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Where to start. Is this a contest? First time sailing, passed the jetty at high and banged a left, over rocks into 4 foot water. Our jib was low so it was hard to see ahead. booOm, screeeech. And a big yellow buoy, the size of a VW bug slides passed our port side.

NEXT! Be brave. We want to laugh and call you names!
 

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6,689 Posts
Stepped through an open cabin top hatch, fell 7 feet to the cabin sole, slammed the quarter berth and broke two ribs. Then had to sail 12 miles home because my wife could not handle the boat by herself. Bad day on the water.

Gary :cool:
 

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Bristol 29.9
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390 Posts
When we took ASA 101 the course came with a substantial number of practice hours on the boat. We were feeling pretty good about ourselves one day when we were out practicing. We saw a single white buoy, thought that was a strange place for it, and decided to sail closer to check it out.

WHAM! That's when we discovered it was marking the location of several large rocks.

Local knowledge is a great thing, but I still think it's stupid to use a white buoy to mark a hazard.
 

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75 Posts
First time out as an owner after a refit approaching a fuel dock hit the bow on the piling and watched brand new lifelines go flaccid. Ran aground going up the Magothy river fully deployed in 20 + knot wind. Misread green marker for less than 3 feet while advising a friend at the helm " red on right returning" . Glad my center board was up but rudder had major damage. On the same river attempted to cheat around a buoy and ripped my jib. Oh what a sinking feeling. No major mishaps the last 3 seasons.
 

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Catamarans are the best
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101 Posts
My list is short.. yeah right.. but maybe some newbie sailing fisherman can learn from this too. We don't fish often, not really fisher people (spearfishing, but that's different), but we've been trying with a hand line and I have learned if the water is rough, and the wind is blowing, and you snag a good fish.. DON'T heave to.
 

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Quirky
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598 Posts
It was the first time I was prepping the boat for the trailer. Several months before that, a gentleman taught me on a similar model how to lower the mast so I was going off of memory.
Well, I decided it was time to unhook the forestay and did so. The forestay began to pull out of my hands and felt extremely heavy. Huh, I thought and then I realized that I hadn't secured the gin pole. I beautifully laced together a string of four letter words and asked hubby to push forward on the mast so I could refasten it.
 

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601 Posts
When we still had our Precision 23, we trailered her up to Boothbay Harbor in Maine. Quickly rigged the mast. Everything went smoothly and I congratulated myself on a job well done, until we tried to launch the boat off the ramp - she was floating, but wouldn't come of the trailer - darn it, we forgot to remove a line from the stern to the trailer. No harm done, but an idiotic mistake for sure.
 

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Less Senior Senior Member
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1,445 Posts
Either leaving the raw water seacock closed when moving too fast because my sailing partner/guest of the day was late and frying the thermostat and impeller or forgetting to check the anchor on the bow was secured on a shakedown sail on the new (to me) boat and wondering what the hell the white line off the bow was doing as it was playing out. Luckily it clicked before we hooked and I hove to and picked it up before it set.
 

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173 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It was a windless day with the sun beating down in the Greek islands when I found I needed to go below and point Percy at the porcelain and check our position on the chart.
I gave my son the helm making sure he would call me if he saw another boat close by. He didn't shout so I took my time. When I came back to the helm i saw we were heading directly onto the shore of an island.
"What are you doing" I asked, "I told you to call me if you saw anything."
"You never mentioned Islands" he said.
Well a good keel hauling made sure he will never do it again. Are you allowed to keel haul your 5 year old son?
 

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Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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4,525 Posts
No harm done, but I felt like a total git. Came our of Lock 8 of the Welland Canal (Lake Erie end of canal) and was looking for a spar buoy that was on the chart and that I knew must be near to us and then hit it dead on with a resounding bell-like tone (metal anchor platform and hollow metal buoy. I am sure people in Toronto heard it, it was so loud. The buoy went down and surfaced right next to the cockpit where the boat's wake held it away so it did not hit us again.

Found out that the blind spot behind a Nonsuch 30 mast is actually quite wide. Only evidence was a very small dent in the stainless pipe of the platform and the stories my two crew got to tell in yacht club bars for years (decades?) to come.
 

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Courtney the Dancer
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3,971 Posts
In no particular order, but equal in stupidity:
"The weather looks bad, but I really need to get there today"...
"I know the entrance to this harbor, I'm sure I can cut this corner"...
"I know this boat needs some work, but it should only take a couple hundred bucks and a few weekends to make it right"...
"I know the weather report says combined seas to 8 meters, but the wind has died and they can't be that big, right?"...
"I know we're anchored in a bit close to the rocks, but it's getting dark"...
 

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25,128 Posts
We have 4 guests along for the weekend. We stop in an anchorage, go swimming, have lunch, etc. Then we haul anchor and start motoring out of the anchorage when we realize we left the swim ladder down. My wife says, slow the boat and she'll climb under the dingy, down the sugar scoop and retrieve it. It swings up, folds in half and then folds back under a hatch on the bottom step of the scoop. It's awkward in a calm anchorage, making you wish you had three hands.

I probably get to about 1-2 kts and she pulls the ladder up. Suddenly, it folds in half prematurely and gashes her finger open. She's in shock, stuck in an inaccessible place and about to pass out. I have no one really familiar with boats aboard. If she passes out, she's going to fall in.

Total disaster was averted, however. I'm a pressure prompted, fight not flight, sort of guy. (I've taken a bunch of self assessments :) ) I got her back on deck and tended to the wound before she passed out. She was in shock for about 15 mins. If she fell in, without a pfd naturally, I'm not sure she could have kept herself afloat long enough for us to retrieve her.

Never, ever take shortcuts.
 

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Corsair 24
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4,594 Posts
fell asleep at the helm on the coast of mexico around the barra area...(first cruise...close to shore coastal sailing)only to wake up in the first breaker line about 500 feet or so from the beach...huge adrenaline rush tacked over barely made it...

crew wakes up and says wtf? yup WTF isnt even close to how bad I felt...

you live you learn
 

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629 Posts
Having the wife haul me to the top of the mast to retrieve a halyard and not giving her instruction on how to get me down that involved what is referred to as a suicide winch, wire rope halyard, winch with a brake handle with only brake on or brake off, no clutching, with the handle in. When she released the brake, under heavy load without holding the winch handle, the handle came around and almost broke her nose! Could have killed her. I had a backup halyard attached I was holding, so I was okay. I have a picture of this happening too...
 
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