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Old 18-01-2015, 05:05   #46
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Re: What is the most idiotic mistake you have made on a boat?

All the Above
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Old 18-01-2015, 06:41   #47
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Re: What is the most idiotic mistake you have made on a boat?

Great reading all these "events"' especially up here in Montreal where it is dead on winter and we suffer from cabin fever.

Probably one of many stories that comes to mind is when one day, having guests on my sailboat and going thru a lock, I assumed my guest would know not to tie the stern line to a lander rung on the lock wall (making it impossible for the line to ride down as the water level was gong down). All of sudden, as I was talking with the skipper of the boat next to mine, realized the stern was not going down and the rear pulpit was probably going to be riped out!

Luckily on that day, Neptune was good to me. For some odd reason, I had put my rigging knife in my pocket, something I had never done before. I was able to quickly cut the line and the stern splashed down hard! Cost me a good mooring line, but small price to pay to learn a lesson! Never assume ANYBODY on board knows what they are doing, regardless of "stated" experience...
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Old 18-01-2015, 06:48   #48
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Re: What is the most idiotic mistake you have made on a boat?

One of the dumbest off the top of my head. I am sure there are worse though.

In the keys pulling in to Gilberts face dock with a current behind us, I couldn't get the stern in to the dock. I had the stern line barely on a sheet winch. I was cranking with only two turns on the winch, which puts a lot of pressure on the line lifter. I was amazed at how much pressure I was having to use.

Someone on the dock said "put the helm over" and I did. The current slid us right in. I broke the line lifter on that winch (barient) which I can't replace.

Pretty Stupid.

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Old 18-01-2015, 07:23   #49
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Re: What is the most idiotic mistake you have made on a boat?

Attempting to deploy the mainsail with the outhaul on its power winch without releasing the furling line from its stopper. Could have been a disaster. You learn that any time winching feels (or in this case, sounds) harder than usual to look around and see what's not right.
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Old 18-01-2015, 08:16   #50
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Re: What is the most idiotic mistake you have made on a boat?

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Hello,

I forgot to remove the power cable from the dock when leaving the marina. Fortunately the plug on the dock came out.

Vladis
I did that not so long ago. Cord was wrapped around a fire extinguisher pod on the dock, which now lies down on the bottom. No damage to boat or power pylon though. There were lots of witnesses, much to my chagrin.
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Old 18-01-2015, 09:06   #51
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Re: What is the most idiotic mistake you have made on a boat?

Ah, the dumb look on my face when I saw the last few feet of my anchor rode slip over the rail...

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Old 18-01-2015, 09:12   #52
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Re: What is the most idiotic mistake you have made on a boat?

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Our first season on the boat...invited diving friends to join us for a brisk sail to the dive spot. In our haste to get in the water, failed to notice that we left the mainsail up. Upon arriving 45min later from a great dive, noticed poor boat whipping back and forth in the squall that had arrived. Oh yeah, forgot that we didn't put down the swim ladder. It was slightly "sporty" to grab the stern with dive gear on, and climb aboard without becoming rudder bait. Thankfully, no damage except to ego.
Honestly, I can't believe this story but if it's true is way, way beyond idiotic. How do you actually dive safely?
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Old 18-01-2015, 09:45   #53
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Re: What is the most idiotic mistake you have made on a boat?

Lauched a ski boat, and forgot to insert drain plug. Came back to dock and boat was about to sink. Yikes.

Was with a friend pulling trailer boat out of water on ramp. He forgot to secure the boat at the bow. Got part way up ramp, boat slid off of the trailer and landed hard on the ramp. Hung out all evening drinking beer waiting for tide to come up and refloat the boat. Opps.
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Old 18-01-2015, 09:50   #54
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Re: What is the most idiotic mistake you have made on a boat?

Anchoring my Force 50 under sail at 4kts....
Sparks were flying off the chain gypsy and my son learned a few new cuss words that fateful day along with a little physics lesson of F=MA (Force = Mass * Acceleration) and we have a bent bow roller as a memory.
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Old 18-01-2015, 09:54   #55
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Re: What is the most idiotic mistake you have made on a boat?

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Lauched a ski boat, and forgot to insert drain plug. Came back to dock and boat was about to sink. Yikes.
Not only that, I had to drive all the way back home to get the plug, and once was home realized it was in the truck all along.
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Old 18-01-2015, 10:05   #56
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Re: What is the most idiotic mistake you have made on a boat?

Delivering our new to us boat and arriving after dark at our new home port. Entrance had a very sharp and narrow bend. The chartplotter was new to me and the light was distracting and I couldn't figure out how to dim it, so I looked at the paper chart and "memorized" the last few marks going in. Well, forgot about the last unlighted green....It was a Saturday night, the bar deck was packed, and we went aground in full view. (we did get ourselves off without assistance thankfully) Found out the next morning that someone noticed us coming in on the wrong side of the green and announced for everyone to "look at that sailboat coming in on the wrong side of the mark" so the whole bar was watching. Oh well....

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Old 18-01-2015, 15:56   #57
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Re: What is the most idiotic mistake you have made on a boat?

I just remember a real trophy winning "dumbass" event! It was in the Tobago Cays in St-Vincent and the Grenadines. We had bareboat rented a Beneteau 38. We were anchored for a while, but noticed we were dragging. So I sent my wife upfront to raise the anchor with the windlass, while I started the engine and stayed a the helm.

My exact instructions to my wife were "let me know when you see the anchor. We'll move and reset without haulin the anchor all the way up". Well, that's exactly what she did, exempt, she saw the anchor while it was still 10 or 15 feet underwater.

Thinking the anchor was clear and simply hanging of the bow at the water line, I maneuvered the boat to seek out a better location. While doing so I ended up picking up another boat anchor chain and, in doing so, unhooked his anchor as well.

Because both anchors and chains were now tangled up, both boats wee now loose and heading backwards towards a huge reef. We had our wives maintain forward motion just enough to hold the boat in position. Both I the other boat owner were unable to untangle our anchors and chains.

We called out with our VHF radios for help and withing 15 minutes a French navy inflatable with about 8 navy sailors on board appeared from nowhere and headed right to us. A few of them quickly got on board while the other maneuvered their boat under our bows. They took care the of the situation!

Afterwards, they told their French marine cruiser was anchored behind the islands in deeper water and they heard our call for help.

When it comes to sailing and all thing marie and nautical, I can tell you from first hand knowledge, (not from this event) tha the French are HUGE sailor with big time know-how.
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Old 18-01-2015, 16:10   #58
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Re: What is the most idiotic mistake you have made on a boat?

Leaving full sails up after dark.....
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Old 18-01-2015, 17:07   #59
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Re: What is the most idiotic mistake you have made on a boat?

ran out of propane for the grill when I had been looking forward to steaks all day

sailing stuff is just stuff, but shutting down a steak cooking is really serious
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Old 18-01-2015, 18:33   #60
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Re: What is the most idiotic mistake you have made on a boat?

Lake Zumbro is a narrow winding lake in Minnesota made by damming a small winding river. The shoreline is bluff enough that the wind is fluky when you are lucky and dead calm when you are not. On a very dead air kind of day in the early '60s I grew tired of willing the wind to blow. The Snipe had a comfortable canvas deck so I cleated the jib and lay down for a snooze with the main sheet between the toes of one foot and the other foot resting on the tiller. In the process of getting comfortable I managed to get the main sheet a little tangled around my foot. The puff that woke me up snugged up the main sheet just as the gust front reached that "serious wind" point. By the time I got my foot and therefore the main sheet loose the Snipe was far enough over that the cleated jib took her on over. The Snipe was not self rescuing so I swam it the hundred yards or so to the bank and emptied it out. I didn't find out for years that my mother saw the capsize but I drifted out of her sight while still swamped. She didn't want me to know that she had a nervous afternoon.
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