Want to cut the docklines

SWALLOW floats engineless in a slip at Port Townsend. I’m happy to be afloat but frustrated being tied to a dock.

Morning at Boat Haven Marina, Port Townsend, WA.

Dock life is expensive and doesn’t provide the solitude I crave. As I write this a beeping electronic alarm on a neighbor boat intrudes the quiet peace of the morning. (I checked and if it is a bilge alarm no boat is obviously sinking.)

The problem with the Honda outboard has me frustrated, as I already took it in for service and it wasn’t fixed, and stuck. It also leaves me with a nagging doubt about the motor when it is returns from the shop. There will be a nagging doubt that it will work when needed. There is also a growing hole in the bank account.

I’m still learning SWALLOW’S behaviors – both under sail and motor. Her full keel results in behaviors much different than the boats I’ve been sailing the past fifteen years. The new sails will allow (or force as I spent a lot of $$ for them) for more sailing. Until I get more tiller time I’ll be uncomfortable with the possibility of a motor failure if I’m in a confined area.

The other nagging issue is I’m in a temporary slip and the owner of the space returns in two days (Tuesday). If the motor isn’t working I must move.

Even in a Marina Momma Kitty still enjoys the morning sunshine.

6 thoughts on “Want to cut the docklines

  1. That motor is huge. I’ve been sailing for 34, I’m never comfortable when an engine is running. As soon as it is turned off or in my case dies I can finally relax. Sails are more reliable than any engine ever built.


    1. I’m hoping to sail more with SWALLOW’S new sails. Last year I sailed my prior boat (from May to mid-July) close to 70% of the time. From mid-July to the first of January ’19 I motored SWALLOW 80% of the time (though I motor sailed 50% of the time the Honda was running). The outboard does look huge! Technically it underpowers SWALLOW based on her displacement. I usually motor at about 4.75-5kts, well below the boat’s hull speed. I don’t believe a larger motor would help much as the greater HP is needed motoring into seas and then the prop cavitates.


      1. The asym is nice but such a small window and you can’t use it above 90 a drifter on a roller is infinitely useable. Although a great used asym is dirt cheap


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