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Old 11-18-2013, 12:38 PM   #1
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Biggest Blunders or Worst Decisions

We have a "Why I Love It" and "Best Modifications" thread, how about your biggest blunders or worst decisions?

I'll start with this. Bought our boat a year ago in ready to use condition and promised myself no non essential purchases for the first year. So naturally I purchased a chart plotter and radar that is never going to be installed as its of no practical use for our kind of boating. I've since discovered that the Navionics app on my iPhone much more than satisfies our need for any electronic navigation.
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Old 11-18-2013, 12:56 PM   #2
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I have a little 20 foot bowrider. On the dash I have a large note. I/O Up? Plug in?

I have dragged the skag of my I/O up the ramp.

One time we had a boat full of kids in the boat. One kid says, "Jim is there suposed to be water around my ankles?" Plug was out. Sent my wife overboard to plug with her finger while I turned the bildge pump on, and located the plug.
I now have an automatic bilge pump.
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Old 11-18-2013, 01:08 PM   #3
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Crossing the Yucatan Channel from Cabo San Antonio (West end of Cuba) to Isla Mujeres Mexico, with a strong cold front coming. Didn't know then what a 20-knot north wind and a 7-knot current flowing South-to-North would do to the wave formation. In case anyone doesn't know, it makes them extremely steep, with breaking tops. In my trawler I might have been dead. In a good sailboat (which I had then) I was just very uncomfortable (and very scared!) Moral: Wait for weather.
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Old 11-18-2013, 01:49 PM   #4
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Quote:
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I have dragged the skag of my I/O up the ramp.
I had a 18' bowrider that had an old trailer with very tight rollers. At the ramp I would disconnect the winch, back it down the ramp, hit the brakes so she would come off. Well over one winter I changed out all the rollers. That spring I did my normal routine of diconnecting the winch cable and then backing down the ramp. Half way down the ramp and 15 feet from the water the boat rolled off and landed on the skeg. The skeg had a little Free Willy bend to it.
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Old 11-18-2013, 01:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigJim View Post
I have a little 20 foot bowrider. On the dash I have a large note. I/O Up? Plug in?

I have dragged the skag of my I/O up the ramp.

One time we had a boat full of kids in the boat. One kid says, "Jim is there suposed to be water around my ankles?" Plug was out. Sent my wife overboard to plug with her finger while I turned the bildge pump on, and located the plug.
I now have an automatic bilge pump.
I have a Whaler Montauk I keep on a hoist, when I pick her up and pull the plug I hang the plug in the box housing the up-down switch. When I open the door the plug falls out on it's tether reminding me to install it before lowering the boat.
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Old 11-18-2013, 01:55 PM   #6
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Wasted Impeller
Here is what happens with just 15 minutes with no water on the impeller when you leave the strainer isolated.The vanes are not even touching the casing anymore.
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Old 11-18-2013, 03:50 PM   #7
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Purchased a two decade old Skier. All in all looked great, was used gently and had low hrs w/ many additional items. Semi soft floor board under carpet on sides of inboard straight drive... seemed a no brainer to fix up. Figured I’d change flooring w/ my grandson and launch. Wellllll... I won’t get into all that I found and needed to do. Suffice it to say I must be more careful when it comes to potential wood rot in not just flooring of old FRP open boats. The way they built that boat made it destined to rot... mfger could have avoided all that with some inexpensive precautions. Guess they figured hard to file a claim after 20 yrs - LOL

Been 4 + decades since I had been attacking (following) rot on boats while working in boat yards as a kid in NY and Maine. Man – I Hate pervasive wood rot in boats!
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Old 11-18-2013, 04:21 PM   #8
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Must have "accidentally" snagged shifter and put boat into reverse on way out of pilothouse door while hopping onto dock with bow line in hand. Managed to get a wrap around piling but wife saved the day before line went tight or anything was hit.

No witnesses
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Old 11-18-2013, 04:46 PM   #9
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Spent two days getting back to the United States in fog from Nova Scotia and made it safely to harbor and took a mooring ball. Shut the boat down and proceeded to relax when a harbor master boat pulled alongside and told us we had to move because the mooring ball we were on was private. The employee pointed out another ball 50 yards away that we could take.

Fired up engine, dropped the mooring line and took off straight for the other mooring ball ---- without turning on the chart plotter. $18,000 (US) in damage as we ended up on rocks.

My helm now has a sign with the name of that harbor as a reminder to always assume we are going to sea no matter how short the distance.

Marty
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Old 11-18-2013, 04:58 PM   #10
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This is a doozy...

The year was 2003. I had been boating all of a couple years.

I was making my first inside passage trip, and overnight end at the Prince Rupert Yacht Club in Prince Rupert BC.

Got up in the morning and listened to the weather forecast. It was calling for 3-5's in Dixon entrance. It was early and I said I can handle 3-5' waves in my 20000 pound 660 horsepower 34' boat. So off I went.

Well, it was bad...really bad. I got caught in a tailing sea so bad I could not turn around. Huge waves. Every cabinet emptied to the deck. Stuff everywhere. We were holding on for dear life.

We made it. I learned allot about rough water piloting that day.

I also learned at the Canadians measure their seas in meters.
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Old 11-18-2013, 06:12 PM   #11
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Last time I yelped at the Admiral, in frustration while trying to stern tie the boat into a tough spot,

Long story short.

I ended up in very cold water . The Admiral and my pop had one hell of a laugh!

That has to be 14 - 15 years ago , yes I learned my lesson, ask nice !
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Old 11-18-2013, 06:53 PM   #12
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Amazing stories! I've shared this one before but I took Sherpa through 6 foot seas in Tampa Bay--we were heading home from an overnighter at Egmont and were attempting to beat a storm. Not pleasant. We took several waves that sent spray over the wheel house. Worst part is my wife got very sea sick.
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Old 11-18-2013, 07:23 PM   #13
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Fired up engine, dropped the mooring line and took off straight for the other mooring ball ---- without turning on the chart plotter. $18,000 (US) in damage as we ended up on rocks.
Ouch! ... I'm still trying to think of a significantly poor boating decision. Not that there weren't mishaps which have been previously described on TF.
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Old 11-18-2013, 08:34 PM   #14
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.

Fired up engine, dropped the mooring line and took off straight for the other mooring ball ---- without turning on the chart plotter. $18,000 (US) in damage as we ended up on rocks.

Marty
Just thinking of the sound that must have come from hitting those rocks makes me sick. What a terrible lesson. Every time I scratch my boat, I feel as if I have let it down, as though it is something only entrusted to me....like I have failed it. I can deal with the money, but the shame! Bay Pelican is such a beautiful, graceful vessel.
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Old 11-18-2013, 08:45 PM   #15
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Must have "accidentally" snagged shifter and put boat into reverse on way out of pilothouse door while hopping onto dock with bow line in hand. Managed to get a wrap around piling but wife saved the day before line went tight or anything was hit.

No witnesses
That doesn't count.
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Old 11-18-2013, 09:14 PM   #16
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This is a doozy...
Yikes!

Can't imagine that stretch of water in 15' seas...Skeena River sand banks to port, Hecate Strait to starboard
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Old 11-18-2013, 09:34 PM   #17
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A bit off topic perhaps but appropriate to the thread. When we bought our first brand new out of the box boat (1988 SeaRay Sundancer 300) the admiral and I picked it up from the dealer and motored across the Long Island Sound to a restaurant on the water to have a celebratory lunch. We docked next to a motor yacht of about 50 feet in length. As we stood there admiring it, a fellow in a small outboard boat lost control of his docking maneuver and smacked right into the big yacht making a foot long scratch in the side. The owner of the yacht came dashing out of the cabin, looked at the damage, turned to the fellow in the little boat that hit his boat and simply told him to forget about it and to go enjoy his lunch.

We stood there astounded at the gentleman's composure. I asked him how he remained so calm seeing the damage to his beautiful boat. He replied "it's just a boat." So to this day, no matter what we may damage on our boat unintentionally, if no one is hurt, we look at each other and say "it's just a boat." You'd be amazed at the power of that simple philosophy. Try it, you'll like it.
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Old 11-18-2013, 09:53 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bay Pelican View Post
Spent two days getting back to the United States in fog from Nova Scotia and made it safely to harbor and took a mooring ball. Shut the boat down and proceeded to relax when a harbor master boat pulled alongside and told us we had to move because the mooring ball we were on was private. The employee pointed out another ball 50 yards away that we could take.

Fired up engine, dropped the mooring line and took off straight for the other mooring ball ---- without turning on the chart plotter. $18,000 (US) in damage as we ended up on rocks.

My helm now has a sign with the name of that harbor as a reminder to always assume we are going to sea no matter how short the distance.

Marty
Marty.. I will share mine so you don't feel alone

We ( my entire family ) met up with my best and most critical world cruising friends a few years ago up in a bay in B.C.

Many margaritas were shared by all the night before " the incident"

We needed to leave early to get to and through a particularly swift set of rapids on our way South .. so I got up solo at Dawn's crack and fired up Volunteer to skate out of the Harbor. I had the anchor stowed and I was still firing up systems as we passed my bud, standing on deck in his jammies in the early dawn light while saluting as we passed close by.

Fifteen seconds later we slid across a rock the size of a house in a boat with about a foot less depth than draft...

Oh the humility!

Circling back to the anchorage to check for damage we rafted up to my friends boat. Surprisingly not a mention of my major blunder was made .. or in the years after... just a raised eyebrow and a shake of the head.

The bummer was I lost the ability to ever again harass him about running into one of the biggest , brightly yellow painted buoys in the Pacific Northwest while his Admiral read a book in the cockpit and he went below to have his morning movement.. In his Admiral's defense she was not on watch..

A subsequent dive after I got home a couple days later showed loss of a couple feet of bottom paint on the keel.

HOLLYWOOD
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Old 11-19-2013, 12:13 AM   #19
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ok - confession time.

I was out for a several day cruise with a buddy and run into a very rough weather and minor mechanical problems which put us behind schedule. We didn't arrive at our planned stop Wirrina Cove marina until well after dark. The cabin was a mess with the contents spilled out of some of the cabinets.

I hadn't been to the marina for several years and never in the dark. I asked my buddy to grab the spotlight as there was no moon and the lighting at the marina entrance was non-existent. He couldn't find the spotlight in the mess of the cabin, but I continued to proceed. I slowly negotiated past the breakwater into the dark calm water. We breathed a sigh of relief, halving escaped the rough waters. The lights at the marina were bright, but it made it difficult to see the immediate area in front of us.

I turned towards the main dock, squinting against the bright lights ahead. Suddenly I noticed a steel pylon about a foot off the starboard bow. At the same time my buddy is yelling and pointing off the starboard bow. Somehow, we slid between these two steel pylons unscathed, with inches to spare on either side.

I had forgotten about the old ferry docking terminal which was there, which consisted of 6 of these steel pylons connected in pairs by a horizontal beam about 4 feet above the water line. I happened to pass through the only gap possible. Anywhere else on 50 feet of either side would have resulted in mass destruction.
Thank you Poseidon.
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Old 11-20-2013, 06:10 AM   #20
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>proceeded to relax when a harbor master boat pulled alongside and told us we had to move because the mooring ball we were on was private.<

Picking up a private mooring is very common and ONLY the owner returning really has the right to kick you off. Not some water buroRAT.

In more civilized areas the boats name and tonnage will be on the mooring ball, to help folks pick a useful mooring.
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