First time out nightmare - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  #1  
Old 12-31-2002
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First time out nightmare

Everyone tried to warn me that no matter how much you prepare your first trip out will be one to remember. I attempted to launch my 23 ft boat from the deepest ramp in the area. It drafts 2''8". I couldn''t get deep enough to float it off the trailer because of the winter tides. I was going to pull out and add the extension to the trailer when I realized my vehicle (although rated for 800 pounds more than the boat) would not go up the ramp. I now have a boat that won''t go up the ramp and can''t be launched. Finally a stout man comes over and with my son driving (with partial parking brake on) me and the other gentleman push the vehicle up with enough force that it grabs and slowly creeps out. A friend of mine was nearby and used a V8 rear wheel drive truck with the trailer extension to finally launch it (I had to go in due to a recent bottom paint job). Once at the end of the launch area I was simply going to start up the engine that I had sufficiently tested the previous day and move out of the way but the engine wouldn''t start for almost 35 minutes. Needless to say I wasn''t the most popular person at the ramp. Once underway my dear engine waited until I split the two channels and headed into the main channel to quit. Now I''m floating back toward the point (fortunately not closer to the barge traffic) trying to start the fickle engine. After a little sweat I realized it was simply out of gas and started first pull after re-filling.

Long story short I compared my nightmare with several sailors and they all had similar stories for the first few outings and said it is mostly uphill since. I''ll follow with the next day out in the next topic.
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Old 01-07-2003
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First time out nightmare

Vehicles are rated for towing on flat surfaces. Detroit knows that no one in his right mind would ever want to tow anything up a hill, much less one that was likely to be wet and slippery with water, algae growth, seaweed, fish or crustacean remains. I see a lot of tow vehicles with winches, long cables, and big hooks on their front bumpers. With front wheel drive so prevalent, this extra weight obviously gives them more traction in such situations. Some drivers (mostly with rear wheel drive) also have hitches mounted on their front bumpers so that they can launch with their drive wheels away from the water, where it''s drier and there''s better traction. I avoid the prolem by using a mooring.
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Old 05-25-2003
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First time out nightmare

Don''t feel bad. After launching my Tanzer for the first time, I found out that the trolling motor I''d borrowed to get out of the channel was inadequate....then a guy towed me out to open water and left me tied to a piling. After finishing rigging the boat, I untied her and was promptply flipped by the first gust of wind, and it took 3 of us on the centerboard to flip her back up adn a tow back to the dock once we had her bailed out enough to officially float. My little VW Rabbit diesel had a hard time getting her far enough up the ramp to pull the aft cork and let her drain...with all the weight on the back of hte boat, it almost lifted the back wheels of my Rabbit completely off the ground.

Can''t wait to get back out and try it again
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Old 08-01-2003
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First time out nightmare

RookieHunter,

First time putting my boat into the water was when I realized that the outboard didn''t pivot, when I grabbed the tiller, I realized that I had failed to take the locking bolt out of the raised rudder, which was completely out of the water. I had to climb down the swim ladder in my undershorts with vice grips, pliers and WD40 to free up the rudder.

My friends thought it was hilarious, but it was smooth sailing after that.

Chas
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