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      Abbreviated rules   07/28/2017

      Underdawg did an excellent job of explaining the rules.  Here's the simplified version: Don't insinuate Pedo.  Warning and or timeout for a first offense.  PermaFlick for any subsequent offenses Don't out members.  See above for penalties.  Caveat:  if you have ever used your own real name or personal information here on the forums since, like, ever - it doesn't count and you are fair game. If you see spam posts, report it to the mods.  We do not hang out in every thread 24/7 If you see any of the above, report it to the mods by hitting the Report button in the offending post.   We do not take action for foul language, off-subject content, or abusive behavior unless it escalates to persistent stalking.  There may be times that we might warn someone or flick someone for something particularly egregious.  There is no standard, we will know it when we see it.  If you continually report things that do not fall into rules #1 or 2 above, you may very well get a timeout yourself for annoying the Mods with repeated whining.  Use your best judgement. Warnings, timeouts, suspensions and flicks are arbitrary and capricious.  Deal with it.  Welcome to anarchy.   If you are a newbie, there are unwritten rules to adhere to.  They will be explained to you soon enough.  
Alan H

There was that time when I screwed up...

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Why I'm prejudiced against  full/long keel boats...

Back around the time of the Sarmatian Empire, when I was in between "young-ish" and "early middle-aged" I taught sailing. I'd raced on SF Bay for 5-6 years and had a Cal 20, then had an International H Boat. I taught for most of a summer at school that used Santana 22's and Excalibur 26's as their teaching boats. After a few months, I got hired to teach at another, nearby school. The first set of lessons, with a group of 4 nurses no less, was held on that schools Jeanneau Fantasia 27. That went fine, except for the time that the traveler car line didn't get cleated off and the traveler slammed into one of the womens little finger. Blood everywhere, but she was a sport about it.

ANYWAY, so all my sailing experience was on smallish keelboats with separate rudders.  Then I got an introductory class/charter with new clients on the Gulf 32 that the school had.  The man was all jazzed about it. He didn't want to learn on the "little boat" he wanted to learn on the "big boat" 'cause he was going to be taking clients out sailing.  His wife REALLY did not want to be there.  In fact, the husband/wife dynamic was  really weird.  If I would happen to run into that situation now, I'd tell them to go away and come back when they figured out what they wanted to do.    Anyway, she was on the dock, guiding the boat out a bit while I backed us out under power.  She kept saying.. "I can't"... "I can't get on" ... even though we were moving about half a knot and all she had to do was grab the shroud and step up.  We wound up backing out into the fairway, heading out and turning around to get back in the slip to come back and pick her up.

That MF'er would NOT turn at slow speed. I was used to crawling into slips really slowly so as to not create expensive damage. This boat was heavy, HEAVY and I had visions of fiberglass and stainless steel carnage and so I crept in.  The fucking boat would NOT respond to the helm.  I must have tried 5x. Finally another Gulf 32 owner came by and showed me how he did it.  He came at the slip at about 4 knots, then just as he turned into it, gunned the engine in reverse to slow it down. I about shit my pants, but it did work.

I wonder how long he had a viable transmission in his boat.

Anyway, ever since then, I'm convinced that I will kill people and enrich lawyers and insurance companies if I ever try to operate a full keel boat in anything but open water with a mile clearance in all directions.

HaulOut06Fin.jpg

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On a friend's Beneteau doing the late after work wine and cheese cruise with the wives I drove us right through the etchells starting line.

That was like 9 years ago and I still feel the shame of it.

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Hm...where to begin.

- In my haste to examine my very first sailboat purchase which was living on a mooring, I rowed out to it during a 25kt blow with water temps in the 50's or 60's. (Actually, the wind blew me to my boat.)  I did a poor job of securing the dinghy and it blew off the foredeck, stranding me on my boat. I'd never operated a sailboat and seriously doubted my ability to safely motor it to a dock 200 yards away during the strong breeze.  I ashamedly called people to rescue me and bring me back to the dock.  I then slogged literally hip deep, through a marsh to recover my dinghy on the far shore. 

- Ran my Pearson 30 hard aground on a sunken island clearly identified on charts and by buoys placed at the boundaries.

- During my early attempts to race my boat with newb crew, I ran hard aground while attempting to un-fuck some mis-routed jib and spinnaker sheets.

- Last Sunday, accidentally violated the ROW of a boat racing in another class. Even though I kept checking the blind spot behind my jib, I still failed to see him and caused a kerfuffle.

Hmm... maybe recounting all of this isn't the greatest idea.

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Just last month.... Foolishly allowed myself to be talked into racing a 420 on a blowy afternoon.... forgot cell phone in pocket, almost death rolled, slipped and almost fell out the boat tacking, etc etc.

OTOH it was a heck of a lot of fun.

If we go back further in time, I could write several books about Stupid Boat Tricks I've Survived (barely).

FB- Doug

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I almost forgot-

Same first sailboat, (Coronado 25)  I caught the entire galley area on fire because of a weeping O-ring on the fill cap of an ancient, liquid fuel Coleman camping stove.

Now that was exciting. The blasts from the dry-chem extinguisher made more smoke than the damned fire. I definitely would have lost the boat if I hadn't reacted quickly. Luckily, I was alone.

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... choosing one from the list that isn't *too* humiliating...  OK, got one:

Taking visiting relatives out for a quick circuit of the San Francisco bay.  Warm day, gentle but usable breeze.  We left Sausalito, sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge and turned back before anyone had time to get seasick, along the city-front, and over to Angle Island for lunch.  We dropped the anchor in China Cove (where the historic Immigration Station is located).  Relaxing lunch,  everybody is having a good time.

Then I tried to raise the anchor.  Stuck.  Motored ahead, side to side, back, etc, but no matter what I tried it only seemed to get worse.  I practically submerged the bow, and it still wouldn't budge.  Bubbles were coming up, but no anchor.  I had used my spare, smaller anchor, with a rope/chain rode, so I ended up cutting the nylon rode and abandoning it -- no float.  At least I hadn't used my big anchor and all-chain rode.

It wasn't until we were free that I looked at my charts and discovered that I had anchored right on top of "Submerged Ruins".

Yes, I had read about various ways to retrieve a fouled anchor, but we were running out of time (guest's schedules).  Anyway, I had probably tangled the rode so badly on the sunken wharf that it would have required diving to recover the anchor.

Lesson learned: I hate anchoring.  I have since successfully anchored for lunch at Angel Island, in better spots, but I still hate anchoring.

Angel Island.png

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3 minutes ago, valis said:

... choosing one from the list that isn't *too* humiliating...  OK, got one:

Taking visiting relatives out for a quick circuit of the San Francisco bay.  Warm day, gentle but usable breeze.  We left Sausalito, sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge and turned back before anyone had time to get seasick, along the city-front, and over to Angle Island for lunch.  We dropped the anchor in China Cove (where the historic Immigration Station is located).  Relaxing lunch,  everybody is having a good time.

Then I tried to raise the anchor.  Stuck.  Motored ahead, side to side, back, etc, but no matter what I tried it only seemed to get worse.  I practically submerged the bow, and it still wouldn't budge.  Bubbles were coming up, but no anchor.  I had used my spare, smaller anchor, with a rope/chain rode, so I ended up cutting the nylon rode and abandoning it -- no float.  At least I hadn't used my big anchor and all-chain rode.

It wasn't until we were free that I looked at my charts and discovered that I had anchored right on top of "Submerged Ruins".

Yes, I had read about various ways to retrieve a fouled anchor, but we were running out of time (guest's schedules).  Anyway, I had probably tangled the rode so badly on the sunken wharf that it would have required diving to recover the anchor.

Lesson learned: I hate anchoring.  I have since successfully anchored for lunch at Angel Island, in better spots, but I still hate anchoring.

Angel Island.png

Dude. Classic screw-up

Never get involved in a land war in Asia

Never, ever, anchor over submerged ruins!!

I once encouraged a good friend who had his anchor stuck on a stump to pull the rode tight and use the dinghy to spin the boat, making the whole assembly into a giant Spanish Windlass as well as attempting to torque the anchor out from under. He had one of those fiberglass bow planks to hold the anchor, and as the bow went about a foot down, it decided it had enough and crunched into little non-anchor-holding pieces. Oops. Well the water was only about five and a half feet deep so I dove down there with a pry bar and dug it out. Wearing gloves.

I hate stuck anchors. I've thought of bringing dynamite and underwater fuses to free anchors, but that's a bit drastic and it doesn't happen all that often, fortunately.

FB- Doug

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Well, there was the time, on the LongPac race when it was rough, that first night out. I ate a lot of carrots for lunch...like, a lot.  ...Of... carrots.

ANYWAY, so it gets to be about 3:00 AM and I'm dozing on the cabin sole on a pile of sails, seriously not feeling so great and I chuck my lunch....  INSIDE my foul weather gear. Except that I was so tired and feeling so sick that I didn't realize it.  Must have gotten up and looked out the hatch 10X before the sun came up. Imagine my surprise when I discovered what I had done.

I was cleaning up bits of half-digested carrot that had snuck into little corners of the boat, for a month. I just threw out the foulie bottoms.

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There was the time when I re-set a spinnaker just outside the Golden Gate, coming back from the Farallone Islands on a Farallones race. I got a little further into the Bay, maybe half a mile from the finish line and I had to gybe the spinnaker. So I hooked up the autopilot, changed course, gybed the main over and went up forward to gybe the spinnaker.

Everything went according to plan until I got back to the cockpit. Then four things happened simultaneously.

1. I stepped on a line in the cockpit, on the sole and it rolled out from under my foot
2. My blue jeans (I'd taken off the foul weather gear already) were drooping, so I hoisted 'em up tight into my unmentionables
3. the autopilot control arm popped off of the tiller. pin
4. a big gust of wind hit and knocked us over.

I landed...not on the sole of the cockpit, but on the traveler bar and all the blocks and tackles that controlled the mainsheet. I cut a not-fatal-but-rather-messy gash in my leg and split my jeans *literally* form that X-shaped intersection of the seams right under those unmentionables, to well below my knees. The pin holding the lower mainsheet block popped out and the main took off for, well... Berkeley, actually.

And of course, with no control of the mainsail, the boat invented new ways to cover distance over the water that would not normally be observed in the regular course of events. You can imagine the fun that the race committee had, watching all this go down, 100 yards from where they were sitting.

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I was giving about the third sailing lesson to a fellow who just bought his first boat, who had never been on a boat before he bought this one.

It was almost flat calm, sunny afternoon. Somehow, my proscription sunglasses went over the side. I watched them slowly, slowly sinking, as the boat slowly sailed past at about a knot. $450 glasses. I jumped overboard, grabbed them, swam back up. Directed the neophyte crew through a slow speed recovery, giving instructions from the water. About two minutes later, back aboard... and then noticed my brand new iPhone was in my pocket.

Cost of replacing phone: $450.

At least it was a realistic MOB drill.

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I was a teenager, so of course I could do anything.

Single handed sailing seemed a good skill to develop, and we had a fleet of boats to play with behind the house. Took the Cal 20 out. Pretty easy, sailing up and down the narrow channels of Huntington Harbour.

For those not familiar, Huntington Harbour is an entirely residential harbor, where waterfront houses line all the channels, with floating docks, their recreational boats tied to their private docks. The channels are not wide: about 200 feet between sea walls, or about 120 feet between the outboard sides of the boats tied up along these channels.

This next situation happened right here:

https://www.google.com/maps/place/33°42'47.9"N+118°03'35.7"W/@33.713293,-118.0620991,806m/data=!3m2!1e3!4b1!4m14!1m7!3m6!1s0x80dd25a0144759a5:0xd024e772457f2a24!2sHuntington+Harbour,+Huntington+Beach,+CA+92649!3b1!8m2!3d33.7211288!4d-118.0642292!3m5!1s0x0:0x0!7e2!8m2!3d33.7132934!4d-118.0599161

The wind at this location was westerly blowing about 8-10 knots. I was beam reaching south on starboard, bore away to port, heading due East, DDW still on starboard tack. Eh, this is too slow. Time for the whisker pole!

So I adjusted the windward jib sheet so it would be about right when the whisker pole was set, put the adjustable hiking stick against the side of the cockpit to cancel out the slight weather helm and hold the course, leapt up to the mast, put the pole on the clew, pushed it to windward and connected it to the mast, and ... as the boat started to round down due to the newly introduced lee helm ... the tiller slowly swung to starboard: the hacking stick of course no longer helpful now that the weather helm was gone ... I lept back towards the cockpit ... just in time for the boom to come across the deck and firmly push me overboard.

Into the water.

Boat moving about 5 knots now,  directly at the docks on the north side of the channel, but still turning to port ... it turned sharp enough to just miss the moored powerboat ... went head to wind ... tacked ... continued to bear off right towards me.

Without swimming a stroke, I reached up, grabbed the cockpit rail, pulled myself aboard, pushed the helm amidships, and off we went down the channel.

Almost like it was choreographed.

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1973. Biscayne Bay. I had just bought my first, real, boat, an 18' foot Alberg Typhoon. It is a pretty little boat. We went to the dealer, had the check out and sailed across the bay to the private dock where we would be keeping her for a while. I was in heaven. When it was time to go, I kept admiring her from the dock, studying her from every angle. She was enchanting. As I was backing up for one more look, I went over the edge of the dock and into the water.

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Keep them coming people - you are making me feel very good about myself. :D

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Happy to help.  "Less than perfect" has been my lifelong goal, and many tell me I've achieved it.

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I really screwed up in the fall of 2009 when I got on a sailboat for the first time. It got me hooked and it's all been downhill from there.

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As a teenager, I was sailing a boat similar to a 420 singlehanded. One day I just sailed away with my rudder stilli lying on the beach where I had initially left it. Wind was light (10 knots may be) but pushing me offshore and I did quite a few 360 and provided free comedy to passer by before managing to come back and pick up my rudder. I managed to avoid capsizing though.

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I have plenty embarrassing sailing stories, but the things I find especially embarrassing are related to boat building. Things like drilling a hole in the wrong end of a board, beveling the end of a piece of joinery the wrong direction, and other assorted "Doh!" moments.  My solution is to write "Port Top Forward"  or similar in pencil on most parts, perhaps with some strategically placed arrows for clarity.  One would think this would cure the problem, but it has merely reduced the frequency of occurrence.  The method also gets a little confusing when the boat is upside down.  I guess (until now) these aren't really public embarrassments, but they are embarrassing nonetheless.

As an aside: My dad was a stickler for precision, and he would get hopping mad when the part he carefully measured, re-measured, and then skilfully cut would not fit properly.  My takeaway from his travails is that short of high-precision mill work, you can't rely on it fitting exactly.  So, I leave a tiny bit extra and plane, file, and/or sand that last little bit to fit. CNC machined parts sure help, but even they can have enough tolerance that the fit-up needs a little "help"

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Then there was the time when I was teaching sailing, and the anniversary of my wedding to my lovely bride came along. The company owned and operated a little windsurfing facility on a nearby lake. BRILLIANT, thought I. I shall take my lovely lass out for some windsurfing.   No matter that I'd only been on a board twice, my physical therapist had taken me out once and shown me what to do. Besides I was the SAILING INSTRUCTOR, and how different could it be?

We arrive, and check out the equipment. Me, knowledgeable lad that I am, showed her how to assemble all the gear on the beach. We set the stuff up.  I step up and fall off. I step up again and whoooiiiieee! I'm off to the middle of the lake, 200 yards away.

Meanwhile, my wife has stepped up on the board, and fallen off. Stepped up on the board and fallen off. Stepped up, screamed cuss words, and fallen off..like, about 20 times. I see this from the middle of the lake and decide that it would be best if I sailed back, downwind to where she was and help her out. That's when I find out that the balance...holding the sails...everything is different on an old-skool sailboard when going dead downwind, instead of upwind.  As her frustration grew, I kept trying to sail back to the beach...could not do it. I finally swam the fuckin' thing over to the side of the lake and WALKED it back to the beach.

When I got there, she was lying under the sail, sobbing and STEAMING mad. She thought I'd sailed off and just left her.  We laugh about it now, but that was one cold, lonely anniversary night.

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OK here is a recent boat under way embarrassment.  My trimaran has the outboard out of reach from the cockpit.  To aid in tight-quarter maneuvering, a simple rope-in-a-pipe is used to connect the outboard to the tiller, so moving the tiller moves outboard and rudder in unison.  Well, I messed up the approach to our end tie (this is when I miss having a monohull), and backed away to try again.  But, the boat was not backing in the direction I was steering it.  I glanced at the motor and it all became very clear, I had forgotten to re-connect the rope-in-a-pipe when I put the engine back down after our sail.  By this time, the very sharp trailing end of our starboard ama was on a ramming course with the topsides of a boat on the other side of the narrow channel. I asked (OK yelled at) my wife to quickly take the helm, and I jumped aft to connect the motor to the tiller, then jumped back into the cockpit to gun the engine and avoid a nasty collision.  I did thank my wife afterward for responding quickly, and also apologized for yelling.

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1 hour ago, Shu said:

I have plenty embarrassing sailing stories, but the things I find especially embarrassing are related to boat building. Things like drilling a hole in the wrong end of a board, beveling the end of a piece of joinery the wrong direction, and other assorted "Doh!" moments.  My solution is to write "Port Top Forward"  or similar in pencil on most parts, perhaps with some strategically placed arrows for clarity.  One would think this would cure the problem, but it has merely reduced the frequency of occurrence.  The method also gets a little confusing when the boat is upside down.  I guess (until now) these aren't really public embarrassments, but they are embarrassing nonetheless.

As an aside: My dad was a stickler for precision, and he would get hopping mad when the part he carefully measured, re-measured, and then skilfully cut would not fit properly.  My takeaway from his travails is that short of high-precision mill work, you can't rely on it fitting exactly.  So, I leave a tiny bit extra and plane, file, and/or sand that last little bit to fit. CNC machined parts sure help, but even they can have enough tolerance that the fit-up needs a little "help"

Reminds me of: "Now matter how many times I cut this board it's still too short!"

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1990ish Junior sailing, scavenger hunt.  Item #whatever was to go to the mouth of the river and scrape some paint off one of the buoys.  The provided tool was an old beat up laser and a screwdriver.  The wind was on and it was up wind to the buoy, so I had a great sail.  I got luffed up right next to the buoy and stabbed it - and my screw driver impaled the (plastic) buoy and stuck.  The screwdriver was yanked out of my hand.  By the time I gybed around and sailed back to it, the buoy had taken on a very decided lean and my screwdriver was underwater.  I snagged the handle and freed the screwdriver then quickly sailed away.  I didn't get any paint.

I returned to our 'dock', which was a 40 foot length of steel seawall.  As I came in to the seawall dead downwind, I popped the outhaul so the sail would just come off the boom and I could coast in.  The outhaul went out right to the end and caught in one of these bastards.

minicleat.jpg

 

Because of my speed and the trimmed sail, I didn't have time to spin the boat and I slammed into the seawall head on.  Oops.

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Rats.  I had successfully repressed this memory up until now....<_<

Trying to teach myself to sail with a Hobie 16... the nearest place to put in was a state park boat ramp at the end of a Z-shaped lagoon, just downwind from a 1000-foot high cliff.  On a good day, one can escape from the lagoon with four tacks.  The "beaches" such as they were, were just basalt rubble - no sand.  NOW, I know that the wind slides around that cliff and makes eddies and turbulence, so the wind direction in that lagoon spins around 360° every few minutes.  So on a bad day, it takes about fourteen tacks to get out. 

So, on this day, there was just a little more wind than I had ever sailed in before and of course, a H16 has just a little more horsepower than a noob should probably be riding...  Waited for an auspicious breeze... Pushed off from the dock... Started accelerating... turned up into the channel... continued accelerating... uncontrolled gybe...really started accelerating... right into the "beach" !!  Scraped across the top of the rocks !!!!! Ended up sitting in the empty parking spot right next to my truck. :o  

This whole voyage took somewhere between fifteen and thirty seconds.  As I took down the sails, turned the truck around, and heaved the boat back onto the trailer, (After of course, recovering from shock and changing my wetsuit...) I seem to recall trying to act nonchalant, as if this were just a normal decision to abort a voyage due to adverse conditions...:rolleyes:

Of course, I couldn't do that on purpose in a zillion years.   

Had to add a little strip of fiberglass along the bottom of both hulls, where they'd scraped over the rocks. 

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Took some friends for a ride in the 'toon boat a couple of years ago.

After a while, I noticed that the boat seemed a little sluggish. A little low too.

Yeah. They get that way when you don't put the plugs in.

Good thing they're full of styrofoam blocks and the boat can only sink so far.

That's my second-most embarrassing "forgot the plug" story.

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Racing 470s, in a tack i once clipped the elastic going down from the trapeze ring instead of the actual ring. Tenth of a second later i was in the water. Luckily i managed to hook a leg around the shroud and pull myself up. Another time we capsized the boat and the mast got stuck in the muddy bottom.  We couldn't right the boat in fear of bending the rig and had to get someone to pull it out.

Probably my worst experience at sea was delivering a wooden kub-rule boat from 1898 across the sea of Åland. It was getting dark and the boat was slowly beating towards Mariehamn in a building sea.  Suddenly someone noticed water inside. The seaway had made the planking in the bow flex, every wave pounding water through the seams. The floorboards were floating and the water was almost up to the berths. We managed to lower the water level, bailing continously with a bucket and the bilgepump. It was tiring but kept the incoming water from overflowing the bilge. There was no VHF onboard but we decided to telephone the rescue authorities requesting an escort to the closest harbour. Unfortunately coverage was weak and batteries discharging rapidly in the cold september night so our calls kept breaking and the message didn't get across.
A while later we spot a large passenger ferry, the kind that goes between Helsinki and Stockholm, and kept well off because our running lights were not working. Without warning a spotlight from the ship came on, searching the dark sea closing in on us.  First we got embarrassed because we thought they were mad at us for not showing running lights but then two RIBs approached with six crewmembers wearing rescue suits and old-school Jofa hockey helmets. They asked us if we need some help and we told them a pump would be nice, they only had buckets to offer and that wasn't of any help since all hands were already bailing or sailing the boat. In the midst of it all a Super Puma helicopter arrived. Our sails started flogging and it became impossible to speak with the crew from the passenger ferry. Finally they managed to convey the message by VHF to the chopper that we were not in immediate risk of sinking but would appreciate an escort to Mariehamn.  The helicopter left and the coast guard arrived by boat. They gave us a tow once we had sailed further inshore. Through the rest of the night we took turns sleeping in the harbour sauna and pumping the boat to keep her afloat. I learnt a lot from that trip.

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Probably out stupidest mistake was the time we lost our cruising spinnaker on the way to New Zealand. That was our most hateful passage ever, where we had a bad repair to our main that left it unable to be flattened, but it was mostly upwind so it sucked extra hard because we couldn't point for shit AND we were slow. The generator failed, and we also discovered a leak on the raw water lines of the transmission oil cooler on the engine. We were tired, shitty, and unhappy.

But the asymmetrical was what frosted the cake.

Generally, when we have the asso on deck I like to leave it "plugged in", meaning in the bag with the sheets attached. This way if something goes wrong at least it's attached to the boat Somehow, this got mis-communicated and the sheets were removed when we brought it down. But in an oversight, no one put any sail ties around it or the bag, the bag was just closed when we dropped the sail last. The bag has shackles on it to hold it to the life line, but the bag itself was only closed with a lot of Velcro. No sail ties were wrapped around it either. Sometime after this happened, every single person on the boat looked at that sail up there on the bow as the wind moved forward and the chop picked up and thought "hey, we should check that" or "maybe we should secure that or bring it in." Everyone - all four of us - had that thought at least once, and none of us voiced it. Probably because it looked like a shitty job no one wanted to deal with.

Needless to say, the wind moved forward (as it did for > 2/3 of this shitty trip) and the waves picked up through the night.

Sometime in the middle of the midnight to 3:00am watched I looked forward and saw the empty bag just flapping in the wind. At some point a wave over the bow must have just washed the damned thing out of the bag and overboard in the dark.

If we'd just hove to the first time someone thought about securing it, it would have take a few minutes to either tie down or bring below, and we'd still have the thing today.

Unfortunately, with my crew size dropping off as my kids go to college, it was hard to justify the money on a new sail we'd hardly ever use in the future.

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My first EC aboard my old DS2. Besides the embarrassing YouTube  taken by Uncooperative Tom video of all the trouble I had getting the boat off the beach. (It's been been posted many times before, so I won't bother.) In all my nerves and exhaustion of getting the boat off the beach, I forgot how the centerboard tackle worked and tried to sail upwind for about 15 miles with no board down. I sailed five miles offshore and all the way back to the beach wondering "why the hell won't this damned boat point?" I got in the water about 740 am and didn't figure it out until about 1230 pm. That was the start of a long day and night and the next morning. 

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3 hours ago, B.J. Porter said:

Probably out stupidest mistake was the time we lost our cruising spinnaker on the way to New Zealand. That was our most hateful passage ever, where we had a bad repair to our main that left it unable to be flattened, but it was mostly upwind so it sucked extra hard because we couldn't point for shit AND we were slow. The generator failed, and we also discovered a leak on the raw water lines of the transmission oil cooler on the engine. We were tired, shitty, and unhappy.

But the asymmetrical was what frosted the cake.

Generally, when we have the asso on deck I like to leave it "plugged in", meaning in the bag with the sheets attached. This way if something goes wrong at least it's attached to the boat Somehow, this got mis-communicated and the sheets were removed when we brought it down. But in an oversight, no one put any sail ties around it or the bag, the bag was just closed when we dropped the sail last. The bag has shackles on it to hold it to the life line, but the bag itself was only closed with a lot of Velcro. No sail ties were wrapped around it either. Sometime after this happened, every single person on the boat looked at that sail up there on the bow as the wind moved forward and the chop picked up and thought "hey, we should check that" or "maybe we should secure that or bring it in." Everyone - all four of us - had that thought at least once, and none of us voiced it. Probably because it looked like a shitty job no one wanted to deal with.

Needless to say, the wind moved forward (as it did for > 2/3 of this shitty trip) and the waves picked up through the night.

Sometime in the middle of the midnight to 3:00am watched I looked forward and saw the empty bag just flapping in the wind. At some point a wave over the bow must have just washed the damned thing out of the bag and overboard in the dark.

If we'd just hove to the first time someone thought about securing it, it would have take a few minutes to either tie down or bring below, and we'd still have the thing today.

Unfortunately, with my crew size dropping off as my kids go to college, it was hard to justify the money on a new sail we'd hardly ever use in the future.

hehehe......lucky for you it drifted ashore just off a beetroot farm up north, nice guy there, go pick it up and enjoy the deep fried diet beetroot he has on offer...... watch the wine though......beetroot wine is for serious paint stripping only

beetroot wine.jpg

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1 hour ago, 167149 said:

hehehe......lucky for you it drifted ashore just off a beetroot farm up north, nice guy there, go pick it up and enjoy the deep fried diet beetroot he has on offer...... watch the wine though......beetroot wine is for serious paint stripping only

beetroot wine.jpg

thats-nasty.jpg

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a combined effort/ lack of checking......start westhaven and down the ditch, first mark....a buoy a laid mark off rangitoto... farcck the fleet's going north....quick reread.... go to A buoy then rangi......well done grill

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6 hours ago, MisterMoon said:

Besides the embarrassing YouTube  taken by Uncooperative Tom video of all the trouble I had getting the boat off the beach. (It's been been posted many times before, so I won't bother.)

Hee hee! You're welcome.

I hope that the passage of time has made it more amusing to you.

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On 10/19/2017 at 8:12 PM, Shu said:

I have plenty embarrassing sailing stories, but the things I find especially embarrassing are related to boat building. Things like drilling a hole in the wrong end of a board, beveling the end of a piece of joinery the wrong direction, and other assorted "Doh!" moments.  My solution is to write "Port Top Forward"  or similar in pencil on most parts, perhaps with some strategically placed arrows for clarity.  One would think this would cure the problem, but it has merely reduced the frequency of occurrence.  The method also gets a little confusing when the boat is upside down.  I guess (until now) these aren't really public embarrassments, but they are embarrassing nonetheless.

As an aside: My dad was a stickler for precision, and he would get hopping mad when the part he carefully measured, re-measured, and then skilfully cut would not fit properly.  My takeaway from his travails is that short of high-precision mill work, you can't rely on it fitting exactly.  So, I leave a tiny bit extra and plane, file, and/or sand that last little bit to fit. CNC machined parts sure help, but even they can have enough tolerance that the fit-up needs a little "help"

I am building a new speaker cabinet for my guitar amplifier, and ruined $60 worth of expensive plywood doing exactly that thing on Saturday.  I was rushing, and didn't take the time to "take notes" on my project pieces.  

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10 hours ago, B.J. Porter said:
11 hours ago, 167149 said:

hehehe......lucky for you it drifted ashore just off a beetroot farm up north, nice guy there, go pick it up and enjoy the deep fried diet beetroot he has on offer...... watch the wine though......beetroot wine is for serious paint stripping only

beetroot wine.jpg

thats-nasty.jpg

Run it thru a still and make beet brandy?

FB- Doug

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The boss asked me to teach the new salesman how to lower the mast on a Sun Cat.

He was doing what I told him, but not exactly how I intended it.

It got away and crashed through the gallows.

It's about 15' of smallish spar section. Never occurred to me that it could get away from someone. But yeah, if you try to grab it a foot above the hinge and just let it down with one hand, that won't work.

I didn't do it but was the guy who was supposed to be teaching the right way to do it. And I was elected to tell the boss that we'd need a new boom gallows.

Does that count?

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12 hours ago, 167149 said:

a combined effort/ lack of checking......start westhaven and down the ditch, first mark....a buoy a laid mark off rangitoto... farcck the fleet's going north....quick reread.... go to A buoy then rangi......well done grill

Taking writing lessons from Marinatrix?

Sounds all too familiar though.

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My wife and I had an experienced bow man friend teach us how to launch, gybe and douse the spinnaker on our new 3/4 tonner, about 3-4 of each evolution until we figured we had it knocked. Our first time out with another couple of similarly newbie kite flyers we were gybing down SD bay heading generally for the midships section of the Star of India, a nineteenth century steel sailing ship tied up at the Embarcadero as part of the local Maritime Museum. Waiting too long for our skills level, I finally called for the douse and went forward to collapse the chute. But the crew didn't get very good or timely instruction from me and both the halyard and afterguy were only partially released with the net result that the chute became a big airbrake off the port bow and I am nearly pulled into the drink holding onto the now loaded up sheet. And the Star is looming larger with every hearbeat! Finally, my wife, who had the helm, put the  tiller down and rounded up and by now the perfectly flying spinnaker is off the port quarter, about fifty feet up and we start to go astern. As I dash to the stern and shout instructions to let the afterguy run, I look over to my right and there, not 100 feet away on the observation decks that flank Anthony's Seafood Restaurant next to the Star, are about twenty tourists madly snapping photos to show the folks back home. Yep, we put on quite a show for those people. 

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Well at least you didn't end up in a Sharon Green calendar. ;)

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2 hours ago, Shu said:

Yeah Tom, that counts.  I think the key ingredient is embarrassment. 

I had blocked out a better Sun Cat story.

Brand new one from the factory and TWO of us were moving it by hand into a slot in the yard.

You'd think we could keep an eye on both sides, but no. Dragged the side of it along another boat, putting about a 6" scratch in it.

I was again elected to tell the boss.

The next day, we arranged to take it back to the factory and have them fix it.

Then a guy came in and bought it! Of course, I promised him that the factory was going to fix that scratch.

Then, a couple of years later, I bought it from that guy.

The factory did a great job. There are lots of pics of this boat around but you can't tell which side of the boat we did this to.

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167149's wrong way account reminds me of my very first regatta.  I was probably 8.  I was pretty good at sailing my sabot anywhere I wanted to go, so by some sort of arrangement with my parents and the junior program at our yacht club, I was entered in my first regatta.  The course sheet was pretty simple to understand; course 1 went to this mark and then over to that mark, eventually back to the finish.  Course 2 was somewhat different, etc. 

Somehow I get started, maybe late (a bit fuzzy now 5 decades later), and proceed to sail course 1.  Where everybody else was going, I had no idea.  Eventually I wound up back at the start/finish area and had a meltdown.  Mom was watching from the seawall, and suggested I go in for lunch.  During my lunch break someone informed me that the course number for each race is displayed on the committee boat, and had nothing to do with the race number. 

That afternoon I sailed the same races as everyone else.  I also found out that some people were a lot faster than me.

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This one is more recent.

We had an introduction to skiff sailing weekend this last winter, and I was one of the experienced sailors that was helping out. Getting out was tricky, so two of us experienced guys took one of the I-14's out of the launching area; we would change out with newcomers from the chase boat once out in the open harbor.  We set out from the dock at the end of the finger, beam-on to the wind, and did a quick bear away to sail down the finger nearly DDW on starboard and quite close to the array of up-tilted powerboat motors guarding the slips on the starboard side of the finger.  I was just thinking that we should gybe and get out of our vulnerable situation (for those unfamiliar, sailing DDW in a skiff is asking for trouble), when we were hit by a gust and rounded up into the line of hungry propellers.  Somehow, we managed to miss the nearest outboard, miss the transom of its parent boat, and miss the floating dock.  Instead we were stopped by the dock line stretched between the powerboat's stern and the dock, and our frantically fending-off hands.  All this in full view of the newcomers and, of course, my fellow experienced I-14 sailors.  All of my friends that were watching had the good manners not to ridicule me about it later; probably knowing that next time it could be them. 

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20 hours ago, kinardly said:

My wife and I had an experienced bow man friend teach us how to launch, gybe and douse the spinnaker on our new 3/4 tonner, about 3-4 of each evolution until we figured we had it knocked. Our first time out with another couple of similarly newbie kite flyers we were gybing down SD bay heading generally for the midships section of the Star of India, a nineteenth century steel sailing ship tied up at the Embarcadero as part of the local Maritime Museum. Waiting too long for our skills level, I finally called for the douse and went forward to collapse the chute. But the crew didn't get very good or timely instruction from me and both the halyard and afterguy were only partially released with the net result that the chute became a big airbrake off the port bow and I am nearly pulled into the drink holding onto the now loaded up sheet. And the Star is looming larger with every hearbeat! Finally, my wife, who had the helm, put the  tiller down and rounded up and by now the perfectly flying spinnaker is off the port quarter, about fifty feet up and we start to go astern. As I dash to the stern and shout instructions to let the afterguy run, I look over to my right and there, not 100 feet away on the observation decks that flank Anthony's Seafood Restaurant next to the Star, are about twenty tourists madly snapping photos to show the folks back home. Yep, we put on quite a show for those people. 

Talking of spinnaker shenanigans....

We had been racing for a couple of hours in a rather stiff breeze (20-25 knots?) crossing the same boat with a similar rating again and again, sometimes trading places. We were going upwind on the layline before the last run, they were stuck just behind us and we knew that they would switch to "attack mode" right after the mark. Skipper yelled "I want the kite up right at the mark and we may have to gybe", I was bow, one length before the mark I started pulling on the halyard to get out of the bag as much sail as I could get away with, saw the mark amidship and pulled the halyard as quickly as I could (30 feet boat so easy) probably doing my fastest ever hoist, behind in the cockpit they weren't as electric, the mainsheet man didn't ease the sheet quick enough and the kite filled with a big "clack" while we were still going more or less upwind. The effect was instantaneous, boat rounded up in a split second and the top of the mast briefly touched the water, I had to open the halyard clutch as everybody else was fighting to stay on board while I was standing up on the roof side and could see the keel barely immersed, kite went in the water (not hard as sails weren't far from it) and the other boat passed us to leeward and scored easy points as we had no halyard for rehoisting and quite a few boats went past us! 

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On 10/23/2017 at 12:18 PM, Uncooperative Tom said:

The boss asked me to teach the new salesman how to lower the mast on a Sun Cat.

He was doing what I told him, but not exactly how I intended it.

It got away and crashed through the gallows.

It's about 15' of smallish spar section. Never occurred to me that it could get away from someone. But yeah, if you try to grab it a foot above the hinge and just let it down with one hand, that won't work.

I didn't do it but was the guy who was supposed to be teaching the right way to do it. And I was elected to tell the boss that we'd need a new boom gallows.

Does that count?

Two weeks ago, helping someone lower a deck stepped mast on a 26' boat using a new-to-me , home-built rig ( two long poles secured to the toerails midship  forming a 'V' well forward of the bow and attached to a beefy block and tackle)

 It's almost dark and I am hurrying to clean up the mast wiring, co-ax cable, halyards, loosen shrouds etc and I holler back to the skipper asking 'everything has to be free to run, right?'

We start lowering and immediately  down the mast  comes - fortunately there are two of us on deck to slow the speed of descent, just enough that it doesn't smash the just replaced , expensive and hard to repalce plexi hatch cover to bits. 

Skipper yells, 'who the fuck untied the alternate halyard'? That's what we were lowering against! 

Uh, I thought you said everything had to be free to run? I said sheepishly.  At least now I know how the pole thing works...  

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The Captain Ron anchoring procedure.

The guy who bought my Col. 43 did that with his brand new Bruce, brand new chain and brand new rode the first time he anchored (or attempted to).

Forgot to tie off the bitter end of the rode and lost it all in 75' of murkey water.

I got the story from him in the boatyard the next day when he came back to buy another.

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The first one I was completely responsible for was my first trip down the ditch, in Georgia, with the chart firmly in my hand, parking the little shitbox we were delivering so firmly onto a mudbank that when the tide went the rest of the way out the water was five feet from the stern.  The mark I had failed to honor was stubbornly 50 yards on the wrong side of our beam.

The most recent one was a week ago Sunday, when dousing the main, the throat halyard slipped out of my hand and the gaff peak got stuck on the wrong side of the lazy jacks.  Good thing we had some room,  'cus we were a while unfucking that mess.

There's a thousand or so others between the first one and the last one.

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17 hours ago, Nettles said:

There's a thousand or so others between the first one and the last one.

 

Amen to that. Last summer, 3 a.m., double-handed on a three-day passage,  I decide to douse the big gennaker using its sock.  Breeze has built from nothing into the high teens and come forward, but because it had begun so light, I did not have the main up to blanket the cruising sail for the takedown. No worries, that is what the sock is for.  Except it won't come down. Jams really nicely in fact. So I tell the helm to head into the wind, and I lower the thrashing angry now wet thing to the deck via the halyard, and not elegantly either. Halyard rips through top of sock,  spaghetti cordage ensues. 

Next day, I call my helm to debrief on what we could have done differently.  "Uhhh, sheet out?"  he says sheepishly.

I was so fucking tired I didn't realize  the sheet was loaded the whole time and I was working against myself. Drama and rippage for nothing. Never liked that damn sock anyway.

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Doing a delivery home from an overnight race.  Taking it easy as we are double handed and its blowing 15-20 downwind.  A much slower boat flies by us with their kite up and the stereo blazing.  Game on.  Up goes the kite and we take off.  Sitting on easy 12s and 13s until that one gust you never see coming.  Then we are laid over on our side flogging the hell out of the kite.  I notice that we never closed the side hatches down below.  The water was literally one inch from coming in those hatches.  There is a good reason that they all have "do not open at sea" labels on them.  Never told the owner about that one...

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We were sailing in the BVI a few years ago and decided to go out and down the "outside". It was a pretty light day so we didn't dog all the ports because my wife was sitting at the dinette. We got hit with an unexpected wave that hit right at the open port and it went below like a firehose - my wife looked like she had been dropped over the side.

We didn't tell the charter company about that one either.

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Yes, the second time I took my old Santana 3030 out for a sail, I spent a good 7 hours birdwatching as the egrets and herons walked AROUND the boat.

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2 hours ago, Alan H said:

Yes, the second time I took my old Santana 3030 out for a sail, I spent a good 7 hours birdwatching as the egrets and herons walked AROUND the boat.

There is a French joke/say, "when seagulls can touch the bottom, it is time to tack"

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Never sail where birds are walking or people are surfing.

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They are known as "Jesus Birds"  around here

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5 hours ago, py26129 said:

They are known as "Jesus Birds"  around here

But at least you can spot them from further away than mangrove seedlings, which mean the same thing.

Not really a screw up, but...

Decided to go between an island and the shore in the Keys since going around the island was a long way and it was rough out there. Turns out, there was a sand bar leading from shore to island. As we got close, we spotted the mangrove seedlings and turned the boats around. We stopped in deeper water to confer about the problem. Decided that the thing to do was open the throttles, head for the bar, and hope we could jump it. No, not quite. But we did get both boats most of the way across. Got out and pushed them the rest of the way. Much faster and more comfortable than going around.

I should point out that I was a teenager at the time and don't deliberately tear up the sea grass any more.

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I had an O'day Javelin up until a year ago. She was a fat little tub but she was mine, all mine. The mooring waiting lists where I live are absurd- 30 years for the harbor down the road and an average of 20 overall- and membership at the local yacht clubs is a few thousand dollars that I don't have (not that they ever sail anyways). This meant I had to trailer, rig, and launch my boat every time I wanted to go sailing, which I did about 20 times a summer for a few years. On this particular day, I was planning on sleeping out on the boat at the beach a few miles down Cape Cod Bay. It was crowded in the parking lot above the ramp so I had to rig the boat in a different spot than I usually do. After getting everything set up and putting my gear in, I began to back my little truck carefully through the packed parking lot...

 

...and backed the mast into a tree branch, with about 1' less clearance than I needed. Bent that thing like a banana but didn't break it. This boat had already been an exercise in "why you shouldn't accept a free boat", with myself putting $1000 into it for new sails, rigging, drains, etc. I was fully prepared to take a sledgehammer to the thing but wound up selling it instead. That was the final straw; she was a good boat to learn on but she was tired and not that great a sailer anyways.

 

Lessons learned: always always check your clearances, trailering a boat every time you use it can only end in tragedy, if you're going to have a boat you might as well love the way it sails, and that I am a fool. :P

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2 hours ago, Commercial Boater said:

Lessons learned: always always check your clearances, trailering a boat every time you use it can only end in tragedy, if you're going to have a boat you might as well love the way it sails, and that I am a fool. :P

No - you're lucky. It could have been a power line.

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1 hour ago, SloopJonB said:
3 hours ago, Commercial Boater said:

Lessons learned: always always check your clearances, trailering a boat every time you use it can only end in tragedy, if you're going to have a boat you might as well love the way it sails, and that I am a fool. :P

No - you're lucky. It could have been a power line.

I have had a friend killed by his mast hitting a power line. It's not a joke.

Trailering a boat is one of the associated skills, for much of my life I sailed small boats on trailers and had relatively few mishaps. There are some great sailors in small boats.

FB- Doug

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Early in my sailing career, it was time to empty the holding tank.  Wife pointed out that 15 knots was too much.  Ego said I can do this, no problem.  Moved to the pump-out dock, all went just great.  

Returning to the slip ..., not so great.  For a couple of reasons I "needed" to back in.  Boat has a fair amount of prop walk, and in the wrong direction for the wind.  Really too inexperienced to handle the situation, but ....  After several attempts ended up parallel parked across the slip. 

Fortunately, no damage, but ended up with a "good-old-boy" power boater boarding us and helping me into the slip.

There.  Confession is good for the soul.

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There was that time when I decided it would be a good idea to replace the lens in the bi-color bow light, as it was cracked from UV exposure.  Being a handy kinda fellow, I accomplished this task quite easily before the boat went into the water for the season.  Fast forward a few months and we're on our way to the 1000 Islands, doing our usual, through the night  Banzai run up the Seaway.  The first meet with a ship, after dark, went well.  We stayed on the far starboard side of the channel to stay out of the way but something was off but I could not quite figure it out.  The next meet, just below the next lock, went the same way but I noticed another clue.  Why the fuck are the ships bow light and mine a different color!??

You've probably figured it out by now but I finally realized that I had installed the lens on my bi-color light upside down. The fix only took a few minutes while we were locking up.   

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I was motoring my Hunter 22 down a long private channel on the west coast of Florida, that was marked with 4” PVC pipes.  The sun was setting behind me, so I turned around in the cockpit to take a picture.  As I was admiring the sunset, I heard a loud scraping sound.  I turned around to see that I was rubbing - pushing over really - one of the PVC pipes.  As it reached the stern, it snapped upright, ripping my outboard off the transom.

But I did get a nice pic of the sunset.

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J22 nationals about 20 yrs ago, no wind all week so the beer was out and everyone was bored.  We decided to head out when the wind kind of filled in in the afternoon.  Only boat to do so btw, so heading out of the harbor Beers in hand, skip says to raise the main.  I pull forgetting that it was never attached.  Skied the damn thing to the cheers of the crowd, (I think there were 60 ish boats that year).  Luckily i was able to retrieve it standing on tippy toes  or shimmying up the damn mast, memory is fading.. ;)

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Most of my screw ups are when I am singlehanding the boat. There are the usual groundings, becalmings, running out of gas kind of things. where I know i made a big, scary screw ups is when I took a silly or incomplete short cuts so I could go out.  

On a recent week I got call from old friends who wanted to go sailing. I had just rebuilt my traveler and had rerun the lines the day before of my boat. I had gotten my nicely appointed boat jewelry box out and pulled the first shackle which was undersized but looked it would match the lead main sheet block. I popped the pin in and loosely tightened it as I strung the line failing to snugging the pin tight or wrapping the whole shackle.  In the morning - I got up early, filled up the extra fuel tank at the station, iced the beer, tucked the fuel tank into the rear of the cockpit, fired up the outboard, dropped dock lines and took the boat out singlehanded, and met friends on pier 1 1/2 in the city. I met them on the dock and we raised the sails once away from shore. We had a nice 2 hour mild lunch sail. I dropped them off and headed back to Alameda once raising sails. As I made my way towards Alameda, the winds picked up to a force 6, the bay became very choppy and warm day got chilly. The wooden boat I own heeled over and took off like a scalded cat making nearly 8s against an emerging ebb. Since the boards hadn't been wet for 6 dry months water sprung in through the fine cracks in the planks.

Being a good sailor and loving my classic wooden plank on frame boat, I hove to check it out. With the sails set properly to stall the vessel. I noticed some water that caused the floor boards to float. With interest, I went below to investigate the microscopic fountains. Since I was down there, I turned on the electrical panel and began to hand pump out the bilge. After moving about 40 or more gallons of water in addition to the electric bilge pump tiny efforts (which unbeknownst to be was clogged due to a beer label), I had enough being a pump station and knowing the boat was sealing up to become water tight in the next few hours.

Just as I was wrapping up the below decks cardio, I heard the boom break free. That simple UN-tightened shackle from the previous morning which held the main sheet block was free. The boat took off making me fall right on my ass and into the pipe berth. Within 5 seconds later, the boat went from 1.5kts to 6.5kts and gaining speed over ground. Barely 3 seconds later with me just rising out of my bunk, my newly painted vessel collided with a channel marker nose first throwing me to the starboard pipe berth nearly knocking me out.

As I was thrown, out of the corner of my eye, I saw the additional fuel tank fly out of the cockpit into the water. Very shaken, I pulled myself up and out of the cabin, crawled into the cockpit. Released the lines. I began to sort out the boat.  I saw the spare gas can in the water drifting back toward the bay bridge. The outboard remained with the boat but was in the lowered position. I went forward to the  mast and lowered the main to get control back. As I dropped the jib, the howling wind died to a very light zephyr as if on a switch. The water flat.

I went forward to check the damage. Considering the blow to the bow, the stainless nose and chain plate were serviceable. There was a lower bend but all in all - me and the boat were lucky. In making a numbed recovery, I squared away the sails with ties. got a new proper shackle out for the main sheet block and remounted it. 

Now being beat, I went to start the outboard to motor home. The impact must have made the float stick and the motor started but stalled. After many faulty starts, I gave up and sought to sail back to the slip. I raised the sails and slowly made it toward the mouth of the Oakland estuary. The wind continued to drop to nothing once I made the mouth. There I sat near the rocky shore just 30 feet off the bank. 

A huge container ship came in as I lingered there. I had to scull the boat to stay away from the shore as well as keep to away from the wake of the ship and tugs in the fully ebbing busy channel.

Now completely dejected and beyond tired, I ended up calling my teenage son. He in turn called his friend. They ended up coming to get me in the super dinghy at 930 at night and using their little boat as a tug to escort me back to the slip. Once back home, I barely put the boat away and took them out for Mexican dinner. 

One simple screw up can change everything. 

 

 

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5 hours ago, Uncle Fester said:

I was motoring my Hunter 22 down a long private channel on the west coast of Florida, that was marked with 4” PVC pipes.  The sun was setting behind me, so I turned around in the cockpit to take a picture.  As I was admiring the sunset, I heard a loud scraping sound.  I turned around to see that I was rubbing - pushing over really - one of the PVC pipes.  As it reached the stern, it snapped upright, ripping my outboard off the transom.

But I did get a nice pic of the sunset.

East of Pensacola?

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8 hours ago, Black Jack said:

Most of my screw ups are when I am singlehanding the boat. There are the usual groundings, becalmings, running out of gas kind of things. where I know i made a big, scary screw ups is when I took a silly or incomplete short cuts so I could go out.  

On a recent week I got call from old friends who wanted to go sailing. I had just rebuilt my traveler and had rerun the lines the day before of my boat. I had gotten my nicely appointed boat jewelry box out and pulled the first shackle which was undersized but looked it would match the lead main sheet block. I popped the pin in and loosely tightened it as I strung the line failing to snugging the pin tight or wrapping the whole shackle.  In the morning - I got up early, filled up the extra fuel tank at the station, iced the beer, tucked the fuel tank into the rear of the cockpit, fired up the outboard, dropped dock lines and took the boat out singlehanded, and met friends on pier 1 1/2 in the city. I met them on the dock and we raised the sails once away from shore. We had a nice 2 hour mild lunch sail. I dropped them off and headed back to Alameda once raising sails. As I made my way towards Alameda, the winds picked up to a force 6, the bay became very choppy and warm day got chilly. The wooden boat I own heeled over and took off like a scalded cat making nearly 8s against an emerging ebb. Since the boards hadn't been wet for 6 dry months water sprung in through the fine cracks in the planks.

Being a good sailor and loving my classic wooden plank on frame boat, I hove to check it out. With the sails set properly to stall the vessel. I noticed some water that caused the floor boards to float. With interest, I went below to investigate the microscopic fountains. Since I was down there, I turned on the electrical panel and began to hand pump out the bilge. After moving about 40 or more gallons of water in addition to the electric bilge pump tiny efforts (which unbeknownst to be was clogged due to a beer label), I had enough being a pump station and knowing the boat was sealing up to become water tight in the next few hours.

Just as I was wrapping up the below decks cardio, I heard the boom break free. That simple UN-tightened shackle from the previous morning which held the main sheet block was free. The boat took off making me fall right on my ass and into the pipe berth. Within 5 seconds later, the boat went from 1.5kts to 6.5kts and gaining speed over ground. Barely 3 seconds later with me just rising out of my bunk, my newly painted vessel collided with a channel marker nose first throwing me to the starboard pipe berth nearly knocking me out.

As I was thrown, out of the corner of my eye, I saw the additional fuel tank fly out of the cockpit into the water. Very shaken, I pulled myself up and out of the cabin, crawled into the cockpit. Released the lines. I began to sort out the boat.  I saw the spare gas can in the water drifting back toward the bay bridge. The outboard remained with the boat but was in the lowered position. I went forward to the  mast and lowered the main to get control back. As I dropped the jib, the howling wind died to a very light zephyr as if on a switch. The water flat.

I went forward to check the damage. Considering the blow to the bow, the stainless nose and chain plate were serviceable. There was a lower bend but all in all - me and the boat were lucky. In making a numbed recovery, I squared away the sails with ties. got a new proper shackle out for the main sheet block and remounted it. 

Now being beat, I went to start the outboard to motor home. The impact must have made the float stick and the motor started but stalled. After many faulty starts, I gave up and sought to sail back to the slip. I raised the sails and slowly made it toward the mouth of the Oakland estuary. The wind continued to drop to nothing once I made the mouth. There I sat near the rocky shore just 30 feet off the bank. 

A huge container ship came in as I lingered there. I had to scull the boat to stay away from the shore as well as keep to away from the wake of the ship and tugs in the fully ebbing busy channel.

Now completely dejected and beyond tired, I ended up calling my teenage son. He in turn called his friend. They ended up coming to get me in the super dinghy at 930 at night and using their little boat as a tug to escort me back to the slip. Once back home, I barely put the boat away and took them out for Mexican dinner. 

One simple screw up can change everything. 

 

 

That is the definition of a clusterfuck. One little thing that leads to another and another. 

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Prior to being hit by hurricane Andrew, I never paid much attention to them. Growing up in Miami, my father would occasionally annoy me by making me help to do and then undo a bunch of storm preparations. I never saw the point. They never hit. Bunch of work for nothing.

I would sometimes listen to NOAA wx radio but mostly looked at the sky and decided whether or not to go boating.

With that attitude, I have let not one, but TWO, tropical systems sneak up on me, not noticing until the actual arrival was happening.

One of them nearly tossed my 15' Whaler onto rocks on the shore of Key West. It was saved by a good Samaritan.

The other was TS Floyd. Late 1980's. I was vaguely aware of it but ignoring it. When it started arriving, we were near the Miami Marine Stadium. Anchored in there for the storm, which unfortunately served to reinforce my idea that it's OK to ignore tropical storms. Nothing like a direct hit by a storm like Andrew to get rid of that attitude. Now I get why my father was so annoying.

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I once spent a winter reconditioning a17’ Wittholz catboat. New paint, varnish, the works - she sure was pretty. On the Saturday in April when I relaunched her, the weather was perfect; warm and sunny, 10-12 kts, light chop on the lower Potomac. That little cat with her big barn door rudder trimmed up hands off so nice in those conditions. So nice, in fact, that when my bran muffin and thermos of coffee breakfast started working their magic, I was comfortable going below to take care of things with the boat tracking straight on a reach at about 4 kts. The head was just a bucket with a plastic bag in it, but I braced myself and got down to business. Just about wiping time, the boat ran straight into a red nun buoy that has marked the channel for probably 100 years. At least as long as I’ve been sailing that river anyway. Forgot all about it over the winter. The impact threw me and the contents of the bucket into the forepeak and scratched all hell out of my shiny new paint job. It took a bottle of bleach and half a quart of Brightsides to clean up that mess. 

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My classic is trying to step off the boat holding my 3 month old black lab puppy. I forgot to loosen the jib sheet on the winch and hooked my foot on it. Knowing I was about to fall holding the puppy, I shoulder rolled between the dock and the boat into the water taking the puppy underwater with me. That dog refused to go anywhere near the water with me around.

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2 hours ago, dyslexic dog said:

My classic is trying to step off the boat holding my 3 month old black lab puppy. I forgot to loosen the jib sheet on the winch and hooked my foot on it. Knowing I was about to fall holding the puppy, I shoulder rolled between the dock and the boat into the water taking the puppy underwater with me. That dog refused to go anywhere near the water with me around.

I made a similar mistake with a Chesapeake puppy, except it was even stupider. I intended to help him step from boat to dock, overbalanced and pushed him in, then fell in on top of him. Fortunately neither of us was hurt (other than I wrenched the shit out of one already-abused knee) but the water was freezing cold. The dog associated all the trauma with the sailboat, not the water in general. He grew up to be a VERY enthusiastic swimmer like all Chesapeakes, although it took him years to gain enthusiasm and he never did like going on sailboats.

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FB- Doug

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I seem to have a rule of thumb that the closer I am to home, the more I run aground. Familiarity breeding contempt etc. For 15 years we had a yawl that had a centerboard and drew 3'6" with it up. The course from her mooring to the yard that hauled her for the winter was through a mooring field. About 18 years ago we bought a bigger boat to live aboard with the kids for 14 months. Her draft was 6'6". Was late for an appointment at the yard, so took the same course from mooring. Low tide. Doing 5 knots. Hit a 5' rock I had no idea was there - been over it many many times in the earlier boat. So hauled new boat at yard. Had punched a hole in the keel. The fix of which was cluster #2.  Aluminum boat. Figured we should flush the keel space to get rid of the salt residue, so installed a nipple with fresh water hose at the base of the keel and a drain hole at the top. Sitting in the boat in the yard while the hose was running there was a bang and a bilge geyser.  Trouble was the hose pressure exceeded the outflow rate and so pressurized the keel space and blew a weld in the bilge floor over the keel. At least we were out of the water and had a good welder fix her up. We then relaunched and went from New England/ Scotland/ Azores/ Cape Verdes/ Trinidad/ Bermuda/ Labrador/ home without running aground again. And it was the best thing we ever did in terms of bonding as a family.

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On 11/18/2017 at 10:31 PM, Headwind Harry said:

I once spent a winter reconditioning a17’ Wittholz catboat. New paint, varnish, the works - she sure was pretty. On the Saturday in April when I relaunched her, the weather was perfect; warm and sunny, 10-12 kts, light chop on the lower Potomac. That little cat with her big barn door rudder trimmed up hands off so nice in those conditions. So nice, in fact, that when my bran muffin and thermos of coffee breakfast started working their magic, I was comfortable going below to take care of things with the boat tracking straight on a reach at about 4 kts. The head was just a bucket with a plastic bag in it, but I braced myself and got down to business. Just about wiping time, the boat ran straight into a red nun buoy that has marked the channel for probably 100 years. At least as long as I’ve been sailing that river anyway. Forgot all about it over the winter. The impact threw me and the contents of the bucket into the forepeak and scratched all hell out of my shiny new paint job. It took a bottle of bleach and half a quart of Brightsides to clean up that mess. 

Golf clap. 

That's a pretty good story.

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In my childhood I was racing a flying scott in Wind that we were totally unequipped to handle.  Since we were last in the 6 boat fleet (Area D finals to go to Nationals) we decided that would be a good time to put up the spinnaker.  We were absolutely out of control as the boat planed down-wind and all of our attention was glued to keeping the boat upright.  That's when an (unseen) laser sailed across our bow.  We cut it in half.  Literally.

 

5 years later were in a similar situation when we ran over a flying Junior.  It was the laser sailor's sister.  Unfortunately she was cute and my entire crew tried to make nice with her.  Sigh.

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Long ago in my misbegotten youth, I bought my first boat - a Laser - after years of begging/borrowing sabots and kites and the like.  Girl I bought the Laser from lived in a beach-front house on the Newport Peninsula, and the boat didn't come with a trailer or anything, so the perfectly-obvious thing to do was to sail it off the beach to the new home at Balboa YC.

Had never sailed a Laser before, but picked it up pretty quickly and had a great time romping around Newport harbor before putting it up for the day.  As I approached the BYC dock I started thinking about the landing procedure... needed to make a downwind leg, a right turn, and then another right to turn head-to-wind into the dock, coast to a stop and step off.  Had watched kids do it a million times, what could go wrong?

So, made the downwind approach, turned right into the dinghy dock, turned head to wind, coasted to a perfect stop with the bow about a foot from the dock... got up and walked forward... and walked right off the front of the boat, into the water.  Apparently walking forward makes the boat go backward - who knew?  So then while I'm treading water and sorting out what to do next, my new Laser merrily sailed away on its own and I had to swim after it.

Of course... it was a busy Saturday at the club, so the audience included maybe 30 kids on the dinghy docks and a roomful of grown-ups watching from the upstairs bar.

Took a while to live that down...

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