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post #21 of 41 Old 12-18-2015
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Re: Would you give up sailing?

You know the title of the thread, and question within, lead me to believe this was a newb asking a leading question to sell a product/idea.

When I see that its a senior member, with lots of relevant posts, it leads me to ponder what would drive the question from what is obviously a seasoned sailor? Is it perhaps more of a drive to get to a destination, or cruising location? Is it to be more green (which I'd argue is a political agenda)?

I never once considered the reason someone sails is any kind of "green alternative" to power boating. It's a VERY common misconception that sailors are just tree-huggers that hate fossil fuel burning, but love boating... but my experience is that SURE you do have sailors who fit that description, but most love the sport of it. The challenge of learning to sail, perfecting ones skills, mastering navigation, and bettering boat handling with a limited "range" of winds, direction etc, are what makes it "sport." Sailing is therefore NOT a political choice, but rather a fascination/mastering of an age old skill, or for some even sport (esp racing).

Indeed I'd say a very large portion of sailors are perfectly happy with their fossil fuel burning backup motors... and are loath to give them up because of their reliability (think safety net when the skills don't meet the challenge). I'd wager many if not ALL sailors strive to put safety above all else when it comes down to brass tacks and at the end of that day the only way a SOLAR powered motor would replace the old oil burners, would be if it could meet the existing reliability, range, longevity, and cost per hours used (that last one is important, because batteries degrade, just sitting not being used)... Because the only thing we hate to spend money on MORE than Sails is for work or replacement of motors for a SAILBOAT! Classic statement from those who don't sail... "Why you spenidng x dollars on a motor for a sailboat, can't you just sail it where you wanna go?" Ok, by that logic why do you spend x on brakes for your car, can't you just drive it up a hill?

I'm sorry but the question seems to miss the point of why sailors sail, or at least that is my opinion anyway.

Freedom, a 1983 C&C 32 sailing Smith Mountain Lake, VA
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post #22 of 41 Old 12-18-2015
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Re: Would you give up sailing?

TomMaine - that picture is worth far more than a thousand words, my friend, in answering this question. Imagine a young lady and a dog driving a solar-powered motorboat. Are the facial expressions the same, do you think??

(on an aside, that is a gorgeous dinghy. What is it, please? Nutshell Pram?)

Andy
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Re: Would you give up sailing?

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Originally Posted by aelkin View Post
TomMaine - that picture is worth far more than a thousand words, my friend, in answering this question. Imagine a young lady and a dog driving a solar-powered motorboat. Are the facial expressions the same, do you think??

(on an aside, that is a gorgeous dinghy. What is it, please? Nutshell Pram?)

Andy
Yes it is, Andy. It's Joel Whites larger version, 9'6". It's nearly as old as my daughter - now in her mid twenties - , who is sailing with our dog in these photos.

She's been sailing it since she was 7 or 8. She will always love sailing(the dog too, he started as a puppy). Thank you!


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Tom Young sailing a 1961 38' Alden Challenger, CHRISTMAS out of
Rockport, Maine.
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post #24 of 41 Old 12-18-2015
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Re: Would you give up sailing?

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Originally Posted by SHNOOL View Post

I never once considered the reason someone sails is any kind of "green alternative" to power boating. It's a VERY common misconception that sailors are just tree-huggers that hate fossil fuel burning, but love boating... but my experience is that SURE you do have sailors who fit that description, but most love the sport of it. The challenge of learning to sail, perfecting ones skills, mastering navigation, and bettering boat handling with a limited "range" of winds, direction etc, are what makes it "sport." Sailing is therefore NOT a political choice, but rather a fascination/mastering of an age old skill, or for some even sport (esp racing).

Indeed I'd say a very large portion of sailors are perfectly happy with their fossil fuel burning backup motors... and are loath to give them up because of their reliability (think safety net when the skills don't meet the challenge). I'd wager many if not ALL sailors strive to put safety above all else when it comes down to brass tacks and at the end of that day the only way a SOLAR powered motor would replace the old oil burners, would be if it could meet the existing reliability, range, longevity, and cost per hours used (that last one is important, because batteries degrade, just sitting not being used)... Because the only thing we hate to spend money on MORE than Sails is for work or replacement of motors for a SAILBOAT! Classic statement from those who don't sail... "Why you spenidng x dollars on a motor for a sailboat, can't you just sail it where you wanna go?" Ok, by that logic why do you spend x on brakes for your car, can't you just drive it up a hill?

I'm sorry but the question seems to miss the point of why sailors sail, or at least that is my opinion anyway.
With all respect, I thought it was an intriguing thought. I agree with you, for passionate sailors, it's almost a rhetorical question. Even a solor powered, relatively quiet, 'green', power boat, couldn't replace sailing for me.

But I wouldn't be surprised that some people that sail might go for the idea. Sailing isn't the same thing to all sailors and some are 'in' sailing for the other reasons.

I love having a diesel back up on my boat but I really get a kick out of going places, by wind power alone, for 'free', so to speak.

Tom Young sailing a 1961 38' Alden Challenger, CHRISTMAS out of
Rockport, Maine.
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post #25 of 41 Old 12-18-2015
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Re: Would you give up sailing?

I sail to relax, not to get somewhere so no, not for me.
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post #26 of 41 Old 12-18-2015
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Re: Would you give up sailing?

I don't sail for environmentally friendly reasons. Glad that's a by-product, but it has nothing to do with why I prefer wind over fuel.

What if they invent auxiliary motors that burn carbon fuels, but had no environmentally impactful exhaust? I really don't understand why this hasn't happened. It should required solar/electric engines. Chemically speaking, hydrocarbons are much more efficient. Don't limit your thinking to gas and diesel.


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post #27 of 41 Old 12-18-2015
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Re: Would you give up sailing?

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I have been reading and working with solar lately and started thinking if they made a solar engine that was quite and dependable would I still sail. I know theres no engine like this now but what if? There even talking about solar cells that store energy at night. If I could motor around the world on solar power instead of wind power why not?
One thing I think that has been totally missed by the sailing industry is
the Net Zero Coastal Cruiser. Modeled after the Net Zero Home which simply means the house uses no more energy than can be produced on the site by means of renewable sources.

Sailboats appear to have become more reliant upon fossil fuel powered generators in the last few decades.

Remember Stanley Paris that attempted to do that while circling the globe in Kiwi Spirit? He couldn't; all his electronics-refrigeration-etc, turned out to require more power than his renewable generators(wind, solar, sail powered water gens, etc) and storage batteries produce.

The Net Zero Sailboat is easy to do. Many people have been doing it forever. It just takes a combination of conservation and renewable power generation(or a boat like Slocums SPRAY).

Yet I don't see that old concept applied to new coastal cruisers. In fact I don't see much interest at all from the industry(generators are the thing in smaller boats).

There's no need to achieve 'Net Zero' status, but a more energy efficient sailboat goes hand in hand with sail powered vehicles.

Not for the masses(sailing never has been), but I think the industry may be missing an opportunity.

Tom Young sailing a 1961 38' Alden Challenger, CHRISTMAS out of
Rockport, Maine.
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post #28 of 41 Old 12-18-2015
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Re: Would you give up sailing?

Sailing gets me "there"
Unlike any other form of mindfulness. I like all sorts of water vessels but sailing is special it draws your senses (and intellect) into play with the world.

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post #29 of 41 Old 12-18-2015
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Re: Would you give up sailing?

I have been using electric propulsion for the auxiliary propulsion on my 30 foot Nonsuch since 2008. While I would NEVER go back to having a diesel on board. I doubt I would ever not have a sail on board. Technically you are using solar when you power by sail since the wind is created by temperatures in various parts of the ocean and the sun is the primary cause of those temperatures. That said since I have solar panels and a wind turbine for charging (also have a Honda 2000 generator for backup power) I like to be able to tap into all the energy sources available to me. EP allows me to do so very easily. The results of my tests over the years have been consistent:
THE BIANKA LOG BLOG: HARBOR TEST 2015
480 watts will give me about 2 knots of boat speed. Since I already have 120 watts of 48 volt solar panels on board getting to 480 watts would not be that hard. Indeed that is in my plans. Even if I have to start out motoring EP is extremely quiet compared to the diesel operation above and below deck. I don't loath the idea of using it compared to the firing up the iron pig. But, I also do love motoring when the wind picks up and I can actually see the power shift from the prop to the sail just by watching ammeter. Eventually current draw goes to 0 and then starts recharging the battery bank. Another reason I would not give up the sail is because some companies like U.K Sails are starting to develop sails with solar panels built into them. Once they become perfected I will have the best of both worlds.
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Last edited by mbianka; 12-19-2015 at 09:02 AM.
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post #30 of 41 Old 12-19-2015 Thread Starter
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Re: Would you give up sailing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SHNOOL View Post
"green alternative"
Yes I think I'm a green boater. To bad the word green will either make me sound new to boating or that I get sick on boats. I never liked calling my self a sailor.
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