Author Topic: Motor Sailing in Coastal Areas  (Read 2074 times)

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Motor Sailing in Coastal Areas
« on: April 10, 2014, 09:31:42 AM »
David_owens
Username: David_owens

Registered: 04-2010
   
Posted on Thursday, August 30, 2012 - 11:17 am:      
After three years I am finally sailing solo on the Bristol Channel. Ok, ok - it has taken a while, but it's well worth it. One query though. Given the range and speed of tides, motor sailing is a regular necessity. But how do you do it properly? Do you put the engine on and sail regardless (setting the sails and so forth). Or, as some have suggested, do you tighten the mainsheet so it is centred, and roller reef the jib? For the record, Martin Cartwright has responded privately arguing the case for sailing proper, though with a reefed main in heavy winds. He also suggests the Winklebrig is well designed to sail with the wind on the bow quarter, as the freeboard promotes a dry passage. Hopefully he might contribute his excellent response here, especially if I have misconstrued him. By the way, this thread duplicates a recent one I entered inappropriately in the Trailer section, and I hope this now draws attention to the issue of motor sailing, and closes the loop sensibly.

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Re: Motor Sailing in Coastal Areas
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2014, 09:32:00 AM »
Martin_cartwright
Username: Martin_cartwright

Registered: 04-2008
   
Posted on Thursday, August 30, 2012 - 04:50 pm:      
Here is what I sent to David. As it is only one man's view and like every sailor,I am always learning, I would be pleased to hear anyone else's views:-

Hi David. Good to hear from you again.

Yes. I do motor sail a lot. Sorry if I am teaching you to suck eggs, but the first point is to plan your trip so that you can use the tides to your advantage. There is an old chap around here who has a boat no bigger than a Winklebrig and for the last 30 odd years he has sailed up and down this coast from the Thames estuary to here without an engine. His book is called ĎSailing just for funí by AC Stock Ė A great winter read Ė I can send you my copy if you canít get hold of one.

I digress.....I motor sail with my jib and mizzen, but it works almost as well with a reefed main and jib. I simply sail normally but with the motor on. You will find that the boat points higher even with the engine just ticking over and the main advantage is that when tacking, particularly with a foul tide, you donít get that heart stopping moment when she fails to go about!

It is important to sail normally ie If the wind is on the nose Ė tack, donít steam into it with the sails flapping. It is tempting to think that the boat will always go better with the sails down and the engine on Ė it wonít. This year in Brest I was caught in a force 6 on the nose but with the tide with me. I thought the safest option was to take down all sails and steam into it but I soon found that even with the 6hp Tohatsu going flat out and assisted by a 4 knot tide, I was being pushed backwards onto a rocky lee shore. I raised the staysail and mizzen and tacked, and soon found I was making way and was much more comfortable. If you try and steam straight into a sea (particularly where the wind is against tide and the water is choppy) you hit each wave square on and it slows you down a lot. Motor sail just off the wind so that the sea hits your forward quarter (rather than the bow) and you will find this quite a comfortable point of sail as long as you donít have too much sail up. The Winklebrig is very well designed to take a sea on this quarter owing to the rising shear.

Hope this helps.

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Re: Motor Sailing in Coastal Areas
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2014, 09:32:19 AM »

David Cawston
Username: David_cawston

Registered: 03-2007
   
Posted on Friday, August 31, 2012 - 09:59 am:      
I agree 100% with you Martin, I could not have made the point better. With the motor on low throttle and sailing close hauled, the effective wind speed increases and WBs like a good blow to make progress to windward. David, our sail down the Cleddau at Milford Haven showed that, but if we had been motor sailing we could have reduced sail area, we would have made similar progress but things would have been a bit less dramatic, but I love 'dramatic' sailing like that!
Many years ago we did the Caledonian Canal and sailed the entire length (23 miles) of Loch Ness in 4 hours, surfing most of the way with no jib and double reef in the main. The return journey took 2 days with 7 hours beating to windward each day. Motoring was out of the question because as Martin said, we tried motoring dead into the wind and 3 foot waves but were just slamming head on, very uncomfortable and we made very little progress.

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Re: Motor Sailing in Coastal Areas
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2014, 09:32:38 AM »
David_owens
Username: David_owens

Registered: 04-2010
   
Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2012 - 04:16 pm:      
A tardy reply but timely as, taking Martin Cartwright's advice I bought a copy of 'Sailing Just for Fun', an account by Charles Stock's sailing in the Thames area and East Anglia in his pocket cruiser 'Shoal Waters'. I very much enjoyed it. Coincidentally the new owner of 'Shoal Waters' (Tony Smith) has published an excellent article in the November PBO, but very sadly, Charles Stock has recently passed on. Tony is continuing the tradition and has an interesting blog http://creeksailor.blogspot.co.uk. You guys in East Anglia must know the blog and Tony?
It made me envious. Martin's points about tides are all too well taken here in the Bristol Channel - saiing 'Beyond the (Cardiff) Barrage' must be done in terms of tides and weather. Wind against tide is not to be trifled with here, or indeed the tides and winds in their own right. Also we seem devoid of interesting little creeks.
Fortunately the Winklebrig is an eminently towable vehicle, so who knows, next year I might visit and sail some of these evocative places such as Maldon, the Blackwater the Crouch and so forth. Might even get as far as Southwold, Martin :-)

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Re: Motor Sailing in Coastal Areas
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2014, 09:32:57 AM »
David Cawston
Username: David_cawston

Registered: 03-2007
   
Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2012 - 05:52 pm:      
I had the honour of meeting Charles Stock several times. He would regularly sail Shoal Waters up the East Coast and inland to the Norfolk Broads. He also took part in some of the Festival of the Sea events at Portsmouth, although by then he had resorted to trailer sailing.

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Re: Motor Sailing in Coastal Areas
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2014, 09:33:10 AM »

Martin_cartwright
Username: Martin_cartwright

Registered: 04-2008
   
Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2012 - 08:38 pm:      
Any Winklebriggers coming this way - do give me a call. You are all welcome! However,after 30 years of sailing out of Southwold I would not recommend it anymore as very recent coastal defences have made the harbour's tidal stream so ferocious it just isn't any fun any more - or perhaps I am just getting older. The Alde (Orford, Aldeburgh and Snape) is about as far north as I go. My present favourite is the River Deben - Launch at Felixtowe Ferry and take the flood up to Woodbridge for the night.I can heartily recommend this to everyone both for the beauty of this unspoilt river and the huge number of eating/drinking establishments in Woodbridge.Pick up a mooring at Woodbridge (there are always some spare)and row ashore for breakfast at the excellent Whistlestop cafe.

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Re: Motor Sailing in Coastal Areas
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2014, 09:33:23 AM »

Barend Nieuwendijk
Username: Barend_nieuwendijk

Registered: 08-2008
   
Posted on Friday, November 30, 2012 - 10:46 pm:      
I also bought the book. In the summer of 2011 we had the opportunity to sail on the rivers Deben, Stour and the river Orwell. But we did not manage that without motor assistance! For us itís a miracle Charles Stock did all that sailing in his own, only on wind and tide.
In the Watercraft magazine (issue 95) there was also an article from Tony Smith, the new owner of Shoal Waters.

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Re: Motor Sailing in Coastal Areas
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2014, 09:33:45 AM »
Brian Goodbourn
Username: Brian_goodbourn

Registered: 01-2009
   
Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2012 - 05:43 pm:      
You are welcome to the Blackwater. We normally have a Small Boat Rally in one of the creeks.
If you want to know more about the creeks and less visited places click on Tony's link in the link mentioned above and get his book.....you will even see a picture of a Winkle Brig in the back (mine:-)).
Sadly I suffered some damage in the early season so have been out of action looking for someone to do major surgery on Patience.
Work is now underway so am looking forward to pottering around.