Practise what you (should) preach, which is never never use your limbs to fend off another boat and if you don't you might end up like my boss and spend your Sunday night in A & E! The other week Andy went South hoping to race in the Tees & Hartlepool's NECRA winter series with his regular ride. However, racing up the coast at the RNYC winter series where I sail had been cancelled the day before due to the impending forecast, so I was surprised to learn that there had actually been a race some 40 odd miles further down the coast. Discretion was called for on the yacht where he was going to work the foredeck, so in anticipation of some fun and games and that some guys were good to go he jumped ship and ended up on a J80. Apart from a wild spinnaker ride it was all going to plan until after the race when the J got caught by a vicious gust whilst motoring through the marina.
As they headed for a boat moored on the pontoon, Andy decided to fend off using his foot! However, despite wearing his Dubarrys, his foot skidded off the other boat and ended up as the icing between the cake. Fortunately there was no damage to the either boat, the verdict in North Tyneside's A & E on the Sunday night was severe deep tissue damage, however on the bright side, no broken bones! Being the boss and well taught he insisted in coming in first thing next morning, refused point blank to listen to his old partner in crime (me) however admitted two hours later that perhaps he would be better off at home with my ice pack to keep himself company!
Come early Tuesday morning a flurry of text messages were exchanged between Andy and myself; gist of the messages from yours truly was, 'Don't be a bloody martyr, stay at home, keep the leg elevated and ice the area, we can manage without you!' I was then reminded by my better half that I had done the same when I was 'in charge' many years ago ie. come into work the day after my first knee op! And probably would have done the same, tried to fend the other boat off using my foot or hands if we hadn't a wandering fender onboard! I was first introduced to the concept of this many years ago when Jenny and I helped our friends take their 20 odd ton ketch through the Caledonian canal. It came in very handy on our transit from the East Coast to the West on more than one occasion when a rather grumpy lock keeper decided to let more water into the lock than we had been used to and with the turbulence that was caused the bow of the yacht swung violently towards the granite lock side. We also carry a wandering fender onboard Hindsight, our Mystery 35, which we now cruise in Greece. It has come to our rescue on a number of occasions when a bare boat charter decides to berth along side and they are not in full control! Incidentally flotillas tend not to be an issue as the crews of the lead boat are superb in the way they handle the stern to mooring on a town quay by a relatively inexperienced skipper. We of course deploy one over the transome when we are moored stern to a town quay or pontoon and if alongside a much larger yacht it's excellent for helping to keep us apart!
As Andy is in a good mood today, can now walk 20 mtrs before the pain kicks in, if you purchase a Polyform ball fender from us in the next couple of weeks he will personally splice a suitable diameter 2m length of three strand polyester rope on to it, worth up to an extra £15-00 when buying the A4 size! You never know it may end up as the icing between the cake!