Missing the Dock
#1. After partying for a few hours my friends talked me into going for a sail at about 10PM. There must have been 8 of us on my Garden ketch
sailing toward the exit of Pearl Harbor. It got very late, the winds lightened and we decided not to go to Maui afterall. Good decision by the way! All were tired and more than a bit tipsy so back to the dock
we went. My usual slip was down a row of about 6 boats and I knew none of the crew was experienced enough to help me tie up so I made for the end of the dock where there was plenty of space. We were coming in just a bit fast so I put the engine
control in reverse and gave it throttle. Engine
died. Second time same thing. Third time I put it in forward to go around for another landing. Engine died again. Luckily I had gotten a fellow to jump on the pier with a line as we passed by the first time. Our mainsail was up in a flash and we made another slow approach under sail. I called to the crewmember on the dock, "Throw us the line." You guessed it. He threw the whole coil. I was about 10 feet from the dock when I handed the wheel
over and swam a dock line to the pier (not recommended). Engine problem was, of course, a sheet wrapped round the prop. Once we were tied up I dove down unwrapped the sheet and by that time decided to just bid my fellow revelers a goodnight and I'd sort things out in the morning. I'm certain that was very good entertainment for my liveaboard
friends. No way they could have slept through it.
Missing the Dock #2. After a daysail in the same Garden Ketch
we were coming in to my slip in area #9 near the Admiral's barge boathouse. My slip was the windward of two slips past a 35 Piver
on the T end of a long dock. All sails
were furled because we had been motoring so we knew the engine was running fine. We were approaching the dock at about 3 knots and my usual method was to slow the boat with reverse then give the stern a little kick in using a spurt forward and port rudder
. I put the lever in reverse with a bit of throttle. The boat responded by going forward faster, oops. Couldn't believe it so I put it in forward and made a circle ready for another try with more reverse throttle. This time when I put it in reverse and gave it even more throttle it shot forward even faster plus neutral was out too. Now it dawned on me that forward was just fine but reverse and neutral were not. Up went the mainsail, big circle around, slow forward approach with the engine, hit the kill switch at the last moment and I walked the main boom out to port as quickly as I could. Worked like a charm. You probably guessed that the clamp that holds the shifter cable at the transmission
had corroded loose. It was an easy fix but really a good lesson. Never trust your landings to extreme throttle either direction.
This also happened to a friend of mine picking up a mooring
buoy in close quarters in their Cal
2-30. It was her first sail without her husband onboard on that boat since they bought it. Nearly went on the rocks because of it.
Lesson learned: Check that clamp on the transmission
end of the shift cable frequently. Regards, --JohnL--