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Old 23-07-2018, 18:35   #61
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Re: Stupid moves in the dinghy

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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.

What I meant to say above was that the outboard needed to be turned 180 degrees into 'reverse' and got stuck at 90 degrees to the transom. I can't even explain it without losing control.
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Old 23-07-2018, 19:07   #62
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Re: Stupid move in the dinghy

Anchored in this little bight off the coast of Malaysia and some itty bitty islet. Totally starkers, except for me BRAND NEW sailing cap. Gust of wind and in the water it goes! So I call below: I'm going in!

Wife responds something or other but who listens to that sort of stuff? Right? So I dive overboard and... Funny thing, but there was this four or five knot current running through that little sluice and when I came up for air... well, mother ship was WAY over there! Forget the hat! Wife is on the stern deck calling something or another and I respond: Kome. Mit. Dinghi!

Bless her heart she does what I asked. Except... All she's wearing are bikini underpants, she cannot start that 2-stoke motor, cannot get the oars into the oarlocks while bobbing in the stream, so ends up steering the "raft" towards me while standing and using one oar as a rudder. All good, because she handles the situation like a pro and I clamber aboard. I get the motor started and mins later we're back aboard the mothership.

Did you skip over the part where I said we were in Malaysia? Yeah. Muslim/Islamic country, you know. About ten mins or so after we were back aboard this little vessel (kind of a rowboat but with an outboard) pulls out from under the shoreline's overhanging tree branches with three guys aboard. Malaysian guys who no doubt witnessed the entire episode. From their smiles I understood that come evening their tales would not be a report to local authorities about decadence but instead be a dinner chat about "You'll never believe what these two tourists did today"!
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Old 24-07-2018, 04:14   #63
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Re: Stupid move in the dinghy

In St Thomas I was motoring in from Crown Bag on my 11 foot AB with a Yamaha 25 Enduro. I was standing up and driving with the tiller extension. Business as usual. I always docked alongside the ship assist tugs on the other side of Crown Bay Marina since that’s where I worked. This was back when they were constructing the new cruise ship terminal so the area was packed with workers and heavy machinery.

As it would happen I lost my footing just a hair and would have been fine but I twisted the throttle when I went to catch my balance. The engine screamed to life and the RIB shot out from underneath me and I went over the side. I did not have the engine kill lanyard attached to me.

When I went over the side I did not let go of the tiller. Not a smart move but I knew the raft would become a runaway projectile if I did. I had the tension screw set so that it would not throttle down on its own. Keep in mind that this engine on this particular rib was dangerously fast. I had clocked it’s speed at 40 mph if I remember correctly.

So as I fell, the throttle handle went to WFO and the rib started ripping in tight circles with me hanging on to just the 5 foot extended tiller handle. A testament to that brand since it did not bend, break, or come off. After the first 3 or 4 tight circles I got my bearings and managed to get an arm up over the sponson. I learned later that all the construction nearby had stopped to watch me wrestle this runaway dinghy that was now speeding at full throttle in tight circles with me hanging on for dear life.

It took all my strength to pull myself up far enough to get at the kill lanyard while keeping my feet out of the propeller. I felt my toes get close and pulled myself up into the fetal position while I wrestled the dinghy. A buddy nearby said I did at least 15 circles before I got the lanyard. What I remember is finally killing the engine and just hanging onto the side of the raft catching my breath while everyone cheered from the construction area and honked horns from the heavy equipment.

Since that time 14 years ago I now attach the lanyard every single time. Even if the engine isn’t running. Lol.
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Old 24-07-2018, 05:05   #64
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Re: Stupid move in the dinghy

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Since that time 14 years ago I now attach the lanyard every single time. Even if the engine isn’t running. Lol.

You are so, so lucky. There have been several fatalities in the UK where the driver has fallen out without the lanyard. There has also been lost about people standing up while moving.



I have a PB2 and dont use RIB;s that often but I remind myself that there is a circular saw behind me and I park my self firmly down as I don't have a kill chord on my dinghy but I'm thinking of fitting one. Thanks for the reminder. My 2HP outboard might be fatal but to lose fingers arms legs or something would be really annoying for the sake of one.
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Old 24-07-2018, 05:19   #65
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Re: Stupid move in the dinghy

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You are so, so lucky. There have been several fatalities in the UK where the driver has fallen out without the lanyard. There has also been lost about people standing up while moving.



I have a PB2 and dont use RIB;s that often but I remind myself that there is a circular saw behind me and I park my self firmly down as I don't have a kill chord on my dinghy but I'm thinking of fitting one. Thanks for the reminder. My 2HP outboard might be fatal but to lose fingers arms legs or something would be really annoying for the sake of one.
Whats a PB2?



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Old 24-07-2018, 05:28   #66
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Re: Stupid move in the dinghy

Years ago, needed to get ashore from charter base on small island early. In the predawn dimness I stepped off the dock on to a RIB which was less firmly inflated than I realized, lost my balance...dinghy and my feet scoot under the dock, my upper body goes under water. Now my feet are pinned between dock and dinghy and my head is underwater...pretty comic...I chuckle to myself underwater...then it dawns on me...crap, I could die like this! No way Im gonna have anyone find me dead like this! That helped fuel my effort to extract myself.
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Old 24-07-2018, 08:21   #67
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Re: Stupid move in the dinghy

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Whats a PB2?
Attachment 174235

Its a UK practical/theory 2 day course and examination for powerboats managed by the RYA. (Royal Yachting Association - the UK standard authority) Stands for Power Boat Level 2 its a higher grade than level 1 and you can apply for the ICC (International Certificate of Competency) if you have passed. I don't know what the equivalent is in the rest of the world.
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Old 28-07-2018, 05:53   #68
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Re: Stupid move in the dinghy

All good stories start with too much libation! Great night at Marina Cay BVI,I was on another's dingy when we stepped off we walked onto her Saberline and went in to meet up with my crew and her husband, had a few more and walked out to find dingy was gone. "I thought you tied it up" "you are the dingy master, you should have tied it up". Found it an hour later, NO HARM, NO FOUL
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Old 28-07-2018, 06:35   #69
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Re: Stupid move in the dinghy

We're getting into shameful territory now but another time in the BVI I found myself in an inflatable at a wharf after a number of 'Painkillers' at the local bar.

Try as I might, I could not start the outboard. In fact, everything about the process seemed confusing, every control misplaced.

Finally, a couple detached themselves from the party and came down the wharf to see if I was ok.

"I can't understand it," I told them. "I simply cannot start this outboard - all the controls are in the wrong place."

"You're in our dinghy," they replied. And very kindly conveyed me home.
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Old 28-07-2018, 06:39   #70
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Re: Stupid move in the dinghy

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Painful lesson re-learned, never get your hand between a boat and the dock, even for the worthy cause of saving a case of beer! Attachment 173830


You’re lucky. My mother lost a whole finger from that. Crushed and unsaveable. But that was 40 years ago. Maybe medicine has improved.
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Old 28-07-2018, 06:45   #71
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Re: Stupid move in the dinghy

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You’re lucky. My mother lost a whole finger from that. Crushed and unsaveable. But that was 40 years ago. Maybe medicine has improved.
Yes, it could have been worse, fortunately I just crushed the tip and not that severely. Was mom trying to save beer too?
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Old 28-07-2018, 08:48   #72
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Re: Stupid move in the dinghy

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Yes, it could have been worse, fortunately I just crushed the tip and not that severely. Was mom trying to save beer too?


Probably a G&T. She was British.

She was trying to fend off and was just not paying attention. She’d already lost one finger from a car accident as a teenager (she was not driving) so she was pretty unhappy.
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Old 28-07-2018, 09:09   #73
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Re: Stupid move in the dinghy

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Probably a G&T. She was British.

She was trying to fend off and was just not paying attention. She’d already lost one finger from a car accident as a teenager (she was not driving) so she was pretty unhappy.
Wow, bad luck w digits.
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Old 28-07-2018, 10:00   #74
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Re: Stupid move in the dinghy

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Originally Posted by JohnAdams View Post
We're getting into shameful territory now but another time in the BVI I found myself in an inflatable at a wharf after a number of 'Painkillers' at the local bar.

Try as I might, I could not start the outboard. In fact, everything about the process seemed confusing, every control misplaced.

Finally, a couple detached themselves from the party and came down the wharf to see if I was ok.

"I can't understand it," I told them. "I simply cannot start this outboard - all the controls are in the wrong place."

"You're in our dinghy," they replied. And very kindly conveyed me home.
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Old 11-09-2018, 20:35   #75
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Re: Stupid move in the dinghy

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In my 20s I taught SCUBA diving and ran dive trips for a living. One winters trip was a live aboard dive trip to the Bahamas for 8 days.

We were scheduled to leave on a Thursday evening but engine maintenance delayed our departure from Ft. Lauderdale. Early FRIDAY morning the captain, a friend of mine, asked me to help the crew fend off when we approached the fuel dock. I agreed.

Now, the night before was spent heavily partaking in the FREE rum punch provided by the Charter company as a diversion from our changed schedule. This diversion went on well into the wee hours of the morning knowing we could sleep during the crossing.

One of the crew handed me a very large orange ball fender, that I remember as extremely bright in the morning sun, at lease when I opened my eyes. I looked at this thing and asked were did you get this big orange ball? The crewmember without hesitation said "off a big orange gorilla, where else?".

accepting this answer with a painful grin I heaved the big bright ball over the side and fended as we came into the dock. I had not bothered to put on any shoes or anything that was not my style. I worked the fender down the rail until we were tied off and then tied it off.

As I turned to walk back down the bright white side deck I noticed blood everywhere. I yelled out who's bleeding and the answers was YOU ARE!

I had kicked a steel gusset on the deck and didn't even feel it. That was some really good rum punch! I had to go to the ER for a few stitches. But, as I was getting off the boat, favoring my now bandaged foot, I rolled my other ankle. Damnit boy!

I spent the first three days in the Bahamas layed up with a rum punch in one hand and ice on both feet. I finally hit the water diving but with no fins, doable in the Bahamas. We had several other incidences on that trip, including a fishhook in a passengers nose. OUCH!!!

And that is why I never, never, never, EVER start a voyage on a FRIDAY!


A friend of mine told me (too recently when my iPhone, vehicle key and I took a swim while trying to board after a festive evening) “there’s no such thing as free rum”.
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