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Old 11-03-2016, 18:58   #16
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Re: When to motor the rest of the way?

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Originally Posted by Lodesman View Post
During our last trip this happened twice that I remember. Going from Florida to the Bahamas, we sailed all morning without any problems from the "chance of scattered thunderstorms ending by 10 am" forecast by all the usual sources, only to find ourselves surrounded by black clouds, lightning and downdrafts gusting to 60 kts+. Dark afternoon turned into darker night, gusting winds coming from all directions, avoiding thundercells all the way to Grand Bahama. We could have turned back, but that was only slightly less distance than our original destination, with no better weather.
The second occasion, we were sailing up the bank-side of the Exumas, heading for Highborne Cay, when a squall came through. Again it hadn't been forecast and we had had a lovely sail all day, only to suddenly find ourselves with crazy wind, rain going sideways, etc etc. - and the anchorage was only a few miles away, clearly visible and ironically bathed in sunlight. Sailing at that point was not an option. Guess we could have dropped the pick and waited for it to pass, but it made more sense to us to power through, and go to anchor in the sunshine.
Why was putting away all your sails the thing you did? I'm not trying to be dense but I'm not really getting your point. We find it always more stable in big winds and seas to have SOME sail up. Even if motorsailing having that bit of sail up makes the boat more stable. Miserable to just motor with not a scrap of sail to stabilize the boat.

I do understand some people feel more comfortable motorsailing, yes. But more comfortable motoring with not a scrap of sail up is just not what I'd want to do, on our boat, in heavy weather or even in a brisk 20 kts. It makes no sense to me. Please explain.

Thanks,
Brenda
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Old 12-03-2016, 08:41   #17
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Re: When to motor the rest of the way?

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Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
No you can't be part of the tough man sailor club if you even consider starting the engine. You must have an engine in perfect condition but never consider using it.


Seriously, unless there is a good reason not to use it (ie: entering a tricky harbor in the dark), no one will think less of you.
To make this an additional criterion for all sailors, not for the tough men only.

* What is the last location (if any) where you need to switch to motoring if you haven't already done so.

Some people prefer sailing, so this criterion may be important for them.
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Old 12-03-2016, 09:23   #18
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Re: When to motor the rest of the way?

"Its this common? I am new to sailing and have never been through any storms, so I am curious, is it best to furl the sails because the wind shifting? Is motoring easier than reefing?"

Paddy - please accept my words as well-meant guidance. They are NOT meant as criticism:

Your phrasing of your question suggests to me that you have barely dipped your toe into the vast ocean of abstruse knowledge that is seamanship. That compendium of knowledge cannot be acquired on terra firma, and IMO you would be wasting your time trying to do that.

The only way for you to learn these things - to get a "feel" for what is the appropriate modus operandi in given situations - is to get yourself aboard not one, but many different, well-skippered boats and learn by observing and assimilating what good skippers do in such situations.

By all means, continue to ask questions here. But sign on as a "boy seaman" in as many boats as you can find who are willing to take you on and teach you. Or blow the bux on a formal basic sailing course at a well-reputed sailing school.

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Old 12-03-2016, 09:32   #19
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Re: When to motor the rest of the way?

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Originally Posted by Schooner Chandlery View Post
We find it always more stable in big winds and seas to have SOME sail up.
I never go 'bare poles' either, always leave some sail up. Even if just to balance the boat.
Maybe I'm "doing it wrong" but it works for me and the boat
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Old 12-03-2016, 10:31   #20
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Re: When to motor the rest of the way?

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Originally Posted by theway View Post

Let's use two examples
A 20 day passage and 3 to 5 day hop
3 to 5 day hop is easy as I have 4 day motoring range at least.

Longer passages:

Good example was last year doing a 13 Day passage Caribbean to New York.

I consider 4.3 days motoring range at 5 knots giving 520 nms from full tank plus 6 gerry cans at aprox 2.5 litres per hour.
So I can plot a line that is my total fuel distance. The line ends at my destination so I can see where I can motor from.
I plot location and time of engine on to engine off. Then reduce my fuel distance line by that amount.

On that particular trip I wanted to co serve fuel as the latter part of the voyage from 200nms offshore of Cape Hatteras to NY can be bad weather and Gulf Stream.

So if there is slow going early on I will not use the engine much. I rely on weather files to help. I use navigation and fuel to better position the both along my course and laterally.

I don't believe an engine in modern boats to be 'auxiliary' but part of main propulsion.

On one very long passage I was becalmed for 7 days because it was important to conserve fuel.

Mark
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Old 12-03-2016, 11:10   #21
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Re: When to motor the rest of the way?

The answer is.......

When you feel like it.

You're on your boat to enjoy yourself, not prove anything (hopefully).
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Old 12-03-2016, 11:51   #22
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Re: When to motor the rest of the way?

Coastal cruising we anchor in a cove for happy hour, a nice meal, and enjoy the sourroundings, all before dark and the bugs. On passages we simply plan on arriving in daylight.
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Old 12-03-2016, 11:57   #23
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Re: When to motor the rest of the way?

never

I have often seen people motoring only to arrive just as the wind picks up. Then they are anchored for hours anyway. So all they did was waste fuel.
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Old 12-03-2016, 12:09   #24
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Re: When to motor the rest of the way?

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And who cares if they do?

You make the decision to suit yourself, not anybody else.

Who care if they do? Really? Unless it is an urgent or emergency situation, I would like to be a little more considerate of my fellow sailors. That being said, more often than not, the vast majority of us tend to appreciate the complications of the task for some folk traveling the seas. There are many post here that suggest very good and appropriate considerations to when to use and not use the motor. I would have to agree that doing what is best suited to your personal situation should be given priority but being polite to your fellow boaters goes a long way - especially if you are planning to be around for a while.
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Old 12-03-2016, 12:41   #25
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Re: When to motor the rest of the way?

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Originally Posted by boat_alexandra View Post
never

I have often seen people motoring only to arrive just as the wind picks up. Then they are anchored for hours anyway. So all they did was waste fuel.
Presume you mean arrive in port but with too much wind to take a slip so they anchor and wait, right?

We have a prevailing habit of typically just going with whatever happens to be happening with the wind--and if that means wallowing along at 2 kts, we wallow along at 2 kts. Because of this, though, we've often found ourselves "missing" daylight anchoring opportunities as we arrive near port or anchorage in the dead of night so we must pass it by or wait outside. We have a hard and fast boat rule of only entering ports and anchorages at night IF we know them very, very well and they're wide open -- for example Drakes Bay on the coast just northwest of San Francisco Bay -- and that rule combined with our "mostly sailing" coastal cruising means that we often end up sailing for 2, 3, 4, 5 days and transiting a huge section of the west coast before we pop in somewhere to anchor.

If we were in the mood to be at anchor or in port every night, we'd HAVE to use the motor more often because of light winds. That much is certain.
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Old 12-03-2016, 13:27   #26
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Re: When to motor the rest of the way?

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Who care if they do? Really? Unless it is an urgent or emergency situation, I would like to be a little more considerate of my fellow sailors. That being said, more often than not, the vast majority of us tend to appreciate the complications of the task for some folk traveling the seas. There are many post here that suggest very good and appropriate considerations to when to use and not use the motor. I would have to agree that doing what is best suited to your personal situation should be given priority but being polite to your fellow boaters goes a long way - especially if you are planning to be around for a while.
I suggest you actually read what I was responding to:

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Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post

Seriously, unless there is a good reason not to use it (ie: entering a tricky harbor in the dark), no one will think less of you.
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Old 12-03-2016, 13:43   #27
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pirate Re: When to motor the rest of the way?

Bloke I met in Gibraltar had sailed down from the UK with his wife.. only times he would use the engine was for entering marinas.
Apparently they were becalmed for 4 days in the Biscay, and 3 days between San Vincente and Gibraltar and no matter the slopping about he refused to use the engine as sailors don't use an engine.. they wait patiently for the wind..
She flew home on the first flight available and started divorce proceedings.
Next time I saw him was Agua Dulce and the boat was For Sale.. on the hard as it was part of the settlement.
Common sense.. some have it.. many do not

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Old 12-03-2016, 13:46   #28
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Re: When to motor the rest of the way?

squalls..after getting hit the last time with 50mph winds, from now on, if I can't sail around 'em, sails are coming down and engines are getting started. No more thinking all reefs in is enough. For squalls the seas usually stay about how they are as the short duration of a squall doesn't affect the waves so much so no need to even leave a spit of sail up. Plus, it's probably not quite the same on a cat.
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Old 12-03-2016, 14:09   #29
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Re: When to motor the rest of the way?

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Originally Posted by Lodesman View Post
You forgot weather. A bunch of storm cells pop up and the wisest choice is to furl it all and motor.
Yep. The weather is one of the biggest factors, in my mind.
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Old 12-03-2016, 15:01   #30
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Re: When to motor the rest of the way?

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It doesn't matter how near or far for me. At about 3.5 knots or less I start motorsailing. I always have a sail or two up unless it wasn't up to start with.
dude, 3.5 knotts and im running happy. You must have a big boat?
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