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Old 11-06-2012, 14:30   #16
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Re: Cruisers V General sailors... a world of difference?

Having sailed in and around the Solent in the UK for many years there are many day sailors who have never been further than round the Island.
It isn't wrong if it brings them enjoyment.

For us, cruising somewhere new all the time is what it's about, no mater if it is engine or sailing. If someone wants to rush past then let them... no, let me think about that again... let them try to rush past.. We are never in a rush unless someone wants to pass us.
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Old 11-06-2012, 14:32   #17
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Re: Cruisers V General sailors... a world of difference?

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I think a lot of the difference is between a sail from point A to point A vs. a sail from point A to point B.

By definition a sail from A to A is done for pleasure and relaxation. In this case speed made good really has no bearing. As long as you are relaxed, there is no reason to ruin it by motoring.

A sail from A to B is all about getting to B. If you are not making sufficient progress toward your destination, you need to do something to change that fact.

So for sailors, it is about being out there. For cruisers, it is about getting somewhere.
I would think it would be the opposite. The cruiser should have all the time in the world to get to their destination where a daysailor has to get back that day. We absolutely love drifting along at 2-4 kts and have passed people motor sailing numerous times as we have been under sail. The best being the time we sailed by a Cabo Rico motorsailing at 7 kts as we were sailing at 10 kts. The look on his face was priceless.
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Old 11-06-2012, 14:33   #18
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Re: Cruisers V General sailors... a world of difference?

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The best being the time we sailed by a Cabo Rico motorsailing at 7 kts as we were sailing at 10 kts. The look on his face was priceless.
That's just a Seawind for you. lol
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Old 11-06-2012, 14:35   #19
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Re: Cruisers V General sailors... a world of difference?

It amuses me to see so many motorboats with sticks as well, but to each his own. If you're in it for the destination (as many are), or really don't like the sailing part, then getting there as fast as possible makes perfect sense. As for me, I guess I'm still in the "young and immature" category. I've happily sat many days in anchorages waiting for wind, and am usually content to do even 1kn under sail rather than 6 with the iron genny.

For me, "cruising" is about avoiding firm schedules and plans. If I don't have to be anywhere in particular, and have lots of time to get there, then it doesn't matter when I arrive.

Of course, I do realize this is not always possible. If it's a sloopy sea with no wind, then on comes the engine. When coastal cruising (which is what we do nearly 95% of the time) I want to have the hook down before all light is lost. Sometimes this necessitates a diesel boost. And if I'm running from nasty weather it's full-throttle on the ol' Perkins if need be.

But the main reason for people motoring around here is that they have to get somewhere, sometime.
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Old 11-06-2012, 14:48   #20
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Re: Cruisers V General sailors... a world of difference?

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Bash I think your a little out of line making that statement about cruisers being "Harbor-Hopping Motorsailors because they weren't good sailors to begin with"...
Stick around this forum for a few years and count the number of people who decide to circumnavigate before they've taken their first sailing lesson. Once you've done that, tell me whether I'm still out of line.

Seriously, the four-knot-rule, or it's little sister the five-knot-rule, is often resorted to because folks don't know how to go any faster without motorsailing.

An anecdote: my wife and I helped friends with an offshore delivery of a brand-new 48' sloop from San Francisco to Ensenada. A beautiful boat that cost half a million to commission. We flew the chute through much of SoCal because of light air, and when we finally ducked into port I packed the chute. My wife and I flew back to SF while the owners took the boat themselves down to La Paz. We caught up with them in La Paz, and when I went to put the chute back up, I noticed that it was packed in the distinctive way I always pack a chute so that I know whether I need to check the packing job or not.

"You sailed all the way from Ensenada to La Paz without using the chute?" I asked.

"Yeah," the owner replied. "We had to motorsail the whole way because of light air."

Well, the whole reason I own a spinnaker is so that I can sail in light air. How many cruisers put up a chute in heavy air?

My contention is that better sailors, whether they consider themselves cruisers or not, spend a higher percentage of the time under sail. Sailors with less sailing competence will tend to motorsail (or just plain motor) a higher percentage of the time.
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Old 11-06-2012, 15:15   #21
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Re: Cruisers V General sailors... a world of difference?

I apply the 2-kt rule, because I *hate* motoring: I feel like being at work. I prefer adapting the program to light wind to sticking to a pre-established schedule.

Of course, it sometimes happen that I have to motorsail to make the tide...

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Old 11-06-2012, 15:17   #22
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Re: Cruisers V General sailors... a world of difference?

The 4 knot rule is a variable, which changes according to the priorities of the moment.

First, it is a sailboat. Decide "speed floor" at which you will turn on the engines if you go slower. For many people the speed floor is faster if your boat's cruising speed under power is faster. For us; our boat cruises at about 7-8k under power so our speed floor under sail is about 4 or 4.5, or might be even higher if we're trying to make port on a schedule to beat darkness or weather. We prefer to sail when we can.

IMHO - You should use a slow planning speed if you want to enjoy the journey in a sailboat. If you're not under pressure to make the miles that takes the pressure off and lets you sail more. Also you need to allow breaks for bad weather.
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Old 11-06-2012, 15:39   #23
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Re: Cruisers V General sailors... a world of difference?

The division is linguistics. All cruisers are sailors, all sailors are cruisers.

These are just names, definitions. They help one day, but they may blur your vision another day. Do not get hung up on vague and loaded definitions.

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Old 11-06-2012, 16:06   #24
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Re: Cruisers V General sailors... a world of difference?

I decide whether to motor or motorsail based on when I wanted to be wherever it is that I'm going. Sometimes this means I sail for hours at 3 knots before finally turning the engine on to start making up time. But lots of times I start the engine because I figure it will the same amount of run time to get somewhere as it will to charge the batteries so I maight as well motorsail.

For the most part if the wind is reasonable I sail as fast as I motor because normally I don't motor that hard.

Far as the spinnaker goes, I live for the chance to put it up. But 75% of the time that I put it up the wind completely dies, or I have to go the wrong direction by a lot to sail the spinnaker, etc.

I'll put up the sails even if the trip is only going to be a hour instead of listening to the engine and I don't even have a furling main!

far as sailing vrse cruising, if I leave and come back to my home mooring that day I'm sailing. if I go somewhere else, I'm cruising!
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Old 11-06-2012, 16:23   #25
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Re: Cruisers V General sailors... a world of difference?

Agree generally with most posts to this thread although my "sailing speed floor" is closer to 2 knots, unless darkness is approaching and I am headed to an unfamiliar bay.

What, though, is the story on people motoring downwind when they could have very easily deployed the furling jib and made nearly the same speed quieter? Must have seen that happen a dozen times this past season in Virgin Islands.
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Old 11-06-2012, 17:00   #26
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Re: Cruisers V General sailors... a world of difference?

We've been sailing, living aboard and cruising for many years and we don't have a sound response to this topic. It's true that our best sailing days are when we are out and not destination bound. It's true that, during those three or four months of each year, when we are trying to adjust our latitude with the seasons, we will motor without regret to make good our passage, if we are not likely to make our daily expectation by sail alone. It's difficult for me to develop an interest in why someone may choose to motor or sail more or less than I. If anyone is taking account, then yes, I will motor or sail at whim without consideration of what may be expected or thought to be proper.
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Old 11-06-2012, 17:01   #27
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Re: Cruisers V General sailors... a world of difference?

There is no difference between cruisers and sailors. There is, however, a difference between those that sail for the love of sailing and those that employ sailing as a means to an end: namely, achieving scheduled travel destinations. If you are in the former school, sailing IS the means to the end--the gratification of moving your boat through the water from point A to B. However, if you subscribe to the latter philosophy, then the destination and arrival time always dictates the method. Why set a bottom line limit 2, 3, 4, knots? Because your goal is to arrive at a destination at a generally set time. This is not to say that those in the latter group do not love sailing, but rather that time, commitments and schedules dictate the means. If you are predominately a daysailor, your sailing days are always dictated by the clock. But, if time is not an issue and sailing is always your priority, the motor becomes less important. It has been my experience that the majority of sailors we've encountered in the last 20 plus years subscribe to the travel schedule school of sailing and only a few recalcitrant souls sail by the wind. In fact, most I-95 seasonal sailors from Florida to the Bahamas would be far better off with an efficient diesel powerboat than the sailboats they motor 85% of the time. It's their choice and no derogatory sentiment is intended, but . . . they sure look pretty at the marina or at anchor.
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Old 11-06-2012, 17:15   #28
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Here's my rule of thumb. I sail when I want and motor when I want. Someone diagnose my psyche please.
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Old 11-06-2012, 17:18   #29
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Re: Cruisers V General sailors... a world of difference?

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Here's my rule of thumb. I sail when I want and motor when I want. Someone diagnose my psyche please.
works for me but I'm staying away from your psyche!
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Old 11-06-2012, 17:24   #30
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Re: Cruisers V General sailors... a world of difference?

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...................... In fact, most I-95 seasonal sailors from Florida to the Bahamas would be far better off with an efficient diesel powerboat than the sailboats they motor 85% of the time. It's their choice and no derogatory sentiment is intended, but . . . they sure look pretty at the marina or at anchor.
I totally agree with your post, but the "I-95 seasonal sailors" don't seem to fit the Florida-Bahamas route. Aren't they in the same season,- the non-hurricane season? We are definitely I-95 seasonal sailors, but the route does follow I-95 and that's Maine to Florida/Bahamas.
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