Near Catastrophe - Runaway boat - Not so clever :-)

Submitted: Sunday, Jan 09, 2011 at 17:24
ThreadID: 83551 Views:4399 Replies:7 FollowUps:8
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Well here is a lesson learned and a tale for all you people who tow ;-)

Got up early and went for a long day fishing, caught lots, got home, cleaned them all and the boat. Time for a cuppa before putting the boat away

Well its now time to put the boat away, steep driveway leads into the flat under house storage area. As I have done millions of times before :-) unhooked the boat and noticed I for got to put the aerial down (First mistake, do all the unhooking before undertaking another task ;-)

Jump off the boat and get into the car to park it up for the night, to do this I do a 3 point turn in the yard (2nd mistake always choc the boat wheels :-)

Took off and started the 3 point turn (May have helped if I had put the Jockey wheel down and lifted the coupling off the ball)

Well what else can you say...Saw a boat heading past the back of the car that had now popped off the towball - Heart misses 5 beats as steep driveway leads to deep drain then houses on the other side of the road with cars parked out the front - This would be nothing but utter carnage ;-(

There is a happy ending as I did immediately throw the car in reverse and back it into the boat, which in turn ended up jamming on top of the tail gate. Everything now at weird angles and the boat not quite right on the trailer anymore. Jump out and put multi chocks under the wheels.

Now stand back and think....mmm...very lucky - and look down the hill to what could have been - I did say very lucky....

Two hours latter after using hand winches and levers, managed to get the boat off the tailgate, back on the trailer as it should be and back under the house where it was.

Lucky also that its a 5mm plate boat, just a few scratches and a tailgate to panel beat..but hey - what could have been?

Moral to the story - When you are tied make sure your routine to unhook the boat, caravan or trailer includes chocking the wheels even if you park on a flat surface and for gosh sake at least remember to jack the boat of the towball :-)

Some mothers do have them

Cheers Tony
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Reply By: blue one - Sunday, Jan 09, 2011 at 18:00

Sunday, Jan 09, 2011 at 18:00
Good story. Good on ya. lol

AnswerID: 441274

Follow Up By: Tonyfish#58 - Sunday, Jan 09, 2011 at 18:04

Sunday, Jan 09, 2011 at 18:04
Thanks Blue One - Glad I was not telling it from behind the bars with the keys thrown away :-)

Moronic it was :-)

Cheers Tony
FollowupID: 713282

Follow Up By: blue one - Sunday, Jan 09, 2011 at 18:31

Sunday, Jan 09, 2011 at 18:31
Ah we all make mistakes, otherwise we would all sit on our bums doing nothing.

FollowupID: 713290

Reply By: petengail - Sunday, Jan 09, 2011 at 18:20

Sunday, Jan 09, 2011 at 18:20
gutsy play to report what could have been a disaster and embarrasment to you. i admire you for it. cheers pete
AnswerID: 441275

Follow Up By: Tonyfish#58 - Monday, Jan 10, 2011 at 17:21

Monday, Jan 10, 2011 at 17:21
Cheers Pete - The intention was to state that even when you do something many times over & no matter how good you think you may be..... ;-0

There will be times when the brain is not engaged So...................when down the track we read a thread about and idiot doing somthing wrong we may give them a break :-) They may have just had a moment of madness :-)

Cheers Tony
FollowupID: 713433

Reply By: Begaboy - Sunday, Jan 09, 2011 at 18:54

Sunday, Jan 09, 2011 at 18:54
A list of errors i am sure you will never do again! throw in a kid running accross your driveway if the boat did get away and it could have been far more than just damage to property.

A little side note - when i have parked up my boat , i always Chock wheels first then start to unhook everything with the exception of safety chains - Ie

Chock wheels - jockey wheel down - unhook electrical - lift trailer from towbar via jockey wheel - then if no movement at all after i try to make boat move - ONLY then safety chain comes off - my boat and trailer weigh over 2.5 tonne so if it gets away - there is little chance of me stopping it ( if the trailer break away does not work that is )

Long and short - just make yourself a set routine for when you get home - follow it to the letter so it becomes a habbit and do not deviate from it , then you will not forget things you have not done ..
AnswerID: 441279

Follow Up By: Tonyfish#58 - Monday, Jan 10, 2011 at 17:30

Monday, Jan 10, 2011 at 17:30
Begaboy - Thats just it - I have been doing it for years and have the routine - I usually also watch as I take off just to insure I have done all the unhooking?

The point is it only takes a little distraction and amount of fatigue and things can go very wrong.

The idea was to point out how easy an accident can happen even if you consider yourself not of the idiot type :-)

Thus next time we read of an accident caused by someones mistake - we may give them a break - I am sure that they have to live with the results for the rest of their lives.

Cheers Tony
FollowupID: 713436

Reply By: Rockape - Sunday, Jan 09, 2011 at 21:41

Sunday, Jan 09, 2011 at 21:41
I work on the some days are Diamonds and some days are rocks theory, I just have more rock days.

You had a rock/diamond day, the rock was the boat wanting to go for a walk and the diamond was you stopped it from ending up in the pond or is that pound.

Hope you panel work doesn't cost a fortune and I believe the fish are breathing as sigh of relief while you sort out the your problems.

Have a good one tomorrow
AnswerID: 441300

Follow Up By: Tonyfish#58 - Monday, Jan 10, 2011 at 17:33

Monday, Jan 10, 2011 at 17:33
Rockape - The good thing is the only damage is not worth fixing :-) only a few cosmetics.

May you have a run of Diamond Days :-)

Cheers Tony
FollowupID: 713438

Reply By: Member - Old Girl (QLD) - Sunday, Jan 09, 2011 at 23:00

Sunday, Jan 09, 2011 at 23:00
Boat Which boat?

AnswerID: 441305

Follow Up By: Tonyfish#58 - Monday, Jan 10, 2011 at 17:34

Monday, Jan 10, 2011 at 17:34
Mine is not a Charter Boat :-) That is a great add :-)

It was nearly the one embedded in the house over the street though :-(

Cheers Tony
FollowupID: 713439

Reply By: Member - david m2 (SA) - Sunday, Jan 09, 2011 at 23:32

Sunday, Jan 09, 2011 at 23:32
I use to tow a 3 tonne charter boat. One morning early I jumped in the cruiser and headed of for a charter. I stopped at the local deli to buy some lunch ,walked out only to see the boat sitting on the ball , hitch not engaged, no chains no lights nothing at all connected, i had just been down a very steep hill and through the middle of the city. I went pale with the thought of a run away 3k boat going through a nice new house and now I always check my tow hitch, you learn buy your mistakes
AnswerID: 441309

Follow Up By: Tonyfish#58 - Monday, Jan 10, 2011 at 17:42

Monday, Jan 10, 2011 at 17:42
David - Then your boat must have a good tow ball weight, mine is too well balanced with not enough weight on the tow ball - not so good for towing and easy for it to pop which it has done before while towing. Since fixed this problem :-)

Main problem is the trailer was made for the boat in 94 and was not quite right, trailer needed to be 6" shorter and the boat moved forward on the axles by a few inches to get a better tow ball weight.

Glad you only had a story to tell as well :-)

Cheers Tony
FollowupID: 713442

Reply By: richietheb - Monday, Jan 10, 2011 at 13:42

Monday, Jan 10, 2011 at 13:42
Promised the kids I'd take them fishing after my last night shift...Had a terrible night and was really tired....Excited little daughter dressed in her swimmers ready to go came to see what I was doing at the front of the trailer...I pulled the lever that swivels the jockey wheel....Boat came crashing to the ground about a foot from my daughters feet...(and now I think about it the bow probably nearly gave me a wack on the scone).....scary....

My job's pretty full on and we have procedures and checks for eveything we do....I must say though I think it was that I took the situation for granted...Something I'd never do at work...A BIG eye opener for me

I now have a set procedure AND more importantly a thorough check list in my head that I run through EVERY time when dealing with the boat...

Don't beat yourself up too much Tonyfish#58...We all do it!!!!!!!!!!!!

AnswerID: 441363

Follow Up By: Tonyfish#58 - Monday, Jan 10, 2011 at 17:48

Monday, Jan 10, 2011 at 17:48
Too right we do :-) My heart stopped, eyes popped and adrenalin pumped

Just remember my checklist is in my head as well :-) Given my increasing years it may be time to update the location of this checklist :-)

Who knows why it all fell apart?

Funny thing is I have done time as a WHSO and time as a Quality/Audit Officer

But still...........well

Cheers Tony
FollowupID: 713443

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