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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > Why Cruisers seem to motor a LOT form my attempts to cruise this summer :)
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Thread: Why Cruisers seem to motor a LOT form my attempts to cruise this summer :) Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
09-10-2012 04:15 PM
jameswilson29
Re: Why Cruisers seem to motor a LOT form my attempts to cruise this summer :)

If you are employed and have limited cruise time available, motoring is a fact of life on the Chesapeake Bay and in Mid-Atlantic coastal region.

I motor 50-75% of the time on extended cruises. I will sail if at all possible. Sometimes, there is simply not enough wind. I will still sail upwind in light air, even if I make slow progress, as long as I am not outside in the ocean where I feel more vulnerable. There I will turn on the engine if I am not making at least 3 knots.

The slowest leg of my recent trip involved tacking against a foul current east of Pooles Island on the northern Chesapeake Bay. I sailed all day and only made it from Still Pond to Rockhall, although I enjoyed the sail.

It is very important to have a good, reliable inboard engine on a cruising sailboat in this area. I cannot imagine sailing without one on the Chesapeake.
09-10-2012 03:53 PM
CalypsoP35
Re: Why Cruisers seem to motor a LOT form my attempts to cruise this summer :)

On Saturday we had a Hyannis to Nantucket race (25 miles) with winds mostly in the 18 to 23 knot range. Overall the winds ranged from 15 to 30 knots. Winds were dead on our nose, out of the South on Sat. Overnight they did a 180 and came out of the north for our return race. This time the winds ranged from 7 to 13 knots.
09-10-2012 03:33 PM
SailingLazy
Re: Why Cruisers seem to motor a LOT form my attempts to cruise this summer :)

Over Labor Day weekend, the tail end of Isaac left us with 3 day of East winds on Lake Michigan - perhaps a once a decade occurrence. For the 1st time all summer, we managed a cruise with less motoring than sailing. Out of 42 NM, only 7 or so were motoring - a couple just getting in and out of ports and the rest because it started raining and got freaking cold right at the end of the day.

On a 4th of July trip to Wisconsin and back we motored 100% of the time. A combination of light winds and the need to get across the big lake a couple of times in daylight put over 25 hours on the motor in 10 days.
09-03-2012 12:47 PM
zeehag
Re: Why Cruisers seem to motor a LOT form my attempts to cruise this summer :)

pacific is swell ridden--6ft being almost nothing, but the timing of them is looong..decent for sailing. 914--where are ye--i thunk i'd-a met ye by now.....LOL

some folks do have difficulty with long slow swells, so they dont sail pacific--our swell originates in japan....loong fetch.
09-03-2012 11:59 AM
oysterman23 Hi Tom, good point! Sunday similar story on Great South Bay....I usually avoid motor but at times it was that or drift around in circles getting bounced around by the not so occasional six foot wakes dragged
along by those mobile split level things they now call "cruising boats (power)"
I finally drfted over toward the flats and had fun washing the water line and swimmin. SOon enough we,ll be reefing regularly!
09-03-2012 11:52 AM
travlineasy
Re: Why Cruisers seem to motor a LOT form my attempts to cruise this summer :)

i make about 70 trips on the Chesapeake's upper reaches each year, most of which usually involve some motoring, usually in the Havre de Grace, MD channel. Most of the excursions range from 30 to 60 miles per day. During mid summer, the prevailing winds are usually southwesterly of 5 to 10, with some part of the day where the wind is dead calm. Fortunately, there are exceptions. Three days ago I motored five minutes from the dock, put up the sails, and sailed 42 miles south to Fairlee Creek. The wind averaged about 15 though much of the day from the west, which meant just a few tacks to reach our destination. About 2 miles from the mouth of Fairlee Creek the wind dropped to zero, black flies invaded the boat and gnawed on our legs, despite a liberal dose of Skin So Soft. We anchored for the night, rolled out about 9 a.m., sailed up the bay to Betterton, the wind died, storm clouds were on the western horizon, so I fired up the Tin Lizzy and motored 11 miles back to the marina. The Betterton area was slammed with a violent thundershower, but the marina never got a drop.

Just a typical day on Chesapeake Bay,

Gary
09-03-2012 11:44 AM
CalypsoP35
Re: Why Cruisers seem to motor a LOT form my attempts to cruise this summer :)

Wow, you guys have me feeling pretty good about my backyard, Nantucket Sound. We regularly take 20 to 30 mile per leg weekend trips to the islands and usually the question is what direction is the wind coming from, not is there wind. I'd say we motored less than 1/3 of our trips.
09-03-2012 10:31 AM
WanderingStar
Re: Why Cruisers seem to motor a LOT form my attempts to cruise this summer :)

I used to sail a couple of unpowered keelboats, for about ten years. Now I kind of wonder how and why! We just cruised over the weekend, and had good enough winds half of the time. That's pretty good. I did manage to sail on and off the anchor both nights.
09-01-2012 08:07 AM
LinekinBayCD
Re: Why Cruisers seem to motor a LOT form my attempts to cruise this summer :)

I'm happy just being out on the water. If the wind is right sailing is a bonus. We sailed more chartering before I bought a boat when the kids were younger. Now it seems like we do more day trips for lunch or dinner stops. But it is still good. Right now I'm not on the boat but I can see her on here mooring. If the wind picks up maybe will do a little day sale today.
08-31-2012 08:16 PM
tdw
Re: Why Cruisers seem to motor a LOT form my attempts to cruise this summer :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
This was what last week was like.. And yes that is a baby seal jumping out of the water...

Very cute , very cute indeed. We don't get many seals down here , more's the pity.

Acknowledging what JRD said re schedules the other issue is comfort. I don't mind plodding along at one or two knots if needs be but when you factor in wash from stinkers and/or a rolling ocean swell it can be simply intolerable.
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