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Old 04-05-2014, 20:39   #16
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Re: How much time is spent actually sailing?

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I used to keep a spreadsheet to work out the ratio over eachseason of UK.France cruising. Even with a very slippery sailboat that went well in light winds and went upwind well, the amount of engine hours was surprising. Our home base was 45 minutes from open sea so just in/out could accountt for 1.5hrs of engine. We had one year the figure was near 80% sailed but that was exceptional and we were trying very hard to limit the motor use, normal was nearer 60% as in trying very hard . Friends would claim much better figures but mostly were guessing or didn't even note the engine hours! it only took one long trip with no wind to really screw the ratio. Realistically you will be surprised and probably disappointed too.
I just came across my old spreadsheet covering 7 seasons and 14,000nms in a 41 foot Jeanneau Sun Legende cruiser/racer. I Finally found a way with Open Office to open the file since MS Office Excel would not oblige and the average over 14000miles was 46.8% sailed and that by a skipper that would sail if at all possible, never motorsailed, in a boat that didn't need half a gale to start moving and could go upwind in a full gale when/ if called upon ( which on several occasions it was).

Now living in the ICW in Florida, I realise that most boats are motoring most of the time, be they power boats or rag and stick boats, because narrow channels and skinny waters dictate.

So whilst there will hopefully be many trips 100% sailed, the reality is that the overall picture is somewhat different. Using anchorages rather than marinas makes engine use less needed as does not stopping off too often along the way, especially if the stopover destination is quite a ways up a river or to an anchorage that involves getting off the ocean proper via an inlet to the ICW. Island hopping in the Caribbean between anchorages might produce better results of course.
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Old 04-05-2014, 22:38   #17
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Re: How much time is spent actually sailing?

50% from south Atlantic coast through Maine. He'd better luk in Carib but didn't go everywhere
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Old 05-05-2014, 00:19   #18
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Re: How much time is spent actually sailing?

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the average over 14000miles was 46.8% sailed and that by a skipper that would sail if at all possible, never motorsailed, in a boat that didn't need half a gale to start moving and could go upwind in a full gale when/ if called upon ( which on several occasions it was).
Very surprising to me, but then I have no experience. We will find out for ourselves soon enough!


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Old 05-05-2014, 00:28   #19
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Re: How much time is spent actually sailing?

I sail the Baltic where there are harbours virtually every 15-20nm, so you can always duck in somewhere.

My wife and I truly love to sail and we will sail close-hauled and tacking all day if necessary. But even with our boat, that is great going upwind and starts to move at about 4-5 knots of wind, we are close to the 40-50% mark. Last year was an exception, as we had two legs of 300nm without the engine on our holiday. That year we were at around 35% (very low for a coastal cruiser)

Having said that, I fill our tank once per year - so we're using say 170-180 liters per year.
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Old 05-05-2014, 03:05   #20
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Re: How much time is spent actually sailing?

There is no right or wrong answer. The engine is there to be used and it is probably cheaper using the engine than the wear and tear on sails in very light conditions.

However, I prefer to sail. My boat sails well in light conditions and I have no schedule. Even in very light conditions I usually happier sailing at 2-3 knots than motoring at 7.

Full time cruising means you can afford in most cases to wait for appropriate wind conditions before leaving an anchorage, or you are crossing oceans. I both cases the engine is not often needed.

I have never kept any formal records, but my best guess would be much lower than others quoted (maybe 10%?). Its an important 10%. I had an engine failure a few years ago and sailed around for over a month without an engine. Its harder than it sounds and my hat is off to those talented cruisers that do that full time.
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Old 05-05-2014, 05:23   #21
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Re: How much time is spent actually sailing?

I keep seeing knots used sailing as the determining factor as to when to motor. I'm new to this and for me, if there is enough wind to keep the sails filled, I'll sail, if not, I'll motor. I assume having the sails luff isn't good for them?
Having said all of that I had a good rare day sailing on Sat., but coming back on Sun the wind was only 4 or 5 kts pretty much on the nose, so we motored all the way back. I'm using this motor much more than I want to, but as I have to be at work on Mon., I have no choice.
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Old 05-05-2014, 06:15   #22
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Re: How much time is spent actually sailing?

It depends entirely on the individual. Some people will fire up the motor the moment the wind eases just a bit. Heck! Some people will fire up the motor even when the wind is perfect! Others will avoid using the motor until absolutely necessary. Hence, I really see no point in asking a forum like this what they do, or what the average is. YOUR answer will always depend entirely on YOU, and will have almost nothing to do with what other people do, or what the average is.
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Old 05-05-2014, 06:15   #23
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Re: How much time is spent actually sailing?

A question I've been asking more and more:
DOESN'T ANYBODY SAIL ANYMORE? - YouTube

Back when I had a diesel engine I would always hate to fire it up. But, limited vacation time, schedules, time and tide etc... sometimes required it. I did it reluctantly. It was noisy and vibrating and caused fatigue if I had to use it for long.

Ironically, after I converted to electric propulsion I probably use the motor more than when I had the diesel. But, I use it differently. For example if I experience light winds I will just crank up the motor enough to negate any prop drag. No need to have a folding prop. Because I have electric propulsion it is extremely quiet and vibration free compared to the diesel days. I get a nice bump up in speed without the vibration fatigue and noise of the diesel wearing on me. In short I still am enjoying the sail even though technically I am motor sailing.
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Old 05-05-2014, 06:49   #24
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Re: How much time is spent actually sailing?

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.................................................. ........... ........................ I spent a couple of months sailing from Boot Key to the Dry Tortugas ................
Wow! I did this trip in less than two days by doing some motoring when the wind was light!

'just playing with this "out of context" quote from tomfl! I have motored by people sailing under three knots and I've been drifting while others have powered past me. It's all a free choice according to your destination, available time, and your pleasure.
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Old 05-05-2014, 06:59   #25
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Re: How much Time is spent Actually Sailing?

Im mildly surprised that people think that sailing involves 'sailing' in the purist sense.

I come from a motor boating background so maybe for me, "sailing" involves that. There are days I sail with sails, for the sheer pleasure and love of it. The wind is right, the water is right and my mood is right.
Then there is the time Im on the water for a purpose, to get somewhere in a reasonable time.

If I wanted to go from Menorca to Palma for example, I want to get there in good time because USUALLY I have a meeting with someone or an event to go to. I cant wait for the wind, so I crank up the motor and orft we jolly well go! Motor sailin'!!

When Smith and son sailed the Gemini 105 to the UK from the States..... they motorsailed for the first two days and then days inbetween.......
When Boatie61 skippered Rubessa from the UK, I heard the engine on a lot of the time.
It IS sailing, or part of it. Beats rowing anytime..


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Old 05-05-2014, 07:18   #26
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Re: How much Time is spent Actually Sailing?

I used to enjoy the occasional challenge of gettingthe boat moving in next to no wind, but the emphasis is on 'occasional'. usually there are other constraints, like getting to the store ( bar for some folks) before it shuts, getting to work before the man who decides you're 'late', or even before the boss lady says 'are we nearly there yet?'

in our old cruising grounds in the UK/France, leaving a little later to take advantage of the sea breezes starting up, or earlier to use the last of the regular or overnight breeze, often worked.

Doesn't really matter because no time spent afloat in a nice boat in a nice place especially with a nice lady, like mine or yours, is ever wasted, it is all pure pleasure. We used to motor when we had to at 2000rpm and 6.5kts, I suspect we will do much the same with our new boat but may need some more revs to do so, either way it is not too noisy or unpleasant, just different, we are alive and afloat.
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Old 05-05-2014, 09:52   #27
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Re: How much Time is spent Actually Sailing?

No Sails.
No Engine.
But this is Sailing


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Old 05-05-2014, 16:42   #28
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Re: How much Time is spent Actually Sailing?

I have a deep and abiding envy of people who have a comfortable weather proof vessel and live on it.

I spent a few nights sleeping in cuddy cabin boats of 17 foot as a young 'un when out fishing in the Irish Channel with mates. I spent pleasant nights on big lakes in sail boats. Ive slept in smaller comfortable yachts at anchor (Westerly Taurus) and larger yachts with a touch of Luxury. Ive slept 200 miles offshore in the Gulf of Mexico with air conditioning in my 42 foot powerboat.

Even when the weather blows up a bit, and anchor watch duties are enforced, there is something nice about going back to the cabin and putting the coffee on or having a snack.

Last week I went with nephew #3 who is looking for a boat for himself. One guy whom he is in negotiations with, left us on it while he went for some documentation, and we sat there in a spacious 26 footer having a cup of Tea, the hatches open, plenty of light, a comfortable seat, a decent size table, galley down the way, an enclosed large head and shower, and a huge double berth in the bow. I could see the contentment sneaking over nephews face......

"nice aint it" he said........"this is what sailing is all about..."
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Old 05-05-2014, 17:49   #29
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Re: How much Time is spent Actually Sailing?

I run around a lot on the icw hunting jobs down motoring but.... When Im travelling its all sail. If i have to wait a week for a window I start some projects and watch some movies.
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Old 05-05-2014, 17:56   #30
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Re: How much Time is spent Actually Sailing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by weavis View Post
I have a deep and abiding envy of people who have a comfortable weather proof vessel and live on it.

I spent a few nights sleeping in cuddy cabin boats of 17 foot as a young 'un when out fishing in the Irish Channel with mates. I spent pleasant nights on big lakes in sail boats. Ive slept in smaller comfortable yachts at anchor (Westerly Taurus) and larger yachts with a touch of Luxury. Ive slept 200 miles offshore in the Gulf of Mexico with air conditioning in my 42 foot powerboat.

Even when the weather blows up a bit, and anchor watch duties are enforced, there is something nice about going back to the cabin and putting the coffee on or having a snack.

Last week I went with nephew #3 who is looking for a boat for himself. One guy whom he is in negotiations with, left us on it while he went for some documentation, and we sat there in a spacious 26 footer having a cup of Tea, the hatches open, plenty of light, a comfortable seat, a decent size table, galley down the way, an enclosed large head and shower, and a huge double berth in the bow. I could see the contentment sneaking over nephews face......

"nice aint it" he said........"this is what sailing is all about..."
Great post! Sailing is just "being there". In which case I amend my estimate... I sail 100% of the time! haha
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