Sailing Sundays: You can operate a 100' sailboat alone

4 crew raising the sails
4 crew raising the sails

People often ask what the biggest boat is they can operate. Well, did you know that you can actually operate a 100' sailboat by yourself - if you rig it the right way?

World-record holder Fran├žois Gabart operated the 100-foot Trimaran MACIF by himself. However, it's not easy and you have to be experienced and mentally tough. Most sailors seem to stay under 35 feet.

Sailing alone is also called short-handed sailing, and you need a short-hand sailing rig. Typically this means lot's of automated systems, and all the sheets (cords and cables attached to the sails) running to your cockpit, allowing you to operate the sails while steering at the same time.

The hardest part of sailing by yourself may actually be the docking. Some marinas even offer a special service to help you with that, lending a helping hand. If you are inclined to sail alone (or don't have any friends), you should definitely consider switching to a marina that provides this service.

While Cuan Law can be sailed single handed, it's not an easy task. In fact, sailing her with a crew of seven still provides quite a good work-out. Docking Cuan Law single handed really is not an option, and this tricky maneuver requires all our crew to be on deck and helping out.

And you thought parallel parking your car was intimidating!