Sailing logs: Are we cheaters to use the engine? • Parlay Game

For two novice sailors it seems like a feat, but we have a confession.

We have not fully covered this distance solely by the force of the wind. We used the engine of our sailboat "Boomerang" much more than expected.

The main reason was to compensate for the capricious nature of Mediterranean winds, which generally blew faster than our current level of skill and patience.

Despite this justification for our occasional consumption of diesel, we often observed other boat owners sailing on moorings and wondered if we had the right to describe ourselves as sailors.

Are we somehow "cheaters" with this means of transport respected?

It seemed like a question for more experienced sailors. So I looked for them in the marinas and on the online platform "Women Who Sail".

"A sailor, that's someone who takes water on a boat"

"Sailors of all times have used all the tools at their disposal to arrive safely and quickly at their destination," said Niki Fox Elenbaas, who has been sailing with her husband Jamie for almost forty years. "I doubt that the Phoenicians considered the deployment of sweeps or kedging as a" cheat. "

While the couple prefers to use the sails, he uses his engine to moor his 40-foot catamaran "Grateful".

"We can sail at anchor and moor buoys, but why?" asks Fox Elenbaas. "The safety and preservation of our body for several years of navigation count more than an idea of" purity "in our travels."

Fox Elenbaas was not the only one to distract me from the term "cheating", which may feature in the regulations, but not in the world of pleasure cruises, which brings together a rich and diverse population with a myriad of reasons to live on a boat. .

"For me, a sailor is a person who takes the water on board a boat.This is very wide," says Deborah Dalziel, Australian founder and CEO of MySail.

"There are so many types of sailing and navigation that can be practiced and as many different ways of enjoying the sport, I do not think people should limit themselves to a definition here." Sailing is what you in fact."

"Easy is not the goal"

Although we sometimes feel that we are doing a little hassle and we fear the humiliation of falling during berthing, we found that the sailing community was refreshing without judgment and that it incredibly supported all the "yachties", whatever their level of competence.

Among them, Shemaya Laurel perfected her skills to the point of no longer using an engine for her "Auklet" of Chebacco Glasshouse, 20 feet.

"Forecasting, planning and scheduling flexibility are crucial," explains the American skipper, explaining the challenges of non-powered navigation. "When I think about putting an engine back on the boat, it's because it would make things a lot easier, but the ease is not necessarily the goal."

For Laurel, the goal is to use traditional rigging and navigation methods. Using an engine would simply defeat his purpose at this point in his career as a navigator.

Many sailors use their engine when the wind is mild.

Ask anyone who owns a sailing boat, ourselves included, and the preference is almost always to leave the engine off.

"I adore when the wind is blowing hard and the sails are up and the boat is overturned with water flowing over the gunboats," says Maribeth Theisen, who sails in a Dufour Gib Sea. from 30 meters. "There is nothing like the silent absence of engine noise and the sounds of water sliced ​​by the keel."

Editor-in-Chief Jennifer Silva Redmond has been sailing since 1989. She says it's "blessed silence and the feeling of using nature to propel your journey".

Closer to Mother Nature

Jeanne Assael Goussev, who wrote the story this year as skipper of "Sail Like A Girl", is the first all-female team and the first monohull to win the Race to Alaska.

Engines are not allowed in this unassisted race, but they were able to power the boat's propellers with rear-mounted bikes.

Assael Goussev (right) jumping on the women's team for

"I must say that even though this notion frightened me, I just relied on our sails and our body," says the Seattle-based sailor. "I felt closer to Mother Nature and the sea than ever before."

The desire to protect the environment and reduce our carbon footprint is deep within the sailing community and has also been cited by many sailors as the reason they prefer the wind to the engine.

Advocates of sustainable travel, Michele and Jon Henderson, traveled 16,000 nautical miles on their "Ardea" boat, the vast majority of which is fueled by the sheer force of the wind.

"The wind is better, completely off, the boat performs well under sail and is much more comfortable than when driving."

Even in this case, the Henderson would not be without their engine.

"We use our engine in emergency situations, we had a drag anchor once and once again we found ourselves on a lee shore, and in both cases we were delighted with the 39; have ".

The engines are handy … when you hit a sleeping whale

Safety was another key reason why many sailors felt it was crucial to have auxiliary power on the sailboats.

The former leader, Jodi Watson, and her husband, Kirby, were grateful for their engine during the recent move from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas, in the Pacific Ocean, when they hit, what was going on. They thought they were sleeping whales. The impact knocked out the direction of the boat.

"After trying to repair it for eight hours, we had to pull out the emergency tiller and steer the boat safely.If we had no reliable engine during this period, the result could have been extremely disastrous, us. "

Sailors Jodi Watson and her husband sail

The budget may be another factor.

Tony and Shannon Morrelli, who sail in the Hunter Legend "SV Sweetie" (45 feet), claim that the amount of fuel they use can go down.

"We used to do a lot more motor boating in the United States for convenience when fuel was cheaper, we sail a lot, a lot more, and choose windows that allow us to navigate whole legs. now that we are in Europe with a fuel twice as expensive. "

Mia McCroskey, who started sailing in the mid-1980s, thinks that people who have sails and do not use them a lot "miss the ball", but there are always a number of reasons why she will turn the engine.

"Is the wind dead, is my crew complaining about the rigging, and do we want to be anchored or moored to get a beer?"

The biggest question is: why are we sailing and what is our goal?

Needless to say, the sailing community has made sure we do not "cheat". It's more a question of why we are sailing and what is our goal. At this point, our goal is to stay safe and remain enthusiastic about incidents.

The reality is that we would not have been able to choose this incredibly rewarding way of life if we had sailed on a boat only equipped with sails.

On board the Boomerang & # 39; we use our engine to moor and progress when the wind blows in one direction or at a speed above our level of experience and patience.

The dangers of not having an alternative propulsion source were magnified for us, even on our maiden voyage, when we caught a monstrous rope around the propeller, disabling the engine. We were in the Channel, one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world, in a flat calm and we had to be towed to land for our own safety and that of others.

As our journey continues, it would be wonderful to think that our skills and patience will also progress to the point where we could travel great distances with the force of the wind alone.

But it is also good to know that even if we "increase the donk" – as many sailors say – we are still considered to be part of a diverse and inspiring group of adventurers who respect the sea and its travelers.

As Niki and Jamie Fox Elenbaas say in SV Grateful: "The boats of others are the boats of others, we are happy to see people sailing rather than watching television at home."

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