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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  #1  
Old 02-27-2007
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a little help?

hi, i am new to this forum...so, hello....
i just recently went back to school and currently writing a comparison/contrast (sailboats vs powerboats - don't laugh!) paper. Can you guys give me your opinions? I know the basics because i have a 30 ft. Formula PC and 30 ft Catalina...just wondering what others think.
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Old 02-27-2007
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I've always thought that while powerboating was a means to an end, sailing was an end in itself.

Powerboats can get you to some destination (fishing or diving spot, next port, whatever) fast, but aren't that much fun to just drive around going nowhere. But sailboats are, at least in my opinion.
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Old 02-27-2007
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For me the thrill comes from harnessing the wind. I like being on the water in any type of vessel, but I get more enjoyment from sailing.

It is a challenge for one to use only the winds and the sails to move from point A to point B. Thats where the thrill comes from. There is just something special about it and its very hard to explain.

I often sit back in my cockpit doing an easy 6.5 knots thinking what it was like back in time. I think to myself "I'm doing the same thing that man has done for thousands of years." Moving a vessel using only sails and wind and cruising the same grounds as those from a hundred years ago. I get a lot of satisfaction from it.

Other forms of boating are fun: I like to go offshore fishing, commanding a boat at 65 mph, or paddeling a kayak, but sailing is special.

Not to mention that fuel these days at the Marina's is around $3/gallon and that most power boats would require I take a loan to fill them: I can sail basically for free.

Long term cruising cost very little, might be a little slower, but its a nice journey.

Sailing is for those who already are where they want to be, the fun is the journey to your next destination.

Its hard to explain, you sort of have to feel it, it comes from deep inside.

Last edited by sailortjk1; 02-27-2007 at 11:46 AM.
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Old 02-27-2007
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I would have to say that powerboats are transportation for getting from point A to point B... sailboats are more about the journey between point A and point B, and less about getting from one to the other. One is function over form, the other is form over function... I also like to think that driving a powerboat takes far less skill and intelligence than properly handling a sailboat. It takes much more forethought to plan how to get someplace that is dead upwind of where you're at...than it does when you can just hit the throttle and head straight there.
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Old 02-27-2007
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I think that trawler power boaters are a lot like cruising sailors. Some have "retired" to trawlers due to age/infirmities but still like to go slow, stop along the way and enjoy new places and fellow cruisers. Other than that group, power boaters are a different breed (generally) and tend to see their boats as fast cars to get someplace quickly.
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Old 02-27-2007
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Noise vs silence

For me, the biggest difference is the beautiful "silence" that comes with sailing vs. the monotomous rumbling that comes with a powerboat. I'm not saying sailing is completely silent, but you get natural noise of the wind and the waves which is typically completely lost by the dronning noise of the engine of a powerboat.
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Old 02-27-2007
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Sail???? what the hell is that??? LONG LIVE POWER BOATS.....

Humm....the smell of gasoline/diesel in the morning....the noise, the HP.....getting there in 15 minutes....the rocking at anchor.....the gauges and dials....the flybridges...the water scooters and jet skis....don't need to know how to sail, turn the key and go....

The heart makes you buy a sailboat..the head a powerboat....
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Old 02-27-2007
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Everyone has been making the same point here, for most of us sailors the journey is the point of it all, the destination is a bonus.

For most powerboaters (exc. poss. waterskiers etc) the point of the trip is the destination. For some, though, it sometimes seems that the point for them is to pass as close as possible, while making the largest possible wake at the most inconvenient time for everyone else on the water.
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Old 02-27-2007
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A little snapshot of extremes here. In the marina business there are many opportunities to form opinions about the boating public. Yes these are generalizations but like stereotypes they are based in fact at some point. Power boaters...On a hot summer day I can here the thunder of the cigarette boat fleet inbound to our place from 3-5 miles out. I can also describe at least 1/2 of the occupants sight unseen. Skipper: from Jersey or other parts north, hair implants, chemical tan, 32 perfectly capped teeth, satyr horn necklace, with nugget ring and band for his time piece, bit of a pot belly bought and payed for like everything else and proud of it. Crew: vapid, staring, usually blonde, way too tan, more silicone than a GE plant and usually at least partially deaf from doing the deck fluff pose atop twin 545's.
Sailboat pulls up to the diesel dock from England and takes on 35 gals of diesel which takes two hours because it has to go through a BAJA filter first. Meanwhile they take on 150 gals of potable water and drop 4 bags of trash on the deck. They spill 2 gals of fuel trying to squeeze that last ounce in to the tanks and apologize profusely for the duration of the experience. They ask where the showers and laundry are before they shove off for the anchorage to ride the hook for free and come back in to utilize the facilites...or so they hoped
In between are great people of following both disciplines but I have to say the hardest drinking and most clueless around these parts are the power boaters. I think the lack of mandated boating education and hurried way of living lend themselves well to that perception. Take all this with a huge dose of salt as I am biased on one hand as a Sailing instructor and liveaboard sailor, and on the other as a dockmaster of a marina that serves the power boat community. I hope this real world experience helps in your compare and contrast assignment and remember........plagiarism is a crime!
Regards,
Red

Last edited by Loewe; 02-28-2007 at 09:47 AM.
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Old 02-27-2007
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Some works I've never heard to describe a powerboat - beautiful, graceful, soothing.

any others?
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