SailNet Community banner

1 - 20 of 27 Posts

·
SaltwaterSuzi/CapnLarry
Joined
·
609 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi, Haven't been on Sailnet in quite awhile - we sold the boat and became landlubbers asfter 15 years of living aboard and cruising. But we're still keeping our website (The Frugal Mariner: Home Page) going.

I had an idea for a new page that might help keep other boaters from making the same mistakes that we have. I'm going to call it Words of Wisdom; Words of Warning. And I'd like the help of all of you on SailNet.

I'd like you to post some of the stupid things you've done on your boat (admit it, we all have) which after you did it, realized how dumb it was.

I'll get it started.
 

·
SaltwaterSuzi/CapnLarry
Joined
·
609 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
One of the dumb things I did (there are many) working in a deep cockpit locker seat - I climbed back out and the seat slammed closed... and LATCHED! I was very lucky it didn't happen when I was in there. But after that, I always teid the seat open so it couldn't happen. I told a friend about the incident, and he related to me that it had happened to him, too - but he WAS trapped. The boat was on the hard, and he pounded on the hull for hours before someone came to his rescue.
 

·
SaltwaterSuzi/CapnLarry
Joined
·
609 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Another dumb thing I did - while backing down on the anchor, I didn't take prop walk into consideration and caught a crab trap float in the prop. The water was about 45 degrees and I had no wet suit - we were in the middle of no where - but were able to get a marina on the radio who arranged for a diver to come find us. We were new to cruising at the time - so this was a lesson hard learned - and expensive!
 

·
美国华人, 帆船
Joined
·
2,528 Posts
Excellent Post.

I do have one. I know of a well seasoned Captain has been telling his crews not to put water into the fuel tank for about 40 years. On one particular day, he put water in the fuel tank. ....................LOL

To avoid doing dumb thing, I use the DuPont approach for years. They have the "Take Two" rule. Take 2 seconds (or minutes, or hours) to think about what you are about to do.

Remember, DuPont made their fortune selling gun powder in the old days. LOL
 

·
Barquito
Joined
·
3,656 Posts
Welcome back to Sailnet! Your articles are some of the best on this site.

I've never done anything dumb on my boat. :)
 

·
Registered
Corsair 24
Joined
·
4,594 Posts
ajajajaja
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
134 Posts
Ooh! Ooh! I've got one (that I'm willing to share)

We were pulling into a newish anchorage on a weekend. I sent my wife forward to drop the hook, since she was uncomfortable at the helm in this scenario.

We slowly motored forward until we saw the shelf of sand (depth drops from 15 feet to 6 feet within about a 10-foot span). My wife waited for my signal, and dropped the anchor. It wasn't tied to anything. Totally not her fault - see below.

Long story short, we used the backup anchor for a great day of swimming, and then, before we left, used the GPS track to go back to the original drop spot, and found the anchor. No harm done.

Cause of problem? We take the primary anchor off the bow for racing, and put it back on when we're done. The crew put the anchor back in the roller, and lashed it down, but did not fasten the chain back to the anchor shackle. Presumably they were tired of unscrewing the shackle 2x per week...LOL.

I've learned to pay closer attention to the way we leave the boat when we're done racing, especially the safety equipment, no matter HOW hard the beer is calling me.

Andy
 

·
First String
Joined
·
868 Posts
The vast majority of time, close quarters maneuvering at low speed is fine. But the strong currents in Beaufort South Carolina can greatly reduce the margin for error. We recently received a great lesson and saw an example of exactly what can happen if you are not experienced with river sailing. My sailing partner Jim got to the marina early and packed and readied the boat for our afternoon day sail. He de-berthed her and repositioned her on the face dock. The problem was the direction she was faced put her back to the wind and her stern in the current. A new moon phase that weekend made for especially swift currents with a flood tide.
Here’s where we got into trouble. I was at the helm. Jim was at the ready on the dock, ready with the lines. I fired the trusty 2gm Yanmar diesel and warmed it up. I checked my position. I was nervous. I had an instinctive feeling this departure was not right. He untied the bow first, at my command and shoved it out a few feet, then the stern and jumped on board. I yelled wait Jim!!! Were not right I yelled! Jim, get the boat hook, I screamed! I had no steerage at all. We began to pick up speed with the outgoing flood tide. I had a huge sinking feeling in my stomach. We have 4 boats down the dock and we are now cross ways of the dock moving sideways to the dock with our bow toward the dock. We were now headed straight, well “sideways” from the other docked boats. I have a folding prop on the boat and this prop gives almost no reverse propulsion. In desperation, I threw in into reverse and gave it my best shot. Jim could not find the boat hook so he sat down on the bow with his feet hanging over in the hopes to push off the oncoming boats with his feet. With what seemed a lifetime and after pushing off 2 moored boats, we were able to finally get the bow into the current and find some steerage. It was so dangerous... We had no less than 5 possible insurance claims that day. Not to mention the near heart attack I had and broken legs that Jim could have received I learned! “Oh yes”. I learned the hard way, just how volatile a situation can become when you have no experience in close quarter maneuvering in a swift current with a large vessel. I know a lot more today about Close quarter maneuvering; in fact I have been practicing on the face dock over and over again. I spend a considerable amount of time studying the tides and wind next to the marinas dock. For now on, before I unhitch the boat, I know just what the boat is going to do. Just thought I would share my near miss in the hopes that someone might read and get inspired to practice in close quarters with your boat before something bad happens. I read and read and practice. I’m doing the best I can, not to get hurt or hurt anybody. I take full responsibility for this near miss. I was at the helm. I knew better. I knew it was wrong when the stern line was taken off. Won’t happen again under my watch.

Thanks LT
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
780 Posts
One of the dumb things I did (there are many) working in a deep cockpit locker seat - I climbed back out and the seat slammed closed... and LATCHED! I was very lucky it didn't happen when I was in there. But after that, I always teid the seat open so it couldn't happen. I told a friend about the incident, and he related to me that it had happened to him, too - but he WAS trapped. The boat was on the hard, and he pounded on the hull for hours before someone came to his rescue.
Happened to be too. Luckily wife was around to let me out because it was over 100 degrees in there at the time. I now secure the seat before climbing in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
193 Posts
Mine was not reviewing the chart because you think you know the water. Easy way to find the bottom or in my case "the rock"

John
 

·
SaltwaterSuzi/CapnLarry
Joined
·
609 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
There have to more dumb things we've done. It's a little like running aground - if you have a boat, either you've done it, or you are lying.

If you can't remember any dumb things you've done, ask your spouse.

Here's another we did - we didn't close the raw water intake valve before we had the boat pulled - the water drained out - and when we got splashed, vapor lock. And the stupid Captain forgot to check. Took about 10 minutes for the engine to overheat. I use the excuse that this was a sea trial when we were selling the boat and there were many distractions on board - the prospective owners, the surveyor, both brokers. But all's well that ends well - we got the problem fixed, had an (otherwise) successful sea trial and sold the boat.

But I still feel stupid about it. After 15 years, you'd think I'd know better.
 

·
SaltwaterSuzi/CapnLarry
Joined
·
609 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Thanks, everybody. These ideas will get me a start. I was hoping for more - I guess folks on SailNet are just a lot smarter than I am and don't make stupid mistakes. (Or are too ashamed to admit it! :laugher )

Don't forget to drop in on the Frugal-Mariner now and then.
 

·
Advanced beginner
Joined
·
458 Posts
I can't believe you aren't getting more stories in this thread. I've only had my boat half a season and I have one.

The first sail I took on my new-to-me Pearson 28-2, when I raised the main, it didn't go all the way up, stopping a couple of inches (maybe even less) from the top of the mast. "Huh, it didn't do that during the sea trial" I said. I did some research and determined I should at least try some SailKote. Didn't help. Fortunately, although the issue impacted the shape of the sail, it didn't seem to much impact my ability to sail. So while it bothered me that I couldn't figure out why the sail wouldn't make it that last inch or two, it didn't seem very urgent.

Fast forward a couple of months and I'm reading a Sailnet thread on a different topic when someone writes 'and there will be days when you'll forget to release the traveler before you raise the main'. And I was like 'what? you need to release the traveler?'

I felt like a total noob, but the little keelboat I had sailed while learning to sail didn't have a traveler, so I'd never used one before. Hopefully some other noob will find this story and realize his problem long before I did.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,125 Posts
Yeah, locked myself in a locker, in the yard. Not too bad. But I think about the time I was in the locker, becalmed off Lunenburg, at sunset, and thank God it didn't lock that time.

I "discovered" both Bombay Hook Shoal and the one and only piling in the C&D canal one year, and.......
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
253 Posts
First season owning our boat. Out with friends sailing, anchoring for lunch, and swimming. As we leave to get back, I go forward retrieve the anchor. It was blowing about 15 knts and choppy. I have a steadfast rule about wearing closed toe shoes on deck but opted to go barefoot as I didn't want get my shoes wet having just gotten out of the water. Standing at the bow, I wash the mud off with a bucket of water and drop the anchor locker lid... onto my bare big toe that just overlapped the edge of the locker.

Ended up in the doctors office having my big toe nail removed with local anesthesia. Took months to get the nail back. One of the most painful events ever.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,085 Posts
I may know someone who was stumped for 15 minutes by a non-starting engine after taking on fuel because he left the fuel shut off pulled.
 

·
Once known as Hartley18
Joined
·
5,179 Posts
Here's another we did - we didn't close the raw water intake valve before we had the boat pulled - the water drained out - and when we got splashed, vapor lock. And the stupid Captain forgot to check. Took about 10 minutes for the engine to overheat. I use the excuse that this was a sea trial when we were selling the boat and there were many distractions on board - the prospective owners, the surveyor, both brokers. But all's well that ends well - we got the problem fixed, had an (otherwise) successful sea trial and sold the boat.

But I still feel stupid about it. After 15 years, you'd think I'd know better.
Larry, don't be so hard on yourself.. I wouldn't call that stupid, since it's quite normal to do that on most boats.

The raw water pumps on Volvos (and I assume most other marine Diesels also) are positive displacement pumps which are quite capable of pumping air in surprising quantities. So long as the seacock is open and the intake well below the water line, the intake pipe floods as the boat is lowered back in and the system should self-prime just fine.

You must have had an unusual set-up on that boat, that's all. ;)


Stupid would be sending the raw water pump out to be refurbished, connecting it up the wrong way around when you get it back, and then spending far too many anxious minutes trying to work out why the raw water system simply won't prime! "Must be an air leak somewhere..." :)
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
Top