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Memorable screw-ups!!

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Anonymous (not verified)
Memorable screw-ups!!
Hey folks, This forum is great at sharing tech-tips and experience. But I thought..............why don't we share a virtual beer with each other and have a laugh by 'fessing up to some of our great sailing screw-ups :o :lol: I'll kick it all off with one memory of sailing Cookie into the very windy harbour of Arricefe on Lanzarote. It'd been a wet, rough passage and I was focused on tacking into the anchorage with 25kt gusts coming through. Found my spot sailing under main, rounded up, chucked the pick over the bow and turned to release main halyards at the mast..................and found they were stuck :o So Cookie started hurtling back with main crackling, anchor rode paying out fast and i saw the halyards had washed down through the net and looped themselves around the stbd rudder.......bugger!!! :roll: So with Cookie reversing at speed, I jumped over the stern, holding onto the net and push the halyards quickly down with my feet, then had to run fwd to secure anchor line and then finally drop the wild crackling main. :oops: Not exactly the most polished arrival performance :lol: But I'm sure I gave the other cruisers great entertainment and it taught me to make sure the halyards were secure from then on ;) Look forward to hearing everyones beer-talk moments :D Cheers Rory
Anonymous (not verified)
Re: Memorable screw-ups!!
Not quite as dramatic as your tale, Rory, but one time we (my wife and her 3 friends plus me) were just about out of the channel, and my wife had the helm (that's a scary thought! ;) ). I snapshackled the main sheet to the clew, and proceeded to raise the main. My wife started screaming at me that she couldn't steer anymore :oops: , and I saw that I had the main sheet UNDER the tiller crossbar, and had lifted the starboard tiller off its rudder! I quickly jumped onto the aft starboard deck and got the tiller back on, and re-did the main sheet OVER the tiller crossbar. Then I started speaking softly to my wife in order to calm her down. :lol:
Anonymous (not verified)
Re: Memorable screw-ups!!
Thats great Kim, thought you might be the first to reply!!!!!! ;) I had the same trouble as you in the early days, except - just from tacking the mainsheet would snag under the end of the link bar and yank it up, as I used Wharrams shock cord idea to secure link bar over tillers. In the end I thought this was just getting silly........ :evil: , so I ended up putting nuts on the link bolts to make sure I stopped the air-rudder-waggle routine :lol: I have a whole stack of more blunders to share..............but have to wait for all our other mates to come outta the woodwork first!!! :idea: Cheers Rory
Anonymous (not verified)
Re: Memorable screw-ups!!
Hi All, I've reinvented myself to be able to post. THe weather in Ireland has been crap for sailing, but I went out single handed in a force 4/5 just to be out there. All went well until I headed back in on a run. I freed off the main which was connected to the sail with a big carbine ( to allow easy adjustment to the five hole plate on the sail) BIG BIg mistake, it promply locked itself on the lee shroud and to boat took off like a scalded cat ( no pun intented) straight for the shallows. I had the damndest job to get that thing off the shroud, it seemed like ages with a full main fighting me all the time. I finally said to myself, if the boys on the Vovlo Ocean can get a spinniker in, in a force 8 surely you can get a piddly carbine undone. Finally I did and headed back out. One thing I have learned in 40 years of sailing is that, if its not right, it's gonna come back and bite you in the A.... Regards to Alll, I hope the weather picks up soon, Jackie.
Anonymous (not verified)
Re: Memorable screw-ups!!
That was the end of a memorable vacation week. I was headed back from having fun sailing around the British Columbia Gulf Islands. I was tired - that's my excuse anyway. I was in view of my home Marina and headed straight for it. And we hit bottom. In my haste to get home I had forgotten about Spanish Banks. My crew said "No problem. The water will go up and we will move on". To which I answered "What makes you think that the water is going up!" I spent a very embarassing 5 hours sitting on the beach in view of all my friends. After venting a little bit, I calmed down and took the opportunity to clean up the boat. The Coast Guards came to see me and gave me some tips which were welcome. Eventually I floated again and all was well. A week later I met a very interesting woman at the club. Wanting to impress her, I told her about my beautiful catamaran. To which she answered, "Ah yes, I saw a catamaran last week which was sitting dry on the beach" ... So much for first impression... Julien
Anonymous (not verified)
Re: Memorable screw-ups!!
Good one Julien, Hey........I thought loads of folks would be coming out with their best sailing faux-pax. Yoho.........guess I will have to spin another yarn :twisted: T'was in Hamilton Island OZ, and my new bride Michelle and I signed up for the local Yacht Club and enjoyed the Weds night beer races. She had enjoyed getting to grips with my Tiki 21 Cookie and even won the ladies race by helming the whole way :P On a particular evening we had finished racing and were making our way under just main into the small harbour and to the floating t-dock. Thought I had it all figured with luffing room at the dock when the wind swung 180 degrees in a gust and Cookie hurtled into the corner of the tee with no sheet-out left and the mainsail driving hard. All I could do was to shout to Michelle to hang on and I jumped onto the whizzing dock with stern line in hand ready to give a hard pull and save the day......................only I had the bitter end in my hand and in the split second saw all the dockline snake away from me with a speeding Tiki 21 on the end!!! :shock: BAM - 'ramming speed' into an angle iron across the tee dock :o Ah well, I could have tried to be embarrassed - but that was OZ and they eat that kinda stuff for brekky and get good mileage out of it :lol: It was worth it to see the utter shock and disbelief from Michelle :? She asked- "so how long have you been sailing this boat??" :oops: Come on! There must be lots of good tales out there. Lets hear them..........or else I will be forced to spill the beans on the bucket disaster down below whilst riding out a force 8 gale!!!!!
Anonymous (not verified)
Re: Memorable screw-ups!!
Pop a few more brewskis boys. I was out with my family and another family on our Tiki 30 in Lake Worth Fl (Palm Beach) for a Sunday afternoon sail. It was a warm day and there were hundreds of boats milling around Peanut Island and the adjacent sandbar. There were plenty of skippers with upturned refreshments looking at thongs as opposed to traffic. My bride SUGESSTED that we drop sail, turn on the motor and skedaddle outta there. I agreed but thought I would do it under sail. (BAD IDEA) It was blowing about 18-20 and we were beating through all of this traffic and anchored boats and it was tough going. We were just about to be clear and I was waiting for this center console fish boat to cross in front of me to tack and be gone. Well, he was just about across, entering a marina, and I started our tack. He heard our sails luff and turned, saw us, put his boat into neutral and put his hands in the air. He was then being blown backwards instead of forwards and when our Tiki finished her tack and accelerated we would have boarded him amidships. So I aborted the tack but had lost way and was in irons. I attempted to steer the boat in reverse to continue my tack but the bows blew off in the wrong direction and poof we were accelerating. First we rammed into a big steel dive boat on the tee dock. No damage to the steel boat and we only popped one of our stemheads off. But we are now beam reaching into the dock with the motor in full reverse and no more sheet out and being blown downwind. The next boat on the tee dock was a 66' Gunboat catamaran. We hit at the stem first and then drifted the full length of the Gunboat with my stems bouncing off the topsides of the Gunboat. The owner was aboard and saw the whole thing go down and as I was trying to fend of he was walking the length of his deck asking me if I was aware that I was bouncing off a 3 million dollar boat. His feet were about at my shoulder height and there wasn't anything he could do to assist. And of course numerous friends appear out of the woodwork. I guess you don't get to do such bone head maneuvers in obscurity. All in all it was a very good time to have insurance. And they didn't even cancel me. So a week later I'm working on the interior of an 80' schooner at Rybovich's yard in Palm Beach and they park this Gunboat right next to me to begin repairs. Lessons? First listen to your wife. Secondly, I should have not gotten myself into a position where I had no out when somebody else did something stupid.
Anonymous (not verified)
Re: Memorable screw-ups!!
Yes, there will be more screw-ups; they are not just the stuff of history! :lol: At least it didn't turn out any worse than it did. The equivalent of a loss of traction on the roadway: scary stuff!
Anonymous (not verified)
Re: Memorable screw-ups!!
Hey Mr. Boatsmith, Loved the story. Cringed at the thought of bouncing of 3 mill Gunboat :o Life is full of lessons which give many others a great laugh eh? I remember anchoring Cookie in North Spain and going ashore to explore and shop in Bayona. Even met some great Swiss folks cruising on a 22ft monohull - so we hit it off and lots of talk of how we small boat nutters cope with life aboard etc. So I invited my new friends back for a look at Cookie. Rowed out in the inflatable and got that sinking feeling when no Cookie in sight where I expected. After scanning the anchorage - there she was - tied like a tender behind a 60ft schooner!! They had gone out in their dinghy and rescued Cookie when she was dragging anchor into thew distance! It was embarrassing to go up to the big boat and ask "if I could have my boat back now please" :oops: DOH!!! :lol: I owed them a bottle of Whisky for that one!! Cheers Rory
Anonymous (not verified)
Re: Memorable screw-ups!!
I suspect I have a bad habit of blacking them out. The one that sticks in my mind was when single handing my Hinemoa, Sealark, away from the Poole town quay under power, all went well until I went to put the helm over the other way and discovered that I had forgotten to undo the tie I had left on to stop it jamming against the harbour wall. Unfortunately, I was heading straight at the town quay, fortunately I managed to kill the speed and the boat I hit had very thick sides and an understanding skipper - I did leave my details though. I am now pretty obsessive about making sure the helm is unlashed and use a bungy, hook and chain arrangement to control it in situations like that (holds it central when it is not being moved by the helm and also doubles up as a basic self steering mechanism).
Anonymous (not verified)
Re: Memorable screw-ups!!
Its a long long list! There's the one about shipwrecking on a barrier reef in the south pacific at 3am a few months ago on my blog http://wharram.eu//live//article.php?story=20090624111558767 But since you guys are into hitting other boats in harbors, got plenty of those too - there was the time when Manu Rere was brand new and getting kicked off the transient mooring at Newport beach with wind and tide going my way I put up the sails and brailed them so they were ready to snap open, then turned ship so she was pointed downwind/current between the closely moored neighbors, and, thinking "piece of cake", let go the mooring. Well it didn't go the way I expected; she made a sharp right angle turn in the opposite direction to helm and straight for the nearest boat, before I could even get to the bow to fend off, the boats impacted with an ear splitting screeech (due to still lacking rubber liners in beam sockets). Fortunately the impact wasn't nearly as disastrous as it sounded but I sure felt like the old pacific hand with about 50 frowning billionaire yachtie faces pointed at me. Of course in retrospect the current was flowing against the rudders from astern, making steering impossible.
Anonymous (not verified)
Re: Memorable screw-ups!!
Not a real screw up, but a bad fright and out of harbour: We had had an uneventful day sail with very variable wind and were approaching Bridlington harbour on with the wind aft of the beam when I had a premonition and looked over my shoulder to see a wall of white heading almost on us. In the time it took for me to reach for the halyards the wind had gone from a F1-2 to a 5+ from dead astern which meant the sail was hard against the shrouds and the halyards would not run freely; fortunately Helen realised what was happening and leapt out of the cabin to free the halyards. 5 minutes later it was a dead calm and we had to motor in to beat the tide (drying harbour). A good reminder that you can not afford to switch off at sea.
Anonymous (not verified)
Re: Memorable screw-ups!!
Hey Glen & Robert, Thanks for sharing :) Great to hear your news Glen, although very scary story on the reef. I bumped the coral a couple of times up the Red Sea and ended up putting Cookie on a rocky shore in a Greek anchorage. It's amazing how much crunching hull noise is transmitted even when no damage is being done :o Its enough to make a sailor feel sick to their stomach :( Glad to know the boat came away largely unscathed. I am sure this new forum will be waiting eagerly for your exciting voyaging updates when you are able - as am I :) Thanks for the link to your blog. Cheers Rory
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