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WanderingStar 07-16-2009 03:07 PM

Another Boat Stopper
I took my brother and his kids sailing yesterday. It was nice, good breeze, the kids (3,5&7) "helped" raise the sails. My nephew spoke some "sea talk" saying "hoist the sails" and "anchor's aweigh". When it was time to re-enter the harbor, I put my brother on the helm, motoring slowly upwind, while I struck the sails. After the staysail, I noticed we were falling off. I called back to Phil, who told me she was hard over. I told him to rev it up a bit. Still not so good. Looking over, I see that we're not making way. A quick look in the engine room showed the shaft wasn't turning. A longer look revealed that the coupling had come out of the transmission! The tranny worked fine, it just wasn't connected to anything. After some futile efforts to put it back, I reset the the staysail. We sailed over to the beach outside the harbor and anchored. I ferried them ashore and went to work. Three hours, two drinks, and one tool run later, it was repaired. At least now I know why the transmission was leaking oil. This was slowly coming apart for a long time. I'm lucky it didn't happen in the mooring feild.

imagine2frolic 07-16-2009 04:18 PM

This thing named sailing can be so exciting sometimes:eek: .........i2f

Sabreman 07-16-2009 09:27 PM

Technically, it wasn't sailing.
Sailing = reliable
Motors = Pain in the $%^%$


tkringstad 07-16-2009 10:25 PM

Wow. That could have been exciting on the trip north in May. Not that you needed to experience more events on that trip... How did your crew miss something like that?

WanderingStar 07-17-2009 07:38 AM

Tom, lmao. We were lucky in some ways. It was leaking oil then, I noticed a bit of a sheen on the planking, but didn't think too much about it. When I finally found the trans oil dipstick, it was very low. I remembered that it had made progressively more noise when in gear. I should have noticed that the corrosion on the shaft was slowly disappearing into the deadwood. But all's well that ends well, if I didn't harm it by running low on oil. We live and learn.
By the way, I had a GREAT crew.
Sabre, I spent years sailing a 26' yawl without an engine for that reason (others too). Don't think I'm not going to start practicing coming and going under sail......

imagine2frolic 07-17-2009 09:36 AM


Originally Posted by Sabreman (Post 506009)
Technically, it wasn't sailing.
Sailing = reliable
Motors = Pain in the $%^%$


OH, but it was sailing. That's what got him out of trouble;) :laugher .......i2f

Sabreman 07-17-2009 10:15 AM

frolic - You are so right. To summarize -
Powerboating got him into trouble, sailing got him out of trouble. Ain't it always the case? :)

Seriously, I won't leave the dock without at least 1 sail ready to go. Our winter marina is 12 miles from our summer marina. The temptation (which I resist) is to drop the boat, motor to the summer marina, and rig the boat (we strip sails, lines, everything, each fall). This situation just reinforced my reliance on sails.

On a side note, I think that everyone should be able to sail up to their slip. It's not necessarily easy, but an important skill to develop. My feeling is that people sailed millions of miles before motors were invented, so it's still feasible. I just hate to rely on a powerboat to tow me home. How degrading.... :)

SEMIJim 07-17-2009 12:32 PM


Originally Posted by Sabreman (Post 506138)
On a side note, I think that everyone should be able to sail up to their slip. It's not necessarily easy, but an important skill to develop.

Nice in concept, but not always possible and certainly not always wise. Our slip is in a... hmmm... I'd guess maybe... 100' (30.5m) wide canal (I'm estimating this based on feeling it's about three of our boat-lengths across), with boats on both sides, we're at the end of the canal, and there be rocks there. Certainly possible with a smaller boat, but not with anything 30' (9m) or more--not when the slip is 90 deg. to the length of the canal, anyway. With a stiff wind from the "wrong" direction, it can even be a challenge under motor. (Besides which it's a private canal and I suspect the other residents would probably raise Cain about us doing such a thing. The Sheriff doesn't even want us sailing up/down the much wider creek leading to it or the even-wider-than-that river "next door," and have ticketed sailboats for doing so unnecessarily, I understand.)


Originally Posted by Sabreman (Post 506138)
I just hate to rely on a powerboat to tow me home. How degrading.... :)

*shrug* You gotta do what you gotta do. I guess I don't have the abhorrence for power-boats that many sailboaters do. (Good thing, because we own one of those, too :p.)

Yeah, getting bailed-out by a power-boat is embarrassing. Had it happen twice in our first season. There's a small "island" in the middle of a lagoon that connects our canal to the creek that leads to the lake. Depth drops from 8' to 3' (2.4m to 3m) in no time, if you get too close to that thing. We draw 5' (1.5m) :p. First time a small power-boat pulled us off. Second time two outboard-powered dinghies pushed us off.

I'll never forget the 1st time. I'd been at the helm. I'd just looked at the depth gauge. I had thought I'd been giving that lump of dirt and weeds sufficient berth. The depth had been remaining relatively constant at the distance I'd been giving it. Just after I looked up from the depth sounder, Abracadabra just kind of slowed to a gentle halt. Looked down at the depth sounder just in time to see it go from 4' (1.2m) to "I can't measure this" mode.

The funny thing is The Admiral (who had given me a bit of hell for running us aground) did the same thing the next time out! :laugher

In neither case were we grounded hard. I probably could've kedged us off, and would have, too, had volunteers not shown up to help.

(We seem to have a penchant for running new-to-us-boats aground. Just a couple days ago I managed to "find," with the outdrive on our new-to-us little power-boat, an uncharted and unmarked sunken, rock-laden barge some jerk had put down there 100 years ago to reduce shoreline erosion :cool:.)


WanderingStar 07-17-2009 02:19 PM

I was pretty good at sailing Captain Tom, my 26' yawl, on and off the mooring. In winter I would even sail her into the marina basin and round up to the float dock. But I could stop her four tons with a turn of line, or catch the mooring pennant with a boat hook. She'd round up there too. Not so easy with Wandering Star at over ten tons. In time I'll learn to shoot her up to the mooring, with the engine running for backup. I don't know if it will ever work as well as on the yawl.
It is true that we should always be ready for engine failure. My anchor is rigged and ready. My sails are uncovered when I cast off, I could be anchored or under sail in probably a minute.

speciald 07-17-2009 02:39 PM

Similar thing happened to me last Fall, 700 miles from anywhere with the added complication of water coming in. The Drive Saver bolts sheared off allowing the shaft to drop down, misalligning the dripless shaft log, allowing water to pour in. luckily I had a zinc do-nut on the shaft that kept the prop from jambing the rudder. With a spanish windlass, I raised the shaft and stopped the leak. We sailed all the way into the marina in Tortola.

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