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  #1  
Old 06-26-2007
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Sailboats get better gas mileage than you think...+

Okay, I'm teaching sailing off a Beneteau First 7.5. Lots of fun, and pretty responsive for the students. I tend to use the motor (Yamaha 4-hp single cylinder, 4-stroke) as little as possible, but in the light summer air, sometimes we have to. So it seems from experience that the .3 gallon integral tank lasts almost an hour at 5 knots. So that's about 15 miles per gallon, or a little more.

Pretty good for a sailboat with a few students on board. How do we do this? Some cars don't do this well, and they have a lot less resistance going over the road than we do going through the water...

I typically measure this in GPH, but in MPG terms, it's not too bad.

Strange, but true??
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Old 07-12-2007
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This is precisely correct! I recently drove my 37' Hunter from Muskegon to Ludington (winds didn't cooperate and we needed to make time to get there fast enough to see friends who we're leaving) and over the course of the trip we averaged about 10-12 miles per gallon as i can calculate, running roughly 6.8 - 7.2 knots at about 1300rpm on a 27-hp Yanmar. I always love bringing that fact up to the powerboaters at the dock. At least when i have to motor I don't get .8MPG, and i get an extra aft cabin out of that engine space =). Of course i didn't buy it for the engine, and "unlimited" MPG is truly the best!
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Old 07-12-2007
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Of course if you drove a car at 5 knots, you'd get ridiculously good mileage, too.
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Old 07-12-2007
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Nolatom, perhaps inadvertently, reveals an important point. Waterborne transportation of commercial goods is the cheapest form of transportation there is available. From ferry boats to freighters, nothing moves large quantities of people, possesions, and cargo as inexpensively. Not necessarily fast, but cheap.

And, as Tom notes, when you put a number of people on a sailboat in pursuit of a destination the costs can begin to approach negligible. As I have had recent cause to mention, "speed costs money" how fast do you want to get there? And btw, are there really any sailors out there who are really not Dutch at heart? (g)
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Old 07-12-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nolatom
(Yamaha 4-hp single cylinder, 4-stroke)
I believe a scooter would get similar gas mileage. But I like to get where I am going so I can spend more time sailing.
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Old 07-12-2007
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That is why a Trimaran sounds cheaper on gas! It goes when there is no wind or I should say a little wind.... If its classy then you can use the motor!
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Old 07-12-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TSteele65
Of course if you drove a car at 5 knots, you'd get ridiculously good mileage, too.
Actually, you'd get really lousy mileage, since you're running the engine down in a very inefficient part of its operating range. If you think about how much gasoline an engine burns idling for an hour and figure that you're using a bit more than that to go all of six miles... your mileage is going to really suck.
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