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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 07-08-2006, 02:10   #106
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Aloha Alan,
Good save. Thank G your batteries didn't fail.
Regards, JohnL
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Old 07-08-2006, 16:06   #107
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Just out of interest, wheels, what brand of float switch did you choose to replace your Rule switches? I need to buy a couple of float switches, and I was tossing up as to whether the extra $$$ for the Rule ones were worth it, but it seems that an alternate plan might be required!
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Old 07-08-2006, 22:31   #108
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Well I simply have not ever had a good run with Rule switches and I know several others with the same experiance. I have had no problems so far with thier pumps. The new switch I have just tried is an Attwood. It operates a microswitch instead of a murcury switch. I think the Murcury switches fail to quickly. The Microswitch is rated at 12A DC. I tried in vane to work out how the switch was sealed. I would have to break it to find out if the unit is fool proof for water. The wire is plastic sheathed, not silicon.
If you don't mind spending the dollars, there are two other interesting switches available. One is a SST rod thing that senses a current across the two rods when they touch water. I have wondered what would happen if it got oil on the rods, so I wasn't keen on that idea. The other is using sonic or microwaves. Can't remeber which. It bounces of the water level. These are a cool idea and can be used for detecting level on any liquid. But expensive.
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Old 08-08-2006, 01:10   #109
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i noticed rule came out with a new float switch when i was in west marine on sunday, says it's mercury free, i didnt pay much attention to it however as I wasnt shopping for switches. I went through 3 of them on my grady and it was trailered, so the thing was off less then on. Finally scrapped it and went with an atwood with a built in switch, dunno if that was a good idea or not.

i have a rule in my c30 and now i am going to be paranoid lol
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Old 08-08-2006, 09:14   #110
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From my very limited experience in sailing, I've had a couple of experiences.

First one: Always wear shoes.

While sailing with my neighbor on his little cat one day in the bay behind our houses, we were having a hard time tacking and were being blown towards the shore, a rocky one at that. Just as we were about to run aground he had me hop off and push the bow around so we could head the other way, well, I hopped off, felt something sharp, but it didn't hurt too badly, so I didn't think anything of it, when I got back on, my foot was bleeding pretty badly. Needless to say we headed back home straight away and out sailing was done for the day.


The second, when I was extremely young less than 10 I would guess, a friend of mine's dad was taking us out on his boat, well, my friends older brother, he seemed like an adult at the time, but now that I think about it, I'd guess he was probably only 13-14 at the time. Well, he was bragging about how he would hop off the bow, and grab the swim ladder as the boat passed by and kinda dared us to do it if we felt like we could. Well, being a bit full of myself, I did it, ended up missing the swim ladder, and they had to swing around and pick me up. I got chewed out so bad that day, and nobody would believe me when I told them the older brother told me to try it as he was denying it at this point.

Those are my only two "bad" sailing experiences, but I hope to have many more in the future
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Old 08-08-2006, 12:42   #111
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Holding Tank Fun...

Sometimes the story doesn't happen to you, but you are there to watch...

A group from the office charted a sailboat for the weekend. If my memory serves me right we were 3 couples on a 36 or 38 foot boat. None of us were at that time owners of large boats. Don is our nominal captain. A quiet dignified man. We were given a full briefing on the use of the marine toilet and holding tank by the charter company.

We had a great sail all day, anchored in a quiet cove that night had dinner and beer, and more beer. Before bed time someone comes out of the head and says they can't flush the toilet. They push as hard as they can on the handle, but nothing moves. Hmmm....

Not too long before we figure out that the holding tank is very, very, very full. It is now close to 10PM and there are no opportunities to empty it until the marinas open in the morning. Oh well an adventure! We dug a bucket out in case any of the ladies had to go overnight (They all managed to hold it...)

Morning dawns and we hightail it to a marina and wait for it to open. When the gas dock attendent shows up. Most of us are below eating breakfast at this point, but Don goes up on deck to assist in the pump out with the key to the deck fitting. He kneels down and starts to unscrew the fitting. Just as the last threads on the fitting come loose, the holding tank does a very credible imitation of "Old Faithful", and "stuff" is raining down on the boat. Don is covered head to toe with "stuff". Unlike most sailors, he did not say a word, just walked over to the hose and started to rinse off. The marina did give him use of their showers to finish cleaning up.

Lesson? Always unscrew that cap very slowly and wiggle it to be sure there is no pressure behind it.
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Old 09-08-2006, 01:33   #112
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Well I just added to the voting poll. I ran aground today, and whats worse, I had to be pulled off. Oh the shame.
Actually it wasn't my fault, honest. Yeah OK, so I'm the skipper and I'm in charge. OK here's the story.
So it is haul out day today. Dawn and I have been really excited all week and this morning we arrived and prepared everything ready to go. Let me explain a little of the layout before I go on. We are in a Marina that is at the very end of an extremely long sound. All around is tidal mudflat. Two small rivers flow into this end of the sound and together, they bring silt down from the valleys. There is a channel that the water flow keeps open, but it silts up badly and we haven't had a seriuose flood for years that would help dredge out the channels. The channel is realy narrow. Just wide enough to pass an oncoming boat. The depth is not a lot and I get a window of two hrs each side of highwater to get in and out. Just outside the Marina entrance and the channel, is a hard to port turn into a very very narrow channel just wide enough for a boat. A stick in the mud marks the edge and you kinda line up the stick to get a run at the channel. This small channel is the lead into the boat yards haulout area cradle.
The morning is calm and foggy although the Fog is lifting and the water is very murky from a lot of rain we have just had. We had a 2.9m tide this morning, the start of a weeks worth of good tides.
OK, so back to the story, so I have the yard guy onboard and he is navigating for me, telling me where to go. We start to make the turn and he points out the stick I need to make for. We are at dead slow and I am steering to his orders when I feel the boat move strangly as we come to a stop. OK, so some how we must be too far over and we cut a corner and hit the mud bank. No problem, we have plenty of power, so I go into reverse and gun the throttle. Nothing. I open her right out and still nothing. OK. So then I thought I could spin her around in forward gear. Nup, not an inch. Just then another large boat with twin engines comes out of the Marina. We throw him a line and get him to pull as we also reverse. Not a damn thing. He tried pulling at angles and all sorts. We must have pulled for Five minutes before finally a small movement and away we started to move and then finaly free.
So now the yard guy has got real nervouse and suggested we try Friday morning when there is a 3.1m tide. So we are now going to try Friday, which knocks down our window of time to get the work done and back int he water. The last decent high is next Tuesday which we will have to have the boat ready by to get back off.
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Old 09-08-2006, 19:33   #113
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A month of two after I'd first learned to sail (lessons) we managed to miss the mooring ball with the bow...But firmly tie the mooring line around the prop. I figured since I was on the helm, I had to fix what I did, and enjoyed the privlege of diving over, cutting the line free, and splicing the mooring line back together. Free diving, in nice brisk 55F-ish water.

Which might be part of the reason I've always preferred keeping a Real Sharp knife with me when I sail. And I make Real Damn Sure the prop isn't in gear when I'm anywhere near a mooring!
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Old 09-08-2006, 20:32   #114
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Wheels, You know I always say, never sail to a schedule, but I guess when nature is making the rules, there are exceptions
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Old 12-08-2006, 22:44   #115
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Gather round children. Salty has another bedtime story about what not to do when boating...

First some background info...on the gulf coast of florida the current generally runs from north to south down the coast. when there is an inlet or pass from the gulf to the icw the two currents, running perpindicular to each other, cause shoaling on the north side of the inlet that can extend pretty far offshore. this shoaling is enhanced when the channel is dredged and the sand is dumped on the shoal. there is usually a deep water channel between the beginning of the shoal and the land (jetty, beach, etc.) that can be used as a short-cut if you know the area well.

At 23 I was already an acomplished sailor. I had just met my wife, Patty, and was working at Tierra Verde hi-n-dry marina. One of the liveaboards in the marina was a woman whose husband had recently died unexpectedly and young. She had never sailed but she needed a drastic change in her life so she bought an O'Day 27, sold her house, and moved on to the boat. The agreement we made was that I would teach her how to sail her boat if she, occasionally, would let me take it out for a day or even a weekend. Patty's birthday was approaching and I really wanted to impress her so I planned to sail her to Venice for the weekend on the O'Day. About ten miles south of us was Egmont Key and Egmont Channel. I knew the area well and had navigated the Egmont Channel "short cut" many times in small power boats. I felt that if I made the shortcut in daylight I would have no problem navigating it in a larger sailboat. We were set for our cruise and, per usual, things did not go as planned. It was late April and a late season cold front was barreling down on us. We left the dock a few hours later than planned and to ad insult to injury I could not get the Loran to work. I decided to press on and not let Patty know that there were problems. By the time we approached the Egmont Channel "shortcut" it was well afte dark and the seas had kicked up to about 3-6ft. I was confident that I knew the area well enough to navigate it at night. I can see the Ft. Desoto Park Pier to my left and one of the Egmont Channel markers to my right, all is good. Only , as we got closer to the channel I noticed something else when I squinted my eyes. I saw white caps. Not wind driven whitecaps but breakers and only about 30 yards dead ahead!!! I slammed the wheel hard to starboard and cranked in the jib and main. It took us a few hours to sail out to the last Egmont Channel Marker but when we rounded it I was finally able to pry my white knuckled hands from the wheel and breathe a huge sigh of relief. I realized later that I had not accounted for the tidal current coming out of Egmont Channel which pushed (set) us right into the shoal. It was years before I finally told Patty just how close we were to grounding that boat in the middle of a squall, sinking, and probably drowning.
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Old 14-08-2006, 19:58   #116
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"sail" and "plan" are oxymorons

But, we have had some of our coolest experiences happen because of breakdowns. Elie was out a few months ahead of me and was suppose to meet us in Fiji. Hole in the fuel tank, empty fuel tank and three days of dead calm and the beginning of the trip turned into him flying to Fiji. Family in for a "planned vacation" and then back to the boat in Aitutaki, Cook Islands. Beveridge reef , Kingdom of Tonga , the Lau Group and Kadavu not on the plan!

There is only one correct way to cleat off!! My son (15) did not use the correct way not once but twice! A Kiwi crew from another yahct saved our precious dinghy both times. Once in Aitutaki and once in Vavaa, Tonga.
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Old 19-08-2006, 22:01   #117
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I have one more story. These events took place in just a few months ago when I was bringing home my new(to me) Pearson from Ft. Lauderdale. So, I will not have any more stories untill I do something else stupid. This is what me and my crew of Rob and JJ refer to as "the first 24 hours."


We were running late. I had hoped to have us anchored in Lake Sylvia before dark so that we would be well rested for the next leg of the trip. But time is my enemy and the sun was already slipping below the horizon as we were leaving the dock. The delay was unexpected as we were having problems with a leaky bleed screw on the secondary fuel filter allowing air into the line and the engine to stall. I just made it to an injector shop before they closed to purchased a replacement and we were on our way. We cleared all the bridges on the New River without incident and were approaching the convergence of the New River and the ICW when Rob asks me if I would like the spot light. We were already exausted from the road trip and preparations and no one really wanted to move so, I said "no."
"I have been down this river a dozen times now. we should be fine."
Wrong answer. Sure enough I picked the wrong flasing green when leaving the river and entering the icw and we ran aground. We lowered the dink and attached the motor so that I could put out a kedge anchor. When I squeeze the outboards primer ball gasoline squirts all over the place. I thought I had attached the fuel line wrong so I tried again. Same result. So, now I am rowing in circles, in a dingy full of gas, trying to get a 50lb kedge anchor set. I eventually did get it set and winched us off the sandbar with no problems. We all joked that at least we got the bad stuff out of the way the first night. Boy were we wrong.
The following day we got underway and were headed for anchorage in Miami. The weather was great and the forecast was for East winds at 10-15 kts. Absolutely ideal conditions for my boat. So, we looked forward to a plesant day. We cleared the bridges without incident and were headed out the Port Everglades Channel. Just about half way out and in the middle of the channel, with a 4kt current, the engine dies. &*%^$#@ %$@* Plop, the emergency anchor goes in the drink and I calmly(or not) go down below to crank down on the bleed screw again while Rob and JJ spin the boat and walk the anchor forward. I bleed the fuel line as quickly as possible and head for the cockpit to start the engine. As I reach the cockpit I am assulted from three fronts. One is a marine patrol boat telling me that a large freighter is headed our way and in about 25min. we will be run down if we don't move. Two is two tow boats circling me like sharks yelling, "You are gonn have to cut the anchor line and pay one of us to get you out of here!" Three is Rob and JJ, with eyes like saucers, telling me that the anchor is stuck and they can't get it up without the windlass (that is currently occupied by the primary anchor). My responses were (to the marine patrol) I am running and will be out of the way, (to the tow guys) Buzz Off, I will call YOU if I need you, and (to Rob and JJ) bring me the bitter end of the anchor rode and the biggest &$%$* winch handle you can find. I cranked and the crew tailed and we fought the anchor up and again were on our way to Miami.
The first hours of the sail were complete bliss. Then the weather turned on us(et tu brute). The wind clocked from east to southeast and eventually south of southeast and continually built to 20kts+ as did the seas. We had to bring in the sails and start the motor again. Again the motor stalls after running for about 30min. I had installed a primer ball between the tank(s) and the primary filter to help prime the filter when I change it. This primer ball saved our butts. We found that if we sent someone below to prime the ball every 20mins. the engine would not stall. Thus we created a new crew postion. The "ball man". Yelling for someone to "squeeze my ball" really helped lighten the mood for the rest of that leg. Which was good because it took us almost nine hours of fighting wind, waves, and current to complete the 20 mile trip to Miami. We entered port Miami at sunset and it was dark when we made the turn from the icw toward the backside of South Beach. We were only 200 yards from the anchorage whe the engine stalled again. This time it was not air in the line but an empty port fuel tank. F&$* IT. We put up the main and anchored under sail, thus ending "the first 24 hours."


*the following morning I was, again, bleeding the fuel lines when I noticed, in my peripheral vision, a tiny bubble rising from the bleed valve on the primary racor filter. Ahaaaaa. It was not the bleed screw after all. I swaped out the bleed valve from the genset and the diesel ran like a champ for the rest of the trip (of course we had no genset and had to be frugal with our amphours, life is a compromise)
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Old 29-10-2006, 22:17   #118
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Ballman......................got to love it

I almost sprayed my screen when I read that
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Old 14-11-2006, 14:56   #119
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On the basis that a picture saves a thousand words.



In Jersey we have a large tidal range (40 Foot at Springs) which can catch out the unwary visitor without local knowledge...........and those who are local and didn't bother checking the time!
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Old 14-11-2006, 16:05   #120
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We had a potentualy dangerous experience in my Seawind 24 catamaran about 10 years ago.

We had been cruising the Bunker Group, several coral lagoons and Islands abot 50N/M off Gladstone Queensland, And I was in the last stages of getting the boat home. I usually sail single handed to a destination while the wife works, she comes in for a holiday, and I sail the boat home while she goes back to work. A good boat boy am I .

Any way, I decided to get some mates up for a sail on one of the last legs south.

We had an uneventful sail across the Wide Bay Bar and headed out around Double Island Point. We had a light game fishing expert with us, so he had brought some pretty flash fishing gear with him which he stored below on one of the berths.
Another mate who'd had a big night on the piss the previous evening went below for a sleep and we hear a shreik as a nice set of hooks embed in his leg. Ouch.

Must'nt have been to bad cause his on deck about 3o mins. latter minus hooks, and suddenly very awake, if not a bit bloody.

We had organized to meet our woman at Noosa Heads for the weekend , which has a narrow, shallow , barred entrance suitable for a shallow draft cat with kick up rudders, and we should have been there around 3-00 in the afternoon, but of course the wind veres around from a reach to on the nose. Great

About 9-00 that night we approach the bar. We've all been across on numerous occasions and know it fairly well, but always during daylight hours. It has no lead lights as the entrance changes often, but does have marker bouys with red and green reflective tape, so get out the dolphin torch and start looking.

Got a red! a mate yells out, he re- aquires and confirms and in we go on about a 3 ft wave.

Yee hah this is fun, surfing along towards the red when crunch, where on the bloody beach looking at a couple of surf fisherman.

Where are we? , I yell out. They look back at us like we're from another planet.
Australia, he answers.

Lucky she's a light boat and there's not much wave action, as we just pushed her nose out and around the corner and we were in the entrance and off down the river to meet the girl's. No damage done and a laugh had by all.

The red marker I hear you ask, well that was the tail light reflectors on the fishermans 4x4.

Successful trip you might say, four went on, four came off and nothing broken, but hey, I don't do **** like that any more. the girls can wait till morning, we had plenty of food and beverages on board and theres some exellant fishing a mile offshore, so we could have come in in the morning with a good feed of fish.

Lucky
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