Join Date: Oct 2007
Thanked 74 Times in 65 Posts
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Re: What's your biggest bonehead move sailing?
Mast stepping/unstepping is always a time for everyone to be paying attention.
I remember doing something similar to Chartreuse with my Buddy's Rhodes 19'. We were raising/stepping the mast and I was controlling a line which was tied to the forestay which held the mast straight up while my Buddy was dealing with the other shrouds/stays on the deck. Well, I must have gotten distracted because the next thing that happened was the mast came down and bent up the tabernacle. Oops! No one was hurt but the tabernacle had to be reshaped.
Years later I was either stepping or unstepping the mast on the Lightning 19' I owned for a few years. My wife was helping me. Somehow the mast got free and fell, dealing my wife a glancing blow to the head. I am so lucky that we did not end up in the emergency room and that she is still with me.
It wasn't my call but I was involved.
Friend with his home build trimaran was preparing to de-step the mast.
Had me hold the forward line while he disconnected everything and pushed the mast to the stern so the guy at the stern could let the mast set in the boom crutch.
He apparently didn't attach my line and the boom came down fast.
Apparently the line reeving though the block slowed the mast down just enough so the bottom guy was able to guide the mast to the crutch.
No harm done and job done in record time.
Just has to wash underwear.
The lesson from the Icarus story is not about human failing.
It is a lesson about the limitations of wax as an adhesive.
If you have an engineering problem solve it.