Re: Singlehanding a Chebacco
- I concur with Fraser's analysis of comfortable singlehanding of a Chebacco.
I guess that I'm considering reefing when the wind exceeds about 12kt (force
3). I get uncomfortable (reefed or not) at about 16kt (early force 4).
On the other hand, when I have a couple of crew along as live ballast, I'm
perfectly happy up to about 16kt before considering a reef. Crew weight
makes a HUGE difference.
Having said that, I have been out in winds of over 20kt (force5, gusting 6),
single handed (see the most recent Chebacco News for details), but although
there was never any danger, it was not a fun experience. Discomfort kicks
in LONG before you're in any kind of danger. As I mentioned in an earlier
email, the best plan in these circumstances is to drop the sails and motor
Phil Bolger has suggested dropping the main in a blow, and sailing home
under mizzen alone. I haven't tried it though. Anybody out there got
experience of sailing a cat-yawl under mizzen only?
BTW I keep my Chebacco on a mooring, about 100 yards from shore in an open
estuary. I keep a permanent line fixed at the bow and led back to the
cockpit, with a carabiner hook on the end. To pick up the mooring, I sail
past it, reach out and pick it up from the helping position, quickly hook on
with the carabiner and let out the line.. This holds her nicely while I
stow the sails. I can then make my way forward and secure the boat properly
to the mooring. I normally catch the mooring at first attempt, under sail.
To calm her down on the approach, if the wind is lively, I 'scandalise' the
mainsail - i.e. drop the gaff peak a little to de-power the sail.