ASA and PSIA Instructor
Join Date: Apr 2000
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Frequent sailing of a midsize boat on the ocean provides a variety of thrills and pleasure and a few occasions which can be extra exciting: dense fog, carrying a spinnaker in too much breeze, rounding a mark in a crowd of big boats, heavy weather. etc. etc.
However there's only once situation that actually scares me when sailing - having a cigarette boat pass close by at high speed. Operating a powerboat at 60+ knots within 100 yards of another boat is the mark of a fool who is playing with other peoples' lives. You just know that, should the operator need another beer, and find the cooler empyty, and have to reach under the console to pull out a new six-pack, that in that ten seconds of carlessness, he will cut though you as if you weren't even there.
But true terror comes from having two of these high octanne AHs cruising together, and perhaps pushing the pedals to see who has more horses, then the odds really go down hill. The most vivid memory of my thirty five years of boating, is passing through the narrow entrance to Boston Harbor one sunny Saturday, and having two cigarette boats come out of the Harbor at some ungodly speed, I'd guess 60-70 but who can say, there's no reference for that type of speed, one passed 30 yards to port and the other 30 yards to starboard, and we were truely terrified.
So if these folks didn't see this accident coming, I saw it for them. At least they didn't involve any innocent bystanders.
Last edited by sailingfool; 09-04-2006 at 11:08 AM.