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Old 11-08-2017, 09:36 PM   #21
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Ahhh, Caltex - sobering photo! There but for the grace of good luck, go I.

Here's a tip for the group; try to enter an unknown marina near slack tide.

The first summer we owned our boat we took a trip up to Prince Rupert from our home port of Kitimat. Crazy big trip, thinking about it now, because of how little we actually knew with less than one years experience. When we pulled into Prince Rupert we called ahead and found a slip available at the Prince Rupert Yacht Club.

Badger doesn't have a rudder indicator and I hadn't yet tied a knot on the wheel to help indicate when the rudder was straight. I was in sensory input overload coming into a new marina for the first time, so didn't notice we were "crabbing" (moving straight down the fairway but angled into a current).

Marina staff were there to help dock, but as soon as I made the turn for the slip Badger spun sideways and got pinned by the current against the bows of a couple gnarly old commercial fishing boats sporting Northill anchors.

Northill anchors look really imposing pasted against your starboard windows

The marina staff and a nearby boater leapt to our aid, but there was nothing they could do. I took a wild guess, spun the wheel, and gunned it. Luckily, that got us off the other boats and into the middle of the fairway for a shameful retreat out of there.

It took about 15 minutes of hovering outside the marina before I could work up any spit in my mouth, then we came in for a second try which went smoothly. Badger didn't even get a scratch

Never, ever, ever again will we enter a new marina unless it's near slack! (Should add that tides around here can be over 20 feet, so currents can be strong).
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Old 11-08-2017, 10:31 PM   #22
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It's a long story, but better take a close look at that picture and see if you can figure one of the instigators of the sequence of unfortunate events. A friend of mine already has won grand prize, I showed him that photo and he guessed virtually exactly what happened.
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Old 11-08-2017, 10:56 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caltexflanc View Post
It's a long story, but better take a close look at that picture and see if you can figure one of the instigators of the sequence of unfortunate events. A friend of mine already has won grand prize, I showed him that photo and he guessed virtually exactly what happened.
I’ll take a stab at it.

There was a fender tied to the rail, or a fender was used to fend off a piling....but that turned out to be the pivot point and all the forces were focused on that spot?
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Old 11-08-2017, 11:31 PM   #24
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Here's another one of my @#&$ ups which occurred in the dark.

About 25 years ago I had a little 16 foot plywood runabout with an 80 horse outboard.
My brother-in-law, Terry, and another mate launched her at the boat ramp at about 5:00am one morning to get to my snapper fishing spot by high tide by 6am if all went well. The Port River was like glass in the calm conditions. Terry took the helm to give me a chance to play with my recently purchased handheld gps. Modern technology at its finest.

We were about half way to our destination on a wide and deep section of the industrial part of the river, and I was still working out the settings on my new toy. We were on the plane at about 20 knots. It crossed my mind that this might be a little fast since there was no hint of daylight yet. I was showing my mate the speed on the gps when suddenly.. CRASH!- we came to a sudden halt and the 3 of us were thrown into the bulkhead. I picked myself up and checked to see if we were all alive and if the boat was afloat. Our 3 bodies were banged up pretty good but luckily no serious injuries. We had water over the bow but it didn't seem as if we were taking on any more water.

WTF happened? What/who did we hit? A boat, a buoy, a whale, a tsunami? Terry eventually was able to talk after copping the helm wheel in the chest. He says that there was just a 6 foot wall of water out of nowhere without any warning.

I checked the water all around us. No sign of another boat anywhere. There was hardly a ripple after the effect of our initial collision died down. We had no explanation as we checked the boat for damage and re-stowed our gear.

As the sun began to rise, I looked up the river a bit and saw the launching platform for the Australian Submarine Corporation, and remembered reading that the trials were underway for the newly built Collins class submarines. Hmmmm. Suddenly I had visions of a submariner yelling DIVE! DIVE! as we approached at 20 knots in the darkness.

I still don't know for sure if that was the cause of the wake, but I can't think of another explanation.
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Old 11-08-2017, 11:57 PM   #25
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Hauling shrimp pots, my stern is set up with a plate the two down riggers mount on and my line hauler mounts onto one of the down rigger bases. I have been in the habit (last several years) of just removing one rigger, and using the base to mount the hauler. I dropped the pots, and as the stern swung I tried to flip the pot line over the rod I left in the rigger.

Of course instead I managed to flip a $450 rod and reel into 450' of water... It shot out of the rod holder built into the rigger like a roman candle. All I could do was laugh! I knew better than to have gear out while working pots but I had been getting away with it. It's funny how expensive lessons are long remembered
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Old 11-09-2017, 08:52 AM   #26
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I recently finished a short 3 day cruise to relocate the boat from a hurricane hole inland to a marina on the west coast of FL. We went offshore at the Boca Grande Inlet and my Garmin chart seemed all off from the markers. I got confused and almost went over the shoal on the north side of the inlet. I was following the stupid chart instead of the markers.

It was blowing 24k out of the north by the time we got to the Jupiter inlet around dusk, and not being familiar with Jupiter I was nervous. We had no problems but afterward when anchored my friend commented what a "nervous" captain I seem to be when coming up on inlets, bridges, other boats, etc.

I guess I do get twitchy when coming up on things that can wreck my boat. I usually cruise alone so I didn't realize how "nervous" I seem to others.
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Old 11-10-2017, 07:44 AM   #27
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My worst story so far comes from the "crossroads" area in Stuart.

We had just finished a long crossing from Green Turtle Cat to Stuart and ha just fueled up. On our way out, I turned the wrong way and found myself headed up the ICW rather than towards the OWW.

In a moment of frustration I whipped the boat around and decided to jump op on plane to make up for some lost time as the sun was quickly setting.

In my haste I missed one of the red markers (in hindsight, the marker was missing) and wound up cutting a large corner off the channel. In mere moments we went from 16kts to dead stopped.

After making sure everybody was okay I quickly realized that what damage was done, was done so I powered the boat off the shoal.

We limped back to the marina and to my surprise, we were able to call a diver. The diver happened to be at the local park and saw the entire event. He said that we were the 4th boat that week to do the same thing.

The diver came out the next morning and pulled the "taco'ed" props. He had them fixed and back on the next day!
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Old 11-11-2017, 12:39 PM   #28
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I put new anchor chain on Selkie last year. Before ordering the chain, I consulted the windlass manufacturer's website and deduced that the old chain and the gypsy were 3/8 BBB. The boat was out of the water for maintenance so I just backed my truck up to it, pulled the old chain off and hand-bombed the new chain into the locker. Easy Peasy. The following week we took the boat north and anchored in a bay we had not visited before. I wasn't happy with the way we were anchored so I decided on a re-do. I stepped on the footswitch for the windlass and the chain bounced out of the gypsy. Uh-oh. Tried it a few times with no success. Ever tried to pull in 200' of 3/8 chain by hand? It took my wife and I about an hour. Both of us had to pull at the same time or we couldn't budge it. We eventually got the anchor up, but no way was I putting it back down again. We ran over to Shoal Bay and tied up for the weekend.
Once we were back home I contacted the windlass company to figure out the problem. Turns out that model of windlass always come with a gypsy for 3/8 BBB chain, except for that one time when they used a different gypsy manufactured to spec for a certain type of chain. It only cost $800 U.S. to get the correct gypsy. Lesson, I should have bought a foot of new chain and tried in on the old gypsy. In any event, I would have had to change the gypsy as the type of chain it was made for is no longer available. At least we wouldn't have had to lift the anchor by hand though!
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Old 11-13-2017, 07:52 PM   #29
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Thanks to MurrayM for starting this thread.

Several years ago. Proud new owner of an old but sturdy boat. My son gifts me with a new radar/chartplotter. Not that I needed a big navigation package. My “cruising grounds” are coastal and areas that I have been sailing for years.

But – I have new stuff and intend to use it. Maybe I can go from New Orleans to Pensacola “on instruments.” So, with computer and at home, put together a route for a trip east. One of the first legs is through Lake Borgne (really a shallow inlet) via the GIWW. It’s well marked with a range and everything.
But, it’s also very nondescript for 30-40 miles.

As Auscan related above, I neglected to consider that the preceding days of 30-35k wind, even when it dropped to 25-30, creates a lot of short period wave action in wide, shallow waters. But, I had a schedule to meet and people to see.

This was supposed to be a trawler speed run of about 6-8 hours to Gulfport, then a nice relaxed dinner and on to Orange Beach the next day.

Well – first, the flood gate in the Great Wall (flood protection barrier to the southeast of NOLA) was down for maintenance. Lesson: check Notice to Mariners. Delayed 5-6 hours. Now we’re launching into Lake Borgne at near sunset.

Lake Borgne is pretty shallow, with a lot of abandoned structures. You really want to stay in the groove with even a 4’ draft. With significant beam seas, it was a cold wet ride. However, with my spiffy new electronics, I wasn’t skeered. More like another challenge. Loving that colored screen. Between the dark and the spray, I guess I had (who knows) 50-100 yards reliable visibility.

Later, in the dark, my brother hollers “which side you taking that channel marker on?” Out of the dark, closer than I care to recall, is the marker dead ahead. Hard to port, firewall the throttle for rudder authority, straighten out, and missed the piling by a couple of coats of paint. I KNEW I was going to hit it.

Lesson 1 – With the gear we have now – if you plot a from course channel marker to channel marker – the equipment will take you channel marker to channel marker, with good accuracy. Use the offset provision, or make your own.

Lesson 2 - Blind reliance on electronic navigation in crappy weather can kill your boat, especially if you’re a nub (like me). Use your eyes (as much as you can), throttle down, proceed with caution.
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Old 11-13-2017, 10:27 PM   #30
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Its great reading about the mistake of others. It means I won't have to make all of them myself.

Here's one of mine from earlier this year.
We were returning from Port Lincoln to Adelaide; about a 24 hour cruise we planned over 4 days. The first day we peeked our nose out, but the wind was still over 30 knots, so we only cruised about 4 hours to a protected anchorage.

The next day the wind was reduced to around 15-20 knots and the seas were lumpy but the steady sails stabilized us nicely and we made it abot 60 nm to another nice anchorage for the night.

The next run was a long 12 hour cruise, west across the bottom of the Yorke Peninisula. There were no safe harbours along this stretch. We waited for the morning weather update. 20-25 knot southeasterly winds with a 4 metre (13 foot) SW swell @ 15 - 20 second interval. Slightly worse than yesterday, but we decided to proceed under a fully reefed mainsail.
As we rounded the toe of the peninsula, the wind picked up to the predicted 25 knots but the sail plan worked well to steady the boat. The long interval swell wasn't a problem as long as we stayed well offshore, although we got hit with one solid wave that broke over the boat soaking me in the cockpit.

Just before sunset, we got to the heel of the peninsula, and neared the only possible anchorage in the area. We would have to head north through a narrow channel with shoals on either side.

I decided to drop the mainsail in the open water, while we still had a bit of daylight. My two companions weren't overly nimble on deck, so I asked Marty to head south directly into the wind while I dropped the mainsail at the mast.

While Marty begun turning into the wind, I went out on deck and prepared to drop the mainsail. We turned into the wind and kept turning, and turning and then THWACK, a huge gybe. Luckily I was at the base of the mast and there was no one else on deck. The boom swept across a 160 degree arc into the portside shroud cable. Fittings let go, lines parted, it didn't look good. I wrapped up the sail in my broken lazy jack lines and we turned and motored towards the anchorage.

As the the water depth reduced the swell increased in size and steepness. Usually I enjoy getting the boat to surf a bit and the boat handles it very well with its canoe stern.
This time it was a bit much. We managed to get in without completely broaching but I set a new speed record with the boat.

We all slept well that night and managed to temporarily patch up the rigging enough to get us home the next day.

1.Lots of lessons learned; The main one were:
2. Spend time to explain all aspect of a task to someone before expecting them to do it under pressure.
3. If you have sails, use a jybe preventer.
4.Ensure the itinerary is flexible. Be prepared to continue cruising if your planned anchorage is not easily accessible.
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Old 11-13-2017, 10:28 PM   #31
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SO relieved to see that lines wrapped around propshafts are a recurring theme.

There are two words to describe the first day of our delivery trip—the first time we ever ran the boat by ourselves—and the first word is “cluster.”

When my son and I started out from Palm Coast to bring Stella northward, I did exactly what I swore I wouldn’t . . . I pushed against a schedule. I was so rushed and pre-occupied with our late start from the marina, we headed south down the ICW instead of north and only noticed it about an hour later. So now we’re running even later against our goal to reach Fernandina by sunset.

Running at 7-9 knots depending on current, we actually did get there just after dark and tried to grab a mooring ball. I finally fished out a pennant and tried to hold a 44,000 lb boat against a strong current by hanging onto to it by hand. The pennant, which was covered in barnacles, was inexorably pulled through my hands and cut them to ribbons.

My son, on the helm, was distracted by my little drama and drifted over the pennant with one engine in gear. We shut it down immediately and considered our predicament while I bled profusely all over everything. I quickly discarded the idea of diving on the prop . . . in strange waters . . . in the dark . . . bleeding like a stuck pig . . . and forbade John to do it either. At the same time, I wasn’t keen on hanging stern-first on a pennant in a crowded mooring field and running the risk of letting it go during the middle of the night.

So I woke up the two gentlemen in the sailboat moored just down-wind of us and they could not have been kinder and more helpful. One of them got in their dinghy took our anchor back up-current where it set easily (Manson Supreme). I gave them a nice bottle of wine and endless thanks.

The next morning, a diver had the line untangled in about 30 seconds and reported that he saw no damage to the prop or shaft. We finally did something right and called a time out. We stayed on the ball an extra day and night and just recalibrated. Had a nice meal ashore, got some antiseptic for my hands and left with absolutely no schedule in mind the following morning.

By far, the worst part of this was explaining it to my wife.
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Old 11-14-2017, 01:08 AM   #32
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We are former sailors as well. Multiple scrapes over the years, we loved sailing but seemed to get into more peril when doing it. Our Canoe Cove 41 weighs 24000 lbs, a reasonably heavy boat. We've been out in some big water, incredibly, most of the time, not taking any water on deck. We feel so much safer in Selkie than our sailboat, a 26' Ranger. We do not challenge the weather, but feel safer when things do not go as expected.
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