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Freedom 39
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1,156 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I was wondering how slow was too slow before you resort to non-wind propulsion.

On FarCry that SOG lower limit is usually 3 knots. It depends on location, weather, sea state, time of day, distance from destination and frequently the most important factor...the body language from the admiral.:eek:
 

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Senior Member
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19,489 Posts
As you say, it depends on the circumstances of the moment. Ghosting along at 2 knots in driving rain is not our cup or tea.. motoring and steering from under the dodger with Otto remote's the way to go. But doing the same on a pleasant warm day with not too far to go is a different thing altogether.

We usually time this sort of thing with speed vs. time/distance/daylight remaining to our destination in mind, so the threshold can vary considerably.
 

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Special Delivery
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661 Posts
Usually On a long trip, I'll motor when I can easily motor twice as fast as I'm sailing - about 4 kts.
 

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1975 Newport 28
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573 Posts
The USS instructor from whom I took my lessons had a firm rule: "I hate to f*ckin' wallow!"

Works for me.
 

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Courtney the Dancer
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3,971 Posts
What Faster said about sums it up for me too.

John
 

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Super Fuzzy Moderator
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Faster nailed it.

Oten coming home from a weekend away , as per usual I'll misjudge it so the evening breeze is dying fast. We've spent hours covering the last couple of miles to home , drifting really with barely enough speed to give us steerage yet as happy as a couple of wombats can be. No hurry, why motor ?

On the other hand leaving Sydney in a dead calm early morning you get the most apalling swell in and around the heads. Like the earlier mentioned sailing instructor I too "hate to wucking fallow". That sucks. So do passing stink boats with their wash.
 

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Hi,

If I use the motor or not depends on why I'm sailing. If I'm out for a day sail, with no particular destination, I will sail as long as I can maintain steerage.

I'm trying to get somewhere, then it depends on how long the trip will take at the current speed. I use 5 kts for planning purposes. If it's going to take me a real long time, I will motor sail to make 5 kts.

Barry
 

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Motor???

On my small weekender I don't have a choice. Monday I was out in the harbor and had to throw the anchor out to keep from sailing backwards. I was making about a knot and a half through the water but the current was ripping at 3 knots. This is only the second time I've had to do this in the last year, and I sail year round, and the first time I couldn't get where I wanted to anchor for the night. I ended up ghosting into an easier anchorage. There is usually enough wind to get me where I'm going. My favorite part is sailing in close quarters and up to the dock. I don't mind having a motor, but personally I like the experience better without. Some of my most favorite times would never happen because I would be motoring. It's like walking vrs riding while playing golf, its a game changer. Brandon
 

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1975 Newport 28
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573 Posts
There's definitely a challenge when you don't have a motor. Makes you realize what kick-a$$ sailor those old guys were that sailed 100-gun ships like the Victory, or Old Ironsides from place to place only under sail.

What are you using down there in Charleston?
 

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I bought a sailboat to sail. However, my newer boat is 15 tons of steel barge, frankly. I also have strong opinions on the proper use of diesel engines (once on, they should stay on, until warmed through). Consequently, in the circa 10 knot breezes we have in the summer, I've found that instead of doing 4 knots under sail, I will motorsail and do 5.5 with the engine at 1600 RPM or so. An hour of that and I feel I'm not hurting anything, the fuel cost is four bucks, the sails ARE contributing, and I can play the stereo and open the fridge as much as I like.

The older boat is very Spartan (very little electrical), much lighter and does 5.5 knots in 10 knots of wind without much trimming, so I use the gas motor only leaving and returning. That boat has rewards at 2.5 knots the larger boat (which puts me farther off the water) does not. On the other hand, the larger boat does 7 knots with staysail only in 30 knots of wind, so it all works out!
 

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I was wondering how slow was too slow before you resort to non-wind propulsion.

On FarCry that SOG lower limit is usually 3 knots. It depends on location, weather, sea state, time of day, distance from destination and frequently the most important factor...the body language from the admiral.:eek:
You essentially answered your own question.. except you left out the most important factors: how much fuel in the tank; how much Rum on board (and Ice and coke of course) and how many (most important) cigarettes on board.

Even the Admiral bows to the cigarette count.
 

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Freedom 39
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1,156 Posts
Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
You essentially answered your own question.. except you left out the most important factors: how much fuel in the tank; how much Rum on board (and Ice and coke of course) and how many (most important) cigarettes on board.

Even the Admiral bows to the cigarette count.
There is always plenty of rum on board, we conisder that as part of our life safety gear.:D The ice and mixer are nice but not required.

Wallowing does suck. My tolerance for some of it is higher than the admiral's but that is usually what gets the Japanese sail deployed more often than anything else. Unless my neighbor is siphoning the fuel out of my tank there is always enough fuel for our trips. The old QM15 is reasonably efficient.

Fortunately neither of us were bitten by the nicotine bug.
 

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I don't discuss my member
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Got stuck in no wind at around 3am for 2 hours. Passed the same buoy 3 times, no steerage. Many others dropped out of the race, I said they'd have to cancel the race before I quit. Motors are really nice for docking, and bigger boats that are heavy, but I use mine as little as possible.

Light wind sailing seems to be the most challenging.
 

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Mud Hen #69, Mad Hatter
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415 Posts
If I'm dumb enough or unfortunate enough to have got myself a deadline to be somewhere I'll start the motor. Otherwise I'll break out the fishing gear or snorkeling gear if shallow enough rather than motor somewhere just because I wasn't moving.

I'm on my sailboat. That's ALREADY where I want to be so what's the hurry?
 
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