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Old 30-04-2010, 07:48   #16
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The wife is constantly on me about not wearing my wedding band. When working on engines and in the electrical lockers I have a fear of shorting out something or catching the ring on engine or other parts.

When in the military I was working on a helecopter. I went to jump down to the ground and my ring caught on a track overhead. Needless to say, my weight pulling down caused my finger to break and nearly get cut off. I still have that scar to this day. Luckilly, I still have the finger too. From that day to this I do not wear rings, watches or any necklaces.
Yes, jewelry is a hazard. A few decades back I was flying skydivers from a little field nw of Dallas one Sunday. The second round I carried 6 jumpers who went out the door together. I circled down and landed and one of the guys came running up to the plane, reached through the open door and retrieved the glove stuck in the handhold strap at the edge of the door. Amazingly it hadn't blown loose in the wind. Inside was still the finger that had the ring on it. They rushed him to the hospital and they sewed it back on. I'd say you were very lucky not to have met the same fate.
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Old 30-04-2010, 08:46   #17
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Ok, I have always wondered why we have a chain at the start and a rope for the rest. Why not rope for the whole thing? I am sure there is a reason and I have always wondered what it was.
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Old 30-04-2010, 10:59   #18
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my rode on my formosa is 100 percent chain.i donot like rope rodes--not the ride nor the potential for chafe....goooodluck and take goood care of those digits--they do not yet have replacements......
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Old 30-04-2010, 13:22   #19
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Ok, I have always wondered why we have a chain at the start and a rope for the rest. Why not rope for the whole thing? I am sure there is a reason and I have always wondered what it was.
At least two very good reasons:

1) chain is obviously much heavier than rope and this makes the rode more likely to stay horizontal so that the pull on the anchor is also horizontal. The horizontal pull on the anchor tends to bury the anchor deeper rather than drag, which would be far more likely if the pull on the anchor were more vertical.

2) rope can easily chafe and eventually part on something sharp on the bottom, like a rock. Can't happen with chain.
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Old 30-04-2010, 14:40   #20
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We all know Automatics won't start when they are in gear. So did I as I clipped on the jump leads. Fortunately the fella turning the key was very quick on the brakes. My legs would have avoided too much damage to the bumpers of the two cars, I was right between them.
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Old 24-02-2013, 07:29   #21
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Re: Involuntarily Singlehanded

Sunday afternoon phone call: "Hey, Mac, did you know your boom is broken?

"No, Jim, didn't know my boom is broken"

"Well, it's hanging out over the dock and it's definitely broken."

"Be right down, Jim."

The call I received was from a neighboring boater at the marina. Twenty minutes later I was at the marina looking at my fractured boom as it overhung the dock. The electric winch that controlled the mainsheet was still turning.

What could be seen was that the winch had self-started. As the mainsheet wound in on the mid-sheeting boom supported by a topping lift, the boom was bent until it fractured. Three blocks were broken and finally the mainsheet parted.

This happened in October, four months ago. The incident was reported to Lewmar USA and, at their request, the switch and control box were forwarded to them. In turn, I am told, these parts were sent to Lewmar in England.

Quite disappointing that, after four months, the good folks in Lewmar's home office have offered no response to my queries.
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Old 24-02-2013, 07:40   #22
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Re: Involuntarily Singlehanded

all rope chafes nicely and your boat floats away from you as you watch from docks or on tv as it goes somewhere you wish it not to go.....(most of that watching is in horror as you cannot get to your boat in a timely manner to save her) watched a friend go thru this often enough .

lewmar?? wow--what made it start on its own--did you have a short circuit?? bad switch??

and folks wonder why i wont get electric winches on my sola formosa....just another potential problem with much collateral damage--good luck on this ....
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Old 24-02-2013, 08:03   #23
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Re: Involuntarily Singlehanded

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I had a close call with a windlass myself, although luckily it just resulted in damage to the windlass. I was trying to kedge off a sandbank on the east coast of Mexico. I had a bar on the windlass that I was using to manually wind in the chain and I lost balance and stepped on the foot switch. The bar was pulled out of my hand just before it hit the deck and the lug on the windlass snapped off. Needless to say the adrenalin was flowing.
Uh... The short imaginary clip of the above proceedings are enough for me to have learned the lesson without the experience!!! WHUMP!!! is a universal sound... Thanks DeepFrz!
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Old 24-02-2013, 10:50   #24
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Re: Involuntarily Singlehanded

I have a cover on my windlass footswitch. I guess the designers or builders of the boat knew something. I have a big Nilsson-Maxwell vertical windlass with the flip out handles that one can use a pipe on to manually operate if the need arises. The thought of the damage to my body that this thing could inflict if the windlass was powered by someone while I was trying to manually operate it sends shivers down my spine. Your story is a good reminder of certain precautions we all need to take while operating bone crushing equipment.
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Old 24-02-2013, 11:28   #25
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Re: Involuntarily Singlehanded

While taking a sailing course years ago on a 50-footer, I caught my finger on a jib sheet. The spiral fracture didn't heal right, so later had to be re-brooken, chiseled out and pinned back together.

The forces that sailboat systems can have on the human body should indeed be respected.
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Old 24-02-2013, 11:55   #26
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Re: Involuntarily Singlehanded

I don't have foot switches on my windlass. Heard too many stories over the years of similar accidents to the one that started this thread.

Last year or so heard of a woman who got her hand caught in an electric sheet winch while hoisting her husband up the mast in a bosun's chair. She ended up losing the hand and someone who came to help lost a finger or two.
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Old 24-02-2013, 11:56   #27
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Re: Involuntarily Singlehanded

Lots of different ways to preform that particular trick with chain and windlass and fingers. glad you ended up with all your fingers. I retrieve my anchor single handed most of the time. I'm sure lots of folks wonder "why is he disappearing below deck" when I go to give gravity a little bit of help.
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Old 24-02-2013, 12:13   #28
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Old 24-02-2013, 13:39   #29
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Re: Involuntarily Singlehanded

After that day I was unable to replicate the problem. Nor could the engineer sent out by my insurance company. The switch, of course, is exposed to the elements but the control box is mounted on an interior bulkhead and remained perfectly dry.

As noted, I do not know what the engineers at Lewmar may have come up with.

Wondering if others may have experienced anything like this?
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