What's up with motoring when you can sail? - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 21 Old 09-08-2010
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There are all kinds of potential reasons for not sailing beyond the obvious one of a contrary wind.
- Short handed
- Rigging problems
- Temporary laziness
- Lack of experience
- Health/infirmity issues
- Charging batteries/heating water
- Diesel engine needs to be run hard for a bit

There have been plenty of times in the past when I'm on my way to a specific destination and the wind becomes favorable for a very short period of time. It would take longer to raise the sail and put it away than the amount of time actually sailed. Very frustrating and very common where I sail. That is the primary reason I opted for in-mast furling on my new-to-me boat. The sail may not be as pretty when up, but it gets up and used a whole lot more often.

BTW, I spent the weekend Med-tied next to a Bene 40. The couple that bought it didn't know how to sail when they bought the boat almost new 2 years ago but had owned a 31 ft power boat for a number of years. In the last two years they have learned a LOT and are quit accomplished in-shore cruisers now. Not what I would recommend, but it has worked well for them.

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122*35'20.8" W
S/V Legacy, Catalina 400 MkII, Hull #328
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post #12 of 21 Old 09-08-2010 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
Sounds like that was rust on the vhf. You didn't find any egg stains on your boat did you?

"Sailing vessel - put yer friggin' sails up, damn yer eyes!!"

- Bill T.
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"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
- Mark Twain
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post #13 of 21 Old 09-08-2010
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every east coast sailor knows as soon as you raise the sails the winds die, fall off, lessen... you drop the sails... and "poof" it's looking like great sailing again!

Denise, Bristol PA, Oday 30. On Tidal Delaware River, Anchor Yacht Club.
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post #14 of 21 Old 09-08-2010
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every east coast sailor knows as soon as you raise the sails the winds die, fall off, lessen... you drop the sails... and "poof" it's looking like great sailing again!
That isn't limited to the east coast. The lake we sail on, Lake St. Clair, is called by many local sailors "Lake St. Stupid." This is because the air, when there is air, often tends to be exceedingly fickle.

As often as not: The Admiral and I get to Abracadabra: Good air. Motor the 45 minutes necessary to get to navigable (for our 5' of draft) waters: Good air. Turn into the (fading) wind, raise the sails: Wind dies. After a couple hours of unsatisfactory sailing, finally give up, fire up the engine, turn into the "wind," drop the sails and head home. About the time we have her tied up: The wind comes back.

Last time, our only sail so far this season, we waited it out. Wind came back, we had some fun

Jim
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post #15 of 21 Old 09-08-2010
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Guilty. I've somtimes motored when I could have been sailing, sometimes when I expected the wind to build to more than my usual crew of me and my wife could handle and sometimes because I belived the forecast for no wind and then got decent wind 2/3rds of the way to my destination. At that point the bragging rights of putting up the sails was outweighed by the hassle of having to flake and tie up the main. Now I have a MackPack so I'm more likely to use the sail even if its for a short while.

I'll generally motor when I can't make 5 knots through the water, and sometimes I'll motor if most of that 5 knots isn't VMG.

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post #16 of 21 Old 09-08-2010
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I day sail Mobile Bay ,sometimes I am short handed. We go out with no particular place to go. We tack,we go here, we go there and sometimes this old man gets tired and cranks the motor.
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post #17 of 21 Old 09-08-2010
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A point I'd (with all due respect) try to make is never compare what "they" do to yourself. You don't know them, their motives, comfort levels.. etc.


I couldn't agree more! I often think the same thing as the OP, then quickly remind myself what D030 said Although it is a blast to sail past a someone who's motoring

Cheers,
Shawn

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post #18 of 21 Old 09-08-2010 Thread Starter
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I couldn't agree more! I often think the same thing as the OP, then quickly remind myself what D030 said Although it is a blast to sail past a someone who's motoring
Absolutely - I wasn't so much comparing what I was doing with anyone else; just wondering why, when the day seemed just about as perfect as you could want for sailing, someone would take out a very nice sailboat and not, y'know - sail it.

I see from the replies above there are various possible "whys".

In my case, I don't want to wear out my poor ol' worn out engine any more than I have to, so I'll wear out my poor ol' worn out sails instead...

- Bill T.
- Richmond, VA

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
- Mark Twain
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post #19 of 21 Old 09-08-2010
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I met a couple last week that spend each summer in the North Channel. This year three months and on their way home. He said they are never in a hurry and only once in a while when below 2 Kts do they motor....and then only if they need to get somewhere.

Me, once in a while I will sail at less than 4 kts., but only if I am drifting around the bay and doing some work on the boat. If I have a destination I will motor sail at anything less than 4 and sometimes 5 if I have to add distance tacking because the wind is not right.

I love to sail......I just don't really like to sail slowwwwwwwwwwwwwww. However, even that is an improvement for me. I used to say that their is no good reason to fish unless you can troll at 50MPH. Now I sail at 5-6kts. and am going fast!
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post #20 of 21 Old 09-08-2010
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I'm sometimes amazed at the speed some sailboats motor at and wonder if anyone wonders that when I'm motoring by.

Denise, Bristol PA, Oday 30. On Tidal Delaware River, Anchor Yacht Club.
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