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Old 06-30-2019, 02:59 PM   #1
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Close Call

Was docked at marina to fill up water tank when a squall came through, no problem I am secured to the dock NOT. The bow Cleat on the dock broke whipping the boat around we almost crushed the boat behind us as we frantically tried to untied the stern lines. We got it off, got boat started and pushed off the dock narrowly missing the boat behind us. We were then in the middle of the mooring field dodging boats as I tried to face the boat into the 50 mph wind. Storm last about 10 minutes but felt much longer. Anyway someone told me never trust a dock cleat I now know why.
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Old 06-30-2019, 04:03 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by larman View Post
Anyway someone told me never trust a dock cleat I now know why.
If a dock cleat fails under great tension from a nylon dockline (ie, one that has a bunch of potential energy built up), that cleat (or at least the part of it that stays with the dock line) will become a potentially lethal projectile. Perhaps 20 years ago, someone was killed when the cleat failed under high stress from the dock line of the boat that used to travel around Tom Sawyer's Island. The moral is to always beware of dock lines, trees and anything else loaded up with stress.
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Old 07-01-2019, 01:11 PM   #3
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If you're in Rocky Point Rhode Island, or anywhere in RI Sound, Block Island Sound yesterday, that was an unusually severe thunderstorm. I'm anchored in Block Island, I had a boat drag in front of me and one on each side at the same time.

I might have thrown more lines, including spring lines if I had decided to stay on the gas dock and ride out the squall.
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Old 07-01-2019, 01:24 PM   #4
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Long Island by Port Jefferson. That was a crazy storm.
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Old 07-19-2019, 12:35 PM   #5
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The scariest moment I have had in boating came within an hour of departing Dana Point, CA in my new-to-me Nordhavn 55. We were southbound, running along the coastline about 2 miles from shore heading for the Panama Canal. A small commercial fishing boat came inbound to shore off our starboard bow. We were running at 6.8 knots (our sweet spot for fuel consumption) and I imagine the fishing boat was moving at least 25-35 knots. I just caught a glimpse out of the corner of my right eye of the fishing boat flying toward shore and undoubtedly on a collision course with my boat "Dix Sept" (Deese Set). I yanked the throttle back and even into reverse. The fishing boat flew past us missing Dix Sept by perhaps 20 feet. The fisherman was on the aft, open part of his boat filleting fish at a very large table meant apparently for that purpose, and never looked up. To this day he doesn't know that he almost certainly would have died on that day back in 2010. I thought about it later I realized that I had only very luckily "glimpsed" the guy and that he probably was not coming in at a 90 degree angle to us but rather coming from behind at very high speed and cutting across our bow. I still think about that, nine years later. I wish the guy had just looked up for a second and realized how close to death he was. He was the only person on board and the boat was on autopilot and "flying". He probably was trying to be the first boat in with fresh fish, or whatever. I have had other situations where I have been in very close proximity to other boats in a marina and thought "Oh crap I hope I don't scrape that boat", but never the shear terror of that 5-6 seconds on the Pacific coast. Those few seconds were within the first hour of what was a 63 day, 24/7 trip from Dana Point to Bayfield, WI by way of the Panama Canal, through the Caribbean, up the east coast of the US, through the Gulf of St. Lawrence, down the St. Lawrence River, the St. Lawrence Seaway, and through the Great Lakes to Bayfield. A few "heart pounding" things along the way, but not the terror of those few seconds. I was driving from the flybridge and I almost never did that again because in the pilothouse I would have seen the fishing boat on radar right in front of my face. On the flybridge the sun was too bright and I could not see anything on the radar. That first hour was just supposed to have been "kickback" time, enjoy the new boat and the beautiful day before putting out to sea to pass Mexico and Central America from about 100 miles offshore. Lessons learned.
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