Originally Posted by nolatom
Jon, I think we had this same tenor of discussion a couple of years ago when I commented (from shore!) about how nobody was sailing, or even motorsailing, in the lovely and broad-reachable Ft Pierce-to-Stuart leg of the ICWW, on a perfect day, and it turned into a very long thread. I was told, in effect, "you just don't understand the ICW", even though I readily used sails in the days when I did some deliveries (and you too, it seems).
Plus ca change, plus la meme chose ;-)
OK, broken record alert :-)
Actually, I'm tempted to modify that a bit:
The more things stay the same, the more they change...
In other words, I think the cruisers I see along the East coast and thru the Bahamas, seem to be sailing LESS
, and motoring more, with each passing year :-)
The overwhelming percentage of 'enhancements' and 'upgrades' people are making to their boats these days ultimately serve to degrade the boat's performance under sail... By the time most folks are done fitting out for a bit of cruising, they've added massive amounts of weight and windage to boats that are often not the most stellar performers under sail to begin with, while at the same time doing little or nothing to improve the boat's light-air sailing capability...(Which, in effect, has now been transformed into her medium air
sailing ability ) IMHO, some of the most fun you can have sailing is playing around with free-flying sails, and yet it is astonishing how infrequently I see East coast cruisers flying a chute, or some type of gennaker... No single investment will pay a bigger dividend in terms of making the difference between choosing to sail, or motor - and yet it seems that while many have little hesitiation spending thousand$ on the latest electronics suite, or the addition of cockpit greenhouses and massive stern arch/davit contraptions, investing in sailing gear like an asymetrical, or a carbon fiber pole, seems entirely out of the question...
It's amazing how many otherwise state-of-the-art cruising boats I run, that don't even have the barest minimum of gear for downwind sailing... The boat just ran will sell for over $300K, and yet is not even equipped with a permanently-rigged preventer setup... I had to configure one using docklines, taken from the boom to the bow cleats... Yeah, I really appreciated having to leave the cockpit and go forward in the middle of the night off the Georgia seacoast, simply to snug up the preventer when the boom was eased, or to release it prior to a jibe...
When I brought this Hallberg-Rassy back north last June, we probably sailed almost 50% of the trip DDW, wing on wing... And yet, same deal, both the foreguy and afterguy had to be cobbled together from some dock and spare anchor rode in order to make it adjustable from the cockpit... And, the aluminum pole weighed a TON, a carbon fiber pole would have made all the difference in the world, and added a huge measure of safety... Given the value of such a boat, the cost of going with a carbon fiber pole would have been a drop in the bucket, and would have greatly enhanced the ability to actually sail the damn boat...
It's simply not a priority...
OK, to be fair, the photo below illustrates why it might not always be so easy to obtain a fair lead for preventers or foreguys, back to the cockpit... :-)
Another Caribbean 1500 participant, that apparently passed their ISAF-based inspection with flying colors... :-)