What's your biggest bonehead move sailing? - Page 52 - SailNet Community
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post #511 of 573 Old 08-10-2013
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Re: What's your biggest bonehead move sailing?

Not me, but my father.

In the 70's my father ordered his very first spanking new boat, he spent months at the factory taking part in every aspect of the construction.

Finally the big day came - she was launched and towed to her marina pen. Being my father, EVERYONE who was anyone at the club was there. (still not sure why but....)

In these days we didn't have floating marinas and at high tide they would end up about an inch underwater, this was one such day.

With great fanfare my father prepared to take the boat out for its first motor(still no rig at this stage). My mother stood proudly on the bow, lines ready to cast off, my father stood proudly, and just a little nervously at the helm. Finally the time arrived. It appeared to me (just 10 at the time) that every person who was a member of the yacht club was watching.

Now my father was used to an outboard so he placed it in full reverse, as this was the only way he knew to get the power needed to move his old boat, quickly jettisioning lines as the boat started to rapidly move ...........FORWARD.

My mother ran back as fast as possible screaming a blood curdling scream (she was nervous on boats at the best of times) as the boat mounted the slightly submerged wharf to the sound of crunching fiberglass and a cuss word or two before coming to rest with the keel jammed to the wharf, the pulpit entangled in the boat opposite and fiberglass everywhere.

After extensive analysis (5 minutes) it seems my father had attached the cables to the Morse controls in reverse.

Many a bruised ego, a crane and very expensive repairs led to "as good as new" relaunch.

My poor mother has NEVER sailed again! My father forbids any mention of this day

Moral, - don't assume your new boat works the way you planned
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post #512 of 573 Old 08-11-2013
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Re: What's your biggest bonehead move sailing?

Oh man, that sounds like it was straight out of the movie "The Boatniks" by Disney.

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post #513 of 573 Old 08-16-2013
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Re: What's your biggest bonehead move sailing?

Our slip is really tricky. It was damaged in Hurricane Sandy so they just removed it completely. Instead of a 90 degree turn into it, we have to turn towards the dock between a bunch of wood poles and then slide in parrallel. Like a U shape. The worst time there was very strong current and we clipped the u ring holder on one of the posts and bent the pushpit 2 inches. The boat is fine but the lifeline doesn't connect all the way. We just tie it up with rope now but I imagine it needs boatyard work to fix it. :/

Our forward pulpit is bent too so a previous owner obviously did the same thing.

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post #514 of 573 Old 08-17-2013
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Re: What's your biggest bonehead move sailing?

Earlier I posted I'd go chronologically with my bonehead stories but the hilarious posts about outboards made me remember my " biggest captive audience" bonehead move.

It was a blustery day, small craft warning. I had a US25 sailboat at the time. I wanted to have a girls night out on the boat, but only one of my girlfriends would come. She wasn't a well seasoned sailor so I just did all the work getting out of the slip and heading out to the bay. We were leaving Clear Lake (Texas) and motoring out into Galveston bay. Along the entrance to Galveston bay is a place called the boardwalk. It's a long row of restaurants that line the entrance to the bay. That day there were hundreds of people eating and enjoying their dinner and the view. As we neared the entrance the waves from the bay started to hit us, rolling in pretty short intervals. No problem, with me at the helm, my friend by my side, my trusty vessel bravely facing the onslaught. I smugly nodded to the sailors coming in from the bay, bunch of racing dudes, not quite noticing their bedraggled condition as they pass by. I was feeling at the top of the world. At 20, I was feeling Girl Power! At the time there were only a few female singlhanders on the lake, few female boat owners at all, and I was making them proud, heading out when the guys were coming in . Then the real waves started hitting us, steep waves, straight up, straight down. My friend gave me a " are you serious?" look. I just laughed with joy, this was awesome! I knew it would be a bit rocky, but once we cleared the entrance all would calm down a bit and we would have a rails in the water kick butt sail. We never cleared the restaurants. One particularly large wave picked my bow up up up and then slammed me straight down. I was actually worried I was going to hit the seabed with my bow. The force of the impact from the wave threw my motor mount in the up and locked position. I had a really fancy two finger operation "deep drop" motor mount, and I had forgot to lock it in the down position. My prop, fully exposed to air caused my outboard to scream, causing all patrons of the boardwalk to stop and look. The boat immediately hit another wave allowing the prop to catch some water. This created a HUGE spray of water. The sun was at our stern and the light hit the prop spray creating quite a show. During this fiasco, I had shoved the tiller to my friend and yelled steer. She, unbeknownst to me , then proceeded to aim for the nearest shrimp boat docked on the far side of the entrance! I tried to grab at the motor mount to get it back down but could not see anything because of all the water spraying everywhere. Still being thrown around and on a collision course for a row of shrimp boats I was finally able to throw the motor in neutral and get the engine back in the water, in the LOCKED position. I grabbed the helm hard over to avoid the shrimp boats my friend was making a bee line for ( to this day I don't understand why she aimed for the shrimpers, people do funny things in stressful times, and in hind sight, I didn't say where to steer...).

Well anyways, we quietly turned around and motored back into harbor tails firmly tucked between legs..girl power took a big hit that day.

Sorry so long winded!!!
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post #515 of 573 Old 08-28-2013
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I tried to leave my slip a couple weeks ago with my shore power cord still attached! Luckily, I was leaving gently and felt the tug before it got nasty. No worse for the wear except my pride!! Also,, shortly afterwards I was on the deck of my aluminum boat brushing the hull of my Catalina 27 from my neighbours well when I lost my balance and splash in the drink with my iPhone in my pocket! Ouch! Had to swim to my neighbour a few wells over swim platform and around his canvas to get out.
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post #516 of 573 Old 08-29-2013
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Re: What's your biggest bonehead move sailing?

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I tried to leave my slip a couple weeks ago with my shore power cord still attached! Luckily, I was leaving gently and felt the tug before it got nasty. No worse for the wear except my pride!! Also,, shortly afterwards I was on the deck of my aluminum boat brushing the hull of my Catalina 27 from my neighbours well when I lost my balance and splash in the drink with my iPhone in my pocket! Ouch! Had to swim to my neighbour a few wells over swim platform and around his canvas to get out.
HA! That's why I have had a waterproof phone since they first came out overseas!
Samsung waterproof dumb-phone

Your adventure reminds me of when I was living aboard and I got tired of my inflatable dinghy bumping against my boat hull when the wind picked up. I tied it's bow to the dock cleat and it's stern to my boat, and kept it taught so it couldn't roam or bump.

Imagine my surprise when I am backing out of my slip and I am suddenly being pulled back into the slip! I forgot to untie the dinghy and it was acting as a great big rubber snubber.

MedSailor
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I have a sauna on my boat, therefore I win.
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post #517 of 573 Old 08-29-2013
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Re: What's your biggest bonehead move sailing?

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Along the entrance to Galveston bay is a place called the boardwalk. It's a long row of restaurants that line the entrance to the bay. That day there were hundreds of people eating and enjoying their dinner and the view.
We used to fly into Ellington Field, borrow a car, and head over to the board walk just to watch the parade of boats. Never saw a day as exciting as yours'!

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post #518 of 573 Old 08-30-2013
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Re: What's your biggest bonehead move sailing?

He he, you missed quite a show! Thankfully, my specticals are few and far between now. Though, I make no promises, I'm a natural blonde, so God only knows what's next


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post #519 of 573 Old 08-31-2013
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Re: What's your biggest bonehead move sailing?

I went to an inland lake at Moraine State Park, about 50 miles north of Pittsburgh, PA. The park rented out small sail boats, one was a two place and other was a 4 place. I was there with my girlfriend. I got bored in short order and started to look for something more to do.

I noticed some folks that were renting the sail boats. I watched them closely as they went up to the rental stand. They were asked about their experience, and then...paid the rental fee. I watched about five people rent the sailboats & rig up the sailboat. I thought.. no problem, I was over confident.. as a hot shot helicopter pilot & highly skilled on complex helicopters. I had 1004 combat hours in Vietnam; I saw myself as a can-do-kind of guy. So... how difficult could this be & (fairly) sure that I could sail this little sailboat. I went up to the window and said that I had experience on sailboat XX .

I paid the full day rate & picked up the sail gear and took it to the boat. I figured out about 95% of it and was able to sail away from the dock. We sailed out to the middle of the lake and it all seemed fairly simple & lowered the sail there. We had brought a six pack of brew and sneaked some of the brews down. We took a dip and necked a little, then, eating are snacks & more necking & finished the brews.

We took a little break and I took notice of the black clouds forming. I was a little late to recognize the rapid build up of a summer storm. However, I had been a little distracted (my excuse). I noticed that the other boats had gone back to the dock. I was 27 at the time and liked necking a lot, flying, fast cars, and hot bikes was about the right order, necking was No# 1 at 27 but not on my top list at 65, come to think about it... none of the original four are on my list at 65 YO. My new bucket list is -- taking all my meds. on time, re-ordering them on time, phoning the VA and asking what's the problem with renewing my meds. on time. Worrying about my 18 YO Son that lives at home... what's he doing now that will cost me big bucks. Trying to get my Islander 37 re-fitted to sail in Nov., its a labor of love {smiles & (nearly) tears to get it all done).

I raised the sail but the wind was blowing in my face, about 20 knots and building higher. I tried to sail back to the dock but could not do it... this tacking (no experience) thing was not in my skill set of 30 minutes of watching the other folks.

I put the sail down and left the storm play itself out; about 3 hours +. I forgot to mention the lighting. I was really worried about getting zapped. I thought, that the lighting was (nearly) as dangerous as going back into a hot landing zone for the 2nd time... knowing that the bad guys would be waiting to shoot you up. My gal was scared to death (lighting) ! I had zero words of comfort; however, she forgave me and we stayed together for several years.

Finally, I was able to get us back to the docks. The wind had died down and it took awhile to get back to the dock; we never went sailing again. I found other things to do that were not as intimating as this 4 place sailboat; also better necking options as well.

The moral of this story, never ever.. assume that you can sail the simplest of sailboats without proper training and/ or instruction by someone that has experience.

http://morainesailingclub.org/websit...ay_9-11-10.jpg

The (^ above ^) boat on the Right is similar to the one (per haps a little bigger in size) I rented in 1973, it has 1645 on it's sail; not that complex but I could not master it in a 20 to 30 knot wind.
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Last edited by HighFly_27; 09-01-2013 at 10:01 AM. Reason: corrections, added sailboat link & bucklist humor list
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post #520 of 573 Old 08-31-2013
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Re: What's your biggest bonehead move sailing?

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Originally Posted by HighFly_27 View Post


The moral of this story, never ever.. assume that you can sail the simplest of sailboats without proper training and/ or instruction by someone that has experience.
Heh.

I wonder if your jib was rigged like this....
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