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Old 03-23-2007, 03:12 PM   #15
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 143

As a dinghy sailor whose sharpie has no motor (so what if I ghost home after dark?), I couldn't believe the amount of motoring that took place the first time I went cruising with friends. That was my first forray into the Sea of Cortez, a wonderful place to sail, but that skipper wasn't about to take more than four hours to reach any anchorage, by gum, and if that meant motoring instead, well, that's what he was going to do. I was crushed, but decided it was only that particular skipper--and the snorkeling and fishing were worth cruising on a motorboat with a stick.

Forward a couple of years, and I went on an inland cruise with friends in my old territory. Again, great sailing venue. BUT, they were going to get to that anchorage early and in time for a beer (3 PM and beer? ugh)--or else. We went that way for several days--at least I could enjoy the scenery. Then, on the way back, the wind was perfect. "We can't sail close enough to make that channel marker, so we'll just motor all the way." I begged, was given the helm, and had a glorious time trying to make the mark. The boat was a gorgeous Hans Christian, which sailed beautifully but not close to the wind. It was a challenge. Fine, at the last we had to motor sail, but if they hadn't let me play, it wouldn't have been nearly as much fun--and I loved the challenge.

Big sailboats sometimes need help (unless your last name is Pardey), but I like the challenge of seeing how well I can make the mark under sail...and if it takes a few more tacks, well, unless there's a storm brewing, who cares?

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Old 03-23-2007, 06:55 PM   #16
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 81

And even the Pardeys admit to a tow now and again

I don't particularly like the motor running, but my wife absolutely DETESTS it. She'll tack five or six times to make a jetty or point ( within safety constraints of course) rather than crank the engine.

And JeanneP- that's something that many find hard to believe- that a sailboat is MUCH more comfortable under sail than being pushed by the rear by a prop. I guess they just get so used to the motor they don't even try.

Laura claims that when you are sailing you are working WITH nature, with the motor running you are trying to go AGAINST her.

At any rate, we sail unless we absolutely can't. And it's really more fun, learning to do things under sail. Since we aren't doing this stuff for pay, we should do it with as much fun as possible.

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Old 03-23-2007, 10:03 PM   #17
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Home Port: Darwin
Vessel Name: Sandettie
Posts: 1,855

I do not like to have the 'iron top'sl' running. I motor onto and off anchor as a means of keeping the fridge compressor working, but when I pick up that first puff of wind I shut the engine down and revel in the sounds of nature and the quiet from down below. GM353 (otherwise known aboard as R2D2) is super reliable but noisy!

I think one of the habits creeping into modern cruising comes from the use of GPS. Trying to sail along a rhumbline, rather than tacking across it makes sailors a servant to the device, rather than the other way around....sailing along an arrow straight digital path, means using the engine unless either running or broad reaching.

I love the sounds of a yacht under sail alone, and there is nothing quite like the exhilrating feel of a boat which collects that sudden gust in its sails...a strain on the preventer, a 'creak' from the boom, a momentary heeling, that little tendency to round up a few degrees....then the 'yahoo' moment when 25 tons grabs the wind and shoots off under Neptune's watchful eye......

Why would you use the motor? Gawd...I love sailing!


"if at first you don't succeed....Redefine success"!

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