SailNet Community - Reply to Topic
Thread: Motoring while sailing ???? Reply to Thread
Send Trackbacks to (Separate multiple URLs with spaces) :
Post Icons
You may choose an icon for your message from the following list:

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

  Additional Options
Miscellaneous Options

Click here to view the posting rules you are bound to when clicking the
'Submit Reply' button below

  Topic Review (Newest First)
01-04-2013 09:50 PM
Re: Motoring while sailing ????

We have a Newport 30 in San Diego Bay. The truth is that if you are planning to sail North on the California Coast, you will be nose to the wind and against current. From San Diego, we frequently motor or motor sail during the night (seas are calm) and leave around dinner time. Then, arrive in Catalina in the morning (mooring balls are "first come-first served").
Your new partner is right. The return sail during daytime is great with current and wind behind you or at beam. Incidentally, be careful if you are new to the waters here because the conditions between the Channel Islands and West Coast can be very challenging. Be alert and you will have a great time.
01-04-2013 08:45 PM
Wcoast sailor
Re: Motoring while sailing ????

For those of us in Southern California the prevailing wind is from the NW. Problem is, that's the direction of Catalina. Most of the time a favorable wind to Catalina is during a storm and the wind and waves can be high. So most people motor to Catalina. Not because there isn't any wind, there can be that too, but because when there is wind, it is against you. Catalina blocks most of the higher waves from LA to Dana Point but below that it gets bigger. I am in San Diego harbor and we usually get at least a foot higher swells than Oceanside. So going to Catalina from here, many go up the coast, where the swell is smaller, under power and often with the main up to get a little push, until they reach Oceanside or Dana Point before turning toward to Catalina. But it is almost always under power. Sometimes you get very lucky and can sail both ways but not too often. You can't schedule those you just have to be ready to go when the wind is favorable. But then I've talked to those who had to motor both ways. It isn't that bad unless you go all at night, as there is usually some sea life to see along the way and you are usually in sight of land, if the haze/fog isn't too bad. Going from the LA area isn't too much different, except it is a 10 -12 hour trip from San Diego and only a 6 - 8 trip from LA area. If you want to spend some time in the area there are several large islands North of Catalina but you MUST keep an eye on the weather up there in all seasons as the wind and waves can change in a few hours the closer you get to Point Conception.
11-26-2012 10:44 PM
Re: Motoring while sailing ????

Motor sailing can get you through the windless night.
11-14-2012 08:16 AM
MysticGringo Since this topic rose from the dead...

I was talking recently to a fellow with a very nice sailboat (brands are not important) who told me the boat won't sail with any speed till the winds hit 15 knots. And after 25 knots he doesn't like it's sailing characteristics. So he motors, or motor sails.

My boat is pretty quick in light air... and the only time I run the engine is to make a deadline if there's no wind. Otherwise I'll just hang around waiting for wind. I'm doing all the same stuff I would be doing at anchor anyway... why run the motor.

While his boat is much better appointed than mine on the interior, he was jealous of me sailing everywhere. We change out destinations or schedules based on the wind, and I'm totally ok with that. There's a few spots we haven't gotten too yet that we've tried because we don't have the wind, but we'll get there, without the motor.

I do get irrationally annoyed when I see sailboats motor around when there's good wind... but if it works out right, I try to change course to match and see if I can sail faster than them... partially to make a bit of fun of them.
11-14-2012 07:28 AM
seabrookedan When ur just sitting there dead in the wtr with the mainsail slapping back and forth,gettings ur brains rocked out for hrs and hrs- u'll turn that key!
10-27-2010 03:08 PM
DSneade All good advice. I have crossed the San Pedro channel many times and also find the morning winds are very light so motoring at least halfway is usually required to get there in a reasonable time of day. I almost always sail back, but motor out from the island wind shadow before setting the genoa. By the way, Avalon is a great destination in winter; fewer boats, fewer people in general. Check for special events though, since fishing tourneys can cause the mooring balls to be all taken. North of the casino, the conditions can be very rough even in summer. I was banished there a couple of night this past summer. Happy Crossing!
10-22-2010 02:55 AM
a couple more thoughts about motorsailing to Catalina

Oh, yes, although this is less important in the winter, your friend may want to get to Catalina in plenty of time to secure a good mooring, especially if you're going to Avalon. If you're late getting to Catalina, especially during popular warm season weekends, they might be out of balls in Avalon harbor and you might have to take one of the less desirable moorings north of the Casino in more exposed, rolly, rougher water. And, you do have less daylight in the winter, so the crossing needs to get done efficiently.

Motorsailing gives a more comfortable motion than plain motoring and if there's a bit of wind it'll give a nice combination of fuel savings and speed.
10-22-2010 01:09 AM
rgscpat It's a time of day thing; usually there's not much or no wind in the morning. Trying to sail with sail only in minimal wind and a rolling swell isn't fun, and the speed of motoring is especially useful when crossing the big ship traffic separation lanes that come out of Los Angeles/San Pedro harbor. Also, Orange County is downwind in the prevailing breezes from Catalina, so the sail back would probably be more fun.
10-19-2010 06:25 AM
Originally Posted by Tempest View Post
If you're trying to get somewhere on the east coast of the U.S in summmer months I would venture to say that it was more fact than hyperbole.
That's for sure. For me "Sailing" is weekend day sails around the bay such as in my avatar picture where I'm ghosting along at a couple knots in NGBay, or Rail Down.....later when the afternoon SWesterly blasts up the bay.

When it's Vacation Time and we have a destination, usually many miles away, it's Motor Sailing if I can and just plain Motoring if I must - Point A to Point B.....
10-19-2010 06:14 AM
CaptainForce When we are crossing to and from the Bahamas and Florida with the Gulfstream flowing at a 2.5kt average at our beam, we always choose to motorsail if we can't make at least 5kts by sail alone. Take care and joy, Aythya crew
This thread has more than 10 replies. Click here to review the whole thread.

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome