Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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I do want to comment on the name of this thread. I think some people think of motoring as somehow immoral. My take is a bit nuanced on this. On one hand I personally think that we all get on the water to seek enjoyment where ever we find it and so there is no universally right answer about whether motoring is right or wrong.
By the same token I sometimes see someone motoring a great boat on a beautiful sailing day and think, "Why isn't that guy sailing? He doesn't know what he is missing."
I also grew up with a personal ethic that values handling a boat well and voyaging by the wind. I consider my time under sail one of the greatest luxuries that there is in life. I will go to great lengths not to crank my engine, often sailing into and sometimes out of the slip. So it was a real surprise that my engine to sailing percentage was as high as it it.
In a typical year I am under sail somewhere around 150- 200 hours and typically have 25 to 50 engine hours per year (25 being more typical than 50). Needless to say, I was really surprised by what I found when I did the arithmetic.
To answer the other part of the question, I use my boat in a range of ways.
I do a lot of daysailing. I can easily daysail 30 to 50 days a year (depending on the year's weather and the woman in my life). More often than not I motor out of the slip and raise sails in the Bay but sail back into the slip. (Yes, I know its easier the other way around, especially since Synergy sits in the slip bow out.)
I used to race the boat in a single-handed/ double-handed series which has now died out. I also raced her in a beer-can series but haven't done that in years, racing on other people's boats instead.
I typically do 10-15 overnights a year some of which are three to five day hoiiday weekends, and will typcially take a long cruise (9-12 days) at some point in the season. I don't use the engine much on the overnights since I can pick where i am going in order to suit the winds and will sail on and off the anchor or in and out of anchorages.
I typically do not use the engine to charge the batteries when I overnnight or daysail, charging the batteries with the shore power when she's in her home slip. I usually don't run the engine all that much on the long cruises for similar reasons. That said, while I normally don't use my engine to charge the batteries, on the much longer cruises I try to get an hour of engine time every 2 or 3 days to top up the batteries. This is light useage is possible since I don't have refrigeration, which works fine since I am a vegetarian.
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Curmudgeon at Large- and rhinestone in the rough, sailing my Farr 11.6 on the Chesapeake Bay