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  #31  
Old 11-27-2013
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Re: Near disasterous first sail

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Originally Posted by Lemonshirt View Post
I purchased an old/used 20 footer (Southwest Explorer) about 6 weeks ago, having never sailed anything more complicated than a Sunfish. Between my work schedule and crappy weather, I finally took her out this past weekend. It was NOT PRETTY! First, after struggling to raise the mast by myself, I realized a sizeable limb from gum-ball tree was hanging about 25 feet over the boat ramp ...just low enough that my mast couldnt pass under it. So I had to unhook the trailer from my truck, drive home, get a ladder and chain saw, return and cut down the limb. I should have realized that this was an omen.

...
My curiosity is getting the better of me. Were you cutting off tree limbs over a public ramp?
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  #32  
Old 11-27-2013
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Re: Near disasterous first sail

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Originally Posted by paul323 View Post
...

After every sail I do, I tend to reflect on what I did, and what could have done better...
...

We do the same. Twice after each sail. First while we're (usually) motoring up the channel to our marina we'll go over anything that we felt could have been handled better by either of us. Then after we are secured in the slip and resting in the cockpit, we'll review how we docked and if we want to try anything differently the next time.
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  #33  
Old 11-27-2013
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Re: Near disasterous first sail

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Originally Posted by DRFerron View Post
We do the same. Twice after each sail. First while we're (usually) motoring up the channel to our marina we'll go over anything that we felt could have been handled better by either of us. Then after we are secured in the slip and resting in the cockpit, we'll review how we docked and if we want to try anything differently the next time.
We do the same and write it down in our google doc that also keeps track of how much our sailing habit costs so in we'll know over time if getting a boat is cheaper than bareboating
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Re: Near disasterous first sail

As I read these posts, it occured to me , just fortunate that I had been to have an experinced friend each time we got a bigger boat.
I was asked to accompany a friend, who had no boating experince, on his Marshal Cat Boat, to introduce him to sailing. We went out in 10kts of breeze on a warm fall day. We beat a little, then reached and ran down wind. I showed him how to 'hove to' before reaching back to our creek.
We were on a far beam reach when to mast broke away at its base! "Now that was exciting!" After gathering up the rig and securing to starbord side, motored about two miles to our marina.
Rodny felt there was little else that I could teach him. He had gotten the 'Full Monty' in his first sailing lesson.
By the way; the base of the mast had rotted from the inside, the varished exterior concealed the problem.
Rules:
Do not go out into wind veocities that exede your water line length
When is the time to reduce sail? The first time you think about it.
* exception: The first time your partner suggests it!
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  #35  
Old 11-27-2013
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Re: Near disasterous first sail

Having been a Naval Aviator in my prior life, checklists were a part of evrything you do in an airplane. I carried that concept into my marine activities and have never "forgot" (or missed) anything important, (like a seacock for engine cooling water being closed). Highly suggest the use of checklists.

Dave
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  #36  
Old 11-28-2013
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Re: Near disasterous first sail

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Originally Posted by Dave_E View Post
Having been a Naval Aviator in my prior life, checklists were a part of evrything you do in an airplane. I carried that concept into my marine activities and have never "forgot" (or missed) anything important, (like a seacock for engine cooling water being closed). Highly suggest the use of checklists.

Dave
Yes!
When we purchased Pandora in July, there was a plethora of folders and information that came with it. One item was a check list.

Item 1: Before doing anything else, pump the manual bilge 50 times!
There is about 30 things on the list BEFORE leaving the dock, and the same before going home in the evening.

Really good stuff!
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Old 11-28-2013
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Re: Near disasterous first sail

I agree with the printed list.. and I think that is something I will create for myself...

One of the most difficult thing about mistakes.... it doesn't seem like all the howto books I have read have stopped me from making them.

I do think there should be some kind of jack in the box spring-loaded sign that pops up as soon as you get in the boat "Is the Keel Down???" (My first time out with my current boat -- I had the keel AND the rudder up for the first 20 minutes)

And having a spectator..... if you didn't have your wife in the boat, who would remind you how bad you were when you started.

I have found when you sail alone... you can just let your mistakes be learning tools. When I have someone with me, I have a historian of my inadequacies
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Re: Near disasterous first sail

that said..

I don't plan to have on my list: Make sure chain saw is in tow vehicle


It just doesn't sound right
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  #39  
Old 11-29-2013
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Re: Near disasterous first sail

The ramp, where I cut down the limb it a privately owned ramp that is open to the public for a $5 fee per launch. I think I may have been the first sailboat to ever launch there. ..at least the first sailboat larger than a sunfish.
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Old 11-29-2013
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Re: Near disasterous first sail

Lemon I think you will keep learning and having fun. Enjoy it! I only wonder how many have a bad start and that is the end ? I have no fear you will keep going.
Not to get to far off topic but what is the best way to get tree trimming done at public ramps ? This could be a thread of its own ?
Good Day, Lou
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