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1 Hour Ago 05:58 AM
Re: What's your biggest bonehead move sailing?

Originally Posted by indicasteve View Post
I relaxed a bit and was pleased with myself.
That's the first sign of danger!
2 Hours Ago 04:48 AM
Re: What's your biggest bonehead move sailing?

Hi all!

New member here, and like many others, I decided to make my first post in this thread.

I just finished a 2 month solo trip on my Pearson 26 from Windsor Ontario, up Lake Huron, then westward across the North Channel to Lake Superior. Many opportunities for bonehead moves. Let me tell you about one....

I just finished the northbound crossing of Lake Huron on the Canadian side and decided to anchor in Tobermory's Big Tub harbour for the night before continuing into town the next day, as many people do.

I heard that there were shipwrecks in the area and consulted my charts very carefully. The LAST thing I wanted to do was drop a hook on a national heritage.

The charts said the wrecks were at the far end of the cove, so I dropped the hook midway and I was pleased.

The next day, my plan was to motor over to Little Tub harbour, anchor in the cove outside of the marina and row the dink down the 1/4 mile fairway into town. I figured this was my best option to avoid a boneheaded move. I really don't like docking single handed in strange marinas.

It's a busy harbour. Very busy. You got pleasure craft, dive boats, glass bottom tour boats, commercial and sports fishermen, kayakers coming and going and I even saw one idiot swim across the fairway pushing a small child on an innertube.

The place is like a circus and I didn't want to be the center ring attraction. Not a good place to practice single handed docking, but it's an irresistible stop for provisions. The grocery store and liquor store are a stones throw from the docks, great restaurants and the prices are fair.

So I motor over to my planed anchorage outside the fairway and when I get there I see some uncharted white buoys. They look like swimming buoys or "No Wake" markers that you often see. Maybe there's a rock there?

When I get up close to buoy, it says "No Boats". What exactly did that mean? I wasn't making a wake, there were no swimmers and I was well off the fairway. I figured it must have something to do with stupid powerboaters.

I put the engine in neutral and coasted in at 1/2 knot looking for rocks until I was 300 feet from shore then set the hook in about 10 feet of water.

I relaxed a bit and was pleased with myself. I took some video of the 364 foot Chi-Cheemaun ferry landing across the harbour. It opened it's bow like a whale and I watched all the cars and trucks drive in.

When the excitement was over, I made something to eat and boarded my skiff and casually rowed the 1/4 mile down the fairway into town just like Joe Cool.

I was just about to rope off at the far end of the harbour near the grocery store when a marina guy comes up and asks me if I'm from the sailboat Josephine.

I proudly said, "Yeah, I just rowed all the way down the harbour from her."

He says to me, "The Harbour Master requires you to move your vessel because you are anchored on top of a shipwreck maintained by Parks Canada." "We've been trying to hail you on the radio for the last hour."

I said, "Oh F@#%". I felt just horrible. I did exactly what I didn't want to do.

I apologised and spun the dink around, sunk the oars deep in the water and powered the oars like never before. I didn't want to make a scene because I knew everyone in the harbour within earshot of a VHF was monitoring the situation.

That's when the oarlock broke free from the gunwale on the power stroke and I went ass over teakettle, banged my head off the transom and nearly did a backwards summersault right off the stern.

The gaggle of girls in their kayaks nearby were laughing their butts off at my predicament. One was taking a video. I felt like I was dying inside.

The gentlemen on deck of the Coast Guard ship moored to the wharf didn't look as impressed with my performance. The dive boat owners and glass bottom boat captains and all the other locals who knew the area expressed similar disgruntled looks. It was like someone pulled the plug on the drain and I was going down.

I tried to jury rig an oarlock by lashing the oar to the broken nub on the gunwale without success. I tried to paddle the dink like a canoe, but I just spun in circles like a one legged duck. I actually felt my soul departing from my body.

I was NOT going to ask those girls to tow me to my boat with their kayaks.

With dire determination, I managed to wobble back to ship paddling with an exaggerated J-Stroke technique.

It took forever to get back and every eye in the marina was focused on this idiot the whole time.

I hoisted anchor and thanked God there were no sunken ship parts hanging from it when it surfaced.

I figured that it might be best to reprovision elsewhere and got the hell out of there before any more damage was done.

Lessons Learned:

1. Those white buoys that say, "No Boats" might mean you too.

2. Undersized fine threaded screws should not be used to secure an oarlock to a gunwale.

3. No fail is complete until some young girl uploads a video of it to her Facebook page.
1 Day Ago 09:03 PM
Re: What's your biggest bonehead move sailing?

Originally Posted by sterilecuckoo58 View Post
I am sorry, you are not the only one who can flip a boat in a dead calm. I can do it too, and without the advantage of the open seas or river. At the Community Boating pavilion in Boston milady was going through the drill lessons the first time, there was no wind and I was preparing to rig one of those aforementioned Mercurys at the dock and demonstrate that I could (recertification process). They are sandwiched in like sardines tied so they don't rub, but that's about it. Rudders, sails and centerboards are stored in the shed so I had these items with me. I stepped on the boat, over she went, and I had a refreshing swim with centerboard, rudder and sail went in too; just love that muddy water.
Don't feel too bad, I did the same thing at the same place. It is the only time I have capsized something other than a pram or sailboard. I managed to drop the gear into the boat on my way over, but had to face the crowd at the dock having been dragged from the water by a teenaged girl half my size.
1 Day Ago 08:59 PM
Another pair of goofups

I was lowering my mast of my Siren 17 while talking to one of the homeless men who hang out at Dinner Key Marina ramps. He said something and I turned to look, losing control of the fore stay and dropping my mast through my cabin top.

I got a lot of practice with fiberglass repair after that goof up.

Then there's the time I left the paper charts on top of the car. By the time we realized what had happened, my wife had driven away. My buddy and I completed our three-day journey from Chatham to Boston without proper charts. We had some printed-out excerpts from a cruising guide and some iPad charts. Those only covered our expected route and did not include our unscheduled but necessary stop at Oak Bluffs. Did I mention we arrived at night, with a nearly dead spotlight, and jury rigged clamp-on running lights? Oh, and this was the first time I'd ever sailed this new-to-me boat. That story is full of bone-headed mistakes. I could fill a page with posts just from that trip.
1 Day Ago 08:58 PM
Two stories, two fingers busted.

If you have dropped your centerboard for maintenance, and leaned it on a stick to keep it roughly vertical for scraping, do take the time to pick it up and reposition it when you go to scrape the other side.

I did not.

As soon as I applied pressure to the "down" side, the stick was unloaded and fell down. The board then fell towards my hand and broke my finger.

Another time, I was stupidly wearing gloves while working with anchor chain. My father was at the wheel of our old full-keeled ketch. I had cleated off the chain for the stuck anchor and had my hands lightly resting on the chain while he used the engine to try to break the anchor free. Instead, the chain broke free of the cleat, snagged my gloves, and pulled me towards the pulpit. I ended up with a longitudinally split finger tip and a trip to the Miami Hand Institute (They have great care there!).

If I hadn't been freed from the glove by my finger coming apart, I would have been dragged through a pair of stainless steel tubes just under shoulder width apart. Laying on the bottom with two broken shoulders while the keel attempted to part my hair would have been much worse than the finger damage.
1 Week Ago 06:57 PM
Re: What's your biggest bonehead move sailing?

I just accidentally clicked on the first page of this thread and had to laugh while I cringed when I read the OP.
1 Week Ago 06:44 PM
Re: What's your biggest bonehead move sailing?

Originally Posted by scratchee View Post
Not exactly "while sailing," but I have nowhere else to confess.............To reach better I moved around to the side instead of coming in from the stern. And I found the prop with my hand. And discovered that I could scrub it just fine without even putting my head in the water at all.
Now THAT's funny! Especially since I was cringing while reading the story, anticipating it was going to end with a trip to the ER and stitches!
Unfortunately, I think you will need to get your head wet to scrub the rest of the hull, which will slow the boat down as well. If you find a way to avoid that (besides hiring a diver) please post!
1 Week Ago 11:08 PM
Re: What's your biggest bonehead move sailing?

Not exactly "while sailing," but I have nowhere else to confess.

I'm on my fourth season with my sailboat, and have dived to scrape growth off the prop at least twice per season. At first I just used a mask, and held my breath for repeated dives as needed. This didn't seem too efficient, so I dug out my old scuba gear and had it overhauled, and also bought a small scuba tank. Using this rig to clean the prop was downright luxurious! For all of these dives I would enter the water by the swim ladder and make my way past the rudder to the prop, working with the prop right in front of my face.

Today the engine was really struggling and I suspected more prop fouling. Rather than forfeit a day on the water, I decided to anchor and scrape the prop, but unfortunately I didn't even have a mask with me. So I figured I'd just hold my breath and go by feel. But since this was the first dive where I wouldn't be able to see the prop as I approached it, I decided to locate it with my feet and/or hands before putting my head under. To reach better I moved around to the side instead of coming in from the stern. And I found the prop with my hand. And discovered that I could scrub it just fine without even putting my head in the water at all.
2 Weeks Ago 09:09 PM
Re: What's your biggest bonehead move sailing?

Work buddy tells me he wants to learn to sail... Perfect day, but light air. First I go over all the safety stuff and teach him the names of some lines, etc.

Then I raise the main to sail off the mooring... something I have done thousands of times. As there is an current pushing us forward I start the engine just in case.

Well, the current is pushing us forward so I calmly show him how to back the main.

The breeze is to light and the current must be running stronger than i guessed as we keep moving forward.

Calmly I put her in reverse and throttle up.

Calmly he says he doesn't think we are gonna make it.

Calmly I give it more throttle and reassure him.

Calmly the dinghy painter wraps around the prop.

Calmly I explain that in 20 years of sailing and a lifetime of boating I have never done that as I calmlyl go down below and get the mask, snorkel and knife.

2 Weeks Ago 02:56 PM
Re: What's your biggest bonehead move sailing?

Originally Posted by MedSailor View Post
Originally Posted by oldlaxer1 View Post
Backing out of the slip on the first trip with my wife in our new to us Tartan 30....I had backed about as far as I could in the narrow fairway and had shifted into forward to pivot the boat before shifting back into reverse...
On the Atomic 4 controls, the throttle will advance if you push the handle forward or backward....guess which handle I reached down without looking and pushed all the way guessed it, not the shift handle, but the throttle. So instead of going backwards at a slow pace, we are wide open throttle heading back into the pier....

She still sails with me.

Head injury?
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