SimplySailingOnline.com shows by example how easily you can eliminate stress, become more independent, raise your children in a safer environment (while spending more time with them, instilling values not based on the mighty dollar) and avoid the traps of commercialism. Because we live and sail simply, we have been wandering for 11 years with no intention of stopping. This is not a trip for us; it is our life, and I hope to share our success with stories of laughter and tears, as well as how-to tips and DIY projects for preparing, sailing and making a boat a home, so that others can join us.
During our travels we often meet fellow sailors who are intrigued by our simplistic lifestyle. "Oh, we sail simply, too" often turns into "But not THAT simply" once we exchange ideas and techniques. So the question often arises, how do you measure simplicity? We have seen sailors in small boats with all the toys and inconveniences of land life. And we have had the pleasure of meeting those in large boats who do indeed sail simply. So obviously boat size doesn't tell the whole story. While chatting with a fellow simple sailor, we came up with a way of quantifying "simple." It's sort of a fun way to be able to put a number to how simply you sail. It's not a competition or an accusation; it's just a way to compare sailing styles. We've tried to consider size, gadgets, and how long you can sustain that level of simplicity among other factors. I've posted the four sheets here, but if they're too difficult to read, you can send me a message here or on Simply Sailing's facebook page (see below) and I'll send you the file. Or, you can follow along below to find your Simply Sailing Club rating.
Add all the following together to get your rating:
the horsepower of your boat motor and divide it by 4
the number of electric or hydraulic winches and windlasses times 10
the diagonal measure of the screen of a MOUNTED GPS or chartplotter divided by 5
the number of RADARs times 10
the number of electronics interfaces with another (such as an AIS and chartplotter interfaced) times 10
the number of SSB transmitters times 10
the number of AIS transmitters and receivers times 10
the number of AIS receivers only times 5
the number of pressure water units, water heaters and shower sumps times 10
the number of built in AC units and generators times 20
the number of hatch AC units and portable generators times 10
the number of watermakers and built in refrigerators times 10
the number of portable fridges (such as an Engle) times 5
the number of built in freezers times 20
the number of portable freezers times 15
the number of electric or vacuum heads times 20
the number of microwaves and davits times 10
the horsepower of your dinghy motor
the number of bow/stern thrusters, washer, dryers, dishwashers times 20
the number of gallons of diesel and gas in jerry jugs and in tanks divided by 10
the number of gallons of water in jugs and the tank divided by the number of crew members divided by 10
the number of motors onboard (boat and dinghy) times 5
the number of gallons of all jerry jugs stored on deck divided by 5
the number of electronics with repeaters (VHF, GPS, etc.) times 5
the number of times you buy ice per week
the number of AC (110 volt) appliances onboard (coffee grinders, blenders, etc.) times 5
the number of wind generators and hailers times 5
the number of things in your rigging (hailers, radar reflectors, antennae, etc.) times 5
the number of toys stored on deck excluding the primary dinghy (surfboards, bikes, second dinghy, kayaks, etc.) times 5
the number of built in inverters times 5
the number of plug in inverters times 3
the number of furling sails times 5
the number of assisted (hydraulic or electric) furling sails times 10
the number of furling sails inside a spar times 10
the number of assisted furling sails inside a spar times 20 (Yes, you have to count them each time. So if you have assisted in mast furled mainsail it counts as 5 for furling, 10 for assisted, 10 for being in a spar and 20 for being all the above so 45 points. This is the ULTIMATE in complicated and dangerous sailing situation.)
the number of canvas pieces used while underway (dodger, bimini, etc.) times 5
the number of full cockpit enclosures times 20
Now add 0 through 5 based on your overall length: under 30 feet = 0; between 30 and 35 = 1; between 35 and 40 = 2; between 40 and 45 = 3; between 45 and 50 = 4; over 50 feet = 5.
the number of handheld GPS times 3
the number of 12 volt appliances (coffee makers, etc.) times 3
the number of chargers (laptop, cell phone, etc.) times 2
the number of holes below the water line (engine intake, head, drains, thru hulls, etc.) times 5
the number of propane appliances (stove, grill, etc.) times 5
the number of watts from solar panels divided by 50
Now add 0 through 3 based on the length of your dinghy: 8 feet and under = 0; 9 feet = 1; 10 feet = 2; over 10 feet = 3.
Next, consider how long you sail in these "simple" conditions:
weekend sailing add 30
2 to 4 weeks per year add 20
1 to 3 months per year add 10
3 to 6 months per year add 5
over 6 months don't add anything.
(Notice this is SAILING, not sitting at the dock. It's easy to live simply; the trick is to go places simply.)
Last, take the beam of your boat, divide it by 5 and divide that by the number of crew.
What you have when you have added all these numbers together is your Simply Sailing Club rating. (I have the form in a spreadsheet, too, if you're interested. It's a lot easier to figure, especially if you may sail on the complicated side of simple.)
Here's an example. Eurisko is 34 feet long (1 point) with an 11-foot beam (1.1). She has a 22 hp motor (5.5 points), and AIS receiver only (5 points), a propane stove (5 points), 34 gallons of diesel (3.4), 68 gallons of water (3.4), 1 motor (no dinghy motor, 5 points), 10 gallons in jerry jugs on deck (2), 3 holes below the water line (engine intake, salt water sink intake and sink drain: 15 points), we have a windex on the masthead (5 points for something in the rigging), 1 built in inverter (5), 2 plug in inverters (6), a furling headsail (5), a handheld GPS (3), 5 chargers (computer, etc.: 10 points), 100 watts of solar (2), an 8-foot dinghy (0) and we sail more than 6 months a year (0 points). Eurisko’s SSC rating is 82.4. To compare this, Walküre's is 44.9, but Walküre is not our permanent home, and I am more willing to camp out on her than I am on Eurisko. Plus, Eurisko can take us places Walküre can't. But as long as we're coast hopping, her simplicity serves us well.
How simply do you sail? We're collecting ratings from different types of sailors, trying to get a good range of what constitutes simple and how people really sail, so drop us a line at Contact Us above or on Facebook. We'd love to see just how many simple sailors are out there!
MONDAY we'll share a simple trick that gives us a treat with very little effort and without spending any money.
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