May 8, 2011

Don’t Make My Mistake

I THINK ONE CAN SAFELY SAY that people who sail are smart, sensitive, and more than normally cautious. But that doesn’t stop them from making embarrassing mistakes now and then. A British boating website has been having some fun with confessions from readers. Here are some of the gems of advice being offered on the Yachting and Boating World website’s Scuttlebutt forum.*

You will notice how each one rings with the true voice of embittered experience:

Twister Ken: If you're changing a faulty bulb in a nav light, don't throw away the NEW one and refit the OLD one. The nav light won't work.

Little Five: Don't forget to remove the oily rag from the air intake when first starting the engine after the winter.

prv: Sounds like the classic one of disconnecting a sink waste, carefully catching all the water in a bucket, and being very smug that not a drop has spilled. Then emptying the bucket into the sink.

emsworthy: Or possibly feeling smug that you have drained the sump and removed the old oil filter without a drop touching the bilges — and then you fill her up again ... Don't ask how I know!

doug748: If you ever fit a new paddle-wheel for your speed log, you will find it less trouble to replace it into the hole BEFORE you launch.

Pleiades: When the lady of your life is starting the Seagull [outboard motor] for her first time tell her not to throw the starting cord overboard in her excitement when the engine starts ...

Downsman: Just remember that if the safety valve on a pressure cooker is not hissing, it does not mean you can take the lid off ... Baby-wipes are excellent for removing gravy from deckheads and chicken drumsticks can travel from the galley to the forward cabin at really quite impressive speed ... also, half-past broccoli (according to the galley clock) is meaningless as a time-check.

Bellamica: Check the bottom of the washing-up bucket; 19 days of eating with your fingers; take spare cutlery on delivery trips ...

chinita: Avoid scrambling (unsuccessfully) around the colossal Gibraltar Rubbish Dump by making sure you have unpacked all the little boxes of fastenings from your very expensive imported self-steering gear before you throw the 'empty' boxes into the skip.

DanTribe: Wait for your power planer to stop turning before putting it down on the new worktop.

Robwhelton: A related tip: whilst standing on the pontoon, hanging onto the pulpit, in preparation for pushing the boat out and jumping aboard, ensure that you give CLEAR directions to your non-sailing mother to UNTIE THE TILLER. This will avoid a series of fenders being released from the pushpit whilst the tiller remains firmly secured.

LadyInBed: When rolling out a flat hose and walking backwards along the pontoon, ensure that the pontoon is longer than the hose.


► If you have any similar helpful advice, please click on the “Comments” button and send it in. I’ll use it in the main blog.

Today’s Thought
Nobody confines his mistakes to himself; people sprinkle folly among their neighbors and receive it from them in turn.
— Seneca, Epistulae ad Lucilium

Boaters’ Rules of Thumb, #196
It still comes as a surprise to some, but most types of stainless steel rely on a constant supply of oxygen to avoid corrosion. Uncovered stainless steel will stay bright on deck or under water, but if it’s deprived of oxygen — enclosed in a stern tube, perhaps, or holding on a keel — it can suffer severely from pitting if it gets wet. That’s one good reason why a stern gland should drip a little — to feed oxygen to the stainless-steel propeller shaft.

How to tell the sex of a hippo: tell it a joke.
If he laughs, it’s male; if she laughs, it’s female.

(Drop by every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, for a new Mainly about Boats column.)

1 comment:

John Vigor said...

Steve: Thanks for your contribution. Watch out for the next column.

John V.