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Old 05-12-2010, 14:13   #1
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How Much Do You Use Your Engine ?

Hi All,

We are off to explorer the caribbean for a year in about 6 months and am looking to budget for deisel for the year.

When doing passages in caribbean what approx ratio of time would be motoring compared to sailing? I understand this is a how long is piece of string questions, but what are you thoughts?

Taking in account calm patches and unfavourable winds and days when one is feeling lazy and does not want to beat for 2 days.

In your experience how much do you motor?

cheers

Jarvis and Tia
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Old 05-12-2010, 14:36   #2
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I'm not too proud to admit, that over a 10 winter period, in the Bahamas, we used our engine over at least half the distance traveled (30 - 40% of the time).
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Old 05-12-2010, 14:52   #3
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About 3000 sea miles in the last year. 168 engine hours. 297 liters (78g) diesel. US$178.
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Old 05-12-2010, 15:21   #4
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When I spent a few years (winters) in the Caribbean I used the motor daily for an hour or two to run the frig (engine drive) go to fuel dock... to motor into and out of the an anchorage and set and retrieve the anchor. Usually the winds were fair or I would wait for that so I could sail. The winds were pretty reliable that way and I was not pushing a schedule so I could wait for decent wind and not have to motor. But it averaged 2 hours a day I would guess.
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Old 05-12-2010, 15:36   #5
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Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
I'm not too proud to admit, that over a 10 winter period, in the Bahamas, we used our engine over at least half the distance traveled (30 - 40% of the time).
Huh?
you used your engine 30-40% of the time, but that accounted for "at least half the distance traveled"?

Uh...

Gord, you obviously suck at sailing. )

(Yeah, yeah, i know this is going to be deleted. I accept that, even though it is not me who is math-deficient or sailing deficient.. either way, it is gonna be me who gets his peepee smacked.)
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Old 05-12-2010, 22:27   #6
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For the coastal stuff motoring for about 50% of the distance travelled wouldn't be too far off the mark for me.
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Old 05-12-2010, 23:08   #7
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30-40% of time motoring seems like about reasonable for half the distance. When motoring, you can get a reliable speed. Sometimes you sail in light winds, regardless of sailing skill.

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Old 05-12-2010, 23:25   #8
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About 3000 sea miles in the last year. 168 engine hours. 297 liters (78g) diesel. US$178.
Addendum: I motored at around 4kts. Only when there was no wind, adverse currents with light winds, or near ports and shipping lanes around Singapore. Even at that it accounts for maybe 20% of the distance. 15% of the time.

I wouldn't have guessed I motored either that far or that long....

The OP will be in the Caribbean where the wind is far more reliable than SE Asia, no?
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Old 06-12-2010, 00:31   #9
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2008 december i went to sail opb in carib-- the man used his engine 99 percent of time. he was always going or trying to go against wind and seas---last yr when i was in gulf of mexico we used engine less that 50 percent of time-- during storms. some in bays in calm--but we didnt get much calm--was always thunderstorming for us.... i will let ye know what i do when i finally leave here in my formosa....will totally depend on weather....
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Old 06-12-2010, 01:50   #10
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G'Day all,

Don't know if data from a totally different cruising ground is of use, but here is our data:

Time: 7 years 9 months
Location: SW pacific islands, Australian E coast Lizard to Tasmania SW cape
Engine hours: 2454
Miles covered: 39, 452

The engine hours include idling about in anchorages, some battery charging and other non-moving usage. We motor between 5 and 6 knots, depending on conditions and urgency of progress. As a side note, we've found that we motor more on the east coast of Oz than anywhere else we've been, mostly as a reflection of the requirement of meeting tidal restrictions on bar crossings and the vagaries of coastal winds often driven by land/sea effects.

At any rate, the worst case -- assuming motoring at 5 knots for all the engine hours -- shows 12,270 miles covered under power, which represents 31% of the total. My off the cuff estimate is that it is actually more like 20-25% which is bad enough IMO!

Hope that this is of use to you.

Cheers,

Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II lying Church Point, NSW, Oz, southbound
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Old 06-12-2010, 08:31   #11
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First 6 years in the Ec, I used the engine zero, cuz I didn't have one.
10 years later ,on return, used my 16 hp aircooled a bit ,over a 7 year cruise.
Last 5 years, (after a 12 year break), the 40 HP gets alotta use.
Funny, as a chap gets older, tings change.
You can use it as little or as much as you want to.
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Old 12-12-2010, 16:17   #12
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thanks for all your imput. we have now decided to budget for 30% distance done by motoring plus 2 hours running a day for battery charging. this should be worst case and we enjoy sailing in most weather.

many thanks!
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Old 12-12-2010, 16:49   #13
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I have 5,016 hours on my year 2000 Yanmar. Every year I travel from Maine to the Bahamas or the Florida Keys. If I'm not making 5 knots under sail, I'm motor sailing or motoring when I have a destination for the day. Some might say I have a trawler with big sticks. I love my fulltime cruising life wether sailing or motoring. Unabashed, but pleased..
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Old 12-12-2010, 19:41   #14
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t...plus 2 hours running a day for battery charging.
That's misery. Try to come up with some other charging source...solar or wind.
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Old 12-12-2010, 21:28   #15
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We turned on the engine whenever yacht speed dropped below 4 knots when on passage.

At the conclusion of our circumnavigation we had 4500 hours on each of our engines.

I use engines liberally if it means I get into port before dark, or if it makes going to windward more pleasant.

Going up the northern Red Sea, we used our engines a great deal in the strong headwinds.

When we sailed across the Med, we had hardly any wind for the western half of the Med, and we motored long distances.

How much you motor depends a great deal on your sailing style and where you sail.
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