December 22nd, 2005 by: cheyenne

Motoring is apparently not as taboo as I had formerly imagined among those who travel on sailing vessels. When the wind dies, people turn on their motors and just motor. If they aren’t going fast enough because sailboats are not fast by nature, they motor. I always imagined that it was the sort of thing that was never discussed, like political issues or that time you got head lice. The sailboat’s dirty little secret, “Oh, the motor, well, we had to install it for insurance purposes.” Not only do people motor frequently, but they openly admit it. On the radio. Anyone can hear when you talk on the radio.

“Hey, so did you motor any on that passage?” says Sailboat 1.

(Me, eavesdropping on channel 68: Oh my GOD! You don’t have to answer that!)

“Oh yeah! We’ve been motoring since pulling anchor yesterday morning. Wind’s been 10 knots and it just takes more than that to pull our 40 tons!” Sailboat 2 replies, jollily.

Sailboat 1 continues, not even audibly relieved at the affirmative answer nor guilty for asking such a personal question: “Us too! In fact, we turned on our motor a few hours before pulling anchor and plan to keep it up after we arrive to top off our batteries and scare up some wildlife! Haha”

Sailboat 2: “Hahahaaaa!”

(Me: Ha ha. OH MY GOD!)

(Disclaimer: yes, we have a motor, a 6-horse outboard. It’s strictly for insurance purposes.)

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Cheyenne Weil, Joshua Coxwell