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ltgoshen 07-03-2014 09:58 AM

Don't be so hard on the new guys
My wife and I have been sailing the Eastern US in our 30' C&C for 3 years now. We decided to charter a 36' mono-hull this past April. We ended up here on Friday the 18th "Good Friday" The mooring field was, as some have mentioned almost full. There was other charter boats racing each other to the few available balls left. The other couple with us had the job of shorting the dinghy line at all stops. Well We missed the ball twice and were blown off by the wind. 25kts and had to circle around. On my 3rd attempt he still missed the ball with the hook. I had a lot of on lookers by this point and became one of the people you guys are talking about. The Noobie! Sorry. It gets worse. I backed up on the last miss in hopes of giving my first mate a second chance. Well the long dinghy line was sucked into the prop and cut the line. I shut the engine down and we began the emergency procedure to stop us from colliding into other yachts. We got the finders out and deployed. I jumped into the dinghy and wedged it between the two boats. The yacht we eased up against were home and deployed there finders as well. After we were tied securely to their yacht, I jumped into dive mode to free the furled line from the prop and shaft. I had done this over and over at home to make sure I had the skills I needed on the charter. I learned a great deal and came back home alive. I did not mean any harm and thought I had the skill set needed to moor the yacht. Its different in heavy wind and sea. Your crew has to know what to do in a crisis. Try to remember when you were learning the ropes. You made mistakes too Im sure. All ended well no damage to either yacht or people. My Pride will be forever damaged.

christian.hess 07-03-2014 10:12 AM

Re: Don't be so hard on the new guys
why is your pride damaged? have at it...keep doing it...get better and have FUN...

good on ya for not giving up...

Slayer 07-03-2014 10:20 AM

Re: Don't be so hard on the new guys
Sounds like you handled the crisis very well. Learn from your mistakes.

jerryRiggin 07-03-2014 10:26 AM

Re: Don't be so hard on the new guys
You know what they say "Try, try again"...

Sal Paradise 07-03-2014 10:30 AM

Re: Don't be so hard on the new guys
The line around the prop is the classic story you hear over and over again.

As for crew training - I would love to read a thread on that. Seems like a big subject. The person with the boat hook is , for a brief moment - the most important person.

christian.hess 07-03-2014 10:40 AM

Re: Don't be so hard on the new guys
as the captain you dont always have to be at the helm, for example here if your crew cant pick up, can she he man the helm?

its great to have all crew be able to do everythying however sometimes people excell at different take advantage of that


ltgoshen 07-03-2014 11:36 AM

Re: Don't be so hard on the new guys
Well? We were in a completely packed field of charter boats with maybe 3 open. Three other boats were racing each other to other two as they could tell I had this ball. The wind was in its second day of over 22 knots. I was not comfortable letting anybody else man the helm. You had to creep fwd /Neural, fwd /Neural, keeping very careful not to fall off nose to wind. A complete pass threw was required if we fell off. That made it tough to let someone have the helm.

capecodda 07-03-2014 11:49 AM

Re: Don't be so hard on the new guys
Nearly 30 years ago, when we started sailing bigger boats, we had days just like you described. They happen less often now, but they still happen.

Good for you, you are out there doing it, and that's what counts! Sail on.

alex_sauvage 07-03-2014 12:48 PM

Re: Don't be so hard on the new guys
I am wondering if in this situation it would be better to back up to the mooring ball? It would prevent the bow being blown sideways and will make it easier to pickup the line, since you can do it from the water level on the swimming platform. That approach has been discussed a number of time here, but I don't recall what was the consensus.

Steady Hand 07-03-2014 02:38 PM

Re: Don't be so hard on the new guys

Don't feel too bad. Mooring is a skill (takes practice) and in a strong breeze and chop it is much harder. :)

Sounds like you responded well and a lesson was learned (and reinforced for us readers) about the dinghy painter (being wound/cut). :)

Don't forget, even very experienced "masters" make mistakes (Titantic anyone?).

Keep sailing, keep learning! :)

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