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Re: Pacific Seacraft forum
I hate running the engine. It's a quirk of mine. The first boat I sailed to the South Pacific had no engine of any kind. I was in bliss: no noise, no smell, no maintenance and no expense. The Trade Winds make it totally doable. It's rare they aren't blowing, the prime exception being mornings near islands.
But, yes, if the wind quits blowing, we typically quit moving, unless there's something harder than water about to bump into us. We use the engine to get in and out of tight areas like marinas, although we've sailing in and out of a number of those. We typically sail the hook in and out, unless other boats are too close for safety. And, I have been known to crank the thing when we've sat becalmed a mile from an anchorage when it's about to get dark. But, otherwise, we enjoy honing our sailing skills whenever we can.
We use the drifter a lot. We've sailed many days with it polled out, averaging under 4 kts. Typically, the mainsail is up also with a flattening reef in to keep it from slatting. We have been becalmed for as long as four days straight in which we just drifted. That was on our 49 day passage from the Marshalls to Washington. The four calm days were in the Horse Latitudes as we made our way from the Trades to the Westerlies. The drifter is 2 oz. nylon. If we ever buy another sail, it will be something like a 3/4 ounce drifter or asym to take care of those times when the 2 oz. just won't stay filled.
It's interesting that so much emphasis is put on heavy weather sails, which are rarely used (our trysail has never been out of the bag), and so little on sails for light winds, which are what is experienced more often.
Does it take us longer to get places? Yes, it does. I guess my feeling is that our boat is our home. Wherever we are at, whether we are moving fast, slow or stopped, we are home. We don't have schedules to keep. We love being at sea. So, why use the engine to just get somewhere? It does have it's uses, but we reserve it for those times and enjoy the rest of the time without the noise. Of course, if your situation is different (e.g. you ARE on a schedule), then you'll need to use it more often.
Last edited by DaveMancini; 02-13-2014 at 02:03 PM.