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Old 21-12-2018, 09:51   #1
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Why don't charter boats sail?

We are fortunate enough to have a waterfront home in Abaco. Everyday we watch the numerous charter boats pass by. Less than 10% of the large cats are ever sailing! A slightly higher percentage of the mono hulls do sail, but often just with the roller furling jib. Wind direction does not seem to factor in as just as many motor downwind as up wind. I cannot figure out why these people would charter a sailboat and not sail. I get my jollies sailing circles around the big cats in our Hobie as they motor along!
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Old 21-12-2018, 12:48   #2
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Re: Why don't charter boats sail?

Hi, Tingum,

We had the opportunity to speak with two couples on the same chartered boat in an anchorage in Queensland, Australia, some years back. It was mid-week through their charter, and they had not raised the sails, either. In their case, only one of them had any boat experience--the vacation just sounded like fun--and his experience was in a small runabout on a protected lake. They were having a good time, without stressing out about how to do what. Just point the boat and motor where they were going.

There was a young couple in a small chartered sailling yacht, at Cid Harbour, same sort of situation: the outfit charters boats to people with money, a high limit on the charge card was all the requirement. In that case, we went on their boat with them one morning and showed them about sailing.

So, I think what you are seeing may be the intersection of dreams with inexperience.

There are other reasons for motoring, even downwind (needing to run refrigeration, for example), or sailing with just the genoa, but not general explanations: the behavior is idiosyncratic, and will have varying causes.

Ann
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Old 21-12-2018, 12:55   #3
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Re: Why don't charter boats sail?

Not sailing leaves more time for Day Drinkin...
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Old 21-12-2018, 13:01   #4
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Re: Why don't charter boats sail?

Similar phenomena when I used to live in Belize. The charter boats rarely sailed even in perfect conditions. I think it was a combination of lack of experience and worry over the complex waters of Belize.

I was sailing on an absolutely glorious day one day and counted about a dozen boats on the water. Only 2 had sails up, me & a Bilezean friend sailing his Waharam Tiki.

I used to come barelling back into the harbor at the end of charters, sometimes under spinnaker, and run thru the anchored charter fleet just to be the contrarian.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/o16z0p9mrs...60326.JPG?dl=0
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Old 22-12-2018, 06:12   #5
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Re: Why don't charter boats sail?

At the end of a couple of charters, when we brought back the boat, the company rep expressed surprise at how little diesel we had used. Which I guess suggests that motoring is indeed the rule rather than the exception.
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Old 22-12-2018, 07:44   #6
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Re: Why don't charter boats sail?

We ended up motoring for a week with a cat. First because of light winds but eventually because the genoa furler was completely jammed and would have had to be taken apart to be fixed (I think), so I just didn't bother.
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Old 22-12-2018, 08:00   #7
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Re: Why don't charter boats sail?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tingum View Post
We are fortunate enough to have a waterfront home in Abaco. Everyday we watch the numerous charter boats pass by. Less than 10% of the large cats are ever sailing! A slightly higher percentage of the mono hulls do sail, but often just with the roller furling jib. Wind direction does not seem to factor in as just as many motor downwind as up wind. I cannot figure out why these people would charter a sailboat and not sail. I get my jollies sailing circles around the big cats in our Hobie as they motor along!
Based on our observations of large catamarans, your question is hardly limited to charter cats.

Sailing north along the west side of Eleuthera, 18 knots on the starboard quarter, sailing at 9.5 knots we blow past a large Lagoon MOTORING!?!? I mean if you donít sail a cat in those conditions when will you ever?

There are reasons that the mastless cat has become a popular thing.
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Old 22-12-2018, 08:08   #8
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Re: Why don't charter boats sail?

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They were having a good time, without stressing out about how to do what. Just point the boat and motor where they were going.
Ann
I can relate to this.
My wife and I completed our day skippers and few months later decided to charter in Greece.

Naturally even if you got just the basics, the idea that there is no-one else in the boat that could be fact-checking or get you out of a jam certainly does lower the threshold for comfort.

We slowly built up to it until eventually around day 3 we had all sails up - and then we started taking water in *fast* with neither the bilge pump nor the emergency manual pump working... but that's a story for another day.

Lastly - domestic arguments . Anything from mooring to lifting the anchor can get heated real quick due to inexperience, anxiety, etc, specially if there is people lurking around. So instead of ruining mood of the likely very expensive holiday some people might choose to take it easy and enjoy the motor induced apparent-wind.

My 2 cents
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Old 22-12-2018, 08:14   #9
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Re: Why don't charter boats sail?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tingum View Post
We are fortunate enough to have a waterfront home in Abaco. Everyday we watch the numerous charter boats pass by. Less than 10% of the large cats are ever sailing! A slightly higher percentage of the mono hulls do sail, but often just with the roller furling jib. Wind direction does not seem to factor in as just as many motor downwind as up wind. I cannot figure out why these people would charter a sailboat and not sail. I get my jollies sailing circles around the big cats in our Hobie as they motor along!
There are a lot more reasons to charter (or own) a sailboat than to sail. Visiting nice anchorages or marinas in neat towns, the social life, of just being on the water. And many people don't know how to sail, are afraid to sail, or just don't like it or the work it takes to do it.

We love sailing and we sail when we can, even if it is hot and sweaty work, even if it is a lumpy beat to windward. But we know that everyone is different so let us let people do their boating the way they want.
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Old 22-12-2018, 08:15   #10
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Re: Why don't charter boats sail?

If you want to charter in the popular destinations you have to choose from what's available, and what's available is sailboats. Especially if you want the space and luxury of a big cat. So non-sailors just ignore all the strings and stuff and motor around contentedly. And IMHO, which is limited to one delivery from the Caribbean to Florida, the big cats don't sail all the well anyway.
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Old 22-12-2018, 08:23   #11
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Re: Why don't charter boats sail?

I suppose there are Sailors, and there are Boaters.
Also the "schedule" often becomes the enemy of both safety and the general Sailing experience. Many folks on vacation make goals to see all sorts of areas that simply demand the "Iron Jenny" in order to make it all happen.
For me, that moment when the sails are set, and you switch off the engine is a magical moment when the only noise is the wind in the rigging, and the waves breaking off the hull as it cuts through the water. I crave that sound. I love it when my body becomes sensitive to every little wind shift, and speed change. The part where I finally get settled down enough where I can sense I drop or increase in speed just thru the feel of it all without even looking at an instrument, is the payoff for me.
I like to call myself a "Sailor", but some days for a number of reasons I just need to settle for being a "Boater".
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Old 22-12-2018, 08:24   #12
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Re: Why don't charter boats sail?

Hey, now don't 'ya all be dissing the sailors who just unfurl the jenny and sail by that alone. I do it all the time when soloing. Sometimes that's the nicest ride, and the hassle of upping the main isn't worth the additional umph it provides. If I had a furling main I might do something different... but mine is a hassle to put up and take down. Requires me to be at the mast, regardless of the way the halyards are run to the cockpit, since it loves to jam in the track as I raise it. Especially on some of the modern boats, the mainsail is pretty minimal in terms of additional speed.
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Old 22-12-2018, 08:31   #13
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Re: Why don't charter boats sail?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wingssail View Post
We love sailing and we sail when we can, even if it is hot and sweaty work, even if it is a lumpy beat to windward. But we know that everyone is different so let us let people do their boating the way they want.
Some people would want to sail, though, but don't for other reasons..
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Old 22-12-2018, 08:49   #14
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Re: Why don't charter boats sail?

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Hey, now don't 'ya all be dissing the sailors who just unfurl the jenny and sail by that alone. I do it all the time when soloing. Sometimes that's the nicest ride, and the hassle of upping the main isn't worth the additional umph it provides. If I had a furling main I might do something different... but mine is a hassle to put up and take down. Requires me to be at the mast, regardless of the way the halyards are run to the cockpit, since it loves to jam in the track as I raise it. Especially on some of the modern boats, the mainsail is pretty minimal in terms of additional speed.
I agree. It-s called Dutch sailing, for some reason. But it works best for older boats like mine (1978) when huge genoas where the fashion.
As to sail-less charterers, this is partly due to unrealistic planning, which does not allow for 3-4knts sailing, which is often the best my area, the Ionian, has to offer in summer, or tacking upwind which "wastes" time.
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Old 22-12-2018, 09:11   #15
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Re: Why don't charter boats sail?

As has often been said, for sailors itís about the journey. For powerboaters, itís about the destination. I suspect that charterers are mostly in the destination mindset ó after all theyíve chosen a destination to spend their brief vacation time in.

So Tingum, what youíre seeing makes sense.
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