What's your biggest bonehead move sailing? - Page 60 - SailNet Community
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post #591 of 615 Old 09-02-2015
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Re: What's your biggest bonehead move sailing?

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Originally Posted by danstanford View Post
Started out of my berth with shore power still hooked up. Fortunately I heard it behind me and stopped before I ruined anything except my pride.
I'm pretty sure most stink-potters have done that at some stage.. and I notice many shore-power connections these days are designed to disconnect easily without damage for just such an occasion.

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post #592 of 615 Old 09-04-2015
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Re: What's your biggest bonehead move sailing?

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Started out of my berth with shore power still hooked up. Fortunately I heard it behind me and stopped before I ruined anything except my pride.

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post #593 of 615 Old 10-05-2015
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Re: What's your biggest bonehead move sailing?

Now another real stoopid one but thankfully with no damage to man or boat. We were hauling the boats yesterday and the marina operators had us rig lines around the hull at the lift points so they could simply pull the slings around with no messing about time. I had done this a couple of days ago and had then worked on a bunch of other stuff like winterization and so on. As they called my turn I ran over to my slip from helping others with their boat and hopped on to pull around out of the harbor and into the area outside where the crane was picking us up. The friend who pushed me off yelled as I was about a boat length off that I was trailing a line under the boat. The basin is docks on two sides and rocks on two sides and I am now drifting with the wind and momentum towards the rocks about 2 boat lengths away. I couldn't understand where the line was from so I threw her lightly in reverse to slow momentum thinking I had to avoid the rocks. A second later she stalled when the line wrapped the prop and I really was now stumped as to what to do. I found the line which was a tail off the sling line and could not pull it free as people are yelling and running to help keep me off the rocks. I shifted the control into neutral, started her, and gave the tiniest shot of forward I could then back into neutral. After some struggling the line came free and I was able to pivot after freeing the line my helper had heaved to shore where a few people had gone to fend us off the rocks.
All is well that ends well I suppose but I cannot imagine ever letting that happen again....though I did try to leave the slip with the shore power on once more!
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post #594 of 615 Old 11-02-2015
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Re: What's your biggest bonehead move sailing?

I had bought new bronze wheel from Edson, and chained it to the helm station padlocked it , then came the next day to go sailing , cast off the dock with engine in reverse, backed out of my slip when I realized the wheel was still chained, lol!
Luckily the key was in my pocket, so no harm done ......
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post #595 of 615 Old 11-12-2015
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Re: What's your biggest bonehead move sailing?

In the days before electronic navigation or 'reliable' weather forecasts, I encountered a tropical cyclone at sea off Fiji in the SoPac. We were only about 25 miles west of Fiji's western reef, so we had no choice but to keep some sail up and try to work to windward away from the reef, or at least not go backwards too fast.
As we entered the eye some ten hours into the storm, it was suddenly very calm and quiet and being near sunset, there was an eerie yellow light all around. We came on deck and began cleaning up the mess; broken stanchions, the main boom broken in two places, cockpit locker lids broken or missing, etc.
It was such a wonderful respite that I gave no thought to what I should do and unfortunately I allowed us to reenter the dangerous semicircle of the storm again. What followed can only be described as another four days needlessly spent in hell.
The proper move would have been to power across the eye and reenter the back side of the storm, leaving us only a few hours more trauma as the storm moved away from us.
But as proper as that would have been, how many of us could intentionally drive back into the maelstrom?
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Last edited by capta; 11-12-2015 at 12:32 AM.
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post #596 of 615 Old 12-10-2015
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Re: What's your biggest bonehead move sailing?

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I can't believe that anyone has done anything more stupid than this:~
The Skipper of the Sailboat 'Alacazam' Does Something Really Stupid
OMG thanks for the laugh, had tears running down my face.
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post #597 of 615 Old 12-10-2015
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Re: What's your biggest bonehead move sailing?

My biggest boneheaded sailing experience. I was young. Doing deliveries up and down the east coast, to the Caribbean, worked for a sailmaker with generous leave times etc. I get a call from a racing and drinking buddy. His younger brother and his trophy wife with some friends want to charter a boat to cruise Buzzards Bay, Elizabeth Islands, Martha's and Nantucket. The charter company wasn't comfortable with their experience level and he asked to send them my resume if I could do it. I agreed. It was all great. Nice people. One single lady guest took a shine to me which kept me from sleeping on the cabin sole.

My mistake was they insisted on being in Cuttyhunk Harbor for a night. We arrived late after dark and it was blowing 18- 24 out of the Southwest. I had been there before and thought we will just grab a mooring and pay in the morning. No moorings. They beg to stay. I want to go anchor back outside the harbor entrance. I give in and drop anchor in the far northeastern corner. With 5 to 1 scope our stern was 50 or 60 feet from hitting the breakwater. I stayed awake the whole night with my hand on the ignition key thinking we would drag on the breakwater.

In hindsight I should have ignored their pleas and anchored safely outside the harbor entrance. Those that know Cuttyhunk know what I mean. I literally get goosebumps every time I think of that bad decision. Total bonehead.


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post #598 of 615 Old 07-18-2016
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Re: What's your biggest bonehead move sailing?

Have been reading this thread with some amusement, but of course the value in it is the vicarious experience it has lent. Among other things it has saved my mainsail from instant destruction due to improper reefing technique, but I digress. As per the former, it should be clear that I am a sailing noob, having just bought a small boat after some days of looking it over where it is moored. I have already made at least one boneheaded mistake.

The motor in the boat is an inboard two-cylinder diesel which comes with a hand-crank to start the thing should there somehow be no battery power available. Having never owned a diesel motor before I am thus an expert in all aspects of its operation. I attempt to use the crank once, but it is not as easy as it looks. Noticing that the flywheel has a third v-groove free I immediately understand that I can simply put a couple of turns of thin rope and obtain considerably more leverage than that offered by the manual crank. Two turns and then one mighty heave and lo and behold it immediately starts. I shut it down and wander off with brain overflowing with New Information. The next day I give it another go with my improvised pull-starter, perhaps for no good reason other than a desire to hear its manly throb. Two turns on the flywheel and a mighty heave.... and I immediately hit the Wall of Compression and it stops dead. Hmm. Well, I'll just have to add another turn on the flywheel, won't I? Another mighty heave and it starts. One small problem: there is four or five feet of rope at the bottom of the bilge right next to the flywheel. I'm told the motor weighs 140kg, but I'm fairly sure that is only the weight of the flywheel. I got the loose rope out of the way rather quickly and without incident, but it could have been bad. Unlike the first attempt, I had unthinkingly wrapped my end of the rope around my hand before giving it a heave. If the rope had become ensnared by one of the v-belts I would have surely become wrapped around the engine as it happily idled. I doubt it would have noticed much.

Lesson learned, and quite cheaply at that. I'll be takng it out before long and taking those baby steps towards becoming a sailor. If fortune continues to smile upon me from above, I will surely have fantastic auto-bonehead stories with which to entertain you all.
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post #599 of 615 Old 07-18-2016
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Re: What's your biggest bonehead move sailing?

Heading out into the bay looking for wind, when I had no motor to get back when the wind died out in the middle of the bay, 3 miles from anyone or anyplace but more water, drifting on the tide, at night.

Last edited by Zarathu; 07-18-2016 at 10:19 AM.
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post #600 of 615 Old 07-18-2016
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Re: What's your biggest bonehead move sailing?

Frogc... one of those memorable moments of our US Yacht 27 was the day she was commissioned. They could not get the motor started as the batteries were dead. no room to run a line around the flywheel, but the ambitious commissioning crew just KNEW you could hand crank that little volvo 13hp!

Well when a diesel cranks over, you best get your hand/arm out of the way fast! AS when they decided a hand crank was in order, that handle did NOT come out, and the hand ALSO did not get out of the way fast enough. With a mighty WHACK, he broke his thumb. I do believe that the handle quickly flew off the motor as well. Love to see that on a brand new sailboat no?

Lesson learned... hand cranking a diesel to start is to be used as a last resort only kind of thing. I think I'd even wait for a solar charger to get the batteries up first

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