Sailing Without An Engine

Sailing Without An Engine

Sometimes you may have to sail a boat without an engine, especially a smaller sailboat. I have sailed many sailboats that do not have an engine.

Many sailboats, particularly smaller ones, do not have an engine, so you will need to learn to sail without an engine. In sailing without an engine, there are safety measures you must put in place. You must also understand how to sail with just the mainsail to get in and out of the harbor area.

Sailing A Sailboat Without An Engine

Many sailboats are 100% sailing vessels, meaning they do not have a motor. To get in and out of the port area, you must sail in and out. Usually, this is not a problem, but if you are sailing in very light winds, it may not be easy to get in and out of the harbor area.

The Ensign sailboats we sail at the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center do not have any motors. We can get the sailboats in and out of the port and dock them without using any engine.

Many of the smaller sailboats do not have engines. For most of the larger sailboats, most people understand that an engine is essential.

Here are a few things to remember when you are sailing a sailboat without an engine:

  • Know-How to Sail With Only The Main Sail – When sailing in and out of the port or dock area, you should be using only the mainsail; you must know how to sail only with the mainsail.
  • Know-How To Dock The Boat – One of the most important things you should know is how to dock the sailboat. It is easy to sail when there is wind, but it is much harder to dock a boat when you do not have a motor to bring you into the dock.
  • Know-How To Sail In and Out Of The Port Area – You must also fully understand how to sail in and out of the port area. As you do not have a motor, you will need to know how to catch the wind and sail in and out of the port area.
  • Have a Paddle On Your Sailboat – There have been many times when the wind is so light that the only way we can get back into the dock is to get out a paddle and use the paddle to help dock the sailboat. A paddle will also help you if you are out sailing and suddenly there is no wind; you may need to paddle back to shore.
  • Have a Marine Radio and Know How to Use It – For your safety, you should have a marine radio and know how to use it in case you get stuck out in the middle of nowhere without any wind.

It is not only possible, but many types of boats do not have engines. If you are sailing a boat without an engine, you must ensure you know how to get in and out of the dock safely and sail safely without an engine.

Sailing In And Out Of A Harbor

When sailing a smaller sailboat, you will have to sail in and out of a harbor without an engine or a tow. In all kinds of wind conditions, you will need to know and understand how to get in and out of the harbor area.

There are a few things that can do to help ensure you get in and out of the harbor safer:

  • Do Safety Checks – Before sailing, you should always do safety checks. When sailing without an engine, the two things you want to be sure you have on your boat is a paddle in case you need to use it as there is no wind and your radio if you need to call for help.
  • Understand The Harbor – If this is a new harbor, try to talk to someone who has sailed it before and find out if they have any suggestions of how you can safely get in and out of the harbor.
  • Watch Other Boats – If other boats are sailing in and out of the harbor without a motor, see what direction they are sailing in or out of the harbor. If you can see they are saying smoothly and having no issues, you can follow their route.
  • Read The Wind – Each time you sail in and out of the harbor, the wind will come from another direction; know how to read that wind to safely get in and out of the harbor area.

When we sail in and out of McKinley Harbor in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the wind will often come from another direction. It is essential to fully understand the wind and which direction the wind is coming from; knowing the wind direction ensures you can safely sail in and out of the harbor area.

It is not a problem to sail a boat without an engine; many smaller sailing vessels, such as the Ensign Keel Boat, usually do not have an engine. To sail a sailboat without an engine, you must take precautions to ensure that you can sail the boat safely.

At A Bus On A Dusty Road, we talk about all things to do with culture, travel, life, sailing, and ex-pat living. We are all about “Living Life As A Global Citizen.” We explore social, cultural, and economic issues and travel.

We would love to have you be part of our community. Sign up for our newsletter to keep up-to-date by clicking here. If you have any questions, you can contact me, Anita, by clicking here.

Listen to our Podcast called Dusty Roads. You can find it on all major podcast platforms. Try out to listen to one of our podcasts by clicking here.

Subscribe to our A Bus On A Dusty Road YouTube Channel filled with great videos and information by clicking here.

Milwaukee Community Sailing Center, Top US Sailing School

Milwaukee community sailing center is located on Lake Michigan in downtown Milwaukee Wisconsin. The sailing center is registered as a charity whose primary focus is to teach basic, intermediate, and advanced sailing classes to adults, youth, and children. They are also a charity 501c3 organization that helps many underprivileged children learn the art of sailing.

By clicking here, you can discover Milwaukee Community Sailing Center, Top US Sailing School.

How Much Wind Is Too Much For A Beginner Sailor?

For a beginner sailor, the wind is usually recommended to be under 10 knots. Those who are more experienced or with a larger boat can consider going up to 12 knots of wind. A knot is not the same as miles per hour or kilometer per hour but is faster than these measurements.

By clicking here, you can discover How Much Wind Is Too Much For A Beginner Sailor?

No Experience Sailing, 6 Tips To Get Started

If you are going to take up sailing, then the first thing you must do is get on a boat and find out if sailing is suitable. The best sailors can handle their boats in all kinds and types of weather. Find a class that you can join and get certified. Sailing requires knowledge and skill. Find yourself a sailing community that you can be part of.

By clicking here, you can discover No Experience Sailing, 6 Tips To Get Started.

Anita L Hummel

Hi, I live in Hanoi, Vietnam but spend time traveling the region. I love to share with you things I see and learn through my travels.

Recent Posts

Sailing Without An Engine