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Joe (SoCal)
07-23-2009, 07:26 AM
So the day before yesterday my dad makes an unexpected trip up to see me from Florida. Ya see last time he was up he got a speeding ticket visiting an old buddy of his a few miles away. Long story short, his buddy's son in on the force and told my dad show up to court and he would make it all go away, which he did. My dad was going to a christening out on Long Island so the timing was perfect.

Met him and my uncle ( nice added surprise ) in a local pub in town, over beers and some good Guinness stew the three of us had a good yarn.

Dad stayed the night at my place and the next morning we went to breakfast. I was dressed in my office attire dark blue shirt and tie, dress pants, good shoes. Dad was Florida casual ;) After breakfast I said hey dad lets go down and take a Look at Tidbit. Well we did more than look, wind was dead calm so we motored out into the channel cruised south towards Worlds End yakking all the way. As we rounded Gees Point I came up with what I thought was a brilliant idea, Tess is at theater camp in Garrison rite down at the landing. We could dock at the Garrison Yacht Club go and see Tess for a bit and motor home. All was right in the world, or so I thought at the time.

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m320/fosterhere/photo-1949.jpg

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m320/fosterhere/photo-1420.jpg

Here's where the story gets fun. I instruct my dad how to set bumpers on the starboard side. The tide is rushing in and I was going to dock on the north dock which has a gate that goes directly towards the theater camp. Rounding in to the dock and feathering the throttle I notice we are fighting the tide hard and coming in wrong. I ease the motor in reverse. Clunk, no reverse, now we are drifting past the north dock into a ROCKY little cove. I try forward, no the engine rev's but no fofward motion and no prop wash. I get the sinking feeling that I know the problem, the sheer pin has snapped. THis is not a big fix unless it happens as you are drifting into the rocks with your 74 year old father.



So Immediately I decide with no motor and sail stowed ( with NO wind ) I needed to stop all motion on the boat ASAP to stabilize the situation. I reach for the small picnic anchor I have stowed under the aft seat. All the time my dad is seeing my panic register on my face as we drift closer and closer to the rocky shore in the FAST moving current. I was unraveling the line I had carefully wrapped around the anchor for storage thinking this is a stupid way to store the anchor for emergency's such as this. I should have the line bunched and ready to throw.

So out I toss the anchor off the stern, I'm panicing a little and SWEATING A LOT in the blazing heat. The damn thing wont grab. Toss, toss, toss. Not grabing. Try throwing it off the bow to let the drift from the tide help. NOPE for whatever reason I cant get it to hold. Now Im DRENCHED in mud and river water and most of all SWEAT.

I decided I can get a little direction by kedging, and there is a private bulkhead on the north end of the little cove, if I could just get us there I could work on the motor. So toss, kedge, sweat, toss, kedge, sweat, etc.

Make it to the bulkhead tie up and I can work on the prop from the shore with the outboard up. Sure enough it was the sheer pin. I have the last extra one I cut last season in the spare spot. I pull it and I cut it too short. It will be a dicey fit and probably wont work. I decide to see if I can find a substitute. I find a silicon bronze wood screw that fits the sheer pin hole perfectly, but the flat head is a problem. I pull out my multi tool and begin hacking away at the head. By now Im totally soaked with sweat the dress pants are scuffed at the knees and muddy. I work cutting that screw head off like a man possesed. The whole time my dad is watching and being perfect without telling me what to do or how to do it. Years or working the trades and with his hands he KNOWS the deal.
http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m320/fosterhere/photo-1230.jpg?t=1248351090


http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m320/fosterhere/photo-1859.jpg

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m320/fosterhere/photo-2321.jpg

SNIP the screw head comes off and I replace the pin and put the prop back and vroom we are motoring home. Didnt get to see Tess, but my dad left with a disposable camera worth of photos and yet another "Joe Story" to tell.

As for me I went home threw the work clothes in the hamper showered changed and went to work.

LeeG
07-23-2009, 07:36 AM
wow,,you guys don't look anything like each other.

Paul Pless
07-23-2009, 07:39 AM
Excellent story Joe

As for me I went home threw the work clothes in the hamper showered changed and went to work.At this point I probably would've called in for the day.:D

skuthorp
07-23-2009, 07:41 AM
"wow,,you guys don't look anything like each other."

Nah, I reckon he found you in the bullrushes Joe.

Joe (SoCal)
07-23-2009, 07:46 AM
wow,,you guys don't look anything like each other.


Ya think ? Put our two heads together we look just like a babies ass ;)

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m320/fosterhere/photo-1511.jpg

Oh and Paul I had a deal to make, and in these tough selling times a deal is a deal ;)

Mrleft8
07-23-2009, 07:50 AM
Ya think ? Put our two heads together we look just like an ass ;)

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m320/fosterhere/photo-1511.jpg

;) :D :eek:

Joe (SoCal)
07-23-2009, 08:02 AM
Babies ass lefty ;)

Paul Pless
07-23-2009, 08:12 AM
Babies ass lefty ;)so when just jcsoh is around we can call him half-assed. . .

Mrleft8
07-23-2009, 08:14 AM
so when just jcsoh is around we can call him half-assed. . .

Half assed baby :D

Paul Pless
07-23-2009, 08:18 AM
> :D

John Smith
07-23-2009, 08:27 AM
The small Mercury we had many years back didn't use a shear pin. Instead it had a neoprene thing between the shaft and prop that would slip if the prop hit something.

It was, I think, a better way.

Paul Pless
07-23-2009, 08:28 AM
It was, I think, a better way.until that rubber bushing wears out, then you're totally screwed . . .

Vince Brennan
07-23-2009, 08:35 AM
When I saw the first picture, I wondered, "How the heck does Joe know Sir Ben?"

Tom Montgomery
07-23-2009, 08:57 AM
If I recall correctly you have had your difficulties with your father. It's nice to hear that, despite that, you can still enjoy each other's company. Stressful situations like the one you've described can often bring out the worst in us. But it sounds like both you and your father came through it with dignity and mutual respect intact!

Thank you for sharing, Joe. I envy you. My father has been gone 18 years now. We had our difficulties, but I would give anything to share another brew with him and a day sailing.

Ian McColgin
07-23-2009, 09:03 AM
Finastkind.

Old Sailor
07-23-2009, 09:11 AM
My Dad left me his legacy, a love of Scotch. We didn't sail well together. He learned to sail by the book and I by the seat of my pants.
Old Sailor

Joe (SoCal)
07-23-2009, 09:16 AM
OK but the nautical questions remain. What would have been the best method in such a situation. I'm most troubled about my inability to set the anchor in a panic situation. When I'm beaching it off the shore of Little Stony point I have it down so good now I have the picnic anchor on deck ready to toss and I can glide in under sail and toss it over the stern and it grabs (sandy bottom ) just as the bow hits the beach. I look like a pro.

But yesterday I could not get the anchor to set in the muddy bottom no matter how many times I tossed it.

I also learned that wrapping the anchor line neatly round and around the anchor is a STUPID thing to do. Because as you drift into the rocks you are uncoiling as fast as possible all the line so that you can throw it.

Also almost forgot to tie off the bitter end of the anchor before tossing, THAT would have been a HUGE mistake.

Another thing ALWAYS have spare sheer pins and make sure they are the correct size.

So any other advice to garner for next time ( and yes there is always a next time :)

Tom Montgomery
07-23-2009, 09:20 AM
All that comes to mind is to have a serious anchor aboard so you do not need to rely upon the picnic anchor in an emergency.

Ian McColgin
07-23-2009, 09:25 AM
The rode for a lunch hook like that might fake down nicely in a bucket. Depending on the size and how you fake the line, the center has less line and you can shove the stock of the anchor in having all handy.

Fake the line in, not coil. If you coil it will form GodKnots caused by that puckish divinity that lets us suffer our own foolishness.

If you have a hole in the bottom of the bucket, run the end of the rode through that, and secure the bitter end to something stout, you're all set.

Why did it not set? Do some more tests in mud. Maybe it's an anchor type that does not hold well in mud.

G'luck

Joe (SoCal)
07-23-2009, 09:26 AM
All that comes to mind is to have a serious anchor aboard so you do not need to rely upon the picnic anchor in an emergency.

I have a serious one for Tidbits size with chain and rode forward it just seemed like overkill when I've used that little picnic anchor with great success in the past. But after the 20th toss the though did cross my mind to go fetch it, ( But that meant going below and leaving the boat to drift with only my dad at the non existent helm as I fetched it )

Joe (SoCal)
07-23-2009, 09:30 AM
Maybe it's an anchor type that does not hold well in mud.

G'luck

Small 5 lb danforth anchor no chain only about 20 ft of line.

https://www.surplusunlimited.com/Merchant2/graphics/00000022/5692.jpg

Ian McColgin
07-23-2009, 09:31 AM
I agree with Norm that tossing the anchor almost never works. It's tempting when you think you need a little extra scope in a hurry but:

Even if you're strong, it's hard to get more than a boat length even with a wee anchor. That's not really going to help.

Tossing increases the probability that the anchor does not land oriented correctly. If it manages to turn around and eventually set, you've lost whatever you might have gained in the toss. But usually it will foul the rode and not set. Since it is likely to straighten out as you haul it up through the water, you'll not see this unless you dive and watch what happens when an anchor is tossed.

The only ways to get an anchor out, like you need to kedge off a grounding, is to row it, swim it (float the anchor on a fender), or take a deep breath and hold the anchor while you walk along the bottom.

Bob Adams
07-23-2009, 09:46 AM
until that rubber bushing wears out, then you're totally screwed . . .

Yeap....you couldn't jury rig that one when it failed. Hey Joe, I'd NEVER guess that was your Dad. You must look like Mom, eh:rolleyes:

Edited to add:

I'm sure there is no need to remind you, charish time spent with your Father, every time I go on my boat, how I wish I could take my Dad on a little cruise, just one more time.

Joe (SoCal)
07-23-2009, 09:49 AM
How did you both go so bald?

A horrible little disease (http://www.cdc.gov/) called genetics ;)
Oh and we both SHAVE our heads ;)

2MeterTroll
07-23-2009, 09:52 AM
OK but the nautical questions remain. What would have been the best method in such a situation. I'm most troubled about my inability to set the anchor in a panic situation. When I'm beaching it off the shore of Little Stony point I have it down so good now I have the picnic anchor on deck ready to toss and I can glide in under sail and toss it over the stern and it grabs (sandy bottom ) just as the bow hits the beach. I look like a pro.

But yesterday I could not get the anchor to set in the muddy bottom no matter how many times I tossed it.

I also learned that wrapping the anchor line neatly round and around the anchor is a STUPID thing to do. Because as you drift into the rocks you are uncoiling as fast as possible all the line so that you can throw it.

Also almost forgot to tie off the bitter end of the anchor before tossing, THAT would have been a HUGE mistake.

Another thing ALWAYS have spare sheer pins and make sure they are the correct size.

So any other advice to garner for next time ( and yes there is always a next time :)

practice changing the sheer pin. if it does not take long (and it sound like it dont) then get it down to being able to do it in the dark. time it. sounds like you had plenty of time before you got to the wall. oh and get a Bruce.

Phillip Allen
07-23-2009, 09:54 AM
I wish Joe had thought to have his dad take a pic of himself...woulda been perfect!

R.I.Singer30
07-23-2009, 09:56 AM
I would add a chain to the smaller one and be sure the main is easily accessable.Things happen not slow, butt half-fast ;) out there.

As I was unstepping my mast at the launch area the other day some loud mouth half drunk girl comes out of the woods yapping at her little lap dog the whole time, mid sntence she yells up "that seems like a lot of work" and mumbling about sailing. My impolite response ,that I held back was, "What's that? Baby sitting a dog." but I held my toungue and said it was worth what you put into it. We had just spent an over night in Newport for a few bucks and no one was yapping at a dog the whole time:D.

Point being you probably never felt so alive.:cool:

Joe (SoCal)
07-23-2009, 09:59 AM
FWIW, thanks Ian & Norman that I think about it tossing the anchor was probably the wrong move. Just when panic sets in you loose that clear "whats actually going on under water thinking " I like the bucket idea.

Edited to add: Norman I have a substantial anchor this is just a little picnic anchor that works fine for beaching.

Ian McColgin
07-23-2009, 10:08 AM
Regarding Danforths - brilliant design. The heart of the patent is the size and angle of those metal flats between the flukes. They skid on the bottom and direct the flukes into the bottom. In really soft mud, they don't provide the thrust, so the fluke can float across the top, never digging in. Chain helps because it drags the whole anchor down. If you don't want chain on the lunch hook, just be aware of how it can be a harder unit to set and is less desirable as the emergency hook.

I personally don't like the concept of a lunch hook anyway. It's not that much harder to use the working (not storm) anchor.

Canoeyawl
07-23-2009, 10:11 AM
I have a "Man overboard" heaving line kit with a tiny Bruce anchor made off to it (Wet Marine, a small orange bag/kit - 50 feet I think) that I use to stow my lunch anchor rode. It is almost instantly deployed.
(Just don't heave it at your man overboard!!!)

John Smith
07-23-2009, 10:20 AM
If I recall correctly you have had your difficulties with your father. It's nice to hear that, despite that, you can still enjoy each other's company. Stressful situations like the one you've described can often bring out the worst in us. But it sounds like both you and your father came through it with dignity and mutual respect intact!

Thank you for sharing, Joe. I envy you. My father has been gone 18 years now. We had our difficulties, but I would give anything to share another brew with him and a day sailing.

I envy those of you who have pleasant memories of their dads. My memories of dad are not pleasant.

John Smith
07-23-2009, 10:25 AM
Every small boat I've ever sailed or motored: a paddle or a pair of oars.

Ian McColgin
07-23-2009, 10:25 AM
I agree Norm. For a Danforth, I stick with steel (and plenty of chain) because it sinks in better. The holding power of the lighter units is fantastic when they sink in but there's the rub - when. Also, a nice heavy Danforth will get really deep into thick mud and hold incredibly.

Anchoring a catboat has special problems as getting into the bow is a pain. I gotta get some pix of how this works, but Marmalade's anchor has a place on the starboard rail just ahead of the cockpit. I can deploy from there and I recover over the stern. Really almost as handy as a little platform and roller, which I don't want as it would spoil the cute upturn of Marmalade's bow.

Joe (SoCal)
07-23-2009, 10:26 AM
I envy those of you who have pleasant memories of their dads. My memories of dad are not pleasant.

Of fathers and sons
I changed my perspective
I've grown older
He's mellowed with age
We now meet at a good place
We both realize we are only here for a short time, make the best of it.

I love my dad.

TomF
07-23-2009, 10:28 AM
Of fathers and sons
I changed my perspective
I've grown older
He's mellowed with age
We now meet at a good place
We both realize we are only here for a short time, make the best of it.

I love my dad.Good news, Joe.

MiddleAgesMan
07-23-2009, 10:28 AM
I agree with the guys who suggested a small Bruce. When our 35 pound CQR let us down I brought the tiny Bruce (10-15lbs?) from my Dovekie aboard the big boat and used it instead. A Bruce grabs first time, every time, in almost any bottom. It may not have the ultimate holding power of a deeply embedded Danforth but for reliable sets it can't be beat.

Joe (SoCal)
07-23-2009, 10:36 AM
Every small boat I've ever sailed or motored: a paddle or a pair of oars.

I've got an emergency oar on board but hard to use in a fast moving tide on a beamy catboat in a panic situation. Its there only to prevent the crew from saying "well it looks like we are up a river without a paddle " :)

John Smith
07-23-2009, 10:42 AM
I've got an emergency oar on board but hard to use in a fast moving tide on a beamy catboat in a panic situation. Its there only to prevent the crew from saying "well it looks like we are up a river without a paddle " :)
That's true, I guess.

I like to think I'm prepared, but something will come along one day.......

There's also a limit to how many spare things one can carry.

Sometimes the best, last defense is a cell phone.

Joe (SoCal)
07-23-2009, 10:52 AM
That's true, I guess.

I like to think I'm prepared, but something will come along one day.......

There's also a limit to how many spare things one can carry.

Sometimes the best, last defense is a cell phone.

My dad observing me Figgure it out on the fly noted that nothing is a better tool than a resourceful man possessed with panic ;)

He thought there was no way I was going to turn that flat head screw into a sheer pin with only a multi-tool, but that's all I needed ;)

Yeadon
07-23-2009, 11:08 AM
My dad observing me Figgure it out on the fly noted that nothing is a better tool than a resourceful man possessed with panic ;)

He thought there was no way I was going to turn that flat head screw into a sheer pin with only a multi-tool, but that's all I needed ;)

Seems like you were hemmed in by previous choices ... sheer pin ... the anchor with basically no rode ... but you figured it out. Good work. Great story.

It might be worth looking around your boat and asking where else you need better preparation. The same probably goes for me.

L.W. Baxter
07-23-2009, 11:34 AM
A really fast, compact, secondary anchor for that boat would be a ~20lb pyramid anchor with 100' of clothesline. It would take up virtually no space and be deployed in seconds, no worries about getting it to "set," though in a current over a couple knots it may not do much more than slow you down. If the bottom is really silty in your area you may find it digs in pretty reliably. Maybe experiment with it, it's a cheap thing to try, anyway. I use one off the stern of my 26' sportfishing boat for holding the boat still while anchored in a current with an upstream wind blowing (happens all the time here). Super easy thing to handle.

ccmanuals
07-23-2009, 11:41 AM
Joe, the "nautical question" is quit calling fenders "bumpers." :D

TimH
07-23-2009, 11:46 AM
mental note to self:

get a bigger anchor.

Mrleft8
07-23-2009, 02:01 PM
When did you change the boat's name from "Tidbit" to "Dilema"? ;)

TimH
07-23-2009, 02:08 PM
Lin and Larry Pardey say a pair of swim fins and diving mask are a regular part of their anchoring toolkit

TimH
07-23-2009, 02:32 PM
I envy those of you who have pleasant memories of their dads. My memories of dad are not pleasant.

Mine are non-existant.

Bruce Hooke
07-23-2009, 03:13 PM
Small 5 lb danforth anchor no chain only about 20 ft of line.

I'd say the 20 foot rode is a key part of the problem. With no wind. waves or current a 20 foot long rode may work to hold you in a quiet cove with the anchor really just sitting on the bottom in shallow water. However, for the anchor to even start to dig in with a 20 foot rode you would need to be in about 5 foot of water at most, and to get proper scope and really have the anchor dig in you would need to be in more like 3 feet...shallow enough to get out and walk around the boat!

Yes, a bit of chain is a nice thing, and a heavier anchor is also not a bad idea, but the first thing I'd do if you want this anchor to be more functional is put at least a 60 foot rode on the anchor. Exactly how long a rode you need depends on the maximum depth of water you need to anchor in.

Paul Pless
07-23-2009, 03:25 PM
I think you should get one of these Joe.

http://www.thecollectorzone.com/images/products/10211_l.jpg

Joe (SoCal)
07-23-2009, 04:18 PM
Whats that Paul???

Paul Pless
07-23-2009, 04:20 PM
batman's grapnel gun :D

Joe (SoCal)
07-23-2009, 04:24 PM
:D .

Concordia...41
07-23-2009, 05:43 PM
batman's grapnel gun :D

A must for every boat! :D

Bob Triggs
07-23-2009, 06:27 PM
A really fast, compact, secondary anchor for that boat would be a ~20lb pyramid anchor with 100' of clothesline. It would take up virtually no space and be deployed in seconds, no worries about getting it to "set," though in a current over a couple knots it may not do much more than slow you down. If the bottom is really silty in your area you may find it digs in pretty reliably. Maybe experiment with it, it's a cheap thing to try, anyway. I use one off the stern of my 26' sportfishing boat for holding the boat still while anchored in a current with an upstream wind blowing (happens all the time here). Super easy thing to handle.

I would second this vote as you are operating in river currents much of the time and having a river anchor makes good sense. But I would opt for a little heavier real nylon anchor line, plenty of scope length, and not "clothesline"

Canoeyawl
07-23-2009, 07:03 PM
Shoot it straight down...Will it work underwater?

I think you should get one of these Joe.

http://www.thecollectorzone.com/images/products/10211_l.jpg

py
07-23-2009, 07:28 PM
"There's also a limit to how many spare things one can carry.

Sometimes the best, last defense is a cell phone."

As an anchor, sheer pin, fender or paddle? I just can't see it working.

Sounds like a great day's boating Joe.

Stiletto
07-23-2009, 10:04 PM
You coped well with the situation. I had a similar situation in the early days of owning my Tri.
After that I always had an anchor ready to deploy when operating in close quarters like being near shore or coming in to a mooring.

It is all experience.

boylesboats
07-24-2009, 12:07 AM
Thank Joe, that is wonderful of you two sharing precious time together..
I miss my dad alot, we hunts together for many years.. He passed away back in November 2008 on the opening day.. A day I'll never forget

BrianW
07-24-2009, 12:34 AM
Wonder why your shear pin keeps shearing?

Just spent a week with my dad. Good times.

Bob (oh, THAT Bob)
07-24-2009, 12:58 AM
Great story, well told.

I think Normy had it in post 21, the angle of pull was the problem, in your hurry to set it you hadn't let out enough rode, throwing wasn't enough. (How far could you throw it versus the depth?)

bobbys
07-24-2009, 02:38 AM
After seeing the pics of you and your dad i guess we can throw out the ole Milkman and mailman theory!!!:D

John Smith
07-24-2009, 06:27 AM
Wonder why your shear pin keeps shearing?

Just spent a week with my dad. Good times.
I wonder why they still use shear pins on small motors.

I loved myh 6 hp Mercury (1960 ish) that had no shear pin. It had a neoprene hub that would slip if the prop hit something, and a splined shaft.

Also had a built in bottle opener which came in quite handy.

Having had a few motors with shear pins, and having had to change them under less than ideal conditions, I found this to be a much better method.

Mrleft8
07-24-2009, 08:21 AM
Wonder why your shear pin keeps shearing?

. Something to do with shallow water, rocks, and paying more attention to taking pictures of himself than where he's headed I think.....:D:rolleyes: