What's your biggest bonehead move sailing? - Page 36 - SailNet Community
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post #351 of 573 Old 10-10-2010
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Wow I have a couple of these, most of them harmless and couple that I really regret.

In the harmless but "Doh!" category I think leaving the boathook unsecured on my last Charter in the BVI was a doozy. With just 2 of us on a Bene 39 it made for some Mooring drama. I found myself on the dingy politely asking others to borrow a hook while the GF was doing figure 8s. It was blowing a bit so I decided against the dingy securing assist method and we ended up ok, but wow was that a lot of trouble caused by such a little mistake. I rigged a new boat hook by taking the paddle off an oar and using a couple a coat hanger hooks with duct tape. Worked great!

On the more serious side would be pulling behind a large cat as directed by the dock staff onto about 5 feet of dock. That wasnt so bad, but I actually jumped away from the helm on to the dock to secure a line, leaving no one at the helm. It didn't lead to a huge fiasco, but it really hit me as one of those, "Wow, that could have been really bad" moments and for some reason is the only time I seemed to panic. I realized my error quickly enough when I saw that no one was aboard, the engine was idling and 30+ feet of someone else's boat started to swing out away from the dock. Really not that big of a deal, but it could have been. Others may have a different view, but mine is do not ever leave the helm if that is your job.

Lastly as a kid and filling in as middle man on my dad's etchell for a season I learned the hard way how not to pull in a sheet. I broke 2 fingers in a self tailoring harken. Fist over fist is natural now, but man was that a rough school year. Hah.
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post #352 of 573 Old 10-10-2010 Thread Starter
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Nice to see this thread of mine still going.

Baggett and Sons Marine Restoration
The Landing at Colony Wharf
Bellingham, WA.

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post #353 of 573 Old 10-18-2010
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I can't imagine we'll ever run out of "bonehead" stories! We're all still sailing, right?

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post #354 of 573 Old 10-18-2010
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Others may have a different view, but mine is do not ever leave the helm if that is your job.
I leave the helm on my 32 ft sloop every time I come back to the marina slip when sailing by myself. Just this weekend I did it again, teaches you how to land softly and have a spring line ready to make fast and stop the boat.

Hey I lost an anchor of the bow-pulpit even after the admiral said we would loose it, and should tie the rode to it. Of coarse she was right.


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S/V “SAILMATES” 1973 IRWIN 32 CLASSIC
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post #355 of 573 Old 10-20-2010
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Perhaps this thread should be re-named from "Biggest Bonehead Move" to "Most Recent Bonehead Move"

Mine was when we were coming back to the dock a couple of weeks ago. When it is just The Admiral and me, things go smoothly. However, this time, we had guests who thought they could help.

Alas, someone told me we were lined up right when we weren't. Fortunately, the only damage was to my ego.

Here's what we learned:
  1. Even if your guests have sailing experience, don't change your routine. In this case, I should have asked the The Admiral for a visual. Backing up for another approach would have been easy. Second, The Admiral should have handled the lines that she normally looks after.
  2. If guests are blocking your view of the dock, politely ask them to move. Because I use corrective lenses for depth perception, I would have had a ready-made excuse.

But WTH, moments like this are what make sailing fun. You always learn. The Admiral and I don't scream over stuff like this anymore. This was another "Teachable Moment"

Mark

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post #356 of 573 Old 10-21-2010
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My biggest bonehead move was listening to anything my ex wife had to say about sailboats or sailing. (or anything else, for that matter)
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post #357 of 573 Old 10-21-2010
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Cast off ALL lines

The Admiral and I had made our first overnight trip from Everett, WA to Langley, WA. It wasn't a very long trip, only 2 hours but it was our first time out of home port. We tied up a bit differently than at our slip in Everett. In the morning I requested the Admiral cast off all lines so we could get underway. She went on the dock threw 3 lines on deck, I slipped the boat in to reverse and we didn't go anywhere! I thought the transmission had stopped working or wasn't engaged or we were stuck on the bottom or something crazy like that. Silly thing was that the skipper decided to tie up the previous night with 4 lines and one still had us tethered to the dock. The worst part was that another early riser was watching us get underway and had to point it out!
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post #358 of 573 Old 10-21-2010
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I'll have to break up my bonehead moves by era and boat. I'll start at the beginning with the 14' Hobie turbo that I purchased from my then boss when I was 16. He told me when he sold it to me that the trapeze wires needed to be replaced. But hey, I was 16 and knew everything. Sometime later I was hiked out, flying a hull in the Gulf of Mexico off of Indian Rocks beach. The trapeze wire gave way and my whole upper torso dropped into the water while my legs wrapped around the shroud. I lost my favorite hat and nearly drowned before the boat rounded up.

Lesson learned: never wear your favorite hat sailing! : )
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post #359 of 573 Old 10-21-2010
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Another time on the Hobie, I decided to sail out from the beach to the shipping channel going into Tampa Bay. I thought it would be cool to get close to one of the big merchant ships. It was after school, so the sun was already on its way down. I'd gotten pretty far off of the beach, sailing into the setting sun when I turned my head around to look back. There, swimming lazily along right behind me was the biggest shark I have ever seen in person, longer than my 14' boat. Not being a marine biologist, I identified the species as "freaking scary". I executed the most careful jibe I have ever done at that point and sailed back into the beach. Once I turned back, I was unable to see if the shark was still behind me due to the glare on the water. That was probably the most frightening ride back to the beach I ever had. Once I had her beached, I just sat on the tramp shaking for a little while before I could get it together to drop the mast.

Lesson learned: beach cats are meant to be kept close to the beach.

Edit: After reading this post, I felt like I had left out some of the most important details. To be clear about how dumb this was, I was sailing a small boat, single-handed, without running lights, signal equipment/flares, a radio, or having filed a float plan with anybody, offshore into failing light. That's about as boneheaded as it gets. I've often wondered if that big shark wasn't some kind of guardian spirit sent to scare me into doing the right thing.

Last edited by Willis; 10-21-2010 at 11:55 AM. Reason: add detail
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post #360 of 573 Old 10-21-2010
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