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Old 01-07-2016, 12:37 PM   #41
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Seems like you thought it through and communicated your plan well with Debbie. Clear and effective real time communication is always challenging under conditions like those. Sounds to me like you did well.
Yeah, BUT I'd teach her to be more comfortable with running the boat. No telling when you may become incapacitated enough (like a health issue) to not be able to do it yourself.....Then you're truly in a jam that you might not be able to respond as well too if at all...

From your quote earlier:
"It's not going to happen. She doesn't want to and no matter of negotiation is going to change that."

That's just foolish and dangerous. Maybe you two shouldn't be boating together..

(or maybe she has a large life insurance policy on you???)
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Old 01-07-2016, 01:31 PM   #42
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This is a great thread, mainly because Timjet himself is reviewing his own actions and thinking of what he did well and what he could have done better. Frankly, I think he's being much too hard on himself. Was he perfect? No. But he handled it well and will do better next time and to me that's the key, that we're always learning. No circumstance precisely duplicates a previous one either, we just build out own little internal database and proceed from there. I applaud the way he's reexamining. We should always do that. But I also like that he's considering comments but then sorting through on his own.

I think you took reasonable steps. You evaluated where you were versus getting elsewhere and thought you'd be better moving. Whether you were or not can be argued, but you didn't do it without a good bit of thought and the boat against the bridge might well indicate that moving was a good idea.

Whether you should have known more from the location and the weather, you probably should have. But then how many others were there and didn't anticipate or have the information. Again, next time you will. You'll be more knowledgeable of thinking of exposure of mooring fields and more on top of the latest conditions. However, if you boat enough, you'll find yourself in a mooring field or anchorage again caught by a surprisingly bad turn of conditions. That's why this is so great, that you're thinking of next time and many of us are.

As to Heron telling you what you should do with your wife and all of that, I thought and so did my wife, who loves boating, that he was a bit offbase. You and your wife worked well as a team and you will continue to do so with her having limitations in what she will do. You'll consider those when deciding to go out or not. Everyone isn't going to feel the same about boating. I love that my wife loves it as much as I do and that she's got the same license I have, but neither of us is going to impose that on other wives or husbands. I'm sure most of your cruising is in situations that you'd be comfortable single handing and you're probably doing with 1 1/2 hands. With situations like the one you just encountered, she picks up a little more knowledge each time. You learn more than you realize often times through exposure.

I just applaud your entire posts on this topic, Timjet. I think we all continue to learn and if any of us go through something like this or other boating experiences and don't learn anything, then there's just something wrong and that kind of stubbornness will hurt us one day.
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Old 01-07-2016, 01:43 PM   #43
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As to Heron telling you what you should do with your wife and all of that, I thought and so did my wife, who loves boating, that he was a bit offbase.
You really think so?....Wow...I assumed you were an experienced, responsible boating couple. You may take your shared knowledge and skills for granted. many cannot

His life could depend on her knowing how to run the boat. Maybe that's not important to either of them or you. Sorry, but It is to me. None of us here are getting any younger.

Btw, I'm not "telling" Timjet anything. Just suggesting it MAY be important. If it's not, that's fine....Carry on (with your fingers crossed) and hope nothing bad ever happens again. Being in denial does not insulate you from potential disaster.

If I had a heart attack or stoke I'd like to know my wife could get the boat back to the dock, any dock. I haven't seen many medivac choppers capable of water landings...

Lets hope none of us are ever in this position. This is more than a story about bouncing around on a mooring ball..
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Old 01-07-2016, 02:29 PM   #44
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High winds and waves can happen anywhere. Look at what happen to me a few weeks ago......
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Old 01-07-2016, 07:05 PM   #45
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You really think so?....Wow...I assumed you were an experienced, responsible boating couple. You may take your shared knowledge and skills for granted. many cannot

If I had a heart attack or stoke I'd like to know my wife could get the boat back to the dock, any dock. ..
We are an experienced, responsible boating couple, but we recognize some couples aren't in our position. We really can't judge as we don't know their capabilities or where and how they boat.

People fly small planes regularly without co-pilots. Now, that scares me and not something I would do.

As to the heart attack or stroke, if you're 20 miles offshore in a Trawler type boat, no one is going to get you to shore fast enough. We carry very complete medical kits and we're trained in the use of them plus we subscribe to a service to patch us to a medical response service and we're still under no illusion that means we can always save each other. But, you bring up strokes and heart attacks so do you carry a defibrulator and know how to use it? What about wraps and medications?

The point is that we're all prepared for different levels of problems and different kinds of boating. I do believe his wife having at least a minimal amount of very basic knowledge even if she never intends to use it would be beneficial. However, I'm not about to jump into his marriage and how he and his wife have agreed to do this. I'm sure my wife and I do a lot of things that many here would disapprove of but work just fine for us. Undue pressure could make her back away from boating with him altogether.

I know you're approaching it as a boating issue and we're approaching it as a marriage issue. I'll leave it to Timjet to deal with. He knows it would be preferable for her to learn more.
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Old 01-07-2016, 08:04 PM   #46
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The point is that we're all prepared for different levels of problems and different kinds of boating. I do believe his wife having at least a minimal amount of very basic knowledge even if she never intends to use it would be beneficial. .
On that we agree...
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Old 01-07-2016, 09:06 PM   #47
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Man this is some drama........

My $0.03

I've been solo for the last 5000 miles. (Whether wifey and the kids were on board or not matters nil. She looked after the kids, I got the boat.)

Doesn't matter, plan accordingly. There's nothing inherently unsafe about that.

If you're tied up to a mooring and it's all holding....... ride it out. Some cards, vodka and a cigar. If it starts dragging, act accordingly (drop the bridle it's only money). If you HAVE to get away, there's a few ways to skin that cat. In this case I would have considered getting the boat upwind of the mooring and setting the anchor..... remove the bridle and drive over the anchor whilst retrieving form the helm. (Assuming a remote windlass) Again, lots of ways to do it.

An inflatable is fine. They work, ask me how I know. Falling overboard in 5-7? Try 15-20 (foot, not knots) in the stream. I didn't, but I got close. Yes, hanking on to a jack line is a good idea. I've had one on my last three boats. Now think about hanging from your tether slapping against the side of the boat..... now what?

Not trying to sound tough, but we all have our own tolerances and experience levels. This guy pulled it out of his ass and got a nice learning experience from it. If you think he should have staid home, maybe you should too.

Rant over.
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Old 01-07-2016, 11:20 PM   #48
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Just a few thought come to mind to toss in here, as we have been caught out in the odd 'blow'.

Yes, the inflatable PFD would have been sufficient - never wear one under a standard jacket - it's one or the other, but as PSNeeld said, movement much less restricted in the inflatable.

I would think if there is a real possibility of going overboard to also have a line attached at least the length of the boat, and preferably very securely attached at the stern and near the boarding ladder, and no point doing this really unless you organise things so the boarding ladder is accessible with the dink in place in my view, even if it means mounting the dink a bit off centre, like in the pic. The idea is function, not looks. This is totally relevant to any man overboard scenario. Almost impossible to get someone back on board, or for you to climb back on board, if you can't self deploy and access the ladder. Means we can swim also without launching the dink as well.

Having seen a yacht in company with us in a blow get their anchor strop/hook jammed in the bow roller in a panic up-anchor scenario and nearly lose their boat as a consequence, (pulled off by Marine Rescue when keel was thumping bottom), I have a secondary roller mounted next to the main anchor roller, and always use that for the strop or a mooring ball line, so the anchor stays where it needs to be, secure, and ready to deploy instantly if needed. I use a single strop with a section covered by conduit where it crosses the roller to prevent chafe.

Definitely a good idea to regularly check a proper marine forecast, and try to move in anticipation, rather than in response to, worsening conditions, and read the weather charts yourself, so you can work out trends. Get a book on weather map interpretation if necessary, or it's probably on the net. It's fun to know how to work out wind strengths, probable direction changes, etc.

Finally, if caught out, and things not too terrible, maybe better to just stay put, especially if on a mooring - they are usually more secure than an anchor. Just saying'
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Old 01-07-2016, 11:28 PM   #49
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I boat in the SF Bay and CA Delta. We rarely see 100+ ft water and it's almost all forgiving and good holding mud. My wife can't drive the boat and will never learn how to drive the boat. But she knows how to stop the engines and deploy the anchor while calling for help, DSC and CH 16 manually. I have great faith in my anchor in keeping us safe in most conditions. Besides, I have a whole lot more faith in the speed of the USCG and other boaters when critical moments count than relying on my boat's 8 kts.

She didn't know how to fly when I used to fly us around, but we survived that, too. At least today we have a Plan B.
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Old 01-08-2016, 06:39 AM   #50
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I love the challenge of operating a large piece of equipment in a competent and professional manner.
Oh so true. My Airbus A-330 and now my little Carver 35 ACMY. Next, the biggest RV I can find towing a dually.

I didn't start this thread to discuss the relative merits of our wives boating capabilities but rather to get opinions on how I handled this situation and most importantly how to avoid a similar situation again. I've been around boats my whole life and I bet everyone that's contributed to this thread has also been around boats a long time. It's absurd and disrespectful to suggest that I need to fix my wife. Oh gee I hadn't thought of the importance of teaching my wife how to operate the boat. Please.

We're currently anchored up the Banana River just north of Dragon's Point. Pleasant little anchorage, not a ripple last night. I grilled chicken breasts and my wife made a salad. We ate by candle light on the sundeck, bottle of wine on the table between us. Cat curled up on top of the cooler. Nope not gonna trade her in for some muscle bound wench with a 6 pak license.
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Old 01-08-2016, 07:29 AM   #51
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My rule of thumb because my boat is my home and all my possessions of significance....forecast marine winds above 20 knots have me seeking a sheltered marina or a deep, blind end, secluded anchorage with plenty of solid protection around. I have a low risk threshold in this case.

Not always easy...but I have in mind plenty of places that I see and keep in the back of my mind.
I bought my dinghy from an experience boater and he invited me in to see his boat. Sadly his wife was dying of cancer and he was shedding everything related to boating. He offered to sell me his guide books mostly his Skipper Bob anchoring guide and Marina guide to the ICW. So we talked a little about anchoring.

His rule of thumb was the same, winds over 20 kts and he was seeking a marina.

Psneeld's comment reminded me of that conversation. Good advice and perhaps the best of all.
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Old 01-08-2016, 07:52 AM   #52
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Thanks Tim. Enjoy that spot...had the best dolphin show ever there with them chasing food into the shallows.

Not sure I am fond of the idea of training a line in a confined areas, an anchorage and a situation requiring quick close quarters maneuvering to get underway.

The water temp was high enough and shorelines close enough and small vessels close enough that going overboard and getting tight back on want nearly the issue of remote or open water and a line in the water in those circumstances is a danger in itself.

For the last 13 years towing, I only ran over my towline a couple times. Usually in situation just like this. High stress and the need to concentrate on one issue at a time just to keep going where you wanted to get.

In this situation...no...I would not recommend trailing a line in the water...too big of a risk for only a "possible" gain.
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Old 01-08-2016, 07:57 AM   #53
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Oh so true. My Airbus A-330 and now my little Carver 35 ACMY. Next, the biggest RV I can find towing a dually.
You got me beat with the boat, don't have one yet but working on it. Occasional 764, usually a 752. As far as the biggest thing you can pull with a (Dmax) dually.... here you go. Although I must confess I am spending a lot of time on a forum where people pull their fivers with a singled HDT...... Something about a 10 speed that's just too cool......
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Old 01-08-2016, 09:16 AM   #54
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Not sure I am fond of the idea of training a line in a confined areas, an anchorage and a situation requiring quick close quarters maneuvering to get underway.
Good point. We would have had to retrieve that line and there may not have been enough time with the other boats so close.

I have a tale of a trailing line. 2 years ago we were leaving our permanent slip for a new one several miles away with the plan on spending the night at our favorite anchorage before arriving at the new slip.
We of course were taking all our dock lines with us but I didnít notice the port bow line had fallen in the water still attached to the cleat. Itís difficult to see a rope in the water attached to the cleat from the helm unless you are looking directly at the cleat.

30 minutes later we power up to 2300 rpm for a fast run across Tampa Bay when suddenly I hear a loud POP with the port engine falling to 1600 rpm and tons of black smoke pouring out the port exhaust. I immediately come to idle and investigate but could not find anything wrong. Power up again but the port engine would only achieve 1600 rpm with the black smoke returning. Interestingly no smoke below 1600 rpm. We continued on one engine to the anchorage and the next morning I was walking the deck and saw the rope connected to the cleat. Now knowing what probably happened I dove the boat to confirm and removed most of the remaining rope from the prop. Powered up again but all was the same.

2 weeks later with the engine head removed it was confirmed that the #3 piston had blown. A sudden decrease in rpm from 2300 to 1600 and years of over propping by the PO had done it.



Now every time we leave a marina Debbie counts the dock lines before she clears me to put the engines in gear. Such a sweetheart.
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Old 01-08-2016, 09:54 AM   #55
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Certainly a trailing line has its place...my risk management assessment in this case points to a higher threat than help.

I am nervous using forward dock lines that can reach the prop for your very reason.
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Old 01-08-2016, 12:02 PM   #56
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To go back to your mooring bridle situation for a moment: Yes, having a line going from one bow cleat, through the pennant eye and back to the other bow cleat is a sure recipe for doing chafing damage to both the mooring pennant and your bridle line - and for the possibility of having one of them part in the middle of a stormy night. Not good.

Equally bad - or maybe worse - is actually TYING your bridle to the mooring pennant. As you mentioned, this makes it difficult, if not impossible to release the mooring in a stormy situation.

I always taught my charter guests to BUILD a bridle. First, secure the loop end of the first bridle line to a bow cleat. I usually start with the starboard side bow cleat to make picking up the mooring easier (helm on starboard). Pick up the mooring pennant loop (I recommend picking it up alongside when conditions permit.) Pull the bitter end of the bridle line through the pennant loop and walk the bridle end up to the same bow cleat. Quickly tie it to the cleat and you are at least secure. Now you can relax for a second and begin to "build" your bridle.

Untie the bitter end of the bridle line and pull out slack until the pennant loop is almost to your starboard bow cleat. Re-secure the bridle line to its cleat. Now, take your second bridle line and secure the loop end to your portside bow cleat. Outside of your bow rails, maneuver the line around your bow pulpit and anchors, and then put it through the mooring pennant loop eye that you have pulled up almost tight to the starboard cleat. Now maneuver the line BACK around the pulpit and anchors to secure it again to your portside bow cleat. You can then untie the starboard bridle line and let line out until both bridle lines are the same length and the pennant loop is centered on the bow. Finally, adjust both bridle lengths to be as long as conditions and mooring field spacing allows.

This type of bridle will not saw away at the pennant and should keep the whole assembly away from your bow pulpit and anchors. When you are ready to go, engines running, someone at the helm, etc., simply release one bridle line and pull it all the way free of the pennant loop. Then, untie the second bridle line and pull IT free of the pennant loop. Be sure to control the line as it goes out so that it doesn't flip around the mooring loop and become fouled.

If you practice this technique, you can feel safe and easily release a mooring under almost all conditions.
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Old 01-08-2016, 12:14 PM   #57
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This type of bridle will not saw away at the pennant and should keep the whole assembly away from your bow pulpit and anchors. When you are ready to go, engines running, someone at the helm, etc., simply release one bridle line and pull it all the way free of the pennant loop. Then, untie the second bridle line and pull IT free of the pennant loop. Be sure to control the line as it goes out so that it doesn't flip around the mooring loop and become fouled.

If you practice this technique, you can feel safe and easily release a mooring under almost all conditions.
I think that's what I do. Two lines, one to each side. I use two because....
I came loose one windy night at Block Island when a single line chafed thru and I woke up to the sound of the pennant clanging on the bow rail as it got pulled off the boat. I got up and was drifting thru the town mooring field. LuckilyI didn't hit anything and was able to get back to the private mooring I was on. But I learned an important lesson.
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Old 01-08-2016, 12:14 PM   #58
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I have frequently put the mooring pennants on the cleats directly. That said, it was on a sail boat with cleats quite forward and about 5 feet above the water. A taller bow and cleats set further back on a MY this probably won't work.
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Old 01-08-2016, 12:23 PM   #59
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Putting the pennant loops directly onto the cleats works great IF: 1) the mooring ball actually has TWO pennants. 2) the pennants are long enough to reach to your bow cleats. 3) It is dead calm when you pick them up so that you can actually maneuver them onto the cleats. 4) The forecast is for calm winds when you plan to leave (kind of hard to pry them up off the cleats in a big blow.) And, 5) you have picked up that rarest of animals - a mooring pennant that is not covered in gook and sea life!
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Old 01-08-2016, 01:32 PM   #60
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I have frequently put the mooring pennants on the cleats directly. That said, it was on a sail boat with cleats quite forward and about 5 feet above the water. A taller bow and cleats set further back on a MY this probably won't work.
What boat that has cleats set back and not on centerline that doesn't have chocks? Not many I have towed.

Granted there are some cheezy chock setups and a few that has a bow pulpit set up funny...but they are easily corrected.

Really doesn't matter though, the concept of using two loops as opposed to one, independently secured is the way to go.
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