Originally Posted by Jeff_H
"What I hope to explore is how various members of this forum view the value of voyaging under predominantly under sail, and the relationship between performance and being able to do so."
Even though most here may feel that a motorsailer is a hybrid cross between a motorboat & sailboat, I'll bare my throat to the wolves just to broaden the comparisons.
With respect to the purpose of having a boat rigged for sailing, my focus is usually on keeping the motor off while underway. It is however, no surprise to most that traditional pilothouse Nauticat motorsailers are not designed to be performance sailboats, with standard models requiring winds in excess of 10 knots to reach a maximum of 5 knots SOG.
Like most sailors, I always find it interesting to compare the performance of my boat with others that may be following a similar course. I am surprised at times how well the boat does sail and how often it can outsail other boats with similar characteristics. This may be due to True Blue's tall rig option with modified fin keel and skeg hung rudder - a more efficient design over the standard full keel, shortened mast model - which sails like a dog. Although it may not be very impressive compared to some other sailboats, I have sailed this boat at near hull speed (7+ knots) in 15+ knots of wind. But the average speed is normally around 5 knots.
Sailing to me is very enjoyable when we are not destination-oriented and the goal is to simply shag around the Bay or journey long distances under favorable sailing conditions. As was previously mentioned though, with very light winds, or when the quickest travel time is important, such as when we must get to a mooring in Block Island or Cuttyhunk before others take them all, the 90 hp iron genny will get fired up.
Although I do enjoy the challenges and joys of pure sailing, this is when we are truly grateful for our boat choice. The ability for a 33 foot, 9 ton keelboat to motorsail at 9 knots, with little or no wind, has its advantages in times of need . . . or impatience.