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Old 29-08-2008, 22:02   #1
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Motor or No Motor for Long-Term Cruising?

We are about halfway through a complete refit of aour Allegra 24. The Roo was built with no motor and we are trying to decide if we can continue to have none. I have sailed larger boats with no power and never missed it but I've become spoiled. Is there anyone out there sailing sans motor. She had a T-9 when we purchased her but we chucked it, way too much to deal with and too heavy for Lizzie.
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Old 30-08-2008, 01:50   #2
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You can probably get away with it on a boat that size if you never intend to use a marina!
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Old 30-08-2008, 04:36   #3
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Have you tried a sculling oar?

Sculling One
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Old 30-08-2008, 04:51   #4
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Pete Goss used a sculling oar in a singlehanded transatlantic. IIRC, he and the boat ahead were becalmed, and Goss sculled over twenty miles until the wind picked up again, and overtook the other boat.
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Old 30-08-2008, 05:17   #5
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There are going to be places where you have to navigage tight passes into lagoons or narrow channels into harbors. Sometimes with no wind, sometimes with the wind and current against you. Without a motor, you are going to have to forego these places, or work really hard and place your boat at risk.

You could probably get by with a 3.5 hp outboard--build a bracket on the transom, and/or put in on the dinghy and lash it to the bigger boat.
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Old 30-08-2008, 07:01   #6
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Outboard and sculling oar

We are looking into a sculling oar and will have a mount installed incase we decide to transit any canals. We only have one ships battery so I think a small solar pannel will cover us for electric power. We have been slowly stripping anything off of the boat that isnt completely necessary for sailing. Our last big question is the motor.
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Old 30-08-2008, 08:08   #7
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Far too many circumstances where a motor would be not only helpful and desirable but also critically needed. You will have significant difficulty and need to make far too many accommodations to access some of the more desirable and interesting locations most sailors want access to. The days of being able to sail up to a city and dropping an anchor are long gone in most locations and you need to be able to maneuver in no wind situations. I sure would not like to see an underpowered boat attempting to enter the ICW or sail around the Bahama's or down to the nicer islands try to enter Nanny Cay or Road Town BVI or Redhook USVI or most of the Spanish Virgin Islands with out some power back up... particularly when I'm in the area.

Nice to consider going Green or 1700's traditional but reasonable limits and what your limitations will be, appear to far out weighted by added restrictions and risks and loss of safety factors.
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Old 30-08-2008, 08:45   #8
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Our last big question is the motor.
When I had my 21 footer their was a time when the outboard was unreliable in use from either being on or off. Setting the throttle was pretty much a one time deal......so all close quarters manouvers were planned on the basis that I only had walking speed power (and no reverse). and stop was cutting the engine (with no prospect of a quick restart) and my muscle power........not quite like the limitations of a sweep, but similar in not having available a quick burst of power and needing to judge and use currents and wind.

But still, I did like having the use of some power, if for no other reason than it left my hands free (me singlehanded). I did consider a sweep but I did not progress that, both for cost reasons (their was reason why the outboard was as it was!) plus a certain lack of fitness on my part but it is amazing what you can get used to and plan around / with.

I will add for the sake of clarity that I was not long distance travelling, nor negotiating coral reefs nor undertaking any aggressive navigation - and was always in areas that I knew very well (so knew that I would not need power), and mostly the "difficult" part was leaving and returning to the "fore and aft" mooring (threading one's way through a harbour and then no pontoon to stop any misjudged too rapid progress ).....in some respects in these circumstances a Sweep would have been useful as a visible warning to others of your restricted close quarters abilities. But not enough to tempt me to get one.

If you had the motor already, I would suggest running the sweep and see how you got on - but having junked the motor already makes it a tricky one. I would suggest that if you are comfortable with your and the boat's sailing ability (i.e. that she has a good chance of sailing out of trouble instead of needing a motor), and especially two handed for docking maybe try the Sweep - but start conservatively (i.e. not navigating coral reefs, against / accross strong currents or in a shipping lane in fickle winds or busy harbour) the first day and simply see how you get on. But even if possible with a Sweep you may find that in practice a small outboard on the Stern is what makes life so much easier, no matter what your principle (and pocket book!) says


Good looking boat by the way, I think the Sea Gods give some allowances to those with good looking vessels



and I like the Website and the philosophy
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Old 30-08-2008, 09:17   #9
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I would mount a small outboard. Having an engine will give you more flexibility in where you can go. It could also get you out of trouble when the wind is not favorable. Your outboard may one day prevent your boat from getting washed up on the rocks. Having the kind of flexibility an engine provides will also make your cruising more interesting. If you are concerned about being green then take into consideration that small outboards use hardly any fuel. For your boat a longshaft 10HP would work just fine.
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Old 30-08-2008, 09:35   #10
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Is that another Allegra

David, I dont suppose you built that boat did you? I saw one for sale and contacted the broker asking for the owners contact info but he wouldn't reply. If you did build her I have a few questions about your non skid. BTW was this the boat in Good Old Boat magizine. have a great day. Alan
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Old 30-08-2008, 13:03   #11
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Don Street, sailing guide author, veteran sailor, and curmudgeon-at-large, plied the Caribbean and North Atlantic for 37 years in Iolaire, his 47' yawl. Without an engine.

p.s. he finally installed an engine, but I believe that was so he could sell her, not for himself.
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Old 30-08-2008, 13:11   #12
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Boatyard,

FIRST, nice boat and very nice web site.

We use a 2-hot-2 3.5 HP outboard. It's a 2 cycle. I think it would be just fine as a kicker for you. It works for us when we were in the SF Bay area. We put it on our dink and then used the dink to move our boat. It's light enough that Jill can pick it up!

If you put it on a drop down bracket on the back it would work to get you in when needed, then move it to a dink (if you have one) when at anchor. If you go that route, make sure you cover it with something when not in use. The sun (at least down here) eats up the plastic covers.

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Old 30-08-2008, 15:14   #13
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I have a dirty little secret

Greg, you and jill are my heros. I remember maybe 10 years ago I was stuck in Wisconsin reading about you and I think you had your boys high school age living in the "trunk" aft cabin at the time doing a complete refit. Your site helped through many cold nights, knowing that someday I would have another boat and the chance to go through all the same headaches and suffer many a cold winter aboard while earning my freedom. Dont know where you are or what your doing but were coming to find you and thank you in person. Although I swore the Allegra would be the last boat I ever own I have a dirty little secret. I lay awake at night thinking about the Nor' Sea 27 and how great it would be to lock the dogs in the trunk and just for once wake up next to Lizzie(wife) not Chloe or Esme(dogs). Ahh some day I'll have a big boat. Alan
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Old 30-08-2008, 15:45   #14
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WOW!!!

I'm not sure how to reply. Some one actually read our ramblings! THANKS for the kind words.... Jill and I will be smiling for a week.

Well, the boys are off to other endeavors of there own, and we sailed out under the Golden Gate bridge in 2004, and turned left.

We are now in Mazatlan Mexico, after spending 3 years in the Sea of Cortez. After hurricane season we will be heading further south, still in Mexico. Then, if all goes well, we will head to Central America the following year.

Your late, come catch up to us! See ya out here.

Greg & Jill
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Old 30-08-2008, 17:12   #15
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David, I dont suppose you built that boat did you? I saw one for sale and contacted the broker asking for the owners contact info but he wouldn't reply. If you did build her I have a few questions about your non skid. BTW was this the boat in Good Old Boat magizine. have a great day. Alan
Not sure if that was aimed at me? But if so, did I build that boat??? ROTFLMAO . Afraid that would be somewhat outside my skill set. Slightly behind by capability to perform Brain Surgery
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