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tommyt 07-02-2007 10:01 PM

Stupid Boat Tricks
 
The 4th of July thread got me thinking. I have the perfect slip for the 4th of July. Unfortunately, a nice doctor from Alabama chartered my boat this week so I won't be able to use the slip or the boat.

First boat tricks.

When in my slip and sitting in the stern, I can look at a boat ramp. Actually, 6 lanes into the water about 200' away. Normally just a few boats at a time using the ramp. However, on the 4th of July they start lining up about 6:00 AM and by 9:00 the line is about a mile long. Tempers tend to flare, people do great jobs of backing up and into things, husbands yell at wives, wives tell their husband endearing things at many different decimal levels, fist fights break out, police show up, at least two people get put in police cars for a ride to the station, and the fun goes on. All of this is finished by about noon and things settle down for a few hours. Now remember, this is in the morning and only about 30% are drinking that early.
The real fun begins about 9:00 PM when the crowds really get thick to pull the boats back out. Now there are nice people mixed into this crowd, but by this time a much higher percentage has had more than one drink. In some cases the only reason they are pulling the boat out is because they ran out of beer. The fights begin again, at least one car ends up much wetter than planned, divorce proceedings begin for some, a few more take a ride in a police car, and by midnight things quiet down again.

Is it boating or the holiday that brings out the best in these folks. Happy 4th of July. I will celebrate it on land this year.Have a great holiday and visit your local boat ramp for some entertainment.

Giulietta 07-02-2007 10:07 PM

Tom, I invite you to see the 4th July fireworks from my boat, come along no problem.....been here before, "Minha casa sua casa"....

At least we drink and behave!!!

sailingdog 07-02-2007 10:21 PM

If you go to visit Giu to see the fireworks, bring a tv... since you'll need it to watch the fireworks... ;)

uspirate 07-02-2007 10:35 PM

We call that spot here the entertainment dock:D

tommyt 07-02-2007 10:43 PM

Stupid boat trick # 2. My boat, but a charterer on board. Could be titled "Took the class, but common sense cannot be taught".

Family chartered my boat a couple of years ago. They had taken ASA courses, but were still green. They were supposed to stay in the bay, but asked to leave for a couple of days. They at least asked, and were told fine, but anything over 15 kts. stay tied to the dock. Fair enough.

Three days, no wind. Their one week of sailing was not going well, but they did motor to some nice sites. Day 4, winds SSW at 10-12, forecast for 20-25 in the afternoon. They were excited and got out sailing in the morning. Not too eventful, having a good time, winds beginning to build. And build. Finally decided that the winds were getting a little too strong so they dropped sail and began motoring. So far, so good.

Now, winds from SSW have a fetch of about 90 miles in the bay they were in. Waves are building and building. Daughter decides she wants to go swimming, and they are on vacation, so why not. Waves in the neighborhood of 6' at this time. They motor over to a beach where they THOUGHT they saw a 70' yacht anchored earlier. Now, there are charts aboard, but they were never touched. Why confuse things with facts when you think you saw a big boat anchored over there earlier. Got into about 20' of water and threw the anchor out.

Now, here if where it gets really interesting. The area they were in had three shelves. One at 50', then a 150' shelf of 20', and then 2' and stone.

So, they throw out the anchor and it is not setting. Did I mention 6' seas and building? It drags, and drags. They then decide that this is not going to work so attempt to pull up the anchor. Wife cannot handle it (why do men send their wives to handle the anchor while they hold the wheel?) so husband puts engine in neutral and starts forward to help her. Now remember, she is on the bow and the waves are over 6' at this point and it is shallow. She is getting beaten up pretty badly. However, taking the boat out of gear loses all control and the boat settles back. First thing that floats away is the rudder as they back into the shallows. Next they land on the keel. This is one time that a wing really comes in handy. Remember that anchor hanging off the bow? It keeps the boat feathered into the wind and she settles on her wing and keeps moving back. Perfectly balanced! UP, DOWN, UP, DOWN. The entire rig shudders each time a wave lifts her and lets her down. For four hours this goes on.

Now, fortunately, this has a happy ending. Nobody was killed, and the boat floats today. Imagine if they had somehow set that anchor and the little girl went over the side. If she got back to the boat and tried the stern ladder she would most likely have been killed by the stern crashing down on her. The whole rig could have come crashing down on them with all that stress. The boat could have falled off her wing and one of them caught under 12,000 lbs of boat in 2' of water. And lots of other scenarios.

A great team of people got the boat off safely. It was so shallow that the tug could not get any closer than 200' in those seas. They continued to build during their work. They got a bridle on the boat and pulled each time the waves lifted our boat. Slowly but surely they got her off and towed to a marina. Minus a rudder and with a much smaller keel ( remember the stones on the bottom, they acted as a grinder on the keel), and a few gouges in the glasswork. Three months later, and lots of surveys, she has a new rudder and keel, glasswork fixed, boat sound.

Oh, after the charterers were saved by the salvage guys, they talked to the charter company. They wanted to know how long it would take to put a new keel on so they could continue their vacation. After all , they had three days left of their vacation.

Common sense cannot be taught, you have to figure it out! Some never do.

sailingdog 07-02-2007 10:48 PM

TommyT-

Ouch...just remember in the race between man and God, where man makes something more foolproof, and God makes a better fool, God is winning, and he doesn't even have to wait to replace his fools, he just upgrades them on the spot.

Valiente 07-03-2007 01:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tommyt
Is it boating or the holiday that brings out the best in these folks. Happy 4th of July. I will celebrate it on land this year.Have a great holiday and visit your local boat ramp for some entertainment.

Now I know why you had that wistful look in your eye when we were sitting in that inexplicably Irish bar in Vilamoura marina. You were scanning the marina for the Portuguese equivalent of boat boors ramping up the bad behaviour!

USCGRET1990 07-03-2007 02:41 PM

The real fun begins about 9:00 PM when the crowds really get thick to pull the boats back out. Now there are nice people mixed into this crowd, but by this time a much higher percentage has had more than one drink. In some cases the only reason they are pulling the boat out is because they ran out of beer.


How about when that afternoon T-storm kicks up and they all try to pull their boats out at the same time?

I never thought about it before, but sounds like the boat ramp antics are the same all over the country.!!

sailaway21 07-04-2007 02:00 AM

tommyt,
You're a braver man than I. But then, I actually like my boat.(g)

How old do I have to get before I can acquire your sang-froid? Or, are you married to your insurance adjuster? Great tale and, like you, I thank God it ended "well".

PBzeer 07-04-2007 02:36 AM

Your tale of the boat ramp, I imagine is fairly universal, as we had the same situation on the lake where I used to be. Watching them pull out after the fireworks was a traditional event for us, as the ramp was right next to the marina.

Your other tale, proves once again that having a piece of paper that says you are competent, does make it true. Certified intelligence is no match for real life experience and knowledge.

Currently at 35 54 33 N 75 40 06 W


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