I single-handed my Jeanneau 43DS up and down the Caribbean islands with the mainsheet on the cabin top with no problems. Either the autopilot or the wheel lock was enough to allow me to go forward and reef or change the main sheet. This was as a cruiser with no intention of getting the most speed out of the boat, I'd only take the sheet back to the helm if I wanted to race.
I go with what Hoppy and Zanshin said, and mostly sail my boat solo (36i) with the winch on the cabin top. A mate with a SO43 replaced the sheet winch with a Harken electric rewind winch with an additional control at the helm. This works very well but is an expensive solution.
The truth is that I have not tried much to go solo, only had knee surgery a couple of months ago and still recovering. So my jumping around the boat is still limited
Out of my budget too. The only real hassle with single handed sailing is rounding up in wind gusts and not freeing the main soon enough. I am always conservative and reef early when alone, especially when in restricted waters which minimises these problems. We have a narrow shipping channel to pass through with a nasty windshift at one end which can make life interesting, so sometimes I drop the sails and motor the last couple of miles home.
some financially sobering thoughts - you will need good quality turning blocks in the area of the deck/cabin about the spreaders; then two sets of two rope clutches, or if space is tight, two combo turning block/clutches plus two line clutches as well as twinned sheet blocks at the boom and traveller and a new longer main sheet. I certainly enjoy the confidence of being able to dump the main from the helm while single handing and support your pursuing the idea.
I need to run the mainsheet to the helm so I can comfortably go out solo(kids and wife are too busy) in the hints and tipps I have seen something similar, but the boat configuration is different
has anyone done in on a single helm boat?
pics or suggestions?
My 2003 43DS has ALL control lines run to the cabin top adjacent to the companionway. I solo it often. How else are they rigged not to have this? here are some old photos, I changed some of the blocks recently. along with other items . The vang was not functional, but it is now. I am also trying to source the stainless steel "D" rings that are at the base of mast. (also visible at the under side of the boom in the second photo) These hold the block shackles in place in the slide slots at the mast base. Previous owner had some soft shackles thru the slots. barely visible in the lower right corner of the top photo. This boat is one that has a battened main and not in mast furling the blocks are mostly for the reef lines
I guess the bulkhead mounted wheel on my 40DS was the best solution. I'm always within two steps of the coachroof mounted power winch and able to handle all control lines. I often use a single wrap of the sheet lines on the side winches to take them back to the power winch. Not sure how to retrofit this idea to the 43DS with two wheels (unless you add a power winch on a binnacle center cockpit).
Andresch1 are you looking at just leading the single coach roof mainsheet back to the helm to one winch/ clutch or a german mainsheet system. I would imagine if you just using the one line stretched back you would need a clutch for the genoa as well as mainsheet on that side to share the winch. I have a german mainsheet on a SO33 and it is really handy when single handed for tweaking and dumping the main. For tweaking you could stick with the coach roof system and for an emergency controlled dumping if on your own could you lead it back to a cleat near to the helm to ease out or release as a clutch is a bit of all or nothing. I sail predominantly single handed so the german main sheet works for me especially dumping the main in gusts or close to an obstruction or other boats/ ships.