Originally Posted by sailorthing
I have a Downeaster 38 without a motor and I'm trying to decide if I would be able to live and cruise in it without installing a motor. Anybody's thoughts? please don't answer if you actually don't know what you're talkin about.
That could be quite a challenge. IOW, sometimes fun, most of the time, not, at least while trying to get in and out of a harbor. Some marinas, such as mine, explicitly prohibit docking/undocking under sail alone in the lease
. Certainly experience and skill would help, but I wouldn't do it. If you normally keep your boat on a mooring, or anchored out, and dinghy in to the dock, maybe yeah. Maybe. There would be times when lack of wind or too much wind would keep you hanging on the ball when you would really rather be sailing. Can you live with that?
Also what about your electrical
? Do you have a nice spread of solar panels
? Genset? I wouldn't count on a wind charger
to supply all your electrical
An outboard would not be very practical for that boat, I don't think LOL! Something smaller with a lower transom might be a good candidate for a good outboard mount and a long shaft OB. Then again, I have seen stranger things.
I really think you "need" a proper engine. Used/rebuilt is tricky. You have to know you aren't buying
someone else's problems. New, well I would look into what Beta has in the desired power rating. If you have a genset already, you MIGHT think about electric
but the usual 5 to 12kw motor will be pretty marginal for your fairly heavy boat and you will still be back to needing a decent window for maneuvering in close quarters. And if you aren't something of an engineer
who can design his own system, well, the turnkey systems can cost as much as a diesel
, worst case scenario.
Using your dink and a strong-ish outboard as your personal tugboat is more what I would consider an emergency
expedient solution. Better than no propulsion
at all, yeah, but you will need a bit of practice and a good crew. Pretty iffy trying to dock a boat alone, with a dinghy made up on the hip. You have to be in three places at once. I am sure you would quickly work
out a system but TBH if it was me I would ever be reluctant to cast off and go sailing.
I understand you really want to do this, and yeah I know a hundred years ago you would almost certainly not have an engine in a boat that size, but reluctantly I would have to advise against it. Get a diesel
installed, is my suggestion, unless you know a lot about EP and understand its limitations and how to install, optimize, and troubleshoot the system.
What engine was originally installed? Just wondering. Well, not just wondering. You could keep your ear to the ground for the same model and same mount setup, and maybe you could do the installation
yourself? I am assuming the main reason you are thinking about going engineless is due to cost.