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Discussion Starter #1
I just acquired a Pearson Triton that's had the engine removed and the prop aperture glassed over. A friend of mine is going to let me use his mooring in Wood's Hole for the summer. I'm not that familiar with the area but I've heard that the currents there can be dangerous. My friend (a motorboat guy) seems to think I will run into issues sailing around there without an engine. If I play the tides right is getting in and out of there possible without an engine?
 

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Telstar 28
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There's a very good chance you'll get into trouble without some form of auxiliary power in that particular area.

I just acquired a Pearson Triton that's had the engine removed and the prop aperture glassed over. A friend of mine is going to let me use his mooring in Wood's Hole for the summer. I'm not that familiar with the area but I've heard that the currents there can be dangerous. My friend (a motorboat guy) seems to think I will run into issues sailing around there without an engine. If I play the tides right is getting in and out of there possible without an engine?
 

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Tartan 27' owner
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The Pearson Triton is a classic plastic boat that has a similar hull shape to my Tartan 27 (1967 vintage). It is a great boat but not one I would want to go out in while the current changes and the wind dies as SD warns of above.
Much as I am not a major fan of outboards I suggest that if you could put a transom mount for a 5 - 8 HP outboard on her you should have the propulsion you will need to get in and get out.
There is an east/west current called 'The Race' just to your east that is caused by the LI Sound and Woods Hole is in a restricted channel between MV and the Cape of Cod which will always cause strong currents. If you do not get an outboard I would suggest that you make sure you have some good anchors and long anchor rodes to keep you from ending up in Nantucket or at Fischers Island or wherever you would end up.
My boat is on the Hudson River with 2-3 knot currents both ways and it is always nice to know that we can get to our mooring when the wind dies. Otherwise you will be calling your buddy with the power boat when you do get caught out and he will get tired of that quickly.
A refurbished Atomic 4 will cost you over $6K from Moyer Marine and a lot more to install on your boat whereas an outboard with a motor mount will cost a lot less. If you have good anchors and are willing to wait a few days until the tides and winds are in your favor I suggest you think about getting some auxiliary propulsion for your Triton besides oars.
It is a great boat and if you only go out for an hour or two you should do fine most of the time. It is the ends of the 'bell curve' that you need to worry about, not the perfect days spent with no motor.
Get the 'Eldridge Tide & Pilot' manual that will give you the predicted tides and has current charts that show you how many knots to expect in your area.
Enjoy.
 

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Aeolus II
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I have never sailed in that region. But I did sail a boat for a summer without an engine. It just takes some thought and a willingness to pay attention to your own rules about wind and weather.

Lets remember that the British Navy blockaded the French Coast for about 23 years in sailing ships significantly less weatherly than out modern sloops.
 

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Telstar 28
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We're talking about an area that has VERY STRONG currents most of the time. I've seen 30' sailboats under sail in the area sitting in place because they weren't able to make progress under sail. The current can approach 4 knots regularly.

I have never sailed in that region. But I did sail a boat for a summer without an engine. It just takes some thought and a willingness to pay attention to your own rules about wind and weather.

Lets remember that the British Navy blockaded the French Coast for about 23 years in sailing ships significantly less weatherly than out modern sloops.
 

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I've sailed and motored there for about 15 years - I would NOT go anywhere near there without power as an option. The currents and rip tides are strong AND there are numerous rock pilings in the area - it is a busy channel and long enough that if you don't get the tide change perfect you'd be screwed. Sorry for the bad news...
 

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Even in pretty tame Northport bay the current is more than you could paddle against

I sailed my first "adult" 11' race dingy out of Patchogue river for 2 years without a problem BUT doing the same thing in My J24 in the same river was iffy at best UNLESS your prepared to anchor and do some really serious waiting :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well you guys have confirmed my suspicions. I used to drive 30' sprit rigged cat ketches around Maine for Outward Bound. They didn't have an auxiliary, and I never had any trouble if I used proper planning. But I agree that the current will become an issue if I encounter it with any regularity.

I really don't like outboards are engines at all and I've always had more problems with them than with the rest of the boat combined. Do y'all think something like this: torqeedo: Produktbeschreibung will provide enough power for my Triton?
 

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Look at it this way. Lots of sailboats get into trouble in that area WITH engines. Combine VERY strong currents with the fact that they do not always flow along the channels and you have a prescription for trouble.
 

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Do you know which harbor the mooring is in? Getting in and out of your harbor safely may be a bigger issue than Woods Hole itself. Woods Hole is a narrow passage between Buzzards Bay and Vineyard Sound. You could daysail all summer without ever needing to go through it. I wouldn't want to go through it engineless but there is a fleet of Cape Cod Knockabouts in Great Harbor that sail through there regularly. I think an outboard would be a great investment in your summer though. A mooring in the area is a valuable thing.
 

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Tartan 27' owner
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Redstripe,
While I am not familiar with the torqeedo electric motor you mentioned it sounds as if it has enough power. The problem with an electric motor though is not the motor itself but rather the battery bank you will need to make it work. Since you will be on a mooring AND will have no alternator to charge the battery bank you may need to get some serious solar panels to keep the batteries charged up (yes, I would get 2 grp 27 batteries for this). Once you start adding up the cost for all this a 'dependable' outboard starts sounding pretty good. At least with an outboard you can motor as long as you have fuel and if you run out someone can give you a gallon or 2 in an emergency. With an electric motor you will only be able to motor as far as there is enough juice in the batteries. Batteries also loose their charging power as they are depleted and recharged each time so your available motoring time would always be on the decrease.
For aesthetic reasons I too would prefer not to have an outboard but for practical reasons it makes sense.
 

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Getting from Great Harbor into Vineyard Sound should be do-able without a motor. It is the passage into Buzzards Bay that is troublesome. In any case it will require good local knowledge and you better have your towing insurance paid up while you are learning the local situation.
 

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Tartan 27' owner
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After pricing the Torqeedo engine I would gladly opt for the gaseous devil known as an outboard. Around $1700 at Worst Marine for just the engine!
You would still need a battery (or two) for a lout-board but you can store Jerry cans of gas in case you had to go a longer distance against a foul current. I would look for a 2 cycle outboard that is hopefully in good shape as they are lighter pound for pound to HP then the 4 stroke models. The only problem with the 2 strokes is that they pollute a bit more AND you can't buy a new one in this country.
Pearson Triton is still a nice boat even if it has an outboard hanging on the transom.
 

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We sailed through Woods Hole on our way to Edgartown last summer without an engine. Several of the nuns and cans we passed were almost dragged under by the current. The eddies around the daymarks, lights and rock outcroppings were impressive. We were closely followed by a tug and barge, and so were glad to have enough wind to be going faster than them: eight knots under main and jib. I believe there is a period of slack water for about twenty minutes between tides. Coming out of Woods Hole harbor with no engine, that would give you just about enough time to get into position to provide spectacular footage for the tourists on the ferry. If you can't mount a motor, perhaps there are moorings in Falmouth or Hyannis that would be accessible without one.
 

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I only have an engine because it makes getting through the locks viable. It also helps with getting to the locks... going under bridges while sailing is a little sketch.
 

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It's not something I would do, but I tend to be risk averse. There is also a good amount of traffic to contend with.
 
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