24 March 2018 | Pickering, Ontario, Canada
My Grampian 26 has an 8HP Mariner outboard motor, which propels the boat well. The harbor where I keep the boat has a long, narrow entrance channel (about 200m), which is too narrow to tack up.
One fine December afternoon, as the wind died, I sailed close to the entrance, to start the motor, lower sails, and motor to the marina. The engine would not start. So we anchored outside the harbor entrance.
I had one canoe paddle aboard, but moving the boat with it really wasn't feasible--it was very difficult to get in a position to paddle, and with only one paddle, it was hard to avoid turning the boat. So, we re-anchored and waited for wind.
After about five hours, a light crosswind came up and we sailed thru the narrow harbor entrance channel and back to the dock, using the canoe paddle to add power.
The stator of the magneto in the outboard motor is being replaced.
I wanted a more reliable method of propulsion in calms, so cut a pair of oars from a pair of 14' 2x6s. The oars are tied to cleats in the cockpit--not ideal, but adequate. With no wind, the oars are quite capable of moving the boat, as you can see in the above picture.
Against a wind, one can't develop enough power with the oars to drive the boat. A friend in the marina who comes sailing with me has a dinghy with an outboard that works, which we tow when going sailing if we expect there will be a headwind going through the narrow harbor entrance channel. In a harbor without the 200m long entrance too narrow to tack up, it would be quite feasible to sail with just the oars for auxiliary propulsion.