Michael L.

J80 Single Handed

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Live on Juan de Fuca Strait and looking for a boat that can handle gale force winds and be sailed single-handed.

J80 is the most viable option so far.

What needs to be added to the "out-of-box" boat for getting it ready for sailing single handed under heavy weather?

Michael 

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Well a J/80 lost it's keel on the Doublehanded Farallones race a few years back.    They seem to be well built and abused hard but it wouldn't be my pick for gale force conditions.

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4 hours ago, solosailor said:

Well a J/80 lost it's keel on the Doublehanded Farallones race a few years back.    They seem to be well built and abused hard but it wouldn't be my pick for gale force conditions.

What do you think would be a better choice? 

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J80 is a great choice. Build a main with reef points. The OD (100%) jib and first reef down to height of jib and you are good to 25 kts. Setting/dousing OD kite over 18 single handed gets to be handful, so consider an A3.

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11 hours ago, solosailor said:

Well a J/80 lost it's keel on the Doublehanded Farallones race a few years back.    They seem to be well built and abused hard but it wouldn't be my pick for gale force conditions.

There was also another that lost it's keel - they were both low numbers and pre scrimp.  There have been no other instances since then, some owners did have the keel sump areas inspected and/or beefed up.  And that race was over 10 years ago.

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I single hand most of the time on the SF Bay.  I am not nearly as skilled as some of the single handed sailors in the bay, so I decided on an Olson that I retrofitted with a sprit to make it as easy as possible.  I equipped it with a top down asym furler and bottom up furl code zero.  It works well. When blowing hard I tend to use the code sail for downwind runs.  It powers up the boat when its has a 90% on the furler and can be rolled quickly and easily from cockpit.  I have a love hate relationship with the top down furler. To get to furler nicely you have to hold a a consistent downwind course as you furl. If something goes wrong when you are doing this, the furl usually sucks and it may take some time and swearing to fix it.  When its works its is great.  Draw backs of Olson single hand:  needs a killer autopilot and can be tender so you need to reef it sooner.  It is difficult to sail to its rating single hand because it really needs rail weight to optimize upwind speed and point. I have been experimenting with adding ballast for summer sailing in the higher winds. I also find sailing it by myself is quite physical and active.  Anyways its seems an Olson 30 set up right would be a possible option for you.  The boat is built very well so if single hand offshore is in the cards it could do that.  I know there are several folks on this board that have lots and lots of single hand experience with an Olson maybe they will chime in as well.

 

Bow sprit1.jpg

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one guy in our fleet single hands race to the straits every year,  Just get a good way to lock the tiller or auto-pilot and you're set. 

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13 hours ago, Varan said:

J80 is a great choice. Build a main with reef points. The OD (100%) jib and first reef down to height of jib and you are good to 25 kts. Setting/dousing OD kite over 18 single handed gets to be handful, so consider an A3.

Have you been sailing J80 under winds over 25kn? Do you think that another pair of small winches might be a good thing for flying kite and under what kind of winds did you fly it? On my previous boat (Beneteau First 210)  I was fine with sailing her single-handed under ~25kn of wind and that was my soft limit. Wondering how does j80 feel when it is blowing ~30kn? How many reefing points do you have and when do you go to the second reef? How big is the roach on your "working" main (not racing one)?

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4 hours ago, biglebroski said:

one guy in our fleet single hands race to the straits every year,  Just get a good way to lock the tiller or auto-pilot and you're set. 

 

5 hours ago, B dock said:

I single hand most of the time on the SF Bay.  I am not nearly as skilled as some of the single handed sailors in the bay, so I decided on an Olson that I retrofitted with a sprit to make it as easy as possible.  I equipped it with a top down asym furler and bottom up furl code zero.  It works well. When blowing hard I tend to use the code sail for downwind runs.  It powers up the boat when its has a 90% on the furler and can be rolled quickly and easily from cockpit.  I have a love hate relationship with the top down furler. To get to furler nicely you have to hold a a consistent downwind course as you furl. If something goes wrong when you are doing this, the furl usually sucks and it may take some time and swearing to fix it.  When its works its is great.  Draw backs of Olson single hand:  needs a killer autopilot and can be tender so you need to reef it sooner.  It is difficult to sail to its rating single hand because it really needs rail weight to optimize upwind speed and point. I have been experimenting with adding ballast for summer sailing in the higher winds. I also find sailing it by myself is quite physical and active.  Anyways its seems an Olson 30 set up right would be a possible option for you.  The boat is built very well so if single hand offshore is in the cards it could do that.  I know there are several folks on this board that have lots and lots of single hand experience with an Olson maybe they will chime in as well.

 

Bow sprit1.jpg

Looks very clean and sweet. Where did you get such an nice sprit? Was looking for something like that for a wile.

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I often sail  my J80 single handed across Monterey Bay including in a 40nm race in 25 knts. Having a Code 0 on a furler is nice for under 10knts, but the apparent wind moves forward so rapidly that the boat get overpowered quickly. I recently used an A3 much more effectively. No need for additional hardware, just make sure your vang line and jib sheets are long enough to reach from the helm.  I have a tiller auto helm but find that two rubber bands work just as well, although the boat can get rolly off the wind. I think the concern about losing a keel is overstated. Just check your keelbox and keelbolts regularly 

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