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Old 24-04-2016, 15:34   #1
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Neglecting one's engine

Do sailboat operators neglect their engines? Operating one's engine five minutes at a time entering/exiting one's marina can hardly properly "exercise" one's engine. Twenty minutes a few times a month seems barely sufficient, and what about an annual maintenance/inspection routine? Perhaps it's a good thing, from the engine's perspective, many sailboaters motor rather than sail?
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Old 24-04-2016, 15:44   #2
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Re: Neglecting one's engine

Mark, I'm in the estuary, so I have a 40 minute motor out, regardless of which way I go. When I anchor out and pull up the hook, I always motor until the engine comes up to temperature. Those who do the 5 minute motor really are doing their engines a disservice. Or they need to read about how to care for their engines.
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Old 24-04-2016, 16:10   #3
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Re: Neglecting one's engine

In the early sixties, my father's auxiliary sailboat (Columbia Defender #60) was berthed at Jack London Square. Leaving windward we ran the Atomic 4, usually all the way near the starting line in the central bay, as most all those outings were for racing.

It takes about 20 minutes for my current motor-boat's John Deere four-cylinder diesel engine to reach operating temperature.

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Old 24-04-2016, 16:38   #4
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Re: Neglecting one's engine

No one on here is guilty of that.

A very few small boats used for sailing jaunts in close coastal waters use their engines only getting in and out of the harbor, but most cruising boats motor at least half of the miles they do.

Even on my boat, with laminate sails and lots of money spent on having the ability to make miles upwind, I guess something near half the miles we make, or anyway 1/3 at the very least, are under motor, for one reason or another. Under motor or motorsailing.

The term "auxiliary sailboat" is a joke. Cruising boats are, in reality, motorboats with auxiliary sail. And there's nothing at all wrong with that; I'm just stating a fact.

I love diesel engines. And I love MY diesel engine, although it smokes like crazy. I do not consider motoring, or motor-sailing, to be any violation of the idea of what we are out doing.
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Old 24-04-2016, 16:41   #5
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Re: Neglecting one's engine

Yes, I swear the worst engines are low hours and have only been used to get in and out of the marina.
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Old 24-04-2016, 16:46   #6
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Re: Neglecting one's engine

Quote:
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The term "auxiliary sailboat" is a joke. Cruising boats are, in reality, motorboats with auxiliary sail. And there's nothing at all wrong with that; I'm just stating a fact.....
Whatever. Eighty-five percent on my Dad's auxiliary and my 1980s pocket Seagull-powered cutter were operated under sail only.
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Old 24-04-2016, 16:54   #7
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Re: Neglecting one's engine

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Whatever. Eighty-five percent on my Dad's auxiliary and my 1980s pocket Seagull-powered cutter were operated under sail only.
As I said, the exception would be small boats like this used for sailing around near the harbor, for the sake of sailing. These are not cruising boats.

Cruising boats used to get places -- to make miles, as opposed to just sailing around -- use their motors a lot.

On my own father's boat I guess 80% of the miles made had the motor on, at least motor sailing. But his boat could not go upwind, and was kept in Florida where there are a lot of dead calms.

My boat CAN go upwind, and I sail at a latitude where there's usually a decent breeze (if not a gale). Nevertheless, the motor is used a fair amount.
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Old 24-04-2016, 17:14   #8
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Re: Neglecting one's engine

It's a sad thing when sailboats don't use their "wings."

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Old 24-04-2016, 17:35   #9
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Re: Neglecting one's engine

i love my stinky little diesel. I love the smell of it, its noisy, rattly, thuggering wheeze, I lavish the best of new parts on it when it's needed, maintain its anodes and gaskets almost obsessively and enjoy nothing better than having a little push from it even with all sails up.
Partly its a reaction to trying to manoevre a slightly too big and cumbersome cruiser in light winds without the benefit of a motor for backup. Early on with this boat the engine was not reliable and it put me in some tight spots. Me and my engine were a marriage born of adversity.
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Old 24-04-2016, 17:36   #10
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Re: Neglecting one's engine

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Originally Posted by markpierce View Post
It's a sad thing when sailboats don't use their "wings."

Not really.

Diesel is also nice.

Very, very few cruisers make miles upwind. They motor. Nor do they bother with light wind sails, in light winds. They motor then, too. And so I think that the normal sort of cruising boat is actually not the best tool for the job. In my opinion, most cruisers would be better off with motor sailers which give up any pretense of sailing upwind, but have better machinery and tankage.

In this I very much like the Halberg Rassey 64 which although it's set up to sail well upwind, also has a 300 hp motor and prodigious tankage. Enough to knock out a few hundred miles against a stiff wind and head seas, if you needed to.

The same logic says that a boat like yours, Mark, ought to be much more popular than it is. A boat optimized to make miles under power, but with enough sail area to enjoy a nice beam reach when the wind is right -- this is a very sound proposition. You probably sail as much as my Dad did in his boat, and you certainly enjoy the powering more than he did with his little Perkins diesel.

Sailing is marvelous; I love to sail. I spent tens of thousands of dollars on laminate sails and rigging designed to get my boat upwind, fast, under sail.

But diesel is also beautiful.

My next boat will have excellent performance under sail (D/L less than 170, 60' + waterline, high aspect rig), but will also have a big diesel engine (150 hp six cylinder common rail Yanmar) and the tankage to do anything under power, when it's required. Experience in higher latitudes and long distances, has taught me how important this is.

Incidentally, although I am a hard core mono guy, one of the several big advantages of catamarans, is that they make superb motor boats, with the fine, easily driven hulls, and lack of ballast. And redundant (sweet!) machinery.
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Old 24-04-2016, 18:03   #11
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Re: Neglecting one's engine

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...

The same logic says that a boat like yours, Mark, ought to be much more popular than it is. A boat optimized to make miles under power, but with enough sail area to enjoy a nice beam reach when the wind is right -- this is a very sound proposition. ...
A liveaboard (washer/dryer/genset) version of my boat is in the Bay Area, recently displayed at the "All Sail" Richmond event. There's a photo in the April Latitude 38 of my boat, except the "Richmond" version has a red hull.
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