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Old 09-07-2021, 09:30   #46
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Re: Is this true? Time under sail vs motor in Caribbean

We left the Chesapeake Bay the first week in November. Sailed to Antigua, back to the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Dominican republic, the Bahamas, and back to Chesapeake Bay. Six months of sailing, and we used 140 gallons of diesel. The use of an engine is purely an individual choice when you are sailing for an extended period of time. It was a different story when we only had two weeks to sail, and a destination to get to and return to. Itís all a matter of time available.
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Old 09-07-2021, 09:44   #47
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Re: Is this true? Time under sail vs motor in Caribbean

Florida to bahamas, 11 months in the bahamas, motored into a lot of cays to anchor total engine time in 11 months about (+-) 30 hrs. Most motoring was crossing the gulf stream from cat cay to fl. In a total calm, total flat gulf stream, that trip was about 9-10 hrs..
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Old 09-07-2021, 10:23   #48
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Re: Is this true? Time under sail vs motor in Caribbean

In the Caribbean there is an amount of motor sailing from say Grenada to St. St.Lucia as otherwise the current will set you to the west. Otherwise it is best sailing in the world with constant winds. Getting there from the USA is the problem as the wind will be against you from the Dominican Republic to the Virgins. A good guide is The Thornless Path to the Windward Islands by Bruce Van Sant.
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Old 09-07-2021, 10:42   #49
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Re: Is this true? Time under sail vs motor in Caribbean

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Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
Wow!
I donít recall previously having heard the Bumfuzzles quoted as experts, on anything cruising/sailing [except, perhaps, where to get the best pizza, and the like].
Thanks for the chuckle.
I wasn't citing them as experts... that's what you all are for

Lots of great information here - thank you to everyone who has taken the time to reply.
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Old 09-07-2021, 10:46   #50
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Re: Is this true? Time under sail vs motor in Caribbean

In the Eastern Caribbean, we sail about 1000 miles per winter season. At ~6knots, that's about 166 hours. We generally put about 50 hours on our engine per season, so roughly 75% sailing. A lot of the engine miles are idling while we raise and lower the anchor.


I think you will see a lot of difference between the BVI (mostly charters, many novices, lots of upwind destinations) and the Windwards/Leewards. I used to think that skippers of Catamarans tended to motor more, but I don't really think that's true.
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Old 09-07-2021, 13:44   #51
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Re: Is this true? Time under sail vs motor in Caribbean

My sailboat spends 25% of the time sailing, 25% motor sailing and 50% of the time motoring. I rarely sail for the joy of sailing. I usually have 50-60 miles to cover and take a direct path to where I want to go. If I can sail, I do. However, the wind seems to blow from the direction I want to go a lot. If I had to do it over again, for how I use my boat, I would get a trawler.
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Old 09-07-2021, 17:45   #52
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Re: Is this true? Time under sail vs motor in Caribbean

I was half owner of a 47 sailing cat in charter in French Polynesia. I have "sailed" seven times between the base on Raiatea and Bora Bora. At least one way was always under power and on one trip we even had to motor both ways if we wanted to catch the plane in time.

First off, how do you sail around a round island? You're only going to find good with for maybe a third of the way and that is if solid obstacles don't intervene.

I watched European charter "sailors" there for six years. When the fuel was free for chartered sail boats most rarely put up their sails all. Don't know what they are going to do now that the the charter companies have started charge their sailing boat customers for fuel.
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Old 16-07-2021, 07:01   #53
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Re: Is this true? Time under sail vs motor in Caribbean

I've put over over 50,000 nm on BlueJacket in the past 22 years and have over 5000 hours on the engine. Let's assume that I'm motoring at 6 kts, so that's 30,000 nm, which translates to 60% of the time under power.


If you're doing long passages and have limited amounts of fuel, you have to sail. If you're headed between ports and need to get there with good daylight (or tides) within 1 day, you may need to fire up the engine as you either have too little wind or it's out of the wrong direction. If you're just out for a day sail, and can easily get to your next destination, put up the sails and drift along or tack your way to the destination. And if you're really lucky, you've got 15-20 kts on a beam or broad reach, and life is wonderful. Alternately you've got 15-20 kts on the nose, and life sucks (or you stay in port).



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Old 16-07-2021, 07:06   #54
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Re: Is this true? Time under sail vs motor in Caribbean

Having cruised to the Caribbean from the Uk, and spent 6 months cruising the Caribbean I can honestly say that 90:10 is correct, but 90% sailing and 10% on motor due to no wind or entering and leaving dock. Trans Atlantic was all sail. Who would motor a sail boat for 90% of the time??!
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Old 16-07-2021, 07:42   #55
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Re: Is this true? Time under sail vs motor in Caribbean

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...First off, how do you sail around a round island? You're only going to find good with for maybe a third of the way and that is if solid obstacles don't intervene...
If you are circling an island counter clockwise in trade wind conditions (in many places anyhow) starting from the leeward side:

1. Sailing in the lee of the island is challenging. Get away from the island and do the best you can in the shifty conditions. Sailing is possible, depending on your patience. Some racers do well staying in close, others go miles out and never find the wind. Conditions: poor to fair

2. Rounding the bottom you come into breeze on the nose, often gusty. Some boats (and crews) revel in those conditions. Others won't even try. Conditions: Excellent for sailors, poor for those who prefer not to sail to windward or can't.

3. Across the windward side: The wind angles get better and the wind finally comes aft of the beam. This should be good conditions for everyone. Conditions: Excellent

4. Down the top of the island the wind continues to go aft and you ease the sails until it is time to gybe, but stay wide, the lee is approaching. Conditions: very good.

By my way of thinking you usually have at least 2/3 of the "round the island" with usable winds, and for us, we try to make use of every puff and shift and get 100%.
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Old 16-07-2021, 08:02   #56
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Re: Is this true? Time under sail vs motor in Caribbean

There are always exceptions of course (the Pardees come to mind), but yes, the huge majority of costal cruising is done mostly under power. This is primarily due to convenience: the ability to go where you want, when you want, with minimal fuss. But that is just an average for typical yachties, and you could always choose to be one of those that prioritizes sail over motor in most or all circumstances. And if you’re wanting to cross oceans, that’s another matter, so a big part of this is determining what your expectations are.
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Old 16-07-2021, 08:41   #57
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Re: Is this true? Time under sail vs motor in Caribbean

I sometimes run the diesel to help charge the batteries......so figure if the engine is running, might as well put it in gear.....does that count as motoring ?

My previous boat had the Grunert refrigeration...this required running the engine to spin the compressor.....as before.....engine was put in gear......

I have accepted the fact that sailboats sometimes move slowly under sail...and I can live with that...
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Old 16-07-2021, 08:53   #58
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Re: Is this true? Time under sail vs motor in Caribbean

In our B423 we tend to motorsail when the wind angle is less than 45 degrees. We had to motor from the USVIs to Sint Maarten, and then motor on to Antigua dead into the winds. Turning south, it was all sailing to Dominica. Winds look good for a reach to Grenada.

Sailing for fun out of our Coral Bay, St. John home? We motor out of the harbor and tack and gybe for as long as we like.

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Old 16-07-2021, 08:58   #59
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Re: Is this true? Time under sail vs motor in Caribbean

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Originally Posted by jmschmidt View Post

First off, how do you sail around a round island? You're only going to find good with for maybe a third of the way and that is if solid obstacles don't intervene.
I completed six 100 mile Round the Island races along the Gulf Coast when I lived there from the mid 90's through 2009 or so.

We did the race on beach cats which of course have no engines.

The island was elongated.

The race started at 0700 with the wind out of the NE (if we were dealing with prevailing winds) and the boats headed ESE toward the Destin Bridge to enter the Gulf of Mexico.

Heading South after 6 miles or so to go under the bridge and out into the Gulf.

The wind would slowly (and sometimes rapidly) rotate to the South then SW to West so sometimes the race would be mostly a spinnaker run after rounding the Sea Buoy beyond the Destin Bridge where we would head West for about 55 miles then in Pensacola Pass and sail back Eastward.

The fastest I saw the race completed was when a boat ( a 20' G-Cat 1995) finished at 4 pm or 1600 so 9 hours. (w/spinnaker)

Fastest I finished was 12 hours on a slooped rigged Nacra 6.0 no spinnaker. This was in 1997 when we had 82 boats on the starting line at 7 in the morning for the white flag start.

Even later when I had a boat with a spinnaker, 12 hours was still my best time due to good winds that day in 1997.
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Old 16-07-2021, 10:26   #60
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Re: Is this true? Time under sail vs motor in Caribbean

On my Dad’s boat it was about 50:50 and that was in the windy west of Scotland. Basically, he had a job and tight schedule for sailing and he wanted to get the most out of it. If he could sail at over 4knots in roughly the right direction he would. Otherwise it was on with the iron genny.

I do things a bit different on Na Mara, despite her being overpowered in the engine compartment and with a pilot house no less. I use the engine only to do one of 3 things: 1, get in or out of harbour, 2. Get out of trouble I can’t sail out of or 3. Keep guests happy. Putting the engine on at any other time I count as a personal failure.

On the “sailing is cheaper than motorboating”. In the last 2 years I have spent well over 30000 euros re-rigging and upgrading my sailing systems onmy 25 yr old 43ft boat. In maybe 2-3 years she will need a new mainsail and foresail which will be another 10-15000 euro. Honestly the cheapest way to be at sea is a single screw light displacement powerboat Dashew style but smaller. Simple is cheap with boats and a single motor on a bathtub is as simple as it gets.
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