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Old 28-05-2020, 04:27   #1
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The stupidest/funniest mistakes you've made?

I'll go first -
When I was just in my twenties, my german ex and I were cruising down the ICW in my Columbia 27". I had read about two point anchoring, but not had any experience with it in my previous sailing in Europe and the Indian Ocean on other people's boats, nor in heavy tidal flows.
Anyway, I forget which port it was, but it was a good 2nm from the anchorage to the sea. We had dropped hook for the night and gone to sleep. We were awoken at around 4am by the motion of the ship, and found ourselves 1nm mile out to sea! We had drifted past at least a half dozen boat behind us, avoiding a rocky seawall and out to sea! Turns out, when the tide had changed, the rode got wrapped around the keel and chaffed through on the prop when the tide changed with no wind to set us away from our ground tackle.
Lesson learned!
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Old 28-05-2020, 04:54   #2
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Re: The stupidest/funniest mistakes you've made?

Good thread idea. Telling stories on ourselves. Should be a looong thread if there is any honesty, and humor, here.

I hate waking up other than where I set the hook, did it once. Still no idea of what occurred except I was dog tired and screwed up.

While still new to this boat I tried making a tight turn in a too small fairway. One side as lined with floating docks with intermittent breaks. Strong current along the docks. Well I hosed it big time and bumped a boat and was about to do more damage. I happened to be at one of those breaks in the floating docks so I rammed her forward and shoved her nose up on the mid wall and jammed her in tight.

A couple of hours later with the tide up, the current (and my shakes) down I backed off and docked. Thank GOD that for ONCE I went unobserved!
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Old 28-05-2020, 04:57   #3
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Re: The stupidest/funniest mistakes you've made?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hpeer View Post
Should be a looong thread if there is any honesty, and humor, here.
Aye, a sailor that blames his equipment instead of himself is usually wrong
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Old 28-05-2020, 06:34   #4
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Re: The stupidest/funniest mistakes you've made?

Our list is so long that we maintain a "Wall of Shame" in the galley - a bit of rope that is shaped like our prop shaft, burned wiring, bent metal, and each with a story behind it.

OK, here goes. Detroit Diesels return a bunch of fuel to the tanks, because the engine uses it to cool the injectors. I opened the fuel line from a tank, started the engine, and off we went. After an hour or so, I went down to the engine room for a routine check. Pretty pink diesel fuel lapping at the door, in excess of 100 gallons loose. In a tight place on the ICW, pulled over to anchor in someone's front yard, and got out the buckets. The Coast Guard came by and waved.

Yes, I opened the fuel line. No, I did not open the fuel return. Yes the pressure then popped the common return hose at the genset. It took several hours to clean up, but all the fuel went back in the tank, and a lot of greasy finger prints got cleaned up in the process.
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Old 28-05-2020, 09:00   #5
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Re: The stupidest/funniest mistakes you've made?

Was motoring the ICW between the Neuse River and Beaufort NC at night. I was looking for a "range" and mistook a light at the end of a dock for one of the lights. Hit the dock pretty hard, but no damage. I was pretty shaken up.
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Old 28-05-2020, 09:05   #6
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Re: The stupidest/funniest mistakes you've made?

Damn. There were so many.

1. FUNNIEST: I used to swim and bask stark naked to deter French sailors anchoring very close to our boat. Only till I discovered they were actually coming for the show.


2. STUPIDIEST: I was maybe 4 when I started sailing. I got hooked on. Probably the Freudian thing.



b.
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Old 28-05-2020, 09:11   #7
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Re: The stupidest/funniest mistakes you've made?

We had missed the tide change through Hole in the Wall and had to go the long way around the island to the anchorage we wanted, but had never been in. We used a flasher for a depth sounder. It was getting dark, dark enough to use the spot light, conning the shore 200 yards away, that's when we hit the rock. Hard enough to spill our drinks, another thing we shouldn't have been doing. Thank goodness we were in a '75 Crown 34, a 3/4 ton IOR stiff boat. I laugh now.
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Old 28-05-2020, 09:17   #8
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Re: The stupidest/funniest mistakes you've made?

Launched a couple of years ago with Raymarine speed and depth out of their through-hulls; exciting incursion of water in just 30 seconds! Haven't done it again.
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Old 28-05-2020, 09:17   #9
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Re: The stupidest/funniest mistakes you've made?

Pulled into Predeaux Haven in Desolation Sound late one afternoon at low tide. It was crowded so only option was to stern tie to one of the rings they have mounted on the rock walls. Dropped anchor then rowed over to the oyster covered wall in our inflatable dinghy with the stern line. The ring was barely 6 inches out of reach when I stood up so I stepped up onto one of the oyster shells to try and snake the line through. Just then, wife hollers out “dinghy!”. I turned to see it floating away with me stuck on the wall. I yelled over to the boat next to us for help. He said his wife was out with their dinghy but not to worry. He then got on his PA system and announced to the whole anchorage that there was a guy stuck on the wall needing help! Someone quickly retrieved the dinghy with their motorized tender and brought it back. Unfortunately, just as I got in, they gave it an extra nudge right against the oyster shells. Kapow! Ripped a 4 inch hole in one of the tubes. With everyone in the anchorage watching......
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Old 28-05-2020, 09:28   #10
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Re: The stupidest/funniest mistakes you've made?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tkeithlu View Post
Our list is so long that we maintain a "Wall of Shame" in the galley - a bit of rope that is shaped like our prop shaft, burned wiring, bent metal, and each with a story behind it.

OK, here goes. Detroit Diesels return a bunch of fuel to the tanks, because the engine uses it to cool the injectors. I opened the fuel line from a tank, started the engine, and off we went. After an hour or so, I went down to the engine room for a routine check. Pretty pink diesel fuel lapping at the door, in excess of 100 gallons loose. In a tight place on the ICW, pulled over to anchor in someone's front yard, and got out the buckets. The Coast Guard came by and waved.

Yes, I opened the fuel line. No, I did not open the fuel return. Yes the pressure then popped the common return hose at the genset. It took several hours to clean up, but all the fuel went back in the tank, and a lot of greasy finger prints got cleaned up in the process.
Iíve a deep bilge, a leak from my day tank would run down there and be pumped overboard. And you would not know it was happening until you tried to tie to the dock. Whistling.
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Old 28-05-2020, 09:29   #11
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Re: The stupidest/funniest mistakes you've made?

First sail with SO was a night trip to watch fireworks. Ran aground three times getting back to the dock (in my defense, it was a tricky bit of maneuvering in broad daylight to begin with, honestly!). Had her doing the port-to-starboard dance trying to rock us free, the whole time she was sure it was some sort of joke. Second is probably acting like I knew what I was doing, teaching her how to back the boat I’d owned for 15 years into the slip. Wrapped a line I was inadvertently trailing that stopped the boat immediately, halfway in, which changed the lesson plan into my usual boat hook/piling embrace docking method. She has since far exceeded my skill docking, which I of course ascribe to my masterful instruction!
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Old 28-05-2020, 09:29   #12
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Re: The stupidest/funniest mistakes you've made?

Haha, thanks for sharing all so far
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Old 28-05-2020, 09:30   #13
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Re: The stupidest/funniest mistakes you've made?

I’ve many to choose from too.

Funniest was sailing a 25’ engineless gaff rigged classic cruiser on the broads in the uk (an interconnected series of lakes on the UK’s east coast) beating up a narrow channel - probably 60’ to 70’ wide. Lots of holiday makers in rented displacement motorboats and a speed limit of about 5 knots. As we beat up the channel before long we had a long stream of motor boats following us astern carefully replicating all our tacks. They clearly thought we knew where to go and were intently following. There must have be 20 or more. It was a bit like the pied piper. Anyway, it all got a bit more interesting when we missed stays in a tack fell off the breeze with no way on and the rig got tangled up in a tree and hedge for a minute or two. The carnage astern of us would have been comic to watch if I’d not been so embarrassed about missing the tack and trying to get our spreaders out of an oak tree.

The one where I learned most, without anything actually going wrong, was a few years ago. Leaving Brighton in my current boat, two handed, heading for Chichester. The wind was steadily rising and by the time we were approaching selsey it was blowing about 23kts from the SW, so we were close hauled. And it was dusk as well. There is an inshore passage, the Looe channel, with a narrow exit at the western end. We had carried a falling (west going) tide with us. We were both feeling a little sick, and it was cold and a bit damp with the better part of 30kts over the deck. We took the inshore passage, and then went on to Chichester entrance where we arrived sufficiently early that I was anxious about having enough depth on the bar at the entrance in what was by then bumpy conditions, and the dark. We’d had a lee shore with nasty sand and shingle banks close under our lee for the last 90 minutes of the passage as it got dark.

If I’d simply tacked off before the Looe channel and put some sea room under us we’d have been at sea longer but we’d have arrived with more water at the bar, without the long exposed lee shore or having to find the two small channel markers at dusk (marking rocks inshore and offshore of us) in deteriorating weather.

Nothing did go wrong and we were fine. But when accident investigators talk about things going wrong when lots of holes line up i’d allowed a whole pile of holes to line up because I wanted to get in and warm. Not my finest descision making.
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Old 28-05-2020, 11:02   #14
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Re: The stupidest/funniest mistakes you've made?

Crossing the Santa Barbara Channel in no wind with heavy fog. Heard an approaching fog horn so kept a sharp lookout. They passed to my port side out of sight. Then started following me. They would run up near my side, then I would turn 90 degrees and run off. This happened a few times. Never could see them in the thick fog. It was taking all my concentration to hear them and keep them away from me. Finally I was able to hear them falling off astern after about 45 minutes of stress. Looked at my gps, was going back and forth near an oil derrick.
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Old 28-05-2020, 11:18   #15
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Re: The stupidest/funniest mistakes you've made?

^winner so far!
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