Originally Posted by casioqv
I've only been sailing for a year, but I've been amazed to find that most sailors seem to consider sailing upwind too slow/difficult and tend to motor upwind, and sail back down. Experienced sailors are surprised when I tell them I sailed (rather than motored) anyplace against the prevailing winds. Even racers seem to mostly motor upwind if they're not in a race at the time. Why is this?
I find beating to be one of the easiest and most relaxing points of sail, since there's no worry about gybing, and heel angle can be reduced in a gust quickly, by just pointing a bit higher without adjusting sails.
I realize it's a bit slower than other points of sail- but if I wanted to get someplace quickly I wouldn't be sailing at all. My VMG might be ~3 knots at best directly upwind, compared to ~6 knots on other points of sail- both very slow compared to powerboats which can plane at ~30 knots.
I find sailing upwind to be much more fun, relaxing, have a better motion, and much cheaper (no fuel) than motoring directly upwind. I can't see myself motoring to windward unless there was some reason I couldn't sail (too much or too little wind, broken rig).
It depends on a lot of things:
You have a small boat and probably you will be only out there with good weather.
Try to go on your boat, close on the wind against +20K head wind with two meter short period waves....and you will be sailing backwards
Yeh, I know, you would not be out there on those conditions, but many of us are.
There are guys that sail around the harbor or make small journeys and there are guys that made thousands of miles each season.
If you are one of those, and if you want to arrive somewhere and need to maintain your planed voyage (that means for example, not to miss dates for reserved places on marinas, delivering a boat at a certain date, or be home at the right time to return to your job) you have to make a minimum miles/day. That is not compatible with an average of 3k and you have no time to wait for a better wind.
Experienced sailors sail against the wind when they can and sailmotor when they have to and normally stay on the marina only if the wind forecast points to + 30k.
The ability to make way against the wind also depends a lot on the kind of sailboat you have. Yours is not good at that.
Bigger boats sail better (better passage on the waves) and race boats or cruiser racers are the better. They are more powerful and have finer entries, but saying that going hard against the wind is "one of the easiest and most relaxing points of sail "
means that you never had to go really hard against the wind (on the limit,when we start to think if it is not better to roll the genoa and motorsail on main only), with the spray flying around and hurting your face, with your spectacles full of salt, making your vision very difficult.
That is not very relaxing, at least for me