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Old 11-02-2019, 21:47   #31
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Join Date: May 2018
Location: Naskentucket Bay
Boat: Catalina 30
Posts: 197
Re: Boat Ramp - just so funny


Probably the best/worst story I have from a boat ramp comes from the late 90s in Padaram (South Dartmouth MA)
At the time we had a walk around type outboard 24 footer which quite luckily has no real importance to the story apart from she had just been launched. So me and my father were just finishing getting her ready to go when the next boat went into water. One guy climbs aboard and starts the engine, nothing of note here, but something is not right, not right at all. Man on the boat is obviously nearing full panic mode, and is it just me or does she appear to be smoking rather heavily?
So he opens the engine hatch and sure enough out comes a tower of flames, at about the same time truck man mashes the accelerator in an attempt to haul the boat out of the water but the bow hook wasn't attached anymore I'm guessing because truck and trailer went rocketing up the ramp and the boat.... Well it didn't.....
By now the fire department has been called as well as the harbor master. But they are going to be a little bit in getting there being a volunteer department, and the harbor master was only part time. Several of us had managed to drag the not yet totally engulfed boat some small way up the ramp by hand (again why none of us thought to use a vehicle is beyond me) By the time the Fire department arrives the boat is burning quite intensely indeed, and they wasted no time at all in faking out their hoses 3 or 4 of them if I recall correctly, and forming a semi circle in front of this lightly beached inferno...... yep off the ramp she goes burning away and happily drifting toward the mooring field and luckily the harbor master in his boat, who was probably the person showing the most competency that day as he calmly unstowed his anchor fixed the rode to his towing bit passed just to windward of what used to be the bow of the inferno and tossed it in, before equally calmly towing it back to the boat ramp where it was eventually extinguished.
In my telling of the story much is lost, it really was like a scene from keystones cops, and before the days of youtube....

Otherwise, I've also watched a PWC miss the trailer at about 15knts sliding to a stop about halfway up the ramp.
The worst retrivial of a ski boat in probably a decade, some how the boat had turned sideways on the trailer and was fairly well stuck, and the operator had the exact solution in mind.... MORE POWER I'm sure he felt silly with his boat half out of the water stuck on the rocks next to the ramp.
This one is not a ramp story but since the perpetrator is actually a friend of the last guy it goes on the list anyway. My old mooring was right near a rather trendy restaurant next to a small beach that had an outdoor tiki bar, complete with the requisite bikinis and coconut drinks with tiny umbrellas. And the hero of this story was in the habit of flying through the moorings and beaching his boat on said beach. Making him quite "popular" with myself, but on this day he stayed longer than usual and by the time he got back the tide was much lower than before and his boat was now several feet away from the water. How he didn't notice is a bit of a mystery since his boat was perfectly viewable from said tiki bar, maybe coconut drinks and bikinis?
There are many others but this is getting long and it's getting late.

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