Also thanks to Ann-Sofie and Bill R. for their insights on fuel usage. It was all useful and has an important place in my knowledge base.
In Eric's comments I see the magic word: "schedule." If you have a "must do" schedule, then fuel is a required ingredient. You say you always "come in with 600 liters of fuel". Do remember, that's almost over half a tonne of weight. I know people who sail larger boats tend to not think about weight very much, but that is adding 3% to the sailing weight of the boat and that DOES have a real impact on light air performance, especially if it puts the boat off her lines.
We avoid schedules like the plague. We tell people who are sailing with us that we can tell you WHERE we will meet you, or WHEN we will meet you, but not BOTH.
It's not good or bad, everybody travels in their own style. but here are two examples of why I feel the built in tankage is more than adequate for MY needs. Your mileage WILL vary!
When I was sailing from Hawaii to San Francisco I COULD have loaded up with fuel and motored on a rumb line though the middle of the East Pacific High. I know several people who have done it that way. Instead I sailed close-hauled north, then reached east, then ran south to stay in the wind, and out of the high pressure system. Hundreds of miles out of the way, and an extra 5 days or so at sea, but there wasn't a schedule to meet. All that AND we waited a week for the weather in Honolulu, so I guess you could argue that we were two weeks late because we were light on fuel, but we didn't think of it in those terms.
As an aside, after a wild and windy passage, we did need to start the engine for the last 10 miles, because we ran out of wind coming in the Golden Gate--how strange that one of the most reliably windy places around failed us!
If we were in Bermuda and had a week of calms forecast, we would just stay put until the weather allowed a comfortable passage. We have waited 2 weeks for a good weather window to go 200 miles--because we can. Kind of an old fashioned approach, but we do have the luxury of not having a schedule imposed on us from the outside world, and we work very hard not to set one for ourselves. The very idea of listening to the engine run for days at a time makes my head hurt!
Again, thanks to all for their input!
Charlotte Amelie, StT, USVI
---In amelyachtowners@..., <kimberlite@...> wrote :
WE carry a lot of fuel on kimberlite as some of my crew have work schedules and it is necessary to make an airport on time.
We crossed the Atlantic on just the main tank.
Other times we have had to motor extensively around the Bermuda high.
Heading from Colombia last year to Guadeloupe we used a lot of fuel.
In my last boat there was no wind for 6 days and I motored from Bermuda to New York.
I have always come in with around 600 liters of fuel. But better than 0 liters.
I have only filled the tank on the aft cabin top 2 times in 15 years. And did not need it.
Kimberlite Amel Super Maramu #376