Help a college student! I am doing research on sailing....

Discussion in 'Sailing Talk' started by brynelle, Nov 11, 2015.

  1. brynelle

    brynelle New Member

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    HI. I am a University of Washington student. I am taking a market research class, and I am trying to learn about how people in the sailing community use outboard motors, what they use them for, what size sailboats they use them on/with, their attitude about electric outboard motors, and their overall attitude regarding environmental friendliness/environmental concern. Would anybody like to discuss any of this with me? I would really appreciate it.
     
  2. fhhuber

    fhhuber Member

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    I've only sailed little sailboats too small to bother with an outboard. When I have an issue with wind conditions and docking/beaching I just drop the sail and use the centerboard or a paddle for the last few yards. Its not too big of an issue with a boat under 300 lbs.

    From what I have seen the outboards are mainly used for docking assist. To get in and out of the dock area under better control.

    Smallest I have seen with an outboard has been about 20 ft.

    I'm not sure that there's a lot of concern about the environmental issues, since most modern sailboats are made with fiberglass and other materials with a lot of petroleum products involved.

    I wonder about the hypocrisy of people out in plastic kayaks protesting oil tankers. Those kayaks are made almost completely from petroleum products. If they are really against use of petroleum, they need to not use ANYTHING made using it. Which essentially means they need to go live with the Amish, give up electricity, computers, plastics and just about everything else more modern than a horse and buggy.

    Its more about the enjoyment and personal challenges in the art of sailing the boats. (at least with the smaller day-sailers)

    There will be different attitudes based on the type of sailing.
     
  3. Espo205

    Espo205 New Member

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    I've had small sailboats (under 14 ft) and kayaks up to 18ft. Never needed motors on them...but I had a 22ft sailboat for 3 years and used the 8hp motor all the time to get in an out of the slip I rented. No one wants to hit someone else's boat and a 22ft sailboat, pushed around easily by the wind, would have been very hard to get in and out of that slip without a motor. Environmental concern...maybe we should all take a look at how the Amish live.
     
  4. Bradley_DSCompany

    Bradley_DSCompany New Member

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    Outboard motors are useful. I've experience with outboards on little fishing john boats, canoes, and smaller platforms. Also, I've been on moarding teams in the Coast Guard which use boats from 25 to 25 feet with outboards. My current position is on an aluminum platform, 22' plus a swim step, and it uses a 125 hp outboard. I commute to and from work (about 15 miles round trip) at a speed of 27 kts. I've owned two sailing boats in the past, a 30' Columbia and a 25' Catalina. Both of these sailboats had 15 hp gas outboards (one was aircooled for some reason). I would use the outboards whenever near land, mostly our of laziness, and I'd put the sails up as soon as I was in open water.
    I studied similar topics in grad school. Electric outboards have a long way to go, though there are a few smaller platforms where they carry so potential - such as kayaks, canoes and dinghies. Of course, in the boating world, weight is everything, so eclectics tend to carry to much weight when it comes to batteries. This weight takes up space and slows things down.
     

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