Know your motor or swim!
Know your motor or swim!Report Abuse
As my time progressed the outings became less adventurous. On one outing however I was left with only one choice, and I had to jump off the boat.
The day was quite nice with a good stiff wind. Casey and I were still uneasy healing the boat over much, but we knew we couldn't learn with out getting out there. The wind was quite strong and controlling my Catalina, once we exited the marina, was very difficult. To add to the anxiety when we did loose the ability to control her, she would quickly turn out of the wind and make for a run. I knew this was bad news for anyone trying to learn, mainly cause it's dangerous. So, not being able to adjust the Stays safely we decided to head back in.
At about 100 yards out of the marina the motor was started and drive engaged. We were clearly being pushed off course so the throttle was eased up. At about 50 yards we dropped the Jib and continued nervously. At about 20 yards out we dropped the main cause our speed was to fast and the marina is in a small tight cove. Immediately the engine coughed and died. The anchor was ready and deployed, with no joy. We were doing a good 5 knots sideways to a breaker wall that was about 100 yards away. Secondary anchor deployed, still with no joy, but both were able to slow us down. Fuel is now pouring out of the diaphragm style pump and no pressure is felt on the fuel bulb when pumped. We now have a problem!
As we neared the breaker I could see the muddy bottom getting shallower and shallower. I immediately had Casey raise the Keel as I worked to raise the rudder. As the wall got closer we slowed more but the anchors still were not holding. Times up; I jumped off the boat and stood on the mud/sand holding the boat from getting closer to that dam wall. A sailor with more experience would have raised the sails, turned about and made an approach from a better angle. But, at that time I wasn't experienced and every small mistake was life and death. So, now I am standing in waste deep water wondering what I should do. The tow service said it would be 2 hours, and if I was that close I should just find some way to get her in. All our friends were unreachable, so Casey couldn't find help that way.
The nearest dock was about 30 yards away, and I know we have lots of rope on board. Casey got right down to tyeing all the rope together and removing it from anything that she could. I pushed the boat out as far as I could, so she could reset the anchor. I took one end of the rope and started the swim. At points I would have to pull the boat during periods where the waves would start her moving but finally I reached the dock. I pulled the boat in stopping at times from being exhausted. Ahhh safety!
Now who's dock do I have my boat on and will they be nice. Well, at this point who cares if they don't like me here tuff, it's what I had to do! I removed the motor ran down the street to a certified shop as they were locking the doors. I looked ragged and covered with mud. The guy opened the door and asked me if I was ok and what I needed. I told him my situation and he offered to stay late and get me the motor back in 1 hour. I got the motor back with a new fuel line and promptly motored the boat back to her home.
This is where I learned; that a few sailing lessons would have given me the knowledge to use my sails, I better pay close attention to my motor, and buy tow insurance.