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Old 26-07-2016, 07:57   #1
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runaway dink at Marina

After situations occur, we usually figure out a different way that we could have handled it.

On a mooring at Marina Cay, we were getting ready to head off to our next anchorage. May have been Cooper Island, or Norman.

My brilliant self knows we are getting low on fresh water and at our two next anchorages there is none available to fill our tanks. Here a marina cay, wonderful , easy, laid back, small , friendly, great food and drinks , beautiful beach, etc., we can fill our vessels fresh water tanks.

The trades are blowing fairly strong, about 18 to 22 . The are blowing off the dock, and so I called on the VHF to advise the dock master that we could use help with the docklines to keep the boat from being pushed away from the dock. No answer.

So, I decide to take our moorings issued dink and check to see if they have bollards, or cleats at the gas /water dock. Pulling up to the wooden dock, I check everything out, and see that Erica and I, if we move quickly can tie up with no problem.

I had been having an interment glitch with dink out board motor throttle, but it seemed to be OK. Dink running, it is time to head back to the boat. I increase the throttle and the engine goes el berserko. Bloody roars at full power and it is in gear. Throttle is jammed full open.

The dink, and myself, are now racing thru the mooring toward our boat. The wind is pretty strong. Erica is down below, closing hatches, securing any loose gear, and getting the vessel ready for sea.

Circling around the boat, I shout over the screaming outboard, for her to come up top side. Up she pops and as I going roaring by...tell her. " Stuck Throttle, get ready for the painter, will shut down engine ! "

Now, I am used to docking or approaching into the wind. So around I come. She has the starboard life line gate open. I will approach at roughly the speed of dinghy light, and shut the engine down. My forereach will allow me to coast smoothly up to the hull , and I will hand her the dink painter. No worries.

I have to time it right, as I do not want to restart the engine at full power, nor shift it into any different gears at full power. One shot.

Well, here comes Capt. Denny in the bounding , bow up, racing inflatable, and by now the whole mooring field is having a grand time enjoying the show.

Perfect approach. I yank out the shut down cord, and all is quiet. Erica is standing by to receive the painter. Now, dear friends, remember those strong winds. The dinks forereach is nearly non existent. The silent beast is dead in the water.

There is no fore reach. none. I come to a dead stop a few feet too short. The painter will not reach Erica. The winds are drifting me astern at a fairly good rate.

There are no oar locks on the dink,

Leaping up to the bow, , I grab an oar, and start paddling toward the boat, I am up on the bow of the dink paddling Hawaiian canoe style, first one side and then the other. No progress. I am at the mercy of the wind gods.

I am mightily paddling, and the dink is rapidly drifting down wind and away from the boat.

I hear one of our neighbor boat's dink rattle to life. He comes up along side, starboard, and I grab on to his dink, he grabs mine with one hand and in a few seconds I am handing the painter to Erica.

All was well. After dropping off at Marina Cay, I called the Moorings on
the VHF, and told them of our dink motor problems and that we would be tying up to the T dock side - to dock, to get a new dink motor, and also top off our water.

Turns out, the Mooring dingy manager, meets us with a nice new dink and
motor at the docks and tows our old dink away . We get water and a few provisions and thank the moorings dock staff. We are on our way to the Willy T...for some party down time.

Now, I could have made life much simpler with the runway dink, by approaching from up wind. Shut it down, and let the 20 mph trades drift me down to the boat. But, then again, who would have entertained the usually peaceful and kicked back Marina Cay cruisers.

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Old 26-07-2016, 09:57   #2
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Re: runaway dink at Marina

and the entertainment continues! Great story, I really enjoyed.

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Old 26-07-2016, 10:18   #3
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Re: runaway dink at Marina

that happened to me once with a Honda 2hp. There is no reverse, just spin the OB and flip the handle 180 degrees. I did this getting away from the dinghy dock and the throttle/steering arm pinched the throttle cable.

Directly in front of a very high end restaurant at peak dinner time. 40+ patrons watching me do full throttle 'donuts' in front of everyone. Very little room between the dinghy's and a yacht. I straighten and the admiral screams "look out for the yacht" (we were spinning so fast, I could really guess the direction we'd end up heading).

Hard turn at full speed and straighten her out again. Admiral screams "look out for the dinghy's". Hard turn again and manage to get her aimed toward open water.......still at full speed (which honestly isn't really THAT fast with a Honda 2HP). Keep in mind there was probably 2-3 dinghy lengths between the dinghy's at the dock and the yacht opposite them, so it's very narrow.

We break into the open harbor and the admiral turns to me accusingly "Are you DRUNK!!??" Well, I've had a few drinks, but even 'buzzed' would be a gross exaggeration. I let go of the throttle and offered her to show me how to slow it down.

She pulled the shutdown lanyard
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Old 26-07-2016, 10:41   #4
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Re: runaway dink at Marina

Originally Posted by bvisailing32 View Post

Now, I could have made life much simpler with the runway dink, by approaching from up wind. Shut it down, and let the 20 mph trades drift me down to the boat. But, then again, who would have entertained the usually peaceful and kicked back Marina Cay cruisers.

Good story Denny, isn't it amazing how smart we get right after we get dumb.

S/V B'Shert
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