Actually, this is a great idea for a thread. Bare all of your boneheaded mistakes to the world if you dare!
However, I will note that this idea has been used before and there is one whopper of a thread where lots of members contributed their input on this exact subject: What's your biggest bonehead move sailing?
Like most I've been involved with enough embarrassing boating incidents to have my own thread on the subject - instead I have my boat blog.
Some general things I have learned from all of my unmentionable experiences:
- Never, ever be in a hurry to leave a slip or mooring. You are likely to forget something like that extra dock line
hanging off the stern that will get caught in the prop. If on a mooring you discover that the engine will not start once you have cast off the mooring lines
and you are now drifting about in a crowded mooring field near other peoples expensive boats.
- Never ever, ever expect someone else to do something that you told them to do, even if you think it was an order. You will find out later that the raw water valve you asked someone to open was forgotten when your engine overheats 20 minutes later. Besides, it is never their fault as it is YOUR boat, right?
The corollary is: never take anything someone else says for granted no matter how convincing they seem. If you have a mechanic work on your engine you should ALWAYS double check their work. A mechanic may have drained the oil out of several engines that day and just thought he refilled the oil reservoir but actually forgot to.
- If you think it is time to reef then it is probably already past time to reef.
- If a little voice in the back of your head tells you something like: "We should head back now." or "We should pull the boat out for the season this weekend." it usually is absolutely correct. I can't tell you how many times the little voice has been right and I have been wrong.
- Always approach a dock at the speed you wish to hit it.