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USVI grounding #21982
08/22/2013 01:12 PM
08/22/2013 01:12 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,048
USVI
LocalSailor Offline OP
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The operator of a vessel which destroyed endangered elk horn coral colonies and other sensitive natural resources off the north shore of St. John almost got away.

A vessel, a 43-foot power boat called Heartbeat, grounded on the well-marked Johnson Reef on Thursday evening, July 25, yet was on its way to St. Thomas before V.I. National Park officials caught up with it.

“The incident was reported to us by a concerned citizen who saw it from shore on Thursday evening, July 25,” said VINP Superintendent Brion FitzGerald. “The vessel was trying to get off the reef and someone saw it and called a VINP protection officer.”

VINP officials launched a park boat and caught up with the operator of the vessel which had managed to get off Johnson Reef by that time, FitzGerald explained.

“We were able to get out there as he was heading to St. Thomas,” said the VINP Superintendent. “We stopped him, made contact and brought the boat back here. We had him leave it here tied up to the park dock to do an underwater survey to match any damage to the reef to damage on the vessel.”

While VINP’s investigation into the grounding is ongoing, officials have determined some of the damage caused by the late July grounding, according to FitzGerald.

“Basically the vessel ran about 400 feet across the reef damaging underlying reef structures, and eight elk horn coral colonies — which are listed as threatened on the endangered species list — were broken or pulverized and a number of other species of corals were damaged, broken or torn from the bottom,” he said.

VINP officials have not yet decided whether to charge the vessel operator with criminal or civil charges, FitzGerald added.

“The next step is to decide if we are going to go criminally or civilly yet,” he said. “We are still conducting the investigation but we’ll certainly go after the cost for resource mitigation.”

While it is impossible to repair the reef, VINP officials will try to recoup the cost they will spend on assessing the reef damage, explained FitzGerald.

“You obviously can’t put this reef back together but we’ve had other groundings before where we used the process which allowed us to have the owners pay for the damages and pay for measuring those damages and pay for monitoring and recovery efforts,” he said.

It will be at least a few weeks to a month before VINP officials determine the exact extent of the damage to Johnson Reef from the grounding, FitzGerald added.

Johnson Reef is located off-shore of the Peter Bay point area on the island’s north shore and is marked with at least four bright yellow buoys that display yellow lights at night.

This is from the STJ newspaper 'Tradewinds'
.
I post it only for the information of BVI charterers who may be headed to Cruz Bay STJ to clear into the USVI which seems to be a question that pops up on occasion. Also for charterers who are coming out of STT headed to the BVI.
Johnson Reef is a serious hazard to be aware of and vessels pass inside as well as outside of it and over the years I have seen more than a few vessels hit it, including commercial vessels.

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Re: USVI grounding [Re: LocalSailor] #21983
08/22/2013 01:19 PM
08/22/2013 01:19 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,048
USVI
LocalSailor Offline OP
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LocalSailor  Offline OP
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USVI

Re: USVI grounding [Re: LocalSailor] #21984
08/22/2013 01:35 PM
08/22/2013 01:35 PM
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I'm wondering how his hull and prop(s) survived 400 feet of reef and perhaps the report might have exaggerated that aspect of the story.

Re: USVI grounding [Re: Zanshin] #21985
08/22/2013 01:53 PM
08/22/2013 01:53 PM
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Quote
Zanshin said:
I'm wondering how his hull and prop(s) survived 400 feet of reef and perhaps the report might have exaggerated that aspect of the story.


It does sound odd.
Perhaps a glancing blow?

Re: USVI grounding [Re: LocalSailor] #21986
08/22/2013 02:36 PM
08/22/2013 02:36 PM
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How anyone could hit Johnson Reef is beyond me. It is well charted and surrounded by yellow markers. My money is on credit card captain. I hope they throw the book at this idiot.


There is nothing -- absolutely nothing -- half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.
Re: USVI grounding [Re: woodycooper] #21987
08/22/2013 02:45 PM
08/22/2013 02:45 PM
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Twanger Offline
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Perhaps it was dark? The OP article says Thursday evening.

At any rate, I agree with you... it's pretty difficult to miss seeing all the yellow markers and it's on the charts of course.

Of course, remember that a professional operator ran a ferry into the island of St. Thomas a year or two ago. You'd think he woulda seen the island...

And I watched a dingy full of patrons run right into the reef between Neptunes and ARH in broad daylight, and there were little waves breaking on the reef at the time.

Some folk shouldn't be allowed to drive boats... <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/titanic.gif" alt="" />

Re: USVI grounding [Re: Twanger] #21988
08/22/2013 03:14 PM
08/22/2013 03:14 PM
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NC USA
woodycooper Offline
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Quote
Twanger said:
Perhaps it was dark? The OP article says Thursday evening.

At any rate, I agree with you... it's pretty difficult to miss seeing all the yellow markers and it's on the charts of course.

Of course, remember that a professional operator ran a ferry into the island of St. Thomas a year or two ago. You'd think he woulda seen the island...

Some folk shouldn't be allowed to drive boats... <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/titanic.gif" alt="" />


I assume since someone on shore first reported the incident that it wasn't completely dark.

I've heard of many professional / commercial drivers run into objects or other boats, and the reason is they were texting or otherwise not paying attention and letting the auto-pilot drive. That's why you should never get in their way in mid transit.


There is nothing -- absolutely nothing -- half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.
Re: USVI grounding [Re: woodycooper] #21989
08/22/2013 03:16 PM
08/22/2013 03:16 PM
Joined: Oct 2008
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Winterstale Offline
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Quote
woodycooper said:
How anyone could hit Johnson Reef is beyond me. It is well charted and surrounded by yellow markers. My money is on credit card captain. I hope they throw the book at this idiot.


<img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/duh.gif" alt="" /> Agree.



[Linked Image]



Re: USVI grounding [Re: woodycooper] #21990
08/22/2013 04:57 PM
08/22/2013 04:57 PM
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Posts: 5,884
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Quote
woodycooper said:
How anyone could hit Johnson Reef is beyond me. It is well charted and surrounded by yellow markers.


Someone who was well-lubricated from a day of fun in the sun and probably didn't need no steenkin' charts and markers to show him the way home...


[color:"red"]NUTMEG[/color]
Today is the tomorrow you talked about yesterday.
Re: USVI grounding [Re: woodycooper] #21991
08/23/2013 10:15 AM
08/23/2013 10:15 AM
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Really? WOW, I can only imagine the credit limit the "CCC" must have had that ran his container ship aground at the Rhone site, and holed his cruise ship in Europe.....

My hat is off to anyone who has never had a careless moment and had something untoward happen -- And to those who can afford to pay cash to rent and/or own their own boat to enjoy the islands...

Re: USVI grounding [Re: camelot] #21992
08/23/2013 11:12 AM
08/23/2013 11:12 AM
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In 2006 or 7 one of the ferries going to West End grounded itself on the reef at full speed.

Re: USVI grounding [Re: camelot] #21993
08/23/2013 11:19 AM
08/23/2013 11:19 AM
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Quote
camelot said:
Really? WOW, I can only imagine the credit limit the "CCC" must have had that ran his container ship aground at the Rhone site, and holed his cruise ship in Europe.....

My hat is off to anyone who has never had a careless moment and had something untoward happen -- And to those who can afford to pay cash to rent and/or own their own boat to enjoy the islands...


Yes "Credit Card Captain" is a derogatory term. But the term doesn't refer to how a charter was paid for, but rather to the captain's qualifications. As in, what are your qualifications? "I have a credit card"

And does comparing some schmo in a 42' boat to a professional captain on a container or cruise ship mean that everyone makes mistakes? Certainly everyone does!

But I still think it is a bone-headed move to drive over Johnson Reef, and it is the kind of move that could easily have been made by someone whose only qualifications for driving a boat is that they have a credit card. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Wink.gif" alt="" />


There is nothing -- absolutely nothing -- half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.
Re: USVI grounding [Re: woodycooper] #21994
08/23/2013 12:37 PM
08/23/2013 12:37 PM
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From reading the article I think this was a private boat not a charter. If I am mistaken then my apologies. But if this is indeed a private craft then the CCC designation doesn't fit. I suspect that Nutmeg is most likely correct. A "local" that had to much fun in the sun.

Re: USVI grounding [Re: MissinStT] #21995
08/23/2013 03:22 PM
08/23/2013 03:22 PM

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Big misconception, just because you own a boat doesn't mean your qualified or know how to handle the boat, "CCC" are everywhere they own, charter, and are out on the water. Even some "trained" Captains still shouldn't be allowed to be a master of a vessel, just because you got a course cert on bareboating or a USCG 6pack doesn't in any way qualify you to operate safely and efficiently out on the water.

Re: USVI grounding [Re: MissinStT] #21996
08/23/2013 03:31 PM
08/23/2013 03:31 PM
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I think part of the problem are the yellow buoys themselves, not a lot of casual captains understand what they signify and steer between them. All a yellow buoy means is that there is something special going on, pay attention. There is a lot of sea room between the buoys and the reef, so someone could well do this for years and not hit anything. Ferry captains run inside there all the time.
In respect to CCCs and relative skill, experience is important but common sense continues to reign supreme. I have watched licensed experienced captains sail trimarans full tilt into the side of Tortola, in one incident in front of my house colliding with a parked car! I don't know whether he had a credit card or not.

Re: USVI grounding [Re: capttom] #21997
08/23/2013 03:50 PM
08/23/2013 03:50 PM
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"All a yellow buoy means is that there is something special going on, pay attention"

A yellow buoy is a cautionary buoy. While I agree with anon about taking a bareboating course, not being an indicator of competence, the USCG 6 pac test is quite encompassing. Being alcohol impaired is not going is not going to help the situation. Perhaps the breaking waves might give the operator a clue to shallow water.

Re: USVI grounding [Re: sail2wind] #21998
08/23/2013 04:29 PM
08/23/2013 04:29 PM
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I think that pay attention would fall under the category of caution. There are some countries that use the cardinal system where yellow buoys are marked with black to indicate better passage, where the hazard is, etc, and if coming from one of those places the yellow buoys might confuse. In the BVI for instance there is a cardinal buoy up by the airport, and I know that a lot of captains from the us don't know what it means, they just pass it to port going west and forget about it.
There used to be a yellow buoy outside Cruz bay, and people from all over would go around it , regardless of where they were coming from or going to. It was there simply to indicate that you were entering a national park and would be fined for groundings. But people rounded it just the same.

Re: USVI grounding #21999
08/23/2013 04:34 PM
08/23/2013 04:34 PM
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Quote
Anonymous said:
Big misconception, just because you own a boat doesn't mean you're qualified or know how to handle the boat, "CCC" are everywhere they own, charter, and are out on the water.


True statement. Note the privately owned new Lagoon 450 that was run up on the Sandy Spit reef recently by the owner.



Quote
Anonymous said:
a USCG 6pack doesn't in any way qualify you to operate safely and efficiently out on the water.


Not true at all.


Rob
Re: USVI grounding [Re: SeaSeaRider] #22000
08/23/2013 05:02 PM
08/23/2013 05:02 PM

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I should have been more clear about the USCG 6pack, anyone can take and pass a test. Experience counts for a lot.

Re: USVI grounding #22001
08/23/2013 05:38 PM
08/23/2013 05:38 PM
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Quote
Anonymous said:
I should have been more clear about the USCG 6pack, anyone can take and pass a test. Experience counts for a lot.


And if you own a boat, you can lie all you want about your sea-time. And if you have a friend who owns a boat, you can ask him to lie for you.

There is no practical exam, whatever.

Re: USVI grounding #22002
08/23/2013 06:10 PM
08/23/2013 06:10 PM
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sail2wind Offline
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Quote
Anonymous said:
I should have been more clear about the USCG 6pack, anyone can take and pass a test. Experience counts for a lot.


seriously, obviously you have not taken the 6 hour exam, yes experience does mean a lot, but you can take an ASA course and even come close to passing the exam

Re: USVI grounding [Re: casailor53] #22003
08/23/2013 06:15 PM
08/23/2013 06:15 PM
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Quote
casailor53 said:
Quote
Anonymous said:
I should have been more clear about the USCG 6pack, anyone can take and pass a test. Experience counts for a lot.


And if you own a boat, you can lie all you want about your sea-time. And if you have a friend who owns a boat, you can ask him to lie for you.

There is no practical exam, whatever.



see my last post, no practical exam? sailing is not even a part of the exam, after you take your exam you then need a sailing addendum. Do you expect the Coast Guard to go out with each individual applicant? <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/duh.gif" alt="" />

Re: USVI grounding [Re: sail2wind] #22004
08/23/2013 06:32 PM
08/23/2013 06:32 PM
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casailor53 Offline
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Quote
sail2wind said:
Quote
casailor53 said:
Quote
Anonymous said:
I should have been more clear about the USCG 6pack, anyone can take and pass a test. Experience counts for a lot.


And if you own a boat, you can lie all you want about your sea-time. And if you have a friend who owns a boat, you can ask him to lie for you.

There is no practical exam, whatever.



see my last post, no practical exam? sailing is not even a part of the exam, after you take your exam you then need a sailing addendum. Do you expect the Coast Guard to go out with each individual applicant? <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/duh.gif" alt="" />


And that is part of the problem. I believe that in the UK, with the RYA Yachtmaster license, there is a practical. All you gotta do is charge for it.

Re: USVI grounding [Re: casailor53] #22005
08/23/2013 07:10 PM
08/23/2013 07:10 PM
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I wrote up a resume for my boating esperience and sent it off to Moorings before our charter. While listening to our boat orientation at Moorings, I asked the girl doing it if she had read my resume.

"No!" was all she said.

Re: USVI grounding [Re: sail2wind] #22006
08/23/2013 08:04 PM
08/23/2013 08:04 PM

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Im not about to disclose what my profession is but, I work closely with the USCG and many other international governing maritime agencys. My whole point is that a small test with limited experience will not make everyone fit on the water in all capacities. Time and experience with different situations is invauluable. In no way do I want to undermine the hard work people do to obtain licensing and certifications they are a great and can only encourage and make our waters safer with more knowlegable sailors/boater. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Cheers.gif" alt="" />

Re: USVI grounding [Re: 706jim] #22007
08/23/2013 08:07 PM
08/23/2013 08:07 PM
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GJ, CO S/V Long Overdue
sail2wind Offline
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The STCW is a practical application and necessary for crossing international waters. Any U.S. Capt. who takes guests to BVI is required to have their STCW.

Re: USVI grounding [Re: sail2wind] #22008
08/23/2013 08:18 PM
08/23/2013 08:18 PM

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The STCW will not show you how to moor, anchor, reef your main. It is basic water survival, fire fighting, CPR/First aid. In what way is that practical in regards to what this original thread started off as someone colliding with a marked reef? The more stamps and certs you obtain won't make you a better sailor. This is the biggest misconception out there. I see it all the time people want a boat they go take a couple week classroom, or even a weekend safety boaters class then they believe they know what they are doing, next thing you know they are the ones taking out reefs or damaging boats. Take actual lessons, put the time in to sail/boat with your buddys that are more experienced.

Re: USVI grounding #22009
08/23/2013 08:41 PM
08/23/2013 08:41 PM
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True, however it is a practical, on the water class. The USCG Captain's test also does not include moor, anchor, or anything to do with a sail boat. Johnson Reef is huge, well marked, well colored, and sometimes breaking water. If you don't see it, you are either not paying attention, or not at the helm.

Re: USVI grounding [Re: sail2wind] #22010
08/23/2013 10:04 PM
08/23/2013 10:04 PM

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Unregistered
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Unregistered
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Quote
sail2wind said:
True, however it is a practical, on the water class. The USCG Captain's test also does not include moor, anchor, or anything to do with a sail boat. Johnson Reef is huge, well marked, well colored, and sometimes breaking water. If you don't see it, you are either not paying attention, or not at the helm.


Not alway true in poor light later in the day headed away from the beach when the swell is down. If you do not know the reef is there and you think very wrongly that you are headed "out" into deeper water.

There is also a shallow spot just to the south of the reef that motivates some to turn away from shore into the reef.

Re: USVI grounding [Re: 706jim] #22011
08/24/2013 12:11 AM
08/24/2013 12:11 AM
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Quote
706jim said:
I wrote up a resume for my boating esperience and sent it off to Moorings before our charter. While listening to our boat orientation at Moorings, I asked the girl doing it if she had read my resume.

"No!" was all she said.


what did you expect? The local base probably doesn't ever see any resume.


Matt
Re: USVI grounding [Re: sail2wind] #22012
08/24/2013 09:21 AM
08/24/2013 09:21 AM
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casailor53 Offline
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Quote
sail2wind said:
Quote
Anonymous said:
I should have been more clear about the USCG 6pack, anyone can take and pass a test. Experience counts for a lot.


seriously, obviously you have not taken the 6 hour exam, yes experience does mean a lot, but you can take an ASA course and even come close to passing the exam


ASA course teaches COLREGs? I've done lots of first day check-outs (mostly asked for by the client), and I don't think I ever met anyone who knew what NUC, RAM, CBD, etc, meant.

Re: USVI grounding [Re: maytrix] #22013
08/24/2013 09:36 AM
08/24/2013 09:36 AM

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Quote
maytrix said:
Quote
706jim said:
I wrote up a resume for my boating esperience and sent it off to Moorings before our charter. While listening to our boat orientation at Moorings, I asked the girl doing it if she had read my resume.

"No!" was all she said.


what did you expect? The local base probably doesn't ever see any resume.


My experience is the managers know who is coming. One or two go over the paperwork and everyone else is just going through the motions. The more reliable the resume the less chance you will find anyone observing your skills. The truly weak(or B.S.) captain and crew will struggle getting away from the dock and out of the harbor. For many charters the most difficult set of tasks is getting the boat loaded and away from the dock.

Re: USVI grounding [Re: maytrix] #22014
08/24/2013 12:22 PM
08/24/2013 12:22 PM
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camelot Offline
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Maytrix - I agree.
We have bareboated 11 trips with 4 different companies in 3 different oceans and have never been asked to see our resume once on-site -- Our resume is, however, reviewed before our deposit is accepted and the boat confirmed to ensure we are experienced enough to take that boat in those waters. This is done by the main office not always where we take the boat, and by someone other than the briefer.
I think it is obvious to most experienced chart briefers/boat briefers very quickly whether the skipper (technically not a captain) and mate (usually a second person with some on-water experience required to rent the boat)know anything about boats in general and sailboats in particular (which way do you wrap a winch, what questions do you ask during the chart briefing, can you start the engines when asked, etc)so that, in my experience, I have always felt they do all they can to ensure the safety of their boat, my crew and others on the waters.
We have only been asked to go out, raise the sails, tack, jibe, return to dock once as part of the checkout -- this was with TMM (2 weeks ago) and they asked would we like to or not -- Was time well spent -- I learned a lot about the rigging and some of the quirks of that particular boat, made sure no problems existed before we took out the boat ourselves, had a guided tour out/into the marina (Quite tight and a reef at the entrance not marked) so that while it took a little over an hour it was time well spent. This combined with my experience on many occasions seeing chartered boats with "local" captains do things like anchor at Monkey point, spend all day on one of the NPT balls at "the chimney", outrace "CCC's" to the last mooring obviously being approached by other boat shows me it is more than # years of experience or "credentials" that deserves respect on the water -- Experience, respect, common sense in equal doses seem to me to be the best combination. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/dine.gif" alt="" />

Re: USVI grounding [Re: camelot] #22015
08/25/2013 04:28 PM
08/25/2013 04:28 PM
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Jorgen Offline
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Jorgen  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 2,250
Oslo, Norway
Quote
camelot said:
which way do you wrap a winch, what questions do you ask during the chart briefing, can you start the engines when asked

After 40 years of sailing, I still have problems in remembering which way to wrap the winch. I think it is clockwise on the starboard side and anticlockwise on the port, but I have to check it every time. As how to start the engine, I know my boat, but every new boat has a special system, with or without the key. I need instructions in how to start and stop. Never be afraid to ask.

Last edited by Jorgen; 08/25/2013 04:29 PM.

Jørgen
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Re: USVI grounding [Re: Jorgen] #22016
08/25/2013 05:37 PM
08/25/2013 05:37 PM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 173
Rivals, Kentucky
NotquiteCapnRon Offline
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NotquiteCapnRon  Offline
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Posts: 173
Rivals, Kentucky
Oh come on Jorgen, everyone knows they go clockwise unless you are in the southern hemisphere. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Grin.gif" alt="" />

Re: USVI grounding [Re: NotquiteCapnRon] #22017
08/25/2013 05:53 PM
08/25/2013 05:53 PM
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 2,250
Oslo, Norway
Jorgen Offline
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Jorgen  Offline
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Posts: 2,250
Oslo, Norway
Like I said: I have to check them each year.


Jørgen
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Re: USVI grounding [Re: Jorgen] #22018
08/25/2013 06:16 PM
08/25/2013 06:16 PM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,804
VI,GA,AZ
sail445 Offline
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sail445  Offline
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Posts: 2,804
VI,GA,AZ
Clockwise all the time unless you're on Bizzaro world. :-))
It's very tuff to fool a wEnch <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Grin.gif" alt="" />

Re: USVI grounding [Re: sail445] #22019
08/25/2013 06:25 PM
08/25/2013 06:25 PM
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 364
Whidbey Island, WA
Capnmike Offline
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Capnmike  Offline
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Posts: 364
Whidbey Island, WA
That's why I never let my crew wear digital watches.

Re: USVI grounding [Re: sail445] #22020
08/25/2013 08:40 PM
08/25/2013 08:40 PM

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Quote
sail445 said:
Clockwise all the time unless you're on Bizzaro world. :-))
It's very tuff to fool a wEnch <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Grin.gif" alt="" />


When you are motor sailing on a bareboat it is easier to just luff up and take up some sheet... That can work in both directions.

Re: USVI grounding #22021
08/25/2013 09:43 PM
08/25/2013 09:43 PM
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 987
annap, MD/BVI-Nanny Cay
hallucination Offline
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hallucination  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 987
annap, MD/BVI-Nanny Cay
Funny to think that the whole...

Clockwise/Anti/Counter-Clockwise will soon go the way of the DO-DO.

What does it mean to "keep your watch winded or is that wound"

The toilets on my boat must have been made down-below, since when I hit the electric button, the water goes the other way.

I suspect that my birthday present will be the last mechanical device that I will wear. UN-Marine....

and all this 6-PAX/ASA/USCG/NUC/RAM shi...uff would be MUCH more fun to watch on "sail-anarchy" or "sail net"

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