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post #399 of Old 05-11-2011
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Ashland Ma
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Bone head moves is an excellent application of the OPM principle, and so I'll keep my head low... To extend a day's on the water experience, we thought we'd anchor off a little beach on the other side of the channel. Not a big deal except it was flood tide. Not a big deal except there was a bridge "downstream". Notwithstanding a PWC with operator crossing my bow, the main sheet jibing and taking my glasses (dropping exactly 50% in the water, retaining the balance in the web of the sheet) I shortly was advised that we were drifting... (barrelling would be a more apt term) into the bridge. I turned the boat into the flood current, stern facing the secondary pier at WOT. While was able to brace the stern rail, I could not prevent some deformation of the outboard motor casing. Judging this was not a sustainable position, I allowed the boat to rotate and set her hull against the pier. The shrouds rested against the bridge deck. As I contemplated my next moves, a power boat position itself upstream, we set a tow line and pulled us off to where we could set our plow anchor. Oh, anchor, yeah, that would have been the first bonehead non-move, not dropping our anchors in the first place.

Our hull suffered only surface scrapes, our motor, though continued to run, despite a cracked spark plug, and some surface plastic damage to the power pack. This gives rise to continued boneheadedness (what, that's not a word?) in that it took motor getting very quiet at the wrong time 8 days later for me to discover the cracked plug which imposed excess demand on the powerpack which gave up the ghost at that particular inopportune moment.

Lessons learned:
Croakies, have 'em on board and USE 'EM;
Anchors: Keep them at the ready and USE 'EM when your goin' where you don't wanna be goin';
Brain: Use it, and don't be playing around bridge abutments or other hard objects in a sail boat. Think about where that moving water will take you.

Now I'll see if anyone has topped me in the bonehead department.

Yes, the pic in the signature is reflective of other lessons learned, but while that was a bonehead navigational error, the outcome was quite benign, almost pleasant, and perhaps saved us from worse (running the same bridge on a strong ebb flow in the really dark dark).

Vivacity 24 twin keel
Johnson O/B 9.9
sterilecuckoo58 is offline  
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