I always try to sail off, and on to, my mooring. Mind you I am not in a crowded marina, although I've got less than a boat length for error before I am aground. I say that I do this because I don't like the motor but the truth is probably different. I single hand mostly and using the motor is not that much less work. Primarily though, there is no other sailing that I do which keeps me as sharp as this procedure. ALL tacks in open water are successfull.(g) Coming on or off the mooring, without running aground, and acheiving success is an immediate pass/fail exam, and immensely satisfying.
I am lucky in that i do not have to motor to get to where I can sail. Let's face it, that putt-putting through a crowded mooring field or channel is tedious, and not what we signed up for. The worst end to any day sailing is to have to fire up the motor to "speed" your way back.
I actually arrived at this point due to an extremely recalcitrant outboard. Before I really went through it, it was in the habit of dieing, without warning, virtually every time I thought I really needed it. A side result of this is that I now always have an anchor cleared whenever preparing to manoeuver in skinny water. The procedure had become, "Putt, putt, putt, sputter,sputter, silence, splash". The "splash" at the end was the onlygood sound out of the lot. I figured, if every use of the motor was going to turn in to an anchoring drill, I could just eliminate using the motor all together, and sail her instead. the practise sailing in tight water made the motoring that much easier once I got the thing running reliably.
“Scientists are people who build the Brooklyn Bridge and then buy it.”
Wm. F. Buckley, Jr.