Sailing Motorless from LA to Phillipines - Page 4 - SailNet Community
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post #31 of 57 Old 02-22-2012
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Fuzzy - I got a 13hp diesel, as lumps go, it ain't much. And I've already offered my "elusive half knot" to any one that wants it.

Besides, I learned on my 3rd day out, rushing ain't a good thing.

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Full, is the spirit, that thinks not, of falling.
True, is the soul, that hesitates not, to give.
Alive, is the one, that believes, in love.
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post #32 of 57 Old 02-22-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fallard View Post
Didn't the Hays duo sail a Marshall 22 in the open Atlantic from the Bahamas to New London? They survived that one, too. The gods must be smiling on them. Had they been pooped with that large cockpit, it would have been all over. (Yes, I am aware of the air mattress trick.)

Sailing coastal craft in the open ocean and sailing engineless in general doesn't make for a good example IMHO. These guys were doing the equivalent of playing russian roulette. Their survival was a matter of luck--not design. To get the full picture, you need the stories of the folks who took chances and didn't make it---but they don't write books, do they?
As I recall, they had a larger "chase" boat following them for their catboat voyage (or did just the son sail the catboat, with dad in the chase boat?). So, they were a bit more prepared, by design, than you intimate.

And, Vertues are pretty well respected bluewater boats. In fact, for their size, I can't think of any designs with a better offshore reputation. (But, I still can't imagine being trapped on one with my dad for weeks on end. Sooner or later, one of us would be bound to break.)

In any case, sailing is as much (or more) about the sailor as it is about the boat. Remember, Capt. Bligh and his remaining crew sailed an open (and engineless) boat 3600 nm after the rest of the crew of Bounty mutinied. Granted, that was back when boats were man of wood, wrot iron, and tar, and men learned their sailing skills on the open ocean, rather than via books and the Internet; so we can't quite compare Bligh to someone in a fiberglass boat, with an aluminum mast, dacron sails, stainless steel rigging, an auto pilot, and several thousand dollars worth of navigational do-dads. And of course, Bligh never benefited from reading all the opinions of arm-chair sailors on SailNet. But, still.....
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post #33 of 57 Old 02-22-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlowButSteady View Post
..Bligh never benefited from reading all the opinions of arm-chair sailors on SailNet. But, still.....
Uh oh...
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post #34 of 57 Old 02-23-2012
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Agree with chrisncate that the sailor and his seamanship are what really matter. The observation about furled sails in high winds is much to the point that your sails will give you options your wimpy auxiliary can't--if you know what you're doing, your crew is up to it, and you don't have problems with your sails or rig.

On the other hand, you have to wonder about the romantics who don't see an auxiliary as safety equipment. I know an expert sailor who's had some bad luck in the open ocean on 2 occasions where his motor brought him to port unassisted. One time he lost his rudder (it literally detached itself from the stock) over a hundred miles from Bermuda. The other time he was dismasted while on a single-handed return to Bermuda. This is a fellow who is on top of his equipment and implements redundancy where he can.

The open ocean is one thing, coastal cruising with tidal currents is quite another. Sooner or later, you'll get caught with the winds and tidal currents conspiring against you when you are between a rock and a hard place. Maybe the russian roulette analogy is an overstatement about engineless sailing, because your odds of disaster may be better than 1:6, but they're not zero.
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post #35 of 57 Old 02-23-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdw View Post
Couple of things ....

PB .... take that lump of iron out of your boat and my guess is you'll have a zippier sailor.

dabnis .... I fail to see why the simple lack of an engine should in itself endanger others.
TD, "others", I should have been more specific, like "others" on Board. The Duk boat was motorless, not by choice, two people died:

Towboat operator in fatal Delaware River Duckboat collision sentenced to prison | Nation | NewJerseyNewsroom.com -- Your State. Your News.

From an earlier post of mine:

Chris,

You will have to pardon my concern, I am not familiar with your area and thought you had plans to go "far and wide". I can only speak from my own experiences. Had I not forced my way past my Dad who was a "motorless" kind of guy, to start the motor all five of us would have been killed by a tanker in San Francisco Bay. My Dad's mistake was to under estimate its closing speed. My mistake was waiting way too long to take action. I can only assume the tanker's skipper thought that most sailboats our size had engines and that we would get out of the way as there was no indication that he even saw us. Don't forget the videos

Dabnis

A boat that can't move quickly enough to get out of way of commercial traffic in congested waters is a hazard to navigation, all kinds of bad things can happen. Probably the commercial skipper would not endanger his vessel or crew, he will just run you down instead.

Paul T
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post #36 of 57 Old 02-23-2012
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Boats were engineless for centuries before Robert Fulton stuck his two cents in with the Steam Engine and then the controversy begain about going engineless. So I am going to blame all of this on him.
Have taught sailing without engines.... Use to land a 26 ft Knockabout all the time on wind and current alone... And in places where power boaters had problems. Its a matter of building your skills and knowing your boat.
Tides? You depart on the Ebb and arrive on the Flood... Any questions? Been done that way for centuries.
Tows? Yes you can ask for a tow... Have you ever priced a tow?? Does your wallet have the funds for multiple tows? So if you arrive on a contrary tide, anchor until it changes...
Now I am not a purist in NO engines. The Rapture (a Hardin45) has an engine and a gen set. And I will be doing all I can to wean the Rapture off that freaking gen set. She came with both the engine and gen set... Why? Well for one there are no Gas stations out in the middle of the ocean... In fact once you are off shore you won't find one until you enter another harbor. So nurse what fuel you have on board... The less you use the better off you are and your wallet will love you also.

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post #37 of 57 Old 02-23-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlowButSteady View Post
As I recall, they had a larger "chase" boat following them for their catboat voyage (or did just the son sail the catboat, with dad in the chase boat?). So, they were a bit more prepared, by design, than you intimate.

And, Vertues are pretty well respected bluewater boats. In fact, for their size, I can't think of any designs with a better offshore reputation. (But, I still can't imagine being trapped on one with my dad for weeks on end. Sooner or later, one of us would be bound to break.)

In any case, sailing is as much (or more) about the sailor as it is about the boat. Remember, Capt. Bligh and his remaining crew sailed an open (and engineless) boat 3600 nm after the rest of the crew of Bounty mutinied. Granted, that was back when boats were man of wood, wrot iron, and tar, and men learned their sailing skills on the open ocean, rather than via books and the Internet; so we can't quite compare Bligh to someone in a fiberglass boat, with an aluminum mast, dacron sails, stainless steel rigging, an auto pilot, and several thousand dollars worth of navigational do-dads. And of course, Bligh never benefited from reading all the opinions of arm-chair sailors on SailNet. But, still.....

I think also of Shackleton and crew in the lifeboat JAMES CAIRD. Shorter mileage than some sagas, but an awful climate and get-that-noon-sight right-or-we-miss-the-island-and-all-die was quite true for them.

I read, and really enjoyed, the Hayes' book.

This particular quest, however does strike me as kind of holier-than-thou, as others have suggested. Occasionally with sailing students and the right breeze, we'll sail into the harbor and into the slip to the tune of the "Motor? We don't need no steeeenkin' MOTOR" chant, but we all know it's nice to be able to crank it up when our "engineless" pranks don't work out so well.
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post #38 of 57 Old 02-23-2012
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The whole subject of "engineless" is a bit overblown (pun) if you ask me. It's a choice, just like mono or multi, Eprib or no, watermaker or not, etc. The majority of sailors choose to have an engine for a multitude of reasons, if one decides that all of those reasons make no sense or don't pertain to your idea of cruising so be it. Shouldn't matter to anyone else unless you're playing preacher and trying to do the convert thing. Personally I wouldn't consider going engineless because of the limits it might put on where I chose to go, the safety aspect for myself and my crew, and also the whole "independent" thing of being able to get in and out of channels by myself. I admire people that decide to shove off engineless just as I do those that sail off everyday with an engine, no more , no less. Just don't make a big deal of it.
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post #39 of 57 Old 02-23-2012
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Really engineless/

Quote:
Originally Posted by rbrasi View Post
The Argonaut: Nautical News

This guy is my neighbor in Marina Del Rey. I will be escorting him out on March 4th in my Cal 2-30.
It's been highly educational watching him modify his boat to prepare for this sail. You can see a video of him here:

x-pac8000.org

Note: the article incorrectly states that he will sail north to 12 degrees.

Unfortunately I could not see the video so please forgive me if this is a stupid question.

Is the boat that gave him a tow also engineless? It seems that there is a very fine distinction between an inboard engine, an outboard engine and a "way outboard" engine. If he is being towed by another engineless boat then why not give credit to the tow boat which is doing something even more incredible. If he is using an engine through a "flexible coupling" (aka tow line) then the engineless claim is a bit like the "breatharian" who claimed not to eat but had intravenous nutrients because otherwise he would have gotten really sick.

I am all for doing things in the name of charity but would it be just as "true to the spirit" to have the safety back up and put a seal on the engine key that could be shown unbroken at the other end?
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post #40 of 57 Old 02-23-2012
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It might be instructive to find out what the marine insurance companies have to say about the insurability of engineless cruising sailboats. Perhaps their actuarial data can quantify the risks of going engineless.
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