Any older sailors out there who have made some adaptations either to their boats or to their techniques for sailing as a senior citizen?

Any hints you would care to pass along to other older sailors?

I'm 61, been sailing since I was 18, owned four boats, sailed a lot of other people's boats, had a master's license for 20 years, and now that I'm getting older I find that I need to modify my boat and my techniques. Some are little things, like keeping a magnifying glass in the chart table. Some are bigger things, like adding lazy jacks and bringing lines back to the cockpit.

How about you?

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I am really having a time of it getting the hang of getting in and out of my slip...go to my page to see it. Any advice is appreciated.
Hullo David,

I'm very familiar with the CD 36. I helped a friend fit a Monitor windvane to one before he went cruising and we did a bit of sailing. He was in two different awkward slips in the time before he left.

You really can move that boat predictably. My experience was to not be shy about using the throttle. More power meant more predictable propwalk in reverse and more quickly building water flow over the rudder so you could shift to neutral and steer.

I bought two round 18" fenders (which have been very useful to have) and two dinghy anchors (which gives me a spare for the dink). I anchor the fenders about 20' apart and practice moving the boat around. You can use the fenders as "pilings" to mark a "side-to dock" or about anything else you might encounter. I've spent many happy afternoons playing with my fenders *grin* driving between them forward and backward, coming alongside, touching the bow, touching the transom, and generally improving close quarters handling.

Interestingly, I have found the skills I develop this way to be very transportable. More than once I have been able to "save the day" for a friend who was struggling.

That said, warping in with spring lines is a very good skill to have. I bet if you scratch you head over it a bit you can figure a way to organize so you don't ever have to move far from the wheel during the docking exercise. You may have to do a bit of prep before you reach the dock, but time is usually not so pressing then.

Lola - your slip looks like a great one. I'm sure you'll soon find yourself zipping in and out to the awe of the dockwalkers and bar mavens in the YC.

sail fast and eat well, dave
S/V Auspcicious
Dear David:

I'm 73 and single hand my Mac 25 trailer-sailer which has given me a real retirement focus. All lines run to the cockpit including the two line reefing set-up and I use a Dutchman boom brake with makes jibing a snap. I installed the MacGregor mast raising set-up so this chore is easy to do. Since I started keeping gps records, I've sailed 256 days anchoring out on Clear Lake, 75 miles north of San Francisco, covering 4,630 gps track miles. I enjoy the two local sailing clubs, and, and attend many of their events.
Guess I just got lucky, my boat had roller furling, all lines trailed aft, lazy jacks, two speed winches and full battens. But I'm adding jacklines and lifeline netting. Not overly fond of watching the stern of other peoples boats leave me behind, surely don't wish to watch my own, especially from the water. For winching when the wind is aggressive or I'm just to tuckered and solo, I have seen a hand held, battery power, winch driver (similar to an offset power drill) that might be nice to have around. I installed an autopilot and now feel every boat should have them as standard equipment. With the little remote dohicky, I can steer the boat from anywhere on board. As to glasses, I have around a dozen pair of these little reading glasses in their plastic cases scattered about the boat in a couple of magnifications and tints. 3 bucks each at RI Job Lot. If you scratch or loose them, who cares. The mast pulpit sounds like a good idea, I just might make one. Could integrate a box for my folding bike right into it.
I bought the Right Angle Milwaukee Drill and Bit to help bring up the main...not much experience with it yet...but many Freedom owners have them.
I looked up the "Winch Buddy" online and was stunned at the price. It is the right angle Milwaukee Drill with the winch bit. They want over three times what I can get that drill for online. Did I miss something, or should the "Buddy" guys be ashamed of themselves?
The buddy looks exactly like the Milwaukee, don't see how it could float.
I will vote for "ashamed".
i donot know about the buddy, but my antique uncle who taught us to sail over our youth sailed as a purist until he was 95, the year of his death. he did have lazy jacks--i need some--and he did have no engine and kept his boat on a mooring and lived on land. in cold weather. as a to be antique---soon to be, i should say---i need lazy jacks---as a female there is always someone to volunteer as crew----i donot go to docks if i can help it---i get solar power for this formosa this week on i can lower genny usage--thank heavens.....i need to make lazy jacks and i ned to make baggywrinkles and i need to make a better pinrail system and i WANT mast pulpits and i want and i want.....but what i cannot make will not arrrive soon.....i really appreciate the older traditional look in boats and clipper bows, and mast pulpits and oil lamps for backup in the nav lights area---but i also appreciate the ease in handling of the more modern inventions .....and i refuse to wear bifocals--i remove my specs to read and such.......if i ever get this boat finished there are such wide deck walkways i donot really need to lead all lines to cockpit---i have roller furling headsail--i want a forestaysail---with or without a boom for it...but i need to address my fore deck first--has issues as it is a leaky cockpit lights for anchor lites are wonderful.....
You need to start a trip around the world, then you could fix your boat in exotic port's Heh Heh This old man's go'in to bed! Have a good one talk to you later.
with that i agree whole heartedly!!!!! the woods from other places are sooo good and so fine i could use them well in this formosa.....i add solar power this next week!!! very very exciting !!!
Good morning! I have seen the Formosa and I am really impressed with the boat, also the first boat I ever got really excited about and this was back in the 70's when I had a 17' Mac Gregor, was a 38' IP. They and Seacraft and Com-Pac are at the top of my list. Although as you can see from a few of my latest comments I'm also looking at Holiday Mansion and Lord Nelson Tugs. They are about the only motorized boats I like, the main difference to me is price. I really would like a steel hull boat although plastic will do. Just no wood. I have read a way to much about the care of a wooden hull to be interested in having one. By the way at some point down the road those hated bifocals will get you trust me.


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