at work always says, "It's not what you don't know that gets you. It's what you know for certain that turns out not to be so." How true.
A few days ago I pulled the engine
out of my boat in preparation for installing an electric
drive. We were at the pier, and the opportunity came up for some discount work in the yard, if we went immediately. Well, the Harbor Patrol was busy, so they couldn't give us a tow. I figured that it is, in fact, a sailboat; I should just sail it in to the travel lift
A quick word about the lift
. It's at the far western end of the harbor, which runs east to west. We have a reliable wind
from due west, which puts the travel lift directly upwind. It also has a rather narrow approach, with one good bottleneck just to make it more interesting.
The guy with me had never sailed on my boat before, although he has a similar one. Mine is set up for singlehanding
, with everything led back and in clutches. I told him to wait on the casting off until I got the maincover off, as I have lazyjacks, and with all the velcro and snaps it is literally a five minute job to get the thing off. Well, we got lost
in translation, and he thought I said cast off. We unrolled the genny to get some steerage while I tried to hurry with that stupid cover. By the time I got it off, and the main up, we had lost
a ton of ground.
We finally got everything set and started the upwind trudge. It was a serious tackathon, and at points I barely had enough room to get up enough momentum for another tack. We started to draw a crowd. We managed the bottleneck rather well, and the harbor patrol guys came over to watch, with huge grins. This should have been a sign.
At any rate, I was getting set up for my last two tacks, which would take me right into the lift. We were pretty much in speaking range of the travel lift operator, who looked down and said, "you know... you have to back that thing in." Well, I didn't. What I thought I knew turned out not to be so. Luckily, the mirthful harbor patrol boat was gracious enough to push us back into the lift.