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Old 11-06-2012, 16:57   #31
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Re: Cruisers V General sailors... a world of difference?

I used to sail no matter what. As I've gotten mellower, read gray, tend to use the engine more. Still will sail if I can but if I'm an hour out of port and the sun is getting low in the sky, will definitely fire up the iron jib.
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Old 11-06-2012, 17:15   #32
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Lazy for sure. We will not bother to open zippers for main and mizzen for just a 5nm trip, but might unfurl the jib if I think of it in time....

This is just an answer/comment; not interested in arguing or dealing with the trolls
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Old 11-06-2012, 17:33   #33
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One of the mantras I teach my racing crews is that anyone with the right tactics can win if the true wind is above say 12-15 knots. Winners can win in 5 knots. The discipline of racing should make one much more aware of what conditions are developing and what conditions one can expect in the next 30-45 minutes. Newer racers are sometimes amazed by my "wizardry" when After a 30 minute drift i predict wind in the next 15 and it happens.

The point is time. Sometimes I look at crew and they all want to bag it and motor home. I tell them the cut off is when we can't finish the race in the remaining race time. If there is time on the race clock we drift.

In passage making it is similar and I am with Hud. There is a planned arrival time with a planned passage speed. The passage speed considers currents, predicted wind and boat speed. If we drift a while the trigger here becomes a combination of clock and crew, it is always stinking hot here. When there is no relative wind over the deck it gets uncomfortable fast, I have no qualms making prop turns for 4-5 knots.

On long range passages one must also think about diesel consumption and pick the windows in which one motors. Motor sailing through the doldrums makes a lot of sense.

And there are times when we will go out and just motor for a couple of hours. There are some cool sights and coves around here. Sailing in and out of them is possible but at the expense of actually being able to look at the shore and sight see due to the the need to pay attention to sailing. Nothing wrong with taking advantage of the fact that one has both a sailing machine and a motor boat. Drinks and snacks in the cockpit, Otto driving, good friends and a family of monkeys on the shore - a nice day out...
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Old 11-06-2012, 17:43   #34
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Re: Cruisers V General sailors... a world of difference?

Yesterday my friends and I had a great sail. We had nothing better to do for the afternoon and we had nowhere we needed to be. It was good weather, good fun and great conversations. We even went 2.2 knots without firing up the engine. Sailed on and off the mooring. The engine was in working order. We just didn't use it. That is much different than trying to make it from Kailua-Kona to Honolulu and being in the lee of Maui. Anything below 3 knots and I fired up the engine.
Different scenario requires different responses. At one point in my life I would have drifted around for several hours waiting for the wind to fill in but now I don't.
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Old 11-06-2012, 18:14   #35
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Re: Cruisers V General sailors... a world of difference?

Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
It amuses me to see so many motorboats with sticks as well, but to each his own. If you're in it for the destination (as many are), or really don't like the sailing part, then getting there as fast as possible makes perfect sense. As for me, I guess I'm still in the "young and immature" category. I've happily sat many days in anchorages waiting for wind, and am usually content to do even 1kn under sail rather than 6 with the iron genny.

For me, "cruising" is about avoiding firm schedules and plans. If I don't have to be anywhere in particular, and have lots of time to get there, then it doesn't matter when I arrive.

Of course, I do realize this is not always possible. If it's a sloopy sea with no wind, then on comes the engine. When coastal cruising (which is what we do nearly 95% of the time) I want to have the hook down before all light is lost. Sometimes this necessitates a diesel boost. And if I'm running from nasty weather it's full-throttle on the ol' Perkins if need be.

But the main reason for people motoring around here is that they have to get somewhere, sometime.

There are lots of good comments in this thread, but perhaps Mike above comes closest to our thoughts...altho we might be flattering ourselves with the 'young' part of "young and immature"!

We also agree with Dreaming Yachtsman...

"What, though, is the story on people motoring downwind when they could have very easily deployed the furling jib and made nearly the same speed quieter? Must have seen that happen a dozen times... "

We might class ourselves as cruisers who love sailing; that seems to suggest it's cruising first, then sailing second. We do, however, absolutely love passage-making under sail and we do NOT like listening to the diesel(s). So we tend toward low speed estimates in our passage planning so that we can almost always afford to continue under sail when the wind drops. Our minimum acceptable speed is probably <3kn, but we have also drifted when there was no reason to spend the money on fuel and assault our eardrums.

It helps too that we travel in comfort. For us that means lots of things...and anyone curious about those 'things' can look at our website ( to satify their curiousity!
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Old 11-06-2012, 20:20   #36
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Re: Cruisers V General sailors... a world of difference?

Fun factor has a lot to do with how I sail.
If I am having more fun sailing than I will have when I arrive at my next island/ bay/ port/ country... I sail. If I have strong reason the think I'll have more fun when I arrive I'll probably motor sail longer runs and just motor short ones.

Of course lots of other factors come into play. Arrival time and weather are always overrider's on what I like to do.
I prefer a sailboat to a motorboat, and it is my belief that boat sailing is a finer, more difficult, and sturdier art than running a motor.
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Old 11-06-2012, 20:48   #37
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Re: Cruisers V General sailors... a world of difference?

Well no one can call me young ! by any standard. But if the sails fill or at least don't slat and stuff bang and bump I sail !! I don't care how slow as long as Im not doing damage to my sails and rig I sail! UNLESS I want to make an anchorage or landing before dark or with a tide I sail! if the above things are about to happen I motor and don't mind a bit doing it ! But you see Im one of those go cheap cruisers, dont like to buy new stuff if I can prevent it !! I made a set of Hong Kong made dacron Lug sails last over 20 yrs!! By not hurting them by letting them slat when the wind was to low to sail properly even with big course changes!! I like to save my diesel for my Genny LOL cus we do love our goodies!! But we very seldom day sail we mostly are going somewhere that takes a few days to get to !! Just an old guys 2 cents
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Old 11-06-2012, 23:49   #38
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Re: Cruisers V General sailors... a world of difference?

I think there are quite a few generalizations going on here. I crewed on a Santa Cruz 27 where the skipper was soooo angst to try to win a frigging beer can race all the time reminding us (probably more him) that this was a fun race. I thought he was going to pop a gasket! Then another racer (California Fame) took me out and patiently showed me the ropes as it were. He was also a cruiser but usually did the single-handed Trans-pac.
I've been with "nervous nellies" on cruising boats who thought the Ocean was going to shallow them whole and others who were kick back and good teachers. I think it comes down to more about people themselves rather than their pursuits.
What does it matter if a cruiser wants to motor all the time? It's none of my business.
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Old 12-06-2012, 05:12   #39
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Re: Cruisers V General sailors... a world of difference?

Originally Posted by rognvald View Post
There is no difference between cruisers and sailors. There is, however, a difference between those that sail for the love of sailing and those that employ sailing as a means to an end: namely, achieving scheduled travel destinations.(...)
So it is. And I noticed at times people migrate from one band to the other too!

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Old 12-06-2012, 05:23   #40

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Re: Cruisers V General sailors... a world of difference?

Originally Posted by Piglet View Post
Here's my rule of thumb. I sail when I want and motor when I want. Someone diagnose my psyche please.
I believe it the classic symptom of "aversion to motor sailing".
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Old 12-06-2012, 05:36   #41

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Re: Cruisers V General sailors... a world of difference?

I'm a general cruising sailor. When I was younger I sailed all the time, the more sail up, the better. As time went by I found that sailing could be enhanced by motoring for various reasons (mentioned above). Lately, I find motor-sailing to be efficient. Even more so if it is just the roller furling jib and motor combination. I rationalize it as being OK: thinking I may fall off the boat while I am up on deck trying to tie down the mainsail or something. Just so I don't get to the point where I simply leave the boat tied to the dock all of the time. I confess that my recent trip across the Okeechobee waterway to Fort Myers was motorsailing.
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:16   #42
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Re: Cruisers V General sailors... a world of difference?

Deck Officer brings up another good point..

Just a short time ago, boaters traveled with ice instead of refrigerators, a sextant instead of a chartplotter and a rain catcher or jerry jug instead of a watermaker... Some people still do and enjoy it.

Sailing has changed drastically over the last twenty years... It has allowed more and more people to live the dream, in comfort and for the most part cheaply.

Are sailors today better or worse?

IMHO when the choice is use an outhouse or indoor toilet, I will take modern conveniences over tradition any time...
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:42   #43
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Re: Cruisers V General sailors... a world of difference?

i sail until the wind drops below 10 kts, at which time i am making about 1/5, if that, kts over ground....when i lose steerage i turn on the diesel....sometimes i make 100 miles in a day...sometimes doesnt matter to m how many imake because the reward is going to be that i did it.....
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Old 12-06-2012, 07:07   #44
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Re: Cruisers V General sailors... a world of difference?

"Sailing" is only about 25% of "cruising". "Cruising", more than anything... requires ANCHORING SKILLS, which many "sailors" don't have much of.

Along with more navigation skills... "Cruising" also requires a self sufficient lifestyle, (like fishing skills), and weather forecasting / planning skills, along with storm & hurricane survival skills, boat maintenance skills, first aid skills, (preferably competent in other languages), and a humble/tolerant attitude toward the countries you plan to visit!

The best "sailors" I've ever seen were in TTSA in Trinidad, and Annapolis MD. (Both were a VERY highly skilled lot indeed!) In both cases, however, their total lack of consideration toward the anchored out "cruisers", and passing by within 1", ON PURPOSE, would make them the worst possible candidates for "cruising".

Besides all of the "skills" and personality traits mentioned, good "cruisers" are quiet, kind, considerate, friendly, and helpful to one another. This is what makes it such a wonderful lifestyle, for the right type, of coarse...

Its not for everybody!

"Let us be kind to one another, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle".
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Old 12-06-2012, 07:27   #45
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Re: Cruisers V General sailors... a world of difference?

Living in Abaco we see a constant stream of charter cats motoring downwind with the exhaust blowing into the cockpit. They would go faster sailing but are either too lazy to yank out the roller furling jib or simply "afraid". I cannot figure it out!!
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