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View Poll Results: Oops, I made this mistake . . .
Didn't pay attention to the weather forecast 87 27.10%
Ran aground - had to wait on the tide 80 24.92%
Ran aground - got off by myself 191 59.50%
Ran aground - had to be pulled off 70 21.81%
Hit the dock 113 35.20%
Hit something else (another boat, etc.) 58 18.07%
Anchor didn't hold, drifted into something 44 13.71%
Boat sank at the dock 10 3.12%
Boat sank, not at the dock 8 2.49%
Had a fire 24 7.48%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 321. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-12-2005, 20:55   #46
Kai Nui
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You done good Loith. Grounding stories are the stuff drinking stories are made of.
When we bought our first boat, we were on the hard for 10 months. From the boat yard, we could see the channel into the local harbor. It had a bar running across it. At low tide it was about 3-4' deep. On weekends this made for some great entertainment. Every weekend, there would be 3 or 4 boats stuck in the mud. Most would sit back, have drinks, and wait for the tide. Occasionally, a very important skipper would get stuck. This is when the fun began. One in particular comes to mind. Not sure of the boat, but I would say about 36' sloop. Probably drew about 6'. He came in around 3pm on a Sunday. He got past the worst of it, obviously powering through (made his own channel). He got nearly to the end, and stuck. He powered, and turned the boat for about 15 minutes before he finally realized that would not get him out. His crew was breaking out the beer, but not him. He HAD to get to his slip. He started yelling accross the channel at one of the live aboards that happened to be sitting on deck enjoying the afternoon. The jist of it was come tow me out. When the guy on the houseboat (yes it was an actual house boat), finally told him he could not help him, the super sailor bellowed for him to call a friend of his to come tow him out.
Now here is where I would have probably missed a real opportunity, as I would have told him to shut up and have a beer, but the house boat guy made the call. Super sailor's friend motored out in about a 24' power boat. He could only get about 50' away from the sail boat before grounding. THey launched a dinghy, and brought out a line. Some really bad noises were heard across the channel, but the sloop did not move. Finally, someone came up with the idea to use a halyard to pull the boat out. Done properly, this is a useful technique, but in this circumstance, well... When they got hooked up, the power boat started to pull. The boat heeld, but did not move. Super sailor started "explaining" to his buddy what he wanted him to do differently. Most of which I can not repeat in polite company. His buddy got the message, slacked off, and gave that little 24 footer all she had. The halyrd was the last thing to go. The mast stayed up somehow, but we heard allot of rigging give way.
Super sailor waited for the tide.
Oh, and he still did not have the common sense not to yell at the house boat owner who was trying very hard not to fall over laughing. Fortunately, he got the point when the house boat guy stopped laughing.
Lesson learned: (well, maybe not by super sailor) Sailing on a schedule is a recipe for disaster. The sea makes the schedule, the skipper learns to work within that schedule.
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Old 10-12-2005, 10:56   #47
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I have three incidents that I will discuss.


The first happened on the day that I took possesion of my boat. I had to sail he abt 30 miiles down the coast to her new home. Unfortunately she was in a harbour that is reknown as having a difficult entrance. The channel changes every time there is a storm, so they dont bother marking it in the winter cause its always changing. The only data I had was out of date and I ended up running one hull up onto a shingle bank. I compounded the problem cause initially I thought that it was the other side that had grounded, so I turned into the shallower water! as I completed a 180 degree turn to go back into the harbour, a local fishing boat passed through the channel and showed me exactly where the channel was. result - chipped GRP and massive reduction in level of confidence in my seamanship! What did do right was to do an emergency stop and to re-trace my path rather than blindly trying to find my way by intuition. The echo sounder I had at the time did not read when the water was less that 1 metre and it was reading that throughout this channel, cause my time of departure had been delayed and delayed and delayed due to silly reasons, and the height of tide was nowhere near as high as I had planned.


The second happened this year. It could have been a disaster, due to my stupidity, but the gods smiled down on us that day. To understand this incident you have to understand my boat construction. I have a single diesel outboard on the centreline. and my cat has transom hung rudders. There is a compartment in front of the transom which is designed as a wet locker, with a drain at the base, and holes in it for the rudders, and for the connecting bar between the rudders. Under engine power, the stern squats and then these compartments fill up with water! I had previously had a few cupfulls of water into the next compartment forward, but had somehow persuaded myself that these had originated from waves splashing into the cockpit and thence down through the locker lid. What I had forgottten was the hole between the stern locker and the next compartment on the port side (a large space designed to hold an engine ) which was there to allow the steering cables to get to the quadrant. On the day of the incident, I was trying to get home against a top end Force 6 that was compounded in one particular area by the 3+ knots of tide that were running against the wind. As you can imagine this was causeing some pretty spectacularly steep and relatively high seas (for that wind state). My cat is not reknown for it's ability to windward, so I was motoring and pushing hard to overcome the wind resistance. To say that my wife was not enjoying this would be a severe understatement!

I noticed that the boat handling felt somewhat different , and when I looked in the port engine locker I was a bit worried to realise there was abt 60 gallons of water in there! I realised where the water was coming in, (through the steering cable joint) and knew that there was nothing I could do to solve that leak, other than reduce power and this reduced the squat enough to stop further water coming in. The water in the two stern compartments and the port engine compartment must have been well over 120 gallons and took me a while to pump out! I have now re-designed the stern compartments, eradicated a lot of the areas that allowed water to enter when the engine forced the boat to squat, and installed a bilge pump in each. I have also filled the gland for the steering cables with grease. I had been unhappy for some time with the way these stern compartments flooded, and had put off doing anything about it while trying to come to an elegant solution. Its more important to have an effective solution than an elegant one!

I will post about the third incident (which was not mine - I was involved as a rescuer only) at some later time.
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Old 11-12-2005, 03:55   #48
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An elegant engineering solution is simple, precise and effective.
Antoine de Saint-Exup'ery (French aviator) gave us perhaps the best definition of engineering elegance when he said
"A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."
A quick definition of engineering is "design under constraint." We design things to solve problems. The engineered design must satisfy a long list of constraints related to cost, size, weight, manufacturability, reliability, ergonomics, environmental impact, reliability, repairability, and so on ...
You seem to have accomplished this.
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Old 12-12-2005, 22:24   #49
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It happens to the best of us
The Brig, Lady Washington has been docked in our harbor for the past week. She set out this afternoon, not sure if she was moving on, or just out for a daysail, but out she went. Right at low tide. I can not say how long she sat on that sand bar, but I know it was in excess of 3 hours. Bummer At least she had enough water to sit level, but she was thouroghly stuck.
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Old 27-12-2005, 16:38   #50
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Quote:
Antoine de Saint-Exup'ery (French aviator) gave us perhaps the best definition of engineering elegance when he said

Aye, I tried to read one of his books once, but he talks way too much.

He is an artist with his pen: If he is trying to say I HAD A BEER.

He would spend two pages starting like this:

It was a glorious evening with sun setting like a painter darkened his canvas with mutilple shades of Ocer, Magenta and colors known only to the hearth of God.
The birds were singing in the sky and I just knew that this was the time to celebrate my third Ants 75th birtday and..........Etc, etc.

So, uh, he may not have been a great engineer or whatever, but boy did he know how to be poetic about any subject..

My guess is that he was a Lady's man, we all know that men fall in love with their eyes, but women fall in love with their ears...

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Old 17-01-2006, 22:56   #51
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Hey I work with that guy. Well at least one that talks like that fellow writes. Mate, talk about talk. When he says something like I had a beer, you will get to know the history of beer, all about his 3rd Aunt and why she has died yet, any relations of hers and why they don't talk to them anymore and the annoyance of the bird singing and the Sun shining.
You know how you just sort of get that glazed over smile after awhile. Yep well we workmates all have learn't that ability real well. We just smile, nod and mutter the odd mumble as if we were being attentive.
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Old 17-01-2006, 23:41   #52
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Hey Kai.

Did the owner of The Brig, Lady Washington. Didn't he know that he was trying to head out at low tide?

Oh yeah check your email Kai!!
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Old 17-01-2006, 23:57   #53
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My guess is a navigator was severely reprimanded
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Old 17-01-2006, 23:59   #54
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Did I hear a courtmartial here?
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Old 18-01-2006, 20:35   #55
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I doubt anything quite so formal.
Here's another one. A friend of mine was unstepping his mast on his Newport 30. He had not done this before, and was not really familiar with the procedure. As you probably guessed, things went terribly wrong, and he dropped the mast, and destroyed his bow pulpit. The next year, he was smart. He read the manufacturer's recomendations on lowering the spar, and carefully rigged the set up. Carefully he started to lower the spar, and got about 2/3's the way down, when "SNAP"! The boom broke in half, and down came the mast, crushing the already sad looking bow pulpit.
Sometimes you can do everything right, and stuff still happens. Oh well, at least no one got hurt.
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Old 28-01-2006, 18:28   #56
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Two summers ago we had a really good sail in Clear Lake in Iowa. Loaded the boat and decided to move it across the street out of the way of the ramp so we could eat before we lowered the mast. Everyone pointed up and yelled at the same time, just as the oak branch took down the mast. It ended the sailing for the summer (Cat 25) but found out that insurance does pay for stupidity. I'm still finding an occassional acorn in the boat.
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Old 28-01-2006, 23:24   #57
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Hey look. A squerrel farm !!!
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Old 15-02-2006, 21:35   #58
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Launch ramp antics. Great entertainment. We like the first day of salmon season here. We sit out by the ramp and watch all the fishermen launch boats that have not been started or in the water for 9 months. About 1 in 5 forgets the transom plug. 1 in 10 backs in too far and has to be towed out. at least one a week has the boat fall off the trailer while pulling out. And the most interesting thing is invariably, it is the fault of the wife, or the crew. The boat owner never makes mistakes. After hearing some of the yelling at the ramp, I can not imagine spending 5 or 6 hours on a 19 foot boat with these people. Most common problem is after the boat is launched, and the truck is parked, the boat will block the ramp while the owner searches madly for a jump start. It is amazing what people will take out in 6-8 foot seas and high winds. Scarey!
When we had the shop there, it was a real cash cow. Starting fluid and a battery jumper would make us about $200 a day for about 1 hours work. Then as they were towed in, they would leave the boat at the shop to have the carb or outdrive rebuilt for the next weekend. That was fun
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Old 15-02-2006, 21:57   #59
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Sounds to me Kai. That they need to bring the shop back.

I'll be the first to jump onboard to start that up again!!
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Old 15-02-2006, 22:27   #60
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As a contract employee, I could not stop the owner from partying away the profits, then the operating revenue, then the parts deposits, and you know the rest. The building is rented for storage, and that is the end of that story. Was a gold mine, but too much fun ruined a good thing.
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