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NewportNewbie 04-10-2013 10:28 PM

Ever been injured on your boat? Just happened to me.
I was sailing today. Singlehanded which is pretty normal for me. Went out to the ocean where the wind forecast was 12-17 knots. In harbor the wind was blowing pretty hard. At least 15. Out in the ocean. No wind at all. So I came back in and decided to sail in the harbor that was blowing about 15. I tacked a few times and my jib sheet got caught on the spinnaker eye in the mast. I ran up the deck to free it up and for whatever reason I grabbed it from below and the force of the wind in the sail pulled the sheet and my hand got caught between the sheet and the spinnaker eye. I pulled my hand out and looked down. My glove was ripped. My fingertip bloody. Didn't know how bad it was. So I pulled in the jib the best I could with one hand. Wrapped my finger up the best I could and headed back to the slip with one hand. The injury wasn't bad once I got the boat back to the slip. Pulled about an inch of the skin off of the finger. Not deep at all. The glove took the brunt of the pressure. Without it it would have been far worse. I was in harbor with no waves just wind. If I was in the ocean in big waves and wind it would have been very challenging. To turn it into a learning experience I realized that the key to handling this all was to relax and think clearly. I see how easily that just a little panic can be the difference between life and death. So any other stories of injuries while sailing?

T37Chef 04-10-2013 11:54 PM

Re: Ever been injured on your boat? Just happened to me.
I stubbed my toe once going on deck on the middle of the night without shoes. ;)

Been fortunate, no accidents really worthy of discussion, working with knives, hot oil, etc etc all day I am pretty aware of where my apendeges are, not saying you or anyone else isn't, I just think I have a heightened awareness? no I'm am going to knock on some wood.

jimgo 04-11-2013 12:11 AM

Re: Ever been injured on your boat? Just happened to me.
I was out on a friend's 38' Catalina in SoCal last year, when the Santa Ana winds were blowing. On our first or second tack, I released the jib sheet and had it in my hand so I could release it at the right time. A gust must have come up, because the sheet was pulled free from my grip. We weren't ready to tack, so I relexively clamped down, hard. I immediately felt my hand burning, and released the sheet, but it had already done a number on my hand. I had blisters and bleeding for several days. That's when I learned the value of having gloves on, especially on bigger boats with big sails.

Glad to hear your injury wasn't worse!

blt2ski 04-11-2013 12:36 AM

Re: Ever been injured on your boat? Just happened to me.
I have yet to be injured. Altho a fellow went to let me down from the top of the mast one time, did not have the line attached to me around a winch.......dang near let loose of the clutch barely hanging on to the tail end of the line.

Then about three weeks later, We were coming in from a long spin run where we got knocked down a couple of times getting the spin up.....He lets the spin halyard lose, NO WRAPS around the winch, bare handed.......a little bacon smell out of his hands! Figured he was trying to hold on the 1200-1300 lbs of force based on spin size, and wind speed.

He's been wearing gloves since, along with something more than a waist style inflatable PFD! I'll teach that stink pot salesperson how to sail yet.....LOLOLOL....He is generally speaking a good guy!

We missed a couple of heads on an uncontrolled gybe that broke the boom in soem 35-40 knot winds day too!.........


Lateen Luffer 04-11-2013 12:46 AM

Re: Ever been injured on your boat? Just happened to me.
On a 42' Hunter my buddy was at the bow trying to get us set on a mooring buoy. The seas were rough and his hand got pinched right where the pinky finger leaves the palm of his hand! We decided to head back and get it sewn up since we could see a little bone when looking into the wound. He actually still has just a little nerve damage there, kind of a numbness, he says. It's just amazing how fast it can happen.

bristol299bob 04-11-2013 01:02 AM

Re: Ever been injured on your boat? Just happened to me.
Newportnewbie glad you are OK! Glad too that you started this thread, we can all learn from other mistakes and near disasters. Here's mine:

I was on a boat that had the traveler across the companionway. We were out in 15-20 knts, 2-3 ft high frequency chop (typical of the Neuse river). I was on the windward side, kneeling on the cockpit seat. I was focused on the main, considering trim changes. Just then the helmsman accidentally gybed.

I always think of the boom as the killer in an accidental gybe. Back then it didnt occur to me that along with the boom the main sheet also sweeps a portion of the cockpit (on some boats).

When the mainsheet swung over it caught me in the back. It tightened with a *snap*, and the force threw me against the cabin top. I was bloodied, punctured my lip, and sore. I looked (and was) pretty beat up.

I am (and was) grateful, it could have gone so much worse.

HardTAC 04-11-2013 02:16 AM

Re: Ever been injured on your boat? Just happened to me.
While sailing our Alberg 37 yawl from Martha's Vineyard to Nantucket, we were leaving Vineyard Haven and our guests were standing on deck. The wind began to shift and I knew we were gonna jibe. I told them to get down but they didn't listen. Then my x-wife yelled at them and they ducked just in time. However, my x didn't realize her knee was in the path of the main traveler. The bottom portion of the 7:1 block hit her right in the knee and opened it up good. Both or our guests were doctors. They were excited to finally be a help on the boat. After bandaging her up with our measly first aid kit, they agreed stitches would be needed in Nantucket.

So, we're almost into Nantucket and the wind really pipes up. I reef the main, but have trouble furling the jib. So, I put the furling line on a jib sheet winch. There was still a lot of tension in the furling line so I decided to "sweat" the line by pulling it laterally toward me while one of the doctors tailed the winch. I tell him, "on the count of 3 start pulling the line as fast as you can." But the doc jump the count and started pulling on "2". My left hand went under the line right into the winch. Of course my well educated crew kept the tension on the line (with my hand halfway around the drum) until I yelled for him to let go of the line.

We finally got the jib in and I retook the helm. Then the other doctor said, "let's look at that hand." I held it up and my left pinky was making a 90-degree angle away from the other fingers. I remember saying, "I think I'm gonna..."

I woke up five seconds later on the cockpit sole laughing. I announced sarcastically, "Yeah, I'm really in solid command of this vessel!"

We grabbed a mooring in Nantucket. The harbor master met us at the mooring to collect our fees and we asked, where's the hospital and then where can we get a good Margarita?

In the hospital, my x and I were laying on adjacent exam tables when the on duty doctor came in. After hearing our stories he said, "Boy, I can't wait to go sailing with you two!"

Moral of the story: Really go over instructions very clearly with inexperience crew. Their actions could have consequences for you! And, oh, get the best first aid kit you can afford!

NewportNewbie 04-11-2013 02:46 AM

Great stuff guys! I'm seeing a pattern. Rough seas/wind means more chance to get hurt.

rgscpat 04-11-2013 03:34 AM

Re: Ever been injured on your boat? Just happened to me.
Nah, I didn't get hurt on MY boat -- it was on a charter.
Fell off during docking when boat got caught by a bit of wind, bounced off pier and into water, breaking a couple of bones in my wrist. Good that I was wearing gloves that gave lots of support.

Tim R. 04-11-2013 08:14 AM

Re: Ever been injured on your boat? Just happened to me.
Not when sailing. Sure, the usual pinched finger, rope burn or stubbed toe. Most of my injuries happen while working on my boat. I usually leave a trail of blood before I realize I cut myself.

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