One from the Aussie side.This report makes for a good day out. Not mine thankfully.
"I made the mistake once of using a hook on a strop from a backstay to hold the end of the boom up. It was a new arrangement, as we would usually hold the boom up by hand while hoisting the mainsail
. We hoisted the mainsail
, and it was blowing hard. I cringed at the sound of the new mainsail flogging in the wind
as we motored to windward. As soon as the crew confirmed the mainsail was fully hoisted, and that the keel
was fully down, I bent down and grabbled the mainsheets, threw them out of the jammer, and bore away quickly. Because the boom was still attached to the backstay, no amount of letting off mainsheets was going to do the job. We laid flat on our ear, held there by a boom I couldnt let off, with the motor
screaming because it was out of the water
..... Not a pleasant thing to happen...
Then you just add one more thing to make it a real problem.
When the crewmember said the keel
was down, it wasnt. On the old boat, letting out 10 feet of rope
was fully down, but on this bigger boat with a heavier keel, 10 feet of rope
meant the keel was only down three inches....
you would think that when you asked the crew to drop the keel, he would do the job properly, but when he's family
, you cant say much.....
So then he climbs over the fence, walks down the side of the boat, and tries to stand on the 3 inches of keel sticking out. With bare feet.
The boat tips a bit more, the keel slides into the case and inch, and his toe is now jammed between the keel and the centrecase, while we lay on our side.......
What a buffoon. So if I stand the boat up, he gets dragged underwater with a jammed toe and drowns. And if I leave it on its side, we will fill up and sink.
Meanwhile, the motor
An expensive series of mistakes
I yelled at the brother in law to get his fkn foot out or else, then I moved inboard to turn the motor off. Then I saw the mast
tip was touching the water
, and thought the last thing I wanted was the mast
to go underwater. So I thought I could swim to the top of the mast and wrap my lifejacket around it, and it might buy us a few more minutes.
So I jumped down into the water, and swam to the top of the mast, and started to take my lifejacket off, the mast started going underwater, so with a lifejacket half off, Im treading water, trying to stop the mast from sinking, and its a losing battle......
When the mast tip got about 3 foot underwater, Ive got my leg hooked around it, treading water, and the keel slid back into the centrecase, freeing the brother in laws foot.
At this point, all the crew jumped off into the water, and one of them landed on the mainsail. buffoon number 2.
my grip on the mast as it sunk out of reach. So then, watching the cabin
filling up, I realised that the boat was going down. I swam to the bow and opened the anchor locker
and took out the anchor
rope and untied the shackle. I shackled the end of the anchor rope to the u bolt on the bow, and swam out away from the boat, unrolling the anchor rope. At this point all the bunk cushions
and loose sails
floated out and a motor boat approached. He started motoring in circles around the boat, so I swam out to him with the end of the anchor rope and offered him the end, thinking he might be able to take it in tow before it went down, and tow us into shallow water. ..... He ignored me, and just kept motoring around. then I saw that the guy alongside him had a movie camera
, and they were both more intent on taking a movie
, than rescuing us or the boat....
At this point the hull
turned upside down. The guy with the movie camera
just kept on circling. Bastard.
Finally another motor boat arrived, and picked up the crew and everything that was floating away, including brand new, unused headsails in bags, and brand new spinnakers in bags. The boat said "dont worry, we will put it all by the ramp
and come back for you in a minute."
That was the last I saw of the sails
. When he put all the stuff in a pile, by the ramp
at the yacht club, some bastard stole them all.
The second motor boat came back, and tried to tow the boat, but it was too heavy, so I shifted the end of the rope to a chainplate, and they towed at rightangles to try and turn the hull
Finally the mast broke and the hull rolled over as the safety
fence demolished itself. When the bubble burst, the hull sank down so that the cabin
roof was level with the water. The boat had airtanks, so it stayed at the surface. It got towed into the shallows, and I was able to climb aboard and let the keel down. With the keel now resting on the sand, the hull floated high enough for the stormboards to be above the water level, and we could pump it out.
The last straw was the realisation that the winch
handle, necessary to winch
the keel back up enough to get the boat onto the trailer, had been one of the the first things to fall out, and the floating one, supposedly recovered and left with the sails, had also been stolen."
Total damage was around $6k. All for the sake of a hook on a strop on a backstay.....