'll need two, one to each side of the boat, clipped or wrapped on a stanchion, padeye or other convenient place. With no sails up, there won't be a lot of load on the tiller, but you need to keep it from flopping.

You can also use short pieces of line with a tiller, but be careful using a single length. Don't just loop the line around the tiller in the middle, since the tiller can slide through a loose loop. A clove hitch around the tiller in the middle of the line will stop the slippage and is easy to remove.

Many wheels have wheel locks, but they aren't strong enough to handle sailing loads. You shouldn't have high loads without sails up, but an unexpected wave might knock a rudder locked with a wheel lock. I prefer it as a backup only.

Like a tiller, you can use bungy cords to hold a wheel, or find another way to lock it in place with easily removed lines.

On my boat, I can set, reef and douse my main from the cockpit without leaving the wheel. While hydraulic furling and power winches aren't the norm, they are one example of sail handling systems to make your short-handed experience easier.

Stack packs, Dutchman systems, lazyjacks, and other systems help your solo main handling. Some of them are a lot more help to douse the sail than set it, but a sail reined in by one of these systems goes up better. Most of them keep the sail from sliding all over the place and getting out of hand and caught by the wind while you're setting it.

  • Lazyjacks are a set of lines run from partway up the mast to the boom. Their function is to collect the sail as it drops to help flake it to the boom. It also provides some containment as the sail comes up, though you need to take some care not to snag battens on the lines.
  • A Dutchman system installs nylon lines vertically through the main from a topping lift down to the boom. During the hoist, the sail slides up and down these lines and flakes automatically on the drop. The foot of the sail is tight to the boom to help this, and the sail can not escape while you're hoisting.
  • A Stack Pack is a hybrid of lazy jacks, a fully battened main, and a canvas cover permanently installed to the boom. The sail flakes down into the pack, and launches from it, easing handling going up and down.

Main furling makes setting the sail easy. There are two types of main furling - mast furling, and boom furling. Mast furling can be in-mast, or it can be retrofitted with a system outside the mast.

Both systems are major upgrades to a boat, so consult a rigger to make sure your mast and boom can handle the loads. You can't retrofit in-mast furling to an existing spar, and there’s a good chance you’ll need to need to replace the boom for some boom furling systems.

In-mast furling affects sail shape and performance (you can’t have a big roach or horizontal battens), and any furling system can get jammed. So while furling systems aren't a quick fix, they are something to think about when buying a boat to solo sail, or to explore retrofitting if you spend most of your time sailing alone.

sailboat for single handed cruising

A sail with a bolt rope gives the best airflow from sail to mast. But it's not the easiest setup for hoisting single handed since the sail isn't left on the mast, there’s lots of resistance from the bolt rope when hoisting, and you may need to feed the rope into the track if it pops out. A rope feeder helps, but can still bind and come out.

Replacing your bolt rope with slugs (or sliders) is a practical way for a solo sailor to keep a main in the mast when it's doused and hoist it quickly. The slugs go in the same track as the bolt rope, but you can add a lock on the bottom to keep them from sliding out once the sail is bent on. They also have much less resistance in the sail track than a bolt rope, so the hoist is easier.

You can fit mainsail track and car systems on a mast, and have similar advantages to slugs and sliders. The main can stay on the boom, and there’s a lot less friction on the hoist.

The other advantage to sliders, tracks, and slugs is that with smaller boats with lighter sails, you can run your halyard back to the cockpit and hoist from there. Hoisting a sail when you can reach the helm gives you a lot of options.

A line clutch in the right place is as good as an extra pair of hands. A few well placed controls - rope clutches in particular - can make a big difference to how you get your main up by yourself.

Picture hoisting the halyard - you get partway up, then notice you missed a sail tie down by the end of the boom. You have to either let the halyard down, or put it on a cleat while you step back by the outhaul get that annoying sail tie off. But if you've put a clutch on your mast for the main halyard, you can just step away from it to deal with the problem without losing your hoist.

Having your hoist held by a clutch (or even a cam cleat on a smaller boat) gives you that extra option to use your other hand for something else without dropping the main. If things go sideways, you may not want to lower the halyard to deal with it if the luff isn’t the problem.

A line clutch or cam cleat on the mast halyard should be backed up with a cleat to tie it off.

The best tip to help your sail handling is to plan well and do as much as you can dockside to make your life easier when you're out on the water. Anything you do solo is more work, and everything you do on a pitching boat away from the dock takes longer than when you're tied up. Preparing before you go out saves a lot of aggravation.

  • Bend on the sails, if you don't store your main on the boom. Get the sail on the boom before you leave (see “bolt slugs”). You don't need to put the halyard on, but a sail ready to hoist will save you a lot of hassle.
  • Run any rigging you store away and connect it to the sail as needed.
  • Get the sail cover off and put it away. It's one less thing to keep your hands on.
  • Set up the lines and cords for securing the rudder and keep them handy.

The other area to plan is the setup of the boat. As several of these tips imply, there are many ways to get your boat set for optimal soloing, but they aren't things you can come up with on the spot. You need to think them through and sometimes make some major upgrades or choices when buying your boat.

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sailboat for single handed cruising

Setting up for easy single handed sailing

  • Thread starter letlmt
  • Start date Oct 30, 2018
  • Catalina Owner Forums
  • Catalina Capri 22
  • Catalina Capri 22 Forum

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?  


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!  


Get yourself an auto pilot and read Single Handed Sailing by Andrew Evans. Good luck.  


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.  

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.  



Capri 22 mod.

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....).  

Meriachee said: if you really want to be able to "sail" with the AP Click to expand

AP - AutoPilot  



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.....  

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.  


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.  


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.  


delling3 said: 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... Click to expand



Does anyone have experience setting up an auto-tacking jib? http://www.catalina22experiment.com/home/projects/auto-tacking-jib I'm not racing and being able to essentially do a tack by just turning the boat seems very appealing - I might give this a shot the next time I go out.  


^^ 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.  

thinwater said: ^^ 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. Click to expand
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Israel-Hamas war latest: Hamas number three killed, US says - as video shows anguish after Israel's raid on hospital

The US has said Israel killed Hamas number three Marwan Issa in an operation last week. Meanwhile, the Israeli military claims 20 Hamas fighters were killed and dozens of suspects arrested in a raid on Gaza's al Shifa hospital - which the health ministry described as a war crime.

Tuesday 19 March 2024 10:55, UK

  • Israel-Hamas war

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  • US says Hamas number three Marwan Issa killed by Israel
  • Alistair Bunkall: Death is a big success for Israel
  • IDF soldiers raid al Shifa hospital in Gaza City
  • Screams of anguish in video showing aftermath of Israel's raid on hospital
  • Several killed as hospital on fire, say Palestinian health officials
  • Journalist 'beaten and detained' in raid
  • Michael Clarke : Israel under pressure as evidence grows it is committing systematic war crimes
  • Watch: Israel films storming of hospital by drone | What video tells us about the raid
  • Biden speaks to Israeli PM - their first call in 32 days

That's all for this evening, but we'll be back tomorrow with regular updates and analysis.

Scroll down to read what happened during the day.

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau has joined those to express their concern about Israel's planned assault on the southern Gaza city of Rafah.

Mr Trudeau was speaking with Israeli war cabinet member Benny Gantz on Monday.

A statement from Mr Trudeau's office said he had "shared his concern" around the planned offensive "and the severe humanitarian implications for all civilians taking refuge in the area".

"He underscored the need to increase the volume of life-saving humanitarian aid for civilians and to ensure aid reaches all those in need, safely and without delay."

Christopher Lockyear, from Doctors Without Borders says any attack on Rafah would be "a disaster upon a disaster".

He tells the camera he is travelling through part of Rafah "which is incredibly crowded - we've been moving at a snail's pace for the last 10-15 minutes or so".

"There are people everywhere, there are tents and makeshift shelters to the left and right of me and there are kids literally everywhere, which is a real shock."

Mr Lockyear said: "Clearly any ground invasion into Rafah would be an absolute catastrophe.

"It doesn't bear thinking about."

As we have been reporting today, the situation in Gaza is becoming increasingly desperate, with children now starving to death in the enclave.

The UN has said famine is imminent, and the head of its  Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief body, Martin Griffiths, has condemned world leaders for failing to prevent the current state of affairs.

"Famine is imminent in Gaza," he said.

"More than one million people are at risk because they have been cut off from life-saving aid, markets have collapsed and fields have been destroyed.

"The international community should hang its head in shame for failing to stop this.

"We must flood Gaza with food and other life-saving aid. There is no time to lose.

"I renew my call to the Israeli authorities to allow complete and unfettered access for humanitarian goods.

"We know that once a famine is declared, it is way too late. We also know that, with action and goodwill, it can be averted."

This is footage filmed by a Sky News team near the al Shifa hospital earlier today.

Israel raided the hospital for the second time during the war, accusing Hamas of using it as a base.

Israel said it had killed more than 20 gunmen in the operation.

The hospital was Gaza's largest before the war and is now one of the only healthcare facilities that is even partially operational in the territory's north.

It has also been housing displaced civilians.

Israel's prime minister has agreed to send a team of officials to Washington DC so "an alternative approach" can be discussed with regards to Israel's plans for Rafah.

The news comes from US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, who was speaking after a call between Joe Biden and Benjamin Netanyahu.

The team will include military intelligence and humanitarian officials but it was not clear when they would travel to the US.

Israel said last weekend that it planned to launch an assault on Rafah, but there is growing concern about the safety of civilians in the city - where more than one million people fled to after being ordered to evacuate other parts of Gaza by Israel.

The call between the two leaders also comes amid US frustration with Israel's conduct during the war, including accusations that it has prevented from getting into the enclave.

Mr Sullivan said a major ground offensive would be a "mistake" and would "further isolate Israel internationally".

Bearing in mind that Rafah is a primary entry point for aid from Egypt and Israel, he said an invasion would also "shut that down or at least put it at grave risk right at the moment when it is sorely needed".

Looking across the rest of Gaza, Mr Sullivan said a "humanitarian crisis" had descended.

"Anarchy reigns in areas that Israel's military has cleared but not stabilised," he said.

The death of Marwan Issa is a big success for Israel, writes  Middle East correspondent Alistair Bunkall .

First reported a week ago by the Jerusalem Post after an air strike in central Gaza, there was no official confirmation until tonight.

It's unclear why the US confirmed his death before Israel.

Issa is the deputy Commander of Hamas's military wing and would have been involved in the planning of the October 7th attacks. He is normally regarded as the number three in Hamas.

Issa has the nickname "shadow man" for his ability to evade Israeli forces.

The whereabouts of Hamas's leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, remains unknown, likewise Mohammed Deif, the commander of the military wing.

It's thought they might be hiding in the southern city of Rafah, one reason why Israel wants to send ground troops in, though if Issa was located in central Gaza then it's possible others might be there too.

The US says Israel killed Hamas number three Marwan Issa in an operation last week.

Sky News has approached the IDF for confirmation but their response was: "The IDF has no comment on the matter."

When we covered reports of the death on 11 March, Israeli military spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari had said they were awaiting confirmation.

Below is the last-known photo of Issa, taken at a 2015 security conference organised by a Hamas-aligned organisation.

For those following the situation in the Middle East, one of the big questions is when - or if - Israel will launch its assault on Rafah.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during the weekend that the assault was still necessary to "eliminate the remaining terrorist battalions in Rafah".

But for those who are trying to arrange aid deliveries - and those who are desperately waiting for them - the lack of certainty is already risking lives.

United Nations humanitarian coordinator Jamie McGoldrick said aid operations in Gaza cannot be planned more than two or three days ahead at the moment because of the instability and uncertainty.

"It would be a really difficult scenario for us to envisage the possibility of hundreds of thousands of people being forced from Rafah because of the incursion.

"We are not in a position to contingency plan that. We're not in a position to pre-position shelter, material, food, medical supplies and especially water... It will be a real problem for us." 

Why does this matter?

It is already extremely difficult to get aid into Gaza due to the security situation and Israeli restrictions.

In desperation, a small group of countries has resorted to dropping aid from the air and deliveries have finally been arriving by sea - but neither of these makes up for the capacity that should be brought in by road.

And, as has been confirmed today, the need is immense - the UN says famine is "imminent" in northern Gaza and people in the rest of the enclave are struggling to access food.

Mr McGoldrick said: "If there was to be an incursion, that (aid) system we have, which is already precarious and intermittent, would then be broken."

Middle East correspondent Alistair Bunkall  is in Jerusalem and says the US and Israeli leaders would have had a lot to discuss during their 45-minute call.

"We have seen over recent weeks, in the absence of communication between the two leaders, quite a public spat between Israel and Washington, the US president making it very clear that he is not happy with the way that this war is being fought and the lack of humanitarian aid that is getting into Gaza.

"For his part, the Israeli prime minister has been defiant and adamant that Israel will pursue its war aims, specifically, the release of all the hostages and the elimination of Hamas in the Gaza Strip. If that means going into the southern city of Rafah, then that is what the Israelis plan to do."

Over the weekend we learnt that Israel is still planning to push ahead with an assault on Rafah, in Gaza's south.

The US, Israel's staunchest ally, has said it will not support such an operation without the Israelis presenting a credible plan to ensure the safety of civilians.

Bunkall said an assault on Rafah does not seem to be imminent but that the world is "increasingly concerned that Israel is gearing up for it", with all of the humanitarian consequences that could have.

Meanwhile, ceasefire talks have resumed in Qatar, with a senior Israeli delegation flying there today.

"The expectation is that they might take a long time, maybe a couple of weeks if they're going to be successful.

"But Hamas has lowered its demands, Israel is still saying that are being unrealistic in what they are expecting. But there is certainly, it seems, room for negotiation. And as long as that stays the case, then there will remain hope that a new ceasefire deal can be agreed at some point."

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    The sport and practice of single-handed sailing or solo sailing is sailing with only one crewmember (i.e., ... Robin Knox-Johnston was the only person to complete the race, becoming (in 1969) the first person to sail single-handed, unassisted, and non-stop around the world.

  19. 5 Best Liveaboard Bluewater Sailboats

    This sailboat has the profile of a traditional keel cruiser. From a distance, it would be easy to mistake for a much larger vessel. Its hull shape, manageable Bermuda rig, and small size make it a perfect starter sailboat for single handed offshore cruising. Inside, you have (almost) everything you need to live comfortably, albeit in a ...

  20. Every Single-Handed Sailing Technique the Pros Use

    Make sure your boat is set up for single-handed sailing with self-tailing winches, a self-tacking jib, and an autopilot if possible. Plan your route ahead carefully. Choose a route that is familiar and easy to navigate, and be prepared for changing conditions. ... Mooring a boat single-handed can be challenging, but with the right preparation ...

  21. Raising the Mainsail Single Handed: 5 Pro Tips

    A sail with a bolt rope gives the best airflow from sail to mast. But it's not the easiest setup for hoisting single handed since the sail isn't left on the mast, there's lots of resistance from the bolt rope when hoisting, and you may need to feed the rope into the track if it pops out. A rope feeder helps, but can still bind and come out.

  22. Setting up for easy single handed sailing

    Oct 21, 2018. 151. Catalina Capri 22 Lake George. Oct 30, 2018. #1. 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.

  23. Best Single-Handed Sailboats for Cruising and Racing

    The best single-handed sailboats are light, fast, and easy to sail. They're perfect for sailors who want to enjoy the freedom of single-handed sailing without sacrificing performance. Here are a few of the best single-handed sailboats on the market: * The J/70 is a fast and versatile 7-meter sailboat that's perfect for racing or cruising. * The Melges 24 is a lightweight and nimble 24-foot ...

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    The US has said Israel killed Hamas number three Marwan Issa in an operation last week. Meanwhile, the Israeli military claims 20 Hamas fighters were killed and dozens of suspects arrested in a ...