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Old 01-08-2010, 18:29   #1
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Buoy + Power Boat = BOOM!

So yesterday I was sailing into Boston via the main channel. For those that don't know Boston has 2 main channels separated by around 200-300' and both are very well marked and pretty wide open. Even the middle ground between them is safe for most boats and has a low spot of around 10'.

So sailing along watching out for other sail boats we were passing and watching the power boats fly down the channel..................when BOOM! All aboard start looking around for what exploded! We look a little behind us in the channel across from us and see a bouy just starting to come back upright. Then we notice a 25-30' power boat just past that slowing down. We get out our spy glass and see the boat full of activity and realize that they ran into the bouy. Now this bouy was the only thing to hit (other than some sail boats in the area and they weren't near any of those) in the area and the channel itself was very wide open, especially for a power boat drawing 3'.

We watch to see if we should turn around toward them to offer help. But notice they don't seem to be sinking and are starting to turn around and slow down. Mean while all the other sail boats in the general area all start to un-trim their sails and slow down. As the sailboats collect you can hear all people on them talking about the a-hole who just ran into the bouy.

As the power boat slowly starts catching back up to us we can see they have a hole at forward hull/deck join. but appear to be in no danger. As they pass we all feel there is some wife laying into some guy for not looking where they were going (we didn't really see this, they just looked really depressed as they slowly went by).

While we felt bad because of the damage this owner just had to his boat; we all took forbidden pleasure in a powerboat ....................well you know.
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Old 01-08-2010, 19:11   #2
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Its amusing how sailboaters revel in the misfortune of power boat owners. I have owned both, up to 60' ( 44 sailboat now). And was in the yacht business where I ran every kind of boat imaginable up to 100', alot of the time jockying them around by myself. And living in south Florida for 20 years I have seen every kind of ridiculous maneuver and outright stupidity by both power boat and sailboat owners. Just because sailboat owners move a lot slower doesn't make them any more competent. In fact due to the complete lack of training involved in the boat ownership equation almost all boat owners are self instructed or learn as you go school of seamanship. Which has the potential to make them a hazard to navigation until they have made a whole lot of dumb mistakes and figured out how not to destroy their boat, themselves, and anyone around them. Be careful who you laugh at until you have 20+ years of serious boating experience and a few big storms under your belt.
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Old 01-08-2010, 20:05   #3
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Originally Posted by rourkeh View Post
Its amusing how sailboaters revel in the misfortune of power boat owners.
Good point! especially considering the fact that sailboats hit marks as well. (Probably far more frequently than powerboats hit them, as any experienced racer will testify.)
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Old 01-08-2010, 20:51   #4
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I almost hit one one day way back when ...those darn sails blocking the view and all...I knew it was there too, that's the scary part.....you get distracted for a moment and that's all it takes.
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Old 01-08-2010, 21:38   #5
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yeah. I've exchanged paint with several buoys. One cost me a pickle dish in the Olson 30 nationals, way back when. We were in third place for the entire regatta going into the final windward mark, and ended up fifth after doing the turn of shame.

Sigh.
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Old 01-08-2010, 23:06   #6
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Never mind power or sail ...

Two days ago I was rowing the dink toward shore and watching a tug pull a barge into the anchorage where we are. My partner Bridget and I simutaneously realised we were a foot from hitting another anchored sail boat. After a quick course correction Bridget said, "Oh was I supposed to be watching for that?" Funny girl. I chuckled inside since I usually have to remind her to grab our swim ladder so I can stop rowing and we can tie up so I definately know I need to be watching where I'm rowing.
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Old 01-08-2010, 23:16   #7
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yeah. I've exchanged paint with several buoys. One cost me a pickle dish in the Olson 30 nationals, way back when. We were in third place for the entire regatta going into the final windward mark, and ended up fifth after doing the turn of shame.

Sigh.
LOL...Dang!...I new I missed out all these years by not racing..........always wanted a pickle dish..


Nationals!....pretty darn impressive Bash!
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Old 01-08-2010, 23:33   #8
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This guy had a few too many and now resides at the Harbor Patrol on Lk. Union, and it cost a human life.



Here in the Sound it's the driftwood and deadheads one has to watch out for. If you see a seagull bobbing up and down, steer clear.
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Old 01-08-2010, 23:43   #9
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This guy had a few too many and now resides at the Harbor Patrol on Lk. Union, and it cost a human life.
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Here in the Sound it's the driftwood and deadheads one has to watch out for. If you see a seagull bobbing up and down, steer clear.
Spring tides are a bugger ... the navigational hazards form defensive lines and dare you to run your offense.
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Old 02-08-2010, 04:31   #10
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I think maybe it wasn't clear that the power boat was in the wide open etc and was flying along. Overall I found it sad that someone would be moving so fast while playing so little attention that they could hit a 10' tall bouy.
I sometimes wonder if a lot of power boats fly around with the auto pilot on all the time based on how they can head ringht at you and at the last moment turn to avoid you. Almost like they finally looked up and noticed the boat with the big white flags up. This is probably why sailboaters will experience some pleasure at misfortunes.

I've never had a close encounter with a bouy when I had the engine running, just when cutting too close under sail and losing the wind of getting caught by current etc.
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Old 03-08-2010, 11:25   #11
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Ya think these guys might have set the auto pilot to the co ordinates of the bouy and walla, the auto pilot went right to it? OOOPS
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Old 03-08-2010, 13:46   #12
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Ya think these guys might have set the auto pilot to the co ordinates of the bouy and walla, the auto pilot went right to it? OOOPS
My first real testing of GPS a few years back now was aboard my fishing boat...I fish alone 90% of the time and usually dark to dark when I do.

I highlighted a buoy a mile and a half away on my return back to the boat launch and made it my next way point this was well after dark and sure enough if I had autopilot and would have just let the boat steer this course with out a watch I would have plowed right into it...even putting along at 6 to 7 knots like I do that's not something I want to happen.

Accurate little buggers at times.

Personally I don't think autopilots have any place being used if up on step in a power boat....its not like cruise control in a car...you will always be more distracted in a boat.
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Old 03-08-2010, 15:09   #13
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I have yet to run into a buoy, although I've come far too close to comfort on occasion- usually when forced to the edge of the channel by a larger boat with a less than competent helmsman. Docks are another matter, and I've rammed plenty of them (Sunset Chaser is very light and stern-heavy with a high bow, mix with gusty crosswinds and, sometimes, full reverse just isn't enough).

I can't imagine what would make someone think it is OK to be on autopilot, on plane, in a channel with other boats around. I see it a lot, though. Most notorious are the 'express cruiser' types- they're stern heavy for high speed, and end up sticking their bow so high in the air while accelerating that the helmsman can't see ahead of the boat until he's doing 25 knots. Now and then I hear about boats in B.C. ramming the ferries; the most common explanation seems to be cheap autopilots in tight channels (big steel ship disrupts compass, autopilot dutifully tries to correct course).

Booze at the helm is just about as dumb as it gets.... especially in a powerful boat planing at high speeds. Just look at how many photos are on the 'net of PWCs and other small/fast boats embedded firmly in the hullsides of larger craft, a substantial portion of which are alcohol-related incidents.
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Old 03-08-2010, 16:15   #14
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VERY close to a buoy.

Closest I've come to hitting a buoy:

Heading up the Wando River to the boatyard I had an electrical problem and lost both engines (this was my old gas boat). I was right in the middle of the channel directly opposite the container ship terminal. Figured I should let the wind and current drift me down and out of the channel. But I appeared to be heading directly towards a buoy. I got ready to drop the anchor near the edge of the channel, but it looked like I would clear it, so instead I went to the bow with the boat hook just in case.

As I approached, I decided I might have misjudged. Looked like I was going to hit after all. To late to get back to the bridge to lower the hook, so all I could do was brace myself and try to fend off as best I could.

I'm gonna hit.

Well, maybe it'll make it?

Nope, gonna hit.

Ooooo, maybe it'll almost go by!!!

The wind slowly spun the boat as is drifted, the bow inching away from the buoy.

MADE IT! It was literally lass than 2 feet from the anchor.

Out of the channel, drop the anchor. Deep breath. Wait for TowBoat/US. Glad I bought that towing policy.

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Old 03-08-2010, 16:36   #15
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Off the ambrose channel in pea soup that was supposed to lift. Before GPS I didn't have radar. finally found the bouy. Although I couldnt have been doing 4 knots the Bouy came out of the Mist I threw the wheel over and I sware the wash from my wake was what made the difference between red paint and splintered plywood and the a waypoint found. Dead reckoned all the way into dead horse bay exhausted.
That said I really don't like the powerboat sailboat dislike anymore then I cant understand the multi hull mono hull piece Enough good folks on all different boats not to make judgment just because of the boat they use. For some reason people who buy Jet Skis seem more disposed to be unaware..
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