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Old 21-07-2018, 23:12   #46
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Re: Stupid move in the dinghy

This one is mild compared to some on here (180 flip like an F18??? Oh to have seen that one! ) I was alone on the dinghy filming some stock footage for our youtube documentary, just tooling along some nice cliffs beneath a gorgeous house and a huge balcony full of people, a fair amount of chop, one hand on the tiller one on the gyroscope mount. Wasn't aligned like I wanted it, so I reached up to fix the angle of the mount, and the tiller immediately threw itself to full lock.... I did a 360 donut in the blink of an eye, with me hanging half into the water trying to stay onboard and not soak the camera. Made it, but I'm pretty sure I could hear some laughter coming from above me....

3 cats, 3 queers, endless wake, endless love!
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Old 23-07-2018, 00:05   #47
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Re: Stupid move in the dinghy

How about an unfortunate incident outside of the dinghy?

We were backing out of a marina berth (something we don't do very often, so little practice). Old Zodiac Mk II tied carefully alongside so we wouldn't run over it... and oh, BTW, it was also tied to the dock! Must have reached a full foot increase in LOA before something gave way and she popped loose. It was my lucky day: no one watching, and it didn't breach any of the air chambers, even though it was well past its use-by date.

for the record, we used that old grey Zodiac until it was over 16 years old. Unfortunately,it only lasted about 13... They don't make them like that anymore!


Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II lying Spring Bay, Tasmania, waiting out f/c storm force W'lies
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Old 23-07-2018, 07:17   #48
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Re: Stupid move in the dinghy

Launched my new 31 foot home built sloop, for the first time, off a trailer ramp. There is a dock alongside the ramp and everyone was standing on dock and SOMEONE was holding the bow line. When we all realized that NO ONE had the bow line I made a running jump from the dock to the boat over 45F water. My toes just reached the rail. The next part of my body that hit the rail was my chin as I went straight down into the water. After that, since I was already wet, I swam to the bow line and walked it ashore with a dozen witnesses watching and laughing.
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Old 23-07-2018, 07:21   #49
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Re: Stupid move in the dinghy

My girlfriend and I were sailing in the BVI. One evening, we anchored near a humongous sloop, (75' or so), at Marina Cay. After a couple of cocktails, we decided to dress up a bit and dinghy to shore for dinner.

As we stood at the stern, my GF went first into the dinghy, holding on to the swim ladder for support. Unfortunately, whoever lashed the ladder to the rail momentarily forgot how to tie a knot! As I watched in horror, the ladder slowly came loose and my GF headed toward the drink.

Instinctively, I reached out to save her while holding on to the same ladder. Needless to say, we both unceremoniously splashed into the water next to the dinghy. Good by cell phone, good by Colorado baseball ht, good by dry wallet and money.

We clambered back on board, laughing at our stupidity and changed clothes. (Fortunately, a near by boat filled with party goers failed to see us.) After changing clothes, we went back up on deck and to our surprise, we were RIGHT ON TOP of the giant sloop!

The winds and currents at Marina Cay are sometimes fickle, and the sloop, being so much larger than us, (Beneteau 373), swung differently and was over our anchor. We quickly maneuvered the boat so we could pull up the anchor, motored to a near by mooring and finally enjoyed and great meal after averting a near disaster.

(Next time: How a giant Cat sailed up on us and collided with us in the middle of the night while on mooring balls and the aftermath conducted while buck naked)
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Old 23-07-2018, 07:28   #50
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Re: Stupid move in the dinghy

When I first got my boat, I looked at the line that secured the boarding ladder and thought: "that's can only be opened from the cockpit." So I thought carefully, got a couple of carabiners and some dyneema line, and put together a securing line that could be opened from the water as well as the cockpit.

Couple of months later, while washing the deck, I tripped over a line and tumbled into the water. Realizing there was no one around (it was Tuesday and the club was deserted) I got one foot on the slip and one hand on the toerail, and managed with much straining to lever myself out onto the slip.

It was only MUCH later that I realized I could have just let down the boarding ladder and climbed out easily.

Still haven't used the modified securing line in anger.

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Old 23-07-2018, 07:34   #51
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Stupid moves in the dinghy

Tiny hard dinghies with no draught and little directional or any other sort of stability carrying heavy loads combined with the vertical sterns of yachts, even those with sugar scoops but no thoughtful handholds, are a recipe for disaster. Even applying the maxim 'low and slow' is not always a panacea as you try to vault out of the dinghy between the crests of that sudden shore break using a 50 year old body replete with a bad knee and an eye watering shoulder impingment.

There was the time of 15 minutes spent trying to start the outboard as the inflatable drifted rapidly out to open sea after a session at Jumbies Bar, Leverick Bay, BVI (the dead man switch was hanging loose). There was the time of the direct drive outboard with the dirty carb that needed to be started with a little extra throttle while simultaneously being spun 360 degrees into 'reverse'.

In that case, a 10mm spectra stern line caught on a corner of the motor and held it at 180 degrees while the fierce twist of the desperate helmsman opened the throttle completely. There was a large audience at the Burraneer Bay Wharf for that one, with one wag piping up that those were the "cleanest turns he'd seen since racing the Shotover".

Then there was last weekend on the mooring. The dog often refuses to get into the dinghy when leaving shore as some sort of torturous game and once patience wears thin, I row out, and let her swim 200 metres after me. In this case, once I was on the scoop, she managed to get underneath it and in trying to extricate her, the dinghy painter became priority number 2. Once she was aboard I went in after the 6-inches-out-of reach-dinghy fully dressed. Once I grabbed the painter and turned back to the boat I found the bloody dog right behind me.

But perhaps the most embarrassing incident I've ever had involving a dinghy was driving into the carpark of my daughter's daycare centre and forgetting I had a fibreglass pram dinghy on the roof racks of the Forester. There's a certain crunching, splintering sound fibreglass makes when it hits a cement corner at 25kmph that stays with you for the rest of your life.
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Old 23-07-2018, 07:48   #52
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Re: Stupid move in the dinghy

I have several "incidents" on my list I could use describing stupid or ridiculous things that have occurred with the dink but this is one:

We were anchored next to our buddy boat in front of the Port Resolution "Yacht Club" on Tanna in Vanuatu. They had a string band that night with several other boat crews there. We had a legendary good time. Everyone brought a dish, there was beer and whatever the yachties brought. We got smashed. Our mouths hurt from smiling and laughing too much with much wild dancing, etc. etc.

Our buddies volunteered to take their dink in so they picked us. It was really tricky getting to shore with a super shallow little reef where you had to thread the needle to avoid bumping coral along the way. It is hard in daylight but we got in. I am not sure how we managed to get out in the dark but we did.

It was dark but there was a little night glow from the stars. We got to our boat which had a short ladder so there was a big step up. The Admiral was three sheets to the wind (we all were) so two of us held the dink to our boat fore and aft while I helped to steady the Admiral to get up the ladder. Well - she lost her balance which made me lose my balance and then all of us lost our balance, and splash, we are all in the water.

I wore glasses and I remember looking up while I was about 5 feet under back down and my glasses were floating just a foot above my head. I don't know how I saw them but I did and managed to snag them before getting to the surface. I could also see other thrashing bodies around me. We all managed to get up and some how in the dink. One or more of us could have drowned. It was pretty funny and we still chuckle when it gets brought up. No body lost anything out of their pockets and I kept my glasses. An epic night but bad fuzzies in the morning.
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Old 23-07-2018, 08:48   #53
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Re: Stupid move in the dinghy

This is a fun thread so I thought I would contribute. Hmm, dinghy stories...Well there was the time we had returned to the Chesapeake from a cruise to New England and had to drop off a crew in Maryland to catch a flight home from BWI. At that time we used a Porta-bote tender and rarely ever towed it--almost always folded it and lashed it to the stanchions (only 4 inches thick folded!); but for some reason this time we were towing the dinghy (too lazy to fold and stow it?). I was unaccustomed to thinking about a dinghy trailing behind the boat. We arrived at the place off the Patapsco R. where I had planned to drop my crew off and needed to anchor for the night, but wasn't sure where I was allowed to anchor. So I motored up to some gentlemen hanging out on a dock to ask them where I should anchor. While talking to them I held my position by alternating forward and reverse when I heard my wife yelling, "PAUL! THE BOAT IS EATING THE DINGHY!" I stopped the engine just before the bow of the dinghy disappeared under the stern of the yacht. We dropped the anchor right there and I prepared to go in the water to un-wrap the painter, under the bemused gaze of the onlookers, when one of them suggested I try going below and turn the propeller shaft by hand to unwind the painter. I did this and it worked! Many lessons learned, nothing broken, I didn't get wet and I was able to provide some high-quality entertainment. God I love sailing!
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Old 23-07-2018, 09:55   #54
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Re: Stupid move in the dinghy

When I was a teenager we had a 12' aluminum jon boat with a 10 hp outboard. One day, the outboard decided to act up. I could start it, but it would immediately die as soon as I put it in gear. That happened about 5-6 times before I got the bright idea of going ahead and putting it in gear first and advancing the throttle a little before starting it.

Well, I evidently advanced the throttle a little too much, as the engine started and the boat took off. I lost my balance and fell over the engine. I grabbed the engine with both arms and found myself staring face down at the prop while the boat is now heading at full speed toward the opposite shore - only about 200 yards away.

I had to decide, do I let myself go ahead and fall and hope the prop doesn't take off my face, or do I try to get back in the boat before it slams into the shore? I decided I like my face just the way it is, and somehow I was able to inch myself forward off the top of the engine. I got the motor shut off just in time. The whole episode scared the **** out of me, and I decided I would never try that again!
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Old 23-07-2018, 09:56   #55
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Re: Stupid move in the dinghy

One day, when anchored in a far away port, I got into the dingy to go over and invite a neighbor for dinner. He wasn't there but I noticed that a very nice surf break was happening right over at the corner of the harbor. I motored over to watch the waves come in staying just outside end of the surf. Just then I looked over my shoulder to see one wave. clearly extending farther than the rest, heading right towards me (about 15' away). I gunned the engine to turn into the oncoming wave but too late, it flipped me cleanly.

Coming to the surface I saw the dingy upside down a few feet away, and the water was now calm, and I swam over and managed to turn it right side up using a line from one side while I stood on the opposite side and pulled backward. All good I thought, just row home and fix the motor.

Except one oar wasn't there; it was floating nearby, but closer to the surf. Not wanting to risk getting flipped again I left the dingy and swam to fetch the oar, no problem, again, all good.

The fun started when I swam back toward the dingy with the oar. A light breeze was blowing the dingy away from me at exactly the speed I could swim.

I swam and swam but made no progress to the dingy. We were slowly making progress to the other side of the bay, about a mile away. I got tired. I wondered if I would drown. I wondered if the oar would keep me afloat. I stuffed it into my shorts as floatation.

Meanwhile Judy came on deck to see what became of me and saw me out in the middle of the bay, waving an oar to get her attention (and sinking under the wave, I'll add). I yelled, "Raise the anchor and come get me."

OH God, she thought I was drowning, (I was). She started the engine and ran to the bow to raise the anchor but it was snagged on a rock and the circuit breaker blew. She didn't know about the circuit breaker, only that the anchor windlass was no longer working. As she struggled I dog-paddled, slowly, to keep afloat.

Fortunately some boys on the wharf on the far side saw my plight and dove into the water and swam towards me. They grabbed the dingy and we met in the middle of the bay. SAVED! Now with four boys and two oars I got underway rowing back to the big boat, which by now had come unanchored itself and was headed out to sea, with a captain aboard but still with no working anchor windless.

All ended well though, I got to the boat, got the windlass working, returned the boys to their wharf, re-anchored, got the dingy motor working, and poured a tall scotch.

Then Judy asked, "How the hell did that happen anyhow?"

"Well, I went out to look at the waves."

Never have fully lived that down.
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Old 23-07-2018, 10:52   #56
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Re: Stupid move in the dinghy

Originally Posted by okapi3 View Post
one of them suggested I try going below and turn the propeller shaft by hand to unwind the painter. I did this and it worked!
Now that is one solution I hadn't heard of before!

This forum is great for picking up new ideas!
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Old 23-07-2018, 15:04   #57
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Re: Stupid move in the dinghy

At Nuku Alofa yacht basin we were anchored by the bow and tied to shore by two stern lines with yachts close beside anchored the same way. On returning from shore late at night after partying I found that my starboard quarter line had snagged my neighbor on a deck fitting. So I used the line to pull myself over for a look. Then, without really thinking things through, standing in my dinghy in the taught bight of my sternline, I flipped it off. Twang! I was launched and the dinghy was flipped. I surfaced laughing at myself. No real harm done except to my ego for being so dumb.
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Old 23-07-2018, 18:02   #58
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Re: Stupid move in the dinghy

Not strictly boating-related, although a boat was involved.....

After a long car journey home from visiting friends several hours drive away, I drove into the carport with a 'freebie' coffee table on the roof racks of the car that my friends had donated.

Forgetting that A) the coffee table was on the roof racks, and B) that there was a 16ft wooden dinghy hanging from the rafters of the carport, under which the car *usually* fitted neatly, the coffee table impacted the side of the boat, which overloaded the cheap Chinese coach screws on the rafters to which the boat was attached, causing the 250kg boat to crash down - rather suddenly - on the bonnet/hood and windscreen of the car, smashing the windscreen and leaving a large dent on the bonnet of the car and one fender.

To add insult to injury, I was stopped a week later and defected by the Police for having a broken windscreen (that I'd not had a chance to repair), which involved a fine, replacement windscreen, roadworthy examination and much angst trying to get all this sorted in the week that most businesses were closed, between Christmas and New Year, so the the registration on the car was not auto-cancelled by the Police/Road Services computer for not having a current roadworthy certificate.....

The new bonnet and fender cost me a days drive to where someone was breaking an identical car.

So $300 for the windscreen, $140 fine, $80 roadworthy inspection, $350 bonnet and fender, plus $100 fuel for the round trip to collect them, grand total of a momentary lapse = $1000 give or take.

But that 'freebie' coffee table was unmarked, and soldiers on to this day....

I gave the damn boat away....
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Old 23-07-2018, 18:17   #59
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Re: Stupid Move in the dinghy

Originally Posted by SV_Harbinger View Post
So I was wondering if anyone else would care to share one of the shining moments of mental lapse?
Oh, yeah... So we'd dropped anchor at Nuku Hiva harbor, Marquesas. Friday morning market at the dock begins 0500-ish and runs till 0700-ish. Wife and I dinghy ashore sans coffee... and sans brains. Wallet on the mothership. Wife orders coffee & croissant - I row back out, step aboard, and grab the wallet.

BUT... Dinghy slowly drifts seaward because I'd not bothered to tie the bloody painter! Holler out to another sailboat for a bit of help - after all, they were just on deck hanging about, right? Right. Seems the lads had somehow rigged up a TV connection to watch the World Cup football finals and were (to put it mildly) not too pleased with my interruption nor my seamanship!

Help, they did. Embarrassed, I was. Cost me a bottle of wine as amends but t'was better than a longish swim!
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Old 23-07-2018, 18:29   #60
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Re: Stupid move in the dinghy

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