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'm with ya
Recently bought my first set of readers at 42. First I thought I was just daydreaming in the middle of a read and the words get blurry. But when I realized it was getting harder to fight and snap out of it, I began making other incidental observations about my eyes. Like reading the ingredients on a can. Now I forget to take them everywhere. Hope that isnt a sign my mind is going, again.
I added mast pulpits to lean on when I go forward. Running lines aft is not for me, I have been on other boats with lines aft and they did not work freely. I added a SL anchor windless. I have had lazy jacks for some time, I won’t be without them.
Ken, how did you do the lazy jacks? I bought a set from a company that makes them out of bungee cord, with plastic clips, but it didn't work well or last long. I am going to rebuild them with rope alone.
I think I would want lines aft. Recently ran mine so but then on a daysailor ye need quick action. Did they not work right cause the way they're set up.
Since I'm older than you - I don't think 61 is old.

But, years ago, I found I couldn't read charts - tried a magnifying glass - and eventually found a more qualified eye doctor. My glasses work fine now - reading isn't a problem.

I crossed the South Atlantic (actually Cape Town to Barbados plus several more trips) at about 60 - and took an extended trip in Greece with a lady who skippered her own boat - she was 78 - so you should have quite a while to go before you must take special precautions.

As to Lazy Jacks - my last cat had a Quantium stack pack with all lines led aft. I could reef from the cockpit in 40+ knot winds with no problem - this cat has a roller furling boom for the main - I'd trade back for the Quantium setup in a minute - the Profurl boom is junk on a good day.

maybe more non-sailing exercise?
Yeah, the non-sailing exercise (for me that's all the time the boat is on the hard during the winter) would undoubtedly help a lot. So would dropping some pounds. Seriously, my best motivation for staying fit is sailing.

I never thought I would have any interest in leading halyards and reefing lines to the cockpit, but it's beginning to look good to me - along with single-line reefing which I never thought much of.

The current gadget I would like to add is a wireless remote control for the autopilot. It would make it possible to control the autopilot from anywhere on the boat and save a lot of steps.
Dave, Ye think ye need to drop the pounds now, wait till ye go remote control. lol
Mmm. The pace-setter there seems to be Gary Hoyt's Alerion(s): two electric winches that handle all the sheets and halyards, his Hoyt self-tending jib-boom, roller furling on the jib, lines led aft. He calls them "day-sailers". I think they are a part of the trend toward day-sailers of 40 and 50 feet LOA!!!
Terri could be interested in this! Huh?
By today’s standards I have a long boom so I had to go up the mast a little farther than others systems like Harken. The Harken system uses wire and I did not like that so I built my own system. Like the Harken except I put a turning block on both sides of the mast at about 29 feet off the deck instead of fixing them at that point. That way I can un-cleat them at the mast and just lay them along the boom, out of the way. I spliced the blocks at the ends so it is neat and clean, but with trial an error I think I made a mistake. I used ¼’ line, I think for me 3/16’ would have been fine
Sounds good. Any photos?


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