Mailport February 2012 Issue

Mailport: February 2012


37-foot Heritage
Photo courtesy of Webb Chiles

Reader and bluewater voyager Webb Chiles prefers sail-power to horsepower. Here, his 37-foot Heritage, The Hawke of Tuonela, runs at a good trot.

I couldn’t disagree more with the opening sentence of your Dec. 29, 2011 Waypoints e-letter: “Perhaps the biggest surprise during a circumnavigation is just how critical the engine is to a cruising sailboat.”

While I don’t doubt your later assertion that many “cruisers” use their engine to cover 25 percent of their miles, this is not because the engine is necessary. I used 40 gallons of diesel on my entire fifth circumnavigation, which included having to power through the Panama Canal, for a fuel mileage of 600 mpg.

Two of the boats on which I’ve made my five circumnavigations had no engines, and I doubt that I’ve used those on the others to cover more than a fraction of 1 percent of the miles I’ve covered.

There is no secret: Have a boat that sails well, and think of yourself as a sailor.

Webb Chiles
The Hawke of Tuonela,
37-foot Heritage
Gannet, Moore 24

Editor’s Note: Reader Webb Chiles ( was the first American to sail alone around Cape Horn. He has written several books on his circumnavigations.

Next: Sabre Solace Twin

Comments (1)

Just to clarify the letter a bit.

TiN coatings are used to impart galvanic protection on non-titanium metals. Titanium itself is the least susceptible structual metal available. On boats the only material likely to cause galvanic corrosion to titanium is carbon fiber, and in that case the titanium will take significantly less damage than 316 stainless parts.

Greg Rubin
Allied Titanium

Posted by: Greg R | June 13, 2012 2:09 PM    Report this comment

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