1967 DS1 Centerboard lost STORY

Moderator: GreenLake

1967 DS1 Centerboard lost STORY

Postby crisanderson » Sat Oct 22, 2016 2:24 pm

Okay, story of the lost centerboard for your pleasure. It was haul out day at our Minneapolis city lake were noble boat, VASA II (that's Scandinavian humor), had regally plied wind and wave for the season from a park board buoy. Bright warmish day and wind 12-14mph steady from the south. Fast for me and just this side of not having to reef. I just had to take her out for one last solo turn around the lake, beat up to windward, keeping it tight with the rail in the water and squinching my rear over the splash board to hike out, then back toward the dock on a generous broad brisk reach. Nearing the dock and figuring my approach, I see another sailor, Verner, in his boat with his dog. I can tell he is also grief stricken about haul out day. He was given the boat by a friend so Verner could continue his mission in retirement of offering sailboat rides to strangers who made their way to the busy city dock on summer evenings and weekends, making friends. Today, it was just him and his dog, no passengers, and he is playing the boat and lake in a slower tempo. I watch and he seems to be doing his usual close order maneuvering he loves to do among the moored boats and around the dock, timing his movements, knowing clearances and depths, and mass and momentum, and coming about just so and laying that boat of his exactly where he wants it. As I watch, he comes in to the dock on the windward side, goes almost ashore, but makes a quick tack and brings his nose up into the wind to where the dock T’s and steps off in good timing with bowline in hand. I thought this was so elegant. And thought I could do exactly the same, and thought that T was a great place to dock and prep the boat for haul out. So, still on the reach, I headed into the same slot as a practice run, came in real close to shore, made the same tack as I had seen Verner do, ascertained that I could make the same heading to the T where Verner was, then pointed up and headed out again to come around and make another approach. Verner, watching all of this and seeing my intention, hopped back into his boat and headed out again under sail to make room for me. So, I tacked and headed in again. I was feeling hot. Plenty of wind, coming in to windward on a reach where I could easily point up or fall off, just a single moment where the tack had to be made, the summer's adventures behind me, I'd just seen Verner do it and I had practiced it. This time, of course, I judged everything a little differently. That dock seemed closer this time. And the shore... I make the tack, but just as her nose is coming around the boat thuds to a stall, centerboard in the sand, the boat continuing its torquing. I find myself in irons, stern edging in the waves toward the dock just feet away. I don't know the centerboard is broken completely off at the level of the hull. I just have time for a loud laugh, when another sailor at the dock sees my predicament, and sprints down toward me. He grabs my stern and fends off as the waves are bucking the boat, and in moments I get the sails down. I tell him, "That's not how I planned this." He smiles, offers his handshake with a knowing and non-judgemental smile and says, "Happy to help!" I grab the bowline, maneuver the boat around and walk it to the T where I do my prep. I won't find out until a few days later when I'm scrubbing the bottom that where the centerboard should be is a now diminutive stub with bite marks. Hope you've enjoyed this.
Last edited by crisanderson on Sun Oct 23, 2016 11:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1967 DS1 Centerboard lost STORY

Postby GreenLake » Sat Oct 22, 2016 2:56 pm

Love your story. And your humor.

I'm a great believer in close maneuvering under sail (and have misjudged things occasionally). And like your friend, I've been known to invite people on board and managed to make new friends that way...

Hope you won't let this mishap ruin your desire to practice a perfect docking procedure.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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