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Getting in without power or wind by heaving buckets



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What is the issue?
If you are becalmed and have an engine failure the vessel is effectively sat in the water helpless. This is never more infuriating when a dock may only be metres away.

Why address this?
Apart from being a personal inconvenience the vessel could be impeding a busy waterway or be in danger as a result.

How to address this?
If the dock is a short distance, it is possible to move a boat by using a strong bucket with a few metres of line. Cast the bucket into the water to gain purchase on the water and pull the boat along. It is not very quick and very hard work but at least you can do something.

The best approach is to run the coil through the bow of the boat. Break the coils into two and then cast the bucket as far as you can. Run back along the deck pulling the line in the fairlead until the slack is taken in. Then repeat the process. Steerage on a drift can be achieved by throwing buckets to the side of the vessel. Heavier or larger vessels may take several buckets to move them. Breaking can be achieved by doing this process in reverse.

With thanks to:
Michael Harpur, Yacht Obsession.
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