I have been sailing since almost birth, originally with my father in small boats on Broken Bay, 30 miles north of my native Sydney, Australia, then later graduating to “small yacht” Saturday club racing and on from there.
I have sailed on boats as owner, as delivery Master & crew, as Master on private yachts, and as paid hand on racing yachts. I have raced them, cruised them, large and small (21 feet to 40 meters) around harbors, sounds, near-shore and transoceanic.
I have sold boats, built them, fixed them, rigged them, sold sails for them, written about them, taught others to use them, coached high school kids in them, spoken about them and thought about them for most of my nearly 57 years.
My goal here is to provide information on all aspects of the sailing part of short handed sailing, that is with less than the optimum number of capable hands for the size & complexity of the boat and the length of the passage. It has long been my contention that “short-handed” is a philosophy rather than a numerical head count of crew aboard. I have sailed with 11 other ship mates, yet we were “short handed” because the boat in question was the J class Sloop Endeavour and we were sailing her Transatlantic from France to Antigua. There was no sailing maneuver or sail handling procedure that could be done by only one person, so my primary job as the mate was to organize the crew for each maneuver including anchoring and weighing anchor.
Thus the idea here is to provide the sailors of today with the things I have learned plus my opinions, some pretty firm although most are pretty variable with the goal of having them enjoy their sailing experience as much as I have enjoyed mine of the years.
I would be delighted to hear from folks on the issues surrounding Short Handed sailing as as soon as I can figure out the email info I will post it. In the mean time go: