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Old 06-10-2011, 10:02   #1
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Sailboat Hits Bridge

Sailboat hits railroad bridge, partially capsizes | News | North Portland News

Interesting story 81 year old man. Newly purchased boat hits rotating bridge. The railroad normally leaves this bridge open, unless a train is crossing. This is a real low bridge. Only reason it looks as high as it does is because the river is so low right now.
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Old 06-10-2011, 10:25   #2
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Re: Sailboat hits bridge

DOH! I wonder if he has the faculties to handle that boat?
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Old 06-10-2011, 10:45   #3
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Re: Sailboat hits bridge

Some days your just a little off......all day!
Poor guy.
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Old 06-10-2011, 11:39   #4
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Re: Sailboat Hits Bridge

I can remember having one of those days, not so long ago.
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Old 06-10-2011, 12:50   #5
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Re: Sailboat hits bridge

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Some days your just a little off......all day!
Poor guy.
I'm having a hard time sharing your sympathy for this guy. A month after purchasing his boat, he sets off down a river and runs aground four times in a single morning before finally hitting a bridge.

Learning to navigate may be difficult, but not learning to navigate is even more difficult.
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Old 06-10-2011, 12:52   #6
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Re: Sailboat Hits Bridge

We sail on the Columbia River 200 miles up stream from Portland and I think that is the only low turning bridge to navicate. Most bridges are 65 to 68 ft clearence when in the up position and only a couple of Rail Road bridges are in the down position normally like the one about 100 yards from our moorage, the bridge controllers now knows our boat name by heart . I am guessing the guy in the story didn't have a VHF radio or was not used to calling before getting close to the bridge just to check the bridge to water clearence. On many sailboats they don't have a VHF Ram Mike at the helm like us or have a weather proof VHF at the helm to call and keep a hand on the helm, autopilots can't handle river currents especially near a bridge to get to an interior mounted VHF for calls to RR bridges.
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Old 06-10-2011, 13:12   #7
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Re: Sailboat Hits Bridge

Partially capsizes?

I thought capsize was like pregnant, either you are or you aren't.
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Old 06-10-2011, 13:29   #8
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Re: Sailboat hits bridge

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I'm having a hard time sharing your sympathy for this guy. A month after purchasing his boat, he sets off down a river and runs aground four times in a single morning before finally hitting a bridge.

Learning to navigate may be difficult, but not learning to navigate is even more difficult.
As of this year's flooding of the Columbia river at 5 times normal flood has moved sand bars and lots of logs and hole trees. As a new boat owner did he buy a boat with depth sounder and GPS chart plotter with updated 3D maping, probably not because the electronics can cost more than a used sailboat. We have hit unmarked and undocumented sand bars and our catamaran's rudders can kick up and only draft 18 inches and we get across ok. I'm sure a fixed keel boat might be lots more restricted to deep water in the middle of the commercial traffic where it's uncomfortably busy.
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Old 06-10-2011, 13:30   #9
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Re: Sailboat Hits Bridge

If this bridge is the one i'm thinking, it's the rotating type.

Running aground is easy in the Columbia, but hitting a bridge??

He should have asked them to move the bridge.
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Old 06-10-2011, 13:52   #10
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Re: Sailboat Hits Bridge

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If this bridge is the one i'm thinking, it's the rotating type.

Running aground is easy in the Columbia, but hitting a bridge??
Looks like the current draged the boat under the bridge stupid to be up stream and approach any bridge without the motor on because of river swerlls can over power the boat's direction. I used to not start my disel but my wife has trained me to respect bridges and I guess she's right, sure wouldn't want our catamaran to hit a low bridge from upstream
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Old 06-10-2011, 14:29   #11
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Re: Sailboat Hits Bridge

I bet he had some bananas on the boat...
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Old 06-10-2011, 16:03   #12
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He's 81. Come on.
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Old 06-10-2011, 16:47   #13
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Re: Sailboat Hits Bridge

OK, he's 81.

And if he damages a bridge and puts, say, 50,000 people off daily commuter trains and forced to get to work other ways for six weeks because of that, do we declare him a danger to society and put him in a "facility" or what?

So he's 81. The problem still is, he's apparently a loose cannon. 81, 18, 40, doesn't matter much does it?
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Old 06-10-2011, 16:56   #14
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Re: Sailboat Hits Bridge

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
OK, he's 81.

And if he damages a bridge and puts, say, 50,000 people off daily commuter trains and forced to get to work other ways for six weeks because of that, do we declare him a danger to society and put him in a "facility" or what?

So he's 81. The problem still is, he's apparently a loose cannon. 81, 18, 40, doesn't matter much does it?
Good grief, mate, I somehow doubt that striking a railroad bridge with the top of a small yachts mast is gonna do much damage to the bridge.

Yes, this chap did exhibit poor judgement/skills. Whether his age had anything to do with it is not so clear. Without additional info about the circumstances being judgmental is a bit premature.

And I bet that all 50,000 of those commuters made it to work just fine.

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Old 06-10-2011, 17:04   #15
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Re: Sailboat Hits Bridge

Interesting story - I need more info to draw a conclusion...
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