I'm ashamed...I cheated! - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 18 Old 10-10-2013 Thread Starter
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I'm ashamed...I cheated!

Not on my beautiful wife....on Mother Nature.

I took my little 16 footer out for a sail here in Abu Dhabi. My marina is close to a few little islands, so I thought I would go sail along Yas Golf Course as it looks pretty.

The wind was pretty quiet today; windguru said 8 but I think it was less. (By the way, is there a better site to use? WG only uses models for the archive, so when I want to find out what the wind was this morning, they don't have an actual measurement, only what was used in the model. But, I digress...)

So I'm trying to sail upwind, which is not easy to do being the noob I am. In addition, the channel I want to go through is pretty narrow, so there isn't much room for me to zig zag my way up...even though I tried. If I knew what I was doing, perhaps it would not have been a problem. After just sitting like a log, I decided, "Screw it" and fired up my little trolling motor to 'help' me along. It was actually pretty nice, and it got me to where I wanted to go. I then turned it off and used the sails....until the wind died again, and I was stuck using it several times. I hated having to use it, but I was kinda at my wits end and just wasn't moving.

My question: is it cheating to use motor, or should I be expected to use only wind each and every time? Are the purists about to go apesh*t on me?

Other than that, I used my jib for the first time today. Nice to know that I now don't know how to trim 2 sails...can't wait to add the spinney!

Thanks,
Mike
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post #2 of 18 Old 10-10-2013
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Re: I'm ashamed...I cheated!

You are not alone! Why does the wind ALWAYS die down when the channel narrows? And of course, the nearest motorboats decide to cross your path on their way to absolutely nowhere. They can wait!

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post #3 of 18 Old 10-10-2013
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Re: I'm ashamed...I cheated!

Not cheating. Motors were invented by sailors that got tired of waiting on the wind.
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post #4 of 18 Old 10-10-2013
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Re: I'm ashamed...I cheated!

It's common among most sailors to motor up narrow channels. Sadly if you go cruising in a popular cruising ground you'll find that it is common among some "sailors" to motor everywhere.

I personally like sailing up narrow channels, but have even fired up the motor when currents + wind are causing my forward progress to be measured in minutes per meter instead of meters per minute. Short tacking among currents and rocks in a narrow channel is demanding and that makes it fun for me.

I have two dinghies which don't have a motor installed (and I teach sailing on boats without motors). In those conditions occasionally a paddle or oars will be necessary.

I'm no longer participating on SailNet.
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post #5 of 18 Old 10-10-2013
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Re: I'm ashamed...I cheated!

What would be the point of having a motor on the boat if you did not use it?
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post #6 of 18 Old 10-10-2013
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Re: I'm ashamed...I cheated!

I think the rule of thumb is that if there is enough wind to make headway - or the expectation of that wind arriving soon - it is always more pleasant to sail. But the reality is occasionally you get becalmed; or the wind is so light it would take you an hour to get to your slip, instead of 10 minutes, and it is getting dark; or similar situations, then use the motor.

But really sailing is for FUN. Enjoy your boat, do what you enjoy - if that means motoring more than others, fine. If it means taking longer than everybody to drift through a windless channel - fine. Be true to yourself and your boat, and all will be well...
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post #7 of 18 Old 10-10-2013
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Re: I'm ashamed...I cheated!

Unless you are in a SAILboat race I agree with caberg.
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post #8 of 18 Old 10-10-2013
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Re: I'm ashamed...I cheated!

It is not cheating if you don't do it all the time!

Huge ships with no sails also say they will "set sail" on such & such a date.

to sail -
1. Nautical
a. To move across the surface of water, especially by means of a sailing vessel.
b. To travel by water in a vessel.
c. To start out on such a voyage or journey.
d. To operate a sailing craft, especially for sport.

"The cure for anything is salt water~ sweat, tears, or the sea." ~Isak Denesen

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post #9 of 18 Old 10-10-2013
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Re: I'm ashamed...I cheated!

If you're cheating, then the vast majority of the sailors I've come across during the past decade are cheating as well. Last weekend, the winds on Chesapeake Bay were blowing 12 to 15 MPH all day long on Friday - it was beautiful and I sailed 50 miles down the bay to meet up with my son and his new girlfriend. While en-route, we we encountered at least 200 to 300 sailboats headed south for winter, boats from the Great Lakes to New York passed us and only a half-dozen had sails up. The others were all motoring down the bay's main channel, I guess in an effort to reach their destinations a bit faster than they would had they been under sail. Just doesn't make sense to me at all.

Now, there are situations where that motor can make the difference between life and death, and it can be a real life saver - especially when traversing a heavily traveled commercial channel. That's definitely not cheating - that's excellent judgement.

Good Luck,

Gary
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post #10 of 18 Old 10-10-2013
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Re: I'm ashamed...I cheated!

"cheating" "rule of thumb" "it's common to...."

Who cares! Do whatever works for you. I'll motor with wind sometimes. I'll sit becalmed sometimes. Who's keeping score?
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