Can You Sail a Wayfarer Single Handed?


Single handed sailing can prove to be a relaxing time to just leave everything behind and be surrounded by water. While others may try to sail their wayfarer during races. You will find that sailing a wayfarer
single handed can be quite the challenge

It is suggested that you only sail a Mark I and a Mark II. These two wayfarer types have the ability to right on any side of the boat should you capsize. However, if you do decide to take any other wayfarer, the main problem you will run into is launching and recovering.

In this article, you will gather information about the importance of safety and other tips when it comes to single handed sailing. Also, you will see which wayfarers are best for single handed sailing.

Sailing Your Wayfarer Single Handed

Now, it is recommended that when sailing a wayfarer single handed, you use a wayfarer of a substantial size. Most wayfarers that are on the larger size have a hard time capsizing. This in part is due to the buoyancy tanks that are added. These tanks are fitted into the stern or the bow which helps to keep the wayfarer upright.

If you have a wooden wayfarer, you may want to consider converting into a GRP boat. The GRP boats are easier to maintain and have a harder time sinking than the wooden model.

Whether you are racing or cruising, you will want to understand the equipment better so if anything happens to your boat you know exactly what to do. Make sure you have logs upon logs of equipment that need work or anything else that you would like to improve upon.

When you are sailing single handed with your wayfarer, each version may handle a bit differently. So, you will learn below about which wayfarers there are.

Different Wayfarers for Single Handed Sailing

Now, it is recommended that when sailing a wayfarer single handed, you use a wayfarer of a substantial size. Most wayfarers that are on the larger size have a hard time capsizing. This in part is due to the buoyancy tanks that are added. These tanks are fitted into the stern or the bow which helps to keep the wayfarer upright.

If you have a wooden wayfarer, you may want to consider converting into a GRP boat. The GRP boats are easier to maintain and have a harder time sinking than the wooden model.

Whether you are racing or cruising, you will want to understand the equipment better so if anything happens to your boat you know exactly what to do. Make sure you have logs upon logs of equipment that need work or anything else that you would like to improve upon.

When you are sailing single handed with your wayfarer, each version may handle a bit differently. So, you will learn below about which wayfarers there are.

Different Wayfarers for Single Handed Sailing

You can sail single handed with any boat if you put your mind to it. If you have been a part of the boating community for long you will know that there are several versions of a wayfarer.

The different wayfarers are:

Mark I (Wood): This was the first type of wayfarer to be constructed. It is entirely constructed out of wood and takes a lot more effort to be maintained than a GRP wayfarer.
Mark I Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP): The next version of the wayfarer had over two thousand models built. The buoyancy tanks were put onto this model in the front, but there are no side buoyancy tanks.
Mark II (GRP): Instead of the hatch to the forward buoyancy tanks, the tanks are now built into the hull. The stowage space that was a part of the forward compartment on the Mark I GRP, has lessened.
Mark II Self-Draining (GRP): Drain tubes were introduced in case your boat capsized. Once you right it, the water should start to drain itself through the stern tanks.

Mark 1A (GRP): You now have more stowage space near the bow. You also have more storage space as they have access to larger hatches by separation of the buoyancy tanks.
Wayfarer Plus S (GRP): The hull and chines are in a sandwiched position that brings you the same consistency as a wooden wayfarer.
Wayfarer World (GRP): In this model, there are no wooden parts. Most models are self-draining and can be used for races in the UK.
Wayfarer World S Type: Just like the Wayfarer Plus S, the sandwich includes the hull and foam. This model was constructed to bring a more modern look to the Wayfarer World.
Mark III: While the production of this Wayfarer was stopped in 2006, there was an optional asymmetrical spinnaker, that would never be allowed for racing.
Mark IV: This model is larger and more comfortable than the other marks. It is great for cruising and racing. The Mark IV has all the specialized features from the other marks that include self-draining to lots of storage.

Now that you know each type of wayfarer there is, you can apply these tips to your single handed training.

Tips for Sailing Single Handed

When you are sailing single handed there are many hurdles to overcome. However, just because you are the sole crew member on board does not mean you are bound for harm’s way. Most of the time your physical strength will be put to the test as you are constantly on the move with little sleep in between.

There are a few safety precautions and tips that single handed sailors should abide by to make sure they
are safe and secure at all times.

Be One with The Wayfarer

As the only crew member on board, it is essentially your duty to understand the boat to the best of your ability. It is best that you start conditioning yourself on days where the weather is fine.

Start training yourself to see if you can keep up with the sails and navigation of the boat. See how far your body can move before you become exhausted. Also, this allows you time to make a checklist to cover things on your boat you would not normally see or interact with.

Just continue to take your wayfarer out in calm waters so that you can feel more confident before you hit the open waters. Being in tune with your boat will let you know when something is wrong. This can
especially be said during a situation where every second counts.

Understand the Mechanics

Understanding the mechanics of your boat will make you see which pieces of equipment need to be repaired or replaced. Inspecting every inch of your wayfarer lends you the upper hand when you are racing or even cruising.

Before you hit the open water, you may want to investigate your reef line. This reef line on your sails will keep you from capsizing. When your sails are starting to become too full, you can use this reef line to haul a bit of your sail back in so that you can lose that momentum.

Upgrading your equipment can keep your wayfarer in the race. There’s always new and modernized pieces of equipment that can be used on your wayfarer to keep it together.

Safety Should Be One of Your Top Priorities

Safety is key when you are single handed on a wayfarer. Even when you are sailing by yourself, you do not have to truly be alone. You should have a line of communication open with someone who is capable of helping you should anything happen while you are at sea.

If you feel as though the water is starting to become too rough, you can have jacklines installed so that you can clip yourself to the boat. For this, you will need to purchase a harness.

Study your route as often as possible. If you are able to have someone on shore who is watching for your safety, have them study the route as well. Download the OsmAnd or Navionics app on your phone
so that you can look at nautical charts offline.

Wear a lifejacket and watch for the weather.

Conclusion

Sailing single handed with your wayfarer can be a scary experience in the beginning. However, you will continue to be better at handling everything on the boat the more you continue to train.

Understand the mechanics of the ship and always remember that you are allowed to have a helping hand onshore for your safety.

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