By Matt Claiborne
Small sailboats and sailing dinghies typically sail without the aid of an engine. However, the bigger the boat, the more likely it is to have a motor of some kind.
Motoring Through Calms or Upwind
Maneuvering in Crowded Spaces
Sailing without an engine is entirely possible but limits flexibility; engines offer options crucial for maneuvering, weather challenges, and safety.
Outboards are common on smaller sailboats that are 25 feet long or less. They are usually small, portable models of eight horsepower or less.
Diesel inboards offer reliability, safety, and maneuverability but come with higher cost and complexity compared to cheaper, simpler outboards.
If you believe the sailboat motor is there to get you on and off the dock, then an electric engine with a moderate battery bank is more than adequate.