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Old 12-02-2015, 10:41   #1
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Leaving a mooring/anchorage under sail

I'm curious why this is done.

I'm not sure if all the facts are relevant: a common scene is a boat prepares to leave an anchorage or a mooring, very often it is a French cat with maybe 8-10 crew or maybe a monohull with 5 or 6 crew. 2 or 3 of the crew are supervising, they are often female, attractive and wearing very little. The procedure is to put both engines on, hoist the mainsail sheeted in, but flogging, maybe reefed if the wind is up. I've seen this done in up to 30kts. Then pull up the anchor/mooring line and drift rapidly back due to the high windage, sometimes just missing other boats and maybe the odd reef. Then they will motor off sometimes jibing or tacking a few times following a slalom course through the other boats until into open water.

So what is this all about then? Is this a genetic link to a past time before the evolution of auxiliary engines?

Wouldn't it be so much safer just to use the engines and to forget the sail? They have redundancy after all.
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Old 12-02-2015, 10:45   #2
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Re: Leaving a mooring/anchorage under sail

If its not crowded, I'll hoist the main, sheet it in and then heave in the anchor, the drive from the main takes the weight off the cable.
Not found that the boat drifts back, it makes good headway.
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Old 12-02-2015, 10:45   #3
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pirate Re: Leaving a mooring/anchorage under sail

They think it looks 'Salty'....
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Old 12-02-2015, 10:49   #4
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Re: Leaving a mooring/anchorage under sail

Maybe the captain is the only competent crew on the boat. Its easier for him to hoist the sails while still at anchor. That way he doesnt have to trust an inebriated charter guest at the helm or to raise the sails. He is basically solo.
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Old 12-02-2015, 11:06   #5
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Re: Leaving a mooring/anchorage under sail

I tend to agree with the inference of the OP - there are times when this would be a lot more risky to justify whatever benefit or jollies the crew obtains from it - with full respect to Mr. Street and others who didn't have engines.

This is a maneuver that skilled skippers in monos can pull off much more frequently than I or other multi owners can simply because we don't have the maneuverability this requires in any sort of close quarters. I have done it before when dropping a mooring and can drift straight back with no obstacles. But to do it from an anchor is physically impossible with an all chain rode if you value your muscles or electric windlass......

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Old 12-02-2015, 11:07   #6
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Re: Leaving a mooring/anchorage under sail

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Maybe the captain is the only competent crew on the boat. Its easier for him to hoist the sails while still at anchor. That way he doesnt have to trust an inebriated charter guest at the helm or to raise the sails. He is basically solo.
Maybe there's something in it. I've seen this done at all times of day including first thing. The French do often have wine with their breakfast.
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Old 12-02-2015, 11:29   #7
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Re: Leaving a mooring/anchorage under sail

I agree with capt.alex, this is exactly what i normally do during charter (lagoon 500)
If at anchor avoid to hoist the sail (especially if it is full battened) all the way, 95% is ok to keep it spilling all the wind, and let the sheet loose.
Use your engine to help the windlass, recover your anchor, fully hoist the sail and motorsail out of the anchorage.
If the anchorage is too crowded, common sense is your best tool .. use it...
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Old 12-02-2015, 13:26   #8
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Re: Leaving a mooring/anchorage under sail

It is not my practice but engine failure just getting the anchor up in a crowded anchorage would be bad. Having the sail up would give you some power to be making way enough to maneuver. I think it may be smarter than we might want to let on.
They also have scantly cladded good looking females and I have old farts. Score two for them.
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Old 12-02-2015, 14:09   #9
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Re: Leaving a mooring/anchorage under sail

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It is not my practice but engine failure just getting the anchor up in a crowded anchorage would be bad. Having the sail up would give you some power to be making way enough to maneuver.
Exactly. With a sail ready to go (and assuming the ability to use it, which seems to be quite rare these days) an engine failure becomes no big deal.
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Old 12-02-2015, 14:32   #10
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Re: Leaving a mooring/anchorage under sail

We see this all the time in Berkeley marina. I've heard that some of the local sail trainers beat into newbies they must use sail and that motoring is bad practice. Probably great advice if you're the only boat in the marina.

It's a treat to watch experienced sailors do it. All too frequently though it turns into a disaster. We've had several altercations where a wayward sailboat crashes into, scrapes and hits other boats. The offenders nearly always scamper off like thieves in the night. When caught they tend to get super arrogant. I've had to put myself at risk protecting moored boats all too frequently.

For those who must do this; practice elsewhere until you can actually do it right. Its only impressive when you don't hit anything.

Its also a problem in the fairway with pointless tacking and gybing because they cant wait to get past the breakwater. They often aren't keeping a proper watch because they're in panic mode.

We've been advised by the USCG that just because you have sail up doesnt give you right of way to a motoring sailboat. The caveat for the motoring boat is to declare they have limited manoueverability.

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Old 12-02-2015, 15:16   #11
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Re: Leaving a mooring/anchorage under sail

IMO, it is good to practice sailing off your anchor (not motorsailing), for the skill will be useful on the day when your engine goes on strike. We've had to do it a couple of times in anger over the years, and were damn glad we knew how.

Practicing in a crowded anchorage ain't such a hot idea, though, because the chances for an unanticipated jog are pretty high, and doing it with the engine engaged removes the learning experience. I suppose these subject Froggies are just acting out some idea of looking like real sailors, or perhaps they hope that a flogging sheet will strip the top off of a bikini. Who knows?

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Old 12-02-2015, 17:40   #12
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Re: Leaving a mooring/anchorage under sail

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IMO, it is good to practice sailing off your anchor (not motorsailing), for the skill will be useful on the day when your engine goes on strike. We've had to do it a couple of times in anger over the years, and were damn glad we knew how.
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This is why we do it. But we don't do it in crowed marinas. Just on a mooring ball with plenty of space around us, or at anchor.
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Old 13-02-2015, 00:00   #13
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Re: Leaving a mooring/anchorage under sail

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This is why we do it. But we don't do it in crowed marinas. Just on a mooring ball with plenty of space around us, or at anchor.
Yeah, sailing off a mooring is a piece of cake. Sailing off the anchor, especially if in a deeper location and with chain, can be a challenge. But if your engine/fuel supply is stuffed in a remote anchorage, sailing off is your o nly choice.

Practice is good!

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Old 13-02-2015, 03:22   #14
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Re: Leaving a mooring/anchorage under sail

We try to sail up to moorings every once in awhile for the practice in the event we are forced to do it someday. Raising sails and sailing off is no big deal on a mooring unless it's very crowded.


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Old 13-02-2015, 10:40   #15
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Re: Leaving a mooring/anchorage under sail

as the engineless antique we learned to sail from a way wede young age hadc no engine, no,not even a steam engine, we learned this trick asa factof life.leaky old rowboat to leaky old historic treasure and sail all day. sail back, if fortunate enough to have the breezes, otherwise row the eleanor with 1x3 boards.
seerms all the new sailor types have difficulty sailinginto a dock or onto anchor or into a mooring.
i have found that when i have my jib already deployed , and the engine fails and i am near rocky shores, life is a lot better knowing these simple tasks.
i deeply appreciate my ( rip) uncle for having taught us well.
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