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singlehander for older 60kg with bad knees

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singlehander View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote singlehander Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: singlehander for older 60kg with bad knees
    Posted: 17 Aug 17 at 2:50pm
At the start of the summer I finally joined the (mostly racing) club on the local lake, and started sailing again after a few decades. I originally learnt coastal inlet daysailing in Wayfarers and Enterprises. I've been sailing singlehanders this time round, and wish I'd done it earlier. Have tried racing for the first time, and quite enjoyed it. I'm aiming for competence and enjoyment.

Bitten by the sailing bug, and starting to think about possible boats to try out, with a view to buying secondhand next year. I am late 50s, 5'6", 55-60kg, not that much upper body strength, and my knees are knackered through past injury.

I've been out in GP14s, but the crewing issue remains. I prefer singlehanded sailing, but I can manage more wind/gusts in a 2-hander with the extra weight of crew.
A Pico was far too painful and small : I need to sit in not on.
The club has Laser sailors and it seemed to be expected that as a lady sailor I would move from GP14>Pico>Laser, but I think the Laser is probably too tippy for me, even with the 4.7 rig, and not deep enough for my knees.

At the moment, I am sailing an oldish (early 3000s) plastic? Solo that someone at the club has very kindly lent me, and it feels very comfortable. With the B Plan (hardly used, still has that new sail sound), not the full sail, but the battens are not changing easily in lighter winds and the sail seems to be not sitting right; the idea was that I could handle the boat better in the gusts and tricksy, shifty winds that we get here with the smaller sail. I need to try the full size sail which should sit better, and trim properly - but I wonder whether I can handle the boat with full rig :

Typical winds on the lake early evening are force 3-4 with gusts of 4-5. I find the upper end of those ranges hard to manage at the moment, and have been swimming (not a problem). I have righted the Solo on my own, but find it difficult to get back in without a leg up from the rescue boat (Pico was far easier). Do not want to be the person who needs rescue boat help all the time, and I'd love to be able to rig, launch and get out for a sail and back without needing back-up.

A couple of the older men (all larger than me) at the club have Solos. We are a mixed club - more GP14s and Lasers, with Toppers, Picos and Oppis for younger folk. Various other types. I could try out a Mirror singlehanded, but do I want a jib sheet as well ?

So : have heard the Solo described as 'the old man's Laser'. What's the 'old lady' equivalent ?
Still a Solo ? Am I too light for the Solo with the full sail ? I'm guessing I probably have 10 good years of sailing left, though what I gain in ability and confidence, I might lose in physical strength over that time.

I would be keeping a boat at the club outdoors, and my DIY skills are not great though I love the idea of a wooden boat, and I maybe have £1.5-2K max to spend, including renewing sails etc. My current car won't tow, so I'd have to factor in eventually changing vehicle for one that will if I were going to sail or race elsewhere.

What would your recommendations be at this point for singlehander boats to try/consider ? If the Solo is a good bet, I'll maybe take up weight training or kayaking, to build strength, and see whether that helps.




Edited by singlehander - 17 Aug 17 at 3:06pm
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cad99uk View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote cad99uk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Aug 17 at 3:19pm
Welcome to the forum. Have a look at a Streaker. Designed by Jack Holt when the Solo was too heavy for him to handle onshore.

We have a lady at our club who sails one. Aged in her mid seventies probably weighs 52kg. Absolute bandit in light airs.

Reduced sail is available (wave sail).

Regards and good sailing
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Post Options Post Options   Quote iGRF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Aug 17 at 3:29pm
If you were at our lake they'd all agree the Streaker is for you, they also tell me it's for me but so far I've managed to ignore them being (in my mind) a relatively young person.

Other than that folk also suggest boats like the Lightning, the Europe (ladys used to sail it at high level not quite sure what happened but they went away) a boat called the Splash that a chap at our lake can get good results in if it's windy.

Do dump that solo, has it got spiders living in it? The one I tried did, cheeky thing even tried to bale out when it spotted who was at the helm, so I had to crash into something to get me out of the embarrassment of the two of us at either end of the boat.

If you are ahem fully financially independant then you should cast a glance at the Devoti D0 with it's blue rig a very nice modern boat as also is the Aero 7(or5) which won't break your back hauling it onto the trailer.

There, that's about your choice I expect there maybe some others I've missed but welcome back to the sport and onto the forum, keep us posted of your adventures.


Edited by iGRF - 17 Aug 17 at 3:32pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Neptune Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Aug 17 at 3:30pm
I reckon a streaker too, light, decent depth cockpit, but actually pretty low freeboard for climbing back in.

If money isn't an issue perhaps an RSAero with a 5 rig ?

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Jack Sparrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Aug 17 at 3:53pm
If you would really like to take the strain off your knees the Farr 3.7 is your answer, especially with the winds you are describing.

What's a Farr 3.7 I hear you ask? Designed by Bruce Farr in 1971, it's effectively a Streaker with a Trapeze. So when everyone else is having a hernia going up wind you step out on your nice comfy trapeze wire. Turn the corner step in and hike it, or if its that windy stay out on the wire for an epic reach.

Y&Y Test sail LINK



Edited by Jack Sparrow - 17 Aug 17 at 3:56pm
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singlehander View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote singlehander Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Aug 17 at 4:38pm
Thank you for the welcome and the suggestions ! Keep them coming.

Just checked out s/hand Streaker prices; some look affordable. There's one at the club, but it's brand new and the owner's pride and joy.
Aero prices way out of my budget, and none at the club.

Likely to be constrained by what I can get to actually try out. Can't imagine that it is a good idea to buy a model of boat you've not already tried - or am I wrong about this ?

Any love for the Solo idea, perhaps with a mast suited to lighter crew weights ?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Aug 17 at 4:54pm
Solo's not a bad bet with the right rig. Just stay well clear of pre foam sandwich plastic ones.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote cad99uk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Aug 17 at 4:55pm
Contact the Streaker class association. I'm sure they will fix you up with a demo sail.
From their website "If all this sounds appealing, make sure you have a go in a Streaker. Contact the Class Association via this website. Let us know where you are and we’ll do our best to help you try Streaker sailing."

http://www.streaker-class.org.uk/why-get-one

Edited by cad99uk - 17 Aug 17 at 4:57pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote iGRF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Aug 17 at 4:56pm
Originally posted by singlehander

Any love for the Solo idea,
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Post Options Post Options   Quote zeon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Aug 17 at 6:10pm
Streaker, lightning, comet, British moth , splash plus aero/zero could fit the bill. It all depends on what is most important to you, i.e. Deep cockpit, stayed / unstayed rig, rear or centre main. Etc. If you can just try as many of them as you can before deciding. 
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