The Great Taboo: Motoring? - Page 3 - SailNet Community
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post #21 of 39 Old 05-13-2009
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General Day Sailing 90% Sail , Cruising about 50- 50 , It's amazing how little fuel she uses when motor sailing. If It's been months since a cruise and I have only been day sailing, I might take her out for a few hours motor only to keep the engine clean.
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post #22 of 39 Old 05-13-2009
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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.

Jeff


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post #23 of 39 Old 05-14-2009
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On a crossing from USA to New Zealand we used about 700 litres in 6900 miles. That includes charging and motoring. We only really motor when it's calm and we need to move on to another weather system.

Now that we're day sailing we have used 220 litres in two years. We still motor when it's calm, to get in and out of the marina (sailing in the marina is strictly forbidden) and motor sail when the wind is light but we sail whenever it is practical. But we never charge anymore - our battery capacity is plenty to keep us going for a few days in the local islands.


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post #24 of 39 Old 05-14-2009
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In 2008, we sailed approximately 8.54 hours per hour motored, meaning we spent about 10.5% of our time motoring (I estimated motor use fairly generously). I spent maybe $40 on gas last year. Daysailing doesn't take us far enough that we're worried about our schedule, so I'm usually willing to drift home at a couple of knots, though the wind definitely dies off on summer evenings around here and occasionally we have no choice.

The first thing that broke on our boat was the motor and so I suppose I'm biased against it. I just love that relaxing feeling when you kill the motor and the only sound left is the quiet gurgling of the water past the hull.

All that said the recent reliability of the motor and my getting more comfortable using it, especially docking, has led to a new appreciation of the iron genoa so I wouldn't be surprised to see usage go up this year.

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post #25 of 39 Old 05-14-2009
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When daysailing use motor out of slip then sail not going anywhere,so speed /time not an issue. Vacation maybe 50/50 sail motorsail if the boat is moving main is up faster less rolling.
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post #26 of 39 Old 05-15-2009
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Just finished a cruise up to the Abrolhos Islands (around 800NM in three weeks) and we motor sailed around 70-80% of the time. In heading north the breezes were extremely light and then heading south we had mostly 20-25kts bang on the nose. Most of the fleet (around 16 yachts) were motoring sailing to make meaningful progress.

Like another poster I start motor sailing when the speed drops below 3 knots. Also my yacht does not make meaningful progress to windward without the engine. In getting south along the Western Australian coast you either need a yacht that has excellent windward abilities, or a big enough donk to make meaningful progress (my engine is a 98HP)

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post #27 of 39 Old 05-15-2009
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My question is why own a sailboat if you motor most of the time???? A trawler makes more sense if you love to motor. A big useless stick on a motorboat makes no sense at all. As a way to attract lightening??? As extra windage during a storm. The only way a sailboat makes sense is if you sail a lot of th etime.
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post #28 of 39 Old 05-15-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoonSailer View Post
My question is why own a sailboat if you motor most of the time???? A trawler makes more sense if you love to motor. A big useless stick on a motorboat makes no sense at all. As a way to attract lightening??? As extra windage during a storm. The only way a sailboat makes sense is if you sail a lot of th etime.
Because I *can* sail occasionally when I feel like it Can't do that in a trawler. I think what makes sense differs from one person to another
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post #29 of 39 Old 05-15-2009
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I motor to and from shore, in and out of slips, etc. I don't motor when I am away from shore because I am too stingy to waste money on fuel. If there isn't any wind I'd rather just sit there and wait for it.

I would and have motored if it was a safety issue (lee shore) but you try hard not to get into those situations.

What are you pretending not to know ?

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post #30 of 39 Old 05-16-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoonSailer View Post
My question is why own a sailboat if you motor most of the time???? A trawler makes more sense if you love to motor. A big useless stick on a motorboat makes no sense at all. As a way to attract lightening??? As extra windage during a storm. The only way a sailboat makes sense is if you sail a lot of th etime.
I don't think there was one person on here who actually said they LIKE to motor...Also I don't think I have met one person who prefers to go .5 knts for 10+ hours in 90 degree heat with the sails flapping on a day with no wind when you have plans to overnight at a certain destination. I think we can all agree FOR CRUISING if we can sail it is by far the way to go even if you get there a little slower BUT if you are trying to get somewhere and there is no wind you are going to motor whether you love to sail or not. And for some people that happens more often than not due to their boat and location. For instance on the Long Island Sound between July and August the conditions I described are typical 60% of the time.

No for day sailing when you are not trying to get anywhere it is a total different story.

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