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  #1  
Old 10-25-2010
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We are 99% sure we are going engine-less

(EDIT - We are keeping the engine, the thread is a good read though)

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Any here cruising without an engine? Thoughts? Have we finally lost it?

Last edited by chrisncate; 10-26-2010 at 06:52 PM.
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Old 10-25-2010
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Chrisncate,

What you have said is the only way to sail, at least for me. I wrote a post on here about motor sailing, as I was unsure the point. A few people had good points, but I guess it comes down to what do YOU want. You were very specific. I sail Catalina 22s, Capri 16.5s without motor power at all. I have done just fine, and I agree, it does take a lot more skill to only sail. When I single hand a Pearson 36 though, I do motor, as it can be challenging pulling out of the dock, and I think I don't have a choice but to motor out of the Marina. Anyway, I say kudos to you and yours. I am pretty sure that Leaf Erikson and Zheng He did not motor out to America before Cris Columbo did. Good luck to you, and yes you are a purist, you and me also.
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Old 10-25-2010
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well, it certainly would force you to improve your sailing skills. When you don't have an iron genny to fall back on, you really don't have a choice but to improve your sailing skills.

However, it will limit you in some places that you can go, since not all harbors, canals, etc., are going to be safely navigable without an engine. In some cases, even if they are safely navigable, it won't be allowed. The Cape Cod Canal and the Panama Canal both come to mind. IIRC, neither allows a sailboat to proceed under sail.

One other issue is that the facilities that used to exist for purely sail-powered craft are getting scarcer and scarcer. Modern marinas tend to have narrower fairways, where getting in and out of a slip is almost impossible without an auxiliary engine, so you will also be limited in where you can stay.

That said, I say go for it. But, I would recommend that you setup a bracket so that you can use the dinghy's outboard to maneuver the mothership under certain conditions, like parking the boat in a slip in a tight marina when necessary under calm conditions.
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Old 10-25-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
well, it certainly would force you to improve your sailing skills. When you don't have an iron genny to fall back on, you really don't have a choice but to improve your sailing skills.

However, it will limit you in some places that you can go, since not all harbors, canals, etc., are going to be safely navigable without an engine. In some cases, even if they are safely navigable, it won't be allowed. The Cape Cod Canal and the Panama Canal both come to mind. IIRC, neither allows a sailboat to proceed under sail.

One other issue is that the facilities that used to exist for purely sail-powered craft are getting scarcer and scarcer. Modern marinas tend to have narrower fairways, where getting in and out of a slip is almost impossible without an auxiliary engine, so you will also be limited in where you can stay.

That said, I say go for it. But, I would recommend that you setup a bracket so that you can use the dinghy's outboard to maneuver the mothership under certain conditions, like parking the boat in a slip in a tight marina when necessary under calm conditions.
We should be able to use the o/b for all you listed above though, right (the Panama canal, tough marinas, etc)?

On the modern marina/tight fairway note, I have to tell you our current marina is notorious for this. They have crammed more slips into that place than you could believe as it is a condo/slip owner marina... it's tight in that place and we are used to that at this point..
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No, you haven't lost your minds YET. Yes it take more skill, you can learn this. But it also take much more care; tides, currents, winds can come together at the worst times to put you in grave danger that all your skill just plain won't get you out of. You better have lots ground gear, big and strong, and lots of rode to hold you in place while you get your brains beat out riding out the mess your in. Yes the old timers sailed without engines, and the coast are full of wreaks in testamone to the powers of mother nature. How fast can you tack or back wind while threading through a narrow opening in a coral reef at creep speed. Sailors are a traditional bunch but they're not above change and when engines came along they recognized the possibllities of a safer passage both for them and their ships.
Hey I'm not saying use the engine when you can do without it. Nothing beats the feeling of coming in or working you way out under sail alone, such a warm fuzzy glow and you can beam with pride as you walk the dock, But will it replace the feeling of watching your boat being smashed to peices on the rocks when you just couldn't beat the tide and wind of that shore. Will it be enough to keep you calm when you're down to bare poles in a squal and being shoved sideways to the white caps?
Just because you have an engine doesn't mean you have to use it, when was the last time you use a life raft or even your life vest? But would you sail without them?
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Old 10-26-2010
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Originally Posted by chrisncate View Post
We should be able to use the o/b for all you listed above though, right (the Panama canal, tough marinas, etc)?
It would be tough to use for the Panama Canal, as it probably isn't going to be powerful enough to drive the boat at the speeds they canal authority require. Also, in situations where the seas are heavier or there are wakes from other boats to contend with, the prop will probably ventilate a lot more than you'd want.

Quote:
On the modern marina/tight fairway note, I have to tell you our current marina is notorious for this. They have crammed more slips into that place than you could believe as it is a condo/slip owner marina... it's tight in that place and we are used to that at this point..
Yup... they do that to maximize the money they can make.
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a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 10-26-2010
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Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
It would be tough to use for the Panama Canal, as it probably isn't going to be powerful enough to drive the boat at the speeds they canal authority require. Also, in situations where the seas are heavier or there are wakes from other boats to contend with, the prop will probably ventilate a lot more than you'd want.



Yup... they do that to maximize the money they can make.
Do you think it's possible to transit the canal with an o/b on an Alberg 30? we were thinking 15hp, and as of now we only have a 20hp Yanmar. Are there currents/wakes/waves in the canal that we could not overcome with an o/b?

The canal and the Pacific are in our future, this matters a great deal to us. Can it be done?
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Old 10-26-2010
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No, you haven't lost your minds YET. Yes it take more skill, you can learn this. But it also take much more care; tides, currents, winds can come together at the worst times to put you in grave danger that all your skill just plain won't get you out of. You better have lots ground gear, big and strong, and lots of rode to hold you in place while you get your brains beat out riding out the mess your in. Yes the old timers sailed without engines, and the coast are full of wreaks in testamone to the powers of mother nature. How fast can you tack or back wind while threading through a narrow opening in a coral reef at creep speed. Sailors are a traditional bunch but they're not above change and when engines came along they recognized the possibllities of a safer passage both for them and their ships.
Hey I'm not saying use the engine when you can do without it. Nothing beats the feeling of coming in or working you way out under sail alone, such a warm fuzzy glow and you can beam with pride as you walk the dock, But will it replace the feeling of watching your boat being smashed to peices on the rocks when you just couldn't beat the tide and wind of that shore. Will it be enough to keep you calm when you're down to bare poles in a squal and being shoved sideways to the white caps?
Just because you have an engine doesn't mean you have to use it, when was the last time you use a life raft or even your life vest? But would you sail without them?

Good points, do you speak from experience? We were thinking of a 15 hp o/b to replace our 20 hp Yanmar. Would the difference be that much in a canal/marina/reef dodging situation?

I can see the reef situation being worse due to cavitation (hobby horsing) in waves, but everything else?
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Old 10-26-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisncate View Post
Do you think it's possible to transit the canal with an o/b on an Alberg 30? we were thinking 15hp, and as of now we only have a 20hp Yanmar. Are there currents/wakes/waves in the canal that we could not overcome with an o/b?

The canal and the Pacific are in our future, this matters a great deal to us. Can it be done?
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisncate View Post
Good points, do you speak from experience? We were thinking of a 15 hp o/b to replace our 20 hp Yanmar. Would the difference be that much in a canal/marina/reef dodging situation?

I can see the reef situation being worse due to cavitation (hobby horsing) in waves, but everything else?
A lot of this depends on how the outboard is mounted and whether it is a long-shaft model or not. If you're using the outboard from your dinghy, it likely won't be a long shaft model, and unless you have a very unusual bracket design, it will likely be very prone to ventilating in any kind of sea or with any kind of wake action.

One other issue is that you often can't get as much power from an outboard when compared to an inboard engine of the same HP. This is due to the fact that most outboards have the wrong gear ratio and too small a prop to really provide the thrust that a displacement hull sailboat requires. Some outboards, like the Mercury Bigfoot series, are designed to work better with sailboats than others, but they're not very common—and they probably wouldn't work very well with a dinghy.

The stock prop on most outboards is really poorly suited to pushing a sailboat.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 10-26-2010
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Yes. The experence of a coastal sailer, but not deep blue water. I have been pushed aground off Tarpon Springs, Fla. in a 35' Vangard. I have tried threading the 1000 islands of south Florida in puffy days when everything seemed to go wrong, and beat my way in Tampa bay against tide and wind for hours. Trade it, hell no! But I also recognize that it could have got dicey and I could have lost my boat, crew, and put other people in danger for my stubborn stupidy.
One of the gains in growing older is to realize that you are only a frail human and you are not superman and there many people who care and belive it's their duty to come to your rescue when you do something that endangers you and yours. I now try not to be one of those who needs their aid.
I am not a fan of outboards on boats as large as your Alberg. Why hang the engine out in the weather off the stern? If you tip it up, you have to put it down to use it. If you leave it down you're dragging a prop through the water(isn't this why you wanted to get rid of the inboard) Ever try to tip down an outboard in a choppy sea? If you unship it to store it below, (space, smell) you have to hang it back to use it. This can be fun at sea(please don't drop it, engines hate total emerson) assuming you tided it off.
On the other hand you inboard is big, heavy(think balast) but inside. You can work on it even at night, rain. It will get you a whale of a lot further on an equal amount of fuel.(think becalmed 20 miles out) and a two blade prop lined up with the keel really isn't a noticable drag unless you are racing. You can line this up with a crayon mark on the shaft when the blades are in the correct position, if you're that worried about it. It can charge your batteries, heat your cabin, and can, in an emergency, pumb your bilge.
Yes, they REQUIRE mantainence, space parts, oil changes, filters; but guess what so do outboards. Your Yamar with care and attention will out live your boat, will the outboard?
This is my opinion. Opinions are as the drops of water in the sea, all sailors have them.

"it's the trip, not the destination"
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