Moved topic: Singlehanded sailing with an HR29

Any comments, questions, stories about HR 29, this is the right place.
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Moved topic: Singlehanded sailing with an HR29

Postby Micha » Sun Feb 02, 2014 1:32 pm

Hello All!
I am new to the forum, but I´m rather long time sailing the HR 29 "Christine". Unfortunately, she almost never left the adriatc, where she has been moored since 1988. Short trips as a function of a lack of time.
Anyway, I am happy that I met Antti here on the net and I hope to give and get good advice to and from all of you here in the forum. :roll:
My next project will be to turn Christine into a boat that can be sailed single handed (more or less). :geek:
I will try to discuss as many decisions as possible here. :?:
Hope to read from you then!
Regards
Micha

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Singlehanded sailing with an HR29

Postby Antti_DD » Sun Feb 02, 2014 4:14 pm

Hi Micha,
Welcome on board! Singlehanded sailing is something, that many of us here in the forum do at least occasionally. Therefore, I think that all the modifications and improvements for easier singlehanded sailing would be highly appreciated by the community. I would most certainly be interested to learn more and discuss about the different ways of making our boats easier to sail singlehandedly.
Best wishes,
Antti
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Singlehanded sailing with an HR29

Postby Chris » Thu Feb 06, 2014 6:45 pm

Hi Micha,

Your boat seems familiar, I'm not sure why though. Anyway welcome to the forum and agree the forum is proving to be an exceptional font of HR29 information from which we are all benefitting.

I was interested in your comment about single handed sailing and just thought I would offer my opinions on the HR29 for short handed sailing.

Much of my sailing is on my own and it's one of the reasons I chose the HR29. They are such well thought out boats and in that I can't really offer that many obvious improvements. That's not to say other members won't.

I have sailed larger and more awkward boats on my own so I find the 29 a very manageable boat on my own.

One thing a can say though is that forward planning is a major factor. Before I even cast off I think through all the moves and try to anticipate the likely effects of conditions in the marina.

Making sure the things you might require for the trip are to hand or stowed where they should be helps, as in a confined sea way you don't want to be groping around looking for things. It's amazing how long you can become distracted when doing this.

However, I spend quite a lot of time laying to my own anchor and so one improvement I made soon after buying Impulse was to fit an electric anchor windlass. I have a cockpit control as well as deck switches which also makes this much easier on my own.

Sail handling can be made easier with a stacking main, furling genoa and furling asymmetric, all very helpful in shorthanded sailing but obviously all come at a cost. But again, with forward planning I find all my 'manual' sail handling manageable.

One final aspect of single handed sailing is predicting conditions. The HR29 is a very seaworthy vessel and capable of taking on some pretty rough weather. When your on your own everything becomes twice as hard. I made the mistake last year of taking on a horrible North Sea chop where both tide and wind were against me. I had left a river with the sails furled and as I headed out to sea it was so rough it was virtually impossible to get any main up at all. I spent the next three hours under a bit of genoa and engine trying to bash into the waves. Had I set a double reefed main before hand it would have been much more comfortable. (or perhaps I should have just stayed where I was!)

All the best.

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Singlehanded sailing with an HR29

Postby Antti_DD » Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:46 pm

I agree with Chris that there is not too many obvious improvements for singlehanded sailing. I think that one of the best qualities is the fairly large (or long) tiller which allows one to reach different parts of the cockpit fairly easily. For example, our chart plotter is located in the front part of the cockpit, but I can still reach and operate it while steering the boat. Needless to say, the genoa winches are easily accessible and thus tacking the boat singlehandedly isn't much of an issue. Furthermore, with self-tailing winches one can adjust the sheet with one hand while steering with the other. Compare this arrangement to a wheel steered boat for example, where the winches are often located in front of the wheel...

Tom mentioned in the 'Autopilot' thread the original reefing arrangement, which is indeed a bit problematic for singlehanded sailor. I agree that well-functioning single-line reefing would be handier, but I haven't installed one, since I have some concerns about the increased friction. So in the worst case, one has to make an unexpected visit to the mast, if the system is not working properly. It would be interesting to hear, if someone has experiences on improving the reefing arrangement.

I think that the original reef hook arrangement is pretty simple and reliable, but of course going on the deck in bad weather (especially when alone) is a safety risk. That said, I have installed jacklines, which are running on the both sides of the deck from bow to the stern rail. Especially when alone in the boat, I try to clip the safety line always when working on the deck. I attached two photos of our jackline arrangement. I am not sure if their position is optimal, so if you have a different kind of setup for the jacklines, it would be interesting to read about or see a photo of your arrangement!

Jacklines.jpg
Jacklines
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Jackline_starboard.jpg
Starboard jackline
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Last edited by Antti_DD on Tue Feb 11, 2014 10:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Moved topic: Singlehanded sailing with an HR29

Postby tomblix » Tue Feb 11, 2014 9:09 am

Hi again

Just a short word about reefing in bad weather. Its not a problem to reef normally if your two + people onboard, or conditions are fair. But - keeping the boat into the wind long enough to lower the mainsail from the cockpit, "running" up to the mast to hook it, "running" back again to tighten the fall when wind and waves bugger you… not easy, at least not for me!

Regarding the jacklines, I have the same arrangement, and I´m not really very happy bout it. I have a safety arrangement on my vest with two lines, one short (about 70 cm) and one long (about 1.5 metres). I clip on the short one when moving forward, and change to the long one when I`m at the mast to "work". When I´m in the cockpit I`ve used both. Once the weather was so bad I clipped on the short to pull me down and help me sit more stable. Normally I use the long one, it gives me more room to move about.
In my opinion this system provides, to some extent, a false feeling of safety when moving forward whilst sailing single handed. If I loose balance I think there`s a big chance that I would fall overboard, and just hang there alongside the boat. Absolutely not a preferred please to be! Maybe slightly better than just falling overboard and seeing the boat disappear, but I would really like a better alternative….

My solution is to stay in he cockpit, clipped on, at all times. But of course - this requires modifications. Last year I tried to arrange a single line reefing system with blocks and lines on the original boom, but I gave it up. I managed to pull the sail down both in front and back, but I was unable to tighten it sufficiently.
I don`t really understand what you`re thinking about, Anti, when you say you`re afraid of increased friction? Could you explain? The Selden single line reefing boom has an internal block and line system that should run smoothly…. I`ve seen it demonstrated and at least it looks smooth.
Best regards from Tom

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Re: Moved topic: Singlehanded sailing with an HR29

Postby Antti_DD » Tue Feb 11, 2014 10:23 am

Tom, I agree with you that the original reefing hook arrangement is far from perfect especially for singlehanded sailor. I don't like either the idea of going on the deck in bad weather. As you pointed out, a singlehanded sailor has to first ease the main halyard and let the main sail flog, while finding his way to the mast. I think that a strong autopilot (or a windvane) makes this task easier however, if it is able to keep the boat's course stable in relation to the wind, so that the main sail won't flog uncontrollably.

About the single-line reefing. First of all, it is good to point out that I don't have hands-on experience on those. So my concerns related to increased friction were based on reading about people's experiences from the internet forums and talking with other sailors. But if you google single-line reefing, you'll find that the potential problem related to the increased friction is mentioned in pretty much all of the discussions. With single-line reefing, the long reefing line has to travel through many more blocks, than is the case in the original reef hook arrangement. So I guess that it might be unavoidable, that the single-line reefing wouldn't increase the friction compared to the traditional slab reefing. Whether this is a real problem or not, I don't know...

Here is some info on pros and cons of the different reefing methods: http://www.sailmagazine.com/boatworks/u ... ur-reefing

Again, I don't have experience or knowledge on Selden's single line reefing boom, so maybe they have solved this issue with some cleaver idea. I have to look more closely into this piece of kit.

The traditional slab reefing has definitely some downsides, but the basic idea behind it is very simple, and thus I know what to do and expect when I need to reef and this is pretty much the reason, why I haven't upgraded the system yet. Of course, this doesn't mean that there wouldn't be a better solution available, and I would most certainly want to learn about that.

Tom, did you have to change the whole boom or how is this kit installed? What is the cost of this kind of reefing kit?
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Re: Moved topic: Singlehanded sailing with an HR29

Postby Martijn » Tue Feb 11, 2014 11:04 am

I love the HR29 for it's single handed sailing capacities as for the reasons you guys mentioned. Indeed a draw back is reefing in bad weather when alone and I also have found myself wrestle the circs. I have been studying on this subject a bit in an attempt to find a adequate reefing solution from the cockpit when sailing bare handed. My previous boat (Dehler) had such a setup and it worked great. The boom on the Dehler was equipped with various blocks that were integrated in the aluminium boom. Also the reefing lines were running inside it. This setup was not so different from our HR29, despite the fact the HR29 set up is just pulling down the leech. Now I have remembered the Dehler set up and thought of copying it on HR29. I have a rough plan how to do it but still need to work it out further. For sure it will be necessary to add some extra parts on/inside the boom. Obviously this can only be actioned when the mast is up again to determine dimensions. This will be possible in a couple of months.

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Re: Moved topic: Singlehanded sailing with an HR29

Postby tomblix » Tue Feb 11, 2014 9:23 pm

Hi

The Selden system is more or less like Martijn explains - a system of blocks inside the boom, hence all ropes run inside as well.
I hope they have taken the danger of friction into consideration - I see your point, Anti.

On our boats we need to change the whole boom to fit the system, and in Norway it costs the neat price of 1.200 euros (puh!)
On some booms its possible to arrange a kit inside the boom, but unfortunately not on the HR29. It does`t have the necessary railing system (or something like that, I`m not quite sure) inside.
Best regards from Tom

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Re: Moved topic: Singlehanded sailing with an HR29

Postby Chris » Tue Feb 11, 2014 11:06 pm

Unfortunately my experiences with single line reefing systems are not very good. Some systems may well be better than others but by their very nature they are more complicated than conventional slab reefing. I have experienced jams and breakages and at the end of one season while attempting to take out the line for winter cleaning, I lost the end inside the boom before attaching a mouse-line. Stupid I know but it took a while to sort it out.

In operation they feel overstressed. One line exerting all that strain to pull the sail down. Lowering the halyard while taking in the reef is also a bit of a juggling act.

Reefing is a vitally important part of sailing which needs to happen swiftly and smoothly. Finding out your systems has issues will only happen at sea in a blow - just when you don't want things to go wrong.

I think possibly a better option might be a two line reefing system. The picture is from the website you linked Antti. There would be no need to change anything in the boom and just add two tack lines to pull town the reefing cringles. I only have two reef points so it wouldn't mean too much rope. Deck organisers would need consideration and some more holes boring through the spray hood coaming. But to me it looks an uncomplicated arrangement.
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Re: Moved topic: Singlehanded sailing with an HR29

Postby Martijn » Wed Feb 12, 2014 8:20 am

I agree Chris with this arrangement you will end with a motley collection of ropes you will hardly ever use. I was more referring to set up B in the article. This arrangement had worked on my previous boat and with a bit of creative thinking it should be possible to install it on HR29.
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