Originally Posted by markpierce
Some people have mistakenly called my boat a motorsailer. It is pure motor vessel, however. The sails are to help stabilize the boat during certain wave and wind conditions. They can add half a knot of speed with a decent beam wind if operating at less than hull speed.
As others have said, that's a nice and interesting vessel.
If I were you, I would try to get more sail power out of that rig.
In stronger winds, you need very little sail area to get all the drive a displacement
hull can use.
Almost no cruiser goes upwind seriously anyway, so you will hardly miss upwind ability.
I have worked hard and spent a lot of money
making my boat capable of making miles upwind -- making her a good sailing vessel. I spent more than $50,000 on carbon fiber sails and have done a lot of work
optimizing the rig. My goal is to be able to make good 5 knots dead upwind in true wind up to 25 knots or so. I don’t know yet whether I’ve achieved it. Sails like these have useful life of maybe 10,000 miles, so $5/mile – could buy a lot of diesel fuel
Wiser people than me just motor, or stay in port, if the wind doesn’t allow for a nice reach or run – “gentlemen don’t go to weather” (final proof that I’m not a gentleman
). So in my opinion, nearly all of our boats are motor sailers, and we just pretend that they’re sailboats. Maybe if we stopped pretending, we could invent a better paradigm for a cruising boat.
Maybe something like this:
1. Much more power, enough to power upwind. I have 100 horsepower for 25 tons loaded – so 200 horsepower? Tankage to match – 2000 liters for a boat my size?
2. Give up optimizing the rig for windward work
. That means you can have a ketch
3. If you’ve given up optimizing for windward work, you can also relax a bit with the keel
, which can be longer and shallower. Don’t go overboard
, though, and don’t pig up the boat making it overweight. Efficient sailboat hulls are good for efficient motoring, too – see Wind Horse. Keep it as light and narrow as possible.
4. You reduce sail area compared to a pretend “pure sailing boat”, and this only hurts you in lower wind ranges. You will actually sail better in stronger wind with less sail area and a shorter rig. In light wind just add Dr. Diesel
. But don’t go overboard
with reducing sail area like many “motor sailers”. I think about 14 or 15 is the right SA/D, maybe even 13, but then you need a big light downwind sail for light days when you don’t feel like motoring.
Add a pilothouse, and wouldn’t that be a dandy long-distance cruising vessel?
Alternatively, you can just buy a catamaran
, which are superb motorboats right out of the box because of the lack of ballast and very efficient narrow hulls. And redundant power.
I’m still pushing my boat to be a superb true sailing vessel, capable of making thousands of miles upwind when needed, so not quite ready for either of these solutions, but I toy with these ideas. Someday I will get tired of bashing upwind heeled over, I am betting.