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I've been sailing around Manhattan for years to get from my home port on the Hudson River to my favorite cruising grounds in New England. After 911 the Coast Guard presence in the East River, especially around the UN building, was heavy, to say the least. A few years ago they made everyone go around on the Queens side of Roosevelt Island to keep boats away from "sensitive areas".

I just followed directions (they did have machine guns mounted forward in their RIBs) and went around the way I never had before. I must have been in a bit of a fog because my brain failed to register the lift bridge that connects the island to Queens. After all, I had gone (almost!) this route many time before without having to look out for low bridges. I must have been twenty feet from the bridge when I finally noticed the bridge tender frantically waving. I grabbed the wheel and the boat did the quickest pivot I have ever seen. Came within two feet of the lowered bridge with my mast. I waited, with a very red face, for the bridge to go up and the smiles on the spectator's faces to die down.
 

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If the Coasties were following you and aiming the .50 cals at you...you'd have a pretty good excuse to be distracted...I don't think that was the case though. :)
I've been sailing around Manhattan for years to get from my home port on the Hudson River to my favorite cruising grounds in New England. After 911 the Coast Guard presence in the East River, especially around the UN building, was heavy, to say the least. A few years ago they made everyone go around on the Queens side of Roosevelt Island to keep boats away from "sensitive areas".

I just followed directions (they did have machine guns mounted forward in their RIBs) and went around the way I never had before. I must have been in a bit of a fog because my brain failed to register the lift bridge that connects the island to Queens. After all, I had gone (almost!) this route many time before without having to look out for low bridges. I must have been twenty feet from the bridge when I finally noticed the bridge tender frantically waving. I grabbed the wheel and the boat did the quickest pivot I have ever seen. Came within two feet of the lowered bridge with my mast. I waited, with a very red face, for the bridge to go up and the smiles on the spectator's faces to die down.
 

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If the Coasties were following you and aiming the .50 cals at you...you'd have a pretty good excuse to be distracted...I don't think that was the case though. :)
You are very right. It was not the case since they had made me change my course at least a mile back. This thread is about boneheadedness, and this definitely fits into that category.
 

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Lake Michigan
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T-boned a moored sailboat

After a days sail, I pulled up to my mooring, cleated the lines looked up and to my horror :eek: I was headed straight for the middle of an expensive looking sailboat moored next to me. Ran back, hit the throttle thinking I was in reverse and proceeded to immediately accelerate towards the victim of my stupidity. Luckily the mooring lines slowed me down enough so I just tapped the side of the victim. Of course this was in front of a large group of inebriated power boaters.:(
 

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Probably the time I got a Cape Cod Mercury stuck under the Longfellow bridge on the Charles river... :) The Longfellow bridge isn't very high, and the only way to get a CCM under it is when the boat is heeled over. We got through the bridge one way just fine... timing is everything. But when we tried to get back, the wind died as we got to a bit more than halfway across the bridge. The boat straightened up quite nicely and the mast made a horrid clunk against the underside of the bridge. Fortunately, a few friends were on sister boat nearby and they helped us get the boat heeled over enough to get out from under the bridge. :) BTW, the Longfellow bridge is supposed to be one end of the sailing area... and you're not supposed to go past it... for obvious reasons.

The only other thing that would be in contention for most boneheaded move is the time we got chased up Lake Winnepesaukee by a thunder squall one summer day on a Hobie Cat many years ago. The squall only lasted 30 minutes or so... but it took us over four hours to get back to where we had started from. :)
 

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Break, curse, fix, repeat
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Great thread

Top bonehead move. Once dropped my brand new anchor right down to the bottom of the river when I set it on the bow roller and turned away for one moment to get the chain...After some anger, I died laughing at how stupid that was. Tried diving but 20 feet of dark water prevented success. Tried a magnet but no luck. Chocked it up to another iron recycling. :(
 

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Depends on the charts... some are in feet, some in meters and some are still in Fathoms. :)
Had to cut an anchor loose in new zealand because i was in 90 feet of water and the windlass broke---note: depth is in METERS
 

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I have a small trailer sailer and I left my GPS/depth finder in my truck. I didn't realize until I felt the keel dragging along the bottom. I ran down cranked it all the way up and by the time I got back I was sitting was stuck. I jumped over to see if I could pull the boat... but sank to meh teets in the silt. I pulled my way out and wrestled with the boat a bit. No luck tried the motor at full reverse, no luck.... a small tin fishing boat tried to help, lol yeah right. Called my marina, who was about 3/4 of a mile away, they didn't want the liability. I called dep of marine resources and the lady was in the state building 200 yards away. So it only took like 4 or 5 hours to get out to me??? It was really windy and hot so I went below and wound up getting very sick. LoL... I never forget my depth finder and never try to brave the shallows anymore.
 

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dumb . . . dumb . . . dumb

A few years ago, I was sailing wing & wing in very light winds.

Since I couldn't feel the wind on my back, I felt that closing my eyes and paying very strict attention to the slightest breeze on my back would then give me an idea if the wind was coming from port or starboard.

It didn't work, but when I opened my eyes I did see the boom coming from port about 2 seconds before impact.

what a lesson...
 

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If the Coasties were following you and aiming the .50 cals at you...you'd have a pretty good excuse to be distracted...I don't think that was the case though. :)

For a few years I kept a pontoon boat Parker Marine at the far end of Alton Bay Lake Winnipesaukee had to go under the lil bridge at the end of the lake to get in and out..after a week of rain the water was higher than normal and I wiped out my Bimini on the way out all the while with people on the bridge watching and laughing,ok returned later that afternoon with sun burned head and proceeded back under the same bridge only to wipe out four fishing poles that I had still up in the rod holder..One guy yelled hey isnt that the guy??
great day on the Lake:D
 

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SURV 69—

Boom: The sound it makes when it hits your head. :)

You need a Dutchman Boom Brake. :)

Cruiser—

I'm a bit worried... if you can't keep track of the height of a bimini or fishing poles... that doesn't bode well for the mast on your boat. :eek:
 
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A few years back I was delivering a boat with the owner aboard to the Chesapeake the marina we were going to was on a tidal creek. For the life of me I can't think of the marina's name right now. We had made a uneventful trip from Long Island Sound.

The marina we pulling into had finger slips open to the creek and the preferred way to dock was to back down in to the slips. As I was coming "up the creek." I radioed the dock Master to find out what slip he wanted us in, he said take any empty one.

We get to the marina and I spot 4 empty sips in a row. I bring the boat in close along side the slips and turn the bow out into the creek so that I can back down. As soon as I got the keel sideways to the creek thats when it became apparent how much i misjudged the tide and the current. Now we are are heading sideways back down the creek. I give a healthy dose of reverse and get her backed down in a slip between 2 nice boats, The Dock Master meets us the slip after we have tied off and says Damn your a good Capt. to get that boat in between these two. The boat owner then says "he's the best thats why I hired him." I said fellow's before you get to carried away you do know I was going for the slip 6 up from here and this is just here we wound up!
 

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Sorry about that dog.. thought I was quoting sailingfool re: hobbycating up on lake Winni,dont know how I did that?? anyway not to worry about my mast until I have a boat..hence the "wannabe"
 

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No worries Cruiserwannabe, BTW, I think it was me and Lake Winn and a Hobie Cat. Fun when you're a teen and too young to realize how really bloody dangerous a small beach cat in a thunder squall really is.
 

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Closet Powerboater
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Hello Sailnet!

Hello Sailnet! THIS thread seems the prefect place for a first post....

So I was backing my recently purchased 31ft wooden boat from it's tight slip when, at the same time, the engine suddenly died and the water around me became all foamy. I was adrift in a small marina, and as captain, initiated an "all hands panic" which was well executed by my fearless crew and some local liveaboards.

Fellow sailors, even though it is further to stumble, hang your beer bag off the BOW of the boat, not from the stern.

MedSaillor
 

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Handsome devil
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Lesson learned... buy cheap beer for boating....Welcom to Sailnet..

Wear tall boots...take nothing personally...dont lie ...we will find out...:p ( so is it a 41 or 31 )

Hello Sailnet! THIS thread seems the prefect place for a first post....

So I was backing my recently purchased 31ft wooden boat from it's tight slip when, at the same time, the engine suddenly died and the water around me became all foamy. I was adrift in a small marina, and as captain, initiated an "all hands panic" which was well executed by my fearless crew and some local liveaboards.

Fellow sailors, even though it is further to stumble, hang your beer bag off the BOW of the boat, not from the stern.

MedSaillor
 

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Closet Powerboater
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Lesson learned... buy cheap beer for boating....Welcom to Sailnet..

Wear tall boots...take nothing personally...dont lie ...we will find out...:p ( so is it a 41 or 31 )

Thanks for the welcome! I agree about tall boots, almost never get offended or take anything personally. Oddly enough one of the only things likely to offend me is accusing me of lying.... As for cheap beer, NEVER! Cheap beer would likely have done extensive prop damage and been an expensive fix. The expensive beer I sacrificed was smooth you see and didn't ding my prop. :D

The 31footer I bought 7 years ago (about when this happened) was a sloop converted from a Scottish lifeboat. About 6 months ago I sold her and now reside aboard a Formosa 41 with a hull fabricated from plastic trees.

Fairwinds,

MedSailor
 

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Back in 1983 I waxed the hull of my shiny new Prindle 16 outside of the Biloxi yacht club and headed out to race some Hobies that were playing around. As the windward hull lifted out of the water I hooked up, hiked out and promptly lost my footing. I remember seeing the rudder go by as I was slammed into the hull and released into the water.

Then there was the time I turtled a small cat off of Indian Rocks beach when tropical storm Dennis was approaching. Freaked my mother out, she called the Coast Guard, Sherrif, EMS, Fire the whole 9 yards.
 
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