J/109 top ten for singlehanded?

How to make the boat go faster or compete within the Class.

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Dan Corcoran
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Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2017 4:32 pm

J/109 top ten for singlehanded?

Post by Dan Corcoran »

J/109 in ten best sailboats for singlehanded? Did this article get it right? I know the previous owner of Strider doublehanded, but single? Your thoughts?

https://bettersailing.com/best-sailboats-to-singlehand/

Similiar article:
https://www.lifeofsailing.com/post/10-b ... lo-sailing
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Vento Solare
Posts: 322
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 8:00 pm
Location: Newport, RI

Re: J/109 top ten for singlehanded?

Post by Vento Solare »

Yup - I singlehand and find the biggest challenge getting on and off the dock in a crosswind. With the autopilot I can hoist sails and drive. I'll even fly a spinnaker if the wind is less than 15 kts.
jkalucki
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Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2015 9:24 pm

Re: J/109 top ten for singlehanded?

Post by jkalucki »

I haven't tried to singlehand any other ~35ft boats, but I've taken Lindo (#195) out on San Francisco Bay (and near-offshore in calmer days) singlehanded well over a hundred (150?) times over the last ten years. It's very doable, but a workout our usual summer breeze. You are almost always dumping power while short-handed though, not having any real weight on the rail. And there's almost always some trim or navigation to attend to, somewhere. It's a lot of boat to handle singlehanded when it's gusting over, say, 25-30kts. It just gets old, fast.

Having the main sheet and traveller as they are has to be a big win over cruising sheet setups on the coach roof. Lead the cunningham, vang and inhauler to a roof cleat, generally set-and-forget the outhaul, unless on long downwind legs, and you'll rarely need to leave the center of the cockpit. It is slow to go behind the wheel to adjust the backstay and the autopilot though. A Tides Marine mast track takes most of the fuss out of the main -- it's not rolling-furling main Beneteau Oceanis easy, but pretty close.

Due to the recent unpleasantness, I've raced her singlehanded against doublehanded and fully crewed boats about a dozen times, and can often make it to the first windward mark with, or, rarely, ahead, of the fleet -- and can usually finish before at least one fully crewed boat. (Impossible to keep up the pace for multiple legs though. Crews always, eventually, win out.)

Docking is indeed a challenge in a cross-wind. It's a fairly light boat and I'm occasionally envious of neighbors with heavy racer/cruisers. I've a predominantly upwind slip, where wind blows about 30 degrees off port bow. Even though it sometimes gusts in the low thirties in the slip on summer afternoons, I've rarely made contact with the dock singlehanded. If it's blowing over say 12-15 abeam, I'll do boat chores instead.
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