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A 72 foot heavy schooner would bust me for sure. That is going to be close to a record. It is more displacement than length, in my opinion. Or perhaps sail area, which is related to displacement. Either way that wins. I have singlehanded all over the Pacific on my Santa Cruz 50. And another sailor cruises a SC 70 (68 feet) solo. But these a very light, stable and easily handled boats.

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OSTAR 1972

Vendredi Treize 128 feet

Skipper Boat Class Time
France Alain Colas Pen Duick IV Tri-70 20 days 13 hours 15 min
France Jean-Yves Terlain Vendredi Treize Mono-128 21 days 05 hours 14 min

 

but the all time I think was Alain Colas OSTAR 1976

1976 saw the biggest edition of the race, in all senses. 125 boats entered, and the 128-foot (39 m) Vendredi Treize returned as ITT Oceanic. However, the all-time size record for the race, and probably for any single-hander, was set by Alain Colas, sailing the 236-foot (72 m) four-masted schooner Club Mediterranée.[16] Although about the same overall length as HMS Victory (which had a crew of 820),[17] this modern boat was expressly designed for easy handling.

Those froggies were truely crazy back then.

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21 minutes ago, El Boracho said:

Double reefed main and both staysails in this video with jib partially unfurled.  Any change in tack requires first rounding up into irons and furling in jib because of the inner forestay 8 inches aft of the forestay for hanked on head sails.  Much easier to jibe single handed because she’s such a pig, you need someone back winding the staysail at the bow.  I center the main in irons and lick it down in the depression in the gallows and then with just the 2 staysails up, I jibe and they switch tack automatically.  Then I ease the main out and finally put the jib out. 

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4 minutes ago, Navig8tor said:

OSTAR 1972

Vendredi Treize 128 feet

Skipper Boat Class Time
France Alain Colas Pen Duick IV Tri-70 20 days 13 hours 15 min
France Jean-Yves Terlain Vendredi Treize Mono-128 21 days 05 hours 14 min

 

but the all time I think was Alain Colas OSTAR 1976

1976 saw the biggest edition of the race, in all senses. 125 boats entered, and the 128-foot (39 m) Vendredi Treize returned as ITT Oceanic. However, the all-time size record for the race, and probably for any single-hander, was set by Alain Colas, sailing the 236-foot (72 m) four-masted schooner Club Mediterranée.[16] Although about the same overall length as HMS Victory (which had a crew of 820),[17] this modern boat was expressly designed for easy handling.

Those froggies were truely crazy back then.

Were all the winches manual or was their electrical or hydraulic help with hoisting sails?

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5 minutes ago, Orion’s Dad said:

Were all the winches manual or was their electrical or hydraulic help with hoisting sails?

Unsure but hydraulics really didn't hit the big boat yachting scene till the mid 80's

Knowing those froggies they were probably manual because anything else would have been extra weight. :unsure:

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well, just a sec,

How about Banque Populaire V, 2014 route du rhum as Spinddrift, 130' / 23 meter trimaran.. solo, Yann Guichard skipper.

While Loic Peyron beat him on a 103' trimaran.... amazing.....

Not crazy french, just amazing sailors.

 

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4 hours ago, LionIsland said:

And being French 

I’m def a bit of a hater of French sailors because they are so fricken good.  Hoping for the first non-French Vendee Globe winner this year and I’d put the chances of that at 1 in 3 with Alex Thompson as the best candidate to do it.  And 1 in 3 might even be a bit too optimistic.

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52 minutes ago, Orion’s Dad said:

I’m def a bit of a hater of French sailors because they are so fricken good.  Hoping for the first non-French Vendee Globe winner this year and I’d put the chances of that at 1 in 3 with Alex Thompson as the best candidate to do it.  And 1 in 3 might even be a bit too optimistic.

As amazing as AT obviously is, and he may, given some luck, well finish and finish well or even win, his odds statistically, I suspect, are well less than 1:3. 

There’s plenty of crazy Frenchmen (Breed like tadpoles, they do!) in it and we won’t even mention their dominance of offshore multis. On your own, sailing a 100- 120’ tri at 30-40 knots plus, at night, down South having some crusty baguette et du fromage et une verre du vin, no doubt. Mind you, a young (French speaking, mind you)  Brit woman made a pretty good fist of both disciplines a few years ago . 

The IMOCAS (and their sailors) are as atleast as nuts as the multis but I guess they have slightly less chance of things going terminal. 

I’m a phroggyphile but I think  it would be pretty cool for the sport if AT nabbed it. He’s got presence. 
 

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2 hours ago, LionIsland said:

As amazing as AT obviously is, and he may, given some luck, well finish and finish well or even win, his odds statistically, I suspect, are well less than 1:3. 

There’s plenty of crazy Frenchmen (Breed like tadpoles, they do!) in it and we won’t even mention their dominance of offshore multis. On your own, sailing a 100- 120’ tri at 30-40 knots plus, at night, down South having some crusty baguette et du fromage et une verre du vin, no doubt. Mind you, a young (French speaking, mind you)  Brit woman made a pretty good fist of both disciplines a few years ago . 

The IMOCAS (and their sailors) are as atleast as nuts as the multis but I guess they have slightly less chance of things going terminal. 

I’m a phroggyphile but I think  it would be pretty cool for the sport if AT nabbed it. He’s got presence. 
 

After AT’s mistake at the start of the 2016 VG tacking away from pack, his choice to sail through the canaries put him out front and even after his foil snapped off, he still held the lead for over a week before being leapFROGGED.  We can never know what would have happened but that formula of separation in the beginning can return compound interest like retirement saving in your 20’s.  If the chasers fall out of the leader’s pressure system, that can snowball down the line like driving a straight 2 mile road with 10 intersection lights and making it through each one just before it turns red stopping all cars behind you.  Cuz the only way to deal with Francois, Armel and the rest of the amphibians is to have them way behind you rounding the horn.

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1 hour ago, jamhass said:

Yeah, especially if you have to leave the masseuse at home to qualify as a single-hander

Ok. Then let’s put the following conditions on it.  Largest vessel, boarded at anchor solo, weighed anchor solo with a manual windlass, all sails raised and dropped manually., hook dropped manually at the conclusion of the sail.  Engine allowed (when I was in the process of getting underway, once I felt anchor off bottom, with a lee shore,  I went back to helm and motored out to much deeper water and then went back to bow and brought up the rest of the rode and the anchor.

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1 hour ago, Orion’s Dad said:

Ok. Then let’s put the following conditions on it.  Largest vessel, boarded at anchor solo, weighed anchor solo with a manual windlass, all sails raised and dropped manually., hook dropped manually at the conclusion of the sail.  Engine allowed (when I was in the process of getting underway, once I felt anchor off bottom, with a lee shore,  I went back to helm and motored out to much deeper water and then went back to bow and brought up the rest of the rode and the anchor.

Awww crap.  Means I didn't single-hand.  Electric windlass, electric winch to raise the main after shoulder surgery.  Have, however, left anchorages without use of engine, so there ...

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12 hours ago, captain_crunch said:

Alain Colas sailed the 236-foot Club Méditerranée in the 1976 Observer Single-Handed Trans-Atlantic Race (OSTAR).

 

club_med.png

Club Med is still around, named Phocea. Converted to a cruising/charter boat some years ago.  They got rid of the jib-booms, and put furlers on everything, which was obviously not possible in the 70s.  Colas eventually ran out of halyards on the crossing, and I think retired.

Image result for phocea

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2 hours ago, Orion’s Dad said:

Ok. Then let’s put the following conditions on it.  Largest vessel, boarded at anchor solo, weighed anchor solo with a manual windlass, all sails raised and dropped manually., hook dropped manually at the conclusion of the sail.  Engine allowed (when I was in the process of getting underway, once I felt anchor off bottom, with a lee shore,  I went back to helm and motored out to much deeper water and then went back to bow and brought up the rest of the rode and the anchor.

Way back when I worked with a Vendee Globe competitor for training and shakedown as shore crew and coach boat. Everything is doable solo. Dropping an anchor no prob. All sails hoisted and trimmed no prob.  The only prob for the solo skip was docking on a strong offshore breeze(alongside a pier not a slip) with the big windage on the bow on a really light boat with the deep draft and thin chord keel. No chance. We had to nudge the bow with the coach boat after depositing another crew on the dock to catch lines that the skip tossed ashore while still at the helm(or scrambling). 3 person operation. Once a shore crew had a line off the bow, it was surprising how easily the bow could be pulled in physically against the wind. That would be impossible with a medium or heavy displacement 60 footer. The boat acted like a dinghy or at least a light 40 foot race boat in that regard.

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9 hours ago, jamhass said:

1280px-The_Maltese_Falcon_%282906785674%29.jpgThe Maltese Falcon, at 289 feet, was claimed to be able to be "handled" by one person.  Don't know if it ever was, likely not.

That’d be something! Yes indeed! 

However one person operating one big (whacky as fuck!) fully computerised and potentially, if not in practice, fully automated sailing ship (in theory) is  somewhat less impressive than one operat

5 hours ago, jamhass said:

Yeah, especially if you have to leave the masseuse at home to qualify as a single-hander

ing (in practice) the similar sized (what’s 50 odd foots between friends?) floating footpath club med with buggerall tech. 

still...in reference to the thread topic- I think you got it. 

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5 hours ago, jamhass said:

Yeah, especially if you have to leave the masseuse at home to qualify as a single-hander

Funny! 
Single handed masseuse.

“hold on tight!” 
“one hand for the boat, one hand...for the mast.”

Really!

I can see where this is going to go. 

Hi tech modern solutions to having an on board single handed masseuse (I think you can order them on line)  v old school low tech single handed masseuse solutions. 

stop me! 

But moving right along , changing tack, and being a bit less tacky, 

at the other end of the size scale....of single handed boat!
 

I went to a wonderful talk given by the last officially recognised  « youngest solo non stop unassisted circumnavigator » Jessica Watson who had, at 16 years old, somehow found the patience, skill, luck and bravery  while also proving the doubters wrong to sail an S and S 34 (who oh why?) to beat the previous youngest record set by another young Aussie Jessy, also on an S and S 34 (why oh why?) and she was asked a beautiful question by a little girl during the question and answer session after the presentation. 

Picture it: across a packed auditorium a little girl stands up, holding her mum’s hand, someone pushes a mic to her mouth . “Hi Jessica, I was wondering, well...who steers the boat when you’re asleep?”

 


 

 

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14 hours ago, P_Wop said:

Club Med is still around, named Phocea. Converted to a cruising/charter boat some years ago.  They got rid of the jib-booms, and put furlers on everything, which was obviously not possible in the 70s.  Colas eventually ran out of halyards on the crossing, and I think retired.

Image result for phocea

Alain Colas on Club Mediterranée was the second across the finish line of the 1976 OSTAR, but he had put into Halifax to make repairs, so he was penalized 10% of his elapsed time, which put him in fifth place.  Eric Tabarly won the race on Pen Duick VI.

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Should there be legal limits on the size of vessels that are sailed single-handed?

I believe subsequent to Club Mediterranée, the OSTAR established a length limit of 60 feet.  I believe the various single-handed around-the-world races have also had a length limit of 60 feet.

 

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Good evening,

Way back in 1975, Arthur Holgate sailed his 90 ft gaff rigged schooner Antares solo from Cape Town to the West Indies.

The boat was built and rigged as a traditional Grand Banks schooner for the charter trade and made no concessions for single handing. He had no autopilot and used a rudimentary wind vane to assist him.

He sailed non-stop and was a sea for about 45 days.

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9 hours ago, captain_crunch said:

Should there be legal limits on the size of vessels that are sailed single-handed?

I believe subsequent to Club Mediterranée, the OSTAR established a length limit of 60 feet.  I believe the various single-handed around-the-world races have also had a length limit of 60 feet.

 

No to the first question.

I don't know the rules for specific races.

 

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On 3/12/2020 at 12:51 PM, jamhass said:

1280px-The_Maltese_Falcon_%282906785674%29.jpgThe Maltese Falcon, at 289 feet, was claimed to be able to be "handled" by one person.  Don't know if it ever was, likely not.

That person would be pushing buttons like a Wurlitzer.

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On 3/11/2020 at 11:49 PM, Navig8tor said:

Yes amazing sailors but a little crazy from being at sea....... alone........ for too long.

Yes, but they go so fast that they don't go that crazy. That is reserved for the Brits who do solo rtws in antiquated 34 footers.

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17 hours ago, trisail said:

Good evening,

Way back in 1975, Arthur Holgate sailed his 90 ft gaff rigged schooner Antares solo from Cape Town to the West Indies.

The boat was built and rigged as a traditional Grand Banks schooner for the charter trade and made no concessions for single handing. He had no autopilot and used a rudimentary wind vane to assist him.

He sailed non-stop and was a sea for about 45 days.

Not a very fast passage (assuming non-stop) which may indicate the difficulty of handling this vessel solo. Cape Town to Grenada is about 5400 nm, so not much more than 100 nm/day on a 90 footer.

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21 hours ago, captain_crunch said:

Alain Colas on Club Mediterranée was the second across the finish line of the 1976 OSTAR, but he had put into Halifax to make repairs, so he was penalized 10% of his elapsed time, which put him in fifth place.  Eric Tabarly won the race on Pen Duick VI.

Third place was a tiny 31 foot Newick trimaran named Third Turtle.

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Not really the same but sort of the dingy race vs.  they used to have a crazy iron Man race in Port Townsend where you had to have the boat on the hook, row out with one oar, way anchor sail the course, re anchor and row back in.  Was supposed to be some big schooners scows etc.  Would have been fun to see.  

Russel might have done it or at least John Bailey. Pete Langley was telling me about it last time I saw him.

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On 3/12/2020 at 8:08 AM, captain_crunch said:

Alain Colas sailed the 236-foot Club Méditerranée in the 1976 Observer Single-Handed Trans-Atlantic Race (OSTAR).

 

club_med.png

Shortly before Alain Colas did this race he nearly amputated his leg - I believe it got caught in the anchor chain. So he ended up racing that thing with his foot in a cast  He set it up so that all of the sails could be controlled from a bunch of manual winches distributed across the front part of the inside of the doghouse (as I recall). I went aboard in Moorea in 1980 and the caretakers gave me a couple of picture books (in French) about Colas (who was lost at sea by that time). I still have them.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Ppalu sailing trip (75 foot Spronk cat), Nov 2016
 

brian eiland said:
Going sailing on Ppalu tomorrow. Boat has been in St Augustine the last few weeks, and is now headed down to her 'northern anchorage' in the Daytona area.

Hoping for good winds for this powerful ketch rig (only ketch rig Spronk built as I understand it).

And I think you are correct Richard, largest and fastest of her time.

We finally got out of the inlet at St Augustine on Sat morning. Turned south towards Daytona and made it on one tack.

We put up her full sail ketch rig and sailed very relaxed at 8-11 knots on a close reach. The winds started somewhere around 10-15 knots out of the east and increased to 17-22 knots by the afternoon. (we did not have wind measurement instruments, so these are estimates of mine and the skipper/owner Randy West.
Our speeds were derived via hand held GPS.

We experience a considerable ocean swell on our beam as a result of the wind having blown all night and day the day before. The swell got bigger as we approached the inlet at Ponce. We ended up surfing in a sizable swell. In fact Randy West who grew up in this area commented it was one of the largest he had ever tried to navigate thru.

Its been awhile since I've been out on a big multihull (Ppalu is 75 feet). Some of my thoughts on such designs for aging sailors have been fully reinforced:

1) The ketch rig is a godsend. There were 3 of us on the boat,...all over 55 years of age. Handling that mainsail was a chore, and I could just imagine trying to do it any shorter-handed, and in much heavier winds. Then I thought about this vessel being rigged as a sloop....WOW just that much more difficult. Even as a ketch the main mast is 63 foot tall. As a sloop it might have been 80 plus.

The mainsail was a 'stack pack' arrangement with some laze jacks. When dropping it prior to surfing in the inlet it did not what to just drop into the stack pack,...but rather this rather big heavy sail wanted to flake out over the boom and impede our view forward to help negotiate the waves we were going to surf in. It would not have been a one-person job!

Even the non-overlapping jib was a heavy sail, even while constructed of modern materials.

The mizzen was a great sail to maintain balance. We barely had to touch the wheel to keep her on course, while sailing thru a good size ocean swell. (we did not expend a lot of extra energy on tweaking the sails for max drive).

Then we had to put those sails away in the bags and covers once we were at dock. That took at least another hour, with 2 people.

It all went to reinforce my beliefs in my all-furling single-masted ketch sail plan, with no traditional mainsail

 

Sailing Challenge

Sailing Challenge
I recently caught up with an old friend who skippered Olaf Harken's unusual vessel Procyon for its first few years. I showed him a model of my 'single-masted ketch' concept, and then just the other day I sent him a copy of this 'sailing challenge' I had issued to a few naysayers in the past.

You know I can still imagine sailing a big 65-foot catamaran with this mastaft (single-masted ketch) rig right off the mooring, and back to the mooring, without the engine, by myself, with so little effort that I might take it out having only a few spare hours to kill, or for just a carefree daysail.

I wouldn’t have to uncover any sails, nor recover them when I returned to port. I'd likely start out with just unrolling that central 'mainstaysail' and back it over as necessary to go backwards or fall off the wind just a bit...all very tame and controllable in and around a crowded harbor area,....then add in more sail area as needed as i cleared the harbor congestion.

I would be less concerned with reefing by myself if the wind were to really come up. If I were short-handed at sea, I would have many of the benefits of a ketch rig, without the necessity of slab reefing the main and mizzen sails of the traditional ketch rig. I'd be in a constant state of helm balance as I could tweak the mizzen sail for that.

That about sums it up. I would like a 65 foot cat that I could take sailing by myself, and that might even be easier than a beach cat. Try hoisting a full batten mainsail on a 65 footer by yourself, or even a 40 footer. Most folks over 50 will have second thoughts, or will just unfurl the jib and forget about hoisting that traditional MAIN sail.

I'm 65 (now 73), and I could sail this 65 foot cat by myself with this aft mast rig. And with the balance and low power afforded by the smaller 'mainstaysail' I could sail this vessel right off the mooring or maybe right off a side-to-dock slip.


So here's a challenge Mr Naysayer..... Le Mans start. I'll be out sailing before you get the covers off your mainsail, and when we return for the day, I'll be at the bar sipping on a Margarita watching you put away your vessel for the day.


Randy West sent me a reply this morning...
...reminds me of Procyon,....we would have her sailing before the crew could put away the fenders
dscf4076-jpg.99313
 
dscf4077-jpg.99314
 
dscf4081-jpg.99315
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  • 4 months later...
On 3/13/2020 at 1:21 PM, LionIsland said:

Righto. I see. Vendredi Treize.  It was mind boggling and the predecessor to the floating footpath. I was 8.

Yet  Pen Duick tri captivated my fascination. 

8414F560-2BFF-4EDC-BA51-E94687600418.png

Some years ago I found the hull of V13 rotting on a dry dock in Bordeaux. I understand there is a project for restoration but short on funds. A sad sight. 

1920px-La_coque_du_Vendredi_13.JPG

 

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On 3/12/2020 at 10:36 PM, P_Wop said:

Club Med is still around, named Phocea. Converted to a cruising/charter boat some years ago.  They got rid of the jib-booms, and put furlers on everything, which was obviously not possible in the 70s.  Colas eventually ran out of halyards on the crossing, and I think retired.

Image result for phocea

 

yeah, i can see single handling that thing...   

"fuck, i left my flashlight on the bow"

ten minute walk later...   "there it is"

 

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On 3/13/2020 at 5:21 AM, LionIsland said:

Vendredi Treize. 8414F560-2BFF-4EDC-BA51-E94687600418.png

Soon after racing across the Atlantic, Vendredi Treize was in the Caribbean, near Antigua IIRC. Beam reach, tradewinds. I had read all about the boat, and poured over design details, and expected the boat to be very fast in those conditions.

Nope, going about the same speed as in that picture, certainly under 10 knots. On a boat with about half the waterline length, we were going much, much faster. Very surprised at the poor performance. More that waterline is required to go fast.

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Undercanvassed for sure, but don't forget it was designed to be handled by just one sailor. Hull lines were really beautiful, it would be interesting to see what speed could be obtained with a proper rig and crew. 

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  • 9 months later...

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