Why do people want an engine on a sailboat? I mean, isn't the whole point about owning a sailboat that you use it for sailing? For actually making the boat go from point A to point B using the natural power of the wind? Isn't that why it's called "sail-ing", not "engine-ing"?
So my nomination for Worst Sailing Innovation Ever is the engine. Or more specifically the crazy idea of putting an engine in a sailing boat. I don't care if it's an inboard engine or an outboard motor. It's just plain wrong.
Here are 23 reasons why putting an engine in a sailing boat is the worst sailing innovation ever....
- You don't need an engine. Lin and Larry Pardey have sailed all over the world, in and out of all sorts of exotic stopovers, for gazillions of miles, on two boats they built themselves... both boats without engines.
- An engine costs money to buy and install in the boat.
- It costs money for spare parts.
- It costs money for repairs.
- It costs money for fuel.
- An engine takes up space you could use for other things.
- An engine adds weight to the boat.
- The propeller increases drag.
- Maintaining an engine takes time away from sailing.
- Repairing an engine takes time away from sailing.
- An engine breaks down.
- An engine is noisy.
- It is dirty.
- It vibrates.
- It is smelly.
- It pollutes the air.
- If you spill the fuel it pollutes the water.
- If you have an engine you need several extra holes in your hull for the cooling pipes, exhaust, prop shaft etc.
- An engine does not provide extra safety. Murphy's Law says that it will fail just when you most need it. If you don't have an engine you will be more prudent about getting yourself into bad situations and you will develop the skills to get yourself out of difficulty using natural methods.
- Without an engine you will feel closer to nature.
- Without an engine you will have to learn to sail well.
- Without an engine you will have the joy of entering the same anchorages in the same way that Columbus, Drake, Cook, Nelson - and the Pardeys - did... under sail alone.
- You don't need an engine. Adam Turinas sailed most of last season without one after his outboard failed. He says he is "better for it".