My first sialboat a 1969 Seaquest 26 didn’t come with a motor. I was young and inexperienced, I figured people didn’t use engines on small sailboats. Through the years I have experimented on all of my boats with engine-less sailing. If I’ve learned anything through this process its that I’m no Larry Pardey.
Sookie is coming along well and I’m very pleased with her new lifeline installation, even if it took me seven full days to make it perfect. The budget called for 3 strand so thats what I used although I did come in short and will need to order another 50′ to complete the rat lines. Eventually Sookie will sport Dynex lifelines but not this year.
All the pieces are coming together for a Valentines Day cruise. I left getting the fickle motor started for last and again the issues that have been plaguing me for two years piped up. I have a brand new fuel tank and fittings but every time we hook them up the fittings break. To date I have gotten no more than a single use out of them. I hate gas and I’m tired of paying a $8.00 tax every time I use the boat so the new tank is GONE! With one less system to be reliant on the boat just became a bit simpler and safer. We have a 1.3 liter built in tank that will give us about 30 minutes or so of motoring at 60% throttle at about 4.3 knots in flat water. I purchased a new one gallon tank to fill it with and think we may add a second for the summer. If the outboard keeps giving me flack I will huck it off the back of the boat and become a sailor again.
I don’t know when I became so reliant on a motor but just like moving ashore last winter made me soft, having a semi reliable motor has done the same thing. I’m seriously missing my Yuloh that warped and thinking of replacing it with a sculling oar which will store much better on the boat. I’ve always enjoyed the challenge of sailing engine-less but in my crusty old age I also really love having a motor for those oh shit moments, even if its just a 6hp kicker.
Among all of the challenges we are facing in the day to day re-learning to become engne-less sailors again will be one of them. The adventure has just gotten a bit bigger and the challenge a bit more serious which also raises the fun meter. One of my all-time favorite quotes by Larry Pardey when asked how long he will keep sailing.
As Long as its Fun.