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post #41 of 58 Old 09-10-2013
Learning the HARD way...
 
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Re: Scary night sail

David,

I think that it is wonderful that this all worked out for you and Charlie.

Reading your story, I can see at least 4 points where I would have said "NO!" Maybe it's because I recently got my ticket, but there were many things that were not under your control. As skipper, it is your responsibility to ensure the safety of the crew, and the proper operation of the vessel. If the weather started getting snotty, then this sail could have ended up very differently.

I suggest that you explain to Charlie that you are happy to take him, and friends out on his boat. However, as skipper, you should require that the vessel be properly equipped (adequate dock lines), and that everything work properly. If I were in your position, I would also insist on inviting one crew member with seamanship capabilities with which I was familiar.

Good on ya for being there for your friend... but don't let him take advantage of you.


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post #42 of 58 Old 09-10-2013
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Re: Scary night sail

David,

I've got a 100 ton ticket, I can imagine what's going through your mind.

All I can think of is what a great guy you are to do this. If something goes haywire and you loose your ticket, I'm going to burn mine.

Yea, you might go aground, have a minor injury, or scratch something, but some things in life are more important, and in my opinion the risks involved are minor compared to the benefit you are bringing to your friends.

Life is short...thank you for making a difference.
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post #43 of 58 Old 09-10-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Scary night sail

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Originally Posted by capecodda View Post
David,

I've got a 100 ton ticket, I can imagine what's going through your mind.

All I can think of is what a great guy you are to do this. If something goes haywire and you loose your ticket, I'm going to burn mine.

Yea, you might go aground, have a minor injury, or scratch something, but some things in life are more important, and in my opinion the risks involved are minor compared to the benefit you are bringing to your friends.

Life is short...thank you for making a difference.
That is a good point and you know I've thought of it.

I don't even bring my book.
Since I'm not getting paid this is not a USCG regulated trip, as far as I know.

I don't know what I would have to do to have my license revoked but I hope it is more than buggering some fiberglass.

I have a friend who I never was able to get to come sailing with me because he was too scared. He was bicycling ahead of his wife on a state park road when a car passed his wife, didn't see him and merged into his lane.
He suffered a severe concussion, passed out, and was lucky to live.

It is pretty hard to judge just what is dangerous and what is safe.

The lesson from the Icarus story is not about human failing.
It is a lesson about the limitations of wax as an adhesive.
If you have an engineering problem solve it.
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post #44 of 58 Old 09-15-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Scary night sail

Some more news on Charlie's boat.
We have made more trips.

The first trip was with the three of us and his daughter.
The second trip was just the three of us
The last trip was the three of us and a friend.
Yesterday it was the three of us plus a co-worker.

For all of these people other than Charlie and his wife Pat this was their first time on a sailboat, at least in decades.

Today was supposed to be just the three of us but a neighbor a couple of docks away runs an association that takes out handicapped people sailing.
They had sponsored a take a veteran sailing day. They must have had 50 people between, veterans, volunteers and family.
The director asked if Charlie and I would be willing to take a few from his group sailing.
How could we say no?

So for our first crew we took three veterans then we can back had lunch and took the wife and two daughters of a veteran out. The veteran was on another boat with his two sons.
None of the ladies in the second group had ever been on a sailboat before.
The first group included a Navy Seal but at least one of the other two guys had never been on a sailboat before.

I'm a little embarrassed to have to report that my initial worry about taking his boat out apparently was primarily caused by my lack of confidence.
Now that I've had six trips under my belt I feel much better about the process.

The lack of reefing, short sheets, dodgy engine etc. are all issues but they seem to be manageable.
Leaving the dock is still not fun. Docking is getting easier.

I really envy those of you who have the same boat at the same dock for years and can actually get to know what you are doing.
I'm usually on a different boat in a different place every day.
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The lesson from the Icarus story is not about human failing.
It is a lesson about the limitations of wax as an adhesive.
If you have an engineering problem solve it.
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post #45 of 58 Old 09-15-2013
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Re: Scary night sail

By the livin' Gawd that made you,
You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!
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post #46 of 58 Old 09-15-2013
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Re: Scary night sail

Dave, hats off to both Charlie and you for giving up some of "your" sailing time for such a worthwhile effort. I bet Charlie must have felt very special today, to be able to bring some joy into the lives of others when, just a few short months ago, he was being told not to pursue this dream.

- Jim
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post #47 of 58 Old 09-16-2013
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Re: Scary night sail

I find this an uplifting read. Thanks for the post.
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post #48 of 58 Old 09-16-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Scary night sail

Here is why the cockpit arrangement is working out so well.
These are pictures of the misses getting on the boat.
She needs two canes to walk.

Pat watches everything and makes sure nothing is forgotten.
She has very good situational awareness.

She reminds us to turn off the key when the engine is shut down.
She is the lookout and keeps and eye on everything.

Since we have had so many people on the boat who have never been sailing before I tell them that they are supposed to look at Pat and if she is not panicked they don't have to panic, sometimes the boat heals.
And Pat never panics.
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The lesson from the Icarus story is not about human failing.
It is a lesson about the limitations of wax as an adhesive.
If you have an engineering problem solve it.

Last edited by davidpm; 09-16-2013 at 09:40 AM.
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post #49 of 58 Old 09-16-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Scary night sail

This experience has really upped my game.
One challenge is that I have to handle docking myself.

Since Charlie can't get high enough to see well in close quarters I have to drive and then move forward and get off the boat and grab both the bow and stern lines.

I found it a little challenging to be able to be at both ends of the boat at once.
So I have recently come up with a strategy that seems to work.
Don't forget I have very pretty power boat to my starboard with no poles or any other protection.

I have a 30' bow line and about a 20' stern line.
I tie them together with a square know and leave them draped over the life lines.

After I make my left turn into the slip I allow the bow to swing past the pole on the port side.
Then I put it in reverse to slow the boat down and the bow swings starboard and the boat gets about 1/3 to 1/2 of the way into the slip.
This lets me get close enough to leave the engine in idle and go forward and step off the boat with the bow line.
I tie the bow line on the middle cleat as if it was a spring line.
By now the stern is starting to float away towards the power boat.
I can power reel in the bitter end of the bow line which since it is tied to the end of the stern line means that in about two seconds I have the stern line which if I pull it in tight forces the boat forward and pulls in the bow.
Now I can go fetch the bow breast line and tie it off.

This worked better than having someone on board attempting to throw me the stern line because if the throw misses I'm in trouble.

Based on my prior experience now that I think I've got the process down the next time I'll screw up royally.

If anyone has a better way to do this I'm all eyes.

My next big idea is to electrical tape or magic marker the dock lines where I want them so I can get them in the right place on the first or second try.

The lesson from the Icarus story is not about human failing.
It is a lesson about the limitations of wax as an adhesive.
If you have an engineering problem solve it.

Last edited by davidpm; 09-16-2013 at 04:23 PM.
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post #50 of 58 Old 09-16-2013
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Re: Scary night sail

David, why not use a spring line? I set one up on our boat, and in the 3 times I've docked, I found it worked perfectly. I "just" have to line myself up on the piling near the finger, then grab the line and hook it on the cleat. After that, the boat's momentum snugs me against the finger and I can get the stern and bow lines on. For me, it's spring line (starboard side), starboard stern line, bow lines, then port side stern line.

- Jim
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1975 Albacore 15


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