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Old 05-10-2014, 23:32   #31
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Re: Dumbest thing you ever did?

We towed our cute little 18' gaff-rigged trailer sailer to the launch ramp. We raised and rigged the mast in two minutes flat. Feeling cocky now. I reviewed outboard operation with wifey as she climbed into the cockpit. Looking forward to showing off my trailer backing prowess to all the uncivilized power boaters, I hopped behind the wheel and off we went. A moment later I felt a jolting, bouncing, crashing sensation and thought this probably ain't good.

I climbed out of the vehicle to check on wifey and found her with a death grip on the sides of the cockpit staring wide-eyed up at the tree branch I'd just hit with the mast.

And now for the dumb part. Once I'd confirmed wifey was OK, I checked the boat. I did notice the cheesy cotton rope that served as the trailer winch line to the bow eye had broken with the impact. I was aware that now there was nothing actually attaching our graceful little vessel to the trailer. I did have a brief nagging feeling that what I was about to do was a bad idea, but I thought, heck, the launch ramp is right there. It'll be fine.

I shrugged my shoulders, hopped back behind wheel, and with all eyes on the idiot who had just hit a tree, I drove the trailer out from under my boat like a magician yanking the tablecloth out from under the good china.





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Old 06-10-2014, 03:11   #32
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Re: Dumbest thing you ever did?

Well, did the boat and the relationship survive???????????

A.
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Old 06-10-2014, 03:47   #33
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Re: Dumbest thing you ever did?

Ha, you guys are amateurs! I reckon I've done most of those...
Launched a boat without the bungs,
Capsized dinghies in every conceivable way (and maybe some unique ones)
Hit a rock I knew the location of!
To lazy to reef - almost at the end of a days sail - put the masthead in the water and wet the Admiral and the two small kids.
Lost a dingy (fortunately recovered later) due to painter un-tying.
Almost ran down a small fizz boat, and other stuff too long to list, all in about 45 years of sailing.

To the OP, go on, post it, you cant have done something dumb I, or someone else on here haven't done already! :-).

If you don't go out, you don't make mistakes. As long as you learn from them, its all good!
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Old 06-10-2014, 04:12   #34
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Re: Dumbest thing you ever did?

All of this confession... reminds me of a story:

There was a big revival meeting out in the sticks, big tent, lots of folks attending and being upraised. The preacher calls out for folks to confess their sins and be cleansed of guilt. One chap looks a bit the worse for wear, but he leaps to his feet and cries out " I have sinned and I want to be cleansed". The preacher says " Tell it all, brother, and the Lord will forgive you". So the parishioner says " The other night I went out with the boys and lost most of my paycheck playing poker". "Tell it all, brother" cries the crowd. "Then I went and got drunk on the rest of the money". Oh, tell it all and be cleansed, they all say, and the preacher says " Confess and be washed in the blood of the lamb". So he says "Then I went home and my wife bitched at me so I beat her up", and the crowd says "Tell it all, brother", and everyone is cheering him on. "And then, my wife threw me out of the house, so I went out to the barn and there I had sex with a goat"!

There was a sudden silence in the tent, and the preacher said "Brother, I don't think I would have told THAT".

So, sailors, be careful what you confess to in these pages...

Jim
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Old 06-10-2014, 07:00   #35
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Re: Dumbest thing you ever did?

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In my old boat, I perfectly mis-timed my passage through the cape cod canal, where the current can run pretty strong. That little boat was having a hard time making headway against the current, and I found that by staying out of the center, where the current was strongest, I could gain a little SOG. This worked great until I ran aground in the canal. Not my proudest moment. Fortunately the current that was making it hard for me to progress soon lifted me off the rocks.

We used this same technique recently though we thankfully didn't find the same rocks. It was a very sunny day so when it looked sketchy we would move into deeper water. It felt like a dumb idea at the time. Just glad we made it.


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Old 06-10-2014, 07:08   #36
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Re: Dumbest thing you ever did?

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Dumbest thing?

Well this week it was probably spending over an hour in the engine bay whilst in pitching seas, tracking down a major coolant leak. Having failed, I went to open the cap to see how much was still in there - it was loose; problem solved!
Love it!!! haha
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Old 06-10-2014, 07:26   #37
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Re: Dumbest thing you ever did?

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Originally Posted by jkindredpdx View Post
After executing the perfect maneuver, dropping sail, and hooking the mooring buoy...

It turned out I had someone's crab pot


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Jim...

I LOVE THIS ONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Oh I have tons like everybody else... And am the wiser for each...

Short and sweet... a few at a time...

Confidently poling out a 150 genny in 3-5 kt breeze with a new collapsible boathook... Nuff said here...


Struggling to crank a swing keeler on a trailer with a busted keel cable... trying to drag the keel over the last trailer crossbar... Only to be informed by a bystander I might have more luck if I untie the stern line from the dock...
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Old 06-10-2014, 07:53   #38
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Re: Dumbest thing you ever did?

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Long story short drilled a 1/4" hole through the sole and then the hull. Water rushing against the drill. Jammed a pencil in there which worked. Then some of that don't sink stuff from west marine which is amazing (totally stopped the leak). Found a bolt that fit. Now it's putting about a tablespoon of water an hour if that. Maybe nothing.
Not a boat story, but
Did a very similar thing helping install a car stereo in a friends car many years ago, it was a VW and we had forgotten the gas tank was in front of the dash, he found it with an electric drill, thankfully it didn't ignite, I assume he let go of the trigger before the fuel started flowing, because I'm sure the sparks form the drill would have done the trick.
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Old 06-10-2014, 08:10   #39
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Re: Dumbest thing you ever did?

Hand-steered an old IOR racing boat across the Atlantic. That was pretty dumb. Should have turned back at Nantucket. A word of caution I have heard others expressed elsewhere - be wary of the excitement that is associated with the start of a voyage as it can be blinding.
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Old 06-10-2014, 08:19   #40
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Re: Dumbest thing you ever did?

There was a dumb era/time when I considered reefing blasphemy. That lasted until I was night sailing with no moon in high winds and got knocked down so bad in a gust that I swamped the cockpit (and my wife who was sitting on the lee side). Needless to say I became a convert very quickly and apologetically (to my wife that is)
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Old 06-10-2014, 08:30   #41
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Re: Dumbest thing you ever did?

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There was a dumb era/time when I considered reefing blasphemy. That lasted until I was night sailing with no moon in high winds and got knocked down so bad in a gust that I swamped the cockpit (and my wife who was sitting on the lee side). Needless to say I became a convert very quickly and apologetically (to my wife that is)
And the deities of our fate...

And yes... moonless, I go teeny canvas...
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Old 06-10-2014, 08:47   #42
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Re: Dumbest thing you ever did?

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Well, did the boat and the relationship survive???????????

A.

Only the pride was seriously damaged, and wifey still wants to see the world with me from the deck of a sailing vessel.


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Old 06-10-2014, 10:05   #43
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Re: Dumbest thing you ever did?

The lastest dumb thing I did was sailing out of Little Creek on Saturday with the motor already stowed. (in the up postion, secured, and off)

While walking to the boat I noticed how fast the tide was going out in little streams in the flats at the marina. The tide had been abnormally high all week and it was now a couple hours from low tide. Later though I forgot about that.

The breeze was up so I got the sails up early as usual and went ahead and raised the engine etc. The breeze was on again, off again, out the creek due to the condos and I found myself nearing the Starboard Jetty.

I'm thinking no big deal I have plenty of room. Long story short, I clear the heavy duty channel marker at the tip of the jetty by maybe 10' feet. The tide was RIPPIN' (hard to starboard and the ocean) through the Channel Markers tripod pilings. You could see the line of the bottom coming up sharply on my old depth finder.

I had thought to tack but when I did I figured it would be disaster because it was too late so I pinched a bit to get through and it was very close since Bristols ain't much for sailing close on the wind.
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Old 06-10-2014, 10:26   #44
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Re: Dumbest thing you ever did?

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It's a quarter inch hole. I'm wondering about screwing a 5/16" bolt in it with an impact driver. What do you think?
I wouldn't consider that for a permanent repair. Others would know better then me about a permanent repair, but I would think that you need to grind away a few layers of the glass/resin several inches around the hole to a shallow bevel (12:1?), patch inside and out with several layers of new glass (and resin), stacking smaller diameter patches on top of larger ones, and then build up resin on the outside and fair it. Obviously you need to haul the boat to do this.
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Old 06-10-2014, 10:34   #45
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Re: Dumbest thing you ever did?

Another one was losing the prop on my 14' aluminum power boat maybe 4 miles out in the Chesapeake Bay at around 8:30 pm one night in June. I was 16 or 17 years old. No life preservers on board and no lights.

We wanted to go fishing. There were 3 of us in the little boat. I finally got my 25 Evinrude to " crank up" and put it in gear but no go. So I went to change the broken sheer pin and didn't have a spare. There was lot of bitching at this point so I came up with the idea of cutting up a bunch of fishing hooks and using the long portions as a make shift sheer pin.

This got us out the creek (Onancock) and on out into the bay a ways where we fished til about dark. Now when I put it in gear to leave and "hammered the power to max" no go.

So I repeated the procedure that had worked at the dock but now I'm doing it in waves hanging over the stern. I finally get it done but I cannot find the cotter pin for the cone which secures the whole business. So I just screw on the cone and we take off.

After we plane out, I get to worrying and think I should check on the prop situation.

So I cut power . . . . .and stop, pull up the engine, and there's no prop there. Now I'm used to having engine problems, but the engine is running fine and the spare prop is home in the shed.

At this point, one of us almost decided to swim for it where he probably would have drowned after he got tired. (there had been a strong incoming tide and we didn't anchor until late if at all) Anyway around 2:00 - 3:00am noise woke us up from our napping. We could see light a ways away. At this point, I decide we needed to signal them. I had an old red oily rag of 2 so we wrapped those to the oar and poured gasoline on them!!!

When we lit it, well. . . . .WHOOF!!! It lit up quite well and they came and towew us in. The parents of the other kids for some reason never allowed their sons' on my boat again.

Only years later did I think of all the bad things that could have occurred. Also, thank God it was a calm night.
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