We are 99% sure we are going engine-less - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 55 Old 10-26-2010
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The OB probably won't get you through the canal as others have said. The weight of the OB is at the end of the boat... not a good place for sailing performance. Then you have gas on the boat rather than diesel. Can you sail without an engine? Sure. There' a Triton locally that I've seen out with a very nice rowing set up. That said, around here, there are a number of places where you'd have a hard time rowing against tide, days with very very little wind, or passing through locks. If you don't have to worry about time and can wait around for slack tide and wind, no problem. We don't motor much as our hull is easily driven in light air, but I'm on the side of having an engine for many reasons including safety.
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post #12 of 55 Old 10-26-2010
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here's another take:
While you are ditching the engine, also ditch the chart plotter, the compass, the windex, the vhf, the self-steering gear, the flare gun. You will save weight, have fewer systems to maintain, and sailors sailed for hundreds of years without that stuff, right?
An engine is a piece of safety equipment- using it is a choice, and having the choice gives you options. Options are good.

Reading between the lines, since you have now amended your original engineless plan to incorporate a 15 hp O/B, you are scared of your diesel engine. don't be.
For cruising, a diesel IB has HUUUUUUUUUGE advantages over jury-rigging an outboard on the transom-

1. Range.
2. Safety- diesel is a lower combustion fuel, safer to store in jerrycans on deck.
3. Repairability- every port on the planet has a dude who knows how to fix diesels, O/B's? Not so much, especially with the proliferation of models form market to market. Often getting parts for American market O/Bs is difficult outside of North America.
4. Easier to self-diagnose and repair than a gas engine. Really. You need fewer tools to repair a diesel, fewer spares to keep on board, fewer small finicky parts to lose overboard, and less plastic. Have you ever seen the innards of a 15 hp O/B? Them things is complicated.
5. Diesels are less concerned about fuel quality and don't care about octane issues. Try running your American spec shiny new outboard on a jerrycan of old Pemex that you topped up when you stopped in Ensenada two weeks ago.
6. resale value- if memory serves, you were trying to sell your boat a while back. Your plans changed and you decided to keep her (good choice). But, at some point, you are going to want to sell her again. there are few better ways to guarantee a bargain basement fire sale price than to advertise " Alberg 30 with 15hp O/B for sale"
7. No fabrication required- you hang an outboard, you are going to need to figure out how to vent the locker you plan to keep your gas tank in, you are going to have to run fuel lines, and unless you plan to hang over the transom to run it, throttle lines, you should install a blower in your fuel locker, which means additional wiring a diesel doesn't require.

If you want to keep it simple, then keep the diesel.
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post #13 of 55 Old 10-26-2010
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If you want to go without an engine fine. Others have pointed out the pitfalls. Just remember not to behave like another well known engineless boat which was notorious at mooching tows.

Rick I
Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter.

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post #14 of 55 Old 10-26-2010
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ChrisnCate, keep the engine. I'm of the same opinion - give me options when the **** hits the fan!

You can't steer a boat that isn't moving? Just like a life - P. Lutus
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post #15 of 55 Old 10-26-2010
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One thing to consider though is without an engine your options for charging your batteries and generating electricity change quite a bit, and not for the better.

Also, you won't have hot water, which is a luxury on a smaller sailboat, but easily accommodated if you have an in-board engine.

I do agree that an engine can be considered safety gear, but not an outboard on a boat not designed for one. My boat was designed for use with an outboard as the auxiliary engine, and as such has some features that make it unlikely that the prop will come out of the water. Your boat is not, and trying to retrofit a small outboard to work will be a serious compromise at best.

Considering your plans—which apparently include a Panama Canal crossing, it would be wise to at least consider whether ditching the engine is all that wise.


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post #16 of 55 Old 10-26-2010
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I sailed keelboats without engines for nine years. The first was a 20' finkeel sloop, the second a 26' yawl, four tons. I also enjoyed the challenge and romance of sail only. You certainly have learned the right way: practicing with power as a backup. I also experienced many of the limits above: not sailing on light or fluky days to avoid being becalmed, avoiding high traffic or crowded harbors to prevent risk or inconvenience. Of course, I had a work schedule. I suggest that you rig and carry a long oar. I could row either of these boats slowly in a calm with one oar and a steady stroke (don't bother pulling hard or fast). I managed fine, cruising both shores of Long Island, including ocean inlets. There were a few times I was delayed overnight, or had a cruise shortened by calms. I wouldn't change what I did, but I'm not going to take the engine out of my (much larger) ketch either.
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post #17 of 55 Old 10-26-2010
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I wouild think very hard about that 1 %

Pulling out an inboard engine only to carry an outboard makes little sense.
I will second and third...the fact that your engine is a valuable piece of safety equipment. Without engine power and without wind a sailboat underway, not making way can be a hazard to navigation and to themselves. Access to many ports would be impossible without an engine. When sudden squalls come upon you, an engine is often the difference between being safe or getting hammered. Sailing is green enough. Nothing requires you to use it more than necessary, but when it's necessary it's a darn good piece of equipment to have.

Best wishes , with whatever you decide.
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post #18 of 55 Old 10-26-2010
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Being run down by a ship or barge when the wind dies can ruin your day.
Here is more on that subject:


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post #19 of 55 Old 10-26-2010
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one point to consider if you are going be in a slip it will be hard to manuver in/out when the conditions are ripe for windy sailing. i was futzing around and a guy and his kid/grandkid were going out of the neighboring dock... no motor. windy conditions with significant gusts. they get out in the channel and realize its a bad idea so tack back toward their slip. before dropping the main they get hit with a puff and come in wayyyy hot and crash the bow into the dock.

so i see the same dudes in the parking lot the next day, same conditions and think 'there is no way they are trying this again!!' then i notice they are unloading the scuba gear to asses the damage....

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post #20 of 55 Old 10-26-2010
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Originally Posted by chrisncate View Post
Well, we are right there on the edge of yanking out the Yanmar.

1- Simplicity - No engine means less maintenance or failure points. One less system to deal with. take a diesel engine class

2- Costs - Obviously when you have no inboard, you have no costs associated with an inboard. No stuffing box to deal with, no fuel, etc.
it will make your boat worthless for resale. If I can do the maintenance you can.

3- Space - The Alberg has a massive amount of space where the engine lives, and when that becomes storage space you gain valuable live aboard space everywhere else. Not only the engine space, but all of the spare parts and whatnot that need to go with it.
just a silly rationalization

4 - Lifestyle - It fits our desired lifestyle and beliefs. We are purists we are coming to realize, and once we go, we won't be under timetables anymore. If we can't sail there "right now", we will wait until we can. Even mariners of old at least had oars

5- Thru hulls - We want to minimize holes below the waterline. There will still be a few, but not as many as now. And no drag from a prop either. That hole is getting glassed over. the holes are already there. they have valves. prop drag is not that much to give up unless your racing, or get a folding prop.

6- Skill - Yes, we have a belief that people sailed hundreds of years without engines, and it takes a bit higher level of skill to sail engine-less. We are coming to find out that we aren't just cruisers who want to get to a destination, we are cruisers who really get into the act of sailing itself. That's a huge part of the appeal to us. The journey and the destination. Sailing into and out of our slip is a favorite thing we do, and we think it reveals something about the way we like to sail. And none of that skill can be used to maintain an engine?

7- Profit, instead of loss - Instead of putting money into the engine before we throw the lines off, we plan to pull money out of it instead by selling it. It runs good and should fetch a few grand that can be put towards other more important things for Heron. This is silly. your own statement says it runs good! It will nearly cost you to remove it for what you sell if for.

Any here cruising without an engine? Thoughts? Have we finally lost it?
You know the answer you don't need to ask for it.

"Next best thing to not having a boat? The knowledge from having one!" Denise, Bristol PA, On Tidal Delaware River, Anchor Yacht Club.
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