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Thread: Gentlemen... your most embarassing sailing moment if you please. Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
08-11-2009 10:30 AM
Originally Posted by svOhJoy View Post
I slunk back to my boat and considered having my brain removed. And my neighbor? He turned his radio back on and left for the night.
Disconnect his shorepower!!
08-10-2009 12:22 PM
LarryandSusanMacDonald On our first trip back north on the ICW about 11 years ago, we had just had a bouncy ride across the Albemarle Sound and entered the North River. About a mile or so up the engine sputtered and quit. We didn't have the sails up because it was squally and the river winds around quite a bit.

So I quickly dropped the anchor and went to try to see what the problem was.

"Could we be out of fuel?" Suzi asked.

"No, not a chance. I've been very careful to calculate how much we've been using and we've got at least 40 gallons left." I answered.

"Shouldn't we dip the tank, just to be sure?" she persisted.

"No." I answered again, getting a little testy. "I just bed the thing and there's fuel at the engine. I think it might be the fuel pump."

"Can you fix it?"

"Hell, I don't even know where it is."

So, long story short... (too late, I know) a $1,200 dollar tow job (at night, in a storm) into Coinjock and the next day we hired a mechanic. He went below and came up and said, "I think you're out of fuel."

"No," I said, "I'm sure we've got about 40 gallons left. It's a 175 gallon tank and I've been keeping close track. Besides, when I bled it, there seemed to be plenty."

"I still think you should check the tank, I'm getting nothing."

"Larry," Suzi said gently, "I think we have a 135 gallon tank."

I dipped it... dry as a bone. I sent the mechanic on his way. And blushed for the rest of the day.
05-19-2009 08:13 PM
Don't leave the tiller!!

When I was younger and really much more stupid. My girlfriend and I were enjoying a nice quiet motoring around San Diego bay late at night in my Columbia 22. As things progress as things usually do under a full moon and amourous thoughts upon the water. I thought I could skillfully tie my tiller off on a steady course while going below for more "intimate" conversation. Things were going just dandy and we were having a truly good time when I noticed a flashing light from my portholes. I knew no one else was nearby and I did not hear a motor outside other than my own, but the light was flickering enough for me to take quick look ahead at the course we were steering. Good thing I did because dead ahead and only a few yards away was one of the large navigational buoys (#23 I think). Needless to say I lept to the tiller and wrenched it to steer clear without a single worry of my clothing, or lack thereof. It was a very close call with the buoy passing to starboard by only a foot... not much more. No damage, just embarrasment and the loss of a night of romance. And a HUGE lesson learned!!
05-19-2009 05:29 PM
tager Delivering my current boat from Everett to Lake Union, I had to transit the small locks at Ballard with a 2 horse outboard. It took a while in my heavy 24' Islander. I eventually made it, and as I went forward to tend lines, the admiral decided to till over hard towards the steel wall of the lock... embarassing to say the least.

Later, at the Fremont bridge, the operator said over the megaphone (You need to go faster if you want to go under the bridge.)

05-19-2009 03:31 PM
Stiche Having my stern turn almost 90 degrees in the ballard locks (Seattle) because there was no-one to recieve the stern line on the next boat, having to strike the birgie while the lock tenders are yelling at me to put my engine in reverse (you ever try to manuever in reverse in a Cal 25?), and on top of everything else, stalling out of the other end of the locks because I forgot to open the air inlet on the gas tank.
05-08-2009 08:53 PM
Not me

We had spent days anchored by a popular lagoon north of Sydney. It was our first real boat, quite sparse – we had for example no fridge, only a camping box with ice, so eventually we had to shop. This meant leaving the anchorage for the nearest store, but we didn’t want to surrender our great spot. So, we left the anchor down with a buoy at the end and felt smug.

On our return we ran into great commotion all over the harbour. A fancy yacht twice our size appeared to drift through a group of others, people on deck with bosuns’ hooks, and a diver was under water. Ropes seemed to criss-cross the water. “Poor guy,” we thought and continued looking for our buoy.

That’s when we spotted it. As I said, we weren’t too richly endowed, so the buoy was actually our life buoy with our boat’s name on it, tied on with floating rope; that’s all we had spare. It was now part of a tangle around the fancy yacht. He had run straight into it and caught his propeller, then drifted and lifted a couple of other boats’ anchors.

This was not the time to claim back our buoy. We motored quietly to the furthest end of the bay, hung towels over the side to hide our boat’s name, and cowered inside. For a couple of hours wife, two young daughters and blushing self lay low while a police launch circled the fleet scrutinizing all present.

That afternoon, we made sure to nod whenever someone mentioned reckless newbies, and we weren’t missing an anchor, no Sir.
05-02-2009 03:01 PM
AaronOnTheHudson Shortly after purchasing my boat I took it out for the first time single handed (a trip across the river for a pump out). The water was pretty rough... and I was tying up to a unprotected pier. Because the pier was very short and "L" shaped it took me several approach attempts... I definitely didn't want to mash my bow into the other side of the pier. Some nice (at the time) guy came to help me dock. I threw him the bow line and grabbed the stern line for myself. As I started climbing to the very high dock I noticed the boat was moving. The guy who took the bow line had not tided to the side of the pier I was on. Instead he was pulling the boat to cleat of at the other side of the L shape. Before I could do anything the bow smashed into the dock. Based on the height of the waves I could have done damage... fortunately due to the tide height all I did was smash my bow lights and bend the casing. Although it wasn't really my fault it was embarrassing to sail back to my marina with plastic and wires hanging. Needless to say I will never give a dock line to a stranger without telling them exactly what to do.
04-30-2009 05:42 PM
WhatTheFoley First time taking the boat out on a cruise. I'd mostly been day sailing on Lake Union in Seattle. Didn’t really have a need to use the depth sounder... So now my girlfriend and I are on our first cruise together. Had a great time sailing down to Vashon island...

Just outside of Quartermaster harbor, I look a the depth sounder and it reads 24.0.. surprised that it's that shallow I start to pay more attention, and I get out the charts.

still looking at the charts (which indicate well over 12 fathoms or more) and I notice it's down to 16.5... I stop the motor, and ask my girlfriend to go up to the bow and take a look.

trying to stay calm.. I keep looking at the depth sounder, and it’s down to 9.3 then 7.6... I had already put the eng in reverse and came to a stop...

At this point I'm freaking out... cause my boat draws 5'6"... the chart says nothing about a shoal.. no markers or buoys... WTF!!!! My girlfriend is trying to calm me down a bit…

look really closely at the depth sounder... a piece of the covering inside the gauge had chipped off and dammed if it didn’t look exactly like a decimal point.. I was in 76ft of water! D'oh!!!!!!
03-01-2009 10:51 AM
NCC320 My son and I were sailing on Blount's Bay some years back. The wind was good, it was a grey day and only one other boat was out. In the bay, there are a number of day markers/lights. The green marker in the middle of the bay, for some reason is always somewhat hard to see, and from a certain angle, all you see is the piling, if you see anything. We were sailing a Kells 28,overcanvassed with a deck sweeper 150 genny, with rail at the water's edge. The boat had tiller steering and under these conditions, developed lots of weather helm, so I, the helmsman, was on the high side. My son had gone below for some reason. I knew exactly where the other boat was and thought I knew where that marker was. But in an instant, with all the slamming and banging in the world, the boat came to a stop in little over a foot (as evidenced by marks on the bow rubrail), the boat then spun around and came to rest snuggly against the piling and the marker light platform, which seemed now a bit skewed. Also, the wood piling definitely had a list to it. Neither of us was hurt, the boat seemed intact, and even the relatively new genny, after having slid down and against the sharp corner of the platform was undamaged. We got the boat off, finished sailing and returned to the marina. That night, I waited and watched to see if the light was going to come on....if not, I was going to have to notify the Coast Guard and would probably have gotten a large fine. Luckily the light did come on and I guess no one was ever the wiser, but that piling and platform were definitely a little askew. Several years later, the river froze over (rarely ever happens) and the ice flow took out that marker, so later it was replaced by a new one, that stands a little straighter. Forturnately, few people saw this embarrassing situation....also there's a lesson here....know at all times what is ahead or near you. And I don't use deck sweepers anymore.

Several years later on a nice sunny Sunday afternoon, I saw another sailboat hit the same marker.....not nearly as hard as us, but he totally destroyed one of his sails, ripping it all the way from leech to luft in two places. He sheepishly recovered and sailed on with the torn sail and obviously hoped no one saw him.....but we did. However, there was no room on my part for poking fun at this poor unforturnate.
03-01-2009 08:35 AM
Dick Pluta I could probably keep this thread going singlehanded but it's great to know I am not alone. The one that comes to mind today is one of my worst. I had brought my boat from NJ down to Fort Lauderdale, where she was stored for a few months bfore crossing to the Bahamas. A friend flew in from California the crew for the trip over. While we were preparing he asked if he needed his passport. I told him "Of course! You're going to a foreign country". He had to have his lady FedEx it to him, but that's not the blunder. I realized I didn't have the current registration. Phone calls to the NJ DMV were for a duplicate were useless. We had to jump in the car, drive to NJ, get a duplicate and drive back. About 3000 miles for a piece of paper. Dumb dumb dumb!

Dick Pluta
Nassau, Bahamas
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