I searched for many years to find a good small blue water sailboat without an inboard engine, don’t get me wrong a well running diesel is a dream come true but doesn’t fit the budget cruiser model, off shore they are useless and often can be one of the biggest factors is killing the budget. My next boat will have one but that’s not my current path or budget. I know of many cruising boats in my harbor all of them with very reliable engines, every one of them replacing one of the many systems that has failed them. To a great amount of expense and frustration
The most redeeming quality of an outboard is the fact that you can throw it off the back of the boat in a temper tantrum when it fails you, notice I say when, not if. I have a brand new outboard, it always starts of the first pull and runs like a dream, I love it in so many ways and still have zero ultimate faith in it. My sails are always ready or up when I’m away from the dock. I can’t help but wonder when and why those old sailing craft started adding engines, I’m guessing it was in an attempt to get away from needing the skills to properly design a seaworthy sailing craft.
When it comes to passage making without an engine people will always say you can’t do that, if a lifetime on the water is any measure of success i can assure you that you not only can but will once you stop listening to the naysayers. I’m designing a Fixed internal fuel tank for Sookies outboard, I’ve tested and researched my personal limits and abilitys for the last 5 years with Sookie and have decided on a theee gallon vented tank with a one gallon portable tank for rowing to shore for fill ups. As far as my research goes this is the propper amount for long distance blue water cruising and gunkholing in my inland sea. It’s roughly a 50 mile range at 1/3 throttle in calm water, a good year supply.
There is not a single fast boat on the planet if your in a hurry, fly. Once I settled on a boat with an outboard verse an inboard I had to decide if I wanted a covered outboard well or a stern hung mount. My years of sailing both taught me that I would never ever consider a boat with a well, they just don’t work for me. Hanging one of these beasts off your transom doesn’t exactly beautify the lines of your boat but I love it, especially when I’m sailing rings around much larger boats and they see my motor tilted out of the water. It makes it impossible for them to convince their crew that Im running an inboard as an excuse to explain why Sookie is sailing past their much larger racer crusier.
I have tested Sookie under power in many conditions and that little kicker will push her thriugh some amazing stuff but I attribute it to her designer and Sookies fine entry. The biggest problem is when you sail out of the wind but still have a huge leftover slop, I’ve done this on serveral occasions where you just can’t keep the prop under water but it’s a rarity and either the chop will settle or the wind will fill back in, no system is perfect.
Having no inboard forces me to be a better sailer, my bilges are oil free and the only secret you smell upon entering her warm cabin other than my musk is rich teak and aromatic cedar. Along with no inboard engine Sookie doesn’t have a plumed head leaving quite a bit of extra storage for wine, whiskey and dark chocolate, it also eliminates 4 through hulls.