Help us shorten our learning curve... What was the dumbest/worst mistake you've made? - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
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  #1  
Old 02-16-2007
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Mistakes Ive made

My first boat is my current boat. Its a 46 foot hunter and prior to purchasing it I sailed 3 times on a friends 26 foot Mcgregor. The wife and I lived on it for two months before we got up the courage to pull away from the slip.

Armed with resonable youth and some book knoledge we headed out. On our third time out we went 30 miles across the San Pedro shipping lanes and arrived at Catalina Island at 1:00 am on a night with no moon to get a mooring for the first time ever.

One of the best things I have done is keep a list of all the things I have done wrong while learing to sail. Most of them make me smile when I think back on how stupid they were, the above story being high on the list.

I have raised the main with the electric winch with the jiffy reefing line securly blocked, and just this weekend I got a touch too close to the wind generator.

We have gone to Catalina almost every weekend in the last two year and are still alive and the boat is still afloat. Lots of luck I guess.

Let me learn from a few of your mistakes so I dont have to make them all myself. Lets hear of some of the things you have done wrong.
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Old 02-16-2007
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I hope you don't plan on making any bluewater passages with your dinghy up on the davits. I also hope that you have alternatives in case your electric winches fail.
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Old 02-16-2007
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That's the best way to do it, have a scar for every learning experience. Makes the lesson that much more unforgettable.

Sailingdog, what's wrong with dinghy on davits for bluewater cruising? I do about 2K nm a year, and usually with my dink on davits. What am I missing?
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Old 02-16-2007
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I never make mistakes, only miscalculated risks.
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Old 02-16-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ianhlnd
Sailingdog, what's wrong with dinghy on davits for bluewater cruising? I do about 2K nm a year, and usually with my dink on davits. What am I missing?
What do define as bluewater? If you want to cross oceans then a dinghy on davits is considered by many to be an unreasonable risk. Even a hard dinghy on deck can be a problem and if I understand the situation correctly Ken Barns is an example of why a dinghy on deck is a problem. Of course if you just intend to jog along the coast then by all means use davits.
All the best,
Robert Gainer
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Old 02-16-2007
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I still don't get it, if I'm in danger of loosing a $150,000 boat, what do I care about loosing a $700 dinghy if that dinghy presents a danger to the boat or crew? It's jetsum! And, if I had it dragging on a painter under those conditions, I think it would be more a hinderance than help.
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Old 02-16-2007
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We are considering davits and have read, heard the stories associated with dinghys getting pooped by large waves. I suppose among other risks, there is a possibly of endangering the weight distribution of the mothership. Couldn't this be prevented by simply securing a water-tight cover over the dinghy?
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Old 02-16-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ianhlnd
I still don't get it, if I'm in danger of loosing a $150,000 boat, what do I care about loosing a $700 dinghy if that dinghy presents a danger to the boat or crew? It's jetsum! And, if I had it dragging on a painter under those conditions, I think it would be more a hinderance than help.
You are right about towing a dinghy. Even coastwise towing can be a problem. The point about davits is you don’t always have convenient timing to shed a thing like that. You tend to hang on just a bit too long and then you have a large heavy object flying past you or even worse, large holes where the davits were. People do it all the time and very few get into trouble but I would rather not take the chance and I carry an inflatable instead of a hard dinghy.
All the best,
Robert Gainer
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Old 02-16-2007
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I have personally winessed a 15 foot breaker off the stern and it will fill the dinghy and JUST rip the dink off the davits (if you are lucky). I think there is a whole thread on this, so I will not regurgitate it all (I am also not the authority on where you stick your dinghy!!! ew, that came out wrong), but unless you know your weather window for certain... put it on deck in my opinion.

If you are making a long passage offshore, you cannot guess you weather window for sure so better safe than sorry. Again, you do what you feel is right. As far as the cover over the dink, from what I have seen first hand, it would rip the cover off or fill it up. It would have to be a solid cover made of Kevlar to keep out a 15 foot breaker. Nah. I actually tow mine or lash it on the deck (unless I know my weather then I will run it up the davits).

Your choice though. You are the captain.

- CD
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Mistakes? Hmmm, I have a few to share!

1) Sailing the Great Lakes without a VHF (and ignoring those 'little' clouds for too long)

2) Towing an inflatable without a cover. It swamped and made a very good sea drogue. We wondered why we were making 2kt downwind in a 20kt blow breeze. Then we looked behind us at the dingy...

3) Not reefing in time. "Oh look, the wind is coming up! We will make good time now." hahaha, that got interesting _fast_.
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