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Single handed

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Capt Jack
Last seen: 2 weeks 1 day ago
Joined: 2/11/17
Posts: 2
Single handed

Hello everyone, 
I am 7 months out from buying my retirement boat which hopes to be a Catalina 36 MKll. My question is can this boat be single handed easily or will I need to make many mods in order to do so. Or is not really designed to be a singled handed boat? Would love to hear your thoughts on this
Thanks James

caprice 1050
Last seen: 1 month 2 weeks ago
Joined: 7/1/07
Posts: 339

I single hand my C36 most of the time on my day sailing trips and once in a while on my 2 or 3 day trips. I have not made any modification on my 1990 C36, but at times whish I had in the mast fulling. Single handing takes a little practice. I have been single handing since I owned a 19 foot sail boat  50 years ago then up to a C30 and for the last fourteen years on my present C36 at age 81..  You must be aware and plan your sail settings and movements, especialy when docking. You can practice this with someone else on board as a bystander. Often when I go into an unfamiliar harbor or dock I check it out first on  internet photo. The most important thing is to ALWAYS wear a life jacket because if you fall overboard you will be gone, even if you are close to shore and a good swimmer. Like I said plan ahead because when you need to do something it is to late.

__/)__/)__/)__Capt Mike__/)__/)__/)__
Punta Gorda Florida
1990 Std WK M35 Hull #1050

pkeyser's picture
Last seen: 12 hours 2 min ago
Joined: 5/18/13
Posts: 225

I do a lot of solo day sailing. I find the key support features for this are auto pilot, in mast furling main sail, furling jib, and windlass. In my early days of sailing- I had none of this but was fast enough and nimble enough to be all over the boat and not fall off. Those days are behind. I use autopilot mostly as a temporary third hand while I'm occupied with other things. The furling system (main and jib) allow for sail adjustment from the safety of the cockpit- which is a very important feature. The one thing I would find more helpful would be if the jib sheet winches were located further aft. They are forward of the helm, and a big wheel makes quick access difficult ( Autopilot helps).

The electric windlass is also a must have feature for a boat this size as hauling an anchor up by hand- well those days are behind me too.

I do not have a pulley adjustment system for the genoa deck track on our boat, but think that would be a good feature for solo sailing. Without it, you do have to step outside the cockipit for some jib trim conditions.

The MkII has a lot of other great features- very good engine access, space/storage utilization, low boarding height from the transom, fresh water capacity etc. I use the stern rail seats a lot and steer with my my foot. Foam insulation on the stern rail saves your back. The cockpit coaming is comfortable to sit on- it's angled to be flat under heel. The cockpit sole is also angled for standing flat under heel. I move my position  frequently to avoid stiffness from settling in and this boat offers a lot of options for the helmsman. I don't have a helmsman seat that allows me to see over the dodger. That might be a useful option to consider.

My experience includes older Catalina's and Cape Dory's. The C36MKII is a dream boat compared to the previous 5 boats I have owned. 

If you are talking offshore solo efforts- others can give you a better idea.

Good luck with your decision. 

Paul & Wendy Keyser
"First Light"
Newburyport MA/Rye NH
2005 C36 MKII #2257
Wing, M35B

Last seen: 21 hours 46 min ago
Joined: 5/29/16
Posts: 3

I single hand the  Catalina 36 mk II wing keel all the time.  I use the 155 genoa and find it is managable i've enven flown my spiniker on a very light air day again single handed.  It takes planning ahead and again emphasise the LIGHT AIR DAY.

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