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post #11 of 14 Old 11-14-2012
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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.
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post #12 of 14 Old 11-26-2012
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Re: Motoring while sailing ????

Motor sailing can get you through the windless night.
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post #13 of 14 Old 01-04-2013
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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.
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post #14 of 14 Old 01-04-2013
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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.
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