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Old 19-01-2015, 03:13   #61
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Re: What is the most idiotic mistake you have made on a boat?

Servicing and fitting the bilge pump. Trouble was I had put it on the wrong way round so it was sucking rather than pumping out!
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Old 19-01-2015, 05:50   #62
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Re: What is the most idiotic mistake you have made on a boat?

Many years ago I owned a power boat with a very stiff cable steering mechanism which I stripped and replaced the cable. When reassembling the steering unit later on, I reassembled it upside down and not realising the problem when I made my first test drive and made a hard left turn to avoid a sandbank and the boat turned a tight right turn. The look on my face must have been indescribable. Luckily I killed the motor in the nick of time before barrelling into the bank It took me a few minutes to realise what had just happened
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Old 19-01-2015, 14:20   #63
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Re: What is the most idiotic mistake you have made on a boat?

Huum, leaving the drain plugs out and getting a hour up river and wow, this sure is steering sluggish! Ya, water up to the floor boards.

Wrapping the dingy painter around the prop, No problem, it was easy to do.

Then the unsinkable dinghy, but the stuff inside just went straight down in 70 ft of water. We were trying to get back on board the big boat at the end of a dive.

Turn the helm over to a friend and a few minutes later i looked over the side and saw bottom. Well in Watson bayou if you see bottom you are hard on. It took a big power boat to pull us off.

Then there is the dive when no one's on board and the boat moves when below, or you miss the anchor line and have to surface in a current and swim like h... to get back.

There are just too many things that can go wrong. I have tried a lot of them, but never twice.
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Old 19-01-2015, 15:07   #64
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Re: What is the most idiotic mistake you have made on a boat?

Well the stupidest thing regarding boats that I can think of would be posting my "adventurous experiences" on the internet, so I'll post some things that other people have done instead!

No, strike that- here's a dumb thing I did once:

I had installed a second helm on a powerboat on the Great Lakes, and my boss was watching me do the final plumbing and bleeding of lines. The lines were the flexible (nylon? Don't remember) ones that used compression fittings. Anyway, he saw me torque down the first fitting and darn near had a cow that I was over tightening it (which I wasn't, however it is imperative the brass sleeve gets slightly compressed into the line but that's another story). Anyway, had to listen to his song and dance about the proper way was to tighten the fitting by hand and turn it so many flats of the nut after that, I think he wanted 3 or 4.

sure enough, the next week I come to find out the boat blew the one line he observed me installing to his directions. Fortunately it was a twin engine so no harm done and he was able to get to a slip, but that has always bugged me that I allowed knowingly someone to have a potentially dangerous situation because I was being a good employee and doing what I was told. Decided to never let it happen again, and if I had to get a different job as a result then so be it.

Sounds kinda dumb now to let something like that happen but I was pretty young at the time.


Here's a river story- the rivers drop quite a bit some summers, a guy I know was coming back from a party in a brand new pontoon boat (first day it was on the water) and hit a wing dam that he had successfully passed over in the spring. Tore the lower unit off the motor and holed one of the pontoons (foam filled so didn't sink or anything). but but but... His best friend and his mom were both laying in lounge chairs on the front deck and when he hit it put both of them into the water, lawn chairs and all. Friend said it took them 3 hours to drift back home (pre cell phone days). Must have been an interesting 3 hours with mom!
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Old 19-01-2015, 16:58   #65
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Re: What is the most idiotic mistake you have made on a boat?

I haven't been sailing long but one of my favorites (or at least most embarrassing to date) was a few months ago sailing in the Exumas.

We were on a mooring with one other vessel astern. A sandbar was only 20 feet to starboard, so I kind of had it in the back of my head that this mooring better hold or there wasn't much room for error. There have been reports of moorings failing in the area before.

About 9pm just after my wife and our guest turn in, I'm in my cabin reading and hear a line rub once along the hull and then a big splash. WTF was that.

Run up to the cockpit to survey and the only thing I can see relative to what I remember earlier is the other boat moored behind us not actually behind us anymore. They were directly to port! Thinking the mooring had indeed failed I fire up the engines and bang on my wife's hatch and she comes running up topless and all. Our poor non-sailing guest had no clue what was going on, but got an eyeful while we were trying to assess the situation. I had wifey run forward to see if the mooring was intact, while I started idling just in case.

Everything was fine, mooring lines intact. Upon closer inspection the boat next to us was not actually on the mooring behind us anymore, they must have anchored at some point that evening about 50ft forward of where they were, making it look like we moved!!

Lesson learned: don't panic. Especially when females aboard are naked.


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Old 19-01-2015, 21:27   #66
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Re: What is the most idiotic mistake you have made on a boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Enrique100 View Post
Thinking the mooring had indeed failed I fire up the engines and bang on my wife's hatch and she comes running up topless and all.

Lesson learned: don't panic. Especially when females aboard are naked.

Funny, the lesson I learned was absolutely panic when there's naked females aboard
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Old 20-01-2015, 05:31   #67
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Re: What is the most idiotic mistake you have made on a boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmschmidt View Post
aaaah, buying one?
I first scanned through this thread to see if there was a reply similar to what I wanted to write - and sure enough, at least one person agrees with me.
"buying the darn thing in the first place!"
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Old 20-01-2015, 11:30   #68
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Re: What is the most idiotic mistake you have made on a boat?

I guess there are too many to list but here is a few:

- Completely misreading the buoys marking a narrow channel with a big dog leg to port with the boat ending up on a gravel bar in an ebb tide in a river in front of several other friends all headed for Fiji (Whangarei River by the refinery if any one knows it). Sheer panic, boat heeled over almost on the rails, water pushing us farther on the bar. My heart has never been the same since.

- Not securing the dink close to the stern trying to pull away under full power at a side tie dock in a strong beam wind with a small. pristine Catalina sailboat in front, but with plenty of room to spare until the dink gets blown against a change in the dock which held the dink so that the dink line held us up so the wind pushed us to port, causing us to take out the all the stanchions and roller furling of this poor hapless Catalina with out BBQ on the rail, while the dink line parted with a sharp cracking sound, and no boatyard within 50 miles, and the Catalina owner and brother just starting a two week holiday. Insurance took care of his boat but not his holiday and we needed a new BBQ and paper bags to wear whenever in public near any of the numerous witnesses that fateful day. I get red-faces just remembering this fiasco.

- taking on landlubbers for even two hour sails who are scared of water let alone sailboats. Never again.

- letting same landlubbers use the head. Never again.

- sun bathing sans swimsuit on top of the dink on deck on a long passage. Sitting down was extremely painful for about 5 days.

- Almost forgot: buying a second boat

I am sure some of you would declare that we are hopeless, and dangerous, sailors but we have seen far worse from sailors far better than we.
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Old 20-01-2015, 13:17   #69
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Re: What is the most idiotic mistake you have made on a boat?

I was once standing on the dock to receive the bow line from a lady on a sailboat, trying to come alongside in a tight space. The wind was brisk off the dock, and the skipper brought her round a few times, but could not get the boat near enough, each time becoming more and more factious.
Finally, he came within hauling distance and shouted to the lady to, “throw the ....... line quick!” This she did with dexterity, right at my feet, but unfortunately it did not appear to be attached to the boat........
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Old 20-01-2015, 16:55   #70
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Re: What is the most idiotic mistake you have made on a boat?

I took a crew member in Napier, NZ, heading for Wellington. He said he'd grown up sailing in the North Sea. He lied.

We sailed South from Cape Turnagain (aptly named) for 3 and a half days, then headed SW for a point five nm South of Cape Palliser. We were making good pace at around 5 to 6 kts.

On the morning of day five, the wind had developed to NW 35kts, with a forecast of 50 for the following day. We decided to crack on for 36 hours into Wellington, rather than eat s#!t for five or more days back to Hawkes Bay.

I woke up the following night at around 11pm, falling from the ceiling. The deck was lit up as if it were a summers day, then it was black. We were 1/4 nm SW of Cape Paliser, traveling NE at 14.8kts in a 30' yacht. The barometer was at 960 and the max wind gust was 130kts, which I believe was when the weathervane, gps and vhf aerial and masthead lights were blown away.

It turns out that my crew (read: baggage) had freaked out and aimed for the Cape Palliser lighthouse.

We wound up somewhere near the Chatham Islands after 48 hours of terror. It took a further 10 days to limp home with only storm sails still in a workable state.

The vessel, Paikea, was bulletproof. She was something like a Ganley, with 1/2" steel hull and 1/4" decks. She had around 14" of freeboard and drew 6'4" with 3tonne of lead ballast in a fin keel. Any other boat and I'd be fish food.

My biggest mistake, I believe, was trusting that bloody accounting student from London with the helm. I should have known when we were leaving port and I had to teach him how to UNtie a bowline.


Peace.
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Old 20-01-2015, 17:18   #71
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Re: What is the most idiotic mistake you have made on a boat?

I've made a lot of stupid mistakes over the years. The things I've learned, when you mess up there are always witnesses. When you do everything perfect no ones around, and finally, if I ever go sailing with Enrique100 I'll probably be banging on his wifes hatch...............alot
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Old 20-01-2015, 19:56   #72
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Re: What is the most idiotic mistake you have made on a boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Enrique100 View Post
(SNIP) I fire up the engines and bang on my wife's hatch and she comes running up topless and all.
(SNIP)
Lesson learned: don't panic. Especially when females aboard are naked.
Pics or it didn't happen
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Old 20-01-2015, 20:31   #73
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Re: What is the most idiotic mistake you have made on a boat?

Great responses, some of which I actually believe. Seriously? The most damage I have sustained was when I gave the helm to someone who was unprepared for it.
Once on a lazer while surfing- pichpoled it.
Once on my V40- got a broken arm from a flying gybe.
Now I will tie it off, use the windvane, anything but give it to a novice in bad conditions...
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Old 21-01-2015, 05:39   #74
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Re: What is the most idiotic mistake you have made on a boat?

Hmmm... topping up charter boat fuel tank with water, while engine running?

that's actually two stupid mistakes. Is there a prize?
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Old 22-01-2015, 07:53   #75
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Re: What is the most idiotic mistake you have made on a boat?

Ran aground on a sand bar in Charleston Harbor because I ignored the water conditions and trusted a 20+ year old depth sounder over my gut. Note, if the water goes from blue/green to brown, from calm to 4ft waves and has a foam ring around the area, there's a sand bar there. Lol

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