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Old 21-12-2011, 19:57   #1
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Lick the Wind

Just curious as to how many in here actually sail solely by the wind? No help from motors, GPS's, auto pilot etc. Just the craft, the sheets and the blessing of the breeze.

You know, the ole lick your finger hold it up in the air and see which way the wind is blowing.
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Old 21-12-2011, 20:29   #2
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re: Lick the Wind

MichaelC does.

Cruisers & Sailing Forums - View Profile: MichaelC
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Old 21-12-2011, 20:36   #3
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re: Lick the Wind

Used to have an old gaffer with no GPS, no autopilot, and a very untrustworthy engine. Made a fairly decent sailor out of me though. Nowadays I'm better equipped, but I still tend to do it all myself when I'm out for a day sail, or when it's just too much fun to let the machines have it.
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Old 21-12-2011, 21:04   #4
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re: Lick the Wind

I do have an engine but seldom use it and I fly my Hanglider without any instruments..sort of a purest you could say...let the wind be your guide..DVC
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Old 21-12-2011, 21:57   #5
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re: Lick the Wind

When I am cruising, I am usually heading somewhere that I need to get an anchor down before dark, and I want to arrive before the anchorage totally fills up with other yachts. That means, I have to keep the boat moving so that at the end of the day, I have safe anchorage. I would rather have the hook down in a good location than have a poor anchorage or need to go hove to offshore for the night.

When I am cruising, I follow two rules:

If I can get 4 knots of boat speed, then I sail.

If the speed drops below 4 knots, the I turn on one engine.

It's not that I don't like to sail, or that I like to motor. Going on sails alone is a lot more work, less convenient, and usually doesn't fit my itinerary.
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Old 21-12-2011, 21:59   #6
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re: Lick the Wind

I myself prefer the age old methodology and madness that go hand in hand with riding with the wind. Gadgets and tech are cool and have their place, however there is nothing like sailing by your own wits and wisdom.
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Old 22-12-2011, 00:24   #7
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re: Lick the Wind

Hour and a half trip through a ship channel, under bridges, and through a set of locks to salt water. They wouldn't let me through under sail.

Now the 40 some dinghies my club has and my Hobie 20 and sailboards all are sailed motor and instrument free.

When I first started sailing my club's keelboats, the battery powered cabin and nav lights, there were no other electrical devices. No radio, depthfinder was a leadline. Ship's compass was on the companionway hatch and had a twist lock, you could take it off and use it as your hand bearing compass. Still needed the outboard to get out through the locks though.

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Old 22-12-2011, 01:19   #8
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re: Lick the Wind

I have no engines or gps onboard my Prendle 18 cat and sailed that for years with out nuttin
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Old 22-12-2011, 02:06   #9
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re: Lick the Wind

Quote:
Originally Posted by maxingout View Post
When I am cruising, I am usually heading somewhere that I need to get an anchor down before dark, and I want to arrive before the anchorage totally fills up with other yachts. That means, I have to keep the boat moving so that at the end of the day, I have safe anchorage. I would rather have the hook down in a good location than have a poor anchorage or need to go hove to offshore for the night.

When I am cruising, I follow two rules:

If I can get 4 knots of boat speed, then I sail.

If the speed drops below 4 knots, the I turn on one engine.

It's not that I don't like to sail, or that I like to motor. Going on sails alone is a lot more work, less convenient, and usually doesn't fit my itinerary.

I would agree with Maxingout. Were on the river and have between 1 and 5 kt's of current to deal with. Non motorised sailboats don't sail except 40 miles down stream near the dam.
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Old 22-12-2011, 02:42   #10
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re: Lick the Wind

Every time I sail my dinghy or kayak with sail rig I do. But certainly not aboard the mothership, I need all the tools I can get there. The other week my upper helm rudder angle indicator crapped out and I had to get it fixed immediately, don't like parking the boat or sailing without it. Would feel the same about the rest of my instruments. You appreciate the bells and whistles when you have to park a 65,000 lb boat with only your teeny wife for crew.
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Old 24-12-2011, 20:30   #11
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re: Lick the Wind

Also sailed my 18' beach cat for years without any instruments. Had a hand bearing compass in one of my hulls that I completely forgot about. Took a gal from college out to Egmont Key one day and fog set in as we were leaving in the late afternoon.

"No worries, babe, the wind is my compass." I told her. Sailed parallel to the beach heading towards Anna Maria for a bit and adjusted the sails (wind was out of the west, sea breeze off the GoM), then steered by the tell-tales as the land slipped out of sight and 30 minutes later there was Anna Maria right ahead of us. Almost ran right up on Beans Point.

Could do that with a boat that I can't pull off a sandbar, though.
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Old 25-12-2011, 00:32   #12
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re: Lick the Wind

I do not have an autopilot as such ,she is a yawl you sail her like a sloop rig and the then trim the mizzen sail to steer. Never been an autopilot on her .Greg
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Old 25-12-2011, 05:40   #13
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re: Lick the Wind

Since I converted to from diesel to electric propusion I do sail more than ever. I never use to sail out of my harbor because of a tight dog leg at the entrance which can have a bit of a current. I would always motor out before I raised sail when I had the diesel. One, because you had to warm up the diesel because turning it on and off is not good for it. Two, because you never knew when it was not going to turn over in an emergency. I have no such concerns with electric propulsion. So I now sail in and out of the harbor and most times I can do it without using any motor propulsion at all.

I also discovered that my catboat can do pretty well on her own once she's trimmed properly by just tightening down the wheel brake. So the autohelm often sits idle too.

Finally I got tired of having to get the anemometer repaired at the top of the mast every couple of years. So I took it off. I have not had any wind speed indicator on board in several years and really don't miss it.

I'm not against using technology but, I also know it can fail and so don't depend on it exclusively when cruising because it can fail.
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Old 25-12-2011, 06:58   #14
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We don't have a hard rule, but setting almost not moving doesn't give me a felling of sailing. Often the black flys attach. We use the engine when we need and often motorsail. Using the engine keeps it running good, fuel doesn't get old, you keep the maintenance up on it. This allows me to have confidence it we work if I need it. No reason to make a job out of it...
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Old 25-12-2011, 07:16   #15
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re: Lick the Wind

Quite a few years (decades) ago I took two friends from Fernandina Beach, Fl. to St. Simons Is., Ga. in a 19' open boat (Drascombe Lugger). Boat had no nav equipment or electronics. One of my friends brought along a hand held compass. I was secretly amused because we were only going to be a mile or two offshore the whole trip.

Off the North end of Cumberland island we got pasted by a pretty healthy thunderstorm. When things settled down we couldn't see land due to the haze and rain. My friend started to pull out his compass and I told him to hold off until we got the boat straightened out, I'd just steer towards shore by the waves. A little while later after we had gotten organized, he gets out the compass and -guess what, the squall had redirected the wave tops and I was merrily steering towards Europe.
So much for what I know.

Merry Christmas
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