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Jaywalker

Single Handing, Day Sailing & Other Heresy

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Yes, I know that J22's are race boats bred to the purpose, so forgive me if I go off script for a bit.

 

I am 58 and next spring will finish educating my daughter. After 25 years of cruising large boats I sold our last large boat four years ago to help pay the tuition freight. Now that we are almost done I am actively considering how to spend the next few years of my sailing life. I have had enough long distance cruising and juggling big boat headaches. The next boat needs to be simple and allow me to sail more and fiddle less--no more long spring work ups, constantly repairing mechanical systems, or involved voyage planning. I am thinking about a substantial but lively daysailer that I can keep in the water and use for after work and early morning sails, usually alone. I am not interested in racing.

 

With all of that in mind, I am thinking about finding an older J22 and re-rigging the boat in order to tame it down for solo day sails. Things I am considering are adding a roller furling jib, running all control ines aft to the helmsman's station, putting on a Dutchman system for the main, adding slab reefing, maybe even replacing the running back stay with a fixed split back stay. In short, get rid of as many strings as possible and put the necessities within easy reach.

 

I am interested in hearing informed opinions here about how the boat will perfom, whether it will be managable for one person, and whether anyone knows of a J22 that has been adapted for this purpose. My thought is that this is a well designed boat that will still gallop for one person even if we bleed off racing performance.

 

I know that this sounds like putting catsup on a hot dog but I am interested in your thoughts. Thanks in advance.

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I see no reason to split the backstay. It's not a runner per-se and does not need to be released during tacks/gybes. You may want to move the cleats for the adjuster away from the helming station to reduce cluter or just remove the adjuster altogether. Anyway, after you install a furling headsail all you should need to do is put the main on cars and find some way to easily put a reef in the main single-handed. I think you will really be pleased with the result and the responsiveness of the boat.

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I see no reason to split the backstay. It's not a runner per-se and does not need to be released during tacks/gybes. You may want to move the cleats for the adjuster away from the helming station to reduce cluter or just remove the adjuster altogether. Anyway, after you install a furling headsail all you should need to do is put the main on cars and find some way to easily put a reef in the main single-handed. I think you will really be pleased with the result and the responsiveness of the boat.

 

Thanks. This is exactly the sort of feedback I need. Aren't the aft chainplates split though?

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Some of things I have done for single handling and day sailing:

 

1. added a reef point to the main( on slides and very easy to handle);

 

2. added a bow pulpit;

 

3. installed a Raymarine ST1000 tiller autopilot;

 

4. added a AGM battery, small fuse panel and battery switch;

 

5. added navigation lights and cabin light(all led);

 

6. ditched the heavy and unreliable outboard for a Torqeedo 1003 outboard.

 

I thought about a roller furler but the jib is pretty small and easy to handle as it is. I can hank it on at the dock and lower it by going forward and containing it with a line within the bow pulpit.

The autopilot and the electric outboard really make all the difference in the world. Docking into a slip with the electric outboard is a pleasure. The autopilot just makes everything easier.

 

I would like to keep this discussion alive. I am always on the lookout for additions to the boat for safe single handling. Plus, it would be nice to see this forum become a little more active.

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I bought my J22 in 2007, when I was 58. It's a 1984 (#395), with the original lay-out. I sail on Kerr Lake in NC, mostly day sailing and a little low-key PHRF racing.

 

The J22 is a simple boat and sails beautifully. Solo day sailing is fine for me with the class jib and the existing lay-out.

 

Crew weight is important, so I usually limit my solo sailing to days when the wind is on the light side, 5 to 10 MPH. Reefing the main is something I should consider more often.

 

When I bought the boat, it had a bow pulpit, lifelines and a stern rail. I took all of it off except the pulpit. I added a TillerClutch (http://www.wavefrontmarine.com/index.html) recently, which is very handy. I am in the process of adding a jib furler (Schaefer Snapfurl).

 

You are right about the backstay chainplates: they are split. I would leave the backstay set-up alone. It really doesn't get in the way, and it is useful.

 

Where will you be sailing?

 

I would like to hear more about the Torqueedo from Mark56.

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Torqeedo 1003 Outboard:

 

I have the long shaft model. It weighs with the battery 30lbs. It moves the boat along very well and if I avoid full throttle, I can get a couple of hours of run time out of a battery. The battery weighs 10 lbs and by removing one pin and a cable, it pops off the motor. This way I can lift the motor(20lbs) off the transom mount and store it down below in the cabin. Most of the time, I just tilt it up and leave it on the mount.

 

I have had all sorts of outboards: Honda 5hp, Yamaha 4hp and the air cooled Honda 2hp. For docking and motoring around the marina, the electric outboard is in a class of its own: instant start up and reversing is easy. I just got tired of having an outboard stall out when going into reverse while approaching a slip. Plus, having no gasoline on board is a definite plus.

 

Downside? People say they are too expensive and they do cost $2000. This is maybe $500 to $800 more than a small outboard. For me while alone on the boat, the peace of mind is well worth the extra money.

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Where will you be sailing?

 

 

Lower Chesapeake Bay, almost exclusively in the James River/Elizabeth River roadstead. I plan to keep the boat in the water about six months a year and to store it in a trailer or cradle the rest of the time at a marina very close to my house. In the water time will be split between a slip at a marina on Western Branch of the Elizabeth River and quite possibly a mooring off of a family beach on the southside of the James.

 

Regularly in the spring and fall, and sometimes from of an evening sea breeze in the summer, we get winds over ten knots. I definitely need to be thinking about reefing of some sort and the ability to douse the jib without going forward. I had not considered an autohelm but that too sounds intriguing.

 

I really appreciate all of these thoughtful replies.

 

The information about Torqeedo outboards is very helpful. I have seen them but don't know much about the benefits.

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I see no reason to split the backstay. It's not a runner per-se and does not need to be released during tacks/gybes. You may want to move the cleats for the adjuster away from the helming station to reduce cluter or just remove the adjuster altogether.

 

I have not been able to get up close to one of these boats for a long time. Let me see if I understand. I think you are saying that the boat has a split back stay and that the running rigging there is only a tensioner. Is that right?

 

This is an illustration from the APS site which seems to indicate that my impression is correct.

 

6505.jpg

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What a great gadget. Huge step up from the old jam cleat tiller minders. How much does it obstruct the cockpit?

 

The Tiller Clutch doesn't obstruct the cockpit very much at all. You run a line through the unit, and the ends are made fast to a jam cleat on either side of the cockpit, at a point near where the tiller hits the side of the cockpit when it pushed to the side. That point is pretty far aft.

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Torqeedo 1003 Outboard:

 

I have had all sorts of outboards: Honda 5hp, Yamaha 4hp and the air cooled Honda 2hp. For docking and motoring around the marina, the electric outboard is in a class of its own: instant start up and reversing is easy. I just got tired of having an outboard stall out when going into reverse while approaching a slip. Plus, having no gasoline on board is a definite plus.

 

Mark56,

 

I have a Honda 2 HP 4-cycle, and while it has many advantages (28 lbs., air-cooled), there are two big disadvantages. First, "neutral" consists of a centrifugal clutch, which disengages at low rpm's. When you start the motor, you immediately move forward - not a good thing in the slip - and it can precipitate an inconvenient stall. Second, "reverse" consists of rotating the engine 180 degrees - frequently an awkward move.

 

What kind of conditions do you typically sail/motor in?

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The jib furler decision:

 

My sailing background: A Sunfish, and then an Alberg Typhoon in the 1970's on Biscayne Bay; a J22 in the mid-1980's on Kerr Lake (sold because I had 4 children - you get the picture). I was always a hank-on guy.

 

Now I'm 63 and retired, and I'm getting tired of dragging the sail bag out of the cabin, hanking it on, tying on the sheets and leading them to the cockpit, and then reversing the whole process when I come in. Plus the guy in the slip across from me has a new Catalina 355 with a jib furler, in-boom mainsail furling with a power winch to raise it. He's 10 years younger than me!

 

I had concerns about sail shape, which I discussed with my sailmaker. I decided that I would not sail with a jib partially furled, since that seems to kill performance. I usually sail with the class jib, and occasionally, if club racing in light air, I use a drifter.

 

Consequently, I wanted a furler that would allow fairly easy sail changes. The class jib will be left on the furler, so it has a UV strip; the drifter will be modified to fit, but will not have a UV strip, so I will not leave it on the furler.

 

I decided on the Schaefer SnapFurl CF-500. It's not installed yet. It has a 2-part PVC extrusion that snaps around the forestay, and I've been having a hard time getting it to do that. Now, I'm having a rigger do it.

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Mark56,

 

I have a Honda 2 HP 4-cycle, and while it has many advantages (28 lbs., air-cooled), there are two big disadvantages. First, "neutral" consists of a centrifugal clutch, which disengages at low rpm's. When you start the motor, you immediately move forward - not a good thing in the slip - and it can precipitate an inconvenient stall. Second, "reverse" consists of rotating the engine 180 degrees - frequently an awkward move.

 

What kind of conditions do you typically sail/motor in?

 

I am on Lake Washington. I motor in and out of the marina and have been out in some medium rough conditions. Never had a problem with power with the Torqeedo. I would say that it was pretty close to the 4hp Yamaha that I had.

 

I had the same Honda 2hp 4 cycle on a U20. It was a good reliable motor but it was a hassle to flip it around for reverse.

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I saw #502 in Baltimore in Classifieds. Looks like just the boat for you!

 

What a shame it would be to carve up that pretty dry stored Baltimore race boat for my clumsy day sailing! It's a lovely boat.

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The jib furler decision:

 

I decided on the Schaefer SnapFurl CF-500. It's not installed yet. It has a 2-part PVC extrusion that snaps around the forestay, and I've been having a hard time getting it to do that. Now, I'm having a rigger do it.

 

I got the furler installed last week and went out for my first sail with it and the new jib today. I am now a member of the leisure class: no sail bag, no hanking on, and so on and so forth. The Schaefer unit is beautifully made, and it is very smooth. This is my first jib furler, and I am in 63-year-old heaven.

 

Note: (1) Got a good deal on the furler from www.judybsails.com ($487.00 plus shipping), (2) Snapping on the extrusions is not a "snap." It is a pain in the a$$. Have a professional do it and be sure to ask Schaefer to send you the "special" tool, (3) the rest of the installation is easy, (4) I got a new jib, which has the same overlap as the class jib (clew in same place), no battens, a slightly longer hoist, and it is more of a deck sweeper, (5) I installed the halyard restraining bracket.

 

Now does anybody have any tested ideas to make the main as easy to manage? I'm still using the old luff rope.

post-19-0-22626500-1352509686_thumb.jpg

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I got the furler installed last week and went out for my first sail with it and the new jib today. I am now a member of the leisure class.

 

The wind was light but the boat pointed well. I furled the jib a few moments before sailing into the slip with only the main. Very satisfying. Now I know why J-Boats are putting furlers on their new boats.

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When I single hand, I sit well forward of the traveler and use a long tiller extension. Normally one tacks by walking past the back of the traveler, bench to bench or bench to cockpit floor to bench. When single handing, I am playing with the jib sheets and sitting all the way at the front of the cockpit. This works great until you try to tack and the tiller extension gets hosed up with the mainsheet, so here is a very heretical suggestion: Find a new place for the traveler and mainsheet. Maybe all the way forward in the cockpit so it it always in front of you?

 

I guess another option is to pre-cleat the new jib cleat with some leeway and just let the jib go, walk behind the mainsheet per normal and catch up to the jib sheet when you get to the other side.

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When I single hand, I sit well forward of the traveler and use a long tiller extension. Normally one tacks by walking past the back of the traveler, bench to bench or bench to cockpit floor to bench. When single handing, I am playing with the jib sheets and sitting all the way at the front of the cockpit. This works great until you try to tack and the tiller extension gets hosed up with the mainsheet, so here is a very heretical suggestion: Find a new place for the traveler and mainsheet. Maybe all the way forward in the cockpit so it it always in front of you?

 

I guess another option is to pre-cleat the new jib cleat with some leeway and just let the jib go, walk behind the mainsheet per normal and catch up to the jib sheet when you get to the other side.

 

How about a self-tacking jib?

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Some of things I have done for single handling and day sailing:

 

1. added a reef point to the main( on slides and very easy to handle);

 

2. added a bow pulpit;

 

3. installed a Raymarine ST1000 tiller autopilot;

 

4. added a AGM battery, small fuse panel and battery switch;

 

5. added navigation lights and cabin light(all led);

 

6. ditched the heavy and unreliable outboard for a Torqeedo 1003 outboard.

 

I thought about a roller furler but the jib is pretty small and easy to handle as it is. I can hank it on at the dock and lower it by going forward and containing it with a line within the bow pulpit.

The autopilot and the electric outboard really make all the difference in the world. Docking into a slip with the electric outboard is a pleasure. The autopilot just makes everything easier.

 

I would like to keep this discussion alive. I am always on the lookout for additions to the boat for safe single handling. Plus, it would be nice to see this forum become a little more active.

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Hello everybody,great discussion by the way.

 

I recently bought my J-22 and I am crazy in love with her.

 

I sail in Vancouver (St Georgia South of Nanaimo and the Sound)

 

Question:

 

Will the tiller clutch be enough to help me tack and work (hoist) my main and head sail?

 

Do I really need the ST 1000 tiller autopilot?

 

It is a bit cumbersome not to have a roller furling, but I don´t want to mess around with sailing performance.

 

I need to find a way to single hand my girl, I can't always count on finding a crew.

 

Thanks

 

Anden

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