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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.
 

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OUCH!


I will say that sailing motorless can't be done, everyone knows that!:D
Didn't the Pardeys, and James Baldwin, and Vito Dumas, and Capt. Slocum, and......, and...., and.... all prove that??
 

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Didn't the Pardeys, and James Baldwin, and Vito Dumas, and Capt. Slocum, and......, and...., and.... all prove that??
I'll urge you to be careful about those names on sailnet. All sailnetters know it's extremely dangerous to sail motorless. I dare not mention the ICW and motorless traversing themed threads that have been closed due to the seriousness of the topic... Be careful with your flippant statements and prattling on about others that have braved those waters... The armchair sailing community will oust you for less!
 

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this is all too tongue-in-cheek for me.

Aside from coastal and harbor passages which can be handled with a tow, what benefit is a motor to a long nonstop passage? No 30-footer can carry enough fuel to make it a real factor in the sea passage itself.

So therefore what's the big deal about ballyhooing the "engineless" part of this proposed trip?
 

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this is all too tongue-in-cheek for me.

Aside from coastal and harbor passages which can be handled with a tow, what benefit is a motor to a long nonstop passage? No 30-footer can carry enough fuel to make it a real factor in the sea passage itself.

So therefore what's the big deal about ballyhooing the "engineless" part of this proposed trip?
Many, if not most, boats with an engine will use it to charge their batteries, or provide power for a watermaker, or reefer holding plate, from time to time. It can also make MOB and drogue retrieval maneuvers faster and easier (usually). Really big boats, with really big engines and LOTS of fuel, will sometimes power to avoid storms, or get through long calm spells, et cetera, too. More moderate-sized boats can often motor-sail for pretty long distances w/o using a hugh amount of fuel.
 

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He's solo so MOB, with or without engine, is kind of moot. Assuming he is using solar, wind, or something other than propulsion engine for recharge, that could be moot, too.

I don't know the boat, couldn't open the video. But Lapworth design? Might be a beefed-up Cal 30? Anyway, in an 8000-mile passage, let's say he carries 50 gallons diesel, uses what, half-gallon to a gallon per hour, it's a few hundred miles, but if he's fortunate with the trades he won't motor much.

So I'm just wondering why he's making "engineless" such a big deal, it's not like it hasn't been done for hundreds of years, and even unintentionally nowadays, when a motor conks out during a passage.
 

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He's solo so MOB, with or without engine, is kind of moot. Assuming he is using solar, wind, or something other than propulsion engine for recharge, that could be moot, too.
I was treating your question as a more general one. Obviously a single-handed sailor has different considerations. And, yes, there are other ways to charge the boat's batteries. But, that is what boats with motor often do. Having the charging capacity of an inboard engine also provides one a back-up in case there is trouble with the solar and/or wind generator. These folks would have been pretty much SOL had they not had an inboard in addition to their solar panels (see their video logs of their trips between Hawai'i and the West Coast).

I don't know the boat, couldn't open the video. But Lapworth design? Might be a beefed-up Cal 30?
It's a Cal 2-30. Not usually considered a "cruising" boat. But, most Cals of that era are pretty solid; and he has beefed this one up quite a bit. At least one Cal 2-27 has circumnavigated. I wouldn't be surprised if a 2-30 has also.

Anyway, in an 8000-mile passage, let's say he carries 50 gallons diesel, uses what, half-gallon to a gallon per hour, it's a few hundred miles, but if he's fortunate with the trades he won't motor much.

So I'm just wondering why he's making "engineless" such a big deal, it's not like it hasn't been done for hundreds of years, and even unintentionally nowadays, when a motor conks out during a passage.
True enough. As I alluded to in an earlier post, many people have done it. However, engines do have advantages (as well as disadvantages). At the very least they provide a bit of redundancy for power generation. But, there have been many folks who have completed long passages w/o an engine. David and Daniel Hays (father and son) sailed down the East Coast, through the Panama Canal, around Cape Horn, and back to New England in a 25 foot engineless Vertue (I can't imagine not being able to get more than 25 feet from my old man for weeks at a time). But, they didn't have any refrigeration, or radar, or SSB, or watermaker, or weatherfax, or lap-top computers, et cetera.
 

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His first boat did not have an engine.

His first boat sank.

Conclusion is obvious. ;)

As for the Dumas, Slocum, Baldwin et al .... ptooeee , what have they done lately hmmm ???

Come one now ... provided you are willing to accept the vagaries of the weather without a donk to get you through the inevitable lulls I can find little argument against engineless when on passage. Yes for me and for many of you the ability to fire up the beast when all is crash bank slatting in a dead calm with a swell is a must be for some it is quite aceptable.

Perhaps the issue of inland waterways and getting in and out of crowded harbours is more of a relevent anti but even so I wonder why this issue raises such passion.
 

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Agree... attempting to cross an ocean without an engine mostly just means you need a lot of time (no schedule) and enough food and water for sustenance for however long. He's getting an escort/tow out of harbour so that's the first hurdle out of the way.

Whether I'd have the patience for that approach is another matter, but practically speaking you can't rely on the motor in any major way in terms of an 8000 mile passage anyhow unless you're so loaded with fuel that you're hardly moving anyway..
 
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Mr Sullivan says in the video, "I look forward to not using any oil or gas". I look forward to that as well, doesn't mean I have to pull the engine out of my boat to accomplish it though. You simply don't turn it on.
 

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When I sailed from Panama to the Galapagos there was no reason to use my engine. However, it is really nice to have when coming into a port. You can take the sails down, you can manuever easily around other boats, and you're not putting anyone in danger if the wind dies down when you don't expect it.

I used oil lamps, had no fridge or computer and collected rain water. So, I didn't have to have an engine and really didn't have the need for one on long sails.

Having said all that - one time that engine saved my boat, coming in through a pass. So, is one necessary - for me it was.

On long passages, turning on your engine when the wind dies is sort of dumb. Why are you in a hurry if it really is 20 days to the next port? And, isn't the point to enjoy the water? If the wind is so low that you can't sail, take them down and go swimming, read a book, fish a little, life is good. All the engine does is use fuel, stink up the air and make noise.

Linda
 

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this is all too tongue-in-cheek for me.

Aside from coastal and harbor passages which can be handled with a tow, what benefit is a motor to a long nonstop passage? No 30-footer can carry enough fuel to make it a real factor in the sea passage itself.

So therefore what's the big deal about ballyhooing the "engineless" part of this proposed trip?
Seems to me, he'll likely be giving a lot of those beautiful Pacific atolls a miss, without an engine...

He'll need a lot of things running in his favor, negotiating some of those reef passes engineless... And, with winds in excess of 15-20 knots for days at a time, many passes will NEVER see a period of slack tide, water will just be pouring out of those passes 24 hours a day...

It's certainly been done, but I sure wouldn't want to sail through an area like the Tuomotus, singlehanded, without an engine...
 

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I think what "rankles" a lot of people is the perception of self-congratulation that comes with declaring one's self, engineless. I think that most people view pulling the motor as not an issue of trip planning or boat preparation, but of adhering to a personal philosophy. And though there's nothing wrong with making the choice on those grounds, by making an issue of it, it does give the appearance of claiming some sort of superiority over "less enlightened" sailors.

Whether that's at play here, I don't know. That's just how it comes across to me.
 

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My brother sailed a Lyle C Hess cutter named "Carina" that he built in the back of the boat yard we both worked at damn near around the world. No engine and absolutely everything from the bronze rib castings to the mast was hand built at Areys Pond Boat Yard. It took from the age of 16 to 20 to finish the boat but off he went with not a battery aboard. If you know how to really handle a sailboat/navigate then their is literally no reason to have an engine. That said I would not give my engine up for nothing!
 

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Kind of reminds me of the "catch & release" controversy among fishermen. I see a "holier than though" attitude, especially on fly fishing forums, of some of those that choose to release their fish. We release our fish because we really don't care for them, they taste fishy. If that helps the stock, fine. Going "motorless" is fine as long as you don't endanger others, especially in confined waters with commercial traffic.

Paul T
 

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The time issue is interesting. Deep down inside I know that Linda is correct. What's the rush ? We choose to go out in a form of transport that for the a lot of the time doesn't goes faster than a brisk walk yet we fret if we take too long to go from one place t'other.

That said, the number of cruising sailors I have met who state quite frankly that anything under 5,6,7 knots and they motor has surprised me.
 
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