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Old 08-07-2021, 13:28   #16
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Re: Is this true? Time under sail vs motor in Caribbean

As many others have posted, like many things in reality, the answer is "it depends"...on the boat, the skipper, the circumstances. Absolute answers are rarely accurate. So, at face value a 90% "rule" is certainly bogus.

Ive known skippers who motored 100% of the time. NEVER sailed. Im not sure why they owned a sail boat. I know the near polar opposite too, skippers who only begrudingly turn the motor on.

As posted earlier, It depends a lot on the type of sailing. Day sailing, whats the point in motoring except to get in/out of a marina. Coastal Cruising, you have a destination/time objective and maybe negotiating coastal features, so likely to motor more. Offshore Crossing, most sailing vessels dont have enough range under power to motor much of a long crossing so you have to sail most of it.

The absolute statement of a 90% rule also doesnt address the fact that motor-sailing is common when cruising, especially coastal cruising. Where you are not going that far and are fighting contrary winds/currents and just need a little extra push.

And of course the boat. Ive got 2, a Hobie 33 and a Wildcat 35 (similar to Bumfuzzle). The Hobie 33 is purely a performance boat with incredible windward and light air performance. It has a well for an outboard, but I normally never put the engine in because I rarely need it. Ive sailed the Hobie more like 99% of the time. Day sailing only.

The Wildcat sails pretty well for a smallish cruising cat. But its built and outfitted for comfort not for speed, so its no light air wonder. For shortish coastal cruising (1 - 3 days), we probably sail 60%. For longer runs of course less. Example, Bahamas to Jamaica in favorable conditions, we only ran the egine to get out of our anchorage in Acklins and then on our final approach into Jamaica the wind died so we motored for a few hours.

Venue makes a big difference too. Western Panama for example rarely has anything but light and variable wind so its mostly motoring/motor sailing, rarely sailing, likely 95% under power. The Eastern Carib...why in the world would anyone motor most of the time with stready trade winds?

Especially offshore, a lot depends on weather routing too. Get it right and you can have days or weeks under sail with no motor. I think my longest continuous run under sail only was about 26 days (Bermuda - Azores).

So, in terms of % of time sailing, it depends on many factors, but I think sailing vessels really shine on long offshore passages and day sails. Typical coastal cruising does indeed often involve a significant % of motoring or motor sailing. How much...it depends.
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Old 08-07-2021, 13:42   #17
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Re: Is this true? Time under sail vs motor in Caribbean

Some years back I did an informal survey of Canadian sailboats in the Bahamas that had sailed south from Canada.

I was told by sailors that did not keep a log ... "We sailed almost all the time".
Those that did keep a log told me they sailed between 6 & 12 hours.
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Old 08-07-2021, 13:48   #18
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Re: Is this true? Time under sail vs motor in Caribbean

I might say 80% motoring. I actually like the thrum of a diesel, they are not usually that noisy used at their best RPM.
It depends a lot on where you are really. In the Caribe you stick to the lee side of many of the islands and often the wind isn't much. Then it blows hard between the islands.
However, when you sail it's a joy.
Advantages of a sailboat are:
-when you want to sail, you can. Some reaches and downwind runs are awesome!
-they use less fuel than a Trawler. My 44 ft sailboat used less fuel than my 30 ft trawler.

I'm always nervous when my only hope of getting somewhere is a single engine, and most Trawlers are a single engine. Sails are a great backup plan.
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Old 08-07-2021, 14:08   #19
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Re: Is this true? Time under sail vs motor in Caribbean

what a bunch of diesel junkies. You are addicted to something that harms us all

You would cut a coconut tree down rather than climb it to get the fruit?? It sure sounds like it.

I never used an engine and went to all these places mentioned and many more. You cant sail against 8 knots of wind? tacking every few minutes is too much? If you use a diesel you are the modern moral equivalent of slave owners, they got away with it and died, and that is what will happen again. Nice legacy to leave, taking far more than you contribute, and spoiling the world. Every year it is more degraded.

Why dont you admit you and your boats suck?? Your boat is not designed very well and cant sail good in light winds. You did not set up for efficient sailing and short tacking, and you are not even trying instead relying on excuses. I can make up excuses too: for why I need to sabotage you, but I dont make up excuses then go do bad things. It is illegal to use fossil fuels for your leisure purposes.
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Old 08-07-2021, 14:25   #20
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Re: Is this true? Time under sail vs motor in Caribbean

Boat = Tool.
Gets you from A to B.
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Old 08-07-2021, 14:25   #21
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Re: Is this true? Time under sail vs motor in Caribbean

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Originally Posted by NormanMartin View Post
A comfortable motor yacht and great sailing dinghy make a superb combination. More so once you get out of the Virgins.

In '04 I remember a few catamarans and maybe one motor yacht. Ten years later motor yachts and motor catamarans were appearing. Now, I hear they are common. Kinda says something about what works.
It says less about "what works" than it does about what people want to do.

In the Caribbean people are often on holidays and have limited time. Even if they enough time to sail between islands they often have not slowed down their type A personalities to want to go even a knot slower than they could. And a lot of people just can't be bothered by the effort to sail (this covers a lot of sailboat owners elsewhere in the world as well).

When we sailed in the Caribbean in 2012-2014 we noticed people started off sailing between islands but when they couldn't fetch the destination, they simply turned on the motor and sailed directly. It was disappointing to us. We were informally competing with every boat we saw, and then they all motored to the finish. We sailed every where in the Caribbean, and we thought the sailing was terrific.

Elsewhere in the world people just don't bother. Even a nice 15 knot broad reach isn't enough to get them to set sail. Or if they do, it's just "roll out the genoa, don't bother with the mainsail". Others will motor out into the bay, turn off the motor and lazily sail back and forth under genoa until it is time to go home, then turn the motor back on, put away the sails, and motor back to port.

And very few sailor seem to have thought that sailboats can go to weather. When the wind is "on the nose" they automatically motor. Of course when you motor out of the marina and head towards your destination at 6 knots under power, the wind is always going to be "on the nose".

Despite this nearly universal abhorrence to sailing anywhere, almost everyone nowdays wants the latest sails. "Gotta have a code zero".

For what purpose?

So, what works for people is to sit on their fat rear ends and motor everywhere and pretend they are sailors. At least a power cat is honest.
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Old 08-07-2021, 14:30   #22
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Re: Is this true? Time under sail vs motor in Caribbean

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Boat = Tool.
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Not much interested in A or B but I do love the space inbetween.
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Old 08-07-2021, 14:44   #23
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Re: Is this true? Time under sail vs motor in Caribbean

Depends on where you are and who you are... and the boat. Around here it can be really calm in the mornings and windy in the afternoons, so I am usually motoring in the mornings. But I will say there was a nice sailboat that went by the anchorage the other day, going downwind on a very breezy afternoon, with whitecaps, and they were motoring. I really thought, if you aren't going to sail today maybe you bought the wrong boat.
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Old 08-07-2021, 14:56   #24
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Re: Is this true? Time under sail vs motor in Caribbean

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what a bunch of diesel junkies. You are addicted to something that harms us all

You would cut a coconut tree down rather than climb it to get the fruit?? It sure sounds like it.

I never used an engine and went to all these places mentioned and many more. You cant sail against 8 knots of wind? tacking every few minutes is too much? If you use a diesel you are the modern moral equivalent of slave owners, they got away with it and died, and that is what will happen again. Nice legacy to leave, taking far more than you contribute, and spoiling the world. Every year it is more degraded.

Why dont you admit you and your boats suck?? Your boat is not designed very well and cant sail good in light winds. You did not set up for efficient sailing and short tacking, and you are not even trying instead relying on excuses. I can make up excuses too: for why I need to sabotage you, but I dont make up excuses then go do bad things. It is illegal to use fossil fuels for your leisure purposes.

How pretentious. You have a really good sailing boat. Not everyone does. I also built a really good sailing boat. No need to act like this.
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Old 08-07-2021, 15:04   #25
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Re: Is this true? Time under sail vs motor in Caribbean

Weíve been live aboard in the eastern Caribbean for five years. 115 HP big engine, 40 ton boat. We use 50-80 gallons/season, seven months, includes occasional 12.5 KW diesel generator. We motor-sail to Windward. Most transits are due north or south in easterly trades, 15-25 knots true. Most sailing is full main or mizzen with staysail, no Genoa. 7-9 knots under sail. Fuel use is the least of our expenses. Food is #1, dinghy fuel #2. I think fuel consumption for most people is far less important than food, nights out, outboard gas, tours, other fun, etc.
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Old 08-07-2021, 15:05   #26
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Re: Is this true? Time under sail vs motor in Caribbean

Quote:
Originally Posted by seandepagnier View Post
what a bunch of diesel junkies. You are addicted to something that harms us all

You would cut a coconut tree down rather than climb it to get the fruit?? It sure sounds like it.

I never used an engine and went to all these places mentioned and many more. You cant sail against 8 knots of wind? tacking every few minutes is too much? If you use a diesel you are the modern moral equivalent of slave owners, they got away with it and died, and that is what will happen again. Nice legacy to leave, taking far more than you contribute, and spoiling the world. Every year it is more degraded.

Why dont you admit you and your boats suck?? Your boat is not designed very well and cant sail good in light winds. You did not set up for efficient sailing and short tacking, and you are not even trying instead relying on excuses. I can make up excuses too: for why I need to sabotage you, but I dont make up excuses then go do bad things. It is illegal to use fossil fuels for your leisure purposes.
I love the smell of diesel in the morning, it smells like..........Victory
7000 litres in the tanks burning 15 litre per hour @ 7.5 knots for leisure purposes

Now before you have a big cry I have had fast cruising cats before that could sail well in 5 knots of wind
Now, a bit older and wanting REAL comfort and load carrying ability saw me about a million $$ shy of getting another fast sailing cat that could meet our needs and wants.

Enter the economical and recycled no wash ex trawler.
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Old 08-07-2021, 15:19   #27
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Re: Is this true? Time under sail vs motor in Caribbean

We also notice the vast majority of sailing vessels very rarely sailing even in ideal conditions
It is nice and very noticeable when you see a boat that actually can.
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Old 08-07-2021, 15:41   #28
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Re: Is this true? Time under sail vs motor in Caribbean

Your right Simi 60, there was a bunch of yacht's out in the Sandy Straits yesterday and none had a sail up.
So often I will survey a yacht and the owner will say he has not raised the main in year's and just uses the furling headsail.
I am no purist and will start the diesel when we start going to slow. But 90% motoring is definitely not us.
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Old 08-07-2021, 15:47   #29
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Re: Is this true? Time under sail vs motor in Caribbean

Iím pretty sure the 90/10 rule is a guesstimate of how much time people are sailing out of all the time available.

I.e. over a year, they estimate to be sailing about 40 days and sitting at anchor the rest of the time. Thatís the cruiser lifestyle.

If youíre motoring for 90% of the time, youíve got yourself a very ordinary power boat!

My anecdote: did a 2000+ mile trip in January.
Motored for about 30 minutes at the start and again at the end.
Rest was all under sail.
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Old 08-07-2021, 16:20   #30
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Re: Is this true? Time under sail vs motor in Caribbean

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It is illegal to use fossil fuels for your leisure purposes.
REally? In what jurisdiction is that? You may feel that it is immoral, but that's a bit different, isn't it?

Hyperbolic statements do little to advance your ideas, Sean. Surely you realize that.

Jim
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