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TR
12-21-2009, 07:33 PM
Sailing with no engine?
Don raised a question in the restoring Carlotta thread regarding the recent presentation by Stephen and family here in Silva Bay. Stephen has built two 18’ sweeps for Carlotta and they plan (at least for now) on having no propulsion engine or internal combustion generator. Carlotta is a 50’ heavy displacement pilot cutter, no small thing to row! But she has been sailing for many years with no engine, also with no through hull fittings. The concept of cruising and full time living aboard a fairly large vessel with minimal systems causing minimal impact has continued to generate much discussion here.

As a designer I thoroughly enjoy re-examining the givens, throwing out our foregone assumptions. Most folks contemplating larger vessels assume inboard diesel power, perhaps a generator for battery charging, and numerous through hulls to service various systems. What happens when you decide to sail without all that?

The obvious immediate positives to leaving out the propulsion engine……
1)More interior space…..elimination of the awkward engine box and fuel tanks, often positioned in the best (central) part of the boat.
2)Less weight up high in the boat, possibly more weight in the ballast keel.
3)Less drag…..no prop or strut hanging under the boat.
4)No nasty hole in the rudder (for the full keels in the crowd).
5)No drips from the stuffing box…perhaps even a dry bilge.
6)No concerns about where to route the exhaust pipe and worries about cooling system through-hull fittings.
7)Far less expense in first cost and in long term maintenance.
8)Elimination of reliance on a system that may quit at an awkward moment.
9)Elimination of visits to the fuel dock….more money for other things.
10)Elimination of noise, vibration, smoke, and stink, etc. created when running the engine.
11)Lowering of concern over your use of irreplaceable fossil fuels and your addition to global warming (smaller footprint?).
12)Elimination of expectations about meeting a schedule….you now have a good excuse for being a month late!

The obvious immediate negatives to having no main engine…….
1)Safety…..if I get into trouble how do I get out?
2)Fewer battery charging options.
3)Less ability to meet any schedule.
4)Limited mobility….there may be places that become hard or impossible to get to.



I'll look at some of these in more detail in my next posting.....

rbgarr
12-21-2009, 07:51 PM
The advantage of a dry bilge is one that really appeals to me. Taliesin and Seraffyn each had dry bilges and it was an eye-opener for me.

davidagage
12-21-2009, 07:58 PM
Spirit, Sistership to our Black Spirit, sailed the west coast, San Francisco Bay, Multiple Transpacs, thru the Panama Canal, accross to the UK, Fastnet, and much more without any motor or mechanical systems to speak of. All this in a 33' 14K pound sloop.:D

darroch
12-21-2009, 08:11 PM
Thanks TR - I'm all ears...:cool:

Chip-skiff
12-21-2009, 08:24 PM
I've never had an engine of any sort, but then I've never owned a boat longer than 15 ft. Paddles or oars have been my auxiliary power, but about 90% of my sailing is daysailing, with a trailer as home port.

As the size/displacement of the boat increases, and the time/space involved in your cruising ambitions, so does the need for an engine. There's more chance of having to fight a foul wind or current, or push on through bad sailing weather. Yacht harbours are no longer set up for pure sailing. If you're going to be using short-term slips and other congested facilities, you'd better have an engine.

outofthenorm
12-21-2009, 08:42 PM
I'm looking forward to your thoughts on this TR. I'd like to hear your opinion on yawl boat set-ups as a viable alternative.


- Norm

GregW
12-21-2009, 09:10 PM
All over the Indian ocean one can still see sailing dhows, some quite large, 60ft or so, with no engines, just one huge lateen sail.
However I've also seen some of these large dhows with outboard engines that are lowered and raised amidships and held in place with a variety of lines fore and aft. I wish I had some photos, quite ingenious and seemed to work quite well.

Lincoln C
12-21-2009, 09:33 PM
also with no through hull fittings. The concept of cruising and full time living aboard a fairly large vessel with minimal systems causing minimal impact has continued to generate much discussion here.

No through-hulls implies a lot more than no engine. Large sump/ holding tanks for head, sinks, shower, icebox, bilge pumps, etc? Or hoses hanging over rail? Salt water pumped aboard into day tank?

No depth sounder, log...

Interested to hear how those systems work.

Woxbox
12-21-2009, 09:52 PM
One of the things that spooks me about no engine is that it also means no brakes. When the traffic gets dense in close quarters, I'll leave the engine on idle just in case. Once in awhile, it's more than handy.

John B
12-21-2009, 10:04 PM
We sailed Waione for 7 years without a motor.. using her regularly every weekend and holiday. 41 ft about 8.5 tons.
It suits a boat kept on a mooring more than a marina berth .. we'd periodically go into marinas but that was on special occasions for work or hauling etc and we'd gear up a bit more that. An anchor is your brake and handbrake turn.
Mooring fields are are lot tighter now than they were in the good ole days.
Negatives.. getting there? not so bad , the breeze would always fill in at some stage during the day or evening.

Lee shore. You plan for that but even having said that my most frightening time was rounding cape Brett in 15knots with some big Northerly swells .. as we rounded the breeze dropped away to nothing and the swells began to wash us in.

storm anchoring... you have to get that right because you don't have many options for moving in 50 knots.

Best addition , best thing I ever did when sailing no motor was fit a depth sounder because you could keep good way on as you sussed out an anchorage .

Ian McColgin
12-21-2009, 10:32 PM
Depending on where you're going and what you're doing. Donald Street certainly had a lovely pian to no engine which I found true when Goblin's engine died. I really suck as a mechanic so I took it out and removed the prop. Added a knot to her speed. Granuaile also eventually had no engine. So I couldn't legally go through the Cape Cod Canal?

It's true that seamanlike use of power, often with sail, can make a difference in certain storm and survival situations and - most here know that I routinely brought Goblin (12 ton 43' Alden schooner), Granuaile (20 ton 55' Marco Polo) on and off docks, moorings and anchors when their engines had died, and of course it's easy with Marmalade though her engine works and I do it under sail to stay sharp. I am convinced that on average power gets more people deeper into trouble than if they learned - perhaps with some minor contratemps along the way - to do it under sail.

Nonetheless, I at this time think I'll keep Marmalade powered becasue I'd like to sail around New England Plus - Down East, up the St Lawrence, the canal to Champlain and on to the Hudson, up the Sound and home. A good deal of that absolutely means a motor and any chance of doing it in a season with a slow catboat pretty much means motor sailing whenever the wind's light or against.

What it comes down to - living without the motor has many huge advantages financial, lifestyle, and at one with the sea. Having the motor may or may not be the right thing, depending.

G'luck

Otto49
12-21-2009, 10:49 PM
Here is a link to a website called www.furledsails.com , with an interesting discussion (audio) on enginless sailing http://www.furledsails.com/article.php3?article=773

Barry

SV Papillon
12-21-2009, 11:11 PM
Some of the issues could be compensated for with a tender and motor. I do think the idea of independence is a little false. In this day if you leave for long term cruising with no power you will be doing so depending on the motorised help of others at some point. maybe no more than those with power but independent no. This is fine but the idea of skipping across the water on little "green" slippers is sort of false, especially when the 50hp 2 stoke belching panga is pulling you off the unmarked channel to the lagoon. We have some notable and one "notorious" engine-less cruisers and it all seems to work. As to the no thru hulls, ice box bottled water the big ones, and comp head.

So Tad, If the criteria was
long term cruising for a small fam
2 staterooms
head
main cabin
what rig?
How big would it have to be to be comfortable?
What type of construction?
How much?

It would be a amazing feat to come up with a design that could meet the determined criteria and be safely home built for a reasonable cost. Maybe spur a new generation like the late 70's.
"Go cruising for under $$ ?????? !!!"

Jake

TimH
12-21-2009, 11:54 PM
Peter Tangvald was one of the more famous anti engine sailors. His books are excellent. Unfortunately he is not with us. He didnt have an engine when he needed it.

PeterSibley
12-22-2009, 12:00 AM
The Pardeys are and seem to have been quite succesful in their venture .

2MeterTroll
12-22-2009, 12:38 AM
its a boat they been around with no engine far longer than engines been around.

no amount of power in the worlds gonna make up for bad seamenship; and you are not gonna get real good if you dont have to IMO.

Hwyl
12-22-2009, 01:15 AM
What kind of sailing does Stephen intend to do with Carlotta?

For long distance stuff an engine is nice. I remember reading something by the wife of the builder of the Spray replica Scud, about how painful it was to sail past beautiful Pacific atolls because they would have needed an engine to get in or out.

I've witnessed "Screechy" Donn Street many times warp IOlare into the docks, always an imposition on those around him.

paladin
12-22-2009, 02:15 AM
I did 2 circumnavigations with NO engine...the dink had a 2-4 hp that was never used with the big boat...(boats were 31 and 38 feet).....and many times I have sailed the 44 footer down the channel ( Herrington Harbor, Md.) and parked her in her slip by throwing the helm over and backwinding the sails.....and never a bump on the hull (although it did get some attention and folks waiting for the crash..)

wizbang 13
12-22-2009, 02:23 AM
The former owner of Carlotta used a skiff alongside regularly with a decent sized OB. The Pardys have accepted tows. That not being engineless, it's using someone elses engine.

rbgarr
12-22-2009, 04:36 AM
I sail a boat with no through-hulls (not a cruising boat though) and feel much safer. Tacktick has come out with wireless solar powered instruments that monitor the usual things a sailor can use. There's alot of simplicity and flexibility inherent in that approach. They are becoming more widely spec'd now that they are proving out: http://www.tacktick.com/page.home

Ian McColgin
12-22-2009, 06:10 AM
As I recall his son's account, Tangvald's death was not due to having no engine. He may have had a stroke or seizure. Whatever, the wind was fine and the big boat with Tangvald and his daughter was towing the son's boat.

Having more sail is certainly a good idea. I've been playing with the notion that if I ever break Marmalade's mast I'll make the new one enough larger that I can pick up about 100 square feet and sail 95% of the time at new first reef (the current 550 sq ft) or less. But then, is it worth it. Marmalade is not so under-rigged.

The main problem with light air sailing, at least for us, is not sail area but other boat wakes. A couple of weeks ago Marmalade and I went out in a genuine drifter. As in so slow that on a broad reach the sheet was in the water and the clear still water showed no wake. But we were moving as a good 1/10th knot. It was really fun. After a while we got up some real speed and managed a half mile across behind the Hyannis Port breakwall in about 3/4th of an hour. Can't do anything like that in the summer when boat traffic leaves constant motion that shakes the air out of the sails.

Bill Huson
12-22-2009, 06:16 AM
A boat of the general size under discussion would be very hard to row. I can see the scene: USCG doing a routine inspection asks, "What is your alternate means of propulsion?" Skipper of engineless sailboat holds up a paddle. USCG folks glance at the rather humongous multi-ton sailboat and double over in laughter.

PeterSibley
12-22-2009, 06:20 AM
The former owner of Carlotta used a skiff alongside regularly with a decent sized OB. The Pardys have accepted tows. That not being engineless, it's using someone elses engine.

It is being engineless when you aren't being towed .That would seem reasonably obvious .Perhaps 99.99% of the time ? :rolleyes:

Woxbox
12-22-2009, 07:38 AM
.
..and many times I have sailed the 44 footer down the channel ( Herrington Harbor at Deal, Md.) and parked her in her slip by throwing the helm over and backwinding the sails.....and never a bump on the hull (although it did get some attention and folks waiting for the crash..)

Chuck -- that's getting home. But how did you get back out into the bay if the wind was coming straight down the channel? Among other things, sailing without an engine requires time and patience. Sometimes, lots of time.

johngsandusky
12-22-2009, 08:08 AM
I sailed and cruised a 26' yawl rigged Friendship for several years in LI Sound. I enjoyed the challenge and the romance. But many of the "harbors" on the Connecticut side are small rivers, lined with moorings. Not a place to sail into for the first time. It does restrict your sailing destinations, also your days. Light breezes tend to fail completely. I occasionally had to row that four ton boat, maybe up to a mile. I wouldn't want to row it seven miles, or drift all night in mid-sound, or try to anchor in 200' depths. On light air days I stayed ashore or close to shore. I didn't mind the few times I was becalmed for hours. I also didn't go out much on weekends, due to boat traffic in a narrow inlet. Coastal cruising is more demanding of an engine than offshore. Inlets, canals, tight mooring fields are where you need power. Had my current boat (a sixteen ton ketch) been engineless, she'd still be in the south.
Still, I miss the other boat too, and smile when I read the log.

StevenBauer
12-22-2009, 09:01 AM
Are you thinking of going engineless with the Cogge?



Steven

Roger Long
12-22-2009, 09:09 AM
I love my engine, almost as much as my sails. Of course, my professional career is 99% power craft which may be one reason why I enjoy being one of them when conditions don't favor sailing. I never was much good at sitting around as you can tell from my cruise tracks.

perldog007
12-22-2009, 09:47 AM
This is something I want to learn. At this point not planing on doing any long distance cruising. Maybe someday a spin around the Delmarva Peninsula. Here in Delaware sail and oar boats don't require registration.

How does that work if you sail to a place that requires boats like yours to be registered?

TimH
12-22-2009, 10:01 AM
As I recall his son's account, Tangvald's death was not due to having no engine. He may have had a stroke or seizure. Whatever, the wind was fine and the big boat with Tangvald and his daughter was towing the son's boat.



I read that also. Whatever happened we will never know. His son said he saw Peter standing in the companionway as the boat went on the reef.
We dont know for sure an engine would have save them, but its possible that if Peter was too disabled to handle the sails an engine might have helped.
He was definately quite a character.

To me an engine gives more in the way of peace of mind than it takes away with all of its faults.

And some marinas have a no sailing in the marina rule.
On a daysailer where you can pick and choose your conditions Id be fine without an engine. For a world cruise I think I want all the options I can get.

2MeterTroll
12-22-2009, 10:27 AM
At one time there was a way to move these big boats around in a handy way. they did have sculls you could drive the boat and it didnt take three men and a boy to do so.

I dont like an inboard engine; i loved my thrust masters and will stick to something i can get out of the water when not in use and when in use i have 360 deg rotation. if i must have fixed then i dont want it in the boat either. seen and fought too many engine room fires to ever want one in my house again. only time for the motor is in the tight quarters we have now, but dont kid yourselves that you cant sail rivers those ports way up the creeks are not new and they had ship traffic in there day. we had sail boats sailing to myrtle point to pick up logs and they had to fight a heavy fast current. the coquille river is not exactly wide.

so my question would be what did our great great grand fathers know about sailing that we dont? they sailed up the rivers what did we loose when the engine became king?

johngsandusky
12-22-2009, 11:16 AM
Our Great Grandfathers sailed in a world with far far fewer vessels in it. They took the time to wait for favorable conditions because they had to.

wtarzia
12-22-2009, 11:21 AM
Perhaps I missed it, but is an electric motor (lowered like outboard, not through-hull) and option if a boat carries a generator anyway? But perhaps you are talking about a heavy reliance on the 19th century? (and that's fine with me, I am not questioning anyone's philosophy of life).

Perhaps it is a problem, that you only need a small generator to charge a few things, and that would not be large enough to power an electric motor of any use to a boat larger than 20 feet or so? And a large generator for only occasionally elevtric motor use would be a big annoyance? I do not know much about electricity issues.

I was told once than even a 2 horse-power motor is more powerful than even a couple of human rowers. A 4-stroke Honda 2 hp with integral fuel tank seems small enough to be hardly an annoyance, and could be broken out when approaching marinas?

(I confess I own a 2 hp Honda bought to power my outrigger up rivers, but I bought it out of ignorance that the laws changed since I first used an outboard when I was young, and now you need all this crap such as a license and a hull-number and title (my boat is home-built), all complications that have kept the motor in my basement so far! :-( -- Wade

2MeterTroll
12-22-2009, 12:56 PM
Our Great Grandfathers sailed in a world with far far fewer vessels in it. They took the time to wait for favorable conditions because they had to.

no insult mate but that waiting may be something we might want to learn again.

days of the butter fly fleet there where a whole lot more boats then these days. Empire, winchester, newport, cushmen. etc. where packed with boats far more than i have seen in my life and the fleet was not exactly small when i was a kid.

TimH
12-22-2009, 01:03 PM
I was told once than even a 2 horse-power motor is more powerful than even a couple of human rowers. A 4-stroke Honda 2 hp with integral fuel tank seems small enough to be hardly an annoyance, and could be broken out when approaching marinas?

(I confess I own a 2 hp Honda bought to power my outrigger up rivers, but I bought it out of ignorance that the laws changed since I first used an outboard when I was young, and now you need all this crap such as a license and a hull-number and title (my boat is home-built), all complications that have kept the motor in my basement so far! :-( -- Wade

I have a 2 hp Honda on a removable bracket like this

http://www.rigrite.com/Hardware/Motor_Brackets/_derived/SP_outboard_mtr_mnt.html_txt_mtr-mnt-transom-1.gif

The only problem with this setup is once the waves get about 4' the outboard has a tendency to be out of the water as much as in.

Robmill0605
12-22-2009, 01:43 PM
I sailed a no engine 26ft. sloop into the fuel dock here in Ft. Myers fl. one summer to get fuel for the dink outboard.
The frantic waving, yelling, and screaming from the Dock Master as I dropped the sail and ghosted into the dock right behind a powerboat was a sight to behold.
He came unglued about sailing into " his" dock, and " just what the hell did I think I was doing". blah blah blah.
The fact that it was a perfect landing as I backed the sail .didn't impress him any.....

TR
12-22-2009, 02:59 PM
Whew.....30+ replies over night....I'll never reply to all but thank you for your thoughts and experiences.

Personally I'm on the fence....I'm going to be sailing about in a fairly large vessel, a 50' heavy displacement gaff ketch (the exact rig is also up for some discussion). There is currently no engine installed, but there are engine beds, a shaft with bearings and stuffing box, and propeller in aperture. I also own an antique 4-53 Detroit diesel engine.........but I dither about installing it. Do I really need this thing? Could we manage without it? How? And what happens when we do get into a bad spot?

I'm not afraid of the engine.....I probably have more hours running powerboats than under sail. Thus I do know something of the effort required to install and maintain the beast. But for how long will I even be able to afford to buy diesel fuel anyway?

The options seem more viable for smaller boats, there is a 35' gaff cutter which sails out of Silva Bay with no engine. He singlehands with just a single large sweep and great knowledge of wind and tide. Plus he often appears or disappears in the night. Cresset (41' by 10') is also in the bay, she was launched in 1929 with no engine and sailed for a number of years without. Her current engine is rather tired and may come out soon with no replacement in sight.

I also have a (sometimes) tug in the form of Ratty, our longboat with her 5HP outboard. I grew up on tugs and love to tow stuff anyway.....Ratty can move the cogge in a flat calm at a reasonable rate...add tide and we're moving. Obviously the 5HP is not going to tow the big boat out of a real jamb, but with Ratty one can lay out more anchors quickly.

paladin
12-22-2009, 03:03 PM
Chuck -- that's getting home. But how did you get back out into the bay if the wind was coming straight down the channel? Among other things, sailing without an engine requires time and patience. Sometimes, lots of time.

...and lotsa practice....
Got out the same way......Went down some "one way fiords" in Iceland under sail...and out the same way....with lotsa tacking......at Herrington Harbor there's not much tacking room.....but the wind is generally off the bay and the channel is parallel to the shore....they did ask me to cease and desist before someone else tried it and they had a crash...

sailboy3
12-22-2009, 03:03 PM
I sailed a no engine 26ft. sloop into the fuel dock here in Ft. Myers fl. one summer to get fuel for the dink outboard.
The frantic waving, yelling, and screaming from the Dock Master as I dropped the sail and ghosted into the dock right behind a powerboat was a sight to behold.
He came unglued about sailing into " his" dock, and " just what the hell did I think I was doing". blah blah blah.
The fact that it was a perfect landing as I backed the sail .didn't impress him any.....

Ha! I love it. :D

slidercat
12-22-2009, 03:04 PM
One thing that may not be obvious to those who usually sail with an engine is the sense of connection to the watery world that develops after a few days out cruising without one. You feel much more a part of your environment. An analogy might be sleeping under the stars instead of under a roof. No doubt there are disadvantages to both, but these are worthwhile things to try. I don't think promising yourself not to use your engine is comparable to not having one, because when you don't have one, you look at everything in a very different light.

There is definitely a great sense of accomplishment, too. You're doing something that few sailors even attempt, any more. Where I live along the Florida Gulf, I see a lot of cruising sailboats passing through, transiting the Gulf Intracoastal, and it's remarkable how many are under power, even with good favorable winds and 30 miles of open bay to sail. On a weekend afternoon, if the wind falls light, I can look around the bay and see a dozen sailboats powering along; Slider will be the only sailboat trying to ghost.

Nice discussion!

KAIROS
12-22-2009, 04:00 PM
...I don't think promising yourself not to use your engine is comparable to not having one, because when you don't have one, you look at everything in a very different light.

There is definitely a great sense of accomplishment, too....

Yes, different perspective and sense of accomplishment, and through time (with enough success) a marked increase in confidence and understanding. We shouldn't equate an engine with security. They fail and by definition, right when we 'need' them. And we need one, usually, if we've been using one.

My sailing environs now are characterized by channels with strong tidal currents and light winds. The Pardeys didn't cruise areas like this by choice. But, I choose to live and sail here and a dependable engine seems essential now. The only alternative I can imagine is a very light sailboat with lots of easily reduced sail area (a giant dingy). Unfortunately, I'm not that athletic any more. I'm making friends with my engine.

PeterSibley
12-22-2009, 04:20 PM
I very much like the idea of going engineless ,however I have developed a dread of our local highspeed ferries .They seem to assume that all and sundry have an engine to switch on ....the concept of wind alone is foreign to them .....and they move very fast .

johngsandusky
12-22-2009, 04:48 PM
Troll, I don't know where you grew up. I grew up on Long Island NY. In my childhood there were a few dozen moorings in the harbor, half of them commercial boats. The "ramp" was at a bend in the road, just a crumbly driveway going into shallow water. Now there are four lanes at the ramp, hundreds of moorings, dozens of float docks. There must be twenty times more boats in this small harbor than there were only forty years ago.
I'm not saying no one can or should sail without an engine. I did it for more than ten years in two keelboats. In and out of inlets, through NY harbor, even into a marina. But it's somewhat idealistic to pretend it doesn't limit your sailing. It limited mine. I was late for a sail parade I was supposed to be part of. Cruises were cut short at either end by lack of wind.
If the commercial sailors two hundred years ago had engines available, they would have used them. They all do now.

shaunbarrymcmillan
12-22-2009, 05:01 PM
I think that if you are sailing inside the Georgia Strait you'll eventually want power. Once I spent three hours trying to get close to Silva Bay by sail. Eventually I just used the small O/B (five hp on a locally made Contessa 26 copy).

The winds inside are just too variable -dead calms are usual occurrences often lasting 24 to 48 hours.

Outside, on the west coast of Vancouver Island, engineless sailing would likley be easier due to the off shore winds.

I would still like, myself, to sail engineless, but it means having a lot of time and no pressure to get back to a day job. Also huge light weather sails. Sweeps and sculling oar for sure.

PeterSibley
12-22-2009, 05:10 PM
What has been interesting in all the replies is that in almost every case an absolutely minimal engine ....the smallest available would have provided .Are there any 5 hp marine diesels out there ?

I have 20hp Buhk ready to go into my boat but have wonderd if the smallest possible would suffice ,less clutter ,easier to start by hand ?

outofthenorm
12-22-2009, 05:36 PM
Interesting discussion. I've sailed with and without over the years. 2 years daysailing in a 5.5 metre with only a canoe paddle, 4 years in a Folkboat with a Seagull - (which is IMO the same as or worse than having no engine) and 1 year with no working engine in my current 5 ton gaffer. I always had 3 factors in mind when in came to cruising. First was that the engine was, for many years, so unreliable that it was almost like not having one. Second was that the engine would starve of oil if it ran at any angle of heel for very long, so motor-sailing was impossible. And third, I only had a five gallon fuel tank, which meant 5-6 hours of powering max (I don't like to carry gas in loose cans). All of that meant I had to learn to sail the boat well.

What I learned is that having lot's of sail area, especially up high, is important. Keeping the bottom clean is important. Having 2 anchors that can be streamed in a heartbeat is important. Having everything well sorted and properly led so you can set sails in minutes and strike sail in seconds is very, very important.

If I was building a larger boat and was facing this, I think I would opt for a big rig, easily reefed and struck, with a well-sorted anchoring setup and derricks for a good sized inflatable with 20 or 25 HP outboard, maybe more. I would look at the fact that there would be extra space, no oil in the bilge, and I saved perhaps $20 K on a full engine installation to be enough payback for what I gave up.

- Norm

Stu Fyfe
12-22-2009, 06:05 PM
I think you have to ask yourself, do I want to face an engine-less challenge when an emergency arises? If so, are you aware that you are quite possibly putting your fate in the hands of others, ie. Coast Guard. And could be putting others at risk. An engine is like an insurance policy and a good anchor. Nice not to have to use them, but even nicer to have when you do need them.

PeterSibley
12-22-2009, 06:09 PM
Stu ,it's not quite as cut and dried as that .I've seen so called "sailors" get into horrible trouble just because they thought their engine would get them out of a situation .

Ian McColgin
12-22-2009, 06:15 PM
I agree with Stu in principle but not in actuality because:

The time, money and energy that are devoted to having an engine that will respond to an emergency and the practiced skill to use it can be better invested in sailing skills and equipment; and

In practice people with engines allegedly for emergency manage, if it starts, to ram it in gear unthinking and wind up lines in the prop, osterize the overboard crew, and all the other horrors that go with being lazy rather than sailing.

The capeable and prudent mariner is at no greater and no lesser risk for having an engine. For that person, having the engine or not is all about the sort of sailing s/he has in mind.

The novice not having the engine is a great thing because they will be too timid to take such big risks and when they do get in trouble beond their competance it's more likely to be in generally less dangerous circumstances.

All of which is a general and perhaps snobbish impression of the jerkwater things too many sailors do when they fire up the mill, but it's surely less in plain error than those who lecture that an engine should be had and used.

Bobcat
12-22-2009, 06:32 PM
I have been a purist and sailed a boat too big to row, which had no engine. It was challenging and fun, but I found it very limiting. I once spent most of three days to cover 40 miles. I remember reading in an old Coast Pilot that sailing ships could sometimes take a week to go from Port Townsend to Cape Flattery.

If you work for a living and need to get back, you probably could use an engine.

slidercat
12-22-2009, 06:43 PM
If the commercial sailors two hundred years ago had engines available, they would have used them. They all do now.

That's true, but it's also true that commercial sailors no longer sail in wooden boats, for the most part. Most of us are probably not commercial sailors; we're looking for something other than profitable cargo or lots of fish.

Everyone's personal situation has a lot to do with the practicality of going engineless. The size of the boat is a big factor-- a 16 foot open boat can be readily paddled or rowed out of the path of a barge string, while a bigger boat may be stuck (or worse, struck.) However, when I'm sailing through a narrow dogleg on the Intracoastal in fluky winds, I stay at the downwind edge of the channel, ready to dodge onto the flat if a barge string comes around the corner suddenly-- a tactic that wouldn't work so well for a long-legged boat. Shooting bridges against the wind is always a tricky maneuver-- more than once I've had to jump on to the fender timbers to haul an engineless boat through.

I'm lucky in where I live and where I'm able to keep my boat, too, close to a big but still protected estuary. Slider is usually docked up a narrow canal that runs north and south, which leads to a bayou whose very narrow entrance runs east and west. If the winds are strong from the north, it takes two people to paddle her out against that wind. Once returning from a week-long cruise, I reached the canal entrance only to find the wind whistling out of the south so strong I couldn't paddle against it. I had to anchor in the bayou until evening before I could get home to a cold beer and a hot shower.

There are definite drawbacks to going engineless, and sailing without an engine doesn't confer any special virtue on the sailor who does it, but there are rewards. More than once I've vowed to put a little outboard on Slider, but so far the pleasures of sailing engineless have outweighed the convenience of an engine.

Here's a little video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_9IUvcBgq4&feature=channel) I made last winter. My wife and I went out on the Gulf to do a little fishing and the winds were good on the way out, but by the time we got back into the bay, the winds were hardly enough to fishscale the surface. That was at sunset, when we still had about seven miles to go to get home. The video ends with sunset, but the sail home across the bay, at no more than a knot or two at the fastest, was like a dream. Stars, feeding porpoises, dark water-- an unforgettable experience that we would never have had if we'd been carrying an engine. (Yes, I know you don't have to use an engine if you don't want to, but let's be realistic. I'd have fired that sucker right up, just as soon as the sun had gone down.)

Stu Fyfe
12-22-2009, 07:13 PM
One must also consider the OTHER sailors out there with little or no experience. Ever try to get through a narrow channel under sail with inexperienced boaters sharing the same limited space? When conditions are right, I will occasionally leave or return our small harbor under sail in my 22ft sloop. This can set many of my fellow boaters fleeing in terror, but some completely disregard the rules of the road and put you in irons or having to take drastic measures to avoid a collision. You can't even get a slip in my harbor without a motor. There's a Doughdish on the same dock as I and the town requires him to have an engine. He's got a small electric trolling motor. Never uses it, but must have it.

2MeterTroll
12-22-2009, 07:48 PM
Troll, I don't know where you grew up. I grew up on Long Island NY. In my childhood there were a few dozen moorings in the harbor, half of them commercial boats. The "ramp" was at a bend in the road, just a crumbly driveway going into shallow water. Now there are four lanes at the ramp, hundreds of moorings, dozens of float docks. There must be twenty times more boats in this small harbor than there were only forty years ago.
I'm not saying no one can or should sail without an engine. I did it for more than ten years in two keelboats. In and out of inlets, through NY harbor, even into a marina. But it's somewhat idealistic to pretend it doesn't limit your sailing. It limited mine. I was late for a sail parade I was supposed to be part of. Cruises were cut short at either end by lack of wind.
If the commercial sailors two hundred years ago had engines available, they would have used them. They all do now.

no doubt of them using an engine had it been on hand (i do note however engines where not adopted by sailors for a good while after they could have been) I grew up in oregon. We have always had a load of boats, seems to be a boat launch every couple miles in southwestern oregon. these days the diffrence is the type of boat and they new type of boater. that is a far diffrent issue but an issue that plays into your objection and i understand that.

but i dont see it as a problem as much as a pity

TR
12-22-2009, 08:17 PM
Many comments on the safety of having an engine.

Moonduster was recently lost in a storm with her engine functioning fine. On the other hand I just read an account of a sailing cruiser who saved his boat (Learnativity) in the midst of a tsunami in Pago Pago by being able to cut his lines and power away from the dock.

paladin
12-22-2009, 08:18 PM
You definitaly don't want to be tied up at a dock in Pago Pago with a storm coming, your boat will be beat to death on the pilings. Most everyone I knew cut and ran. I always headed into Cook's Bay on Moorea, if you could get through the reef. I could, but it was a bit touchy with 20-25 school kids on board. I had the biggest boat so when I went for supplies...it was always Mr. Chuck, can you please bring my son or daughter home for the week-end....(I was cheap) they had to pay the ferry......kids were usually accompanied by teachers....and they had really first class teachers, and some of them could cook.........




In my run from Tahiti in mid 1969 to Kalyfornicatia I spoke to my mommy by phone patch 2 or 3 times...she kept asking when was I going to be there, would I make it by Christmas (1st Christmas at home in 5 years). I finally got it through her head that sailboats had destinations, not Estimated times of arrivals..."But can't you turn on the motor?" "Mom, I don't have a motor!" You never could get mom (or dad) to come to Tahiti, they were dirty islands with dirty people and you couldn't convince them other wise. I would send photos, and she would deny that they were real, just something i made up to get them to visit, and then I would get lectures about stopping all the foolishness and get a real job in Oklahoma, and settle down with a wife....and she would pick one out for me....

Thorne
12-22-2009, 08:45 PM
Interesting that this thread about the old chap who 'retired' on his small sailboat to cruise Europe in the 20's & 30's mentioned several requirements for river and canal travel -- an engine and mast on a tabernacle.

http://www.woodenboat.com/forum/showthread.php?t=15894

SV Papillon
12-22-2009, 10:49 PM
Specifically on a heavy displacement boat, there is the point of how big of a aux is really effective for most of the above mentioned issues. On our last boat 36' 25,000 a 50hp would keep you barely making headway into about 35kts. Any seas and that started going backwards. I think it is a worthy point to consider that just because you have a engine doesn't mean you are nessesarily going to use it or that the annual cost will be that high. Over 2 years in Mexico I took fuel twice and that was alot compared to some. There were times I wished I had a bigger engine. In virtually all circumstances short of becalmed or emergencies sailing wins over motoring.

The issue doesn't seem as simple as engine or not but, what it's intended uses are. Those uses have there own entirely different sets of pros and cons.

johngsandusky
12-23-2009, 07:50 AM
True enough Papillion. Some have made the argument that a motor corrupts sailing. I say only as much as you let it. I too have been disappointed to see sailboats motoring long distances while the wind blew. I even crewed on such a boat once, but jumped ship. I'm more stubborn the other way. I beat into a light headwind all day to get home from an overnight cruise this past summer. Jane reminded me: "We could motor" I replied: "No, we can't".
Another requirement of going without an engine is reasonable windward ability.

bott
12-23-2009, 02:07 PM
True enough Papillion. Some have made the argument that a motor corrupts sailing. I say only as much as you let it. I too have been disappointed to see sailboats motoring long distances while the wind blew. I even crewed on such a boat once, but jumped ship. I'm more stubborn the other way. I beat into a light headwind all day to get home from an overnight cruise this past summer. Jane reminded me: "We could motor" I replied: "No, we can't".
Another requirement of going without an engine is reasonable windward ability.

And to that end, many moderately sized boats (25-35') enjoy dramatic improvements in performance after the removal of the aux. Both in speed, pointing, and maneuverability. Plus the extreme cost savings, fuel being the least of them when adding in long term maintenance...

And I think that Ian's comments at the top of this page are spot on!

TimH
12-23-2009, 02:13 PM
What about the doldrums? Would anyone want to have to use sweeps to escape?

TimH
12-23-2009, 02:15 PM
From the Hawaii thread:

Post by Wizbang13


In 95 I returned to my home in Gig Harbor, where I built the boat in 83.It is a 34' gaff ketch, a Venus design by Paul Johnson. Strip planked of Mt St Helens fir..Had at that time a new, but small (20hp) diesel. Mind you, if the engine had quit before we reached the wind we would have had a long HOT drift back to Galapagos. Being a new mill, I shut it down after 5 days for an oil change, and the little time that took was awful because we had lost our 5kn of artificial wind. We motored in a dead calm with full awnings and the tiller pilot attached to the monitor.Booby birds kept landing on the buttons of the tillerpilot, changing our course. We kept a peashooter (popcorn) in the companionway to blast them.Once the wind kicked in ,we were obligated to crack off the sheets a bit,the closer to shore, the more the wind comes north, (further out it turns east). This was the most pleasant sailing ever, staying on that close reach with all 7 sails up, not one squall in 26 days. We came in on the back of a low , long reaching in half a gale, right into Neah Bay!Now, remember the weather seems to be going wacky. 3 years ago I returned to the Caribbean, where I am now,and had headwinds all the way from San Diego to Panama.That 's not supposed to happen.We got hit by a hurricane on 17 Nov 06 (Sergio).Offshore saved a ton of wear n tear for us.

Harbormaster
12-23-2009, 02:59 PM
If the commercial sailors two hundred years ago had engines available, they would have used them. They all do now.

Having sailed for a couple of decades on boats with no engines - I have to step in here. Many of the commercial sailors around here do sail on boats with no engine, that doesn't mean that they have no alternative means of propulsion, but usually a yawlboat is more like a 5 hp engine on a 35' boat.

The difference is often personal, there are good sailors that use no engine and good ones that do. Most of it is based on a time factor. If you've got a day to go sailing, you want to be able to get back at night. If you've got a week and 6 places you want to get to, you can't do it without an engine. But if all you are doing is sailing, and who cares where you get to and when - no engine works well.

One week I sailed around Penobscot Bay and never lowered the yawlboat till I needed to get back to the dock. Anchored under sail, sailed off the hook, etc. That was what we did most of the time, but sometimes we'd need a push at the end of the day.

I figure the personality of folks with wooden boats lends itself to the same personalities of folks that can sail without engines. If you've got the time to work on a wooden boat, you're probably more interested in the sailing than the place you are going.

MaizieDerrick
12-23-2009, 03:05 PM
aloha,,speaking from experience after having sailed for many years our 72ft brigantine back in the eighties I would say there are pros and cons for both engine and none..we had three strong teenagers to help us pull up the sails and pull the boat with our pulling boat. we sailed up through to the queen charlottes, down to mexico and to new zealand,we finally did install an engine mostly due to the kids leaving home and hard to find good crew.. well yes there were close calls lots of pain in the neck moments.. i would say have an engine but hardly use it and get used to sailing like it was.t there.. i can tell you that you will miss a lot of stuff without an engine due to being cautious and also when that channel just cannot be made against the wind..when we arrived in hawaii in 83 we coudnt make keehi channel in honolulu and had to get a tow .back then things were alot cheaper and not as commercialized. now days better have a lot more money.. we finally installed a motor in honolulu, but hardly used it but it did give us a little creature comfort in those trying moments..one last thing any boat over 30 ft is heavier than you think when trying to get to an anchorage against the wind and current so better get in shape.. derrick

BarnacleGrim
12-23-2009, 06:36 PM
For open water sailing the engine is just dead weight and wasted space, but if you routinely sail where there is lots of traffic and tricky channels, the engine is a piece of safety equipment and definitely worth the trouble.

I also like to ghost around a bit in still afternoons, so I need the engine to get home when the wind dies completely. And I'm not a terribly good sailor, at least not yet.

johngsandusky
12-24-2009, 06:32 AM
"Having sailed for a couple of decades on boats with no engines - I have to step in here. Many of the commercial sailors around here do sail on boats with no engine, that doesn't mean that they have no alternative means of propulsion, but usually a yawlboat is more like a 5 hp engine on a 35' boat."

You mean the schooner fleet. I respect those guys. Have sailed aboard. But my reply about working vessels was to a post that in the past all vessels sailed without engines. The schooners are a tiny fraction of working vessels, even just on the coast of Maine. They sail because that is their purpose, not because it's the best way to travel. Like you, I have cruised with no engine (I think you visited my boat), and loved it. I just realize that there are limits.

Presuming Ed
12-24-2009, 06:46 AM
My father has many tales of drifting with the tide up and down the English Channel, unable to do anything due to a lack of wind. Not good if you have to get to work on Monday morning.

I race out of Cowes in an engineless boat. Never really a problem. Have to call the club occasionally to get a tow home when the wind craps out though. No lights, so we can't stay out all night.

Bluenose
12-25-2009, 02:53 AM
I still continue to be perplexed by this debate. I have sailed engineless for 4 or 5 years in the San Juan Island. Mostly daysails but with a new and larger boat I am looking to go further afield. I sail engineless for only one reason, I really, really love sailing. I am not a purest, I don't hate motors, and definitely don't think my choice is right and others are wrong. Sailing engineless is just the right choice for me and I just love the way a sailboat sails through the water. Powering just doesn't float my boat. No big deal, to each their own.

But I do take exception with two arguments that I often hear about sailing engineless. That it is unsafe and that it limits your sailing time.

I don't understand why a dangerous situation is more safe because a sailboat has an engine. Engine have enough of a reputation for being finicky in bad time that it seems like poor seamanship to head into a dangerous situation counting on them to be 100% reliable. Cruising books have tales of frustrating issues with repair and reliability and it is common up here to hear a number of Vessel assist calls for dead engines on a summer weekend.

My personal experience is that sailing engineless maximizes my sailing time. Because I always sail. Does it limit my potential cruising distance? Lengthen my crossing times? Prevent me from voyaging on a tight schedule? Almost certainly. But less and less as I gain experience and set my sailboat up to be a better sailing craft.

I think there have been too many sailors that have successfully sailed and cruised in a simple sailboat without an engine to say that it isn't possible. Off course it is.

But is it challenging? Yes.

And inconvenient at times? Yep.

Rewarding? Many think so.

For me, I see the challenges and inconveniences as my reason to sail. I relish in the experience of finding solutions to challenging problems. Finding a second, third, etc solution to the what-ifs. If I am planning to go somewhere and I don't make it, I know that when I do get there, I have accomplished something using my own skills.

Cheers,

Bill

rbgarr
12-25-2009, 09:23 AM
Two years ago I crewed on a very nice guy's Alerion 38, an expensive and speedy daysailer-type yacht. It has a Saildrive engine unit and as we were heading into the harbor after a race, he tried to start up the engine. No go. I volunteered to sail the boat while he and some other crew members fiddled around down below. It was very light wind and I was able to sail quietly right through the mooring field single-handed and pick up the mooring, as I've done for years with my own engineless boat. It was something I didn't give a second thought to but probably should have.

The skipper and the rest of the crew came on deck, having been unable to get the engine going to find we were on the mooring. Of course the owner was frustrated about that but I think he was also annoyed that I'd sailed his expensive boat through to the mooring. Too risky perhaps? In any case, he hasn't asked me to sail with him since.

paladin
12-25-2009, 10:01 AM
Probably too embarrassed.....I had that happen on one of the little bays/rivers around Annapolis...."why didn't you just start the engine?"
Uh...I don't have an engine starter....

KAIROS
12-25-2009, 04:11 PM
I still continue to be perplexed by this debate. I have sailed engineless for 4 or 5 years in the San Juan Island. Mostly daysails but with a new and larger boat I am looking to go further afield. I sail engineless for only one reason, I really, really love sailing. I am not a purest, I don't hate motors, and definitely don't think my choice is right and others are wrong. Sailing engineless is just the right choice for me and I just love the way a sailboat sails through the water. Powering just doesn't float my boat. No big deal, to each their own.

But I do take exception with two arguments that I often hear about sailing engineless. That it is unsafe and that it limits your sailing time.

I don't understand why a dangerous situation is more safe because a sailboat has an engine. Engine have enough of a reputation for being finicky in bad time that it seems like poor seamanship to head into a dangerous situation counting on them to be 100% reliable. Cruising books have tales of frustrating issues with repair and reliability and it is common up here to hear a number of Vessel assist calls for dead engines on a summer weekend.

My personal experience is that sailing engineless maximizes my sailing time. Because I always sail. Does it limit my potential cruising distance? Lengthen my crossing times? Prevent me from voyaging on a tight schedule? Almost certainly. But less and less as I gain experience and set my sailboat up to be a better sailing craft.

I think there have been too many sailors that have successfully sailed and cruised in a simple sailboat without an engine to say that it isn't possible. Off course it is.

But is it challenging? Yes.

And inconvenient at times? Yep.

Rewarding? Many think so.

For me, I see the challenges and inconveniences as my reason to sail. I relish in the experience of finding solutions to challenging problems. Finding a second, third, etc solution to the what-ifs. If I am planning to go somewhere and I don't make it, I know that when I do get there, I have accomplished something using my own skills.

Cheers,

Bill

I second that, Bill. Engineless is just a different way.

Jay Greer
12-25-2009, 05:27 PM
Until I purchased our H28 "Bright Star", I never had an engine in any sailboat I owned. Our other boat, "Red Witch" displaces 10,000lbs, unladen. Moving the Witch with a sweep is no big thing. Sailing sans auxiliary power teaches one to be patient, to watch the tides and weather and not to be in a hurry.

There is a standing joke amoungst our friends that, whenever Greer steps aboard a boat, the engine will automaticaly self destruct! And, that is just what happened with the engine on "Bright Star" a few months ago. I am considering building a sweep or Yuloh for the boat. I can use the engine bay to store more sails.
Jay

Todd D
12-26-2009, 10:11 AM
Just because you have an engine doesn't mean that you have to use it. I have a 36' 15,000 lb ketch. It has a 46 hp diesel, but I use it sparingly. At least 60% of my engine time is for battery charging (the boat hangs on a mooring for the season and hasn't been to a dock in years). My sailing area has some significant currents. Many times, while sailing at 2-3 knots through the water I have been going backwards over ground. In my case, the engine is used to get out of the harbor when the wind is unfavorable to sail out, or when boat orientations on adjacent moorings make it risky to sail off the mooring. I also use the engine to get back into the harbor late in the day. My wife and I have a standing joke that there is a big wind switch in the sky that is switched to off between 5 and 6 PM in the summer. So if you are not back in by then, you will be drifting with the tide for a while. Notwithstanding what I just said, I only ran my engine 23 hours last summer while sailing 70 times. Most of last summer's engine use was at the end of the season because I used the engine so little that I totally flatted the batteries in mid-August.

For me using the engine is largely a safety thing. My boat is relatively heavy and has a full keel with an attached rudder. Consequently, it doesn't tack on a dime, nor does it point all that high in light air. I generally feel the need to motor when smaller, lighter boats and fin keelers with spade rudders are still sailing. If I had a smaller, more maneuverable boat I would certainly run the engine less.

Bluenose
12-26-2009, 03:17 PM
Just because you have an engine doesn't mean that you have to use it. I have a 36' 15,000 lb ketch. It has a 46 hp diesel, but I use it sparingly. At least 60% of my engine time is for battery charging (the boat hangs on a mooring for the season and hasn't been to a dock in years). My sailing area has some significant currents. Many times, while sailing at 2-3 knots through the water I have been going backwards over ground. In my case, the engine is used to get out of the harbor when the wind is unfavorable to sail out, or when boat orientations on adjacent moorings make it risky to sail off the mooring. I also use the engine to get back into the harbor late in the day. My wife and I have a standing joke that there is a big wind switch in the sky that is switched to off between 5 and 6 PM in the summer. So if you are not back in by then, you will be drifting with the tide for a while. Notwithstanding what I just said, I only ran my engine 23 hours last summer while sailing 70 times. Most of last summer's engine use was at the end of the season because I used the engine so little that I totally flatted the batteries in mid-August.

For me using the engine is largely a safety thing. My boat is relatively heavy and has a full keel with an attached rudder. Consequently, it doesn't tack on a dime, nor does it point all that high in light air. I generally feel the need to motor when smaller, lighter boats and fin keelers with spade rudders are still sailing. If I had a smaller, more maneuverable boat I would certainly run the engine less.

I disagree with the idea of an engine as a safety device when it is the only method of doing something. I think that it was maybe the Pardey's that said sailors die because they run out of options. If some situation is only possible because you have an engine, motoring into a harbor with too little wind for your boat to sail and a contrary current, you are one lost option away from a tragedy.

I think of an engine as a convenience device, not a safety device. If you need to get into that same harbor and could sail or row in but would like to get there a bit quicker by all means fire up the engine and get her done. You still have options when you need them.

As I mentioned before I make my own choices but am just fine with others chose differently. But I am a bit saddened that many sailboat designs have transitioned from where the motor was truly an "auxiliary" to a point where the sailing qualities necessitate a working engine for basic close or light wind maneuvers.

A well designed sailboat is much more maneuverable under sail than under power. Especially in really light air and at very slow speeds. Even when the rudder isn't fully effective I can use the sails quite effectively to steer or spin the boat around.

And although I completely understand a choice for more convenience I am a bit disappointed that I don't get to see more sailboats sailing.

Cheers, Bill

Boston
12-26-2009, 05:38 PM
interesting read folks
not to many threads I read word for word but every once in a while one comes along and bends a good ear.

my personal take is I never had one on any of my old sailing craft out on the cape and we as kids used to go racing round through the channels in the salt marshes half the time without even a paddle on board. Doesn't mean we ever tried it with anything to large and I do seem to remember getting stuck a few times but when your a kid I suppose its just a good time no mater what.

now that Im way to old to find getting stuck much fun any more and planing a retirement build I suppose Ill end up with an engine of some kind. But I like the guy ( is your name captian Ron by any chance ) who whipped his sail boat up to the dock for fuel while some jerk on the dock was having a fit of some kind. Sounds like something I would have done if my engine had run out of fuel.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4F0-MXK5jM

Bluenose
12-26-2009, 07:11 PM
I found this youtube video to be an inspiring piece of sailing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=puqLH-mPR_M&feature=player_embedded

It is this level of sailing that I aspire to.

Cheers, Bill

2MeterTroll
12-26-2009, 07:23 PM
Better to have the engine and not need it than need it and not have it.

As far as I can see, there is no requirement to run it, but when push comes to shove are you willing to risk everything, including your life and the very lives of loved ones because of your arrogance?

In my not too sensitive opinion, running your pure little ship, innocent of contemptible machinery and noxious fuel, under a string of gravel barges and drowning is your business alone, with these caveats; you do not call for help, and you alone are aboard that little ship, putting no other lives at risk.

I've known far too many men whose utter confidence in their skills and abilities far overreached those skills and abilities than otherwise.

As far as waiting out conditions goes, most of us haven't got that luxury, what with having families, jobs, and most of all, lives.

All this makes for interesting posts on an internet board, but posts on an internet board neither sink nor drown.

Your mileage may, and probably will, vary.

Gerry
dont know Gerry what risk compared to you risking your life every day on your commute to work or the store? risking your wife, kids and grand kids, damaging the health of your neighbors etc.

Sorry mate but i hate that argument about as much as i hate the "what's you time worth/" argument from a person who watches TV and movies.

wizbang 13
12-26-2009, 10:13 PM
TV and movies are better picture in my head than that of a car carrier that wants to EAT me!

Tomcat
12-26-2009, 10:43 PM
I'll leave the political rant about the new licensing requirement for engine use up here in Canada for the Bilge. Sufice to say, I am at least trying to keep an outboard off my boat. Added to which I have never been able to figure out a really appealing fix for one.

Maybe I could add a mizen sized transverse sail plan, kinda like bow thrusters, for close manoevering...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BnLmKXY-FCg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rrt459Gj0Ck

johngsandusky
12-27-2009, 09:39 AM
One of the reasons I stopped using an engine was the "Boat User Fee" of the 90's. Also my outboard died.
I love the video of the gaff ketch sailing out of the slings. But I will point out that it was done with crew, light favorable breeze, linehandlers, and plenty of open dock space. When I used to sail into a marina basin (much smaller than that one, though in a smaller boat), I used to do it only in winter when there was room and little other traffic. I sailed out in summer , but going out of a basin is easier than going in.
This discussion was started by a guy planning a relatively large heavy boat. Has anyone here done that without an engine, or a yawl boat, in crowded waters? The boats I sailed without power topped out at four tons, 26' on deck (35 over spars)

Bluenose
12-27-2009, 11:09 AM
Better to have the engine and not need it than need it and not have it.

As far as I can see, there is no requirement to run it, but when push comes to shove are you willing to risk everything, including your life and the very lives of loved ones because of your arrogance?

In my not too sensitive opinion, running your pure little ship, innocent of contemptible machinery and noxious fuel, under a string of gravel barges and drowning is your business alone, with these caveats; you do not call for help, and you alone are aboard that little ship, putting no other lives at risk.

I've known far too many men whose utter confidence in their skills and abilities far overreached those skills and abilities than otherwise.

As far as waiting out conditions goes, most of us haven't got that luxury, what with having families, jobs, and most of all, lives.

All this makes for interesting posts on an internet board, but posts on an internet board neither sink nor drown.

Your mileage may, and probably will, vary.

Gerry

Gerry,

I have thought about responding to your post for a day or two but I finally came to the realization that we just have a different view of fear, sailing and what "have a life" looks like. So perhaps we can just agree to disagree and each boat in a way that inspires us.

Cheers, Bill

Texasgaloot
12-27-2009, 11:19 AM
Man, this is a great read!

I spent several years wet sailing a Soling with no engine. The two worst times I ever had with that boat was when I was shoved aground by the wash from another's engine, and the time two of us tried to paddle it against the Niagara River current. We were in and out of moorings, yacht club slips, etc. with that boat, albeit an extremely maneuverable one, and only found amusement when the inebriated would cuss us from the bridge decks of their cabin cruisers as we tacked up the harbor around them.

Cruising on my dad's 30 footer, things got tense when the water pump impeller of the Atomic Four went AWOL, of course right as we were trying to negotiate a harbor with crumbled and invisible piers to welcome us. We learned that we could sail that boat in just a whisper of a breeze up (another) river inlet, ironically right to the mechanic's dock.

It occurs to me that the choice to go engineless is just about as personal a decision as hull form: dragon or channel cutter? Personally, I would rather not have a prop and strut (I abhor apertures) to muddle water flow. A lot of gentlemen watching from their flying bridges would rather I got my a** out of their way. Great discussion!

Boston
12-27-2009, 05:16 PM
I found this youtube video to be an inspiring piece of sailing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=puqLH-mPR_M&feature=player_embedded

It is this level of sailing that I aspire to.

Cheers, Bill

that was beautifully done
absolute perfect harmony between those two guys
you could not have shown a better example of seamanship in tight spaces
I am genuinely impressed
B

Ian McColgin
12-27-2009, 09:22 PM
I'm impressed especially as it worked differently than I'd have done.

Maybe I'd have dropped the staysail and kept the mizzen to round up on the new dock.

Or maybe I'd have done the whole under just staysail or staysail and jib.

I'd have had the cover off the main and had it read on general principles but all in all a proper job, and proof that there's at least three right ways to do anything.

bruce w
12-28-2009, 12:04 PM
in the early 90s i built a zulu skiff a little over 10 meters, without a engine ,to line fish and net with, the choice to not fit a engine was away to wriggle through the licencing rules , i got the licence but was left in no doubt as to the vews of the fishery dept ,of the madness of my decision to go engineless operating from a exposed area ,60deg 28 . 1deg 29 . it worked well as a summer fishery but was very restrictive when i could work ,gales well out would knock up a sea and we had no wind were the commonest ,on shore winds woudnt let us collect our gear close to the cliffs , of shore winds becalmed us under the cliffs and we couldnt get out laying in the backwash working sweeps , picking up our mooring was never a problem ,though on several ocasions i had my doubt when a turn to take the way off ,if missed would have made a few shore watchers day,as we would have been fire wood .When my son joined me we saved up and bought a motor licence and that was a end to that era , it worked as we hadnt a fish dock to get up to fighting our way through trawlers shoving a wall of water in front of them ,not good when you have just only got stearage way .

andrewe
12-28-2009, 01:24 PM
Annie and Pete Hill fitted an engine after quite a few sea miles. One of the stated reasons was to display nav lights to the (new) required power. So they needed to charge batteries. As this was a few years ago, LEDs and solar chargers might be the answer.
Fact is, most marinas will not let you in under sail. Which limits havens.
Friend sailed his home built 34ft pinkey ketch from UK to Portugal. No engine or electrics, he would have rathered have stopped off on route. But the worries of sailing into unknown ports without the choice of turning about or stopping easily kept him out to sea. 10 days nonstop single handed have changed his ideas a bit!
A

paladin
12-28-2009, 01:47 PM
Tana Mari grossed about 36 000 pounds and for most of her life had no engine.

Peacefuljourney
12-28-2009, 03:08 PM
Hi all,
I have no engine on all my 3 boats in the last 7 years of cruising.
A sweep is onboard for marina since 1 year, as I use to do everything by sails....

Good light air sails (A drifter) and clean bottom are a must for sailing in light wind. Anchor always ready close to a coast for dropping the hook if a rock or something bad is coming and there is no wind.

I never have been stopped to go where I wanted, sometime I needed to wait for good wind/tides but I always been in. Even the Gibraltar straight I did 3 times when everybody said you can't do it without engine because of the current+ traffics.

I always keep a good watches a night for cargo, seeing them from far you can get out of the way before something happen. We stop for 2 years to build another boat, and there will be none onboard, even if we will have a new born baby onboard. Simply because we found it safer, cleaning and cheaper.

Bluenose
12-28-2009, 03:11 PM
...Fact is, most marinas will not let you in under sail. Which limits havens...

I believe that this whole debate will eventually be determined by legislation. As mentioned before more and more local harbors are enacting no sailing regulations. These regulations are often pushed through by boaters with enough money that fighting is pretty much pointless. They somehow missed the idea of right aways or "sharing the road" and need to have their way be the only way.

Personally I will sail as long as I am legally allowed, and maybe just a bit longer:), then I will find another place or another pashion since once a place or an activity get overrun like this it quickly looses its appeal for me.

Cheers and Happy Sailing,
Bill

paladin
12-28-2009, 03:54 PM
All across the Pacific and Indian Oceans, I ran across more sailors engineless than with engines, and many with engines had an outboard stashed somewhere....I found about the same in the Atlantic with more engines, and especially the closer to the med....then the number of engines exceeded those without.

slidercat
12-28-2009, 04:31 PM
I've known far too many men whose utter confidence in their skills and abilities far overreached those skills and abilities than otherwise.


Yes, and most of those men have engines aboard their boats.

What does this tell us?

Peacefuljourney
12-28-2009, 05:23 PM
I don't know why people keep saying motor is safer .... Let's look at it a minute...

The sea is getting rough and you know bad weather come, with no engine you won't risk and head more at sea to heave to and be far from land. People with engine will try to get in to run before the storm which bring problem.

Arriving at night in a strange inlet, a motor guy won't wait the tide and will try to go in anyway. A boat with no engine don't have choice, it will wait day light, tides and best conditions, heaving to at sea sleeping until the day arrive.

A boat with engine will stay close to shore anywhere, where one with no engine will stay close to shore only if he know well the shore, and even so will have a anchor ready in case.

A boat with engine won't have good sail because the engine is too expensive. A boat without will have good sail and any kind of sail to get the most of any kind of wind.

And after a while with no engine you will know so much your boat, that you can sail it in a cross current tacking in between fishing boat in a crowded inlet with no problem.

Having no engine remove the possibilities to put you in problem, and have more money to have good sails. Sailboat ARE a machine powered by wind, if you make that machine work well you don'T need other machine onboard.

For those in a hurry and in schedule, well take the plane or the train or a motor boat, this doesn't work well with sailing...

Like a guy told me once, if you live on your boat you are at home. So what is the difference of being at sea or at a dock!

Take me 36 days to cover 1700 miles (Azores to Nova Scotia) 4 months ago, stuck in the dull drum. Yes it's a long crossing, but hey it was the most beautiful sunset I ever seen in my life!

Eric Hvalsoe
12-28-2009, 09:47 PM
I just finished reading a book which reminded me how much noise pollution mankind dumps into the water and what hell and harm we create for other species on the planet that call the water their home. When I was a kid growing up on the lake I remember marveling, actually being quite disturbed, at how noise traveled through the water, how so many revolting noises traveled so far through the water. High speed outboards were the worst of course. Which is probably not what anybody is talking about here. But noise is still noise, the lower frequencies in fact carry further. This may sound overly sentimental and have nothing to do with boating safety. A lot of good points have been made about boating safety. I merely nominate a lack of underwater noise pollution to the list of 'powerless' pros.

Ian McColgin
12-28-2009, 09:53 PM
I happily sailed Goblin, 43' 13 ton Alden schooner, and Grannuaile, 55' 20 ton LFH Marco Polo, without engines for more than half the time I owned each. In the summer I was on a mooring so the majority of my work was on and off that or anchoring and unanchoring. But for each I was moored at a dock for 6 months each winter and I like winter sailing.

Plenty of times I had to warp out a bit to make sail and some times I warped back. Sometimes I even had to row an anchor out and haul to there before making sail. There's almost always a way.

I also had to forego certain routes. Like no sailing through the Cape Cod Canal. At times I was stuck out way late, drifting on the tide.

It's all a matter of choises. What do you want available for cruising and sailing options. There are times and circmstances where a reliable engine and the knowledge of how to use it add some safety but it's simply not true that an engine adds to safety in anything like more times than it adds to danger. The things an engine reliably adds to is expense and some passing convenience.

Purists of sail should not be snobs about it and folk with engines should not be false safety preaching jerks.

Boston
12-28-2009, 10:19 PM
Its kinda a spin off of this whole question about sail with engine vs without but I was just thinking that same thing about the cost that an engine adds to a sail boat. So if its not to much of a deviation. whats the cost per foot to power a sail boat ( that way its relative to size and we are talking apples and apples about what engine in what boat ). One of the biggest benefits Im hearing so far is less through hulls and less "bilge" but also more sail time and less noise.

so whats the break down

how much on average pr ft does it cost to stick a motor in a sailing yacht
gas tanks, exhaust considerations, shaft, everything not just the motor

am kinda curious
B

Bluenose
12-28-2009, 11:03 PM
...It's all a matter of choises. What do you want available for cruising and sailing options. There are times and circmstances where a reliable engine and the knowledge of how to use it add some safety but it's simply not true that an engine adds to safety in anything like more times than it adds to danger. The things an engine reliably adds to is expense and some passing convenience.

Purists of sail should not be snobs about it and folk with engines should not be false safety preaching jerks.

Very well said.

SV Papillon
12-28-2009, 11:25 PM
I happily sailed Goblin, 43' 13 ton Alden schooner, and Grannuaile, 55' 20 ton LFH Marco Polo, without engines for more than half the time I owned each. In the summer I was on a mooring so the majority of my work was on and off that or anchoring and unanchoring. But for each I was moored at a dock for 6 months each winter and I like winter sailing.

Plenty of times I had to warp out a bit to make sail and some times I warped back. Sometimes I even had to row an anchor out and haul to there before making sail. There's almost always a way.

I also had to forego certain routes. Like no sailing through the Cape Cod Canal. At times I was stuck out way late, drifting on the tide.

It's all a matter of choises. What do you want available for cruising and sailing options. There are times and circmstances where a reliable engine and the knowledge of how to use it add some safety but it's simply not true that an engine adds to safety in anything like more times than it adds to danger. The things an engine reliably adds to is expense and some passing convenience.

Purists of sail should not be snobs about it and folk with engines should not be false safety preaching jerks.

Good of you to stear back to the original focus of the thread, what I took as the viability of cruising on a "large 30,000 plus" disp boat with no motor. It would seem you and Chuck are the only ones so far who have much time with it. I remember my old slip in Friday Harbor could have 4 knots running under it from the tide, that and the dog leg of the breakwater would limit inside slips. That said I can say living aboard in a marina vs. on the hook or a mooring is a no brainer. The key words should probably be cruising and living aboard and what a persons definitions of those are. As most of the known world touching water was "discovered" pre internal combustion engine, it is safe to say you can sail anywhere. As I stated in a earlier post, the concept I find intriguing is a large family size comfortable monohull of simple design affordable to build safe, and funtional with no vroom.

Jake

Tomcat
12-29-2009, 12:34 AM
"Without getting political, what is the new licensing requirement in Canada? And further, how much does it cost you? "

You have to have a license to operate a power boat of any size - electric motor on a canoe, I have been told. You have to take a test, and it cost about 75 dollars (plus the cost of replacing my stolen auxiliary :)) Good news is you can use an open book or get someone else to take it online for you!

The main cost (mental) is going online to study the material and coming across a question as to what charts one must carry when navigating Canadian waters. The correct answer is one must carry charts of any place one will be operating on, unless one weighs less that (something like 400 tons), or has local knowledge of the waters. This for a test that became necesarry as a result of the misbehaviour of seadooers.

The main reason for this appraoch is that some seadooer killed some canoeist. Seadoos are made in Quebec, the political equivalent of Florida in the first Bush election. So they passed a law that ensured nobody would say "to heck with seadoos, I'm going to get me a cabin cruiser instead".

perldog007
12-29-2009, 06:37 AM
I don't know about Canada, in Delaware no motor = no licensing requirement. Makes me wonder about how well a St. Pierre would manage as a sail and oar vessel. Open? with a small cuddy?

johngsandusky
12-29-2009, 06:42 AM
The "User Fee" was a federal regulation applied by the Dept Of Transportation. It applied to boats over a certain size with motors. It was struck down by court challenges because it went to the general fund, not specifically for boating. That made it a tax, as such it needed to be passed by Congress, which it had not been.

Boston
12-29-2009, 01:27 PM
Well Im happy with that John. So whats the present federal set up to squeeze people who live aboard say a motor yacht within US waters, ~40'. if your not in any particular port but traveling around. Is it based on your "home port" or is it just by flag.

johngsandusky
12-29-2009, 01:43 PM
There are fees to document a vessel, not outrageous. The states tax the boats, some very aggressively. In NY you pay a sales tax at purchase. Some states collect annual property taxes on boats, or tax boats that spend a long time in their waters. Some check marinas for tax dodgers. (I wouldn't dodge a draft, but I might duck a tax :))

Boston
12-29-2009, 01:48 PM
interesting
Ill pm you so as not to distract from a great thread
B

KAIROS
12-29-2009, 05:57 PM
I just finished reading a book which reminded me how much noise pollution mankind dumps into the water and what hell and harm we create for other species on the planet that call the water their home......I merely nominate a lack of underwater noise pollution to the list of 'powerless' pros.

Eric is from the Puget Sound area, as I am. The point he brought up seems especially pertinent since for years now the Orca pods near San Juan Island (just north of Puget Sound) are starving to death. Some of this is due to lack of Salmon which is their main dish.

In recent years though, it's become more obvious that their lifestyle, including 'dinner time', is seriously interrupted by boat traffic noise.....much of it from whale-watching boats. There will soon be laws against transiting, in any kind of boat, large areas on the South and West sides of San Juan Island which are the local Orca's main feeding grounds. Sound is their main form of communication and navigation.

Boat engine noises have a great range of frequencies. The ones we usually hear coming through the hull as we sit below are usually the high-frequency sounds which don't travel far.....less than a mile maybe. Down on the low end of the spectrum, those sounds go amazing distances and carry much energy.

On the shore of this rocky island, the low rumble of ships passing down the Strait can be heard, from 15 miles away. The sound doesn't travel only through the air. It comes ashore under-water, through the rocky ground, and gently vibrates a house enough to be heard in the quiet wee hours of the morning. I often think of the marine life having to live with some form of that noise every day and night. In the water offshore, I imagine it would be like any one of us trying to have a conversation at a rock concert....or maybe trying to speak in a sports stadium full of talking and cheering people. After a short while we'd yearn for some peace and quiet.

In seafloor charting, low frequency sonar/sound is used because it travels far in water. 9 MHz sound is used to chart depth and geology right across the Mariana Trench, for example, which means instruments near the surface are easily 'hearing' sound generated by that same instrument, which traveled about 5 miles to the bottom and back (near 10 miles total). Whales are sometimes detected 300 meters or so below the surface swimming parallel to the towed instrument, or are seen repeatedly breaching nearby. Sometimes when using 200 MHz sound in relatively shallow water, scores of dolphins follow the instrument as it emerges from the water....apparently totally mesmerized (or angered) by the pulse of sound. Low frequency sound pulses underwater are akin to the thud of subwoofers in teenager's car stereos.....we hear it through walls and in our bones.

Noise on and under the water definitely impacts marine life, and I doubt any of the impact is good. But, that's just the noise. Besides all the other good reasons to learn how not to use a motor on a sailboat, there's sound, particulate, and chemical pollution in water and air. I use an auxiliary engine in my sailboat, and I don't begrudge others using one in sail or power boats. It's not good for marine life though. Any reduction in engine use is good for those living in the realms above and below the surface of the water.

Windsong
12-30-2009, 03:12 PM
Using a sweep on a 5 ton boat is romantic and great for a young Buck w/o a care in the world.
Never needed an engine until the responsibilities of children and a job dictated a time frame for sailing. Not to mention guest and children that don't want to ride the tide home or bob around in the ocean when the wind dies and the libations are gone.
The "iron Genoa" provides a prompt return or arrival when nature no longer provides my needs or time and patience of the guest onboard dictate my return. In addition I am no longer that "young buck" W/O a care. My body no longer does what my minds says it can.
When all is right I never use the engine. Light airs provide a wonderful challenge and opportunity to fly lots of canvas.
An engine does provide me with more options to go sailing whenever I can. Since I only have so many days of sailing left to enjoy with my children the "Iron Genoa" is an essential need at this time in my life.
Cheers
Lars

TimH
12-30-2009, 03:39 PM
And then there is the Navy

http://opedcartoons.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/090601op.gif



US Navy Sonar blasts Pacific Northwest killer whales (http://www.orcanetwork.org/news/shoup.html#cwrsonar)

June 29, 2003 News Release from the Center for Whale Research (http://www.orcanetwork.org/news/porpoisescan.html) Including photos of porpoise and CT scans.

http://www.orcanetwork.org/images/shipjpod.jpg <H6>Photo © Center for Whale Research - May 5, 2003

http://www.orcanetwork.org/news/imagesnews/SDporp2.jpg <H6>Photo © Sandy Dubpernel - May 13, 2003
</H6></H6>

David Tabor (sailordave)
12-30-2009, 04:23 PM
.....and many times I have sailed the 44 footer down the channel ( Herrington Harbor at Deal, Md.) and parked her in her slip by throwing the helm over and backwinding the sails.....and never a bump on the hull (although it did get some attention and folks waiting for the crash..)


Do this now and they yell at you if you sail beyond the fuel dock.:mad:

Yes, I know this firsthand!;)

I am always amazed at the looks I get b/c I SAIL in the channel and sometimes keep both sails up until I get to the fuel dock, well, okay, maybe PAST the fuel dock!:D

I DO have the engine running.. just in case. Just figure I'd rather practice sailing under varying conditions when I'm in control than have the first time I do it be when I HAVE TO DO IT!:eek:

paladin
12-30-2009, 04:39 PM
They didn't yell at me....I was one of the first large boats to use Herrington Harbor, and for some years was the largest boat there.....now you can't turn around in the place and Stu Chaney has jacked up the rates annually and folks still pay it. In the early 80's it was 200 bucks a month.
and I should correct this...I was at Herrington Harbor South.

Harbormaster
12-30-2009, 07:59 PM
When I retire I'll take the engine out of my sailboat.

johngsandusky
12-30-2009, 08:07 PM
It's also prudent to learn to sail the boat with an engine just in case. You take it out when you're good. I did both mine this way, though I stopped using the engines when they failed.

johngsandusky
12-30-2009, 08:11 PM
When I retire I'll take the engine out of my sailboat.
Wait, I'm retiring and I just bought one with an engine!
It is a valid point that I did most of my engineless sailing alone, and while living alone. When I sailed the Great South Bay, convection breezes were pretty reliable. The two years I sailed without engine while living with a spouse, she had standing instructions not to call the CG until I was gone overnight (unexpectedly).

David Tabor (sailordave)
12-31-2009, 01:12 PM
They didn't yell at me....I was one of the first large boats to use Herrington Harbor, and for some years was the largest boat there.....now you can't turn around in the place and Stu Chaney has jacked up the rates annually and folks still pay it. In the early 80's it was 200 bucks a month.
and I should correct this...I was at Herrington Harbor South.

Yeah, that's were I do this. Wouldn't want to try it up at NORTH.

HNY!!

Bobcat
12-31-2009, 01:26 PM
I think not having any engine depends on your life circumstances. Not having an engine means that schedules are hit or miss at best. If you don't have to be somewhere at a particular time, you get do fine without an engine. Spouses and guests may not be as understanding, though. When I was young, between jobs, and single, taking days to go fifty miles was fine. When a friend and I sail to a local harbor to look at a boat and the wind died, we spent the night at anchor and made our way back home the following day when the wind came up and the tide changed. We were both several hours late to work. Fortunately, our boss was a sailor and understood.

I do not currently have an engine, but I have a boat small enough to row.

Bluenose
12-31-2009, 05:41 PM
Hey,

All of these choices are fine. No matter which one we chose to make. But, it's not an "iron genny" it's a motor. It doesn't allow you to sail more often it allows you to be on your boat more often. And actually it probably lessens the amount you sail since it hampers your boats performance and constantly nags at you when the wind lightens.

When you don't have an engine you develop a different relationship with nature. Your find ways to work with it rather than to fight it. It isn't that you can't sail, it is that you learn to sail within the conditions. Schedules are only hit or miss if you don't learn from past experiences.

Sailing with an engine is a rather fun and rewarding challenge, and quite safe, if you have the desire, inclination and time to take it on.

And speaking about time, sailing is not a particularly time efficient method of travel. In addition there are loads of hobbies and pastimes where we don't set our clocks. Which is why I have never quite understood the need or desire to have sailing be over faster.

Cheers,

Bill

Boston
12-31-2009, 06:02 PM
Hey Bill
a bunch of those picts on the site are from a thread I started over on boat design net
way to go
I also just love that type hull
best of luck
B

paladin
12-31-2009, 06:43 PM
Not having an engine means that schedules are hit or miss at best. If you don't have to be somewhere at a particular time, you get do fine without an engine.

I thought that was the idea of "sailing".....the wind blows, you go....never get in a hurry, you make mistakes.

Boston
12-31-2009, 07:02 PM
what
this is 2010
lets get with the program
slap a 1000 hp turbo diesel in that thing and lets go go go :D

old people
shsssss

potterer
01-01-2010, 10:39 AM
sometimes keep both sails up until I get to the fuel dock, . . .
I DO have the engine running..

and, of course, you fly an inverted cone:D

dld
01-01-2010, 11:58 AM
I often think of the marine life having to live with some form of that noise every day and night. In the water offshore, I imagine it would be like any one of us trying to have a conversation at a rock concert....or maybe trying to speak in a sports stadium full of talking and cheering people. After a short while we'd yearn for some peace and quiet.

most likely it is like living near a train track or busy highway, after a while you just don't hear it

paladin
01-01-2010, 01:55 PM
One of the advanyages of no engine, especially offshore, is that you become accutely aware of any strange noise around you......I could be sailing along, and dozing in the cockpit, and a strange sound would wake me up...no matter how slight. When I was working at the NATO base, I could be in the room with 120 surveillance receivers running...4 dehydrators for pressurized waveguide sections, and numerous other fans cooling equipment....I could stand in for someone....and sit at my desk, half asleep, and if one receiver lost the fan, or it dropped off line due to power or other malfunction, the change in the noise, or pitch of the noise would awaken me in an instant.

Roger Long
01-01-2010, 02:01 PM
and, of course, you fly an inverted cone:D

I own what, from all appearances, is one of two inverted cones in the state of Maine. I flew it once, just to see what if felt like. Almost had a collision because some damn fool came too close to ask what that thing was in my rigging. I've kept it in the cockpit locker ever since.

L.W. Baxter
01-02-2010, 11:48 AM
Regarding concerns about engine noise, while I admire the willingness to question the consequences of our actions, I don't think that the idea of engine noise being generally noxious to sea life is supported by any provable evidence. On the contrary, experience shows that sea animals have little trouble coexisting with engine noise. For instance, I have myself been escorted by porpoises while under power. One would think, as porpoises have extremely sensitive hearing, that if they found engine noise obnoxious, they would not swim alongside.

Similarly, it is a well known phenomena that fish can often be found traveling close behind ocean freighters, attracted possibly by the disturbed water but certainly not kept away by the noise. In a giant, "silent" ocean, how peculiar that pelagic fishes would seek out the noise of a ship.

Also, often in highly trafficked areas, one can find sea mammals, fish and invertebrates, sometimes in extremely high densities. If engine noise were a factor in their comfort, shouldn't we expect that they would leave the area, particularly during times when many motor boats are on the water? Many species are very sensitive to temperature, salinity and other such environmental factors, and move from one area to another in a predictable way based on their own comfort. I have never seen or heard any evidence that "noise pollution" related to engine noise causes any such reaction.

Ian McColgin
01-02-2010, 12:00 PM
And Gov. Dixie Ray thought that nuclear power plants were good for manatees.

Scientists are having a hard time sorting all this out. We understand a bit of how certain high powered sonar signals are damaging cetacians. We also know a bit about the increased ambient noise in the oceans but it's really hard to find exact detrimental effects, just as it's hard to determine the detrimental effects on people in Revere, Flushing and other places under the landing and take-off paths of busy jet ports.

An often overlooked environmental effect is the shere physical damage of high speed propellers. Anyone growing up in a wetland with a modicum of observation can take a water sample from an outboard's wake, put it under your low power scope, and you'll see all the broken little critters. In some highly trafficed wetland, the damage rivals the damage caused by petrochemical pollution from the outboards.

Not likely to be used on a sail boat, jets are a complex issue. They osterize pretty much everything in their water flow and they also oxigenate the water. Lewis Bay is turning into an interesting study for these effects.

paladin
01-02-2010, 01:17 PM
I always thought the schools of fish behind a large boat were more attracted to the garbage or sewage being discharged.

L.W. Baxter
01-02-2010, 03:54 PM
My post above was just anecdotal observations, not an organized argument. But please note that I was talking specifically about marine propulsion noise, not naval warfare, nor the damage caused by propellers and so forth, which are separate issues.

Humans are the only species capable of either producing or recognizing noise pollution. Noise pollution is a human concept and as such is a problem correctly limited to humans.

Humans differentiate and ascribe values to sounds based on content and context as much as decibel level. The "unnatural" noise of a generator has a different moral content than a burbling stream, therefore producing a different intellectual and emotional reaction, though they may produce the same decibel level, neither one causing any physical harm or affecting survivability for either humans or animals. A generator running in a natural setting would be "noise pollution", whereas the sound of a natural stream could never be. I'm on board with that and greatly prefer the musical tinkling of a stream to the hum of a generator. But such a preference is human.

Ascribing similar thought processes to animals is superstition. There is no reason why any sea animal would be more agitated or put out by the sound of a motor than the sound of crashing surf. From my own observations, human produced noises at normal intensities do not appear to be irritants, let alone dangers, to aquatic animals. It would be fair to expect animals to exhibit avoidance behavior if such noises were irritating or dangerous, but I've never seen such behavior or even heard anecdotal evidence of it.

In summary, I can understand the irritation with engine noises--or even the oft-associated loud-mouthed drunken fools hollering vulgarities and laughing idiotically--and especially in certain settings, times of day, etc., I can sympathize, but there is no evidence or need to ascribe similar irritation or discomfort to other species in order to justify one's own prejudice.

Peacefuljourney
01-02-2010, 04:04 PM
Baxter, maybe but it's still the fact that this is something that wasn't there.
If a men go home one night and find his wife with another men, well it won't hurt the bed, neither the home or even the wife, but it surely not welcome there ;)

Ian McColgin
01-02-2010, 04:37 PM
Humans are the only critters on earth that are known to make noise pollution but we know of noise disorienting, often to the point of death, various birds, bats, etc. However, the effects are often overlooked of lumped in with other human caused problems like road traffic, buildings in migratory flyways, airplane and auto collisions, etc.

Don Kurylko
01-02-2010, 04:43 PM
Alter course boys! This is turning into bilge material. :(

L.W. Baxter
01-02-2010, 05:01 PM
Baxter, maybe but it's still the fact that this is something that wasn't there.
If a men go home one night and find his wife with another men, well it won't hurt the bed, neither the home or even the wife, but it surely not welcome there ;)

A boat without a motor is also something "that wasn't there" in a non-specific period of time during the evolution of most natural systems. Many if not most species we interact with evolved long before the advent of homo sapiens sapiens. But only human beings can assign meaning to such an historical fact. Nobody and nothing else can even make the observation, let alone develop an aesthetic based on a reaction against it. That's a purely human bag.

Your analogy of the adulterous wife depends on the very human concept of "welcome". As in, anthropomorphic "nature" does not "welcome" the human presence unless unaccompanied by certain levels or kinds of technology.

My view of a combustion engine is that it is an extension of the mastery of fire. It is no more "unnatural" than a campfire, or a propane burner and a pot of cous-cous . It fits or doesn't fit into "nature" depending on the concept of nature in a human mind. The rest of nature doesn't idealize it's own existence.

So the question is, does the noise of motors really discomfit or agitate other animals besides human beings? I don't think it does.

I can understand and appreciate the non-motorized aesthetic but let's recognize it as a human judgment not a natural necessity.

KAIROS
01-02-2010, 09:49 PM
.....So the question is, does the noise of motors really discomfit or agitate other animals besides human beings? I don't think it does....

Marine creatures certainly hear the sounds, and their brains receive and process it. So, it competes with sound information they use for various purposes in their lives. I think of engine noise as adding confusion....it reduces their ability to focus on their everyday tasks. Stupification, at least.

And, when dolphins and whales shadow a boat under power or, in my example, a side-scan sonar instrument (relatively benign 'low power' compared to the Navy's use of 'high power sonar'), I expect it is at least what we would call curiosity. They devote considerable time and energy to this curiosity, which takes away from their ability to successfully compete and live in their environment. So, at best engine noise in water is like the words of a false prophet misleading the listeners...wasting lives. Particularly significant when a species is having difficulty coping.

This whole thread is fantastic. This is only one aspect of the marine engine issue. I don't think we've drifted. This is just one of the possible reasons to 'sail with no engine'.

http://www.yachtflyers.com/forum_images/wildlife-photos_9.jpg

KAIROS
01-02-2010, 10:33 PM
Of course, even sailing with no engine impacts marine life. We just choose the degree of potential impact we can justify.

jsjpd1
01-03-2010, 12:36 AM
It is funny to see just how complex this issue can be. When the park service in Glacier Bay National Park was looking at setting regulations for how close boats could approach hauled out harbor seals and sea lions before they were disturbed (they pup there in the summer). They did a study which showed that the power boats were actually able to go closer to the haul outs before disurbing them then were non-motorized vessels(read kayakers, not alot of other non-motorized users here). In this case, they hypothisized that the non-motorized vessels were more threatening to the hauled out seals and sealions then a boat load of tourists on a catamaran because they more closely resembled predators.

I fall on the non-motorized, and when it came time to decide whether or not I was going to have a motor in my (decidedly samller than we are talking about here) boat, I skipped the engine eventhough I need to pay alot more attenion to tide and weather.

Boston
01-03-2010, 12:57 AM
My post above was just anecdotal observations, not an organized argument. But please note that I was talking specifically about marine propulsion noise, not naval warfare, nor the damage caused by propellers and so forth, which are separate issues.

Humans are the only species capable of either producing or recognizing noise pollution. Noise pollution is a human concept and as such is a problem correctly limited to humans.

Humans differentiate and ascribe values to sounds based on content and context as much as decibel level. The "unnatural" noise of a generator has a different moral content than a burbling stream, therefore producing a different intellectual and emotional reaction, though they may produce the same decibel level, neither one causing any physical harm or affecting survivability for either humans or animals. A generator running in a natural setting would be "noise pollution", whereas the sound of a natural stream could never be. I'm on board with that and greatly prefer the musical tinkling of a stream to the hum of a generator. But such a preference is human.

Ascribing similar thought processes to animals is superstition. There is no reason why any sea animal would be more agitated or put out by the sound of a motor than the sound of crashing surf. From my own observations, human produced noises at normal intensities do not appear to be irritants, let alone dangers, to aquatic animals. It would be fair to expect animals to exhibit avoidance behavior if such noises were irritating or dangerous, but I've never seen such behavior or even heard anecdotal evidence of it.

In summary, I can understand the irritation with engine noises--or even the oft-associated loud-mouthed drunken fools hollering vulgarities and laughing idiotically--and especially in certain settings, times of day, etc., I can sympathize, but there is no evidence or need to ascribe similar irritation or discomfort to other species in order to justify one's own prejudice.


an interesting qualifier but not entirely the case, Big Horn Sheep in the rocky mountains have suffered greatly when the ambient noise level of there environment was altered with say, highway construction equipment rumbling back and forth. Many fish living within ear shot of similarly produced "human" Irritants bail out and go find a new home if they can, Birds are famous for being sensitive to excess noise in there environment. Important point being made is that there is exactly the distinction you suggest isn't being made. Animals of all species have evolved to tolerate certain stimulus and are wired to successfully filter those stimulus or inconsequential perceptions from the consequential, baring that distinction these stimulus have been shown to cause "stress". A term typifying a state of predator awareness that is persistent rather than temporary, the given animal not understanding the additional stimulus will typically have a prey response and attempt to flee, if flight does not eliminate the stimulus then the animal experiences stress, innumerable studies show that this stress leads to a host of negative results including spontaneous death as in the case of Big Horn Sheep.

having worked at the local zoo I can assure you all animals are able to make the exact distinction you are suggesting they cannot and that it is this distinction that is a primary factor in human intolerance among animals species

cheers
and happy new year folks
B

Bluenose
01-03-2010, 11:21 AM
But doesn't sailing eventually come back to beauty? Isn't it the feeling of being in a sailboat under sail? Or ghosting quietly into a bay on the dieing wind? Or the vision of tilted sails on the horizon?

Of course there are many practical reasons to have an engine in a sailboat. But since sailboats make lousy motor boats one can only assume that sailboat owners enjoy sailing.

And anytime the motor is running on a sailboat it is a lost opportunity for experiencing the beauty of sailing.

Bill

(who clearly remembers the genesis of his engineless choice years ago when prepping the foredeck for a race while the skipper motored out with a slight following breeze and diesel fumes blowing back over the boat)

rbgarr
01-03-2010, 11:48 AM
My worst memories of sailing have been sitting in the hot, muggy, hazy, flat "doldrums" with the sails slatting around waiting for the wind to come up. No shade or relief anywhere.

Cold weather calm I can take.

Peacefuljourney
01-03-2010, 03:32 PM
rbgarr: Well go inside the boat and have a drink with some shade then! Dolsdrum are a perfect time to cook some good food, grap a wonderful book and a drink and just relaxing inside or swim around! It's like being at the marina or at the dock pretty much!

Bluenose: Tell that to the thousand of sailboat motoring in the waterway from NY to Florida every years! From my point of view they should buy a trawler.

rbgarr
01-03-2010, 06:11 PM
Inside? The boats I sailed back then didn't have 'insides'.

Peacefuljourney
01-03-2010, 06:37 PM
I am sure you won't forget a tarp and a sculling oar next time ;)
(Without talking about the icebox and beer(s))

Tom M.
01-03-2010, 10:03 PM
They did a study which showed that the power boats were actually able to go closer to the haul outs before disurbing them then were non-motorized vessels(read kayakers, not alot of other non-motorized users here). In this case, they hypothisized that the non-motorized vessels were more threatening to the hauled out seals and sealions then a boat load of tourists on a catamaran because they more closely resembled predators.


I've noticed that seals especially DO NOT like kayaks. And who can blame them; they've been hunted for a couple thousand years by hunters in kayaks. I call that "cellular memory". Kayakers don't just "resemble" a predator; to a seal, they are one.

Boston
01-04-2010, 04:33 AM
I got a great video of a killer whale playing with a guy in a kayak

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9Lgw-SMjOA&feature=player_embedded

Ian McColgin
01-04-2010, 07:42 AM
Did the kayaker also view it as play?

darroch
01-04-2010, 01:14 PM
I also have a (sometimes) tug in the form of Ratty, our longboat with her 5HP outboard. I grew up on tugs and love to tow stuff anyway.....Ratty can move the cogge in a flat calm at a reasonable rate...add tide and we're moving. Obviously the 5HP is not going to tow the big boat out of a real jamb, but with Ratty one can lay out more anchors quickly.

I like this idea, partly because I'm so attached to my Alaska I'd hate to give her up, but I wonder about towing such a "big" boat behind an engineless "bigger" boat [28-35 footer]. Perhaps this should be another thread but since you raised it I thought I'd ask, especially since you know the area. Thanks in advance.

wizbang 13
01-04-2010, 01:50 PM
Kate 1906 12 meter, here is another boat that , like Carlotta, has no inboard of her own ,but does not use skull or sweep, it uses numerous outboard rubber boats . I see 3 or 4 outboards pushing and pulling her at Antigua Classic into her daily slip. She's just using SOMEONE ELCES engine. No doubt, thats a beautiful boat (strip planked fir with epoxe).For sale too.

GWB
01-04-2010, 03:10 PM
that was beautifully done
absolute perfect harmony between those two guys
you could not have shown a better example of seamanship in tight spaces
I am genuinely impressed
B

Wendy and Daniel in their Ingrid 38. PT I think
Great people

KAIROS
01-04-2010, 03:22 PM
I got a great video of a killer whale playing with a guy in a kayak

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9Lgw-SMjOA&feature=player_embedded

Looks like the video may be a fake made for a soft-drink commercial.....this video claims to prove that:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjwxAJYKFbE&NR=1

KAIROS
01-04-2010, 03:36 PM
....study which showed that the power boats were actually able to go closer to the haul outs before disurbing them then were non-motorized vessels....

In this study the noise is coming through the air....the marine mammals were 'hauled-out' on rocks. The same engine noises would be very different when heard through water. Just saying that this example may not apply to noise created in-water by marine engines.

Although seals may not feel as threatened by in-air engine noise as much as by the sight of a sailboat rig, I'm one of the mammals that yearns for quiet if I have to hear, in-air, my own or other's engines for any length of time.

Boston
01-04-2010, 08:59 PM
Looks like the video may be a fake made for a soft-drink commercial.....this video claims to prove that:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjwxAJYKFbE&NR=1


well ya learn something every day

way to go and well done
cheers
B

ps

ok try this one
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8RjY6zXpHw

jsjpd1
01-05-2010, 01:16 AM
In this study the noise is coming through the air....the marine mammals were 'hauled-out' on rocks. The same engine noises would be very different when heard through water. Just saying that this example may not apply to noise created in-water by marine engines.

Although seals may not feel as threatened by in-air engine noise as much as by the sight of a sailboat rig, I'm one of the mammals that yearns for quiet if I have to hear, in-air, my own or other's engines for any length of time.

Your absoluty right, and I have to agree with you, I too prefer the quiet. I was just making the observation even our quiet pastimes have an impact. One that can be mitigated if we are paying attention, but an impact none the less.

wizbang 13
01-05-2010, 01:29 AM
The sound of the noisiest motor is sweeter than that car carrier giving you(becalmed)5 blasts.

johngsandusky
01-05-2010, 09:00 AM
The sound of the noisiest motor is sweeter than that car carrier giving you(becalmed)5 blasts.
LOL, true.
I was tacking into Port Jefferson one day when becalmed in the inlet. Before long the outbound ferry was looming large. I was praying for a breeze and patience of the ferry captain. (These are BIG ferries) I got both. The ferry slowed down, a puff took me out of the channel, and the skipper was kind enough to wave as he passed.

KAIROS
01-05-2010, 09:10 AM
The sound of the noisiest motor is sweeter than that car carrier giving you(becalmed)5 blasts.

I know what you mean.....can see and hear it now....but I do have a spanking new Yanmar in my boat.

Actually, the only time I've been almost run down was in the East River (NYC) aboard my Dad's ketch, when the engine stalled and we drifted and rotated cross-wise between a tug/barge from the North, and a fast-moving freighter from the South. They had no room to maneuver, and the freighter missed us by less than a boat length as he almost ran onto the rip-rap under the Queensboro Bridge to avoid us. We didn't even know the freighter was coming up behind us until the 5 blasts. We were concerned about drifting in front of the tug/barge coming from ahead. On deck we were terrified and sure that we were done for.

Funny thing is....I unfurled and back-winded our jib to spin us around while my Dad was below trying to clear the fuel lines. The sail and the wind saved us! My mother was screaming for my Dad to get the engine going....he eventually came up the ladder mentioning that he was in the head.

Ian McColgin
01-05-2010, 09:42 AM
#156 & #157 are good examples of why it's well to learn how to monitor 13 in crowded waters. A bit of listening will show anyone the forms and norms of this low power bridge to bridge frequency, including how to compose your remarks for brevity and clarity. Large commercial vessels cannot nimbly stop or evade yachts and the way yachts maneuver can seem eccentric, at best. In a tight spot a security call like:

"Security. Security. Security. This is the sloop Windbag passing inbound under the Throgs Neck Bridge on the green side. Our engine is disabled and we have limited ability to maneuver in this light wind. Concerned traffic please answer on Channel 13. Windbag standing by 13."

13 is not a place to be chatty but it is the place to pay attention.

Bluenose
01-05-2010, 10:34 AM
I know what you mean.....can see and hear it now....but I do have a spanking new Yanmar in my boat.

Actually, the only time I've been almost run down was in the East River (NYC) aboard my Dad's ketch, when the engine stalled and we drifted and rotated cross-wise between a tug/barge from the North, and a fast-moving freighter from the South. They had no room to maneuver, and the freighter missed us by less than a boat length as he almost ran onto the rip-rap under the Queensboro Bridge to avoid us. We didn't even know the freighter was coming up behind us until the 5 blasts. We were concerned about drifting in front of the tug/barge coming from ahead. On deck we were terrified and sure that we were done for.

Funny thing is....I unfurled and back-winded our jib to spin us around while my Dad was below trying to clear the fuel lines. The sail and the wind saved us! My mother was screaming for my Dad to get the engine going....he eventually came up the ladder mentioning that he was in the head.

Quite often the case for an engine as a "safety device" is made for situations of light wind, or strong currents, or drifting in a shipping lane. But none of these events happen instantly, without warning, and they can be planned for with contingencies.

But the case of losing an engine can happen instantly in these worst moments. Often without any warning.

An engineless sailor quickly learns to have something up their sleeve. Maybe it's planning so the current is filling in from behind during crossings or late in the day when the wind dies. Or the ability to harden up towards their destination for light wind. Or going shallow during light air and strong currents. Or their anchor. Or oar. etc.

Granted an engine will allow a boat to power their way into and through situations that an engineless sailboat wouldn't dare go. But a motor sailing sailboat is just that one instant away from being engineless. I have heard way to many calls to vessel assist for engine failures, read too many stories on forums like this and in cruising books about sailors having engine troubles in tight spots to consider an engine anything but a convenience device.

Personally I would still want some things up my sleeve before I powered into tricky situations with the engine roaring.

Cheers,
Bill

Bobcat
01-05-2010, 11:34 AM
Just to take a different tack. What do you think lack of an engine on a larger boat will do to the resale value? I understand that we don't buy boats thinking of selling them, but it's something to consider. Even if you don't sell, the executor of your estate may be cross with you. :D

Bluenose
01-05-2010, 11:48 AM
Just to take a different tack. What do you think lack of an engine on a larger boat will do to the resale value? I understand that we don't buy boats thinking of selling them, but it's something to consider. Even if you don't sell, the executor of your estate may be cross with you. :D

I would say that reselling any largish engineless sailboat would be a tough sell. There just isn't much demand.

That said, I really wouldn't want to focus too much on the cost recouping percent of any of my passions.

Cheers,
Bill

Ian McColgin
01-05-2010, 12:39 PM
Kathleen was built with no engine but the log and pilot for a shaft alley are there. Having no engine undoubtedly reduces the sale price of most cruising boats but at the same time the added cost of an engine is not recouped in the sale of a beloved boat.

When motoring I always have the sails either up or at least unstopped and ready. Whether sailing or motoring I have an anchor ready for three second deployment unless off soundings. Partly it's my statistical analysis that engines get people into more trouble than they get people out of. Partly it's that I'm a rag and stick, not monkey wrench, sailor and my sailing gear is always in better shape than the infernal destruction machine.

And have the anchor at hand.

johngsandusky
01-05-2010, 03:01 PM
#156 & #157 are good examples of why it's well to learn how to monitor 13 in crowded waters. A bit of listening will show anyone the forms and norms of this low power bridge to bridge frequency, including how to compose your remarks for brevity and clarity. Large commercial vessels cannot nimbly stop or evade yachts and the way yachts maneuver can seem eccentric, at best. In a tight spot a security call like:

"Security. Security. Security. This is the sloop Windbag passing inbound under the Throgs Neck Bridge on the green side. Our engine is disabled and we have limited ability to maneuver in this light wind. Concerned traffic please answer on Channel 13. Windbag standing by 13."

13 is not a place to be chatty but it is the place to pay attention.
[/B]
But my yawl had no radio either. Shall we start a thread for sailing without radios?

Ian McColgin
01-05-2010, 03:17 PM
Nah. Sailing in and out of Port Jeff is no biggie as the real collision hazard area is pretty short and the prudent sailor can avoid trouble. But if one wants to sail without at least a nice cheap VHF handheld tuned to 13/16 through the Hell Gate in a fog, yeah we might have a discussion then.

KAIROS
01-05-2010, 03:18 PM
....#156 & #157 are good examples of why it's well to learn how to monitor 13 in crowded waters. ....

Yes! We would have needed a VHF aboard for that though (1974). And, our situation developed in a couple of minutes. You couldn't stage it that close except in Hollywood.

Comparing the situations in #156 & #157 tells alot, as Boston indicated. If we had been sailing (a stretch for the East River) we would have been looking out all around. We would have been much more tuned into the setting and situation around us. Would probably heard as well as saw the freighter coming from behind. Could have responded with action or communication in time to avert disaster, which nearly occurred. John was sailing. He knew exactly what was developing.

I do moniter the radio now and am always looking around. The horror of a near miss sticks with you for a lifetime.

PeterSibley
01-05-2010, 03:42 PM
Thanks everyone for this thread .It has been very interesting ,I should say regarding ferrys that the scare me even when under under motor ,becalmed and engineless would be bad .Big and FAST .

TR
01-05-2010, 07:22 PM
Lots of good comments and some experience...my thanks to all. It seems a number of folks have done some engineless sailing of larger (and smaller) vessels...but almost no one actually rows their big boat. Perhaps they just live in windier places than the PNW? We experience a moderate amount of windless calm here, and in every season.

I was hoping to hear of more direct experience. I know Allen Farrell had no engine in China Cloud for 14 years of living aboard. She is roughly 40' by 10' but of fairly light displacement and shallow draft. Allen made good speed with a single 18' long yuloh. As far as I know she still has no engine.

Lin & Larry Pardey have no engine in their 30' 8 ton Taleisin, they published a good piece on engineless close maneuvering in Classic Boat #129 of March 1999. They mention managing a speed of 1.75 knots sculling with a single 16' ash oar. They also put a great deal of emphasis on warping lines, easily handled anchors, and use of the dinghy to row these out. This leads into the need for crew that can handle the dinghy work. I believe someone mentioned earlier in the thread that they accept a lot of tows from other cruisers.

Don Street (famously) sailed his 45' engineless yawl Iolaire in the West Indies (constant trade winds, at least in days gone by) for many years, but eventually installed an electric auxiliary. I don't recall any reference to anyone trying to row Iolaire...perhaps someone else does?

I don't see myself rowing or sculling Blackfish, mainly because at full load condition the rail midships is over 4' from the waterline and there is no clear place to row from. The taffrail is worse, it's 6'9" from the water....I think requiring a scull or yuloh over 20' long!

So the main alternative (for us) to an inboard engine is a pushboat. I am surprised this is not a more common solution. It seems a no-brainer that a good longboat will always be useful when cruising. I believe Carlotta has a rubber boat with about 15HP available. My plan right now is to get two new pairs of 12' sweeps for Ratty just in case the 5 HP for stroke goes down. I also have a 5HP Seagull with a clutch that will push or pull like a champ, but I don't like to witness the environmental disaster created whenever that engine runs....which is usually intermittently.

In talking about this subject here, one of our conclusions is that our propulsion engine will aid independence...but it will not be absolutely essential to mobility.....sails and a towboat will get us there....or at least in the general vicinity!

KAIROS
01-05-2010, 08:44 PM
....So the main alternative (for us) to an inboard engine is a pushboat. I am surprised this is not a more common solution. It seems a no-brainer that a good longboat will always be useful when cruising. ....

Just finished reading "The Boy, Me, and the Cat" about the catboat cruise from Mass to Florida and back in 1913. The push-boat's value was obvious: it's shallow draft and maneuverability compared with the 24' Cape Cod catboat allowed it to be used independently as needed. More boats, more options. But that's what a dingy provides when the mother-ship has an engine. So, more boats, more options, but also more headaches.

As for pushing or pulling the mother-ship it seemed like it did not work as well as an engine in the catboat would have (except maybe in docking). To be a reasonable push boat it had to be relatively large also. It could not be stored on the deck of most small cruising sailboats, so it must be towed when under sail....much more drag and capsize worry than a rowing boat or dingy if towed.

Then too, it just seemed like too much 'stuff' cluttering up their cruise. I can see where a push boat works well for the charter schooners of New England, but overall it seemed poorly suited to that catboat cruise in 1913. It worked though, and they didn't have to retro-fit their wonderful, able catboat with an engine just for the intra-coastal waterway. But when they went offshore, that towed push-boat was a real liability.

I guess if you have the crew and space on deck for a push-boat, it would allow you to sail mostly without an engine, but then have one when you saw the need arise. Have cake and eat it too. I see the advantages on 50-or-so ft. and larger sailboats.

Bobcat
01-06-2010, 01:02 AM
I suspect that rowing larger boats is also limited by the amount of current. Here in the NW when the tidal currents are what they are rowing a big boat at a knot or maybe two isn't going to do much.

I used to tow my 23 foot boat with my 8 foot pram. It was a lot more efficient than trying to row or scull the boat itself

Bluenose
01-06-2010, 01:16 AM
...Lin & Larry Pardey have no engine in their 30' 8 ton Taleisin, they published a good piece on engineless close maneuvering in Classic Boat #129 of March 1999. They mention managing a speed of 1.75 knots sculling with a single 16' ash oar. They also put a great deal of emphasis on warping lines, easily handled anchors, and use of the dinghy to row these out. This leads into the need for crew that can handle the dinghy work. I believe someone mentioned earlier in the thread that they accept a lot of tows from other cruisers.

I have seen this idea quoted and repeated on occasion when the topic of engineless sailing comes up yet I have never seen anyone reference the source. I have read much of the Pardey's writing and have not found a reference to them being towed often by other cruisers. I think I do remember them having to borrow an outboard or being towed to transit the Panama Canal but nothing that would lead me to believe that towing was a significant part of their many word travels.

Bill

Bluenose
01-06-2010, 01:37 AM
I suspect that rowing larger boats is also limited by the amount of current. Here in the NW when the tidal currents are what they are rowing a big boat at a knot or maybe two isn't going to do much.

I used to tow my 23 foot boat with my 8 foot pram. It was a lot more efficient than trying to row or scull the boat itself

I suspect that, withing reason, that the size of the boat isn't quite the issue. I rowed my last boat, 2,000 lbs, and my new boat, 5,000 lbs, at about the same speeds as the Pardey's rowed Seraffyn, 11,000 lbs and Taleisin, 18,000 lbs.

When rowing against strong currents, which is a major seamanship failure on my part, I head for shallow water where the current seems to be a bit less.

And the very best thing about rowing a sailboat, the larger the better, is that you very quickly come up with better ideas about how to sail in light air so you don't have to row.

After all, if I wanted to row I would own a row boat not a sailboat.

Cheers,
Bill

Bobcat
01-06-2010, 02:11 AM
I suspect that, withing reason, that the size of the boat isn't quite the issue. I rowed my last boat, 2,000 lbs, and my new boat, 5,000 lbs, at about the same speeds as the Pardey's rowed Seraffyn, 11,000 lbs and Taleisin, 18,000 lbs.

When rowing against strong currents, which is a major seamanship failure on my part, I head for shallow water where the current seems to be a bit less.

And the very best thing about rowing a sailboat, the larger the better, is that you very quickly come up with better ideas about how to sail in light air so you don't have to row.

After all, if I wanted to row I would own a row boat not a sailboat.

Cheers,
Bill

My point, which was not as clear as it could have been, was not the size of the boat, but the speed of the current. If you're rowing at 1.75 knot, you will be unable to stem most of the currents we have in the Pacific Northwest. When sailing without an engine, I have had to anchor when there is an adverse current and wait for the tide to change.

Ian McColgin
01-06-2010, 07:39 AM
". . . and wait for the tide to change." Exactly. Nothing wrong with that. Nor is there anything wrong with deciding to have an engine for the convenience and flexability it can give you.

What's wrong is to be so unseamanlike as to fall out of practice or never learn in the first place how to handle every situation without the engine. For example, and this happened to Goblin and me, you're riding a brisk current through Woods Hole from the Bay to the Sound. Nice midtide flood that pulls the bouys under. And just before the split over that shoal where you can turn starboard and out or port and in the engine fails. This is why even though it felt like a flattass calm we had all sails set. Once we lost power I put her broadside to the current which created a wind and we took a port tack reach to safety. Couldn't have done that in time if the sails were down. We'd have joined the several boats a year that change their keels on that shoal.

Bobcat
01-06-2010, 11:37 AM
". . . and wait for the tide to change." Exactly. Nothing wrong with that. Nor is there anything wrong with deciding to have an engine for the convenience and flexability it can give you.

snipage.

I think you have summed up the whole issue here: nothing wrong with sailing without an engine and understanding that you have the drawbacks of not being sure you will cover a particular distance or reach a particular destination. Nothing wrong with deciding to have an engine, which gives you flexibility and convenience, and understanding the drawbacks of having an engine, eg cost, questionable reliability, a temptation to use it too much, noise...

.

BBSebens
01-06-2010, 03:21 PM
holy crap! what huge lot of information. I never would have thought about having a large boa without a motor, but now I see it is perfectly doable. It may have to be later on in my life, when the restrictions of schedule arent so tight, but I plan to learn to sail the boat in as many situations as possible.

this really has been a fantastic read.

TR
01-06-2010, 05:37 PM
So much of current boat use revolves around schedules. I'll guess that the most boat use happens on weekends, and the highest engine use happens Sunday afternoon. Going out on the boat is all about "getting to destination X" in time to do some other activity.

Well stop....just go sailing.....the auxiliary is for the times when the wind does not carry you to your destination. Our big boat, 50' on deck with a working displacement of around 60,000 pounds, carries (as designed in 1927) almost 1500 sq ft of working sail in her four lowers. Jib top and main top'sl add another 500+ square feet, plus a mizzen staysail of 300 or so. She was designed with a 12-15 HP two cylinder engine, this power will move her in a flat calm, but won't buck tide or any sea.

With this size engine we might see 3 knots under power, but it minimizes drag due to the tiny propellor, Tankage can be small as well, small engines don't drink much, providing a gain in interior volume. But perhaps the required warps and extra anchors, plus light air sails, negate that gain.

Eric Hiscock, in Cruising Under Sail, recommended 1HP per ton (displacement I assume) for strict auxiliary use. This entire book, first published in 1950, is aimed at cruising with a minimal or no motor. Hiscock actually recommends the neophyte cruiser have no engine for his or her first season......as that adds experience quickly.

Bluenose
01-06-2010, 06:19 PM
.....Eric Hiscock, in Cruising Under Sail, recommended 1HP per ton (displacement I assume) for strict auxiliary use. This entire book, first published in 1950, is aimed at cruising with a minimal or no motor. Hiscock actually recommends the neophyte cruiser have no engine for his or her first season......as that adds experience quickly.....

I second Eric Hiscock's idea about gaining experience sailing engineless. I am quite sure that if I had an engine in either of my boats I would have used it a bunch at the expense of many, many learning experiences.

Especially with respect to close quarter maneuvering. Sailing in and out of our bay (Fisherman's Bay on Lopez Island) and its narrow mouth, strong currents, and crowed anchorage is really the most skilled portion of most of my sails. If I were to have powered in and out of the bay and on and off the mooring I would have greatly limited my opportunity to develop my sailing skills.

Cheers,
Bill

johngsandusky
01-07-2010, 07:32 AM
I agree with the concept of a small engine as a good compromise. You will save money and room on board. I think you're prudent to learn to handle her under sail with power as a backup.

slidercat
01-07-2010, 11:46 AM
Probably a lot of folks have seen this, but for a well-written taste of what it's like to sail engineless in waters with a lot of tidal current, read Charles Stock (http://shoal-waters.moonfruit.com/).

To me, his stories convey why it can be such a great pleasure to do without an engine. This is a guy who never undertook that great voyage, because of financial and time constraints, but over his life, he sailed a lot of miles, and accomplished some very admirable things, and in a boat that didn't sail particularly well..

Bobcat
01-07-2010, 12:05 PM
The key to sailing successfully without an engine is largely a boat that sails well, especially in light air. I had a Highlander with a cuddy added that was exceptional in light air. It was a lot more fun sailing engineless in that boat than my later undercanvassed gaff rig schooner surf boat conversion.

Boston
01-07-2010, 12:37 PM
for financial reasons my retirement build might just end up with an engine well rather than a built in
maybe
not there yet so we will just have to wait and see

B

Bruce Hooke
01-07-2010, 12:46 PM
I have not read the whole thread to see if this point has already been raised explicitly, but I think it is worth noting in case it has not. Having traversed the Intracoastal Waterway from NY down to Florida and back I saw more than a few places where it would simply be rude to try to sail except in an emergency. If you have asked a bridge on a heavily traveled road or waterway to open for you, it would be quite rude to spend 10 minutes coaxing the boat through in light air tying up other traffic while you do so, and given how many trees there are in many places along the ICW, you could wait weeks for a strong and favorable wind. There are parts of the ICW where it could be blowing 30 knots outside and there still would not be enough wind to make sailing viable in the ICW.

This is one place where a larger boat would actually make going engineless more viable because going outside would be a more viable choice. I was on a 23' sailboat with a large cockpit so I mostly had to stick to the ICW since this was not a boat on which it would be wise to make extended open water passages without a good way to get inside.

Similarly, when dealing with a narrow, winding, heavily traveled waterway, I am not sure it is really right to slow down lots of other boats by tacking back and forth across the channel.

Others have raised the point that when you around large commercial vessels in constrained waters you must have a way to get out of the way reasonably quickly.

My point is not that one should not go engineless but rather that one should consider the waters you plan to sail in and consider whether you can sail safely and courteously there without an engine.

elf
01-07-2010, 04:56 PM
Kathleen leaving Squeteague Harbor at low tide.
http://photos-f.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc3/hs239.snc3/22647_239714379916_749884916_3018110_5974483_n.jpg

More accurately, Kathleen entering Megansett Harbor from Squeteague harbor at low tide.

rbgarr
01-07-2010, 06:10 PM
Some dicey corners in that harbor for the unwary!! :D

http://i49.tinypic.com/2gt29ds.jpg

sail027li
01-07-2010, 06:29 PM
I've been sailing my 23' keelboat without a motor since 1980, & have only been caught out ONCE! The main limiting factor of being engineless is less flexibility for sailing at night.

elf
01-07-2010, 06:41 PM
No engine, had to sail out to the starting line. Won the race.

Opera House Cup, 2009.

http://landsedgephoto.com/ohc09/images/ELF%20_MG_5042.jpg

rbgarr
01-07-2010, 06:54 PM
The main limiting factor of being engineless is less flexibility for sailing at night.

That's my dilemma also. I got caught out this past September and it took about two hours to sail the last mile and a half in darkness. Fortunately no one else was out there speeding around leaving wakes.

sail027li
01-07-2010, 07:08 PM
That's my dilemma also. I got caught out this past September and it took about two hours to sail the last mile and a half in darkness. Fortunately no one else was out there speeding around leaving wakes.
Don't get me started on the speeder/wakemakers! Lol

KAIROS
01-07-2010, 08:08 PM
The key to sailing successfully without an engine is largely a boat that sails well, especially in light air....

Definitely key. This is one reason why Boston can be such a strong proponent: He has a going machine! He's almost cheating :D. Around these San Juan Islands, with strong currents, narrow passes, flukey light summer winds, you've got to have a boat (and a sailor) that sails very well or luck or a motor.....or forever. That is a very fun game here. Big game of chess. I'm considering another more-huge drifter to help keep me in the game.

http://www.yachtflyers.com/forum_images/drifting.jpg

Ian McColgin
01-07-2010, 08:21 PM
Perhaps it's that almost half my sailing has been after dark but I don't understand how sailing at night is any more an issue than motoring after dark. There are people who keep a mast head light on to show the windex if they don't have a cockpit reader, but sailing is sailing. You can feel the wind. You can feel the sheet tension and know when you're trimmed correctly.

Whatever else is going on, you need an engine at night about as much as you need it in daylight.

Bluenose
01-07-2010, 08:22 PM
.....Similarly, when dealing with a narrow, winding, heavily traveled waterway, I am not sure it is really right to slow down lots of other boats by tacking back and forth across the channel.....

This is one of the unfortunate realities of modern boating. The largest and fastest boats have the right of way. Sort of the ones with the gold make the rules.


.....Others have raised the point that when you around large commercial vessels in constrained waters you must have a way to get out of the way reasonably quickly.....

It seems that no matter how many times someone brings up a number of seamanship solutions to the issues of traffic, tides, currents etc they keep coming up as issues that can only be overcome with an engine.

In my experience, sailing an engineless boat in light air, and in constrained waters, I can't be in the way of a large vessel. Since I am calmly and patiently rowing along the 2 fathom line where the current is light and the traffic is scared.

In any event I am constantly on the lookout for all vessels that pose a risk to our boat and plan a course to stay out of their way. Should I find myself in a situation where I need to get out of their way I will have exhibited some pretty poor seamanship.


.....My point is not that one should not go engineless but rather that one should consider the waters you plan to sail in and consider whether you can sail safely and courteously there without an engine.

I completely agree. But I would contend that in many ways the engineless sailor considers the conditions and safety far more seriously than a boat with an engine. Since boaters with engines often go into situations that they freely admit would be unsafe for them without their engines. Thus putting their boat and crew at risk when, not if, their engine falters.

PeterSibley
01-07-2010, 08:30 PM
Some dicey corners in that harbor for the unwary!! :D

http://i49.tinypic.com/2gt29ds.jpg

What a marvellous harbour !!:) Nothing like that on the East Coast of Oz ....I can see why you fellas sail so much .

Ian McColgin
01-07-2010, 10:29 PM
Actually it does. In Nantucket Sound and Buzzards Bay we have the most felicitous weather in the world. Very nice quiet mornings are followed by afternoons getting on to a nice Strong Breeze (Force 6, mid 20's knots) with sunset quieting to variables.

Where I grew up on Long Island's north shore the Long Island Sound - for good reason called The Dead Sea - got, can you believe? negative wind. My childhood is filled with Dad paddling us up Setauket Harbor, biolumenesence on each stroke while he told the stories of a boy (named Boy) and his dog (named Hiderack because as an orphaned pup he was so starved he looked like a hide on a rack.

If we'd not sailed at night or if we'd had an engine some of the most important moments or our family would not have happened.

Or as Mother said when a kindly motor boat pulled up alongside as we drifted on the ebb towards Plum Gut and the oppressive humidity laid down the optics of an oil slick on the sound . . . he pulled up to offer us a tow and Mother stood up proud (and rather pregnant) in the stern to scorch him with, "No thank you. We're racing."

The tide turned, the zephyrs favored, and we came home about 0330.

Bluenose
01-07-2010, 10:39 PM
Actually it does. In Nantucket Sound and Buzzards Bay we have the most felicitous weather in the world. Very nice quiet mornings are followed by afternoons getting on to a nice Strong Breeze (Force 6, mid 20's knots) with sunset quieting to variables.

Where I grew up on Long Island's north shore the Long Island Sound - for good reason called The Dead Sea - got, can you believe? negative wind. My childhood is filled with Dad paddling us up Setauket Harbor, biolumenesence on each stroke while he told the stories of a boy (named Boy) and his dog (named Hiderack because as an orphaned pup he was so starved he looked like a hide on a rack.

If we'd not sailed at night or if we'd had an engine some of the most important moments or our family would not have happened.

Or as Mother said when a kindly motor boat pulled up alongside as we drifted on the ebb towards Plum Gut and the oppressive humidity laid down the optics of an oil slick on the sound . . . he pulled up to offer us a tow and Mother stood up proud (and rather pregnant) in the stern to scorch him with, "No thank you. We're racing."

The tide turned, the zephyrs favored, and we came home about 0330.

Ian,

You Rock!

Everytime I read one of your post I am inspired to sail more and become a better sailor.

Cheers and Thanks,
Bill

Bruce Hooke
01-07-2010, 11:46 PM
This is one of the unfortunate realities of modern boating. The largest and fastest boats have the right of way. Sort of the ones with the gold make the rules.

I was making a slightly different point...in some of the busier waters I have been in I am not sure I would really feel right tacking slowly back and forth across a narrow channel forcing lots of other boats to divert around me.


In my experience, sailing an engineless boat in light air, and in constrained waters, I can't be in the way of a large vessel. Since I am calmly and patiently rowing along the 2 fathom line where the current is light and the traffic is scared.

In any event I am constantly on the lookout for all vessels that pose a risk to our boat and plan a course to stay out of their way. Should I find myself in a situation where I need to get out of their way I will have exhibited some pretty poor seamanship.

That all works fine if you are just out for a quiet row near shore, but if you are trying to cross shipping channels it gets a bit harder. I know I would feel pretty nervous if I was unexpectedly becalmed at, say, the mouth of New York Harbor. If you are in an engineless boat should you simply not go to places like that unless there is a good, steady wind blowing?


I completely agree. But I would contend that in many ways the engineless sailor considers the conditions and safety far more seriously than a boat with an engine. Since boaters with engines often go into situations that they freely admit would be unsafe for them without their engines. Thus putting their boat and crew at risk when, not if, their engine falters.

This raises the question of is it inherently wrong to go someplace where you can only get safely with an engine? If so, why is a single engine motorboat acceptable at all since it does not have any backup? If you are planning to transit the East River past Manhattan in a sailboat should you wait until there is enough wind so that you can be certain of being able to get out of the way of commercial craft expeditiously without a motor? How will you even know, waiting out in Long Island Sound, how much wind there is on the East River? In places like that you cannot count on being able to hug the shore as commercial craft may well be coming in and out of side channels or going to docks along the shore.

Ian McColgin
01-08-2010, 12:07 AM
It is inherantly wrong to endanger other vessels, but it's not inherantly wrong to inconvenience them.

Two examples: You can't sail enginless in the Cape Cod Canal. Given the traffic and the current and the length of the canal, this is absolutely proper. On the other hand, there's nothing wrong with tacking out of Hyannis Inner Harbor even if a ferry is a bit impatient about your slow progress. Of course, a security call on 13 would be a good thing.

Tacking out a longer narrow channel is a judgement call. I've started out from Lewis Bay and turned down wind, loosing all ground, more times than I can count when in my judgement the traffic, especially the ferries that can't move much in that narrow slot, was too congested at that moment.

Through the Gate and River, either way, can be more complex as it's longer and always busier. I've done it both ways under sail and I've pushed laden oil barges through, wondering at the yachties, in my tug days. In my experience, the jerks were jerks whether under power or sail. In general, those who sailed were much more aware of all vessels around them, more attentive to 13, and far less likely to cause anxiety on my bridge than the utter 'toons who thought their motors gave them license to putter.

There are times when sailboats can operate with insane arrogance. I recall a gaggle heading out of Nantucket Harbor for an Opera House that stayed deliberatly and unnecessarily bunched to prevent the Nantucket (steam ship) from going faster than they. Two sides on that one since there was room to part, barely, but Nantucket knew the race schedule and was trying to be a hog. Mostly when sailboats get in the way stupidly, it's a combination of arrogance that sail always has rights over motor (SO not true) and inability to read the generally predictable behavior of a heavy in a narrow channel.

In short, it's not being under sail that's the problem. It's being stupid.

Bluenose
01-08-2010, 01:23 AM
There is little reason to continue the point and counterpoint debate on what situations are "unsafe" to sail without an engine. For every sailor that finds a will and way to sail and row in a safe, responsible and courteous manner there will be many more who disagree.


I was making a slightly different point...in some of the busier waters I have been in I am not sure I would really feel right tacking slowly back and forth across a narrow channel forcing lots of other boats to divert around me.

I do find it ironic that masses of engine powered boats are making it more and more difficult to sail, and in some places illegal. Yet it is the rare sailboat tacking out of a bay that is inconvenient.


That all works fine if you are just out for a quiet row near shore, but if you are trying to cross shipping channels it gets a bit harder. I know I would feel pretty nervous if I was unexpectedly becalmed at, say, the mouth of New York Harbor. If you are in an engineless boat should you simply not go to places like that unless there is a good, steady wind blowing?

I am actually never out for a quiet row near shore. I would only be near shore in light winds, challenging currents and crowed channels. And for our boat that means something less than 4 or 5 kts. In anything else I would be sailing smartly on a course that would take me cleanly and safely into deep and unconstrained water.

But you bring up a good point about shipping lanes as one of my desires is to sail our new (and larger) boat from Lopez to Port Townsend. Having spent the last 4 or 5 years reacquainting myself to sailing after a long hiatus I still have a great deal of respect for the Strait of Juan de Fuca. I don't take this crossing lightly and didn't attempt it this year as I want even better light air sails and a better storm setup.

But I am not in a big hurry. After all, there are lots of ways for me to get to Point Townsend. The ferries are easy and relatively quick. For me it just isn't about getting to Point Townsend. Motoring across the strait in calm winds and seas just to be there in our boat isn't my thing. I guess I like having to learn, and maybe earn, my way across.

There is just something rewarding in finding a way to work with the wind, and the currents, and the sails to find a way to go places. And for me the places aren't as important as the sailing and the learning.

Just a difference in philosophy.

Bill (The crazy idealist)

johngsandusky
01-08-2010, 07:00 AM
[QUOTE=Bruce Hooke;2446818]

Similarly, when dealing with a narrow, winding, heavily traveled waterway, I am not sure it is really right to slow down lots of other boats by tacking back and forth across the channel.

Which is why I rarely sailed my yawl on weekends. My harbor has a narrow inlet with a 90' bend in it. I would tack in or out in light traffic, but typical summer weekends have heavy, and ignorant, traffic.

johngsandusky
01-08-2010, 07:03 AM
I've been sailing my 23' keelboat without a motor since 1980, & have only been caught out ONCE! The main limiting factor of being engineless is less flexibility for sailing at night.

I remember that. Sailed my Pennant there the same way, got caught at night a few times, overnight once I think. A bit worse on the north shore, lighter winds and stronger tides. Can't row a four ton sloop into Mt Sinai against the current.

Ian McColgin
01-08-2010, 10:24 AM
Actually I loved sailing the Dead Sea at night.

Even in daylight the winds are zephickle at best. The wash of all the tunatowerterrors and jerkskis and inflatafools kick up spills the wind and makes calm air sailing so much harder.

Like the horseflies, stinkpots go away at dark. Then one really can sail with the cigar smoke going straight up. And nothing wrong with dropping the hook during the adverse tide, getting out the most seductive comestibles, lighting the citrinela candle, and . . .

chas
01-08-2010, 11:51 AM
Being a sailor at heart, I have been following this thread with some interest for over 200 posts now. Is it just me or is it possible that some of the intent has been hijacked while we learn about various efforts to sail safely and engineless in different areas of the world. At the least, posts from all over highlight one of the first parameters to be considered – define the cruising ground. Begs the question, should a cruising boat design be created for a particular area, say Tacoma to Pt Hardy (inside waters), where in some of these areas you better have an engine or you eventually will be a liability to yourself or others. On the safety issue, much argument has been extended in here about the unreliability of engines, perhaps justifiable as this is a thread about sailing (mostly). In the same vein that no prudent sailor would set out on a cruise with tattered sails, threadbare sheets and chainplates pulling thru their fasteners, I might venture that no prudent sailor with an engine should address the rig issues and at the same time ignore the engine maintenance that will make it also reliable.

Given then that we all (how many, pick a number) now have a reliable rig, an excellent sailboat design and half of us also have a reliable engine and all of us are average sailors, let’s throw us into a compromising situation. You may establish your situation pursuant to your home waters and describe it here. If there are any situations where those among us are better off with not having an engine, put em up. Having an engine in my boat, it would only be prudent seamanship to be aware of any situations where this might cause me a problem. I’ll thank you in advance for any information that might contribute to my safety.

In the first paragraph of the initial post a parameter was established…

“The concept of cruising and full time living aboard a fairly large vessel with minimal systems causing minimal impact has continued to generate much discussion here.”

… and for the sake of the thread originator we need to keep this in mind. This was exactly the concept I was considering when I moved back to the coast a few years ago. Being financially challenged (read I must continue to work, I must continue to work, I must continue…), I was forced to identify the potential physical boundaries of my cruising area. Not wanting to unnecessarily limit myself, I chose Tacoma to Alaska and I homeport roughly between those two locations. Thus began the process of choosing a boat design for the cruising area defined and the systems necessary (personal choices here) for comfortable extended liveaboard.

Because of work considerations, my initial cruising area will be northern Salish Sea, an area extending from Desolation Sound in the southeast to perhaps the northern tip of Vancouver Island. I could spend the rest of my life getting to know this area well, and if I chose a boat without an engine, that wouldn’t be enough time. Faced with that, I will need some power. Having decided this, I am looking at the following from Tad:

“1)More interior space…..elimination of the awkward engine box and fuel tanks, often positioned in the best (central) part of the boat.
2)Less weight up high in the boat, possibly more weight in the ballast keel.”

Needing mechanical propulsion and not wanting it in the big boat requires a substantial tender with the ability to move me along when I must. This creates a conundrum for when the sailing is good (25 kts in Carlotta’s case, sweet) I would not be wanting to drag my shore boat along behind. I will need to find a place for her on deck, perhaps in davits if I am big enough to carry her, although any sailboat I might consider will be too fine aft for that possibility. Is putting that tender somewhere on the deck in the prime sailing conditions, where it will take up valuable space, create windage, and perhaps generally compromise the sailing experience worth the tradeoff of the increased space that is gained in the bowels of the boat that might be afforded by the lack of an inboard engine and accessories? My vote in this case would be no.

Opinions? / Jim

Bluenose
01-08-2010, 01:02 PM
.....Being financially challenged (read I must continue to work, I must continue to work, I must continue…), I was forced to identify the potential physical boundaries of my cruising area. Not wanting to unnecessarily limit myself, I chose Tacoma to Alaska and I homeport roughly between those two locations. Thus began the process of choosing a boat design for the cruising area defined and the systems necessary (personal choices here) for comfortable extended liveaboard.

Because of work considerations, my initial cruising area will be northern SalishSea, an area extending from Desolation Sound in the southeast to perhaps the northern tip of Vancouver Island. I could spend the rest of my life getting to know this area well, and if I chose a boat without an engine, that wouldn’t be enough time. .....

Jim,

I think you bring up an interesting distinction.

There is a big difference between sailing and cruising.

If the goal is to see the most places and journey the furthest within your cruising grounds within a defined schedule, sailings is a terrible choice. For that I would pick a fast, comfortable and reliable power boat.

I have, for some time, thought that many cruisers who own sailboats don't do so because they primarily love sailing. They love cruising and prefer the shape, or style, or romance of a sailboat.

I say this since I can't count the number of sailboats motor sailing through the San Juan's, on their way to some destination, while we are sailing with great wind.

I still believe there is an option here for sailors that wish to sail. You can chose to motor sail to the maximum number of destinations possible or 10% of them and know them 10 times better. I firmly realize that our society usually pursues the former but the latter can be pretty sweet.

rbgarr
01-08-2010, 01:21 PM
We're actually better off without an engine because

1) I single hand most of the time and stowing the sails after starting the engine is 'just one more thing'

2) the boat sails fine in almost all conditions, maneuvering well and predictably, and

3) local waters are deep and open, unrestricted by channels and heavy, confined traffic.

I'd say ours are especially fortunately circumstances in the main.

If we lived where you do and wanted a liveaboard to safely use for longer distance cruising, powering her with a push/tow boat on side davits, this design appeals to us, unless I were sailing singlehanded. The drawings are in post #43.

http://www.woodenboat.com/forum/showthread.php?t=12129&highlight=rothrock

johngsandusky
01-08-2010, 01:26 PM
Hey John! Agreed, most of LIS isn't too great for being engineless. Now if we could just get some of the air from this thread to our Kokopelli event next summer.

LOL, right. I think I'll bring my dory next year. She's not overcanvassed either, so I hope for a breeze.

Ian McColgin
01-08-2010, 01:53 PM
Jim phrases the questions to come down for having an engine. Let's try an alternative. This is not meant to be preaching, just an example of real life problem-solving.

Of the two schooners I had that lost their engines and, me being such an indolent mechanic they did not get replaced or repaired, one was 12 tons and 43' on deck, the other 20 tons and 55'.

On the smaller, the Alden schooner Goblin, I first experimented with getting the dink aboard on the trunk, since I didn't have a good place for davits, with the boomkin in the way. The two dinks I messed with were a 10' or so hard bottom of conventional shape, and a Tinker Star Traveler which was I don't recall for sure but about 12'. The Tink had a nicer fit setting lower and nicely over the skylight when inverted.

I tried various ways of hoisting from the main and fore shrouds at first thinking it important to keep bow and stern hoists separated. I settled on having painter and quarter lines of such length that when held together the three eyes centered above the dink's center of balance and were comfortably about eye level when the dink was in the water and I stood on deck. These three were then hooked to a dedicated halyard from the foremast. For convenience I had a tag line from the main shrouds to a sliding shackle on the halyard to hold the dink back when being hoisted. With this arrangement I could easily bring the dink up alone, flip it over, and settle it in place. Also easy to deploy.

I rigged it to work from either side but in the event always worked on the starboard side, hove-to on starboard tack.

I borrowed an outboard and did a bunch of towing tests, finding good protocols for single-handed towing both astern and on the head and handling distance, mooring and unmooring, anchor handling, docking, and all that. This meant I had to be able to launch and recover the dink with Goblin under sail, always hove-to.

I practiced in all conditions, including severe, where it made any sense to use a power tow instead of sailing. Once satisfied, I decided that I'd completely remove the engine and use that space under the bridge deck for the world's coolest nav-station/office. I gave the OB back to its owner and sailed a few more years, once and a while rowing Goblin back to the mooring if it was a flat calm, I was within five miles of home, and I had some reason (Boredom? Showing off?) to tow her rowing the dink. In the event, Hurricane Bob foreclosed that plan. When Granuaile's engine failed, I just sailed. Had the northeaster that claimed her not happened, I would have eventually repowered as that was really consistent with LFH's design concept for the Marco Polo.

You can always find a way to get the dink on deck, where it belongs. Stern davits on smaller yachts are a real hazard and mid-ships davits both rare and hard to engineer or find space to install. A dink inverted and lashed in chocks about amidships is really nice. In many boats, it's of real advantage to have a pram shape with a partly detachable bow transom, allowing the dink the snug down lower, and a fully detachable stern transom so the dink can extend over the companion making a really cool dodger. Make or find the biggest dink you can possible fit aboard.

It does not take much power for a dink to tow and control a larger displacement sailboat. About a horsepower per ton is abundant. You may want to pay a specialty shop to change the reduction gear to allow a larger and slower turning prop and you may want to put a nozzle over the prop. Make sure you design the dink's transom to take the thrust and design a suitable removable towing bitt.

For the live-aboard, living space and getting machinery out of the living space are often more valuable that the convenience of having an inboard engine.

A good reliable mill is a lovely convenience and can add capacity and flexibility, especially if you, for example, have to offer an emergency tow. Though as it happens the only time I had to make a real emergency tow - a boat afire and drifting to the mooring field - Goblin had no working engine. After picking up the two casualties in the water, we went down on a broad reach, snagged the pulpit with a heaved grapple, and towed the burning boat off on a tight reach keeping it far enough aft that I did not fear the burning.

I'm by no means saying that sail-only is morally superior. It's just that it's not dangerous and not necessary to have no engine.

G'uck

seo
01-08-2010, 01:54 PM
I'm not sure if having a yawlboat/pushboat with an engine means that you're a powerboat... Certainly the schooners going around the Maine coast with yawlboats done THINK that their schooners are motorboats. This may be a delusion, but I've run a 90' on deck schooner with a 27hp engine in a yawlboat, and it doesn't FEEL very much like a motorboat.
I've also used a small inflatable with its outboard to push a sailboat in flat calm. A 3hp outboard can move a 40' sailboat along at 2 knots or so without much trouble. This answers some of the practical objections to the smell, weight, expense, etc, or an inboard, and the aesthetic objections to having an outboard on a stern bracket.
What's left is a sense that traveling in a sailboat is more satisfying when it's done without an engine, that it makes you more aware of your surroundings, places greater demands on your skills. This assumes that you find it more satisfying to be a skillful sailor than a skillful engineer, or that you find your moments of peace an enlightenment in the wind, under the sky, rather than contemplating the mysteries of the Diesel Cycle. I have made a living as an engineer on tugs and research vessels, and it pays well, and it's kind of interesting, sometimes, sort of.

seo
01-08-2010, 02:09 PM
I'm not sure if having a yawlboat/pushboat with an engine means that you're a powerboat... Certainly the schooners going around the Maine coast with yawlboats done THINK that their schooners are motorboats. This may be a delusion, but I've run a 90' on deck schooner with a 27hp engine in a yawlboat, and it doesn't FEEL very much like a motorboat.
I've also used a small inflatable with its outboard to push a sailboat in flat calm. A 3hp outboard can move a 40' sailboat along at 2 knots or so without much trouble. This answers some of the practical objections to the smell, weight, expense, etc, or an inboard, and the aesthetic objections to having an outboard on a stern bracket.
What's left is a sense that traveling in a sailboat is more satisfying when it's done without an engine, that it makes you more aware of your surroundings, places greater demands on your skills. This assumes that you find it more satisfying to be a skillful sailor than a skillful engineer, or that you find your moments of peace an enlightenment in the wind, under the sky, rather than contemplating the mysteries of the Diesel Cycle. I have made a living as an engineer on tugs and research vessels, and it pays well, and it's kind of interesting, sometimes, sort of.

chas
01-08-2010, 05:02 PM
Fast power boats are expensive to run, rule that out. Many people buy sailboats because they may be more affordable to run, perhaps, or just more affordable. I don’t know . doesn’t matter.

The 10% argument means nothing to me. My pleasurable time aboard is the most valuable, where I am doesn’t matter, I’m a liveaboard and expect to have enough time to get wherever I want on time because I am planning the days events surrounding my interests. If I plan on sailing there without power it will because I will appreciate the challenge enough to do it.

If I were to choose a pure sailboat to fill the potential for engineless and affordable liveaboard cruising (remember the parameters) sailing on this coast, this would be it, click on the video top right (and don't miss the soundtrack)…

http://www.tonylatimer.com/ (http://www.tonylatimer.com/)

…many of you here will know her. I had the great good fortune to have been the other end of the stick during her lofting process and my fingerprints and some other marks are all over her backbone and framing. While I haven’t sailed on her yet, I know how she would go, which is fairly obvious in the video. I don’t have much reason to dislike the 30HP Sabb within her taking up space but I noticed Tony hasn’t tossed it out yet. I can’t imagine the folding prop attached in that rudder cutout holds her back much. There is a sweet hollow fairing of the keel joint that extends along the deadwood and just above the shaft that directs some water flow up onto the rudder while under sail. You sailors know what I mean there.

This boat would sail easily up to a dock or mooring most of the time, so don’t start the engine after a sail, not an issue. Unfortunately I don’t have this…

“local waters are deep and open, unrestricted by channels and heavy, confined traffic.”

… in my described cruising ground. Strong currents, variable wind, narrow channels and heavy fast and confined traffic describe my cruising ground and colour my opinion about the requirement for an engine and/ or its capacity to move me.

”Jim phrases the questions to come down for having an engine.” - What questions? Just a first step on the overall concept, Ian, think bite-sized chunks. My post really was only to address the first two points in the original concept. You might say that this post reflects on the next two.You seem to indicate that you would have an engine in your liveaboard sailing cruiser. Feel free to attack any of the other aspects of the original concept. Using a tender and outboard/yawlboat?? addresses this…

“5)No drips from the stuffing box…perhaps even a dry bilge.
6)No concerns about where to route the exhaust pipe and worries about cooling system through-hull fittings.
7)Far less expense in first cost and in long term maintenance.)”

…perhaps, but offers no real satisfaction on items 8-12.

“I'm by no means saying that sail-only is morally superior. It's just that it's not dangerous…” – In my cruising ground it is more dangerous to not have some form of mechanical propulsion. Any question I have would be as to where it would be more dangerous for a prudent skipper to have mechanical propulsion as backup. When we take the safety issue to its consideration in the overall scope, then perhaps we could address the other issues. Such as limited mobility and battery charging options.

How do I keep my electric toothbrush charged up so I can do a proper job after my bath??

Michael D. Storey
01-08-2010, 05:43 PM
I started to race when woodies were on their way out. I used to race an 'R' class with an old fellah who in a calm would require persons to sit down so as to not diminish the boat's way while approaching a mooring. Sailed a 12 metre that had an outboard (!) really. And then only sometimes.
Big deal, I know. The drift that I picked up was that until you have tried it, I mean tried it for a while, you havent tried it.
Simple.
There are as many reasons why one would be better off not on a motorcycle. But in both cases, there aint nothin like it.. Now I don't ride motorcycles anymore, largely because of an ever-shortening attention span, but I still do sail without an engine. Its different. Its different sailing without an engine that what it is with one that is not running, and I don't mean weight, etc. Requires a different mind set. Which is good.
Hope this makes sense.

Ian McColgin
01-08-2010, 07:03 PM
Firstly, not addressing the fundamental issue of to have an engine or not: Just because, “I can’t imagine the folding prop attached in that rudder cutout holds her back much” does not mean that a little observation of boats couldn’t help.

The hole in the deadwood and/or rudder causes huge turbulence even if there is not prop. Good for a knot or so anyway, in a ten or so ton displacement boat. I am unconvinced of any advantage of a folding prop - very hard to fit in any other than a way oversized hole in the rudder - down there as opposed to a two blade that can be aligned vertically when sailing or a feathering prop or best of all a vertically aligned feathering prop.

More than that, while many are prejudiced against off-set props, a good installation will often be more efficient than a centerline prop in a hole at the back of the keel/front of the rudder. This is an area where turbulence is beginning and a good deal of water is essentially being dragged along with the boat. A prop there is pushing that water back before providing real thrust. Note that the water was already dragged so pushing it back does nothing for efficiency. If the prop is offset, it will be pushing water that’s already moving the right way relative to the hull. Studies show anywhere from 10% to 20% improved efficiency offset prop over deadwood hole prop.

However, that is just one of many considerations a navel architect must make in locating the prop. A prop in the deadwood is better protected, gives better low-speed steerage ahead, and is usually less psychotic astern. You pays your money and you takes your chances.

Engineless or powered? No matter where you are, you can safely sail without but you probably can’t go out or come back or cover ground with anything like the same whim or convenience. This latter can get to be really major in certain places. So have power if you want. Just as engineless sailors should not pretend there is something superior to their approach, those with a mill aboard needn’t act as if they’d made a responsibly choice based on responsible inevitability.

PeterSibley
01-08-2010, 07:50 PM
The hole in the deadwood and/or rudder causes huge turbulence even if there is not prop. Good for a knot or so anyway, in a ten or so ton displacement boat. I am unconvinced of any advantage of a folding prop - very hard to fit in any other than a way oversized hole in the rudder - down there as opposed to a two blade that can be aligned vertically when sailing or a feathering prop or best of all a vertically aligned feathering prop.

More than that, while many are prejudiced against off-set props, a good installation will often be more efficient than a centerline prop in a hole at the back of the keel/front of the rudder. This is an area where turbulence is beginning and a good deal of water is essentially being dragged along with the boat. A prop there is pushing that water back before providing real thrust. Note that the water was already dragged so pushing it back does nothing for efficiency. If the prop is offset, it will be pushing water that’s already moving the right way relative to the hull. Studies show anywhere from 10% to 20% improved efficiency offset prop over deadwood hole prop.

However, that is just one of many considerations a navel architect must make in locating the prop. A prop in the deadwood is better protected, gives better low-speed steerage ahead, and is usually less psychotic astern. You pays your money and you takes your chances.
.

I am becoming more and more convinced of the advantages of an offset prop and will very likely be filling the hole in my sternpost , excavated at such effort .I am building a sailing boat , not a motor sailer .

Ian McColgin
01-08-2010, 08:08 PM
Just spend time with the NA on the trade-offs. See if you can find someone with an off-set and try her out - better yet find several as they all behave differently depending on whether the prop shaft is more or less parallel to the center line or whether it's at an angle, usually out from whichever side it exited the hull on.

A lot also depends on how big the prop is. It's a lot easier to locate a big slow turning prop on center as there's less shaft to support than if it's sticking out of the hull. The increased efficiency of the bigger prop may off-set the better flow efficiency of a smaller off-set. Also, whether it rotates clockwise if on the starboard side, anticlockwise if to port matters. Depending on how far below the waterline the prop is a twist that tends to grab water from the surface could be more likely to find pot warps or swimmers' toes.

As in love of a person, love of a boat is a mix of rational considerations, compromises, and illusions.

G'luck.

PeterSibley
01-08-2010, 08:26 PM
Ian ,you may have seen the Marie Michon thread ,that is the design I am building .There was some discussion there of offset props with Ed Burnett and Andrew Craig Bennet .

http://www.woodenboat.com/forum/showthread.php?t=97232&highlight=Marie+Michon&page=9

chas
01-08-2010, 09:18 PM
“The drift that I picked up was that until you have tried it, I mean tried it for a while, you havent tried it.” - Your picking this up from the previous posts, I take it, as I wouldn’t want to take any credit for that thought. You give as reason for this that…

“Its different sailing without an engine that what it is with one that is not running, and I don't mean weight, etc. Requires a different mind set. Which is good.”

I don’t argue the different mindset for sailing engineless. I get it, you feel better. But it only begins to address the other issues surrounding … ”Most folks contemplating larger vessels assume inboard diesel power, perhaps a generator for battery charging, and numerous through hulls to service various systems. What happens when you decide to sail without all that?”

Note that the larger vessels we are talking about are liveaboard. I don’t take this to mean a boat that cruises for two weeks to a month and is serviced by shore power, moorage, and/or a basement, shop, or garage to store all the spare parts in and to which you may access on short notice.

On the prop issue, folding or feathering on the ‘Judith Spence’ which she was known as at the time, I’m not sure because it was 1976 or ’77 and I left before it was installed. I was involved in the shaping of the deadwood, mostly with sandpaper, and the purpose was to facilitate the release of the grip of the boundary layer on the hull and reduce the drag at the sternpost of this sweet double-ender. The design was intended to have the blades biting mostly undisturbed water outside that boundary layer when deployed (what would it be in this area, 1-1.5”thick??) and yet be tucked behind the necessarily thicker portion of deadwood required for the shaft log and presumably in the water volume that would be dragged along at least partially by the increased deadwood. Not sure what the relevance is concerning the overall concept, unless you are arguing that this increased turbulence is putting her at amplified risk when under sail.

“Engineless or powered? No matter where you are, you can safely sail without but you probably can’t go out or come back or cover ground with anything like the same whim or convenience. This latter can get to be really major in certain places.” - A major concession in the ability to “go out or come back or cover ground” in my opinion affects the convenience and/or the potential safety of a liveaboard sailing vessel and is worthy of consideration in that context. Once again, however, this is but a part of the overall concept presented in the opening post.

Perhaps in order to move this along we need a more accurate definition of … full time living aboard a fairly large vessel with minimal systems causing minimal impact”.
While we all have a different idea of what that might entail, I assure you it is unlikely to be the same as that of whomever is along for the ride. A complicated subject and not my place to define unilaterly. Perhaps others would care to jump in here with their visions.

Minimal systems for my definition would require year-round cabin heat for my climate and cruising ground, lights, pressure hot water, cooking and baking facility, extended blackwater storage, substantial freshwater capacity, and enough food storage capacity for two to live on the hook for a minimum one month, preferably longer. None of it requires an inboard engine, although in the overall concept this might indeed be the best way to go.

I watch for some new ideas, and will spend less time in defending what is essentially just one man’s opinion. For now. / Jim

Ian McColgin
01-08-2010, 09:51 PM
Maybe just make up your mind from a combination of events like the rest of us who live aboard. In my case, all the boats I've had had engines when we got involved. Marmalade's is still working. Goblin's and Granuaile's engines both had problems that I simply did not fix. In my case, it was more convenient to go sailing than go bilge diving.

I rather like having an engine for Marmalade as, like any catboat, she's dreadful to weather with a headsea. With Granuaile I could pretty much rely on a six knot average without the engine. Marmalade's averaged out to more like three knots without, but Marmalade will get us five knots motorsailing at an acceptably parsimonious fuel sippage.

So much depends on your goals and how you blend those goals to what you happen into. Which sometimes change. When my engines broke and I'd neither time nor money nor inclination to fix them, I adjusted my sailing habits accordingly and was happy.

My only point is to avoid dogmatism for or against purity, for or against engines. It's not the one or the other but the integrity with which you make your choice and respect the choices of others.

seo
01-10-2010, 12:45 PM
I used to own a Herreshof H-28 with an offset folding prop, 5hp Volvo md1. It was a very easy boat to handle alongside, IF you were going portside-to. Sort of like a single-screw tug, which likes to handle to one side better than the other. It makes it more interesting...
I also recently made a trip running a square topsail schooner from Falmouth-Liverpool-Bristol-Scilly Isles-Southampton-Dover-Tilbury-London-Portsmouth-Falmouth-Lisbon.
The boat had twin screws and a single rudder, which is an odd arrangement. Nonetheless, our best day under sail was 242 nautical miles, which seemed pretty good. Immediately after that day we spent three days in a gale in the Bay of Biscay, continually having to stay out of the English Channel-to-Gibraltor&Cape traffic lane. We may have technically had right of way under sail, but only a FOOL would contest that. Let me put that more clearly. Only a JACKASS NUMBSKULL IDIOT would get in the way of a fully loaded tanker.
A few years ago I worked running a tug in and out of Boston, often to the cement-unloading dock near Black Falcon and the tanker dock at Castle Island. We would come in from sea with the barge "on the hip," with its cargo weighing about 10,000 tons, not including the barge and all of its unloading machinery. A barge on the hip, or on a hawser, is "restricted in ability to maneuver" and a sailboat does not have right of way over a tug-barge, a fishing boat working its gear, or a ship "constrained by draft."
In spite of that, almost every time in and out of Boston in the summer we would be screamed at by nimrods in their sailboats. There was always at least one boat (often more) that would ignore our security calls and whistle signals indicating that we were getting underway to back out of the dock. I even once had a committee boat of a race tell me that we had so stay in our berth until the race was over.
In spite of being a lifelong sailor and lover of sail, it was easy to understand why many tugboat guys hate "blowboats." It isn't so much that they're in the way. It's that many of them think they have the right to be in the way.
It doesn't have to be this way. As an example, some years ago I was running a 65' schooner doing a semester-at-sea program. We came in from sea with a coming tide, and SAILED in through the Verazzano Narrows, up the East River, through Hell Gate, and out as far as Execution Rocks, where the wind dropped flat. On the way through, I must have told two dozen tug/barges on channel 13 that we weren't asking them for right of way, that it was no big deal to start our engine to stay clear of them. When it was put to them that way, they all said they'd give us room.
I guess the main point of my story is that sailboats aren't the only people out there. Also, that there are many places you can go, things you can do, with a sailboat with an auxiliary that you could not dream of without one.

Bluenose
01-10-2010, 06:37 PM
Seo,

I completely agree with your judgment against sailboats, or any boats, that confused stupidity with right of way.

As I mentioned before, I have only tried to exercise my sailing right of way one once in the last five years of sailing. And only that time because I was being forced into shallow water by a large powerboat headed straight at me who apparently thought sailboats shouldn't sail and that the deep center part of the channel that I had left him wasn't to his liking.

I don't sail very often near the shipping lanes in Puget Sound but what I do get to see are the ferries. What I see most often is boats under power thinking that they can clear the ferry if they gun it. Needless to say they can often be wrong.

In these last five years, sailing like mad, I have never had a commercial vessel signal me or had them be forced to change course.

I think it is more about awareness and courtesy than about whether a boat is sailing or powering.

Cheers, Bill

TR
01-10-2010, 06:51 PM
chas......nice posts...thanks for your thoughtful participation.

One statement struck me right off....this is in no way a go at you personally.......


where in some of these areas you better have an engine or you eventually will be a liability to yourself or others.

What do you care if I go sailing and am a liability to myself? It's no one's business but mine where or how I sail. This is one of (to me) the prime reasons for going sailing....you are independent, free to go where and when you will. Of course if I endanger others or require someone to come rescue me there is a problem....but I don't set sail with the intention of needing rescue.

In the mid/north-coast BC waters I have sailed in the past, often we saw no other boats for days....and then it would be a tug on the horizon. There was absolutely no expectation of anything but self reliance. If you got in trouble you get yourself out. There fore the lifeboat...with adequate power, on a line astern, ready for use as needed.

In thinking about cruising with no engine I have been visualizing the problem of getting through Porlier Pass. This pass is moderately challenging under ideal conditions. Porlier is the pass between Valdes and Galiano islands, about 10 miles south here. The pass is about 1/3 mile across at it's narrowest, there are rocks everywhere, mostly unmarked but there are a few lights, and the current runs at up to 9 knots through here. Scary place. With a heavily indented shore the backedies that form can be huge. But it can be a placid spot on a flat calm day at slack water, that would the time to transit with the outboard or oars just after slack. It would be avoided totally after dark on a windy night....I wouldn't even consider it.

paladin
01-10-2010, 09:08 PM
I sailed into a fiord in Iceland...no engine...I sailed all the way down the channel to a whaling station....rock outcroppings, steep vertical cliffs, really weird wind currents, you had to watch the limbs in the rock faces to see where the next wind would come from....narrow fiord, lotsa short tacks...it was a bit interesting getting back to sea.

KAIROS
01-10-2010, 10:12 PM
...you can do, with a sailboat with an auxiliary that you could not dream of without one.

....you can do, with a sailboat without an auxilliary that you could not dream of with one.

Bobcat
01-10-2010, 11:03 PM
Seo your post brought to mind a term I just learned from a merchant seaman and a coast guard officer: WAFI
Wind Assisted Freaking (or some other word starting with an F) Idiots

Sailor
01-11-2010, 01:45 PM
Reminds me of one of my favorite terms. Motorboat Seamanship. Now before the powerboaters start inundating me with death threats, let me explain myself. I was sailing in a 90 ton ketch. We were maneouvering alongside the fuel dock. (I notice the irony here) and the Captain was slowly crabbing us sideways into our spot. Some idiot in a 36 foot Bayliner came around the corner and saw us taking up a good bit of the channel. Our captain told him to wait till we were alongside then pass outboard of us. NO.... like the smart guy he was, he couldn't wait and zipped in between us and the dock. This made his approach on his spot very narrow. There was another vessel between his spot and ours meaning he had to cut very close to the guy already alongside. Guess what happened? Yup, clipped the guy already at the dock. A bit of damage to his own boat and none to the other one (thankfully). When I told my brother about this guy. I asked him to describe what he imagined a guy like this to look like. Well, right away, he knew there was either a hawaiian shirt, open or no shirt, hairy chest, large gold chain, bushy hair, shorts, no shoes, bleached blond bimbo either on the focsl or next to him.
Bingo. He was bang on with every account. That is Motorboat seamanship. not to say that sailboaters don't do it too but it's my experience that the turnkey "goability" of a motorboat puts it within reach of many more morons than sailboats.

seo
01-11-2010, 02:53 PM
Kairos,
Will all due respect, I don't agree with your comment in #223. I don't believe that in the year 2007 that anyone could take a 90' LOD vessel drawing 10' up the Avon River to Bristol. The tide range there is 15 meters. That is not a typo. Forty nine feet. I understand that there has been navigation up to Bristol since Roman times, obviously without engines. All along the river there are vestiges of the structures that were used to control unpowered vessels in the current, and the walls that vessels leaned on to strand out when they didn't make it all the way up on the flood. None of that stuff is in working order anymore, and the people who knew how it was done are gone.
Part of what I can do with a auxiliary boat is to use it as a launch going back and forth from our house, and the cove on the island seven miles across the bay where we have a summer hovel.
The reality of Penobscot Bay in the summer is that the wind tends to drop out around nightfall, then pick up for a couple hours after midnight. This breeze, which we used to call the "last-call wind," pipes up just as the bars are closing, and gave a great excuse to prolong the festivities. It doesn't usually blow for a long time, and then it tends to be very flat until late morning.
In the ideal world neither I nor my wife would not have to go to work, and my kids' friends' parents would happily wait at the public landing until 3am until I got their kids home from a day at the island.
Sadly, this is not the case, and if I say we'll be back by nine, well, we had better be. As an aside, this tends to keep my own kids, and certainly their sainted mother, a lot happier. Rolling around in a left-over swell while the rig jerks and the sails slat and bang is doubtless very charming, but it's a somewhat elusive charm. In fact I hate to watch the gear getting beat up like that, and will gladly furl the sails and crank up the engine. My only remaining purist scruple is that I power with bare poles. This business of motoring around with the sails up seems undignified and somehow shifty.
I have never pulled off an exploit like Paladin describes in #222, and I'm full of admiration for it. I can easily see the attraction of that type of adventure. It just isn't the path I've followed.
It does in a way separate the men from the boys. A guy who sails an unpowered sailboat to Iceland almost certainly a really good seaman, sailor, and boathandler. Either that, or incredibly lucky. But either way, willing to place a pretty high wager on either his skill or his luck.

chas
01-11-2010, 05:42 PM
First and foremost, I don’t take this personally, we are all just opinions in here. Generally the weight of one’s opinion may be gauged by the depths of their experience regarding the situation. Being a yacht designer and the originator of this thread puts you front and center on anyone’s depth chart. Thanks for your time and efforts here.

Let’s try to clear something up. I love to sail and have enough experience in that regard in a multitude of boats to at the least contemplate the issues here. Regarding the issue of self-rescue, suffice it to say I have a solid understanding of the concept. Eight years of wavesailing where 25-40 kts and 15’ seas were the preferred norm alerts one to the possibilities stemming from pilot error, equipment malfunction, significant changes in wind or sea state, and the resulting loss of steerage.

I’ve had many people call us fools, and worse for this passion, to no avail. My argument and reasoning very closely resembles this…

“What do you care if I go sailing and am a liability to myself? It's no one's business but mine where or how I sail. This is one of (to me) the prime reasons for going sailing....you are independent, free to go where and when you will.”

…and the sense of satisfaction and purity of the experience of sailing without an engine does not go unappreciated; there is no way I would compromise my (nor your, anyone’s) right to undertake this.

That being said, the snippet of text that seems to have all these drawers in a bind should perhaps be considered in the larger concept.

“At the least, posts from all over highlight one of the first parameters to be considered – define the cruising ground. Begs the question, should a cruising boat design be created for a particular area, say Tacoma to Pt Hardy (inside waters), where in some of these areas you better have an engine or you eventually will be a liability to yourself or others.”

I had been attempting to introduce the importance of defining the cruising ground as being an element only of the overall decision regarding the inclusion of an inboard propulsion engine. Tad, you have chosen to highlight a particular spot in your home waters, PorlierPass, and described the conditions that you would consider as acceptable for transit. Perhaps you might elaborate a little on that. The only chart I have of this is in my current tables, and from this not for navigation drawing I might estimate the length of transit to be about 1 NM. Whether or not you would tack through this channel is not my call. Having company in there transiting either way with you would certainly complicate the issue, as passing back and forth between two lines of vessels passing port to port is not really considered seamanlike.

Perhaps the best way to illustrate my conundrum might be to virtually sail your engineless 30 ton displacement vessel through Surge Narrows (the most favoured of the three options for passing thru my home waters, by far) as I am traveling from your homeport to the north Mid-coast of BC. For definition note that I will consider this point to be somewhere in QueenCharlotteStrait. To transit the Narrows at high slack in summer we will need to join a flotilla and get in line. Customs, seamanship and good manners will require me to resign myself to the fact that I will be regulated to the back of the line.

BeasleyPass is the channel to use and a flat calm day is a regular occurrence around this particular location. As we all jockey for position around the south entrance to the Pass 15 mins before slack (which lasts 20-30 mins, roughly) you notice the first of a line of boats that begin their southbound transit on the tail end of the flood from the north end approximately 2 NM away. We will immediately take notice if there is a tug and tow in that lineup and revise our plans accordingly. As Beasley Pass is 60’ wide at it’s narrowest point, local custom dictates that these boats are allowed to make their transit a priority. Accounting for the occasional southbound straggler, it is quite possible that you are ½ way through the period of slack tide before you begin the transit. At 2 NM/hr we will be 25% of the way through when the push begins, but other than avoiding being swept onto Tusko rock and dealing with the wakes from the abundance of Motorboat Seamen that proliferate in these waters, you are home free. Till you reach the next double set of rapids about 5 NM up the strait. But that will be another day, literally. WaiattBay and the OctopusIslands make for a pleasant and safe (if not a little crowded) anchorage to wait for the next daylight high slack to transit the rapids. There will be a pesky little row against the falling tide into either of the narrow and rock-strewn entrances into the bay that might preclude anchoring outside in some deeper water and a somewhat more exposed location. After all, it’s summer and there’s a light wind forecast, no worries.

BeasleyPass runs up to 11kts. Discovery Passage is only used by someone in a hurry; the commercial traffic is incessant and they will not get out of your way. The third option for a trip north is thru the Yuculta / Dent rapids, another double combination at 15kts max and the three sets of whirlpools spaced over 4 NM; these are a dangerous undertaking for any boats. Don’t take my word for it , Chart # 3543. I think it would be foolhardy to take an engineless boat into this area for what may very well become the raft trip to Hell. Many unwary and some only unlucky have died in here.

I am not saying one would not have the ability or even the right to make any of these transits engineless or even severely underpowered. I am saying some of your options would be stretching the boundaries of good seamanship, just by attempting it. From my experience as a wavesailor, you eventually come to the point of realizing the value of local knowledge. Ignore it at your peril.

This is only my opinion, of which I do feel the responsibility to explain and for which you have the above. Defend it to everybody, can’t be done. What’s your favourite colour?

I am considering options for a sailing rig to be adapted for my liveaboard cruiser with the intention of increasing my range and improving the onwater experience. Participation in this thread was related to an interest in the systems that may be relevant to engineless cruising and their potential adaption to my situation. I’ll await that discussion. For now / Jim

KAIROS
01-11-2010, 05:50 PM
Kairos,
Will all due respect, I don't agree with your comment in #223. .....

I guess I was saying that the way it feels to maneuver an engine-less sailboat in challenging conditions......that feeling of mastery....... can't be achieved with an engine. So, by having an engine to fall back on you miss an opportunity to experience something unique and powerful.

As you say, in strong currents on a large heavy boat it can sometimes become near impossible without an engine. As the boat-of-choice becomes bigger and heavier you need some kind of auxiliary power, maybe an engine. But captain Vancouver wasn't much limited by lack of an engine, in his opportunities to explore in my part of the world (Puget Sound). He just anchored his square-rigger and sent his yawlboats exploring the fast-flowing channels. The guys rowing probably didn't get much of that romantic feeling of mastery though.

slidercat
01-11-2010, 06:21 PM
I guess I was saying that the way it feels to maneuver an engine-less sailboat in challenging conditions......that feeling of mastery....... can't be achieved with an engine. So, by having an engine to fall back on you miss an opportunity to experience something unique and powerful.


That's how I took your remarks.

I don't think one can completely understand what it's like to sail without an engine by sailing in a boat that has one, even if rarely used. It's just an entirely different mindset.

It's not really an important issue, and I agree that in waters with big tidal currents the idea of sailing engineless becomes somewhat less attractive. Still, it can be done, as witness the adventures of Charles Stock. If I were sailing a big boat, even here where we have modest tides, plentiful wind, and big protected bays, I'd have an engine, I think. For instance, I would not take an engineless boat through the landcut between here and Panama City (FL) even with a following wind. The quarters are just too tight, and if I were to meet a barge string in the cut, I would be worried that without an engine, I might be sucked into trouble. Of course, if I have to get to Panama City, I can go outside, but it's almost 40 miles, and in some weather not a good idea for a small boat.

TR
01-11-2010, 07:22 PM
chas/Jim......

Yes, I hope to get to the "low impact" systems discussion soon...once we get over the navigation/safety problems ;)

I happen to be fairly familiar with Beazley Pass, years ago my Dad had a sawmill at Diamond Bay in the Okisollo rapids. We traveled via the Surge back and forth to home in Heriot Bay. I've spent at least one night "cleaning the bottom" on a rock in the Settlers Group when I got lost in the dark. Good times!

Which reminds me of another point....hitting a rock in a ruggedly built (full keeled) wooden boat drifting with the tide is not necessarily the end of the world. The potential for real damage occurring is far higher when that boat is under power. Of course problems can arise as the tide drops, arguing again for seamanship (pick a rising tide) when putting your vessel in a potentially problematic position.

I've also been thinking about negotiating the Yuculta Rapids with no power. Years ago in fishboats (power) we would expect to get through the Yuculta, Green Point, and Whirlpool rapids all in one tide, a transit of some 30+ miles. But there are literally dozens of places to stop and wait for the next tide. I happen to know about this as I worked towing log booms through these rapids. Our maximum speed was maybe 1 knot over the current speed. It took many tides to complete a transit of the rapids. Short jumps right at slack water were the rule, with time to catch up on sleep between tides.

seo
01-11-2010, 09:57 PM
Once decided on an operating area and season, I suppose the next question is what might be called the "service profile," which is just an obscure term for 'whaddya gonna do with the damn boat?'
Then there's the question of whether the purpose of the low-tech boat is to not use resources, or to be evocative of another era; maybe both those things. I sailed on some of the Maine schooners when they still used canvas sails and hemp running rigging, no radar, no Loran, The "electronics suite" was a VHF, a depth sounder, and that was it. The running lights were kerosene. I hope that I'll always remember one particular evening, getting underway with a gang pumping the teeter-totter anchor winch by the light of kerosene lanterns. It really was like being in another world.
Somewhat after that I sailed on the Pride of Baltimore 1, in the intermediate period between the early days of hemp STANDING rigging and the old-timey bilge pump, and her demise. When I was on board she had Duradon sails, steel shrouds, an Edson diaphragm pump, a SatNav and radar, and the same 3304 Cat she started life with.
Life on board seemed very authentic and "yargh!!!! me hearty!!" and everybody's clothes were covered with tar. The business of going aloft and rassling with sails was very vivid. We were on transit from San Francisco to Baltimore with no schedule other than to be home before the Chesapeake froze. The Pride carried very little fuel, so we sailed, except for things like going through the Panama Canal, where sailing is frowned upon.
After that, I did a long trip as skipper on a 65' schooner called the Appledore, from St. Thomas-Mona Island-Santo Domingo-Cap Haitien-Hogsty Reef-Great Inagua-Rum Cay-St. Mary's Inlet-Beaufort NC-Chesapeake-Mystic-Sag Harbor. On that trip I'll remember sailing down through an unmarked and uncharted passage between two cays in the Bahamas, standing up on the foremast trestle-trees, conning from up there. And sailing all the way up the Mystic River, through the lift bridge, and onto the pier next to the "Joseph Conrad."
Since then my 'old timey boat' sailing has been on the "Amistad," the Pride 2's orphan little sister. She is a luxury liner compared to the Pride 1 or the little Maine schooners, with desalinators, generators, twin engines, gps, chart plotters, SAT phones to call the office, other SAT phones for the office to call me, and lots of schedule to keep.
In spite of that, it had its moments. Sailing at night with everything set to the square topsail and the gaff main topsail, going maybe 11 knots when the near-full moon broke through the clouds, and lit up a barquentine about a mile to leeward of us, sailing the same way. We all wished we had cannons...And then the moon went in and the other vessel disappeared, like magic.
Reciting this sordid list makes me wonder why I got involved with tankers and tugs, with the very real but not necessarily pleasant business of running a tug in January. But some of the tugs were very old (1908 was the oldest), and occasionally we found ourselves enjoying the magic of navigating without the use of engines. Or drifting around, anyway.
So now in my incipient old age I'm getting my own personal sailboat ready to go after several years on the beach, and I'm debating the level of modern equipment that I'm going to inflict on this 1950's era 40' CCA keel-centerboard boat. Generator? Desalinator? Hot water heater? chart plotter? depth sounder? solar panel? wind generator? roller furling jib? outboard for dinghy? Wheel steering? cabin heater? fireplace? shower? Slab reefing? Anchor roller chock? Anchor winch? Autopilot? refrigerator?
She's never had any of these things, and I don't find myself inclined toward any of them, except maybe the solar panel, the fireplace, and the anchor winch and roller chock. And probably the gps.
In this I'm guided more by utilitarian and economic concerns than esthetic or ethical ones. I'm not getting a generator because if I did I'd then have to pay for it, listen to the damn thing, fix it, and buy it fuel. I don't want an autopilot because I have a wind vane that I enjoy doing its work.
When sailing, I'm not making money, and when not making money I don't enjoy spending it. So, having a refrigerator doesn't make a lot of sense. As soon as you have one, you have to buy stuff to put in it, which seems to lead to a lot of chowing and swilling. And then you have to feed it diesel fuel, and then you have to fix the damn thing. If I had wanted to be a refrigeration engineer I'd have stayed on salmon tenders...
But on the other hand, I don't want canvas sails, or hemp sheets. I don't even want my old three-strand dacron sheets. I'd love to have a new Samson braid anchor rode. And self-tailing winches. And dacron halyards instead of rope-wire jib and wire main.
The thing I really want is LED light bulbs in my cabin lighting.
Incandescent light bulbs have made me nervous ever since I got my heart broke by a girl named Candace.

Another

Boston
01-12-2010, 10:36 AM
well said

http://www.dngoodchild.com/5335.jpg

Ian McColgin
01-12-2010, 11:01 AM
I was quite fortunate in that all my boats have been good sailors first. In my rants about the importance of sailing without resort to engine, I may have forgotten how important the boat’s design is to this. It’s a point driven home by noting how hard many modern boats, usually with a 6:1 main, a blade&bulb keel and a pinched bow, are to even heave-to, much less do any close order maneuver. The point was driven home even more by the following from Dan MacNaughton’s beautiful appreciation in the current WB:

“I had occasion to sail the boat for a few years without an engine while dealing with some severe physical restrictions, ad I began to notice that WRIC was a superb working platform due to her roomy and unobstructed decks and easy motion. I was getting from point A to point B entirely under sail, with an absolute minimum of work and in close quarters, and I realized that her double-headsail ketch rig gave me a degree of control that could not have been equaled by a similar boat under power. Picking up moorings, putting the anchor down, getting underway, backing downwind out of a tight spot, all turned out to be maneuvers more safely performed under sail alone than under power. . . . “

And on. Wondrous.

chas
01-12-2010, 11:13 AM
Don’t know about the rest of it but…

“Then there's the question of whether the purpose of the low-tech boat is to not use or to be evocative of another era; maybe both those things.”

…it would seem that the ability to not use resources might also be located in a high-tech boat. Some might argue that the only way you might achieve the goal of engineless liveaboard sailing will be through a high-tech approach. The trick may lie in the ability to transfer this to boats that are “of another era”.

We’ll see / Jim

PS Add radar to that list.

Ian McColgin
01-12-2010, 12:28 PM
"Some might argue that the only way you might achieve the goal of engineless liveaboard sailing will be through a high-tech approach." [234] Some might, indeed, but I'd be surprised if they were people of very deep and long sailing experience.

To distinguish, I'm not counting as "high tech" a boat just because it's construction involves epoxy, the rigging wire, the cordage dacron, etc. Nor would I consider a windmill to power such lovely amenities as electric light "high tech."

Diversion on electric light. I lived for a decade on Goblin with oil lamps and I happen to be a fanatic reader. Any form of electric light is just so very worth it.

I'll call it "high tech" if it pushes the evolution of greater and greater sail area to displacement with loftier and loftier rigs. One way to put a control on it would be to say, perhaps a bit arbitrarily, that it's high tech if it could not be built and single- or small crew handled by materials available before say fifty years ago.

Modern high tech designs can go considerably faster both to weather and off the wind than most 'traditional' shapes. Most especially, the best of them can go amazingly in very tough conditions. High tech also extends the reach of human muscle making sail areas, both total and for a single sail, possible in larger and larger sizes.

And certainly many traditional shapes have been compromised by ill-considered rerigging or design reinterpretation. But in general, traditional designs that come out of working sail are superior for maneuver.

One limitation of traditional designs to consider, however, is the extent to which they are area specific. I've sailed a nifty Bahamian sloop in her home waters and had the chance to sail her up off Martha's Vineyard. She was just not happy up here.

Maybe it's like the difference between a cabin one could hew in the woods with ax and peavey and the same location cabin that has lots of cool styro insulation, solar power, and lots of other stuff rendered about worthless when the sun spots flare and the diodes toast.

The lower tech traditional boat will have lower stresses on all aspects of hull and rig and be more readily fixable, even if you have to beach it at high tide and rig log rollers and come-alongs to drag her up a bit.

Like that.

slidercat
01-12-2010, 12:29 PM
Ian hits on an extraordinarily important, but sometimes ignored, aspect to evaluating the worth of a boat. Handiness can make a huge huge difference in how you view your boat. I've owned a couple that weren't that handy, and I do not remember them as fondly as I do the ones I could trust to be well-behaved.

My current little cat is a jewel in that respect. Everything in her design was compromised toward comfort; she's not fast and she's not the prettiest of boats, but comfort was the primary goal. A very important part of comfort is knowing that your boat will behave herself, will tack reliably in almost all conditions, will lie to the wind when the helm is released, will heave to reliably, will still make progress to windward under shortened sail and so forth. Some aspects of handiness are difficult to get in a lightweight cat, of course. I can't shoot bridges on my momentum, because Slider doesn't have much.

There must be many other aspects of handiness-- wide clear decks, for example, make many tasks easier.

Maybe I'll start a new thread on the subject.

chas
01-12-2010, 01:02 PM
The “evocative of another era” part is important to me and I will be trying to conserve that traditional look and keep to the original ‘look’, as far is possible. So far on the exterior I’ve got LED lighting and a wind generator, radar and a couple of antennas? Arguments could be made for solar, just a question of where do you mount where it won’t offend.

I would use the traditional rig as designed, but I’m not into speed; steady works for me.

“One limitation of traditional designs to consider, however, is the extent to which they are area specific.”

It always seems to come back to “define the cruising ground” as a logical first-step. / Jim

aroostifer
01-12-2010, 01:20 PM
My wife and I sail an engineless Ingrid 38 gaff cutter. Fiberglass hull, but I read this forum because I love OTHER people's wooden boats, and because you all frequently have insights and wisdom to share about gaffers and other classics.

http://lyonsimaging.smugmug.com/Cruising/G-M/Macha-6108/5076868_HC4Dm#305705148_sRzXw-A-LBhttp://lyonsimaging.smugmug.com/Cruising/G-M/Macha-6108/5076868_HC4Dm#305705148_sRzXw-A-LB

I've been very impressed to see how respectful and thoughtful this thread has been! I have a few comments about some of the thoughts that have come up.

"For open water sailing the engine is just dead weight and wasted space, but if you routinely sail where there is lots of traffic and tricky channels, the engine is a piece of safety equipment and definitely worth the trouble."

"For long distance stuff an engine is nice. I remember reading something by the wife of the builder of the Spray replica Scud, about how painful it was to sail past beautiful Pacific atolls because they would have needed an engine to get in or out."

What I love about these mutually contradictory opinions is that they really elluminate the difference in philosophy between cruising by motorsailing, and cruising under sail.

Yeah, it's too bad that there are parts of the world that you can't get to with an engineless sailboat. But, if you're a skier, it's also too bad that there are parts of the world that don't have snow, and if you're a surfer, it's too bad that there are beaches in the world that don't have waves. But for sailors, skiers, surfers, and anyone else who takes part in a weather dependent sport, it seems to me that seeking out or waiting for proper conditions is part of the sport.

I choose to focus on all the places in the world I CAN sail to, rather than the few places I can't. And I also realize that as my skills improve, there are more and more places I can get in an out of. For example, the latest edition of the Pardey's book describes sailing in and out of the coral atolls you describe above.

"For me using the engine is largely a safety thing."

Another way of saying this is: "Every time I motorsail somewhere that an engine is REQUIREDfor safety, I'm implicitly trusting my life to my impeller, my fuel filter, my alternator, etc., etc." Modern diesels are pretty reliable, but there are still way to many single-points-of-failure for me to feel comfortable trusting my life to one.

I've heard somewhere that mountaineers say, "it's never the first thing going wrong that kills you, it's the third thing going wrong" I would argue that motorsailors often forge the first few chain-links of a tragic cascading failure without even realizing it, by placing their craft into a pickle they can't safely sail out of. By the way, this is true whether or not they actually even use their engines when sailing. The point is if and when they NEED their motor, they are literally betting their boat and maybe their lives that it will start on cue.

"Our Great Grandfathers sailed in a world with far far fewer vessels in it."

Not necessarily true. At my marina, there were more (and bigger three masted) sailboats in the Alameda at the turn of the last century than now. You could practically walk across the Oakland Estuary on the decks of the Alaska Packer fleet tied up there.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_QkV7Z5jI7zA/Si1RvIz5HVI/AAAAAAAAAU4/leXi2CllaVk/s1600-h/Alaska_Packers_Association_Alameda_California_S789 .jpghttp://1.bp.blogspot.com/_QkV7Z5jI7zA/Si1RvIz5HVI/AAAAAAAAAU4/leXi2CllaVk/s1600-h/Alaska_Packers_Association_Alameda_California_S789 .jpg

Of course, in those days there were harbor pilots and warping bollards and skilled line handlers, etc. See below.

"Yacht harbours are no longer set up for pure sailing."

That is definitely true!!! If you want to sail without an engine, you need to be choosy about where you keep your boat. Mooring or anchoring is definitely easier than docking. We keep our boat in a marina, but we shopped around carefully for an end-tie that would be easy to sail in and out of. Again, I think this is part of the sport for me. I would no more choose a slip I HAD to motor out of than I would choose a bicycle trail I HAD to drive to. Interesting thing is that side-ties around here seem to be easy to find, since the inconvenience of the long walk from the parking lot is perceived to outweigh the convenience of the short sail from the Estuary... :-)

"If you work for a living and need to get back, you probably could use an engine."

Totally. This is the main argument I see for engines. But like Bill said, there is a difference in priority between boaters and sailors. If there is light wind, I find it insanely challenging and fun to try to keep the boat moving. If there is NO wind, I'd rather be reading a book than motorboating.

"so my question would be what did our great great grand fathers know about sailing that we dont? they sailed up the rivers what did we loose when the engine became king?"

Ultimately, this is why I sail engineless. I want to learn how to SAIL. If those salty old buggers could do it back in the day, why can't we?

I hear a lot of people say things like, I can't sail engineless in (location X) because there are currents of up to X knots here and the wind is unpredictable. I always want to say, "Yes, the moon's gravity also affects the ocean near where I live!" Pretty much anywhere you go, there will be tidal currents. Pretty much anywhere you go, the weather man's forecast will not be 100% right. And yet, intrepid sailors have historically ventured into all these areas.

To quote Charles Stock:

"the cruising man will take a fair tide as naturally as he selects the up or down escalator at the underground station depending on which direction he wants to take."

From http://shoal-waters.moonfruit.com/#/lets-go-gaff/4514024607

When people say they NEED a 50 horsepower engine to stem a 5 knot tidal current, to me it's like saying you need a gasoline-powered pogo stick to go up a down escalator!

- Ari

http://sv-macha.blogspot.com

BBSebens
01-12-2010, 03:31 PM
well said Ari. I think that might suffice as a good summary of whats trying to be said.

KAIROS
01-12-2010, 07:43 PM
Hey Aroostifier,

Ahhhhhh, welcome....and right on.....and, that has to be one of the best 1st posts ever....

seo
01-12-2010, 08:57 PM
In terms of "handy," the handiest boat I ever sailed was a Friendship sloop which I got hired to deliver without an engine from Friendship Maine to Mystic CT. Particularly in light to moderate airs she would do anything: shoot up, back down, tack, stay put, just lovely. As stable as a half-tide rock.
Later in the trip we ran into some very strong wind, and ran down the beach from Point Judith to the entrance to Fisher's Island sound with 30+ knots of wind on the quarter. She was pretty badly overpowered, and when double reefed the center of effort of her mainsail was so far out that she wouldn't bear off and sail. Just kept rounding up like a Sunfish. Finished the trip under staysail and jib, the main in a jumble.
This boat was designed and in part built by Roger Morse, the nephew of Wilbur Morse and the "Morse" who sold his boat shop to Cabot Lyman so that Lyman-Morse would have a hint of downeast versimilitude.
I heard a couple of very interesting things about boats from him. I think he built the original "Marco Polo," which was called "Talaria," I think. I asked him what it was like to build a Marco Polo, and he replied "T'weren't nothing to it. Like planking up a cigar." Which is my all time favorite boatbuilder quote.
He also built some boats for Alden, and the way he told it is that the lineage of the Friendship sloop was through Maine men working on Gloucester "Fredonia" style schooners, and building something like it for lobstering down home. And then John Alden was in Maine inspecting one of his yachts being built and saw/sailed a Friendship Sloop, and blew it up and rigged it as a schooner.
Because of the spoon bow that never made a lot of sense to me, but then one day I saw a big Friendship sitting on land next to a 40-some foot Alden schooner. There is a lot of resemblance aft and amidship.

After years of not much caring for them, I've come around to seeing the utility of a square topsail, whether on a sloop, schooner, or maybe even a ketch. It's really a pretty cheap and simple sail, and if it's rigged to be set flying from the deck, or rigged up to be "brailed" in to the mast like a shower curtain, it doesn't require a lot of going aloft. I'd rather deal with a square topsail set that way than a club gaff topsail, and much prefer it to a spinnaker. It's a great sail reaching and running, and kind of surprising going to windward. Going to windward in 12-15 kt of wind, the Amistad would go over the ground at 6-7 kts, and tack (over the ground) through 100º. Pretty good for an old-timey rig. But I didn't have to yarn on the halyard, or go aloft and reef.

But for an eco-cruiser some sort of squaresail might make a lot of sense. Herreshof covers this very well in his discussion of the "Marco Polo" design.
SEO

Don Kurylko
01-12-2010, 09:27 PM
Welcome to the Forum Ari. Great Blog! :)

Jamie Orr
01-23-2010, 12:38 PM
chas/Jim......

I've also been thinking about negotiating the Yuculta Rapids with no power. Years ago in fishboats (power) we would expect to get through the Yuculta, Green Point, and Whirlpool rapids all in one tide, a transit of some 30+ miles. But there are literally dozens of places to stop and wait for the next tide. I happen to know about this as I worked towing log booms through these rapids. Our maximum speed was maybe 1 knot over the current speed. It took many tides to complete a transit of the rapids. Short jumps right at slack water were the rule, with time to catch up on sleep between tides.

Tad, a few years ago my dad and I did a trip in our Chebacco in that area. One morning we started from Octopus Islands marine park and sailed through Hole In the Wall, Yuculta and Tugboat (I think) rapids up to Shoal Bay, about 20 miles. Took us all day but we never touched the engine - that day still stands out as one of the best ever.

I keep getting sidetracked looking at other boats for sale, but if/when I do build my next boat, I probably won't put an engine in it because of the cost. Since I'll be retired by the time she's ready, I don't see that as a problem.

Cheers,

Jamie

Boston
01-23-2010, 02:10 PM
Im starting to think some retractable (fold away) electrics would be the way to go
I'll be wanting electricity anyway and so am relegated to having a generator. Batteries make excellent ballast and for short bursts electrics seem like a more efficient way to go that some big smelly diesel. a smallish vertical wind turbine might just lower the auxiliary generator use to a bare minimum. This thread is actually got me leaning towards a pair of small retractable electrics for use in a pinch. Draw backs are some heavy copper wire and listening to the generator from time to time

that bit about the friendships was interesting and confirms all that Ive heard about balancing that type in a heavy wind
thanks for the input

new thread located at
http://www.woodenboat.com/forum/showthread.php?p=2466319#post2466319

cheers
B

seo
01-24-2010, 10:46 AM
A few years ago I interviewed a German boatbuilder who specialized in Dragon class sailboats. He was located on a big lake on the outskirts of Munich, where they were very concerned about pollution, and had effectively restricted engines to commercial vessels.
A few of the non-racing Dragons in his yard were fitted with electric motors that were built into the rudders, with a pusher prop behind the rudder. This created a hump in the rudder shaped like the engine nacelle in an airplane with wing-mounted pusher engines. According to the yard's architect, it didn't cause much resistance, or reduce the effectiveness of the rudder. Also, the owner could have a "powered" rudder, and a regular one, and swap them out without much expense or drama.
This power was adequate to push a dragon a couple of knots, and had enough range to get them home from anywhere on Lake in flat calm. Measuring it off on the map, that looks like about 17 km range, or about 10 statute miles, or about 8.6 nautical miles.
The battery installation looked like the equivalent of 3 group 27 batteries. The installation was very expensive. Based on the euro-dollar exchange rate at the time, as I remember it the price was over two thousand dollars, and that was when the Euro cost $.85, not today's rate of 1 Euro = $1.41.
I think that a good place to start in considering the practicalities of electric propulsion might be at your local golf course. That's the most widespread application of low-power electric propulsion that I can think of. My impression is that they use a lot of electricity...
I have sailed as engineer on diesel-electric tugs, and I don't think there's much to be learned there, except for four things:
1) Electric boats got a market share because the government sold at surplus huge numbers of surplus submarine propulsion rigs.
2) The replacement boats for that generation of boats were almost invariably not diesel-electric, but "clutch boats," meaning they had reverse gears.
3) Some advances have been made in controllers for electric drives. I think the technology is called "SCR" which is described this way:
"SCR stands for Silicon Controlled Rectifier. It allows AC motors to be speed controlled as if they were DC, but it also causes chopping of the waveform, thereby contributing to harmonics and noise on the feeders. Think of SCR’s as electronic relays that are so fast they can turn on and off again within a single cycle. SCR’s are controlled by a small control current through the terminal called the 'gate' or 'trigger'. The output current controlled is huge by comparison (just like a relay), but there is no arcing and no contacts to pit. Like all diodes, SCR’s can allow current to flow in one direction only; therefore, they are used in pairs for the conduction of AC current."
Yeah. Of course.
As I understand it, the value of this is that it allows modern electric drive to use AC current instead of DC, which is cheaper to build and more efficient, and leads to point 4:
4) Most electric drives found in marine applications is in the drive pods of cruise ships. These stick out from the belly of the ship, and contain the drive motor and the propellor. They can pivot around like a 360º outboard motor, making them very good for docking. They also don't take up space in the interior, and are quiet. The other great advantage for cruise ships is that the diesel generators can be used to either/and power the drives or the ship's hotel loads like the Air conditioning, watermaker, casino, etc.
If this applies to low-impact boating, I'm not sure how...
Economically speaking, my guess is that electric drive is an expensive alternative to a small engine.
To put this in perspective, some years ago I made a cruise in my 40' sailboat, from Miami to the Bahamas, where we spend two and a half months cruising in the Abacos, going all over the place, and then from there to Morehead City offshore. The total fuel burn, for propulsion and charging the batteries, was 21 gallons. My guess is that if we'd had a photo-voltaic charger and/or a windmill that this would have been more like 13 gallons.

Boston
01-24-2010, 11:19 AM
interesting points all but I think for another thread as this one seems to be specifically about sailing without an engine and we could have quite the conversation about the electric alternative to diesel as an auxiliary

new thread located at
http://www.woodenboat.com/forum/showthread.php?p=2466319#post2466319

the subject has multiple threads on BD net but Im not so sure its hip to be bumping a subject to another forum so Ill leave it at just the ambiguous initials
there are several well heeled EE's over there and we have gone over this option extensively

initially the system costs more but with the solar and wind assisted generator it is very economical to run
I think
lots of debate there and lots depends on your set up, battery life and so on

simple is best

stick to DC motors and leave off all the fancy hardware
stick to basic lead acid batteries like the Gorilla at over 1200 amps and 8V about 400 lbs and $1200 each but a 15 year life span or 30,000 cycles to 50% capacity they are cheap and easy
how many you need obviously depends on the individual system
your basic hardware store generator maybe 1K to assist the batteries
a couple of solar panels and a vertical wind turbine
and your in for what could be the cost of a diesel
also depends

your more likely than not to have batteries anyway
a generator anyway
and a lot of folks have a solar panel or two anyway
even wind turbines are not unheard of anyway

so my thinking is to combine these items in some advantageous way and for the short bursts of say 4 hours tops you might need a auxiliary propulsion

end of hijacking

we now return you to your regularly scheduled programing

shaunbarrymcmillan
01-24-2010, 07:47 PM
With all good manners - I can't believe we are still talking baout this.
Try going into Sylvia bay with no engine as a back up or propulsion. Try sailing through Seymour rapids, Porlier Pass or Dodds Narrows. Get my drift - in the Georgia Strait and related area you can`t just sail around the winds are way too flukey and the currents really dangerous.

Chip-skiff
01-24-2010, 08:03 PM
Good thought.

Reading up on the histories of NZ harbours, my impression is that there were not only more groundings and wrecks in the days before engines, but more fatalities.

Working seamen adopted engines for a reason and it wasn't lack of seamanship.

Ian McColgin
01-24-2010, 08:28 PM
It is true that sailing around Vancouver Island and the lower Alaska islands is fraught with problematic winds and energetic currents. Howver, there are people who sail it without engins. And there are many other places on this globe more felicitious for sailing.

To have or not have an engine is a choice about how to live. To pretend that one choice is morally superior or that the other is somehow more responsible is totally unseamanlike arrogance at its worst, like what you'd expect from some Saskatchewan seadog.

Tim Mooney
01-24-2010, 11:22 PM
The "service profile" of the Rocinante in The Compleat Cruiser was for a motorless small cruiser because the owner wanted to use his wits and have to think about the tide, weather and chart. Adding a Torqueedo or other electric motor with limited batteries allows dockage without causing anyone a lot of anxiety. The game of tide, weather, and chart remains with X amp hours of grace. This appeals to me more than having a big oar onboard. Rowing a couple of tons with one oar is not my idea of fun.

Don Kurylko
01-25-2010, 12:25 AM
Hey Ian… :mad: Saskatchewaniacs have feelings too you know! :p



Rowing a couple of tons with one oar is not my idea of fun.

What? :eek: How could that not be fun!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTSg9iIqkl4&feature=related

Boston
01-25-2010, 12:42 AM
my thinking exactly Tim and
new threat located at
http://www.woodenboat.com/forum/showthread.php?p=2466319#post2466319
it saves a few bucks also ( no motor, no gear box, no fuel tanks, just the gen set. )
with a retractable set up you get the advantages of less drag and ease of service should you foul a line or something
4 hours should do the trick and that way your being responsible and maintaining the sailing experience all at the same time

I like the idea of being able to use the extra space as well after all batteries can be stashed a lot easier than engines can.

sorta

the gorilla of the battery world

http://www.dcbattery.com/rollssurrette_8cs17ps.jpg

3300 cycles 10 year life grantee 15 expected weighs 424 lbs costs ~$1200 each
8V
20 hour discharge available amps 820 41 pr/hr
12 hour discharge available amps 713 59.5 pr/hr
8 hour discharge available amps 640 80 pr/hr

two or three of these and depending on the size of the vessel your power time is at a comfortable safety margin
I believe someone also mentioned the value of the light-bulb
might also light a few of those for the romantic evenings spent out on the water

cheers
B

Bluenose
01-25-2010, 01:58 AM
With all good manners - I can't believe we are still talking baout this.
Try going into Sylvia bay with no engine as a back up or propulsion. Try sailing through Seymour rapids, Porlier Pass or Dodds Narrows. Get my drift - in the Georgia Strait and related area you can`t just sail around the winds are way too flukey and the currents really dangerous.

The reason why we are still talking about this is that because no matter how eloquently Ian and Ari describe sailing without an engine as just being a choice another post comes up and diminishes the viability of sailing engineless because it happens to be different than their own choice.

There is no moral high ground here any more than there is for rock climbers, backpackers, hikers, car campers etc. Just people enjoying themselves doing what they love.

Any number of boating choices can provide a satisfying and safe experience with proper preparation and knowledge.

It would be nice to branch the electric motor portion off into its own thread as it is sort of its own choice (with merit as well).

Bill

Boston
01-25-2010, 02:50 AM
agreed
its kinda late but I will begin an electric auxiliaries thread soonest
B
new thread located at

http://www.woodenboat.com/forum/showthread.php?p=2466319#post2466319

Ian McColgin
01-25-2010, 07:25 AM
Don, I was tired of insulting Texans - too easy - and I wanted to keep with the Canadian theme. But I really don't know much having met only one Saswhatevertheycallthemselves (Don't dare start the equivalent of a Newfie thread here) and he really acted and sounded like my corn fed cousins from Nebraska.

Was it this thread or another where someone boasted of 20knot tidal currents? I'd like to know where, except that one in Norway, and who the blazes finds it navigable by anything.

Boston
01-25-2010, 07:41 AM
Sasquachs ?

Don Kurylko
01-26-2010, 12:26 AM
Ian, I was joking of course! But feel free to insult Albertans. They are the Canadian equivalent of a Texan these days. (Man, I’m gonna catchit for that one!)

Actually we do have some pretty extreme tidal currents up this way and they can be pretty daunting, however they are navigable. They are well documented and hold no surprises to anyone who cares to do their homework before attempting to transit them. Planning, patience and aforethought is all it takes to see your way through safely, even without an engine.

Dave Williams
01-26-2010, 12:24 PM
I'm OK in most situations without an engine and I don't use mine hardly at all. I'm 36' and 12 tons. Picking up a mooring, anchoring, getting into most docking situations; fine. I love working with the tides and currents to get me where I want to go. Thats part of the fun. I try to not be on a schedule other than what the currents require. What little electrical needs I have are from solar.

The one thing I would miss in not having an engine, that no one has mentioned, is having the ability to set my anchor hard and know that I have a good set. I often anchor under sail but before night falls I will usually give it a good pull just so I know.

Anyway this an enjoyable thread and thanks to all.

Dave

Ian McColgin
01-26-2010, 12:37 PM
I also am almost never happy with just easing the anchor over the bow and setting back. Granna with all sails down except the mizzen which was sheeted flat would at least back down without needing attention, so I could feed out the rode solo. Most sailboats with their more drag aft will fall off the wind making a nice anchor set a slow pain and you've still not really set the anchor unless the wind is really brisk.

For those reasons, I usually come in on a very broad reach on the tack the anchor goes out on or whichever tack gives a nicer rounding up if the anchorage is congested. I do this under the least sail or even bare poles consistent with just a bit more than steerage weigh.

Where I want the anchor, over it goes and I feed out the rode till the scope is a bit more than final - like 7:1 in most bottoms around here. I then do a sliding snub and can really feel the anchor set, grab, and pull the boat around into the wind. Then shorten up to the usual 5:1 knowing we're good.

G'luck

seo
01-26-2010, 10:01 PM
I almost always anchor sailing downwind. It gives me steerage way right up to the moment that I set the anchor, and allows me to put the anchor where I want it.
This is pretty standard practice among the Maine schooners, where I've heard jokes about the chain running out through the hawse so fast that it struck sparks. I've never seen that, but there's no problem having enough inertia to make sure that the anchor is well and truly set.
The trick is to give her a bit of rudder, turning toward the side that the anchor hawse is on, just before the rode fetches up.
With a gaff sail I usually settle the head of the sail, so it doesn't have any windward drive, keeping her from ranging up.
With a schooner, it's easiest to do with just the mainsail set. With a yawl or ketch, just the mizzen. With a sloop, just the main.

KAIROS
01-27-2010, 02:07 PM
With all good manners - I can't believe we are still talking baout this.
Try going into Sylvia bay with no engine as a back up or propulsion. Try sailing through Seymour rapids, Porlier Pass or Dodds Narrows. Get my drift - in the Georgia Strait and related area you can`t just sail around the winds are way too flukey and the currents really dangerous.

I definitely wouldn't insist that you sail those waters without an engine. But you could if you want to. It'd be alright with me.


I almost always anchor sailing downwind. ....

This IS a neat trick that works. For unfamiliar crews it's important, beforehand, to talk about what can happen if a part of a person gets caught up in the chain as it whizzes out. It's like having a rabid animal lose on the foredeck. But safe with precautions.