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Old 23-10-2009, 22:03   #1
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Smart Thing Done While Doing Something Dumb...

Our club is set up to rent a crane for mast takedown. This morning it was blowing about 25-30 knots straight into my slip. The wind gradually built up til it was blowing 30-35, gusting to over 45. They continued the mast takedowns, and we were having a hell of a time getting boats out of their slips against that tailwind. Several of them that had to reverse out of their slips ended up getting caught by the wind, and bouncing off other boats. Some damage, thankfully no people hurt.

With a full keel and a wicked prop walk, I get no steering in reverse at the best of times, so I would have ended up with my stern swinging to port, caught by the wind, and crunching one plastic boat and a brand new shiney aluminum trawler. Espie is steel, weighs 15,500 lbs. It wouldna been pretty.

So, I had a chat with the club dingy driver who came by. He got the dink, came up, grabbed my stern line and acted as my rudder til we got about 100 feet to windward. Put her in neutral, took my line back aboard and off we went. Piece o cake.

Off to the crane, mast came out sweet as kiss my hand, and back to the slip we went. A straight down wind approach with 30-35 knot tailwind. Got a little over cautious and came to a dead stop with still 10 feet of slip left.

Aside from it being below freezing with the wind and rain, a pleasant little jaunt.

It is always wiser to admit your uncertainty and get help, than to remain silent and end up crunching someone elses pride n joy. Or maybe even hurting someone. I have to admit, I'd rate this mornings exercise as about a number 5 on the pucker scale. But I also have to perhaps admit perhaps I ain't as dumb as I thought.
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Old 23-10-2009, 22:19   #2
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Wow! Do I relate to your back up problem. Never done it with a dingy before, but what a good idea. I left Kingston, WA a couple a weeks ago in 25k + winds with a couple dozen yacht club members at their ready - hit a 30 second low, got out perfect and looked just like I knew what I was doing! I am either getting better at piloting, or I m getting luckier in my old age...(It's luck, but don't tell my wife)

I have to ask - why do you take down your mast; and why do you live in such a cold place?

Jud in Seattle, where we have had 5 inches of rain in two weeks!
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Old 25-10-2009, 07:06   #3
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We also have a steel boat, with a long full keel, lots of prop walk. Backing up is great as long as we are trying to go to starboard, port well forget it, especially in wind that catches the bow that is high. Dingy as rudder...will have to keep that in mind.
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Old 25-10-2009, 16:10   #4
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Actually the idea has long rested in the dark corners of my mind. Many years ago I read Grey Seas Under by Farley Movat about a seagoing tug named Foundation Franklin and the idea of using a tug as a rudder is mentioned several times. Dingy as rudder seemed to be the logical extension. Power I had, steering no.

By the way, I heartily recommend that book to anyone who loves the sea. Its a hell of a good read and a piece of Canadian history.

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