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Sail verses power
Soaking wet
Posted: Saturday, September 7, 2013 4:32 PM
Joined: 19/01/2011
Posts: 68

It seems power yacht and sail yacht crew are on different wavelengths.  I would not work on a sailboat because I would not fit in, that being said I rarely see sailboats actually sail, why is that?
Conrad Bagley
Posted: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 12:40 AM
Joined: 24/04/2013
Posts: 2

Sail verses power. It's not that your just on different wave lengths . Sailboats are far more complex to operate . And can be very dangerous , but way more fun then power . Power is quite boring . Crew on powerboats are more or less sea going janitors, I know I've been there.

If you check out some of the regattas that happen around the Med and Caribbean You'll see that when the sailboats do sail ,their is nothing more beautiful to watch.

Have a go ,you'd love it.



Posted: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 1:44 AM
Joined: 03/04/2010
Posts: 4

Indeed, Soaking Wet, Indeed. We are on different wavelengths. Have you time for a story? Monaco to Calvi, 92nm. My first crossing I was on watch on a Mangusta 165'. We reached anchor in less than three hours. I stood watch with two other chaps, each with his own 30 degree sweep-view inside an air-conditioned watch-space, strengthened with a re-inforced windscreen, and salt spray covering the plastic superstructure. It took three of us to stand watch, because at 35 knots, we were s&$t scared of hitting something. But hidden behind our brand-new Arnette wrap-arounds, we were the picture of cool. Ooh, and didn't those three 4609 HP MTUs roar mightily below us, as the engineer carefully monitored the rpms on his wide-screen monitors.

The next time I made the same passage was on a Swan 70'. Only five hours thirty as a Mistral built up on our 4 o'clock. The sea was still calm, but building. We had an almost perfect broad reach. The difference, you ask, my friend? I stood watch, with full sail, the large leather-covered wheel delicately balanced between forefinger and thumb. And with both sails perfectly set. How do you know, especially on such a big boat? She sings, the boat, oh, she sings. It starts as a hum, a small vibration, rippling through the aliminium wheel held so finely in your hand. It builds until the hull itself shakes like a concert hall does to a bass guitarist.

Motorboaters and sailors exist on different wavelengths. When you feelwhat we feel, you might become a sailor too. And you only go back to pay off the mortgage. Stay dry, Soaking Wet, or come join us, and get a little bit wet.

Posted: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 1:47 AM
Joined: 03/04/2010
Posts: 4

I have replied to your statement. For your actual question, please ask Henning, for he is wise beyond his years. Master Henning?
Posted: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 1:54 AM

I believe you are right, there are differences between sail and power crew.I have been running yachts for 15 years and have run both sail and power yachts up to 50m. I have also noticed differences between the crews on each type of yacht.

Sailing is far more difficult. Quite simply, the captain of a sailboat must have all the skills that a comparable power boat captain has, plus must know sailing, including rigs, rigging, sails. He must also be a better navigator and meteorologist. Powerboating is, by definition, a subset of sailing.

It extends to the rest of the crew as well. A deckhand on a power boat must be able to drive a chamois and perhaps stare at a chartplotter. A deckhand on a sailing yacht must be able to do those things plus hoist and lower sails, trim sails, be able to understand changes wind speeds and directions and adjust the sails or course accordingly while on watch. A crew member coming up the ladder on power yachts will never learn those things. Every deckhand on a sailboat is more competent than a deckhand on a power yacht, otherwise he wouldn't last past the first charter.

The added effort required to work on a sail yacht tends to separate the wheat from the chaff in yachting. Sailors tend to be more mature than power boat crew. Someone who is in yachting just to have a good time and get drunk 5 nights a week won't last on a sailboat. It's too much work for them. Sailors do it because they love it.

I suspect the reason that you never see sailboats sailing is that most powerboats only leave the dock long enough to power as fast as possible over to their next dock. We just finished 2 charters and sailed on 11 out of 14 days. That's pretty much average for most of the sailing yachts I know.

Posted: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 2:50 AM
Joined: 09/10/2008
Posts: 134

While i am very much a sailor, i have not worked on a large sail boat (alas); my understanding is that sails are hugely expensive and do not have a long life span (actinic degradation being the main killer) so it is cheaper to run the mains to relocate without owners on board. Sail boat hulls are much more efficient so take much less fuel to move along under power... Regattas and trips with Owners/ charterers on board would be a completely different set of criteria of course.

May be a completely ignorant position and i would be interested in hearing from someone who has experience with this?

Motor boats are work, sailing (although also hard work) is fun - if you can get a well paid gig on a sailboat you are doing well... 

IMHO there are certainly skills that a sail boat deckie needs that a motor boat deckie does not, but particularly thinking of the differences in Owners requirements, that also works the other way around. And nothing useful is gained by saying the motor guys all go out on the booze every day or that sail boat guys do not know how to iron a uniform... Crass generalizations, right?!

Posted: Sunday, September 15, 2013 8:24 AM
Joined: 03/03/2011
Posts: 100

Soaking wet - purely and simply, sailing yachts are also on a time schedule.  If the wind cannot provide for 10kts SOG the motor goes on.

The motor will be off though if the wind is good or the owner is on board and happy to sail at below 10.  Then there is the combination of motor sailing too, but it is all about getting to your destination in time.

Now to follow on from other posts, I have worked on both motor and sail up to 45 metre, and what I find is sailors do it because they love it, yachties do it for the money.  The presentation of a sailing yacht when the owner arrives is in my experience far superior to that of a motor yacht.  Stand alongside Alfa Nero in Antigua and look at their paintwork - I have never seen a sailing yacht look as bad as that hull and I doubt I ever will.

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