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post #11 of Old 11-02-2018
S/V Wyndwitch - Morgan 24
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Re: Crazy first time out on my sailboat today

hard way to learn but would say honestly you were lucky given your cavalier approach to handling an unfamiliar boat. Rule 1: know your boat! None of us has any business taking a day party out until we know the basic condition of boat systems plumbing through hulls etc etc. Since things got wet empty out the wet gear clean her all up and get on your hands and knees with a flashlight and check things out. Dont be in a hurry..ask yourself what is That thing this gizmo that wire this hose then check the valves. Take a close look at hose couplings the sink drain (an under appreciated threat!) Jot down any problems. Then do a gear inventory count life preservers flares yadayada. Then prep yourself for a test launch with an experienced friend no guests crowds or babies! Ease the boat in and check all thruhulls drains etc secure the boat away from ramp and let her sit. Check all fittings and bilge again. When you are very sure the boat is remaining dry drop the centerboard 1/3 down and see if any seepage occurs anywhere. If all is well take her for a short run and if all is still well haul sail and take a short sail Return to dock and check everything again especially inside along gunnels, thru hulls (yes again!) If all is dry you did not find a leak or obvious flaw by being this thorough, you have a mystery to solve : what happened Last time! Until that issue is resolved and the boat secured you have no business taking anyone out in your boat. I strongly suggest you avoid being in a hurry to do anything on a boat practice foresight and due diligence always. Thereafter have fun but read Chapman's, Sailing Illustrated and at least three other good general sailing guides this winter until you realize just how truly lucky you were on that first trip.
Best of luck with your boat and what can be a wonderful sport if aporoached responsibly.
Fair Winds

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