Join Date: Jun 2006
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Rep Power: 12
I overhauled my Atomic 4 in my racer-cruiser in 2005 and have put 81 hours in four seasons, including two cruises down Lake Ontario that included canal motoring... No wonder I made my gas tank smaller...now I cycle a tank in two seasons instead of three!
By contrast, our motorsailer went through 200 hours in two seasons, but that was a function of my insisting that the diesel, once on, stayed on, if only at 1,400 RPM or so, because I feel that the pattern of diesel usage in sailboats is generally too brief. If we were sailing for eight hours, however, and had reasonable wind, I would motorsail for 90 minutes, shut down, sail for five hours, and then motorsail the last 90 minutes, keeping me, the diesel and the batteries quite happy. When we are passagemaking in this boat, I suspect the motor usage will be three to six hours per week, primarily going from an anchorage to a good "pumpout point" outside that particular country's discharge limit.
In other words, if there's a reason to run the engine, I certainly don't mind doing so, but I tend to avoid using the boat to go point to point under power in the first place, because I would rather just sail at two knots for a few hours than use it as a means of straight transportation that's hooked to a schedule.
Can't sleep? Read my countdown to voyaging blog @
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