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Old 13-03-2008, 19:15   #16
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A Manatee.............I think............not sure.

Oh, and one of those little "islands" near the Dry Tortugas..................not long after moon down...............three bounces as we did a 180............small rudder crack.
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Old 13-03-2008, 20:23   #17
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The scariest hit I’ve ever taken was back in Vancouver years ago when I was working part time, running a small crew boat / water taxi.

Late one December night, I was alone and returning from a job in Howe Sound back to Van, there was a strong outflow wind (locally called a Squamish if I remember correctly) the tide was flooding against it making for square seas as I was surfing home.

I was just sliding down the front end of a wave near Pt Atkinson when my spotlight picked up the butt end of a cedar log dead ahead which just at the wrong time pivoted up and ended up skewered right through the windscreen on the passenger seat side, beside me. Missed me by about 3 feet!

Closest I have ever come to sh**ting myself !

Never told my mother about that one.
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Old 15-03-2008, 18:36   #18
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I frequently hit sturgeon while running in shallow waters up in the San Pablo Bay area of the SF Bay. I usually hear a bang on the hull forward accompanied by the sound of the blades of the props chopping up the fish for a second. It's a real shame sturgeon don't have air bladders to keep them at the surface, otherwise I could have had some pretty good meals.

I had a whale come up for air less than boat length away on the SF Bay. Whales visit the SF Bay much more frequently than the news media reports them.
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Old 15-03-2008, 23:37   #19
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I frequently hit sturgeon while running in shallow waters up in the San Pablo Bay area of the SF Bay. I usually hear a bang on the hull forward accompanied by the sound of the blades of the props chopping up the fish for a second. It's a real shame sturgeon don't have air bladders to keep them at the surface, otherwise I could have had some pretty good meals.

I had a whale come up for air less than boat length away on the SF Bay. Whales visit the SF Bay much more frequently than the news media reports them.
Yeah, whales seem pretty unpredictable. I had a minke whale come up no more than 4 feet from the port side of the hull on my old Gulfstar. I was doing 5 knots under power and the whale just popped right up next to us. I was scared to death I was going to hit it... not because of my boat or anything, but because I didn't want to hurt it.
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Old 17-03-2008, 12:15   #20
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I had been having engine trouble and had to stop at a marina in North Carolina. The marina manager wanted me to leave the T head before I'd fixed the engines to make room for another boat and move downstream to another T head. About 20 ft out in a 4 knot current I lost an engine (two engines in the catamaran). The current was moving quickly at a 45 degree angle back to the docks and my remaining engine spun the boat with the current pointing us back toward the docks. I wasn't yet making way so I had a choice, gun up the remaining engine in forward and try making way to be able to turn away from the most expensive boat in the marina now 15 ft away or gun it in reverse and hope to spin backwards and fight the current. I chose wrong. I was just barely able start turning the boat when my port stanchions scraped a long path down the 90 ft power yachts hull. I spun downstream and then fought my way back to the marina and where I was met by the marina manager who'd wanted me to move my boat in the first place. He smiled and said "That wasn't so bad now was it?". I realized he hadn't seen a thing. I showed him the damage to the power yacht and we called his captain back so our insurance companies could talk. First time and last time I'd ever hit anything, and I think the first and last time I'd ever given a ride to my parents, who were down below in the collision. I'd asked them to watch our dog down below so the dog would stay out of foot when we were docking. You can imagine the sound from below as they heard one engine stall and then the second engine roar, the resounding crash a few seconds later and then the sound of metal stanchions twisting and bending and scraping on a metal hull. The dog went ballistic and started constantly yowling like he was on fire and tried leaping out and over the closed companionway door. My wife later told me that my Mom had confided in her that she had never seen me look so sad.
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Old 18-03-2008, 08:42   #21
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well it was a beautiful sunny and windy day and the spouse was at last going to pilot our 30' sloop boat into the slip, end of day with no crosswind blowing. all was going well , so 15ft from the pier, i on the bow yelled 'NEUTRAL'. as the bow came even with the end pier post , coasting in straight and true, i yelled 'REVERSE' -- but she kept on a-coming. i yelled again 'NEUTRAL THEN REVERSE AND FULL THROTTLE ', being sure at this point that the spouse still had it in forward gear ... well, the boat with me on the bow went full throttle forward straight into the dock, rode up about 2 feet onto the dock, crunched the dock safety cushion to pieces , then settled back in the H 2 0. boat had a scratch in the gelcoat, but no structural damage. (this happened in full view of about 10 surprised people on the dock who just flew out of the boat's path.. i kept my temper and said WHY DIDNT YOU PUT IT IN REVERSE? "I DID" -- quick look below showed no gear action from operating the morse cable lever on the helm. the simple throughbolt threaded screw connector (no room for a nut or cotter at the end) that attached the morse gear cable from the helm to the yanmar 2GM gearbox lever had come completely out-- there was NO way to change gears from the helm . mind you -- this is a ' critical fastening' and it was only threaded in , not enough length on the machine screw to put a nut on or cotter pin in . Looked in the owners manual-- it said not a word about checking the tightness of this fastening. called yanmar and griped about a lousy design -- an extra 1 cent of metal, 1/2 inch more on the retaining screw would allow a cotter or nut to keep the screw from escaping. i now add a tightness check of this fastening and have treated it with LocTite.... hope the new Yan3JHE on the new boat has a better design..

Mitch M
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Old 18-03-2008, 08:49   #22
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.... hope the new Yan3JHE on the new boat has a better design..

Mitch M
I hope I remember this if I ever get a boat with Yanmars.
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Old 18-03-2008, 10:31   #23
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Thanks for sharing. I have Morse controls on my Yanmars... think i'll go have a look!


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well it was a beautiful sunny and windy day and the spouse was at last going to pilot our 30' sloop boat into the slip, end of day with no crosswind blowing. all was going well , so 15ft from the pier, i on the bow yelled 'NEUTRAL'. as the bow came even with the end pier post , coasting in straight and true, i yelled 'REVERSE' -- but she kept on a-coming. i yelled again 'NEUTRAL THEN REVERSE AND FULL THROTTLE ', being sure at this point that the spouse still had it in forward gear ... well, the boat with me on the bow went full throttle forward straight into the dock, rode up about 2 feet onto the dock, crunched the dock safety cushion to pieces , then settled back in the H 2 0. boat had a scratch in the gelcoat, but no structural damage. (this happened in full view of about 10 surprised people on the dock who just flew out of the boat's path.. i kept my temper and said WHY DIDNT YOU PUT IT IN REVERSE? "I DID" -- quick look below showed no gear action from operating the morse cable lever on the helm. the simple throughbolt threaded screw connector (no room for a nut or cotter at the end) that attached the morse gear cable from the helm to the yanmar 2GM gearbox lever had come completely out-- there was NO way to change gears from the helm . mind you -- this is a ' critical fastening' and it was only threaded in , not enough length on the machine screw to put a nut on or cotter pin in . Looked in the owners manual-- it said not a word about checking the tightness of this fastening. called yanmar and griped about a lousy design -- an extra 1 cent of metal, 1/2 inch more on the retaining screw would allow a cotter or nut to keep the screw from escaping. i now add a tightness check of this fastening and have treated it with LocTite.... hope the new Yan3JHE on the new boat has a better design..

Mitch M
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Old 18-03-2008, 14:02   #24
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Mitch M, there's a lesson in your story for all of us and not just with boating - don't jump to conclusions. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have handled that situation with the same calmness.
I'm currently a power boater so you all know we run into everything. Docks, boat lifts, sea walls, their all fair game. I haven't sunk one yet so I'm doing better then a lot of my peers. Anybody ever notice how fast us power boaters come into docks? Just love to miss it, power reverse, reposition, and punch it right back in again.
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Old 18-03-2008, 15:00   #25
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Since I’ve decided that the numerous hitting of docks and groundings don’t count, the worst thing was ...... well, seaweed?

Sailing southeast on a close reach at about 5 knots on a moonless night, somewhere between T&C and Luperon, DR, the boat suddenly slowed close to a full stop and RIGHT NOW. There was no sound associated with the near stop except some groaning from the rigging. The boat heeled an extra 5 degrees; and then seemed to break free, right herself and accelerate back to 5 knots. All I could see behind us was what appeared to be kelp or other seaweed and a lot of phosphorescence. I think we hit some extremely thick tendril broken off from the Sargasso Sea, perhaps clogged with other junk - dunno. There was no damage, but it was very scary. No matter how beautiful it can be, we have been forever after nervous during night passages.
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Old 19-03-2008, 02:45   #26
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... well, the boat with me on the bow went full throttle forward straight into the dock, .......

the simple throughbolt threaded screw connector (no room for a nut or cotter at the end) that attached the morse gear cable from the helm to the yanmar 2GM gearbox lever had come completely out-- there was NO way to change gears from the helm . mind you -- this is a ' critical fastening' and it was only threaded in , not enough length on the machine screw to put a nut on or cotter pin in ......

Mitch M
Am I right in thinking the engine actually had throttled back because the morse throttle cable was still connected but boat still had considerable way on.

How old was the 2GM?

I just checked my 2GM20 (about 5 years old) and it has a lock nut on the gear box lever morse fitting but I always use LocTite as well
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Old 19-03-2008, 04:17   #27
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Am I right in thinking the engine actually had throttled back because the morse throttle cable was still connected but boat still had considerable way on.
Silly me , brain not working (spending too much time on CF and not enough time on boat) .

Off course the engine was at full throttle 'cause morse lever was in reverse and Mitch's spouse would assume the engine was also, so would have throttled up.
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Old 20-03-2008, 13:49   #28
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And you sure don't want to hit one of these:

Coast Guard hunts drug-running semi-subs - CNN.com
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Old 30-03-2008, 14:42   #29
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I was taking my practical Yachtmaster Offshore examination in a 35 kts SE wind. Having just docked and undocked under engine at the fuel jetty without any problems I was motoring out of the marina towards the commercial harbour (and looking forward to some boat handling under sail) when my examiner throttled back to neutral and said "Image engine failure - what would you do?". I saw an empty marina berth to windward and said and pointed "Go there". He said something, which I understood as "Go for it" and immediately I "went for it" - he claimed later he said something else. Well, I ended up securing our "engineless" yacht in a howling wind safely attached to the fastest sailing yacht in Cape Town, but now the "fastest sailing yacht in Cape Town with a damaged pushpit and aft topsides". This story apparently still does the rounds at the sailing school, but I passed my exam!

And otherwise (in a long sailing life) we've hit the dock, a sleeping seal (damaging one of the rudders of our cat), a floating tree rupturing one hull of a cat when flying that hull, the usual rocks and sandbanks, stepping off the sharp end of a boat whilst looking back and hitting the water ....

Still love sailing!
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Old 31-03-2008, 02:18   #30
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The worst and second worst, all in one week

It was dark but not stormy; it was my watch; and we hit a whale about 200 E. of Cape Hatteras. I know it was a whale because I got a whale snot shower just before the hit. The only (!) damage was to the rudder post, which was bent just enough to allow us to only steer to starboard. And no, we didn't JUST go in circles, as it took us only two days to return to Beaufort, NC.

There is a picture of the bent rudder on our blog (June 23, 2007 at Sailing with Aquila). What is not on our blog is a picture of the second bent rudder (and missing prop blades) from later that same trip.

We had replaced the rudder with our old rudder (from the front yard) and headed up the ICW to continue some of our vacation. But we managed to hit something underwater just south of Great Bridge, and after our second tow in a week we DROVE home, figuring we'd had enough boating for that vacation.
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