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Thread: What's your biggest bonehead move sailing? Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
13 Hours Ago 10:16 PM
Classic30
Re: What's your biggest bonehead move sailing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by danstanford View Post
Started out of my berth with shore power still hooked up. Fortunately I heard it behind me and stopped before I ruined anything except my pride.
I'm pretty sure most stink-potters have done that at some stage.. and I notice many shore-power connections these days are designed to disconnect easily without damage for just such an occasion.
21 Hours Ago 02:12 PM
danstanford
Re: What's your biggest bonehead move sailing?

Started out of my berth with shore power still hooked up. Fortunately I heard it behind me and stopped before I ruined anything except my pride.

Dan
1 Day Ago 07:34 AM
indicasteve
Re: What's your biggest bonehead move sailing?

Let me tell you about these 2 boneheads I met a few days later...

I was anchored in the harbour at Thessalon. It's a designated anchorage on the chart. The city marina is in the harbour. You can tie up for free during the day to do your shopping. Grocery store and liquor store are close by. Then anchor out in the harbor for free.

The marina guy told me that I couldn't tie up anyway because a racing fleet was arriving and they booked the entire marina for the night.

I was quite content being anchored in a protected harbour. Had a few beers and used my binoculars to watch for the approaching fleet.

I finally saw a boat approaching the harbour under sail. The winds were strong and I was expecting some action.

But the approaching vessel didn't look like a racer. It was too small and they only had a mainsail up.

Maybe they were just having fun sailing around all the breakwalls? The more I kept looking, the less fun they seemed to be having. Once they got a bit closer, I could see one guy on the bow, one guy on the stern, both wearing bright red life jackets and waving their arms.

I pulled my anchor out of the mud and motored around the breakwalls and towed their sorry asses to a finger dock in the marina. I lashed off to the next dock over.

I went to see how these guys were doing and the captain slapped a 50 dollar bill in my hand. I wouldn't accept it. I told him that this is what sailors do. He insisted, and I accepted. Didn't want to offend him, and besides, now that I'm lashed off, I might as well go to the liquor store anyway.

But he did tell me his story, and this is what happened:

They were coming down current from Sault Ste. Marie following the race fleet. They wanted to get ahead of them and decided to travel at night. They rounded a green marker on the wrong side and properly grounded themselves.

They tried to rock the boat like a car stuck in the snow by putting the motor in forward then reverse until the gearbox blew apart.

They had 2 anchors that they tried to throw from the boat to pull themselves off. They were stuck there for 8 hours until the wind kicked up and blew them free of the sandbar. They cut both anchors loose.

The guy didn't want to go into much detail after that, but I can just imagine these guys at night without reliable navigation, no power, no radio, no lights, no anchors, no motor and snotty wind kicking froth up.

To add insult to injury, the marina guy reminded us that we couldn't stay there because the race fleet was approaching and I hooked off into the harbour.

These poor guys couldn't move and soon found themselves surrounded by huge 50' racing boats and lots and lots of sailors. A normally empty marina became full in an hour. All these guys could do was hang a tarp over their boom and hide until it all went away.

Not much I could do except file this one under the "Glad it wasn't me" category.

Lessons Learned:

1. Navigate at night only when necessary.

2. Carry 3 anchors if you think you might lose 2 of them.

3. If all else fails, don't forget to bring a tarp.
1 Day Ago 05:58 AM
scratchee
Re: What's your biggest bonehead move sailing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by indicasteve View Post
I relaxed a bit and was pleased with myself.
That's the first sign of danger!
1 Day Ago 04:48 AM
indicasteve
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.
2 Days Ago 09:03 PM
eko_eko
Re: What's your biggest bonehead move sailing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sterilecuckoo58 View Post
Sabreman,
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.
2 Days Ago 08:59 PM
eko_eko
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.
2 Days Ago 08:58 PM
eko_eko
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
SloopJonB
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
L124C
Re: What's your biggest bonehead move sailing?

Quote:
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!
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