Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 14-08-2016, 13:07   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 3
Motor Sailing

New to this forum so these questions have probably been answered dozens of times...
For those that live aboard more than three months per year
  1. what percentage of the time are you motor sailing as apposed to sailing with no engines running.
  2. how many miles do you think you travel during the time you are living on the boat
__________________

__________________
jkxtreme is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-08-2016, 13:44   #2
Senior Cruiser
 
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29 49.16 N 82 25.82 W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 12,382
Re: motor sailing

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkxtreme View Post
New to this forum so these questions have probably been answered dozens of times...
For those that live aboard more than three months per year
  1. what percentage of the time are you motor sailing as apposed to sailing with no engines running.
  2. how many miles do you think you travel during the time you are living on the boat
Hi JK and welcome to the forum.

You might get more specifics from others but in my opinion that question is far, far too broad to give a precise answer. Your question is about like asking how fast do you drive your car? Depends. Rush hour in LA average 5 mph. Autobahn in Germany, 105 mph.

The answer will depend on:

- the boat
- the boater
- the length of the voyage
- when and where IE local wind and weather conditions

For example.

The boat. A boat that doesn't sail well will usually be motorsailed more than one that sails and handles better.

The boater. Some boaters seldom sail and motor most of the time. Some only crank the engine to get away from the dock and sail the entire time.

The length of the voyage. Going across the bay then more likely to motor sail. Going across the ocean, very few boats have the fuel capacity to motor a large percentage of the time.

When and where. Going from Florida to the VI it's upwind all the way and some people going that way motorsail a lot. Sailing in the Med in the summer there's lots of light air days so people might motorsail a lot. Sailing from the VI to FL in the fall it's downwind all the way so not likely to motorsail at all.
__________________

__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
skipmac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-08-2016, 14:14   #3
Senior Cruiser
 
Cheechako's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Skagit City, WA
Posts: 19,365
Re: motor sailing

From Florida to Trinidad, and back up and back...I would say I motorsailed probably at least 50% of the time. Possibly 75% of the time. But I don't have much patience in moving at 3.5 knots. Diesel is cheap, sailboats don't use much, batteries need charging, water needs making, shorter destinations need made before dark etc. In addition probably another 15 degrees better pointing to weather when motorsailing.


This is very much island sailing though. Longer passages in predictable wind directions are different. Sailing on the west coast to Mexico I probably sailed 90% of the time.
__________________
"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard











Cheechako is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-08-2016, 14:18   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 3
Re: motor sailing

Hey Skipmac,
Thanks for the fast reply. You are correct in that my question is very broad. I should have explained my reason for asking in the first place...
We plan to live aboard a catamaran for four to six months each year. We'll leave Florida and cruise to BVI or close. I'm trying get a handle on how much moving around the average cruiser does during their time living on the boat. The bottom line ... I need to decide between a sail cat or power cat and want to understand the difference in cost in fuel just for moving the boat from one place to the next. We're not the sailing purist so as long as we get there the method doesn't matter...sail or power.
I spoke with several friends who do what I'm thinking, and who have sail boats. Both claim they motor sail 90% of the time and both claim to travel in excess of 1000 mile each year.
Unless you're really into sailing, the power cat will cost about an additional $2K per year to move the boat from place to place which is acceptable to us.
What are your thoughts??
__________________
jkxtreme is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-08-2016, 14:22   #5
Senior Cruiser
 
Cheechako's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Skagit City, WA
Posts: 19,365
Re: motor sailing

If you run the power cat at sailboat speeds it will be very economical, maybe not much more than a sailboat. But if you run it fast like it's capable of, you will likely spend thousands on fuel. The real question is can you restrain yourself? :>)


In the Carribean we moved, every 1-5 weeks. (except hurricane season), probably stayed an average of 2+ weeks many places. I would guess many moves are 30-60 miles. Usually doable in daylight.
__________________
"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard











Cheechako is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-08-2016, 14:24   #6
Moderator
 
Don C L's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Channel Islands, CA
Boat: 1962 Columbia 29 MK 1 #37
Posts: 4,393
Images: 34
Re: motor sailing

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkxtreme View Post
New to this forum so these questions have probably been answered dozens of times...
For those that live aboard more than three months per year
  1. what percentage of the time are you motor sailing as apposed to sailing with no engines running.
  2. how many miles do you think you travel during the time you are living on the boat
Welcome! And I too would say that is like asking, "how deep is the ocean?" The answer is, "it depends."

I don't liveaboard so maybe I am not one to answer, but... I will anyway! Most folks around my neighborhood motorsail a LOT because winds are often light, they have schedules to keep and some are not so comfortable sailing. My estimate is that most folks around here would say 75%, but this is around the Channel Islands off SoCal. Some folks with boats they love to sail, like me, would probably have that reversed 25%. Liveaboards may also prefer motoring if it's not too far so that they don't have to clean up as much and pots and pans won't be thrown around and they probably have very good, reliable diesels that need exercise anyway.

Sounds like the power cat will suit your needs if you are not eager to sail. Hey, I love sailing but there are days/conditions I must admit a little bit of jealousy when I see those power cats! (Don't tell anyone I said that.)
__________________
DL
Pythagoras
1962 Columbia 29 MKI #37
Don C L is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-08-2016, 14:33   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 3
Re: motor sailing

Thanks Cheechaka,
Restraint ... now there's a great term. I'd like to think I can restrain myself but I guess that's yet to be seen. I'm still working and restraint is easy because of the day to day demands, but once we retire and there's no real goal and no one looking over my shoulder, restraint could be a problem.
We keep saying we're not going to be in a hurry but if bad weather approaches, or there's something special happening at one of the destinations, I can see us pushing the throttle to get there a bit quicker.
My one friend has a 49 foot mono hull and when he motor sails he uses 1.5 gallons an hour. In looking at the consumption for a 43 ft power cat traveling at 7 knots it looks like about 3-4 gallons per hour. I can deal with that but if I start using 8-10 gallons per hour, that is a bit expensive. The one thing I've noticed is that the power cats have a huge range of horsepower available between the boats. Some are a pair of 110 HP's while others can have upwards of two 450 HP's. I don't want more than a pair of 200's.
__________________
jkxtreme is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-08-2016, 14:59   #8
Senior Cruiser
 
Cheechako's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Skagit City, WA
Posts: 19,365
Re: motor sailing

One thing I've found in smaller planing powerboats is, as far as local weather goes, you can be surprised by rough wind waves without much warning. 2-4+ ft. You are banging thru them wishing you could go faster, but in reality, when those occur it is just when you cant go faster, too much hard banging. A cat may eliminate a bit of that. How much? Not sure.
Sailing when the wind is right is glorious. having that option may be worth thinking about also. Albeit more complicated having sails and a mast etc.
__________________
"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard











Cheechako is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-08-2016, 05:21   #9
Moderator
 
Hudson Force's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Lived aboard & cruised for 45 years,- now on a chair in my walk-in closet.
Boat: Morgan OI 413 1973 - Aythya
Posts: 7,894
Images: 1
Re: Motor Sailing

We seem to have some fairly consistent habits regarding motorsailing. Most often we motorsail when we want to make our way to a daylight landfall or arrive at an anchorage b a particular time. Sometimes we motorsail to escape from poor weather or to keep a higher point to avoid extra tacking. At other times we will motorsail due to an unfavorable set and drift of the current.

Over the 44 years that we've been full time liveaboards, we've had three boats and the first was less roomy, but much more of a "performance" boat. Even then, with a faster sailing vessel, we would sometimes elect to motorsail.

You'll notice that I haven't done well at answering your questions. We love sailing, even without a destination. I believe that most of those that choose sailboats are more interested in sailing than the destination.

I can answer your second question, but that answer isn't very valuable either. We exclusively live aboard and we've had years with as little as 200 miles traveled and as much as 3,000 miles traveled,- 'not huge numbers, but much accumulation over 44 years.
__________________
Take care and joy, Aythya crew
Hudson Force is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-08-2016, 06:51   #10
Registered User
 
SV Liberty's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Houston, Texas
Boat: Morgan Out Island 416
Posts: 155
Images: 1
Re: Motor Sailing

We were a family of four, living aboard and cruising full time for 6 years. During that time we covered about 20k nm, so about 3.5k miles per year, some more, some less. Our cruising was basically this: Texas to Bahamas, to US East Coast (as far north as Boston), back to Bahamas, to Chesapeake, to Bahamas, back to Texas, to Florida, north to Chesapeake, to Bahamas and thorny path to Eastern Caribbean, to Grenada, then to St. Martin, and after nearly a year on the hard while we land traveled in Europe and the US, 2000 nm from St. Martin to Florida to Galveston Bay.

We motorsailed / motored about 50% of the time, maybe less. In the ICW (Gulf and Atlantic), we motorsailed under mizzen and sailed when we could by furling out jib. We did a lot of coastal/offshore along East Coast, and mostly sailed but when the angle was too tight we always motorsailed, never tacked (except that one time when the oil line blew out between Samana Cay and Mayaguana in the Bahamas and we tacked in to a midnight arrival). Between Mayaguana and Guadeloupe, it seems we had the engine OFF for only about 10 hours! In the Caribbean we sailed between islands, often motorsailed when in the lee if the wind dropped to nothing. We would turn on the motor to make an anchorage by nightfall rather than spend an extra night at sea, although we did many overnight passages in order to have plenty of time for daylight arrivals. We bought a spinnaker after 6 months out, and we sailed a lot more after that. For offshore passages, we prefered a forecast of 10 to 15 with a chance of 5 over 18 to 20 with a chance of 25+, although we have plenty of good stories involving the latter.

Although we considered ourselves cruisers, not sailors, we did like to sail, and on several passages we had to sail because we were outside our 500 nm range on fuel. We never arrived on fumes. We rarely bobbed along at 2.5 kts - admiral wouldn't have it.

Best passage ever was Miami to Nassau, engine off in 20' of water leaving Florida and back on 20 minutes out of Nassau, otherwise sailed 36 hours nonstop, carrying the clocking winds of a mild frontal passage. Glorious!

Hardest was BVIs to Guadeloupe in May after the trades were south of east and we were trying hard to catch up with another family we hadn't seen in a year, and a tight window in which to do it, and the engine running hot as we pushed through moderate seas.

But I can't wait to get back out there, and I plan to sail more, not less, the next time. Time to get those kids out of university.

Dave
SV Liberty
(thanks for the sail - or motorsail - down memory lane)
__________________
SV Liberty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-08-2016, 08:31   #11
CF Adviser
Moderator Emeritus
 
Hud3's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Virginia
Boat: Island Packet 380, now sold
Posts: 8,929
Images: 49
Re: Motor Sailing

Over a five year period, we put in about 8,000 nm of cruising from home around the Chesapeake Bay and among the islands in the eastern Caribbean, and used the engine for about 1,400 hours total. Some of that was charging the batteries while at anchor. We averaged about 0.65 gallons per hour on hour Yanmar 4JHBE.

We spent two six-month sojourns in the islands from the Spanish Virgins to Grenada, sailing from one island to the other. There's not much need to motor-sail in the Tradewinds.

We actually traveled about 16,000 nm, but about 8,000 of that was during offshore passages, so I'm not counting that in answering your question.
__________________
Hud
Hud3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-08-2016, 08:46   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 4,413
Re: Motor Sailing

These days we sail to over night in another anchorage... preferring to arrive before dark so we can walk the dog and prepare dinner... All this limits are daylight sailing range... We will leave early when we need more time... and we will motor sail when speed drops below 4 knots.

Long passages are different.
__________________
Sandero is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-08-2016, 15:19   #13
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: between the devil and the deep blue sea
Boat: a sailing boat
Posts: 17,314
Re: Motor Sailing

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkxtreme View Post
New to this forum so these questions have probably been answered dozens of times...
For those that live aboard more than three months per year
  1. what percentage of the time are you motor sailing as apposed to sailing with no engines running.
  2. how many miles do you think you travel during the time you are living on the boat
Irrelevant.

Are you writing a book about what others like to do?

In our case it might be:

A1: 98.8/0.2/1 (sail/motorsail/motor)
A2: +50k

Now how does it count?

You are not expecting your experience to be an average of other people experiences, do you?

Cheers,
b.
__________________
barnakiel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-08-2016, 13:08   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 47
Re: Motor Sailing

I am basically a weekend sailor and do about 700 miles on average per season. I sail 70 percent of the time and run the engine the rest.


Sent from my iPhone using Cruisers Sailing Forum
__________________

__________________
dangerfield55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
motor, sail, sailing

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Motor boat plus a sail boat equils a Motor sailer? niel12 Multihull Sailboats 11 02-07-2011 13:15
Motor or No Motor for Long-Term Cruising? boatyard Pirate Construction, Maintenance & Refit 41 02-08-2009 22:13



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 16:36.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.