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Old 07-06-2016, 17:40   #16
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Re: If No Engine ... Why All The Fuss About "Proper", BIG Electric Motor?

So much depends on what type of sailing you plan to do. Long passages without an engine are really not a problem if you have a good sailing boat and enough light air sails. Coastal cruising without an engine can be done, but plan on spending nights drifting a few miles from a nice harbor because the wind died when you didnt expect it. It is easier if you only anchor out and dont go into marinas (much cheaper also) or has been said, narrow channels or anywhere with tidal current. I have done it engineless and I dont recommend it. It is very limiting. I think most modern boats are grossly overpowered, but a small reliable diesel makes life much easier. Best of Luck.
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Old 07-06-2016, 17:51   #17
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Re: If No Engine ... Why All The Fuss About "Proper", BIG Electric Motor?

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Originally Posted by SURV69 View Post
discovery ... trailbazing, but I'm not quite ready for such a move.

Considering the "Zen", of engineless sailing, why does it appear to me that all discussions about going electric always revolve around 48 volts and 2-3 kw, or even 5+kw systems, with scads of batteries?
More importantly... why do they want to mimic the diesel drive system which in virtually all boats uses an undersized propeller spinning too fast?

Quote:
Is there anyone else who respects the idea of a sailboat being a near 100% sailboat with an auxillary engine(motor)? JUST an auxillary motor for docking and undocking ... nothing more ... nothing less.

Is there really something inherently wrong with wanting an "undersized" electric engine that tops out at, say 4 knots for a 30' sailboat?
Nothing wrong, and 4 knots is already a lot of speed. 2-3 knots is already fine.

When I started out, I had two trolling motors, and at 25 amps (12 volts) I could go 2 knots, and 3 knots at 50 amps (both motors) without controllers, so either on or off. I had 500 watts of solar so I could do this all day, and 800 amp hours of battery so I could also motor all night.

This is already more than sufficient, because my motors rusted through in new zealand and so I don't use them anymore.

In vanuatu I built an experimental motor using a $35 brushless motor from RC airplane driving a 14:1 2 stage planetary gear and this pushed my boat 2 knots at 150 watts (only 12 amps 12 volts). I never got the chance to try it at 24 volts because I didn't seal the motor properly and it died from salt after only 2 weeks.

Since then I used only sails and sculling oar, and there is not a harbor I cannot enter.

Apparently there exists an island somewhere in the pacific which has a pass through the reef that "always" flows out at 5 knots, and it's only 10 meters wide, and it is directly against the prevailing wind. I am still not sure where it is, but apparently it exists, so you should have a strong engine.

Of course you could kedge your way in, but if you mention this, people will claim it's never been attempted for whatever reason, so you better get a big engine that can push the boat 6 knots otherwise you would have to anchor to the lee of the island instead of in the lagoon (which has a much longer fetch anyway)
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Originally Posted by alctel View Post
It really depends where you sail

Near where I am, there are some WICKED currents and in the summer the wind can be... twitchy.
These currents are tidal correct? So they flow the right way half the time?
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Old 07-06-2016, 18:06   #18
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Re: If No Engine ... Why All The Fuss About "Proper", BIG Electric Motor?

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An internal combustion engine needs to be frequently worked and periodically inspected and maintained. To ignore it is at your risk.
Here in the Northeast USA it is normal to not run and engine or do anything to it for 6 months each year and they start right up at the end of it.
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Old 07-06-2016, 18:27   #19
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Re: If No Engine ... Why All The Fuss About "Proper", BIG Electric Motor?

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Here in the Northeast USA it is normal to not run and engine or do anything to it for 6 months each year and they start right up at the end of it.
Engine abuse!! My diesel-engine manufacturer recommends that the engine be operated at least weekly.

Please advise your boat's purchaser of your engine use and maintenance practices.

Sounds like your boating season is very short. Sad.
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Old 07-06-2016, 19:01   #20
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Re: If No Engine ... Why All The Fuss About "Proper", BIG Electric Motor?

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Engine abuse!! My diesel-engine manufacturer recommends that the engine be operated at least weekly.
.
Ever consider that that may good for the manufacturer and NOT you?

10,000s of boat here in the NE are laid up between Oct-May every year with no problems
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Old 07-06-2016, 19:06   #21
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Re: If No Engine ... Why All The Fuss About "Proper", BIG Electric Motor?

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10,000s of boat here in the NE are laid up between Oct-May every year with no problems
The horror. ... The majority of the year without boating?? ... So, what do you do with the spare time, model railroad or go to Florida?
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Old 07-06-2016, 20:04   #22
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Re: If No Engine ... Why All The Fuss About "Proper", BIG Electric Motor?

I would add that it depends also on WHO you sail with. I could see a scenario where instead if reaching our intended destination for the night in a cozy cove, with a nice hike ashore and maybe an ice cream shack, we are tacking back and forth out on the bay in the dark with the wind howling with cold drizzle (from the wrong direction), current running against us while the kids start crying... me by myself, with no rush to get anywhere.. maybe. Slightly on topic, I had an electric trolling motor on my 23'.. worked great on the small lake..I still have it onboard as a backup, but would not trust it in the ocean..

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Old 07-06-2016, 20:04   #23
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Re: If No Engine ... Why All The Fuss About "Proper", BIG Electric Motor?

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The horror. ... The majority of the year without boating?? ... So, what do you do with the spare time, model railroad or go to Florida?
You have to ask that of someone with over 10,000 CF posts?
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Old 07-06-2016, 20:52   #24
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Re: If No Engine ... Why All The Fuss About "Proper", BIG Electric Motor?

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You have to ask that of someone with over 10,000 CF posts?
OMG!!!!!! RODLMAO!!!!!!

I think that maybe the best comeback I've ever heard!!!
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Old 07-06-2016, 21:34   #25
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Re: If No Engine ... Why All The Fuss About "Proper", BIG Electric Motor?

If you are a masochist, more power to you as long as you aren't the idiot trying to tack up a narrow channel while we are trying to get thru.
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Old 07-06-2016, 22:02   #26
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Re: If No Engine ... Why All The Fuss About "Proper", BIG Electric Motor?

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If you are a masochist, more power to you as long as you aren't the idiot trying to tack up a narrow channel while we are trying to get thru.
HA! I've got the right of way! Ah, just kidding, don't worry, I won't be doing it in a 50 foot boat.
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Old 07-06-2016, 23:15   #27
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Re: If No Engine ... Why All The Fuss About "Proper", BIG Electric Motor?

Some of my best sailing memories was working for Rebel Marine in Norfolk and we salvage a 25-ft Folkboat. We pulled everything out of the boat, incl the shaft and motor. For the next fews years we had some great times sailing in and out of the marina. It sail so well, being so light and responsive. We would come into the marina basin Newport style full sail with a single luff, rail down. Drop sails, do a couple of turns and slide right up to the floating pier.

Couple years later saw a couple in the Bahamas with a J24 prototype. No motor at all. Said it was a challenge but doable. Seemed more tied of the tight space and the no water or electrical. They been out for a couple months from New England. They weren't kids either.

There are a ton of people out there that daysail with no motor and very few who would cruise. You won't find many here who would cruise with limited power source, or say it's a good idea. The trick is to have a good sailing boat, light enough you can handle it easily and have no schedule.
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Old 08-06-2016, 02:57   #28
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Re: If No Engine ... Why All The Fuss About "Proper", BIG Electric Motor?

Well, you have to start by asking yourself what you need power for. And work back from there.

Mankind sailed for some time without power (for a few centuries between the time when galleys were prevalent, and when auxiliary power came in) so obviously it can be done. The Pardeys cruise the world without power, and do so happily and without any serious mishaps.

But cruising without power, or with less than the usual amount of power, is different. What you cannot expect is to just toss out a 30 hp diesel, put in a 5hp electric motor, and sail the same way.

What is really important is that you cannot expect to sail the same way, just a bit slower. That's because even if you can move the boat at 4 or even 5 knots with 5 horsepower in calm conditions, 5 horsepower won't move it at all, not even 1 knot, against the wind of a certain force and/or head sea of a certain magnitude. Is that ok with the way you plan to cruise? It might be -- works for some people.

If you can't move the boat under power in a certain range of conditions, will you always be able to wait for a calm? Or a favorable wind?

Will you always be able to avoid lee shores?

Pre-steam auxiliary mariners (post- galleys) waited up to months for a favorable wind, and a lot of them perished on lee shores.

The Pardeys work with that successfully. Can you?

I couldn't.
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Old 08-06-2016, 05:01   #29
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Re: If No Engine ... Why All The Fuss About "Proper", BIG Electric Motor?

There's one marina nearby with a fleet of small (20' or so?) sailboats, and they can return to their own docks under sail. Well usually, it's under oars. No fairways, just a simple face dock. They mostly sail in our small bay, but occasionally we see one venture out into the main river...

But for the most part, marinas in our area don't have fairways large enough to allow docking under sail... so the practice is generally discouraged.

I solved it all a different way: bagged the idea of sail, instead of bagging the engine. It's amazing how much deck clutter disappears when no sails are involved.



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Old 08-06-2016, 05:10   #30
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Re: If No Engine ... Why All The Fuss About "Proper", BIG Electric Motor?

After you have sat for hours waiting for the wind, you will be happy to have a small engine.

Even in a short 100 mile trip/race, the lack of wind can delay you for 6-8 hours plus.

And at night depending on where you are, there may be barge/tug traffic to worry about as you drift
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