Even pros run out of fuel - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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  #1  
Old 03-27-2007
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Even pros run out of fuel

As I was sitting in the cabin reading and keeping track of the boat traffic in Peavine Pass (my other job), I noticed a power boat a mile or so away. After a while I thought something looked kinda funny so I grabbed the binoc's and took a look. A guy was in an inflatable out in front of this good sized cruiser trying to tow it in our direction. Problem was that the current was running about 4K through the pass towards him. I thought "just another dummy, probably out of fuel", and then started walking to the marina to go get him. Well, I was half right, he was out of fuel. But the part about the "dummy" isn't entirely correct. Turns out he's a licensed captain and he was on a delivery(guage didn't read right?). He didn't say so, but I suspect he didn't really want to have to call vessel assist and have this become public info. He got some fuel and went on his way, and it's just as well he didn't get to the fuel dock on his own because the current runs opposite to the pass there, he would have had his dink and the 37' cruiser approaching the dock at about 6K! So it just goes to prove that it can happen to anyone, and probably will.
John Davidson Blakely Is. WA
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Old 03-27-2007
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Stuff happens to anyone, but a captain's license definitely doesn't make you an expert(and doesn't preclude being a dummy)! Not knowing what the currents are doing and having that little control over the vessel you are being paid to look after is more than a little irresponsible. Was there no where to drop a hook and go for fuel with the dinghy?

I'm all in favour of looking after your own problems, just not when it endangers people or boats.
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Old 03-27-2007
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LOL... that's priceless.... can you imagine what it would have looked like if he had gotten both through to the fuel dock... CRUNCH

One thing I would like to point out... just because you're a licensed professional, doesn't necessarily mean you're any good... all it means is that you passed a test and the IRS knows you try to do it for a living. There are a lot of amateurs out there that are far more skilled than many of the pros I've seen. This is true in most fields, outside of boating, as well.
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Old 03-27-2007
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The best thing about running out of fuel is getting it over with. 'Cause eventually it happens to everyone. In my case, I was in the Locks and had to be towed out. Oh man, it was so embarrassing.
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Old 03-28-2007
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Old 03-28-2007
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I have to say, guesser, that it doesn't happen to everyone. I don't mean to sound arrogant but, I am a yacht engineer, and the vessel i work on will not ever run out of fuel while i am in charge of ensuring that. My gauges and their backups may fail, weather may surprise us, but running out of fuel is not an option. One simply needs to be very aware of their vessel and its function to avoid it.
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Old 03-28-2007
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guess those of us without backup fuel gauges, big tanks and resident engineers will have to carry a big stick to check the gauges.
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Old 03-28-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yotphix
I have to say, guesser, that it doesn't happen to everyone. I don't mean to sound arrogant but, I am a yacht engineer, and the vessel i work on will not ever run out of fuel while i am in charge of ensuring that. My gauges and their backups may fail, weather may surprise us, but running out of fuel is not an option. One simply needs to be very aware of their vessel and its function to avoid it.
Of course, now, you've all but guarnteed that you'll run out of fuel at some point.
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Old 03-28-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yotphix
I have to say, guesser, that it doesn't happen to everyone. I don't mean to sound arrogant but, I am a yacht engineer, and the vessel i work on will not ever run out of fuel while i am in charge of ensuring that. My gauges and their backups may fail, weather may surprise us, but running out of fuel is not an option. One simply needs to be very aware of their vessel and its function to avoid it.
I hope you knocked on wood after that post. And thank you, I will take your advice and hire myself a yacht engineer to watch the fuel gauge; their first duty will be to install a fuel gauge so they have something watch. Let me know if you're interested in the job. The position will require a keen eye for detail, as I only use the engine about 30 minutes per month. While you're are keeping an eye on my fuel gauge, I'll be sailing, as that's what I do best.
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Old 03-28-2007
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Licensed captain? HA! I know of a non-boater that passed his USCG written by taking one of those 5 day take the test at the end crash courses, lied his way through the expereince portion of his USCG app, and now has his 6-pack. A license often is not worth the paper that it is printed on. If you run out of fuel as a private pilot in the US your ticket can be pulled, as it should be. Of course flying or sailing has many similarities, but at least boaters don't need to fall out of the sky.

Sailaway; those 7 P's are good, a little vulgar for proper company, but then just abreviate to the 6 P's. Well done!

Last edited by RickBowman; 03-29-2007 at 12:48 AM.
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