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Old 10-03-2010, 04:39 PM   #1
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Took a tumble

I went back to the boat this weekend to prepare the engines for a new crankcase ventilation system. Had an oil leak in the port engine due to high CC pressure and the guru's on boatdiesel advised me to change it.

Got the port engine ready in about 2 hours and was starting on the stbd one. This requires me to move furniture and floor boards. I've found that positioning floor boards so they cover half the hole allows me to lay on top of the engine which facilitates working on it much easier. What I didn't do however is position one board properly so that when I stepped on it, it was not supported on one side and down I went. The board can only fall a couple of inches before it hits the engine, but that was enough for me to loose my balance. My head ended down on the floor between the dinette table and the galley counter, about a 24 inch clearance. Had I fallen either on the table or counter, my head would have hit full force with me probably being unable to break my fall with my hands. My shoulder hit my toolbox and broke the plastic hinge scattering all my tools along with the nuts and bolts that I store in the little flap holder on top. My knee caught the corner of one of the aluminum floor board supports and created a nice little gash. Those aluminum corners are sharp and immovable. But in the end I was lucky indeed. Had I fallen in any other direction I would probably be writing this from a hospital bed. My boat is at a dock that is primarily a storage facility and it is rare that anyone is around.

Realizing how lucky I was, I went and bought a couple of lotery tickets. Unfortunently my luck did not carry over.


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Old 10-03-2010, 05:32 PM   #2
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RE: Took a tumble

Glad you're ok. Falling is one thing I worry about as I'm working on the boat daily. The boat's still on the hard and I'm up and down the ladder multiple times a day. Three point contact is my motto. I've been lucky so far. At 63 I don't bounce like I used to.

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Old 10-03-2010, 05:48 PM   #3
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RE: Took a tumble


Glad to hear you're okay; well, maybe not all the way okay but as you said, it could have been a LOT worse!

Makes me want to be extra careful when I work on my little ship. We're all*susceptible to taking a dive while doing maintenance.

Sorry the lottery didn't pay off. If it had it would have almost made the accident worth while.


Brookings, Oregon
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Old 10-03-2010, 06:57 PM   #4
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RE: Took a tumble

glad you are ok and that it was not worse!!
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Old 10-03-2010, 07:17 PM   #5
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RE: Took a tumble

When we bought Willy about 5 years ago it was a cold february night and we went down to check on the boat. The PO told us the hatch cover was open but I assumed he meant the engine hatch cover/covers that were in the fwd end of the salon. But the aft hatch was open * * .... right next to the aft bulkhead door. That hatch cover didn't enter the engine compartment but entered the hold. The hold in a W30 Nomad is a big storage compartment 10' wide, 3.5' deep and about 4.5' long. I went down hard w left leg fully extended straight down in the hold and the rest of me was jamed up in the hatch opening.I didn't break anything but the pain was so bad I went into shock. I'll never ever forget that and have not come close to a repeat on the boat but I fell in my back yard just over a year ago. That was worse. I fell on my face w/o my hands to arrest the fall. Lots of bleeding from my head and a broken wrist. My wrist is still only about 85% of normal. FALLING SUCKS!!
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Old 10-03-2010, 07:43 PM   #6
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RE: Took a tumble

The last time I fell my two front teeth were broken (now replaced by caps).* A black cat tripped me, and my hands were in a coat's pockets, so fell face down SMACK onto the cement walkway.* Sometimes life just wears you down.
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Old 10-03-2010, 08:50 PM   #7
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RE: Took a tumble

Be careful, and glad to hear you're OK.* One hand for you and one for the boat.
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Old 10-04-2010, 03:08 AM   #8
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RE: Took a tumble

I'm up and down the ladder multiple times a day

And the ladder IS tied on at the top?
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Old 10-04-2010, 04:18 AM   #9
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RE: Took a tumble

Thanks guys for all your well wishes. I was not hurt really, just a small gash on my knee and a sore shoulder. A lesson for me though. Do not get in a hurry. If I had paid more attention, I would have known that the floor board was not properly positioned. Like Chip said most of us are probably not at the age anymore where we bounce back after an injury.

This reminds me of a close friend who had a relative in his early 60's that fell off his roof. Was injured but not critically. However he developed I believe it was Lupus after the fall. Apparently Lupus is a virus that can remain dormant and can surface after a trauma. According to my friend, his relative was never normal again and died a few years after the fall of Lupus.
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Old 10-04-2010, 06:04 AM   #10
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RE: Took a tumble

When I was looking at boats a few years ago we went with a broker to check out a Monk 36 on the hard in a yard. On the drive over the broker warned us several times to be very careful getting on and on the boat, that the yard had made an exeption to let us in,the liability, etc. etc. We all made it up the ladder, he opened the salon door and stepped right into the open engine room hatch. Luckily it was the aftmost hatch and he landed on the engine, with only a foot or so drop and wasn't badly injured (except his pride). If it had been the fwd hatch it would have been about 4 feet down. We didn't buy the boat, for other reasons.
It is easy to do, I stepped into an open storage compartment hatch on my previous boat not a deep one and no injury
Steve W
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Old 10-04-2010, 06:49 AM   #11
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RE: Took a tumble

Glad your OK.* On all boats I work on, there is a rule taught to me by a training captain.* If you open a hatch, you yell out " ENGINE ROOM HATCH OPEN" and wait for a reply from everyone.* You then position something to block all sides of the opening, or on some boats we have elastic shock cords to warn of the opening.* If there are passengers aboard, someone is stationed at the opening the whole time it's open.* That would not have helped in your case, but as you discovered, being in a hurry can be a real pain. Its nice it wasn't worse..............Arctic Traveller
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Old 10-04-2010, 09:50 AM   #12
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Took a tumble

I am SO glad you are ok!* That is so scary.* Dealing with the engine hatchboards and the big opening make me nervous on our boat!* the only place to put the boards then blocks your ability to get around the opening so you have a chioce of the 4" ledge in front of the settee on one side or you have to step on or try and step across the stacked up boards.* My husband and I can fairly be described as clutzy so I really hope we can get a good routine down before we have any accidents!* His knee is still not healed from the gash he got changing the oil.

-- Edited by Pineapple Girl on Monday 4th of October 2010 02:46:10 PM
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Old 10-04-2010, 12:59 PM   #13
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RE: Took a tumble

So glad you are okay!!!!!

One of the things my dog did that blew me away how smart he is....

I had been down in the aft lazarette repacking the packing gland. Monte was just hanging out enjoying the weather. I got everything squared away and then put the hatch back down securely in place. I was on one side, Monte was on the other. I called his name to "come on". And he had a puzzled look on his face. I called him again and he advanced slowly up to the hatch and then put one paw on the hatch and tested it with some weight before he continued across it. It blew me away. He had seen that it was missing and was very careful about going across it until he tested it himself....I was amazed!!!!

Lesson in there somewhere Tim!!!!...

Again, glad all is well!!!!
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Old 10-04-2010, 02:11 PM   #14
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RE: Took a tumble

Perhaps the most important lesson of all: Enjoy the weather and be happy with what you have.
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Old 10-04-2010, 03:08 PM   #15
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RE: Took a tumble

Funny dog story.
*My little pomeranian used to like to jump on the hatch of the dog house in the center of my back deck. On day I was working down in the fish hold and I left the cover off. the dog came up missing. I searched for an hour, calling her name asking everyone if they had seen my dog. I found her, down in the fish hold about a 4 ft drop. Now she stands on her back legs and looks *to be sure the lid is on before she will jump up on it. Smart little dog.

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