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Old 02-03-2014, 21:25   #16
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Re: Engine-free Cruising

I remember as a teenager, seeking sailing counsel at the local marine shop

(yes, I know... but they were a family of skilled sailors, mainly but not exclusively racing, and you get it where you can)

because we'd come back from one of our first sailing outings in our first yacht, and found it very difficult to get the mainsail up without starting the engine. Even at that age neither of us found that to be a satisfactory situation, but we couldn't find anyone who understood.
"What's wrong with starting the engine" or "just pull it up while you're still at anchor" etc etc...

Now I know dodges to get around the problem, but it perplexes me that I don't recall seeing anyone else apply them, more than a handful of times, in all my years on the water.

I was pretty impressed by one skipper I was fortunate to sail with who specified extra eyelets past the 4th reef, all the way to the head of the main (which weighed a quarter tonne) for that precise reason: forced to lower the sail when running off, he could send one crew up the mast and another up the leech with ad-hoc reefing lines, which could be used to pull the sail down.

On their maiden voyage they had to do this in a blow which was building towards eighty knots ... which had arrived unheralded as they sailed out of Milford Sound. Probably the only time it was ever needed, but once is enough.

For raising the sail, only the leech lines need to be fitted, and of course this is straightforward, as is retrieval (nobody needs to do any aerial heroics). The lines are led to snatch-blocks up the backstay, to pull the leech aft and get the sail off the spreaders and stays, not completely, but enough for the halyard to be able to overcome the remaining friction.

In smaller boats, its usually possible to get the main up in "rushes"> as many crew as can be spared hauling the leech aft, while the helm bears away for speed then makes a 'scallop' up into the wind while one of two people sweat the halyard up. Repeated until the sail is up.

As Lin points out, extra blocks in the system can defeat such a ruse. It's usually possible to reverse the halyards temporarily out of the cockpit, but if there are long tubes or ducts, best to attach a cord (with an electrical tape splice, if room is tight) which can be left as a messenger/mouse to restore them, should 'management' require that...
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Old 02-03-2014, 22:39   #17
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Re: Engine-free Cruising

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Originally Posted by Andrew Troup View Post
Do you have a similar view of people who don't own cars; all fine as long as they don't hitch-hike?
Sure...If they can afford a car and gas but would rather mooch off me.
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Old 02-03-2014, 22:39   #18
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Re: Engine-free Cruising

Andrew, I don't understand your last post at all. I don't see how you could send a crewman "up the leech".

Could be me, but if you're trying to teach, if you try again, I'll try to learn.
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Old 02-03-2014, 23:39   #19
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Re: Engine-free Cruising

I think you blew my cover there, mate.

I wasn't so much trying to teach, as trying to impress, if truth be known.

(I suppose I could plead it might also entertain, because it's a pretty exciting mental image)

Basically there were six masthead halyards on that boat, so it was always possible to send a couple of guys up the rig at a time, in this case, one up the mast, and the other would shinny out to the end of the boom and then wrap his thighs around the leech while about four guys would grind him, at express lift speed, up to the eyelets above the fourth reefpoint.

As a mark of respect, if they considered him good 'breeding stock', they would slow down as each reefing block whizzed by...

A big chunk of the crew on this boat were America's cup guys.

The guys going up the rig would be bowmen, best in the game, so what would seem impossible to us is merely scary to them. Admittedly it's one thing doing these heroics for the helicopter cameras in an Am Cup, but it's another doing it offshore in storm force winds.

Going out to the end the boom wasn't as difficult or scary as it sounds. It was wide enough across the top to provide a decent walkway. There's a sail (which on a boat like this is as solid as sheetmetal) to lean or fall against, on the downhill side. And in any case, you're wearing a climbing harness, and effectively "top-roped" by a halyard, with skilled guys on the other end.

Whenever they took in a reef, a guy would go out to the end with a length of rope, to rig a backup lashing so that, if/when the reefing lines chafed through (even though they went through massive blocks shackled to the reefing clews) the sail would not escape and beat itself half to death.
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Old 02-03-2014, 23:52   #20
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Re: Engine-free Cruising

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Sure...If they can afford a car and gas but would rather mooch off me.
Hmm - I'm not sure why you would think they were trying to mooch off you.

(specifically: I don't quite understand how you could tell if they were trying to 'mooch', and I'm not quite sure why you would think they were trying to do it to 'you'.)

When I hitch-hike, it's not in expectation that anyone would pick me up for any other reason than because it would make their world a better place, as well as mine.

I remember pulling in my thumb, on Niue, as a dump-truck full of laughing workers came lolloping along, because they were coming from the direction I wanted to go. Even though I was no longer officially hitching, the driver did a U-turn and insisted on taking me to where I was going, while the workers quizzed me and joked with me and generally enjoyed my company ... but not nearly as much as I did theirs.

Coming back to the real world as it is:
I'm sure you're right about the motives, and the sense of entitlement, of SOME hitch-hikers, but it's a stretch from there to assume it applies to all.

And I think, that way danger lies.

In a world where everyone assumed the worst about everyone else's motives, it concerns me we would pretty soon fulfil that gloomy prognosis.
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Old 02-03-2014, 23:59   #21
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Re: Engine-free Cruising

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SNIP

Going out to the end the boom wasn't as difficult or scary as it sounds. It was wide enough across the top to provide a decent walkway.

SNIP
See a lot of that do you
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Old 03-03-2014, 00:01   #22
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Re: Engine-free Cruising

See a lot of what? Walking? I try and do a bit, yes
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Old 03-03-2014, 00:13   #23
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Talking Re: Engine-free Cruising

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Originally Posted by Andrew Troup View Post

Basically there were six masthead halyards on that boat, so it was always possible to send a couple of guys up the rig at a time, in this case, one up the mast, and the other would shinny out to the end of the boom and then wrap his thighs around the leech while about four guys would grind him, at express lift speed, up to the eyelets above the fourth reefpoint.
So not quite what you would suggest for a single hander with no engine then?
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Old 03-03-2014, 00:18   #24
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Re: Engine-free Cruising

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So not quite what you would suggest for a single hander with no engine then?
Robert Redford would no doubt handle it, jes fine (given time ... )



- - - -

Us mere mortals, with no Oscars to provide superhuman motivation, could always hook our "Jourdan series drogue" to the halyard tail, flip it into the tide with a knife in out teeth, and "Yipee yahoo, up up and awa -a- a - ay !

("Ding: Fourth reef: ladies haberdashery: going UP! )
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Old 03-03-2014, 00:30   #25
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Re: Engine-free Cruising

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Originally Posted by Andrew Troup View Post
Robert Redford would no doubt handle it, jes fine (given time ... )



- - - -

Us mere mortals, with no Oscars to provide superhuman motivation, could always hook our "Jourdan series drogue" to the halyard tail, flip it into the tide with a knife in out teeth, and "Yipee yahoo, up up and awa -a- a - ay !

("Ding: Fourth reef: ladies haberdashery: going UP! )
Classic!
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Old 03-03-2014, 00:46   #26
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Re: Engine-free Cruising

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Troup View Post
Robert Redford would no doubt handle it, jes fine (given time ... )



- - - -

Us mere mortals, with no Oscars to provide superhuman motivation, could always hook our "Jourdan series drogue" to the halyard tail, flip it into the tide with a knife in out teeth, and "Yipee yahoo, up up and awa -a- a - ay !

("Ding: Fourth reef: ladies haberdashery: going UP! )


Keep up Andrew. We know Redford prefers a para anchor to the series drouge!


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Old 03-03-2014, 01:05   #27
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Re: Engine-free Cruising

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Sure...If they can afford a car and gas but would rather mooch off me.
Actually it is the other way around. If you are driving a car and burning a fossil fuel, you are destroying the climate, which is mooching off of everyone else, including the birds and dolphins.

I do not hitch-hike if there is an engine involved, because I understand that doing so benefits the person who would pick me up as they would feel like they are doing a good thing. They are already doing a very bad thing. It is not acceptable to cut the trees and destroy the canopy for some road made of oil which cooks the ground and destroys the local micro climate even if there were not global implications.

At least in some places the main road is a dirt path for walking only. I didn't see any fat people there.

Besides myself, and lin and larry, who else here is free of physically having an engine in their boat, and has crossed an ocean?

I have heard plenty of people say they barely use theirs only to see them fire it up when they leave!

Then I hear about people saying that they cannot enter narrow passes without an engine. This is essentially false. I have sailed in and out of penryn (cooks) and oyster island (vanuatu) which both have narrow passes. This required using the anchor to avoid hitting the reef because I couldn't really tell where it was deep enough. I also was going against the tide because I did not want to wait, but doing so would make it much easier.

If you want something reliable, try an electric motor. Most people already use this thing just to start an engine, so the reliability is obviously superior. 10 amps, 12 volts and 2 knots is acceptable to me, but still could be approximately twice as efficient by tweaking the motor and gears, but mostly by using a different propeller. A more efficient boat would make the most sense of course.

For a sculling oar, mine is not very efficient, but I have measured 1.5knots on the gps with no currents or wind. I can also tow the boat using my kayak at nearly the same speed as a sculling oar, but using different muscles.

I hear people complain that it is easy with my boat to not have an engine, but with a larger boat it is not possible. This reminds me of the guy who complained that the ice-covered trail was slippery on green mountain in the winter, and it was easier for me because I was barefoot. I didn't see him taking his shoes off. Anyone can trade their bigger boat for a smaller one.

The fact is it is actually much harder to sail engine-free on a small boat, because on long passages, you are much more vulnerable to weather systems due to the slower hull speed.

Also, maybe you are engine-free, but for cooking, do you still burn the blood of the earth? No need. Most of the time, solar cooking works great! If there isn't sun, I have managed burning driftwood so that 3 sticks 1 foot long and 1 inch in diameter can cook rice, make tea, and roast vegetables.
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Old 03-03-2014, 01:52   #28
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Re: Engine-free Cruising

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I think you blew my cover there, mate.

I wasn't so much trying to teach, as trying to impress, if truth be known.
Heh...

No wonder we understand each other.

I had to get a picture with labels in front of me, and then read that over, but I think I see. Not something I'd want to do.
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Old 03-03-2014, 01:52   #29
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Re: Engine-free Cruising

> do you still burn the blood of the earth?


No, I sail on the "blood of the earth".

I burn stored solar energy.

It was stored by plants which used that solar energy to consume gaseous plant food and convert it into mass which was conveniently stored underground until needed.

As a result of my using it, the core elements of life which it contains are being returned to circulation instead of being locked up underground. In particular that invisible, odourless, harmless gaseous plant food is being regenerated to repeat the cycle. Which is a Good Thing (tm) because the current concentration of that plant food in the atmosphere is considerably less than half that required for plant life to thrive and taken over geological time spans is near an all time low
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Old 03-03-2014, 01:57   #30
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Re: Engine-free Cruising

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I have heard plenty of people say they barely use theirs only to see them fire it up when they leave!
I don't agree with the sentiment. We live on the boat full time and use our engine 70 hours a year. We generate our own electricity and water via solar. If you want to have a go at environmental damage and fossil fuel usage cruising sailors with, or without an engine, are not the correct target.
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