Thursday, July 17, 2008

Our Footprint

You might think, Dear Friends, that we are just lazing around out here. But, in reality, we have been trying to figure out how much energy we use on the boat, how much fuel we consume per mile, how many miles we travel by sail as opposed to miles traveled by motor. This is more difficult than you might imagine. Today, for instance, we had a very brisk downwind sail until we reached a narrow and treacherous spot between Hankin Island and Single Rock. Anticipating trouble, we turned on the motor while leaving the sails full of wind. Just at that moment the Captain's hat blew off, we initiated man-overboard procedures, circled around for the cap, the wind changed direction, and fifteen minutes later, we turned the engine off because we were happily sailing in an entirely different direction, without the hat, sadly. We need to work on that man overboard thing. Now for the calculations: how many miles were sailed by motor, and how many under sail?
This business of the carbon footprint took on a new dimension as I was reading a book about the threatened ocean the other day, and learned that the trace of a fish or whale or seal who has dived under water is called - a footprint. Clearly, our very smallest carbon footprint would be the trace we would leave as we disappeared under water. We have decided to reexamine these calculations.


Blogger Owen said...

Great post!

July 18, 2008 6:19 AM  
Anonymous Rob said...

You have the ultimate hybrid! I once read that it should not be how many miles you get per gallon, but how many gallons you get per mile! Try that...

July 23, 2008 10:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fellow Nauticaters or is that Nauticatites: Kaj gave me the figures for our NC 39....if memory serves me: @ 5 kts .30 litres of diesel per Nautical mile and @ 7.4 kts .65 l/nm. Yours ought to be around 1.5X that consumption given that your boat weights at least 1.5times and most likely requires 1.5 the horsepower to drive her. Another interesting tidbit.(fact) use 1 gallon per hour of diesel for every 16 horsepower....check it out! If your boat it putting out 32 hp (continuosly) you will burn 2 gal/hour.Our 39 uses about 15-16 hp to drive it at around 6 1/2 to 7 burns 1.0 gal per hour. My conclusion..... Sail whenever possible, motorsail whenever you cannot sail (and the sail does not flop around too much)....and slow down to 5-6 mileage will be much much better than at 7 or 8. Jim

July 25, 2008 1:35 PM  

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