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Old 05-10-2014, 10:15   #1
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Dumbest thing you ever did?

I'd love to confess some. But they are too painful and too fresh to say at the moment. Could you share a few so I can feel better about myself?


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Old 05-10-2014, 10:19   #2
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Re: Dumbest thing you ever did?

Sold my boat!
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Old 05-10-2014, 10:20   #3
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Re: Dumbest thing you ever did?

other than marrying my first wife?

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.
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Old 05-10-2014, 10:25   #4
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Re: Dumbest thing you ever did?

ASSUMED that there was an impossibly-long waiting list for crewing tall ships, and that you had to be a 20 year-old for them to consider you. So many years wasted!
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Old 05-10-2014, 10:32   #5
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Re: Dumbest thing you ever did?

These are good but mine are way stupider. Please dig deep.


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Old 05-10-2014, 10:44   #6
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Re: Dumbest thing you ever did?

Took my beach cat out in gale conditions 30 years ago. Also the best lesson in seamanship I ever got. Enough to last a lifetime.
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Old 05-10-2014, 10:55   #7
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Dumbest thing you ever did?

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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Old 05-10-2014, 11:53   #8
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Re: Dumbest thing you ever did?

Casting off from the marina after a month in Malaysia. My GF forward handling the lines, me aft yelling instructions in my best Captains Voice to the dock guys, yelling goodbye to our friends, yalling "Let Go FORARD! LET GO AMIDSHIPS! LET GO AFT!! And I gently put the boat in astern and slid perfectly out into the narrow fairway. Then to spin the wheel to port and Full Ahead and ONWARDS! Except the steering wheel wasnt there!!! I had cable tied the bastard to the lifelines so cockpit had more room. So as we drift towards every other boat in the marina I start trying to wrench the wheel off the life lines and break the cable ties. Everyone sees whats happening and starts rushing to save their boats from impending doom.

One last mighty wrench and the cable ties broke and disaster was averted....

But still in ports near and far people won't dock near me!

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Old 05-10-2014, 12:26   #9
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Re: Dumbest thing you ever did?

LOL Mark. Not a good feeling when Dockmates rush out to fend off


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Old 05-10-2014, 12:49   #10
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Re: Dumbest thing you ever did?

To share or not to share ..... But I do believe every mistake teaches you a thousand lessons ... Ergo the best sailors make the most mistakes .... Or something along those lines :S ...

- leaving the forecabin hatch open while we battle through a force 6 ... When I realise there is rather a lot of water in the saloon ... I venture down to investigate ... I quickly find that the forecabin is NOT the place you want to be in these conditions = bruised body & bruised ego !
- a beautiful evening sail goes wrong ... Girls talk too much and 1 empty bottle and a looonnnggggg way from home ! Engine conks out ... Trying to find a mooring bouy in a busy marina in the dark ... Under Sail :S !

Not some of my best moments ... So glad I'm not advertising on the 'crew available page' !!!!!


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Old 05-10-2014, 13:03   #11
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Re: Dumbest thing you ever did?

I'm brand new to sailing, so I don't have much. But my dumbest move so far:

Enroute back to marina after nice dinner at a dock two hours away.

Finally get some wind, so reduce engine to idle to raise the main.

Engine dies. Can be restarted to idle, but dies if shifted into gear or with any throttle added. No problem, sail back to marina and get a tow in.

To get into bay, have to sail around the point. Decide that the straighter line is better, so cut a little close to the point only to have the wind completely die just as I reach the point. ~50 yards off the point, strong currents, no engine, and no wind. Ouch. dumb, dumb, dumb. Dropped the anchor and called vessel assist.

No danger, but not my proudest moment. :-)

Fess up Sully, whatcha got?
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Old 05-10-2014, 13:03   #12
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Re: Dumbest thing you ever did?

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!
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Old 05-10-2014, 13:28   #13
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Re: Dumbest thing you ever did?

Went under the boat wearing a wetsuit to check the prop without a weight belt and got stuck back side up to the underside of the boat.... rolled out of that one before running out of air (holding my breath).

The second dumbest thing: Immediately following the above, I placed a 6-7 kilo zinc anode inside my wetsuit so the above wouldn't happen again, fortunately, I had on a pair of swim fins... I sank like a stone. Without the fins, I might have been a Darwin Award finalist.
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Old 05-10-2014, 13:35   #14
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Re: Dumbest thing you ever did?

Gone sailing.
One way ticket...
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Old 05-10-2014, 13:58   #15
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Re: Dumbest thing you ever did?

Put in a new cockpit sole this spring. Today my sink trap pump failed. For some reason full of sulfury egg smelling water. Nasty. Some of it spilled on the floor. Pooling in the corner. Beating all day. It's miserable. Thought it would be good to have a limber hole in the sole so that liquid could drain into the bilge if the boat was healing.

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.

Tonight I will pull the bolt and put in another with 5200. And then maybe glass over that. Unless you have any other suggestions.

Also on the first day sailing the boat after a year of working on her I hit a nav buoy at 5k. Was in the harbor and just a bit overwhelmed. Singlehanding and the boat is a lot different than last year (bigger dinghy on top, jib is lower). Cracked part of the bow. Fixed it at anchor but it's going to need a bigger repair.

I guess the only thing I can say that's good is that I fixed the problems and didn't call the coast guard. Definitely learning from my mistakes but it's very painful. Singlehanding ma to Baltimore. Much more difficult than I imagined.

Please be kind.


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