Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: East Stroudsburg, PA
Thanked 129 Times in 123 Posts
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Hartley18, I am glad to hear you say it (I thought I was alone). I spent 2 weeks with my boat with no motor, I had the boat for 1 month at that point, and only sailed it 3 times. I still wanted to sail. I did this during weekdays when the lake was less crowded.
I have a capri22, very similar to a J/22 for size, except the J is lighter, and has more sail area/keel. I sailed into, and out of the slip many times on wind-power alone. IN fact, one trip was in 15-20knot winds... The trick is to know your limitations. If you've gotten comfortable with your skills on a particular boat (sounds like you have), it is logical to take every precaution, and prepare yourself for the case of an eventual emergency, of no motor. It's also good practice for crew.
Having motor at ready is a GOOD idea. Having crew to fend off, any "potential issues" better. Practicing, is wise.
I will add, that, I sailed my little capri 14.2 boat for years sans motor. So stepping up to the 22 was really not a big deal to sail away and back to dock, other than the "stopping factor," honestly it is very similar.
When we came in with no motor, in 15 knot winds... I was flying a reefed main only (keeping sail area simple, and tacking pretty hands free). Spilling wind on my way in. We were doing 2.5 knots on a port reach, at the end of the dock... 80 feet away was our slip (and 90 degrees in, and into the wind). I instructed crew, what was happening.. no time for topping lifts, or the like, boom was going into the cockpit at speed, and I would be running from tiller to dock (crew isn't really crew at this point they are ballast, no one that nimble yet except me). Everyone knew this was a ONE-TAKE only bit, but were kept in the loop to know what to expect. The boom/mainsail dropped (controlled), we are on bare poles, coasting the 80 feet. Doing 1.5 knots for my 90 degree turn.
After my 90 degree turn, coasting now at 1 knot, we slid into our dock perfectly, with enough time for me to hop off and stop the boat. It was quick, and less than subtle, but we hit nothing. We collected main/boom, and cleaned up from there once docklines secured.
I would not want to do this every time, but knowing how, and what do expect is part of sailing.
I cannot tell you how many emergency situations have come up over the years. Broken wheels, failed motors, blown sails, snapped shrouds, broken tillers, broken rudders... Do you have a plan for these things? You probably should. Nothing wrong with the plan being "call for help" or "ask for assistance" either.
Just my $0.02 glad to hear I am not alone.
This is WAY more difficult as the boats get bigger. We've been forced to do it with our 6000lb 27 footer (dead engine), and you need precision and big arms to stop that beast in the slip. But the J/22 should at least prepare you for what is necessary to do .