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post #30 of Old 06-17-2013
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Re: Don't "drive" your boat like it's a car!

I had one a couple days ago, Saturday.

I was driving "Sea the Day" (Photos ? Click images to enlarge; click images to shrink ? Sail Connecticut Access Program, Inc) and had a small group consisting of one wheel-chair bound person and two staff members. We had just completed our sail and were on our way back when the director called on the radio that the boat "Shazam" he was skippering with about six passengers some severely handy-capped had engine trouble and was drifting out of the channel towards the rocks.

I was closest so I maneuvered my boat to to tie to his for a hip tow.

I'm coming down the fairway with this ungainly combination of one small outboard and two boats, and about 11 people. Several have never been on a boat before, some are non-verbal and some are non ambulatory. I've already reduced speed to steerage as I have to turn into a smaller fairway.

Just then a giant power boat, probably 45' with a bridge deck about two stories above the water backs out directly in front of me not even looking. He was checking to make sure he didn't scratch his boat backing out.

The director is freaking out wanting me to go into reverse.

I didn't want to do that unless there was no other option as once stopped I knew I would have little control which way I would go when getting started again.

I five blasted the guy and made it clear I expected him to backup up and let me make my turn.

Fortunately he did.

The thing that is interesting is that you have maybe three seconds to make a decision as to what to do. You don't know if the decision is right until it is all over.

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.
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