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post #511 of Old 08-10-2013
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Re: What's your biggest bonehead move sailing?

Not me, but my father.

In the 70's my father ordered his very first spanking new boat, he spent months at the factory taking part in every aspect of the construction.

Finally the big day came - she was launched and towed to her marina pen. Being my father, EVERYONE who was anyone at the club was there. (still not sure why but....)

In these days we didn't have floating marinas and at high tide they would end up about an inch underwater, this was one such day.

With great fanfare my father prepared to take the boat out for its first motor(still no rig at this stage). My mother stood proudly on the bow, lines ready to cast off, my father stood proudly, and just a little nervously at the helm. Finally the time arrived. It appeared to me (just 10 at the time) that every person who was a member of the yacht club was watching.

Now my father was used to an outboard so he placed it in full reverse, as this was the only way he knew to get the power needed to move his old boat, quickly jettisioning lines as the boat started to rapidly move ...........FORWARD.

My mother ran back as fast as possible screaming a blood curdling scream (she was nervous on boats at the best of times) as the boat mounted the slightly submerged wharf to the sound of crunching fiberglass and a cuss word or two before coming to rest with the keel jammed to the wharf, the pulpit entangled in the boat opposite and fiberglass everywhere.

After extensive analysis (5 minutes) it seems my father had attached the cables to the Morse controls in reverse.

Many a bruised ego, a crane and very expensive repairs led to "as good as new" relaunch.

My poor mother has NEVER sailed again! My father forbids any mention of this day

Moral, - don't assume your new boat works the way you planned
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