Tips for singlehanded sailors
Published on 14 january 2011 at 0h00
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Sailing alone is more rewarding than difficult. It is also the best way of getting to know your boat well. It is not a question here of describing the methods used by the big ocean racers, who have to keep one eye open at 30 knots on one hull, pulled by a 300m² gennaker... What interests us is cruising sailing, close to the coasts, or on the high seas. Sailing alone can be a choice, a challenge to be taken up, but also an obligation. A delivery trip when no crew is available, or much more often, when cruising as a family. At sea, with young children and mum looking after them, or with a group of friends who know nothing about sailing, you have to handle your multihull alone... A statement of the obvious, to begin with. Don't overestimate yourself. If your experience of sailing is limited to a few courses and three weeks' charter, you are not ready. Sailing alone is not however reserved for old sailors who have sailed round the three capes. It's just a question of mastering the boat, and yourself.
There is nothing better than testing yourself ‘in situ', with an inactive crew, or really singlehanded. Don't look for difficulty. The aim is just to go out for a few hours' sail in good weather on your multihull (which is good condition, obviously), to take stock of your aptitude, the difficulties encountered and the pleasure felt. Certain sailors appreciate sailing singlehanded, others get bored, as they cannot share their emotions. Again, be humble. You ...
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