October 12, 2011.
Wherein lies the truth?
There was an interesting *incident* during the sailboat show break down. Fortunately, nobody was hurt, although one mans ego may be on life support depending on which view of the incident you believe.
First a little back ground info...... One of the new 50 foot sailboats in the show has an interesting new drive system. Instead of being shaft driven, the this boat has a sail drive. While sail drives aren't all that new or remarkable this one has a new twist, the sail drive can rotate 360º. This enables the boat to be pivoted in its own length. The boat can practically spin around its own axis. This action is done with a “fly by wire type of system” that is controlled by a tiny joystick much like on your kids gaming console.
The Captains version of the incident was that he and his deckhand were untying the boat to depart the boat show. His companion was standing at the bow when the captain tossed one of the stern lines onboard. His clumsy toss landed the line right on top of the joystick. The joystick was bumped forward immediately engaging full throttle in forward. Yikes. The captain valiantly jumped aboard as the boat pulled a nifty holeshot and lurched forward.
Fortunately, there was nothing but open water in front of them. Unfortunately, there was still one dock line tied to a stern cleat. The captains version is that before he could stop the boat the slack in the remaining dockline was gone and the boat came to a screeching halt. For a moment. And then the piling ripped from the bottom. LoL The piling was cut away and the furious captain and his deckhand felt fortunate to survive an encounter with obviously faulty yacht design.
Great story, but is it true? Fortuitously one of my friends happened to be standing 12 feet away as these events unfolded and since he wasn't involved he might be a bit more unbiased.
A little more background info. The breakdown of the boat show has become an event unto itself. There’s quite a bit of one-up-manship and ill perceived bragging rights to be gained by leaving the show with a show of your “expertise”. Women swoon over this or so seems to be the perception. It is not unusual to see boats backing out of the show unnecessarily, making ridiculous maneuvers for no reason or even hoisting a brew or two while throwing tee shirts to the crowds at the nearby waterfront bar. I'm getting moist just thinking about it.
Anyway, my friends version of the incident was as follows. The captain and his deckfluff, er, deckhand untied the boat and with the captain firmly at the controls he slammed the joystick full forward to accelerate as quickly as possible to the excitement of the crowd. The machismo, the adrenaline, the bravado, the adoring crowd, the testostero.......the slack gone, the immediate but short lived stop, the panic, the piling ripping free from the bottom, the roar from the crowd, the remaining dock line being cut away and finally Captain Buffoon motoring away to the laughter of the crowd.
While both stories are entertaining, I know which one I believe. The only indisputable fact is that an unfortunate piling won't be going home to its family tonight. Its always the innocents....