Baby Bob saved the day !

Thread starter #1
We went out sailing yesterday for the third time in my 86 model 1. The first two times we went there was almost no wind, so with the wind forecast to be 10-25 I had my hopes up.

The nearby lake I am learning to sail on has power lines over the boat ramp so I have to tie up to the dock to raise the mast. We put up the main with the intention of putting the jib on once we were further out on the water.

My son wanted to sail away from the dock instead of using the trolling motor so we put everything but the jib sheet and paddle into the cubby. It was difficult to get the boat moving, but eventually we got away from the dock.

The boat ramp is not on the main part of the lake where we wanted to sail and the wind kept pushing us towards a bridge and the rocks on the shore, but I finally got some wind in the sail. At this point we had been pushed within 25 yards of the rocks. Just then my son saw we were about to hit some power/phone lines running accross the end of the lake, I just had time to pull the mainsheet all the way in and heel us over to go under the lines and then we went over.

The Baby Bob worked great. We had talked about what has to be done when you go over, but when you do it for the first time, figuring out how to get into position for the scoop, uncleating the main ( which had become cleated at some point as we went over ) and the travellers takes a little while. I climbed up on the centerboard and supervised. The Bob allowed for the entire situation to be calm and unpanicked. I'm sure we looked like we knew what we were doing to the people on the shore!

We lost the Jibsheet and one flipflop. Everything in the cubby moved around, the trolling motor battery migrated down under one of the seats because I forgot to tie it down, but I was able to squirm in and reach it.

Eventually we dropped the mast and motored back to the dock, but not after being pushed onto the rocks at the shore, I will go out in a little while and see what damage there is.

Anyway, we sailed for another 4 or 5 hours with Mainsail only and had a blast. It would have been easier with a Jib but, oh well.

Lessons learned :
Tie everything down, if I'd tied one end of the jib sheet to something I would still have it, and battery would have been easier to get to.
Look out for power lines on the water. We'd been sailing twice before and never spotted those lines.
Build a stronger mount for the mast float.

I built my mount out of 1/16th Aluminum and when the float hit the water it bent the Aluminum and the base of the float mount. I think if I had a solid mount like some I've seen on this board, the mount base would have stayed straight. see the pictures.

Anyway, we weren't electrocuted, had a great time, learned some lessons, and now I am not concerned about going over in the future.



Glad you survived , power lines and masts are not a good combination especially on the water - WOW! I 'm sure you kept aware of them as you were preparing to right your boat . the Bob mount sure took a beating .

I keep my jibsheets always attached to the jib . You can use them a couple ways to stow the jib until your ready to use it . I'll try and get some pics and post in sperate thread.

Have a great summer !

Thread starter #3
Thanks Rob, we motored to the highest stretch of wires where the lines left the shore, but I still coudn't tell how much clearance there was, so we dropped the mast and motored straight to the dock.
While dropping the mast the wind blew us up against the rocks. I have a lot of new scratches.
Another lesson learned : an anchor would have kept us off the shore while we worked on the mast.
I will have to get an anchor.
I bought a new jibsheet today. 38 foot at 82 cents a foot. Ouch.
I still can't believe we didn't see the power lines the first two times out.

Power Lines!!!!

I can't believe somebody put a boat ramp underneath powerlines, but a web search just now turned up quite a few.

Used to be one of the trailer-sized day sailers manufacturers had a toll-free number to report that, but I cannot remember which one (maybe O'day)?? They ad like a manufacturer's assoc. to get after whoever was running the ramp and the power co. to try and get it fixed. I saw it in web posted scans of an owner's manual, remember it was maybe late 1970's.

I sure hope they've got warning signs posted at that spot. Even then, imagine if someone just had a brain cramp afternoon going or was inexperienced and clueless! Preventable and predictable fatal hazards are inexcusable and that's sure one.

You did real well to heel it over, I'm wondering to myself if I mighta just froze and been in Big Trouble. Maybe for the final time in this life.

Yesterday I launched my Capri for the first time and had to raise and lower the mast 3 different times b/c I was cranked up to go sailing, working too fast and let things get tangled and then forgot to include the topping lift. :rolleyes:
Thread starter #5
I know the feeling.

My main halyard is a bit too short, and twice now while preparing to raise the main the end has gotten away and run all the way to the pulley.

Down comes the mast.

And what's the deal the jib halyard pulley? All it does is stop the jib halyard from reaching all the way to the deck.

And I've got the opposite problem: I've added a topping lift, a main downhaul and I'm using the jib block and a long jib halyard line led through a block on the trailer mast stand to hold the mast up while I jump down and fasten the forestay. With a line for the furler, the bottom of my mast is way too crowded and I know it's unsafe that way.
Longer halyards will solve your situation, won't they? I'm trying to find space on the mast base to add a cleat or two without placing them where they'll snag the jib as it comes across.
I know the feeling.

My main halyard is a bit too short, and twice now while preparing to raise the main the end has gotten away and run all the way to the pulley.

Down comes the mast.

And what's the deal the jib halyard pulley? All it does is stop the jib halyard from reaching all the way to the deck.

Sounds like you need a longer main halyard. I loop mine around the halyard cleat and through the head shackle, then secure with a taunt-line hitch. The halyard travels on the trailer this way and doesn't get undone until I'm ready to attach the sail. Haven't had a runaway line yet... knock on wood! ;)

Then, if I follow you correctly, you can use the old main halyard to replace the jib halyard. Speaking of which, I need to order new lines to replace both halyards. They're looking a little frayed. :(

Thread starter #8
I tied an extra bit of rope onto the main halyard and sailed at a lake without power lines over the boat ramp. What a concept!

Raising the mast and attaching the sails in the parking lot on the trailer sure was a lot easier.

I bet it was 15 minutes or less and we were ready for the water. Next time I am going to time us and see just how long it takes when you can do all the prep in the parking lot :)

Unfortunately the wind was zero to 3 mph gusts and it was hot. After an hour and a half of peace and quiet and no wind, all the jet skis and ski boats came back out, so we troll-motored back to the ramp.

But now I know how long it takes to get to this lake, and if you take into account the drive time and boat setup in the parking lot, it is equal to (or less) driving to the nearest lake and setting up the boat in the water.

Wednesday the forecast is 11-18 MPH winds so I hope to try again Wednesday night.

Topping lift pulley

Hi George --

I installed a pulley atop the mast, offset a little so that the topping line had some clearance away from the mast, pic below. I use a s/s carabiner to clip onto the eye that the outhaul pulley occupies at the aft of the boom, that way I can unhook the TL when sailing if I want as it does traverse the mainsail's roach and so will impact sail shape. The carabiner is all rounded with no sharp edges to catch on anything expensive like sails, and I got about 50 feet of yacht braid since it's less abrasive than cheaper stuff and has a pretty good strength if needed for emergency line.

A topper works nice to keep boom and sail out of the cockpit when raising and rowing out and makes singlehanding easier.

Great sailing --

jim / so. fla.