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Old 15-08-2017, 14:50   #1
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Does anyone sail now or have sailed before without a motor

I was wondering if anyone out there has much experience sailing without a motor, beside a little one that wouldn't have a motor in the first place? Thoughts, experiences, lessons learned. Anything you might think would be useful.
I've had times when my motor failed during an ocean passage and a few times going down a river, but I've never truly sailed without one. I just got a new 41 foot sailboat and having some motor problems and am getting ready to just sail off and deal with the motor another day when ever I get to my destination.
I understand checking weather and wind direction. Also making sure I have a incoming tide when I get to the inlet I need to enter. I know how to heave to. I haven't done it in this boat but I'll figure it out once I'm out in the ocean. I know I need to know this boat which is new and I think a great way is to just take it out in the ocean where it belongs. My destination is the keys. I think it would be great not to rely on a motor.
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Old 15-08-2017, 14:57   #2
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Re: Does anyone sail now or have sailed before without a motor

The people out there with the most engineless cruising experience are called Lin and Larry Pardy. They've written a bunch of books, here is one:


https://www.amazon.com/Cruising-Sera.../dp/1929214049
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Old 15-08-2017, 15:46   #3
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Re: Does anyone sail now or have sailed before without a motor

I haven't read that book but I have read storm tactics by Lin and Larry Pardy. The strbd side of my boat is a bulkhead full of books. Moitessier, Knox Johnson, Peter Goss. I love the first solo race around world stories. None of those guys had motors. I think that's amazing to sail like that without a motor. And I'm always looking for a good book
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Old 15-08-2017, 16:44   #4
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Re: Does anyone sail now or have sailed before without a motor

Read all the books as well , loved them , however I would not willingly go to sea without an engine. ( or two ) , can't really see the logic , get it fixed before you leave , bloody hell , life is hard enough without compounding the issues . Happy sailing .
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Old 15-08-2017, 17:06   #5
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Re: Does anyone sail now or have sailed before without a motor

I definitely won't be getting it fixed, but I do appreciate the advice. I will be as prepared as possible tho. I have a two day passage ahead of me. I choose the wind speed and weather so I should know what to expect. One worry was if there was no wind and the current took me somewhere I didn't want to go ,but that shouldn't happen if I choose the right days. I think the hardest thing will be catching the in going tide to get down the river or timing the anchor while under sail.
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Old 15-08-2017, 17:35   #6
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Re: Does anyone sail now or have sailed before without a motor

Before using the Pardey's writings as a guide to engineless sailing, remember that they were in much smaller boats than yours, they were able to paddle or row if required, and that they were known to solicit and accept tows into harbours around the world.

There is a big difference between short tacking a 24 foot boat and your 41 foot boat! Plenty of folks have (by plan or not) sailed engineless in boats of your size or larger, but it takes some planning, skill and eventually good luck to avoid problems.

Remember that if you have a dink with an outboard, you can side tie it and move your yacht around in mild conditions (something the Pardey's began doing with their second boat).

Jim
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Old 15-08-2017, 18:20   #7
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Re: Does anyone sail now or have sailed before without a motor

I know several people who cruise engine-less in boats up to 40--beyond that I don't know anyone who does, and the ones I know are a bare handful. What sort of boat do you have? That matters more than size, as well as how it is set up.
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Old 15-08-2017, 18:26   #8
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Re: Does anyone sail now or have sailed before without a motor

Thanks Jim
I'm actually going to have a buddy with a power boat giving me a little tow to the harbor/inlet. It gives me a Chance to clean all the growth off my anchor line and secure the anchor on the bow properly. I have 100 pound CQR that is a challenge in strong winds and narrow rivers. I'm planning on getting a nice skiff when I make it to the keys but For now it's a kayak.
This is my 7th boat. I just took a big jump from 28 to 41 ive been cruising the east coast for the last 5yrs. I think this is a good first passage for me. Charleston to Fernandina roughly 30 hr non stop. With some luck I'll catch the in going tide at Fernandina.
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Old 15-08-2017, 18:35   #9
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Re: Does anyone sail now or have sailed before without a motor

Ben
It's a new boat, lucky number 7. I'm working on the boat as I sail it down the coast. This is the maiden voyage.
It's a yawl rig with a mizzen maast. I have a self tending jib but I'm hanging the front sail on for this first passage.
No mizzen for this first passage either. I'm planning on fixing the mizzen at my next port (Fernandina) I have a smaller main sail on with a storm jib and Genoa each front sail has its own tracks. That's all I have going on at the moment, work in progress. It's a custom 41 steel blue water boat. Made for heavy weather
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Old 15-08-2017, 18:52   #10
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Re: Does anyone sail now or have sailed before without a motor

I use to have two sailboats that we regularly sailed without an engine. They were a 28ft Folkboat and a Hobie 33, both weigh less than 4k lbs. That's a big difference to a 20k lbs boat. This past year my motor in my T37 let me down big-time three times. Had to sail off the hook and thru cuts down in the Bahamas several times. You become very aware of the tides and wind. Not for the faint hearted. I would advise updating your TowboatUS membership and when you get offshore ready to come in, give them a call. They have some of the best VHF stations on the whole east coast. Inlets with the traffic and tides can be a beast, open water you're fine and just nut it out. Florida has the added bonus of a thunder storm popping up anytime.
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Old 15-08-2017, 19:05   #11
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Re: Does anyone sail now or have sailed before without a motor

Would it be a big problem for you to put a regular outboard engine, say a 10 H.P. or 15 H.P. Hi Thrust motor on a regular swing down outboard bracket on the stern, to use it if you run into a head current, or if must go under a bridge, make some sharp turns in tight spaces, no wind, get off a soft grounding, etc?
Should not cost much and should not be difficult to install, can use it later for a good sized dinghy and will save you a lot of grief in many situations, Little Star, specially if single handing that heavy displacement boat. The Florida Keys have many anchorages but you must make many tight turns in currents that would be difficult to make and not run aground.
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Old 15-08-2017, 19:07   #12
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Re: Does anyone sail now or have sailed before without a motor

Quote:
Originally Posted by puffcard View Post
I use to have two sailboats that we regularly sailed without an engine. They were a 28ft Folkboat and a Hobie 33, both weigh less than 4k lbs. ...
Oooh, Hobie 33, me too! Fine choice for engineless sailing!

It does have an engine well, and I even have the near antique Honda 10 it was designed for, but I never use it..if there is any wind at all...you dont need it.

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Old 15-08-2017, 19:11   #13
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Re: Does anyone sail now or have sailed before without a motor

As long as you can catch the winds in a favourable direction and can find a southbound current close to shore, you might make South Florida in 2-3 weeks. But if the gulf stream grabs you, you will spend a few weeks going nowhere. You just missed the hurricane that might have pushed you south, but its gone now
Check the wind forecast maps here

https://www.windguru.cz/map/

PS, dont try St Marys entrance without a motor, or a strong wind to help you navigate, 6' tides, wicked currents and lots of shallow mud banks
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Old 15-08-2017, 19:22   #14
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Re: Does anyone sail now or have sailed before without a motor

I'm sticking strictly coastal. No bridges , not going way up any rivers. I wish I could put a outboard but it's a steel boat so things need welded and the stern is at a point. I can't figure out how to post a picture of the boat or I would show you an outboard really isn't an option. After Fernandina I'll make what even repairs needed and then wait for maybe Nov 1st and sail to Key West with a North wind. But who knows. I don't live in real time anymore, just cruising
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Old 15-08-2017, 19:23   #15
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Re: Does anyone sail now or have sailed before without a motor

Engines were never needed and this was proven long ago. I never used an engine.


The boat in question is possibly too big. How many crew? I can scull my boat against 15 knots of wind.


Also, despite being able to navigate 8 knot passes in indonesia with little wind, and navigating many harbors around the world, there unfortunately exist idiots in patrol boats who write rules such as "all boats must have augxillary power to transit the canal"

I had at the time an electric outboard, and sculling oar. The "canal patrol" said I had misinterpreted the definition of augxillary power. They say it must be "internal combustion" . I claim this is not what the written rule is, and they explain "We can deny any vessel for any reason, and you are denied" I was traveling at 6 knots over ground on sail power alone with wind and tide running straight down canal.

They said that having an engine is "common sense" which makes sense if you don't care about anyone else in this world.

I said sailing down a canal with 15 knots of wind blowing down the canal is "common sense" but "common sense" is illegal.

They made me tack 20 times to get out of the canal against the wind and current so I could sail an extra 30 hours to get to the same place.

United States is a horrible country. So far worst cruising destination from 26 countries.
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