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Old 06-09-2007
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Do You Sail or Motor?

A recent post brought to my attention a question: How much time do you actually spend under sail versus having to fire up the Iron Genny.

The post indicated that they recently returned from a two-year cruise, during which they spent almost three-fourths of the time under power.

I find this very difficult to believe. After all, the Pardeys cruised for thousands of miles in a boat with no engine. Tania Aebi circumnavigated in a boat with an engine that was non-functional most of the time. Webb Chiles managed to almost circumnavigate in a 18' Drascombe Lugger, which did not have an auxilliary engine IIRC. Many others have gone thousands of miles, in boats that clearly did not have the fuel capacity to motor for the majority of the distances involved.

Now I can see several reasons for motoring 75% of the time—none of which are really very good in one way or another.

1) The boat just can't in light winds
2) The boat can't move to windward well
3) The crew doesn't know how to sail the boat properly
4) The crew is lazy and won't bother to sail
5) The crew planned their passages poorly
6) The crew is on a schedule and needs to motor to maintain it

On a longer passage—how much time do you spend sailing, and how much of the time do you motor? What other reasons are there for motoring? Mind you, this is for cruises—not deliveries, where there is a relatively rigid schedule.
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Telstar 28
New England

You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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