First time singlehanding, bad things happen, the sound of breaking fiberglass, etc - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 40 Old 07-17-2013
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Re: First time singlehanding, bad things happen, the sound of breaking fiberglass, et

I recently had a similar experience as being stuck on the dock by a strong wind because our motor failed. Only in my case, it wasn't a dock, it was a couple of big expensive power boats (they had big fenders, and little humor). I got the motor started again and stuffed the launch just like you did. Just a game of expensive bumper cars.

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post #12 of 40 Old 07-17-2013
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Re: First time singlehanding, bad things happen, the sound of breaking fiberglass, et

Shorten up a forward stern spring line and back down on your engine. The bow will swing forward and you can release the stern spring line from your helm station without having to run anywhere. Live and learn. At least you didn't bounce your boat of other boats.

I'll tell you what someone told me after I had bumped into a few things. "Good. Now you can stop worrying about what that would feel like and get on with it."
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post #13 of 40 Old 07-17-2013
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First time singlehanding, bad things happen, the sound of breaking fiberglass, etc

Your experience is part of the game - I bet we all have similar horror stories. I know I do
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post #14 of 40 Old 07-17-2013
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Re: First time singlehanding, bad things happen, the sound of breaking fiberglass, et

On your harness get rid of the clip that takes two hands and buy an mountineering carabiner

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post #15 of 40 Old 07-17-2013
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Re: First time singlehanding, bad things happen, the sound of breaking fiberglass, et

OP,

I had similar learning lessons when I first ventured solo south (from VT). My experience was mostly floating docks. I was lucky to have a hand at my first set of piles. Otherwise it would have went viral on youtube for sure.

I was told (as stated above), that long sacrificial boards (fenders on you, boards on piles) and springs were the way to go. After several lone attempts early in the mornings (calm waters, and no witnesses :-) ), I got the hang of it.

As to the tether. Jacklines run just off center on each side, bow to cockpit, hard cleated. If using web, twist the web every 6-8 inches, this helps to not slip on the flat surface. I always double cleated when in the cockpit (one to each side), yes a pain, but felt very safe. Then when moving forward for hanking(yes), reefing, etc, un-cleat one side and move up the line. Should not have anything in the way for snags. Practice at the dock (or hook). It should be fluid.

I couldn't tell from the post if you were cleating, and un-cleating your way forward... IMHO this is a bad idea (unless you are using 2 tethers). Having been airborne on the bow several feet above, I couldn't imagine not being tethered or in the process of tethering at the time.

Anyway (hard won lessons) my 2 cents...

Happy Solo'ng
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post #16 of 40 Old 07-17-2013
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Re: First time singlehanding, bad things happen, the sound of breaking fiberglass, et

First of all, it seems like you have identified your errors which is important.
You've got to start thinking in terms of "risk vs. gain".

Was the risk of damage from the old wharf worth the gain of calibrating your wind instruments? Maybe... depends on your skill level. Be objective about your abilities.

Was the risk of further damage worth the gain of recovering a nasty old fender that you were going to throw away anyway? Nope. Not at all. Not even a little bit. So you learned from your mistakes which is great! Slow down, be deliberate, think "risk vs. gain" next time you're out there.

Second, I just want to say, don't give up. Go out there, practice, give yourself lots of room. Think "risk vs. gain" before deciding on a maneuver. You'll get better. If I only sailed with crew, I'd never sail.

The pulpit can be repaired or replaced by a fabrication shop. Don't sweat it.
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post #17 of 40 Old 07-17-2013
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Re: First time singlehanding, bad things happen, the sound of breaking fiberglass, et

It could have been worse...

My Horror Story

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post #18 of 40 Old 07-17-2013
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Re: First time singlehanding, bad things happen, the sound of breaking fiberglass, et

I agree with all those who have told you not to feel too bad about your experience. Singlehanding is a continuous learning experience. If the boat ends the trip still on top of the water, it could have gone much worse.

The most important singlehanding lesson I keep learning (over and over) is to plan everything before you start. That means the time to figure out how to get off that dock is before you tie up. That's when you can rig fenders or fender boards if you have them, and plan which way to arrive and which way to face to make leaving easier. (Unless the wind is blowing exactly at right angles to the dock, it may help to face into the wind when you're leaving, so that you don't have to turn as far before the wind will actually blow your bow away from the dock.) The more you sail, and the more situations you experience, the easier it will be to foresee the issues and plan ahead.

On the damage to your bow pulpit, check out some used marine hardware stores. I did a quick Google search and saw what looked like two stores in the bay area. One of them may have a pulpit from another Ericson 27, or a pulpit from some other boat that could be adapted to fit on your bow.

Good luck and keep sailing.

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post #19 of 40 Old 07-17-2013
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Re: First time singlehanding, bad things happen, the sound of breaking fiberglass, et

The surplus store idea is a great one. I know it's a long drive, but Minney's might have it. They are down in Costa Mesa, not too far from the beach and all the sailing in OC. You could make a weekend of the trip and bring home the rail if they have something that could work. I'd probably still call a fab shop first to get an estimate for the repair cost, and then I'd call Minney's and see what they have. You could also ask them to keep an eye out for one.

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post #20 of 40 Old 07-18-2013
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Re: First time singlehanding, bad things happen, the sound of breaking fiberglass, et

Svendsens in Alameda advertise fabrication and repairs to metalwork. My suggestion would be to remove the pulpit, and take it there. They might be able to replace the damaged part, rather than fabbing the whole thing.

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