Many sailing communities around the world are connected through sailers and boat owners from different parts of the world. Sailing solo is something you need to plan early in order to make all necessary arrangements that will help you in your voyage. It is a challenge that requires a clear mindset and discipline to keep your sanity alive throughout the time you are in the waters. Being alone, you will be multitasking a lot to manage your entire boat while keeping track of your route. Here are some tips that will help you with single-handed sailing.
Since you are the only one on the boat, you will be managing everything from navigation to skipping. Learn to hoist the mainsail and make the knots easier to manage. If you have a bolt rope sail, make sure that you install a good pre-feeder. Improve your reef system, so it does not require multiple people to manage it. A roller-furling headsail is the best choice for a short-handed sailer.
Sailing is now easier with technology as you can find a good autopilot system that you can install on your boat for short-hand sailing. You can find state-of-the-art autopilot systems that are robust, reliable, and accurate. It will help you sail properly in bad weather conditions where you cannot go out to operate the sails.
Handling a big boat can be difficult and can have higher chances of crashing or capsizing. Purchase all the necessary safety equipment to minimize the risk during your sail. Make sure to equip your boat with all the safety measures that can help you during the time of injuries and fixes required on the boat. Always wear a life jacket that also suits the weather conditions. Use jack lines to make your sailing easier.
Plan your entire trip, starting from entering and exiting the harbour, so that you are always two steps ahead of the problems that can arise during your trip. Know that managing the sail will take twice as long for a single person, so make sure that you have a plan for everything. You do not want to be holding a rope line in a difficult spot and have no one around to assist you.
The best part of the short-hand sailing will be eating and resting while you are sailing around. Always keep yourself full and avoid feeling tired or exhausted due to lack of sleep. Pack enough food and water that can last for an entire to-and-back trip. Pack plenty of snacks if you do not want to cook every time you feel hungry. Keep hot and cold beverages that you can enjoy during your sail. There is something great about short-hand sailing and a bottle of wine.