Non obvious ways to mess up boat systems - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 15 Old 04-15-2012 Thread Starter
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Non obvious ways to mess up boat systems

Non obvious ways to mess up boat systems or navigation errors.
A lot of boating is common sense.
For example if it too hard to turn figure out why.
Keep your head clear of the boom.
If it doesn't look right figure out why.
But not always.
There a several gotcha type things that are not always obvious to beginners.
You may enjoy adding to this list.

Things that you found out the hard way or things that you find you have to tell new people about on your boat.

Last edited by davidpm; 04-17-2012 at 08:13 AM.
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post #2 of 15 Old 04-15-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Non obvious ways to mess up boat systems

Turn the battery switch to off, or even through off, while the engine is running. Often burns out the regulator.

Turn on the water heater element with no water in the water tank or an air bubble in the tank. Will burn out element.

Release the topping lift when no sail is up. Boom drops and hits the deck.

Cleat in the bow breast line when the boat is coming into a dock. Will cause the bow to crash into the dock.

Leave the head thru-hull open when sailing hard. The rush of water can cause the head bowl to overflow.
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post #3 of 15 Old 04-15-2012
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Re: Non obvious ways to mess up boat systems

Ahhh there are many more to come....


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post #4 of 15 Old 04-16-2012
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Re: Non obvious ways to mess up boat systems

Attaching a boat's batteries with the polarity reversed can also damage the regulator resulting in burnt diodes and non-functional alternator. BTDT.

Raising a halyard before checking to see if it is attached to a sail. BTDT.

Attach wrong corner of jib to halyard. BTDT.

Using dock horn cleats to hold a 50' boat to the dock in a 40 knot blow instead of using the pilings. BTDT and there was one less horn cleat on that dock when we left it.

Thinking that every member of your crew has the same feel for sailing your boat as you have.

I'm a bit surprised that the "Three Stooges" never did a sailing skit that I can remember. There are some great ways to torture your crew if you wanted to and many ways you can make them happy.

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post #5 of 15 Old 04-17-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Non obvious ways to mess up boat systems

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Originally Posted by CalebD View Post

Using dock horn cleats to hold a 50' boat to the dock in a 40 knot blow instead of using the pilings. BTDT and there was one less horn cleat on that dock when we left it.
On the same boat tying off boat to piling with clove hitch without the safety half hitches. The clove hitch will unravel. BTDT.
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post #6 of 15 Old 04-17-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Non obvious ways to mess up boat systems

Forgetting engine zincs. Saw that one on an impeccably owner maintained Morgan with a raw water cooled diesel.
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Re: Non obvious ways to mess up boat systems

Tying a boat too tight at high tide on a fixed dock. As the tide recedes the boat starts to hang by the cleats.
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Re: Non obvious ways to mess up boat systems

Following a string of buoys but missing one that forms a turn in channel.
Entering a harbor at the second buoy rather than the first. Works sometimes not always depending on draft of your boat and tide.
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post #9 of 15 Old 04-17-2012
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Re: Non obvious ways to mess up boat systems

Check the tide tables before leaving the boat.

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post #10 of 15 Old 04-17-2012
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Re: Non obvious ways to mess up boat systems

When the new girlfriend decides to flush a tampon ...
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