Why would you do that. It puts excessive hours on the engine, leads to the engine getting carbon buildup since it is idling, etc... This is really a bad idea. Idling the motor for long periods of time is just STUPID.
Whoever told you doesn't know donkey crap about diesel engines or sailing IMHO.
The only time you might do something like this is if you're entering a narrow channel or fairway and might need the engine in a hurry if the wind dies—then it makes sense...but to do it when sailing in open waters is ridiculous.
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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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Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.