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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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  #91  
Old 09-21-2007
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Here's another:

The yard launched the boat and I moved it around to the slip singlehanded. I didn't have the lines on the pilings or even on the cleats. I started backing down into the slip and was perfectly aligned when a wind puff caught me, I missed lassoing a piling, and ended up sideways across three slips. Fortunately, it was early in the season and no one was around to see me and my stellar boat handling skills.
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  #92  
Old 09-21-2007
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And another:

I was working Nor'Easter Yacht Yard in Ocean City, NJ and took one of the wooden yard skiffs to a nearby marina to fill up with gas. On the way back, I was running under the Ocean City 9th Street Bridge and decided to go through one of the side spans instead of the center span. I approached from an acute angle (less than 90 degrees), so I couldn't see if there was any on-coming traffic. Just as I got to the bridge, a power boat came through the bridge from the opposite direction. I cut the motor hard over to avoid a collision, but since the boat was flat bottomed, I just skidded sideways into a bridge abutment. I hit hard and the impact shifted all the floor boards. Within seconds, I was knee deep in water and going down fast. I got the engine started and gunned it. The thrust raised the bow, all the water sloshed aft, and I now had about an inch of free board at the transom. Since I was only about 300 yards from the marina, I slowed down a little and went directly into the hoist area and got the boat out of the water before the whole wreck ended up on the bottom.

My boss wasn't happy because it wasn't really his boat and a couple of us ended up refastening the bottom but I wasn't fired. This was way back in 1977.
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  #93  
Old 09-21-2007
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And another short one....

We were tied up at Shaffer's in Chesapeake City on the C&D Canal. We went to dinner and half way through the meal, I glanced out the window to see that the current had caused the stern line to slip on the dock cleat and the stern was way out into the canal. A crowd had begun to gather. After a mad dash through the restaurant, I grabbed the stern line, hauled the boat back to the dock through the 1-2kt current, and got it refastened more securely.

Lessons Learned:
1. Secure to the dock with a loop and adjust the line from the boat.
2. Don't put skinny lines on really big cleats.
3. Spring lines are really useful
4. Don't tie up to a dock exposed to a current, if possible.
5. Make your most stupid mistakes on your Father's (or someone else's) boat.
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  #94  
Old 09-22-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabreman View Post
Make your most stupid mistakes on your Father's (or someone else's) boat.

I thought I was the only one who knew this trick.
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  #95  
Old 09-22-2007
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I'll 'fess up to another....

It was our first season with Pazienza II, our Sabre 28. We were preparing for our first long weekend and were filling the water tank from the deck fill. I was sitting on the foredeck waiting for the water to backup and overflow the tank before stopping the water. My wife and I waited and waited and it just didn't seem to be filling. It was a 26 gal tank, but I figured that it was just taking a while. My wife (ever one to question the obvious) asked if the tank shouldn't be full by now. I replied that it was a big tank, etc. We waited a bit longer and she finally poked he head below to check the time, and let out a screech! The tank had overflowed and there was a foot of water in the cabin. She started hollering that the boat was sinking and everyone on several docks turned their heads, etc. I stopped the water (duh), and set to pumping out the boat (we didn't have an automatic pump).

I'd left the cap off the tank when winterizing the previous season (we bought the boat at the end of November) and never replaced it when we put the boat back in the water. I still feel pretty dumb when I think about it, and it's been 20 years! But at least the floor got a good cleaning....
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  #96  
Old 09-23-2007
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I have posted one bonehead move on this forum already but I see some of us are taking a second shot at proving just how much of an idiot we can be. If this were a contest I would win easily. I have enough stupid stunts to my credit that I could post one a week and never run out. In fact if I only posted one a week my new mistakes might just keep up and I could go forever. That is if I lived that long and none of my mistakes were fatal.

Let me set the stage this way. I did my first trans-Atlantic in a 22 foot Sea Sprite in 1974 when I was 21. The Sea Sprite is not very heavy ó compared to your weight ó and the boat will change trim as you move forward and aft. For self-steering I didnít use a windvane but instead I would balance things and trim everything and then sit or stand where I was going to be for a while and do the final trimming. Otherwise, the boat would wander after I moved. If I were going below to sleep I would do the final trimming while standing just aft of the cabin bulkhead because my center of gravity would be in that spot when I was lying down in my bunk. The boat was balanced enough that I could do this and sail without any type of windvane system.

Her sensitivity to weight was a lifesaver on my first trans-Atlantic. I started out sailing when I was 13 without a harness and tether to the boat. That became my habit. One day, some 500 or so miles out to sea on that first crossing I had the boat sailing herself and I was in the cockpit. I decided to get a picture and walked to the stern. While framing the shot, I lost my balance and fell overboard. Thrashing about and cussing my stupidity, I was hit in the head by something solid and, as any drowning man would, I grabbed at it and came up with a handful of line. I hung on for dear life and was slowly dragged in the water. When I came up I was surprised to see that I had hold of a genoa sheet on someoneís boat. I was hollering for them to get on deck and help, but no one showed up. Being on the lee side and the boat not having much freeboard I was able to get onboard. As I lay on the deck and caught my breath, I realized I was on my own boat and the genoa was backwinded and the boat was slowly sailing to the west, towards Canada while hove to.

The change of trim when I fell off was enough to upset the balance of the boat and the genoa became backwinded so the boat turned around and ran over me. I donít think that would happen again if I fell off my boat another million times so I now wear a harness and when offshore stay attached to the boat even if I am on a boat with crew. Just a word to the wise: stay on the boat.
All the best,
Robert Gainer
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  #97  
Old 09-23-2007
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Fall off in the Atlantic and get ran over by your own boat, which came back to save you by itself. That is the most bonehead and lucky story here.
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  #98  
Old 09-23-2007
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I had a feeling when I started this it would be a good thread. As folks read through this they might just pick up something that saves their ass or boat so keep it coming.
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Old 09-23-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rewell6 View Post
Fall off in the Atlantic and get ran over by your own boat, which came back to save you by itself. That is the most bonehead and lucky story here.
And itís not even the stupidest thing that I have done. When I said I could tell one a week and never run out I was serious.
All the best,
Robert Gainer
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Old 09-23-2007
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Ok, here's another:

Location: St Kilda Marina Boatramp (relatively uncrowded on this particular day, luckily .
Situation: Launching our TS for the first time since last summer.
Weather: Nice sunny day, light winds.

We rig up without major incident, although I'd raised the mast and then had to partly lower it *twice* after finding one halyard or other stuck under the mast step. I'm sure I had them clear before the mast went up - they seem to move when I'm not looking! Anyone got any solutions??

I backed the boat down the ramp with the wife holding the stern line. I get out of the car, and with the bow line in one hand check that everything is clear. Next thing I hear: "Honey, the stern line is caught" - sure enough, passed over the pushpit rather than under. Muttering some small expletives under my breath, I drop the bow line and clamber over the bow and down to the stern. This is not a good day.

Whilst getting the stern line sorted I become aware of a gentle movement and the rush of water and look up to find that the boat has launched itself with me on it!! Luckily there wasn't much wind and we coast gently to the jetty opposite where I can hastily jump out and tie up, but it could have been a real disaster moving at speed in a (usually) crowded marina with no rudder or engine.

Lessons learned:
1. Make sure the mooring lines are ready before getting to the ramp.
2. Don't unhook the winch until you really are ready to launch!

--Cameron
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