When is a rope around the prop a “Win”?

I’m a few weeks behind due to the dreaded man flu but we took the little man down to the boat for his first sail, well motor up and down the river.

It was neaps so an early start to get to the boat mid morning, a quick chat to a few of the tea club in the clubhouse and I went off to get the boat ready whilst Lou watched Vin entertain the “Elders”. All sorted I went ashore to pick them up in the dinghy. Vin unsure of his lifejacket dealt with putting it on ok with minimal tears, the transfer to the dinghy was smooth and we enjoyed a slow paddle across the Pill. Lou is a newbie so to speak and a little unsure still with an unstable dinghy but she hopped on board and I passed Vin to her. We kept Vin’s life jacket on and he was happy looking around and taking in the world from the water.

Engine ticking over and ready for our little adventure I cast off the bow lines, dropped the stern lines and watched them sink. I waited a good ten seconds and we started to drift off the mooring, I engaged astern and as soon as it clicked into gear the engine stopped without a fuss. I knew exactly what had happened, went forward to grab the pickup buoy and tie off the bow. Walking the nelson back my suspicions were correct and it was around the prop. Not knowing the extent of the mess under the boat we decided a row back ashore would be the most of our sailing that day.

I wasn’t sure what to do but with the tide still in I though I would see if I could move the shaft from inside. The engine was ticking over and it cut out straight away so I was sure it hadn’t been able to go round the prop multiple times. After emptying the locker giving the shaft a wiggle I was able to turn it “forwards” and it kept on turning. Popping back up and giving the nelson a tug, it was free, the rope didn’t look damaged and the stern lines made fast.

I’ve still have the new stern lines to loop on to the stern chain and I’ve bought some “crab” or “watch” weights to slide and sew onto the new lines. They’re about 300g each and I have 6 in total, two for each stern line and two for the nelson, as soon as those lines drop there’s only one way they’re going! The old salts say the best way to come off the mooring is to pull yourself backwards till the prop is behind the stern chain before engaging gear which is what I’ll do in the future but when your shorthanded it’s not so easy. With the weights and correct length lines I shouldn’t have a problem in the future but best to play it safe.

But we’re taking this experience as a “win”. Vin could have played up a whole lot more. We got him into his lifejacket, dinghy and Sundance without any issues and the rope could have caused a lot more hassle or damage as it did. I didn’t get any pics of the day as my mind was on other things but there’s plenty more sailing days planned!

I’m a few weeks behind due to the dreaded man flu but we took the little man down to the boat for his first sail, well motor up and down the river.

It was neaps so an early start to get to the boat mid morning, a quick chat to a few of the tea club in the clubhouse and I went off to get the boat ready whilst Lou watched Vin entertain the “Elders”. All sorted I went ashore to pick them up in the dinghy. Vin unsure of his lifejacket dealt with putting it on ok with minimal tears, the transfer to the dinghy was smooth and we enjoyed a slow paddle across the Pill. Lou is a newbie so to speak and a little unsure still with an unstable dinghy but she hopped on board and I passed Vin to her. We kept Vin’s life jacket on and he was happy looking around and taking in the world from the water.

Engine ticking over and ready for our little adventure I cast off the bow lines, dropped the stern lines and watched them sink. I waited a good ten seconds and we started to drift off the mooring, I engaged astern and as soon as it clicked into gear the engine stopped without a fuss. I knew exactly what had happened, went forward to grab the pickup buoy and tie off the bow. Walking the nelson back my suspicions were correct and it was around the prop. Not knowing the extent of the mess under the boat we decided a row back ashore would be the most of our sailing that day.

I wasn’t sure what to do but with the tide still in I though I would see if I could move the shaft from inside. The engine was ticking over and it cut out straight away so I was sure it hadn’t been able to go round the prop multiple times. After emptying the locker giving the shaft a wiggle I was able to turn it “forwards” and it kept on turning. Popping back up and giving the nelson a tug, it was free, the rope didn’t look damaged and the stern lines made fast.

I’ve still have the new stern lines to loop on to the stern chain and I’ve bought some “crab” or “watch” weights to slide and sew onto the new lines. They’re about 300g each and I have 6 in total, two for each stern line and two for the nelson, as soon as those lines drop there’s only one way they’re going! The old salts say the best way to come off the mooring is to pull yourself backwards till the prop is behind the stern chain before engaging gear which is what I’ll do in the future but when your shorthanded it’s not so easy. With the weights and correct length lines I shouldn’t have a problem in the future but best to play it safe.

But we’re taking this experience as a “win”. Vin could have played up a whole lot more. We got him into his lifejacket, dinghy and Sundance without any issues and the rope could have caused a lot more hassle or damage as it did. I didn’t get any pics of the day as my mind was on other things but there’s plenty more sailing days planned!

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