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Old 11-06-2012, 02:04   #1
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Cruisers V General sailors... a world of difference?

Having just done a quick 30m passage along the coast I was just thinking about the difference between cruising sailors and general sailors.

As per usual the wind was on the nose so I had no hesitation in putting the engine on and going the shortest route between A and B. I know before we became full time live a boards and cruisers this would have been sacrilege and I would have spent all day beating into the wind just to sail the same 30 miles.

It would be interesting to hear both sides and are cruisers and general sailors a different breed?

How do you tell the difference between them?

I personally think cruisers are far more chilled and less fussy about the technicalities of sailing. For us what works is right.
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Old 11-06-2012, 03:33   #2
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Re: Cruisers V General sailors... a world of difference?

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I personally think cruisers are far more chilled and less fussy about the technicalities of sailing. For us what works is right.
I would agree with that, maybe because it's not a case of "I'm not working but sailing so should make the most of every moment" nut just another day on the boat.

After a while cruising i found it wasn't a big deal any more, some days drift along on a tiny breeze happily, other days motor happily.

The rules are there are no rules.
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Old 11-06-2012, 03:37   #3
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Re: Cruisers V General sailors... a world of difference?

Ex live a board, nowadays sailing a 20' and mainly daysailing. But even so, if there is not enough, or too much, wind, then on with the motor. Cannot see the point of just drifting with the tide or working so hard anymore.

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Old 11-06-2012, 03:44   #4
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Re: Cruisers V General sailors... a world of difference?

My wife always liked to have the anchor down in time for a sundowner in the cockpit before supper. I thought that was a very civilized attitude and supported her fully. If conditions required a little help from the Yanmar, I never felt even a twinge of guilt.
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Old 11-06-2012, 11:25   #5
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Re: Cruisers V General sailors... a world of difference?

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.
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Old 11-06-2012, 12:53   #6
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Re: Cruisers V General sailors... a world of difference?

This statement may upset some.
I think too that it has something to do with being more mature in your attitude about sailing. Most the folks I've met who are strictly sailing and not using an engine even if they have one aboard seem to be younger, newer to sailing and have more time left in their lives.
I was once a sailing purest but now seem to be more interested in getting where I'm going so I can look forward to going on to the next destination. Less than 3 knots means the engine will be running very soon.
kind regards,
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Old 11-06-2012, 13:06   #7
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Re: Cruisers V General sailors... a world of difference?

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So for sailors, it is about being out there. For cruisers, it is about getting somewhere.
Not always just about getting there, every day is different. But it is if itīs raining.
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Old 11-06-2012, 13:22   #8
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Re: Cruisers V General sailors... a world of difference?

Rain Dogs right

But it is kinda funny, there does come a point offshore where the days start to meld and 'getting there' doesn't seem quite so important. Trimming sails lag a bit, falling off a few degrees for comfort is the norm. I know for me there were times I never wanted to see land again.
Then the smell of land hits you, or the tiny dot on the chart becomes a big dot and bam the destination becomes real again. You start to clean up the boat, time the approach, then it again becomes all about 'getting there'.

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Old 11-06-2012, 13:35   #9
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Re: Cruisers V General sailors... a world of difference?

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So for sailors, it is about being out there. For cruisers, it is about getting somewhere.
This may be correct as a general tendency, but I think there's a bunch of lazyness involved as well.

During my last few trips to the Sea of Cortez, I've watched as sailboat after sailboat motors on by despite ideal sailing conditions where they could have been making the same speed on a beam reach. It seemed that a lot of folks weren't bothering to put the sails up for anything short of an extended multi-day passage. For short hops from one anchorage to the next, it's just so much easier to let the diesel do the work. Alternately, I was seeing a lot of boats motorsailing with the jib out and the mainsail tucked away inside its sail cover.

How far away does the next anchorage have to be to make it worth the effort of putting up the main? Five nm? Ten? Twenty?

A lot of the answer will depend on the rig, of course. With in-mast furling and a roller-furling jib, I can have both sails deployed in no more than two minutes. I can put them away just as quickly as I can deploy them. No sail ties, no sail covers, no reason to motor.

Considerations of rig aside, it seems to me that too many cruisers are limited to being harbor-hopping motorsailors because they aren't good sailors to begin with. They haven't developed their skills to the point where they can reliably get from Point A to Point B without resorting to the iron genny.
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Old 11-06-2012, 13:54   #10
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Re: Cruisers V General sailors... a world of difference?

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Considerations of rig aside, it seems to me that too many cruisers are limited to being harbor-hopping motorsailors because they aren't good sailors to begin with. They haven't developed their skills to the point where they can reliably get from Point A to Point B without resorting to the iron genny.
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Old 11-06-2012, 13:58   #11
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Re: Cruisers V General sailors... a world of difference?

What? Me sail?



"Sailor" motoring downwind.

However, I was inspired last week watching a sailboat tacking frequently into the wind in Carquinez Strait against a 2+ knot opposing tidal current.
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Old 11-06-2012, 13:59   #12
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Re: Cruisers V General sailors... a world of difference?

We are definitly destination cruisers enjoying the ports much more than the excersize to get there...

Don't get me wrong when my boat is clocking high 8's or low 9's , I will act like a proud father...But we have a 4 knot rule on our boat, below that and the engine goes on...

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"...

Everyone has there own comfort levels, ideas and thoughts about sailing... For some people the idea of sailing 12 hours to get from Point A-B at 2-3 knots is perfectly acceptable.

For others, the idea of bobbing around, listening to the rig banging and taking an extra 5 hours to get some where is un-nerving...

It doesn't make them less of a sailor, just less patient...
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Old 11-06-2012, 14:14   #13
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With fuel over $4 per gallon, and wind being free, I don't mind waiting in a nice anchorage for a favorable breeze. But schedules sometime overrule. I go north to our cruising grounds from the Columbia River, and you might be waiting a long time for a southerly push, so it's pretty typical to motor north and sail south on that passage. Especially as that coast is not one to loiter about offshore.
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Old 11-06-2012, 14:26   #14
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Re: Cruisers V General sailors... a world of difference?

So often I see a sailboat motoring along while conditions are good for sailing. Though that goes through my head: Those lazy people should just buy a damned power boat!

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Old 11-06-2012, 14:29   #15
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Re: Cruisers V General sailors... a world of difference?

Bash,

I tend to agree with you. GPS and weatherfax wasn't available during my first cruising stint. Now, the two big, scary unknowns, "where am I" and "where is the weather", are just a flip of a switch away, and the masses now enjoy cruising. To drive my point home, look at Steve Dashew, the cruiser's cruiser. The boats he designed were for serious off shore passage making, and still are. The main difference is his current boats have no sails!
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