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Old 06-29-2016, 08:20 AM   #1
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What Have You Dropped Overboard?

What Have You Dropped Overboard?

2008 in last ditch effort as our boat was pulling away from floating finger dock… and at a very odd angle… my 6'2" 250 lb. heavily muscled son hauled all his weight onto our boat by one basically unsupported railing-stanchion at entry door. Ripped the 31 year old stanchion’s torpedo’s bolts really loose. Sooo… a few days later I went to repair it. Reached into my right front pants pocket (where I keep my cash) to get a drill bit I’d brought along from home. As I stood on finger dock facing toward boat and pulled the bit out it had snagged my Sterling Silver money Clip; with around $400 cash in it. I watched as the clip with folded cash fluttered down disappearing underneath the boat. Eventually it would reach silt-mud some 10’ bellow (water is always murky – can see less than 3 feet into it). Well, the rest is history. I tried three times in different ways (including raking the mud with a special designed apparatus I’d concocted as well as having Diver John (an area bottom cleaner who berthed and lived in slip next to our boat) look for it with a 50/50 offer of splitting the cash. No luck! That stanchion’s torpedo base’s well repaired four bolts is the most expensive per square inch portion on our Tollycraft!

What have you dropped overboard and either never retrieved or did retrieve by sheer luck or perseverance?

To help get the ball rolling on this thread… Here’s a slightly modified post from TF Site Team Moderator “Pete B”.

“Sarca anchor rollers look great. For heaven's sake make sure it is well fixed on. When I bought my roller, I couldn't resist having a wee try on while down at the berth, and...you guessed it...it slipped and fell...initially down onto the dock, because I had hauled the boat well forward, but I neglected to tie it to something...it bounced twice, and hit the drink..! The water under my boat in the berth is 7m deep! Thank God a slip neighbour at the time, called Marty, was a live aboard at the time, and had diving gear. It cost me 2 cartons of beer though to get the roller back. Not good for the heart either.
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Old 06-29-2016, 08:37 AM   #2
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Just to add to the story, as it makes it even better, because I was a bit luckier than Art. The roller assembly was a fancy hinged one, and cost $A250, and the bottom of our marina has very thick mud. The slip neighbour with the dive gear tried several times, but said in the end he just could not see well enough. The mud was too thick, and his attempts to feel for it just stirred a cloud up causing zero visibility.

I asked if he would try one more time, if I dropped a lead-line down from where the thing bounced in and splashed. He did...and the rest, thank heavens...is history...the lead-line guided him straight to it, buried in about 8 inches of black, weapons grade mud. I was lucky - very lucky, and I was thankful, because luck is not something I have enjoyed a lot of...I was glad to shout him two cartons of beer. I would never have heard the end of it...
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Old 06-29-2016, 08:49 AM   #3
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Here goes;

Cell phone
11" crescent wrench
Power screwdriver
Wife (retrieved)
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Old 06-29-2016, 09:05 AM   #4
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This is a fun one! I recently dropped the top of my shop vac at my marina. I was tempted to dive in to get it but thought of ESD.
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Old 06-29-2016, 09:06 AM   #5
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The story that originated with my wife's family: Her parents were fishing with friends in Narragansett Bay. Her mother fell overboard and her dad called out as she fell, "Don't drop the rod!" (She didn't.)

Her dad always said, at the marine store buying screws, etc., "...and one for the water".

Winch handle, Magma gas grille valve and mixing elbow, glasses (on my neck with a tether - flipped over my head(!), bronze combination lock, 2HP Suzuki - retrieved and dried.
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Old 06-29-2016, 09:06 AM   #6
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Mid 1960's while turning boat sharply, I dropped a nearly brand new 3 horse Johnson off stern of 13'3" Boston Whaler; using it to simply get Whaler to another dock, hadn't well tightened the clamps.

Water about 15' deep. Whaler's anchor soon snagged the ob. Took to shop that day. All OK in the long run!


Over the decades... a few hand tools and the like.
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Old 06-29-2016, 09:13 AM   #7
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Just remembered...a really good multimeter, vice grips, and pair of sunnies. Oh yeah, and my hat is forever blowing overboard as well, but I fish that out with a boathook, wash it, and Bob's yeruncle...(its' a shapeless cloth thing.. a free giveaway from a drug company...but unkillable, and it keeps the sun off.
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Old 06-29-2016, 09:16 AM   #8
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Wife, dog, many pair of sunglasses, multiple tools, boarding ladder, anchors,and ME!
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Old 06-29-2016, 09:18 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter B View Post
Just remembered...a really good multimeter, vice grips, and pair of sunnies. Oh yeah, and my hat is forever blowing overboard as well, but I fish that out with a boathook, wash it, and Bob's yeruncle...(its' a shapeless cloth thing.. a free giveaway from a drug company...but unkillable, and it keeps the sun off.
That would be a whole other thread!! - LOL
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Old 06-29-2016, 10:44 AM   #10
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Inventory of items in 'wet storage'

1 - Large socket wrench and handle.

2 - Screw driver.

3 - Cell phone. Turned around while yapping and hit my funny bone, the phone went flying.

4 - Keys. Take 'em outa your pocket after you're aboard, not while stepping aboard.

5 - Watch. I discovered a hole in my pocket just as I stepped aboard.

On a personal note.

Me 1st time. I've actually done the one foot on the dock and one foot in the dink splits. As long as you don't hit your head on the way in it really is funny.

Me 2nd time. The wooden cabin top hand rail gave way. I was anchored while fishing with a decent current running. Of course I wasn't wearing a PFD. I managed to grab the swim step and haul myself back aboard. That one wasn't funny.

Me 3rd time. I was the line handler on a windy, rainy day. The boat diver was having a hard time getting her into the dock so I jumped for it. Landed on a slick wood plank dock and skated clear across to the other side. I've got good balance so I went into the water still standing! Once again I didn't bang my head so it was funny. A bystander asked if I'd done that on purpose.
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Old 06-29-2016, 10:45 AM   #11
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Re: Post #9...

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Old 06-29-2016, 10:55 AM   #12
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Glasses. And, does losing one's glasses when water skiing count? I always wore a band to hold them on but couldn't find it that day. I hadn't fallen in a year's time so no problem. Well, my streak ended.
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Old 06-29-2016, 10:59 AM   #13
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In keeping with this thread, I think y'all will appreciate this true story of a young sailboat owner's adventures with the magnet he was sure would recover all kinds of treasures that had been lost overboard at the dock over the years. He posted it on sailboatowners.com at least 10 years ago...I saved it. Here is....

The Wild Magnet
by Peter Roach

I bought a 150 lb magnet (that is the lifting ability not the weight of the magnet). My slip is in about 45’ of water and over time I have dropped an assortment of wrenches, car keys, bolts, nuts, multiple pairs of sunglasses, irreplaceable parts to my roller furling, etc. I could just picture sending this magnet down on the end of a line and retrieving all sorts of treasures from the bottom. I even thought I might become the ‘man of the hour’ by helping my lesser-equipped dock mates retrieve their lost treasures. In essence this magnet was going to make me look really cool.

The first lesson I learned with the magnet is one should never stand too close to a car with a powerful magnet in a thin plastic bag. According to modern physics, if a magnet is designed to lift 150 pounds, it takes 150 pounds of pulling power to get it off of the fender of a 1993 Mazda Miata. Also we discovered, Mazda paint jobs will not hold up against a sharp metal object being pressed against it with 150 pounds of pressure. One piece of advice, if you decide to test this theory, make sure the young attractive girl that owns the Miata (and you have been trying to get a date with her for months) is not in the proximity of the test area – oh well.

The second lesson I learned is one should never place a very powerful magnet near an electronic component. Usually electronic components and magnets are natural enemies and the magnet is highest on the food chain. Like the lion and the zebra – the magnet wins. This includes the compass on your boat (actually it was one of my crew members that attached it to the rail around the compass).

All of these problems seemed to be worth the effort in order for me to strut down the dock with my new purchase, tie it to a 50’ line, and pull untold treasures from the deep and impress my friends on the dock.

As I calmly walked toward my slip, with my magnet sticking to my car keys thorough the thin plastic bag and my shorts, I beckoned to my dock mates to witness the miracle of reclaiming the abandoned and formerly lost treasures from the deep. Apparently, the confidence in my voice and the promise of untold treasures from the deep, caused a larger than normal crowd to gather on the dock.

Without even stopping to unlock my boat, I retrieved an old anchor line from the dock box. While I straightened out the dock line, a friend of mine (powerboater – this distinction will become important in a minute) used all of his skills to tie the 150 pound magnet to the end of the dock line.

As I slowly eased the magnet over the edge of the dock I learned my third magnet lesson. Floating docks have a great deal of metal below the waterline. Since the water is rather opaque, I had not noticed the brace
10’ below the waterline that ran between the ends of the finger piers to keep them from floating apart. Having no eyes and an unnatural attraction to large quantities of metal, my magnet did not suffer from the same handicap and firmly stuck to the brace.

The fourth lesson I learned is to never let a power boater tie a knot on something that is going anywhere near the water.

The fifth lesson (well ok I should not count this as a new lesson because I learned it with the Miata) is it TAKES 150 pounds of pulling to get the damn magnet off of a big piece of metal. YES – this was a new lesson because I was 10’ below the water, under my boat, holding my breath and pulling really hard.

My sixth lesson was learned shortly after pulling the magnet free. One should never hold onto a heavy object underwater without some immediate means of support. Luckily I was able to reattach the magnet to
the metal beam as I accelerated toward the bottom. Actually I think the magnet had more to do with this than I did.

The seventh lesson I learned is one minute is a really long time to hold ones breath.

The eighth lesson I learned is always look up when you are coming up under a boat.

The ninth lesson I learned is you really run out of air fast when you are holding your head, seeing stars, and trying to find the surface.

The tenth lesson I learned is never invite a large crowd of people to watch you try out any new piece of gear.

The eleventh lesson I learned is never leave your cooler full of cold beer on the dock with ‘friends’ on a hot day while you dive underwater (hey they were laughing at me and drinking my beer!!). I don’t care what they say, one minute is way too short of time to declare someone dead and divide up their belongings.

Now that I had the crowd warmed up, I decided to take my three-strand nylon anchor line and run it through the eyebolt of the magnet and back up to the surface. This way I would not have to risk a sudden trip to the bottom and I would not have to tie a knot underwater. Considering the day I was having this went amazingly well. It also gave those clowns on the dock a chance to get another round of drinks from my cooler

Thinking ahead, for the first time that day, I realized that the support member was attached to the dock by a vertical piece of metal. Not wanting that evil magnet to reattach itself several times to the support member while it was on the way to the surface, I climbed onto the deck of my boat. When I pulled on the line I learned my twelfth lesson of the day (second physics lesson). A three-strand nylon line has roughly the
stretching ability of a rubber band and while water has a natural resistance, it is not enough to keep a magnet from hitting the bottom of your boat on the way to the surface. I also learned that a magnet can
scratch gelcoat as fast as it will scratch a Miata.

In the end I finally got the magnet correctly tied to the line and on the bottom of the lake. After about an hour, with no beer remaining in my cooler and with only a small audience, I finally gave up on recapturing any treasure. The only thing the magnet was able to find was a great deal of rust shavings. I know the bottom of the lake under my boat is littered with all type of hardware, tools, coins, etc so I was amazed when the magnet failed to bring up even one small item. Maybe the fish are calmly swimming around with sunglasses, or they have constructed their own secret city out of all of the spare parts.

All was not lost with the magnet. My fellow boaters now play ‘hand me the wrench’ with the magnet. This is a game they devised using the magnet, a metal wrench and a dockbox with a thin top. They first take the magnet and put it on the underside of the lid to the dockbox. They then attach a wrench to the top of the dockbox and close it so everything looks normal. They then pretend to be working on their boat. When the unsuspecting target of this game walks by, they ask him to hand them the wrench. It works every time and it is amazing how hilarious my dock mates find it when a new person joins the game. They seem to get particular joy in this game when they can think of new things to stick to the dock box or when they can catch someone more than once by using different bait. They even had someone hide in the dockbox to pull the magnet away when his partner showed the victim that the wrench did not weigh 150 pounds.

The magnet also seems to be good for playing ‘throw the metal object over the magnet’, ‘the worlds largest refrigerator magnet’ (WARNING – apparently the magnet will scratch a Kenmore refrigerator as easily as it will a 1993 Mazda Miata), ‘find the car keys in your wife’s purse’, and a whole lot of other games. Hey we might not be too smart but we are easily entertained.

In the end – I guess the magnet was worth the price.
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Old 06-29-2016, 11:01 AM   #14
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I dropped a Downrigger over off a skiff. A guest dropped a fishing pole over. Yes, I carry spare eyeglasses, never needed them.
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Old 06-29-2016, 11:01 AM   #15
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When I was a kid, I stupidly tried to hand my father his keys while I was on the boat and he was on the dock. I couldn't quite figure out why he was first yelling for me to get his keys and then yelling not to hand them to him (over the gunnel from the boat to the dock) but at 13-14 YO I had a little puberty blocking up my listening skills.

'Bloop' I watch the keys sink straight to the bottom. And then I clearly hear my father. "Ya, that's why we don't hand keys across the gunnel. Get changed, you're going to need to go dive for them". He then explained that the the keys to the car are on that ring and that is the only set we have on us. I either dive now, or walk 70 miles to get the other set.

The bottom was this slimy, disgustingness. I was reaching into this.....yuck...up to somewhere between elbow and shoulder. The water was about 7- 8 ft. deep. I kept surfacing between the boat and the dock (which to this day I hate being under docks). I kept insisting I couldn't find them. My father's reply "They're down there and you're not getting out of the water without those keys in your hand".

I found them eventually. To this day, even on my own boat, certain items such as keys, wallets, phones, don't get handed between boat and dock. Anything else (like a bag) requires a verbal acknowledgement by the recipient when handing off. A simple "I got it" to confirm control before the giver lets go.
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Old 06-29-2016, 11:04 AM   #16
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On Sunday as we were leaving the boat, my son dropped my car keys in the aft cockpit. 'No problem', he thought until he watched them scurry to the scupper and disappear over the side. 12 feet of dark, cold water over a silt bottom. I discouraged him from jumping in after them.
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Old 06-29-2016, 11:11 AM   #17
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Neptune has a complete set of tools from me and multiple fasteners. Fortunately, the expensive stuff I have recovered (I am a diver). Stupidest was putting a plastic chandlery bag with two expensive turnbuckles on my swim platform as I was getting out of the dinghy. Items were just thin enough to fall through the slats in the swim platform.

We were at anchor so by the time I dropped a lead line to mark the location we had moved perhaps thirty feet. Luckily did find them after searching the bottom (35 feet deep) for a half hour.
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Old 06-29-2016, 11:12 AM   #18
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No body No crime ...

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Old 06-29-2016, 12:18 PM   #19
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Phone (a friend lost three in one season), sunglasses, deck chair, many nuts and bolts, stanchion base (retrieved), sunglasses, more nuts and bolts, screw driver, sanding block . . . The list goes on and on.
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Old 06-29-2016, 01:04 PM   #20
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Oh man, I feel like I've lost so many things over the years that it would take a separate thread to list them.


I found a cure for that malady though:


Early in the spring before the actual boating season gets started for most people, I make a trip to Harbor Freight. I take with me their flier that has coupons for free stuff. I'm sure you've seen the coupons--you get a set of ultra cheap screwdrivers, small LED flashlights that are guaranteed to work until you leave the store, dime store voltage meters, etc.


Now this ceremony must be performed after dark lest your dock mates call the local mental health facility and have you committed.


I take one or two of my free gifts to the bow of Beachcomber. I also take an adult beverage, usually a gin and tonic that's made with very good gin. As I sprinkle a bit of the G&T over the bow I dance in a circle and start this chant:


"Oh Neptune, mighty god of all the seas and the skies, I offer unto you these treasures and my eternal gratitude for protecting this ship and all who board her. Bless us and keep us safe in our journeys. Please accept these fine tools as my offering unto you so that you might let the rest of my tools stay on my ship. In your name I ask you to join us in our travels and protect us from evil."


With that said, and a bit more of the G&T sprinkled over the bow I keep myself safe from lost tools, hats, sunglasses, etc.
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