I have a India Pale Ale which is just finishing fermentation in a sealed bucket under airlock, I want to skip the secondary. How long should I wait before carefully racking and bottling? Will the beer be clear at that point or should I extend that time?
While there are no drawbacks to leaving it in the primary — I do all the time — try not to let it sit on the trub for more than four to six weeks. Off flavors can start to develop the longer it sits on the trub. So if you're planning to let your beer sit for a longer period of time, consider racking to secondary. Otherwise, if you're just going to have it in the carboy for four weeks or less, you're fine leaving it in the primary.
You can get clear beer in the primary, both by cold-crashing and using something like Biofine, ClarityFerm, or Gelatin Finings. I've used them all, and they all do a sufficient job helping produce a clear beer.