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Super Fuzzy Moderator
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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.
 

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I just like the word "donk." Without a donk onboard one does not have the opportunity to sound all weathered and crusty and Chopper-esque, uttering phrases like "best fire up the donk, yeah?", "Hey, we need another gerry of petrol for the donk, yeah?" and my favourite, "hear the clunk in the donk ya wonk? More like a clonk than a clunk, run along, ding-dong!"
Great, now I've got a bad 50s white-boy doo-*** song stuck in my head.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
I believe the whole engine-less thing is emphasized for the green charities he is supporting and raising awareness for. The last Cal 2-30 he had did not sink. They made him scuttle it. So this time he goes with zero through hulls. Also, he is using solar for the very few power needs.
He does have time, because this is what he does.
 

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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.
I think it's the "We'll be there Tuesday" syndrome. Most people these days plug their departure point and their destination into the chart plotter, get it to tell them how long the voyage will take at 80%, or so, of hull speed, turn around and tell everyone when they'll be at their destination, and then take it as some sort of personal point of failure if they can't get there by their ETA. This forces them to motor whenever their speed drops very far below hull speed, less they show up a few days late, tails between their legs, heads bowed, suffering from the abject shame of taking to long to make a passage.
 

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You really are funny!!
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I just like the word "donk." Without a donk onboard one does not have the opportunity to sound all weathered and crusty and Chopper-esque, uttering phrases like "best fire up the donk, yeah?", "Hey, we need another gerry of petrol for the donk, yeah?" and my favourite, "hear the clunk in the donk ya wonk? More like a clonk than a clunk, run along, ding-dong!"
Great, now I've got a bad 50s white-boy doo-*** song stuck in my head.
An American Donk..


Sorry, you mentioned a donk and a car..

Anyway, should the motorless sailor view the opinions of the motored as self righteous? Seems kind of one way :confused:

I believe the motored folks out shout the non motored by leaps and bounds over their beliefs and ideology..
 

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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?
 

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That's not really a car. It's just a fancy a carport for a Mazda Miata.
Well, it's my gammys car anyway..

Re: the topic - I really think the motorless debate gets taken way too far. Russian Roulette? For gods sakes, that's a bit dramatic imo..

What about the flip side? For every unknown mortorless sailor who winds up on the rocks, how many motored sailors wind up in the same place due to blind faith in their motor always working? I'm talking about the sailors who you see motoring in in a stiff breeze (or worse) with the sails all nicely furled and the main covered up, within spitting distance of stationary objects.

It's not the motor (or lack thereof), and it's not even the boat really - it's the sailor and his seamanship.
 

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Frankly, if i was to go motorless, a transpac would be my choice over cruising the east coast, just as I'd rather have a 7' draft on the west coast than on the east coast.

Slightly oversimplified, but if you're sailing out of lower cali, just make sure you miss Catalina and make sure you hit Hawaii, then fill your water jugs, empty your holding tank and continue.

Working your way down the thorny path in hurricane season with no aux power? now you've got my attention.
 

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Wandering Aimlessly
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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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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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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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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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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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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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Courtney the Dancer
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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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Really engineless/

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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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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