sailsandsales

Etchells or Star for single handed cruising?

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I'm kicking around the idea of putting either an Etchells or a Star on a mooring and using it as a fun pleasure boat.  I've always been obsessed with the old school cool factor of both, and you can get an old warn out racing boat for practically free.  I'm interested in it from the point where, they're 2 of my favorite designs and since i'm not worried about racing, I don't care about fleets.  I also like how they could be a platform for me to learn since their rigs are both so much more complex then my thistle.  My question is... can you single hand sail either of them?  and how do they do with that?  I'd love to be able to go out just my daughter and I, but she's 10 and not much help at times.  I need to be able to sail whichever boat i get by myself with her just able to help me with little things here and there.  Thoughts?

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10 minutes ago, sailsandsales said:

I'm kicking around the idea of putting either an Etchells or a Star on a mooring and using it as a fun pleasure boat.  I've always been obsessed with the old school cool factor of both, and you can get an old warn out racing boat for practically free.  I'm interested in it from the point where, they're 2 of my favorite designs and since i'm not worried about racing, I don't care about fleets.  I also like how they could be a platform for me to learn since their rigs are both so much more complex then my thistle.  My question is... can you single hand sail either of them?  and how do they do with that?  I'd love to be able to go out just my daughter and I, but she's 10 and not much help at times.  I need to be able to sail whichever boat i get by myself with her just able to help me with little things here and there.  Thoughts?

 

Sure. People single hand 70 footers around the world and shit.

You gotta have good gear on the boat...... you gotta be adept, no fumbling and cursing (my usual method)........ and you gotta think ahead

That all said, why would you pick the two fussiest, most PITA boats available as your choice of singlehand pleasure boats? Both are old school overpowered, take muscle and are not easy to "shift gears," and both have ergonomics that are best described as just barely shy of violating the Geneva Convention. I think if you take your daughter on either of them, she will rapidly acquire a fear and loathing of sailboats.

The fun is in the challenge, sure. And both are very very pretty boats.

FB- Doug

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 both have ergonomics that are best described as just barely shy of violating the Geneva Convention. I think if you take your daughter on either of them, she will rapidly acquire a fear and loathing of sailboats.

This ^.

No matter what or how you plan to use the boat, or whether you want accommodations (obviously not) or performance or cheap,  be comfortable if you want to introduce a family member to sailing.

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For something like what you describe, I always found the Pearson Ensign to be an attractive boat.  

Not as nice looking but the Rainbow 24 is a pretty nice sailing small S&S designed boat.  

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You can easily leave a cheap Ensign on a mooring and single hand it with your daughter aboard.

 

EC4D43F8-3E20-4BCC-9F02-11AACA5DB6AE.jpeg

1427C24A-5C74-412E-B64D-7F49CD1E7463.jpeg

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2 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

 

and both have ergonomics that are best described as just barely shy of violating the Geneva Convention.

FB- Doug

fuck that's funny. so aptly describes a whole litany of boats out there... 

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I race thistles with my daughter... they can't be less comfortable then that are they?

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The Capri 22 by Catalina would be a good choice.  Not blistering fast, but lively and comfortable to be aboard.

Or if you demand something old school,  Herreshoff 12 1/2.

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+1 on the Ensign. Having a small cabin on a daysailer is a a very nice feature: store gear, get out of the sun or rain, change clothes, or go for an overnight.

The Ensign is a simple well balanced boat. Great suggestion.

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Unless your daughter is over 200 pounds and loves to hike, a Star will be grossly overpowered. If limited to those two choices go with the E22.

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45 minutes ago, sailronin said:

Unless your daughter is over 200 pounds and loves to hike, a Star will be grossly overpowered. If limited to those two choices go with the E22.

More to the point: backstays.

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I always wonder at who thought the Star style boat was a good idea comfort wise. I can't imagine spending 20 seconds in one I didn't have to. I think there is a reason they are dirt cheap when too beat to race.

There is a reason people like the J-22 style boats now - you can actually sit down and relax. As for Rainbows, they are actually quite fun in a breeze, but kind of slow in light air.

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1 hour ago, fastyacht said:

At least the thistle has seats!

And medieval torture devices.

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If you... a.) live in a light, light, light wind area and  b.) know how to sail, then a star may have its advantages as a daysailer. I still wouldn't do it because of the low boom. And where do you stow that amount of sail when you anchor and go for a swim?

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4 hours ago, kent_island_sailor said:

I always wonder at who thought the Star style boat was a good idea comfort wise. I can't imagine spending 20 seconds in one I didn't have to. I think there is a reason they are dirt cheap when too beat to race.

There is a reason people like the J-22 style boats now - you can actually sit down and relax. As for Rainbows, they are actually quite fun in a breeze, but kind of slow in light air.

Hadn’t thought about J22,  but they are old enough now that you can get a well used on at a reasonable price ,  if you are looking for a solo or short crewed daysailer, there are a few options out there that fit the bill. I like the rainbow (I taught at ASS more than 40 years ago and placed in the Nationals one year) but I think most are tired and not many come on the market these days. 

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International Dragon   is a very pretty boat and probably more stable and tolerant. It requires some muscles to handle it though.

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1 hour ago, Omer said:

International Dragon   is a very pretty boat and probably more stable and tolerant. It requires some muscles to handle it though.

I have sailed them. Not especially comfortable and not cheap. I am not sure about the safety of the other boats mentioned, but while running downwind in heavy air on a cold rainy day in Scotland, I was having a time keeping the boat straight and asked the owner what would happen if we broached. "She'll sink like a stone" was the answer and I noticed we were all alone out there. Note to self - don't screw up.

OTOH as sucky as it was running, going to windward in a Dragon is an experience. It was made for that, very close winded and fingertip control. The F1 of boats for getting to the windward mark for sure :D

 

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3 hours ago, Omer said:

International Dragon   is a very pretty boat and probably more stable and tolerant. It requires some muscles to handle it though.

Despite it's own limitations, a Dragon is a cadillac compared to an Etchells or Star....

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35 minutes ago, Veeger said:

Despite it's own limitations, a Dragon is a cadillac compared to an Etchells or Star....

Very true, but I think an Ensign is a lot closer to a low budget Craigslist daysailor for a father-daughter operation ;)

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18 hours ago, Innocent Bystander said:

Hadn’t thought about J22,  but they are old enough now that you can get a well used on at a reasonable price ,  if you are looking for a solo or short crewed daysailer, there are a few options out there that fit the bill. I like the rainbow (I taught at ASS more than 40 years ago and placed in the Nationals one year) but I think most are tired and not many come on the market these days. 

I thought about the J22 too, since I have owned two of them. They are sweet sailing boats. The cockpit is large and comfortable but a little lacking for backrests. The cabin is perfect for a daysailer. The drawbacks (at least for me): In over 10 knots, they become pretty dependent on crew weight, and it was important to reef, especially if single handing. Also, the location of the jib sheet winches on top of the cabin made tacking a little awkward when single handing, but do-able.

All in all, it would be a good choice, AND they are nice looking boats.

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On 3/13/2018 at 12:51 PM, sailsandsales said:

I race thistles with my daughter... they can't be less comfortable then that are they?

That depends...... by "less comfortable" do you really mean "fells like I spent a couple hours getting beaten about the body with a 2x4" then you're right on. Unfortunately many boats are "less comfortable," we were just discussing sailing a Finn 24/7 for a week straight in the Everglades Challenges thread. The Thistle is a winner in this category.

The Etchells is actually not that bad, and it's a total hoot to sail. But it is an old-school muscle boat. Hoisting the main takes three guys and a lot of careful attention.... pull and pull and pull and pull, then wrestle the bunt of the sail from blowing overboard, pull and pull and pull and pull, then wrestle the bunt of the sail from blowing overboard, pull and pull and pull and pull, then wrestle the bunt of the sail from blowing overboard, pull and pull and pull and pull, then wrestle the bunt of the sail from blowing overboard, pull and pull and pull and pull, then wrestle the bunt of the sail from blowing overboard,

........ and sneak a look to see how much you have left, FUCK there's the sail numbers!

FB- Doug

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How about the H-boat?

It's cheap, sails well, superior cockpit ergonomics to your suggestions, no running back stays and practical-ish compared to the Etchell and Star considering it has a cabin.

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You could single hand cruise either boat. Both would require a lot of work just to get a minimal cabin. In addition, the Star would require a lot of work cutting down rig, raising boom, eliminating runners, etc. I've seen pics of a couple 'cruising Stars'...they're cute and look like fun, but you're essentially building a new boat on an existing hull and keel. 

Theres plenty of small, trailerable, cruisers and R/C available for very cheap. It would be less money and effort to refit one of them, thus make more sense. 

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This thread needs to up the ante on unsuitable boats for the purpose: 

For instance...How would a TP52 do for single-handed cruising?  I hear sails are cheap, and there's tons of room in the cockpit!

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22 minutes ago, Left Shift said:

This thread needs to up the ante on unsuitable boats for the purpose: 

For instance...How would a TP52 do for single-handed cruising?  I hear sails are cheap, and there's tons of room in the cockpit!

Furling genoa and autopilot - how hard could it be?

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35 minutes ago, kent_island_sailor said:

Furling genoa and autopilot - how hard could it be?

Bingo.  Throw an awning across the boom and hang a hammock between the pedestals.  Done and dusted.

There's got to be a used one going for a song out there.  Way better than a Star.  Faster than an Etchells.  

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8 minutes ago, Left Shift said:
47 minutes ago, kent_island_sailor said:

[TP 52 singlehanding] ... Furling genoa and autopilot - how hard could it be?

Bingo.  Throw an awning across the boom and hang a hammock between the pedestals.  Done and dusted.

There's got to be a used one going for a song out there.  Way better than a Star.  Faster than an Etchells.  

And you don't have to anchor. Just run the fucking thing aground when you're ready to stop for the night (or the week). In fact, if you could lawn-dart it and then get some pics, you'd be a real hero on the mythical Front Page!

FB- Doug

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2 hours ago, kent_island_sailor said:

Furling genoa and autopilot - how hard could it be?

I crossed tacks in LIS some years back--with RAMBLER. She was returning from the Block Island Race in May. She was already off Westbrook heading east by noon! 

On deck: one guy steering. Blade jib.  There might have been one other person visible wandering around.
 

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On ‎3‎/‎14‎/‎2018 at 12:43 PM, Bull City said:

I thought about the J22 too, since I have owned two of them. They are sweet sailing boats. The cockpit is large and comfortable but a little lacking for backrests. The cabin is perfect for a daysailer. The drawbacks (at least for me): In over 10 knots, they become pretty dependent on crew weight, and it was important to reef, especially if single handing. Also, the location of the jib sheet winches on top of the cabin made tacking a little awkward when single handing, but do-able.

All in all, it would be a good choice, AND they are nice looking boats.

This ^^^^, especially compared to the Ensign.  You don't sit ON an Ensign, you sit IN it.

Too bad they never built Herreshoff S boats in glass, superb cockpit, goes upwind like a dream, with a shallow cut main just turn the tiller to tack. Beautiful to look at, heaven to steer, big enough below to actually sleep 2.

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10 minutes ago, Cruisin Loser said:

This ^^^^, especially compared to the Ensign.  You don't sit ON an Ensign, you sit IN it.

Too bad they never built Herreshoff S boats in glass, superb cockpit, goes upwind like a dream, with a shallow cut main just turn the tiller to tack. Beautiful to look at, heaven to steer, big enough below to actually sleep 2.

I've never sailed on an S-Boat, but in photos and videos, they do look like a dream. I also like the fact that they (and the Ensign) have a traveler that is behind the tiller, not in the cockpit.

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6 hours ago, MikkelPetersen said:

How about the H-boat?

It's cheap, sails well, superior cockpit ergonomics to your suggestions, no running back stays and practical-ish compared to the Etchell and Star considering it has a cabin.

Who ever buy an H-Boat! Sheesh! :P

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2 hours ago, Cruisin Loser said:

This ^^^^, especially compared to the Ensign.  You don't sit ON an Ensign, you sit IN it.

Too bad they never built Herreshoff S boats in glass, superb cockpit, goes upwind like a dream, with a shallow cut main just turn the tiller to tack. Beautiful to look at, heaven to steer, big enough below to actually sleep 2.

Evidence thereof:

 

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10 hours ago, Bull City said:

Who ever buy an H-Boat! Sheesh! :P

Well, I for one don't - but appearantly many does ;)

I just thought it would be a good alternative to the suggested boats, though I'm not sure how active the H-boat is in North America? In Europe it's still a very active class. I'm not familiar with the Ensign, I've never heard of such a boat over here.

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On 3/14/2018 at 9:32 AM, kent_island_sailor said:

I have sailed them. Not especially comfortable and not cheap. I am not sure about the safety of the other boats mentioned, but while running downwind in heavy air on a cold rainy day in Scotland, I was having a time keeping the boat straight and asked the owner what would happen if we broached. "She'll sink like a stone" was the answer and I noticed we were all alone out there. Note to self - don't screw up.

OTOH as sucky as it was running, going to windward in a Dragon is an experience. It was made for that, very close winded and fingertip control. The F1 of boats for getting to the windward mark for sure :D

 

Years ago my wife and I got a ride on a friend's classic wooden International Dragon (built in Norway in the 1940"s I think?) for an afternoon in Mahone Bay, NS.

It started out as a beautiful sunny afternoon with a nice sailing breeze but the wind built through the afternoon and got quite brisk.  We rounded the Second Peninsula so were then exposed to the big rollers coming in from the Atlantic.  A dragon is only 30' long and feels smaller with the slim hull and skinny overhangs so I expected the boat to get tossed around some in the waves but it went through those waves like a hot knife through butter, the waves just sliding down the sides with no fuss.  That Dragon went upwind like a train.  Wow.

We had a wonderful afternoon, I still remember that ride fondly.

 

Anne+on+a+Dragon+in+Mahone+Bay.jpg

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6 hours ago, MikkelPetersen said:

Well, I for one don't - but appearantly many does ;)

I just thought it would be a good alternative to the suggested boats, though I'm not sure how active the H-boat is in North America? In Europe it's still a very active class. I'm not familiar with the Ensign, I've never heard of such a boat over here.

Bull is just pulling your leg, he owns an H-boat and has a great thread here about it.  But you probably know that already...

 

 

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34 minutes ago, Salazar said:

Bull is just pulling your leg, he owns an H-boat and has a great thread here about it.  But you probably know that already...

 

 

Thanks, sorry for being a bit thick - I've seen that thread but didn't tie it together with BC's post :-)

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I've often thought an Etchells converted for cruising would be wonderful for a grandfather/grandson cruise on the Maine coast. The key thing for cruising in this size boat is abandoning the idea of a self draining cockpit- this way you can sit inside the boat instead of on it. That and cruising the old way (which I remember from when I was the grandson) which means essentially camping with minimal electrics and minimal auxiliary power. Not being in a hurry to get anywhere is important- the idea is to be cruising rather than go cruising:-) 

Etchells-22-USA-95-_57.jpg

Etchells Day Sailor - A.jpg

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Plus 1 Tucky.

I did quite a few miles in a sistership to this one.  Often with my 3 young daughters.

 

YOD .jpg

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I once took my young daughter out in the Solent in an Etchells. It was foolish of me. The boat is very powerful. The main needs a 16-18 stone man to control it upwind in a breeze. There is no reefing. It could be a fun boat, but you would need at least two or three adult crew.

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I agree about draining on a mooring, making a boom tent a necessity, but a good one with mosquito protection also is a real cruising addition. People sailed decent sized wooden boats like Rozinantes and I believe S boats for years without self bailing cockpits- positive flotation is important- and I wouldn't hesitate to go coastal cruising in a well shaped boat without one. In a small boat there is a dramatic improvement in being able to sail in the boat rather than on it, which is a safety factor of its own. Of course a cruising Etchells would need a reefing system, as would any small boat being set up for cruising.

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On 3/15/2018 at 5:24 PM, Bull City said:

Evidence thereof:

 

Thank you for that, Bull, took me back to my youth. I spent several wonderful summers racing S's, and still know a couple of the owners. 

The bulk of the Narragansett Bay S fleet used to moor in front of our house, we'd host drunken pool parties after the races. Most of the boats have moved to Newport. One of the S owners I sailed with was Don Glassie, who later owned the 1925 Crowninshield schooner "Fortune", which at a downright skinny 50' 8" x 9' 8" went upwind like a banshee with a bottle rocket up it's ass, but rated as a schooner, and was lethal on the classic regatta circuit for many years.

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On 3/14/2018 at 2:49 AM, Sail4beer said:

You can easily leave a cheap Ensign on a mooring and single hand it with your daughter aboard.

 

EC4D43F8-3E20-4BCC-9F02-11AACA5DB6AE.jpeg

1427C24A-5C74-412E-B64D-7F49CD1E7463.jpeg

 

what a sweet looking design.

To the OP -- maybe an Yngling is a more appropriate size for you

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I singlehanded cruise my Dragon most weeks. Mainly daysails. I fitted an outboard, mainly to get out of the river where I keep it, and an autohelm for manoeuvres. I absolutely love it.

 

 

 

9F5A4ECE-900A-4862-B044-BB4A10B7F47D.jpeg

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To the OP, given you are on Lake Ontario, have a look at a Shark.  If you rig the blade it would be managable.  Many have furlers.   Decent cabin for an overnight.  Lots available and fairly cheap.  Can be trailed to a destination to cruise.  

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