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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail > I love to learn the hard way!!!
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Thread: I love to learn the hard way!!! Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
3 Weeks Ago 03:47 PM
flandria
Re: I love to learn the hard way!!!

Lack of preparation... lack of forethought... is there a difference?

Re-caulking without having stuff on hand to clean off excess... makes for a poor finish afterwards

Working with West Epoxy and not having cloth out to protect the deck... Surprise... Stains are left over...

Working always on more examples and need inspiration...
3 Weeks Ago 11:47 AM
Minnesail
Re: I love to learn the hard way!!!

Here's a lesson I learned the hard way: Things blow downwind.

Yesterday I was sailing my Catalina 22 on a little city lake. I noticed that a boat that turned out to be a Melges M-16 had capsized and they were having trouble righting it.

If my wife knew how to sail we could have just buzzed by them and I could have jumped off to give them a hand, but my wife can't sail so I had to come up with an alternate plan. I decided to anchor upwind of them and then let out anchor rode until I was nearly upon then, then swim over to help.

By the time I got anchored a guy in a canoe had helped them right the boat. However the boat was completely swamped and I could see that all he had for bailing was a little beverage pitcher, and it appeared that water was pouring back in as fast as he could get it out.

So I put on a PFD, grabbed my hand pump, and dove in to swim the pump over.

But... Now the boat was upright with sails exposed to the wind. It was blowing away downwind nearly as fast as I could swim one-handed! Doh!

Canoe guy back to the rescue, he paddled over and got the pump I was swimming with and delivered it to the M-16. Now free of the pump I was able to swim faster than the wind and caught up to the boat. By this time another Melges scow buzzed by and tossed over a bigger bucket. Between the bucket and the pump we were able to dewater his boat and get it sailing again, and he sailed me back to my wife waiting in our anchored boat.

Anyway. Lesson learned. Things blow away downwind. Possibly faster than you can swim.
4 Weeks Ago 09:23 PM
oysterman23
Re: I love to learn the hard way!!!

You need a good manual bilge pump set up with screened strum box (so do I).....
4 Weeks Ago 03:43 PM
ianjoub
Re: I love to learn the hard way!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mavriikk View Post
Mistake 3 drinking a half of a bottle of Sailor Jerry after everything was under control (Hang Over in the morning)
That is a huge mistake. Cheap booze is always a bad thing. Let me recommend Captain Morgan Black.
4 Weeks Ago 02:25 PM
Mavriikk
Re: I love to learn the hard way!!!

Got another!

Return trip from Cuttyhunk MA to Bristol RI. Wind N 12 knts

This story takes place while rounding Sakonnet point. The leg from CH to the point was great sailing the wind was perfect and could not ask for a better experience. This would turn into a long motor up the Sakonnet river which was expected but we had the tide with us so it was not so bad.

We were passing West island and there were maybe 30 fishing boats hunting the not so illusive black fish when we started the motor and got ready to head nose up into the wind. Just then my first mate and I noticed my shoes were sloshing around in the cabin sole. "That's odd I thought" I was sure we had a clear bilge when we left. The water was very clean and I suspected it came from the freshwater holding tank which it did. One of the hoses had come off the tank and spilled out about 12 gallons of water into the bilge.

Mate took the wheel and I grabbed a bucked and pump and went to work. I also switched on the bilge pump and that was doing its share as well. I wanted to pump directly from the bilge but that the floorboard was blocked because we had the dinghy motor lashed under the table and the leg was hanging out holding the floor board closed. I then realized I could pump most of the water out from the bilge if I removed the stairs and exposed the engine compartment. Pumping was going well, I was pumping the water into a bucket and then emptying it into the sink.

Now all canvas was down and we were motoring N into the wind. Bucket after bucket. I was gaining on the water when the boat took a large swell just as I was transferring a full bucket to the sink. Bucket slipped and dumped on the good ol' A 4 putting it out in an instant. I looked up at my lovely blonde first mate through the companion way and said "Oh, #*&@".

Many things went through my mind at this point but I kept relatively cool. I got some towels and started to dry the motor soaking up all the spots I could get at. I then had her crank the motor to try and start it... Nothing... Dead. I really did not want to tack all the way up the river to then have to side tie the dinghy to get through Tiverton Basin. That sounded exhausting and frankly we didn't have that kind of time.

We put the sails back up and did some upwind sailing while I continued the drying process. The motor was warm so it was drying. I hit the cap, wires and coil with WD-40 and let it sit a few mins and the motor fired right up.

Few that was a close one. We finished the journey without further incident.

So since the carb took a big gulp of water through the air filter it took the motor started to idle poorly. I have since pulled the carb and dipped it and put it back on. The other thing I did was cleaned things up with salt away. Even though it was fresh water that leaked it still mixed with the little bilge water that was in the bilge.

So what did I learn. Be careful with slippery buckets around the motor. Make sure to stay calm when the poop hits the fan and never leave home without WD-40.

Sail Wicked Hard!
02-21-2013 12:51 PM
Minnesail
Re: I love to learn the hard way!!!

Lesson #1 — Start the outboard on the dinghy before you untie the line.

The wind started to carry me out of the bay while I was fiddling with the choke and fuel cap and the transmission. By the time I gave up on the motor and looked at my surroundings I had drifted quite a ways out and was nearly into the chop.


Lesson #2 — Inspect backup systems before the primary system fails, even on a dinghy.

Having given up on the outboard I decided to row in to shore, only to find that one of the oarlocks was broken.


I ended up doing sort of a crab-walk row back to shore, against the wind. One good stroke from the oar with the lock, then two or three half-assed strokes from the oar without a lock.

Apparently the whole bay was quite amused by my progress, or lack thereof. My wife got on the radio and asked for assistance and was met with replies like "Does he have bribe liquor on him?" and "Don't rescue him too fast, we have money on this."

Of course the problem was that the outboard was flooded, so by the time I was done struggling back to shore it was fine. A friend waded out to meet me, hopped in, and started it with one pull. He gave me a look like "So what's the deal?"
02-19-2013 09:43 AM
c. breeze
Re: I love to learn the hard way!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SakPase View Post
First time out on my Pearson Triton after a quick once over I said it all "looked" good, the bobstay broke and we snapped the bowsprit in 35knots as we left an anchorage 25nm from anything. At least I knew by the time we got back that the engine was reliable.

When I changed my mail sail I didn't put lines in for the reefing points because the weather was perfect and we were only going 20 nm. A nasty and unpredicted gale rolled threw and I had to run lines and set blocks in 45 knots.

ratchet straps. they are the answer here, of course rigging your reefing before departure is the real answer, but in a failure- or your situation, ratchet straps are the "jiffyest" of jury rigged reefing- hard lesson I learned the hard way, hahaha.
02-19-2013 09:42 AM
erps
Re: I love to learn the hard way!!!

Quote:
Second - Don't call ahead to the Marina to ask for deck hands in case you need them for docking.
I felt like a rock star coming in. Camera's and video rolling as i had a truly roaring reception. I listened to this for the rest of the year.
We were in Naniamo a couple years ago parked nose in at the end of a long alley. It was time to go and there was a fresh crosswind blowing through the marina. Nikko doesn't back well at all and I was nervous about getting out. I thought maybe I could use assistance, but I'm not the kind of guy that asks for help. So I was standing there surveying the situation and the skipper parked behind me asks me what my strategy was. I respond in a matter of fact voice "well, first I'm going to bounce off that boat, then that boat and that that nice one at the very end until I can get enough speed to get some steerage". I got all sorts of offers for assistance right after that and the skippers on all my targets were on deck to fend if needed.
02-18-2013 03:28 PM
bobsaxet
Re: I love to learn the hard way!!!

OK. Here's mine...
Moral of the story - when you run aground don't do a bunch of stupid stuff which will make it worse.
Details - I'm the only guy in the race with a working depth gage and I ran aground. I only draw two feet with the board up so I was sure it was no big deal to push my 23 footer off. This is not true! We tried to skull, sail, lean, and motor our way off to no avail. All we did was dig a hole in the bottom of the lake with the hull. We ended up kedging off with the anchor over the stern with the rode to a winch. An amazing amount of force was required - the bow started to lift up out of the water before it began to break free.
What should I have done: immediately take the sails down and try to back off the same way I came.
Now I know...
01-29-2013 11:45 PM
chef2sail
Re: I love to learn the hard way!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ltgoshen View Post
I spent This Sunday past working in my mooring field swapping the barnacled up ball with a new one. What I did not know is how much strain was on the ball at flood tide. The wind was 48 degrees cold and at a steady 18 knots. I was by my self on this project. I should have had someone along, if for nothing else, someone to reach me tools. I did get it done. Now I can find the mooring. The ball is now on-top of the water instead of just under it as it was. Here are a few shots of the work before and after.
Photobucket
Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket
A lot of the NE and LI Sound Mooring balls have mast bouys with with flags connnected to them to make them so much eaier to pick up, espicially by yourself.

Mast Mooring Buoys
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