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Old 01-08-2016, 02:36 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
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.
I had cleats, just the length required was less than the average MY bow setup would dictate.
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Old 01-08-2016, 02:46 PM   #62
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Old 01-08-2016, 03:13 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
What boat that has cleats set back and not on centerline that doesn't have chocks? Not many I have towed.

Ours.

Not an insurmountable problem, but we do have to pay attention to chafe gear, etc. when making a bridle or running (two) lines to a mooring pennant.

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Old 01-08-2016, 04:43 PM   #64
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Ours.

Not an insurmountable problem, but we do have to pay attention to chafe gear, etc. when making a bridle or running (two) lines to a mooring pennant.

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Aren't they forward just off to the sides of the pulpit just back off the gunnel on a downward sloping deck?
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Old 01-08-2016, 04:52 PM   #65
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@Timjet: nice 'lesson learned'.

On another note: IF you had fallen overboard, (and been incapacitated) do you have a mechanism to lift/hoist you aboard?

If not look at this

http://www.seamarshall-us.com/matesa...me-rescue.html

Think of not just yourself, but if ANYONE fell overboard could you 'dead lift' their unconscious body out without help?

Btw. I agree with the 'inflatable' use.
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Old 01-09-2016, 12:16 AM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TDunn View Post
Actually you were better off with just the inflatable life vest. Inflatables have more flotation (35 lb for a good one) than the off shore life vests (22.5 lbs) and the flotation in an inflatable is better oriented to float you face up.
Interesting, and thank you.

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Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
the concept of using two loops as opposed to one, independently secured is the way to go.
What about one length of line with a section of chain in the middle where it goes through the mooring loop? Then chafe won't happen and you could easily drop one side for retrieval...

Curious as I've got a 6' length of 3/8" chain that could conceivably work, if experience dictates it a good idea. Has anyone tried that?

Is the reason for two independent loops so there are two points of failure before disaster strikes?

As far as timjet's decision to leave, I believe it a wise one. Things were not going to get better and leaving in the daytime with light has got to be a better choice. Boating is supposed to be fun. When it's not, you're doing something wrong. Change it.

And weather forecasts need to be a part of boating life. I usually listen and write down the weather twice a day so I can learn trends. The part of NOAA that "gets" me is when competing stations broadcast. How are we to know what is the "local" one and which is not? I have two VHF's and sometimes the weather channel is broadcast on different channels depending on the radio! (One radio is older than dirt -- the other relatively new.)

Anyway, good job timjet and thank you for sharing your experience and retrospective insight. Both are helpful.
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Old 01-09-2016, 12:38 AM   #67
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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.
For our own normal berth, the docklines, (bloody computer keeps want to put ducklings), stay attached to the dock, set at the right length, and ready to just slip back onto the cleats. One reason being ease of re-berthing, the other to prevent exactly what you just described. Making them short enough to not reach the prop, as psn suggested, would be wise, if you still take yours with you.
We carry extra lines for elsewhere, but always stowed until needed.
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Old 01-09-2016, 06:52 AM   #68
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"For our own normal berth, the docklines, (bloody computer keeps want to put ducklings), stay attached to the dock, set at the right length, and ready to just slip back onto the cleats."

BUT should the marina rent your slip while you go cruising , the dock lines may evaporate , even if eye spliced into the cleat!
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Old 01-09-2016, 06:55 AM   #69
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Iím surprised my post generated interest beyond TF. I got a PM asking my permission to use my experience elsewhere.

For the benefit of others and to review in my mind hereís what I think I did right and what I should have done:

The decision to go was the right one. Conditions were forecast to remain the same for the next 24hrs or more. The boat that crashed into the bridge did so about 22 hrs after we left. At the time we left, right at day break, we were both tied and slightly nauseous. That would have only gotten worse to the point that if we decided to leave later our judgement could have been affected. Plus if we stayed I would have had to tie the anchor to the deck putting me on the pitching bow longer than it ultimately took to throw the anchor over, stow it and release the mooring bridle.

I didnít think it was likely I would fall over. The bow was pitching 5-7 ft but not rolling. The wind was so strong it overcame the current keeping the bow into the wind and waves. If I thought it likely I would fall over I would call Sea Tow and have them release or cut the bridle. I donít know if they would have done this.

We had considered tying a life jacket to a long line and trailing it behind the boat in the event I fell over. As Psneeld noted that line could have fowled the props once I released from the mooring ball and Debbie put the engines in fwd.

I should have deployed the dinghy securing it to the boat on a short line. In its stowed position it is impossible for a person to board the swim platform and get out of the water. Iím a pretty good swimmer and if I fell in and was uninjured Iím pretty sure I could have swam to the swim platform. I had considered wearing my bike helmet when I went to the bow, but decided against it. I should have.

I also thought that if I fell in the wind would push me toward the marina with its floating dock. I did not take into account the current and had no idea which way it was flowing. This was a big mistake and had I thought of this I would have deployed the dinghy as described above.

The bridle I made by using a line from the starboard bow cleat thru the thimble on the mooring pendant and back to the port cleat is not the correct way to secure to a mooring ball. Chafe on the line as it goes back and forth through the thimble is a real possibility and there is only one line. I worried about chafing all night and checked it twice. There was no chafing, I checked the line later, but I was lucky and the thimble on the pendant was plastic with no sea growth on it. I used a 7/8Ē braided line.
Someone on this thread described the proper way and that is to use two lines, one tied to the starboard bow cleat and the other tied to the port bow cleat. Both lines then go through the pendant thimble and back to their respective cleats. Using that method provides the security of 2 lines with both lines easy to release from the mooring. Never tie to the pendant as you canít quickly release and may not be able to untie in a blow. I mentioned this method in an earlier post. I got that from the Titusville mooring guide Ė it is flat out wrong. But however you tie to the mooring, releasing the line from your boat even if you have to leave the line attached to the mooring is preferable to staying if conditions dictate you go.

One thing surprised me. With the wind blowing 25-30 kts I expected the boat to move downwind much faster than it did. Immediately when I released the bridle the boat started to turn sideways to the wind which slowed its downwind progress and Debbie put the engines in fwd. Perhaps because of these two effects, by the time I released the bridle to the time I got to the helm, maybe 15 seconds, the boat moved maybe 20 ft back from the ball. My biggest concern during this whole episode other than falling in, was crashing into a nearby moored boat. Thankfully that didnít become an issue.

Debbie and I discussed in detail what we were going to do. We reviewed how to call for help (she knew how) and I reemphasized the need to hold down the DSC emergency button on the radio for 3 sec.

Iím embarrassed to say I used weather bug to check the forecast. The forecast for St. Augustine was for 17kts. I was a quarter mile from downtown St. Augustine. I should have known better. Someone asked how to determine which NOAA wx station to use as they can overlap. The Waterway Guide published by Doziers lists the stations by location.

This ole saying applies: Better to use your superior judgement that to display your superior skills.
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Old 01-09-2016, 07:53 AM   #70
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Aren't they forward just off to the sides of the pulpit just back off the gunnel on a downward sloping deck?

Pretty much. But when lines lead from there down and forward -- as with a bridle arrangement -- they can saw a bit against the rub rails.

Not too hard to deal with, just a factoid of life.

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Old 01-09-2016, 08:01 AM   #71
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And weather forecasts need to be a part of boating life. I usually listen and write down the weather twice a day so I can learn trends. The part of NOAA that "gets" me is when competing stations broadcast. How are we to know what is the "local" one and which is not? I have two VHF's and sometimes the weather channel is broadcast on different channels depending on the radio! (One radio is older than dirt -- the other relatively new.)

I think you can start to pinpoint which broadcast station is which from here: NOAA Weather Radio - Map State Selection

Given a likely coverage area, match callsigns to channel numbers, etc.

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Old 01-09-2016, 08:02 AM   #72
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Pretty much. But when lines lead from there down and forward -- as with a bridle arrangement -- they can saw a bit against the rub rails.

Not too hard to deal with, just a factoid of life.

-Chris
probably still better than many of the poorly made chocks that are installed.

Yeah...some boats are tough without adding a special cleat, ring or sampson post...or good chocks...

My real point wasn't to cover every cleat situation but to point out that a line leading anywhere that is only looped should be a closed loop versus open to minimize chafe...however you can attach it to the boat.
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Old 01-09-2016, 08:10 AM   #73
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Yep, yep, and yep.


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Old 01-09-2016, 10:06 AM   #74
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I have a newbie question directed at the group
If this boat had pod drives with the station keeping/holding feature would that have been helpful?
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Old 01-09-2016, 10:12 AM   #75
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In my mind....only a small degree as once untied, positioning wasn't needed.

Positioning wouldn't have helped much with the generally difficult motion.....especially if it can't hold within a couple of feet in those conditions.

The anchor while an issue in this case...is really a separate issue that many and probably Tim will never encounter again.

So while I have no experience with positioning on small pleasure boats....I doubt it would have helped much and may give a false sense of security unless it IS that good in all conditions.
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Old 01-09-2016, 02:24 PM   #76
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I have a newbie question directed at the group
If this boat had pod drives with the station keeping/holding feature would that have been helpful?
Any form of joystick controls might have been helpful, whether with pods or simply with twins and thrusters, especially with a less experienced person at the helm. However, controlling the boat and directing it didn't turn out to be a problem.

Now, one more comment about joysticks. While to the new boater they simplify things and to most boaters of our generation or younger they are a type control they're use to, having played many games with joystick controllers, to long time boaters who are experienced with conventional controls, joysticks are sometimes a strange new world to adjust to. Not difficult, but they don't initially see the need or benefit and they don't initially have comfort with them. As a comparison while many of you have probably at one time or another used tiller steering on an outboard, neither my wife or I ever have. The first time would be very strange to us.

As to the holding feature of pods, I don't think so as the goal wasn't really to hold plus had you tried to hold you needed a very tight hold. Perhaps could have briefly used it but kept your hand poised to adjust and that just complicates rather than simplifying.
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Old 01-09-2016, 02:57 PM   #77
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Another thing that is interesting to note...is Tim's realization of the fatigue factor and how it played into his decisions. I think this is a VERY important point and a point that is most likely missed by others. He was already fatigued as he did not sleep much at all thru the night. And many have asked "why didn't you ride it out?", his answer was his fatigue was just going to get worse and therefore his decision making(and physical ability) would become even more degraded. So he cut his "losses" early to potentially mitigate a more dangerous situation....one he may not have been able to deal with in a depleted state.

Fatigue is a huge buzzword among the airline profession. And it is not just a buzzword. It is very real. It is amazing how well one performs when they are freshly rested...and how poorly they perform as sleep/rest is diminished. We are trained to recognize fatigue and act to mitigate the risks associated with it. That is what Tim did here. And he did an excellent job. He admits that maybe it wasn't perfect....there are NO perfect flights or boat trips. But his decision was very well thought out with all of the known contingencies considered!!!

Excellent job and an excellent write up!!!! This ultimately is not about boat handling. It
is about problem solving/decision making.
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Old 01-09-2016, 04:31 PM   #78
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Another thing that is interesting to note...is Tim's realization of the fatigue factor and how it played into his decisions. I think this is a VERY important point and a point that is most likely missed by others. He was already fatigued as he did not sleep much at all thru the night. And many have asked "why didn't you ride it out?", his answer was his fatigue was just going to get worse and therefore his decision making(and physical ability) would become even more degraded. So he cut his "losses" early to potentially mitigate a more dangerous situation....one he may not have been able to deal with in a depleted state.
Interesting, indeed. Thanks, John. Without going into a war story which would bore everyone, I'll just throw in that pain does the same thing. Trying to make good decisions when you are in extreme pain is also difficult.
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Old 01-09-2016, 07:01 PM   #79
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Hard to believe. We were in St. Augustine on a mooring ball in the north field for 3 nights. After a couple of days of cloudy weather Monday broke clear and slightly cooler. We got out and did some sight seeing and as we returned to the boat in the afternoon waves were breaking over the dinghy bow and I had to slow down. Didn't think much of it. That evening I grilled fish for dinner and stowed the dinghy since we planned on leaving early the next morning. After dinner we were inside and noticed the waves seemed to be getting larger and the boat was getting a bit uncomfortable to be on. I went out side and couldn't believe the wind, I estimated it to be a steady 25-30 kts with the sea looking like boiling water. It only got worse. By 21:00 we were bouncing around like a cork. I went outside to check our mooring bridle and it was flat out dangerous to be on deck.

When we pick up a mooring and because of the configuration of the boats bow pulpit and the anchors location on the bow roller, I pull the anchor and set it on deck because the mooring bridle chafes against the anchor. As I usually do I placed the delta anchor on a small piece of carpet on deck without securing it. The wide delta anchor is pretty secure under normal conditions. It had now become too rough to secure it so it remained as is. I worried about this all night. The conditons never let up and neither of us got much sleep. We were lucky in that the high wind was effecting the boat greater than the current which is usually significant here and the boat stayed pointed into the wind so the boat did not roll much, just bounced up and down. Because the boat didn't roll much and because of the way I placed the anchor on deck it didn't move. We were very lucky and a lesson learned.

I spent a good part of the night thinking about how I was going to secure the anchor when we left in the morning. To leave the mooring field and in order to navigate around the other boats in the field we would become beam to the seas putting the anchor at risk of rolling around on deck. I also gave some thought about how I was going to release the mooring bridle. It had to be brought back on board because it was long enough to fowl the props.

At day break when I had a good chance to view the situation I decided that I could throw the anchor back in the water and retreive it and the chain back into the windlass and into it's normal configuration.

The bow was rising and falling a good 5-7 ft so Debbie and I spent some time discussing how we would be disengaging from the mooring ball. I placed life jackets on both sides of the sundeck that Debbie could throw me if I fell in. I also had on my inflatable life jacket as did Debbie. We had them on all night.

My biggest concern after releasing from the ball was being blown back into the boats behind us. There were 2 boats only about 150' away. Debbie is just not comfortable operating the boat so I was hoping that I could release the mooring bridle and get back to the helm before we hit a boat. We decided when she saw me release the bridle she would put the engines in idle fwd and that would keep us fwd of the other boats.

We were both tied and a little sea sick but ready to leave. So after discussing every thing I thought could happen including using the emer button on the VHF, we were ready. The wind was blowing so hard communication was not possible.

I worked by way out to the fwd part of the deck and once I sat down it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. The boat was not rolling much, just up and down. I timed the location of the boat in relation to the bridle and when there was enough space for the anchor to fall between the bridle I threw it in. Initially it hung up on the biddle but I was able to work it loose. It didn't fall but about 5 feet and then using the windlass I retieved it back into it's stowed position. I looked back at the helm and
Debbie signaled she was ready. I released the starboard side of the bridle from it's cleat and as quick as I could pulled the rope in and carried it back with me to the sundeck. The rope was till connected to the port bow cleat but I didn't want to take the time to release it. I draped the rope over the deck as I carried the bitter end back as far as it would reach. I noticed as soon as I released the bridle the boat turned beam to the wind and seas. Although the boat started to roll more I was back inside the sundeck (and safe) before the rolling got bad. The boat turning beam to the seas also slowed it's backward movement which gave me more time to avoid the boats behind me. With Debbie putting the engines in idle fwd the boat hardly moved aft of the ball by the time I got to the helm. When we got about 200 yards south of the Bridge of Lions (3 minutes after releasing the bridel) conditions were back to normal with calm water.

Several lessons learned: First I had no idea with high winds out of the NE conditions could be so bad on the north mooring field. It makes sense though, the field faces the St. Augustine inlet only about a mile away. The south mooring field we noticed as we passed was calm.
Second, I alway tie the anchor down when it sits on deck.
Two early observations (highlighted in red) but no action are the key learnings I think. They were times to check proper forecasts. The after dinner one, with quite high estimated winds was definitely time to move to a more protected anchorage even without a forecast. After that things just snowballed a bit, as they often do after missing action cues. Not being critical of Tim, just putting a different perspective than the other analysis above.

Have you practiced dropping a mooring and re-anchoring etc at night? It might be tricky, but it will be much better than waiting until things get really bad.
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Old 01-09-2016, 07:32 PM   #80
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Publicly-available mooring buoys are rare here. At Angel Island (a state parkj) in central San Francisco Bay requires one to connect both bow and stern lines to opposite buoys. The current runs 90 degrees since the planners wanted boats' bows to face wakes from the various ferries visiting the island. We've always been fortunate to have friends to help. The practice is to have both ends of individual lines connected to the boat so one can readily disconnect from the moorings.



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