On lifejackets, I’m afraid that I disagree with Swiebertje.
If you are sailing in sea conditions, then you might just need a real lifejacket. I do know about staying with the boat, but I have managed to be in a situation where a boat blew away faster than I could swim (flat water and high wind). I’ve done even better on a windsurfer, the sail ‘bounced’ as I crashed, and the board sailed another 50 yards or so, which gave the wind an unfair advantage.
There is certainly the problem of deciding if it should be auto or manual; I use manual, because I don’t want it inflated by mistake, but that is debatable (do you propose to capsize, or be bashed on the head by the boom?).
I certainly avoid a salt tablet mechanisms which is likely to go off the first time I get damp. On this we agree. (One winter my SECUMAR masthead buoyancy saved my garage from inversion 🙂
Other single-handed things, as usual copied from other Wayfarer cruisers:
I use a bungee across the rear hatch which allows me to fix the tiller temporarily, albeit rather ineffectively – I can change my jacket, pour coffee, but not lump about too much.
Any means of fixing the tiller makes me worry that one day the boat will be well enough balanced to simply sail off without me. So I do have a lifeline attached to the base of the mast, I rarely use it. Others have said that this might capsize the boat. I don’t mind – I’d rather have the boat capsized within reach than sail into the distance on its own.
By the way, I rather enjoy single-handed sailing. I like working with/as a crew too, but the two experiences are different.