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post #11 of 78 Old 04-14-2018
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Re: Sustainable Sailing

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I realize that most millinials skills don't include wick trimming but needs and musthaves could be sorted to make it away. Remember back when we hippies went back to the land,started communes and hootennannyed. .
Back in the 70's, sailing a gaff ketch built in 1909 through the SoPac, the only electric light on the boat was over the chart table. Even the running lights and compass lights were kerosene, as was the stove. Refrigeration? Ha! Our only "mod con" was a pretty decent stereo on which the Doors, Quicksilver or the Grateful Dead blared continuously.
There could be a case for minimalism today, but it's a pretty slim one when one considers the quality of life aboard a cruising boat. Watermakers, refrigeration and GPS make life so much more pleasant than water rationing, canned food for 20 days or more after the fresh stuff has run out, and getting hours more sleep a day because those hours aren't spent navigating.
Sometimes it took months for a letter to reach family. They worried. With sat phones and the internet communication almost anywhere is virtually instant, not a bad thing, especially when in need of a part.
And on Skipping Stone, with all our "mod cons" I'd bet we still have a much smaller carbon footprint than most on this planet.
I would no more go back to those "simpler" days on a cruising boat than I would to the wool uniforms the soldiers and sailors of old wore in the tropics.

"Any idiot can make a boat go; it takes a sailor to stop one." Spike Africa aboard the schooner Wanderer in Sausalito, Ca. 1964.
“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” ― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

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Last edited by capta; 04-14-2018 at 12:48 AM.
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post #12 of 78 Old 04-14-2018
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Re: Sustainable Sailing

While different, the OP's concept reminds of the threads about using a sailboat as an off-the-grid bug out boat, where one might live, in the event of a massive social or environmental calamity.

The problem is, the boat itself is not sustainable in the very definition of the word, without significant land based support. Rigging, sails, piping, wiring and on and on, all need constant maintenance and repair. Not to mention the solar, wind or batteries themselves.

However, if the concept makes one happy, go for it. The OP may want to dig up a copy of the book, Sailing the Farm.


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post #13 of 78 Old 04-14-2018
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Re: Sustainable Sailing

Was in Norfolk waiting to go to RI and got to chat with a couple who had ~50 small pots on their deck. There was a light rain falling. The pots had herbs and some veggies (snap peas/small tomatoes and the like) growing. They told me some interesting stuff.
First it was important to get their garden on deck to get washed. There’s enough dust and other junk in the air down below that the leaves need to be washed any chance you get.
Second even when placed for best light in front of ports or below hatches there’s not much light down below.
Third a salt wash kills them right off and even the dirt needs to changed if you want to use that pot again.
They said other then keeping a very few herbs going they only grew when they were going to be motionless for the length of a harvest.
Doesn’t seem practical for most of us.

Would also note there’s a new wave in motor boats. Ultralight extremely narrow aluminum transoceanic trawlers. Basically a Dashew boat on a smaller scale. The nautica 58 out of NZ is an example or the steady sailors (ranger) from Lyman Morse drawn by ed joy decades ago.
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post #14 of 78 Old 04-14-2018
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Re: Sustainable Sailing

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I realize that most millinials skills don't include wick trimming but needs and musthaves could be sorted to make it away.
I would have never gotten the term "wick trimming" with out that context.

Thanks Capt Len, learned a new nautical term today.

Jordan
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post #15 of 78 Old 04-14-2018
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Re: Sustainable Sailing

Pulled out my Westerbeke diesel ten years ago and replaced it with electric propulsion. Was a leap of faith back then but, would never go back to diesel now. Maintenance costs dropped to near zero compared with diesel. Bought a Honda 2000 generator for charging in case my solar and wind systems can not meet demand. Use it much less than I thought I would. Best part is I can make fuel (energy) while underway (and at anchor) using solar and wind and if I start getting up near 6 knots regeneration with the prop. Another nice thing the boat smells clean since their is no diesel or antifreeze on board to spill and just a little oil for the Honda generator.
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post #16 of 78 Old 04-14-2018
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Re: Sustainable Sailing

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Pulled out my Westerbeke diesel ten years ago and replaced it with electric propulsion. Was a leap of faith back then but, would never go back to diesel now. Maintenance costs dropped to near zero compared with diesel. Bought a Honda 2000 generator for charging in case my solar and wind systems can not meet demand. Use it much less than I thought I would. Best part is I can make fuel (energy) while underway (and at anchor) using solar and wind and if I start getting up near 6 knots regeneration with the prop. Another nice thing the boat smells clean since their is no diesel or antifreeze on board to spill and just a little oil for the Honda generator.
This is fabulous... but I think at this stage too much work.. and expense... pulling the engine... and buying and installing the electric motor. Porbably need 1 3rd AGM or a 4th??? No room for more solar but windgen is a possibility... noisy and spendy.

We only use maybe 3 or 4 20 of fuel fills a season, 2 oil and filter changes / yr and YES it SMELLS and SMOKES YUCK

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post #17 of 78 Old 04-14-2018
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Re: Sustainable Sailing

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...They said other then keeping a very few herbs going they only grew when they were going to be motionless for the length of a harvest.
Doesn’t seem practical for most of us.
This has been our experience as well. The only way to grow substantial amounts of food on board is if the boat never goes anywhere. And even then, the real estate available is too small to make a substantial dent in the food budget. Even with various stackable hydroponic systems, you just can’t get enough production.

What does work well is high-value, low volume plants like herbs and sprouts. For the rest, it would be far easier to forage on land (either in the wild, or at the grocery store). Anyone who is really interested in subsistance farming should really focus on finding an acre of land somewhere. A boat is a poor choice.
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post #18 of 78 Old 04-14-2018
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Re: Sustainable Sailing

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= it would be far easier to forage on land (either in the wild, or at the grocery store). Anyone who is really interested in subsistance farming should really focus on finding an acre of land somewhere. A boat is a poor choice.

I think this is the key, it would be so much easier on land and if you lived in a place far out enough from a city where you could afford land near enough to the ocean. You could add sustenance fishing to supplement your sustenance farming. Also a 3-5 acre lot would allow you so much more room over a 35 foot boat to create barterable goods.
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post #19 of 78 Old 04-14-2018
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Re: Sustainable Sailing

Back when I still had kerosene lights and wood cooking stove I traded salmon and other canned gleanings at vegetable stores and ethnic restaurants .Would invite all my back to earth friends after leaving bags of rock cod at the back door, never a mention of money. Win/win. Planted rhubarb all over the coast in abandoned homesteads and returned to harvest in the spring as berries came ripe. Returning back down the coast as the apples and pears came in season. Learned to prune fruit trees Times change and slugs finally got the rhubarb and big resort types built mansions (some of which I had a hand in) Living off grid can mean many things but now seems to be high tech or job/ townhouse.
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post #20 of 78 Old 04-14-2018
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Re: Sustainable Sailing

In an unusual plot twist my wife and I are trying to do something similar and untenable. We are trying to do as much self sustenance on our home in Wyoming. The location is almost as unsuitable as a sailboat. We are at 6200 ft elevation, it is still snowing every other day. The sun does not reach the home most winter days until 11. It is often below zero f much of winter. The growing season is short and the area we have to grow is shaded much of the day. What we are allowed to do is limited by the town's regulations and Home Owner Association.

Still my wife makes bread and cheese, I am building the house and make the beer. What we can't grow in our short season we will walk 5 minutes to the grocery store and purchase.

Jordan
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