Posted by: yachtcrewsing | August 15, 2012

Engine Failure and a Change of Plans

If the occupation of yachting were to be ascribed a tagline, it would most certainly be ‘unpredictable.’

Last week we were happily sailing/motoring along with guests onboard when the boat shuddered and the fire alarm went off. Having been well-trained to immediately respond to such situations, we all mustered and had our engineer and first mate go and check the engine room to see what the source of the problem was. The response was unexpected.

“It appears that our engine has exploded.”

This is the death sentence to any mariner. It is not immediately fixable (or, as in our case, not fixable at all), and brings to a halting end any plans that were made for the immediate future.

In a flurry of phone calls lasting under an hour, our captain organized a tug boat to pull us back into harbor, secured a berth in the Newport Shipyard for the next few month, got our management team to looking for experts and our insurance company to inspect the damage, organized an alternate route home for our guests and cancelled our entry in the Newport Bucket Regatta (also entailing the cancelling of our race crew’s flights and hotels).

Thankfully as a sailboat we were able to arrive in the mouth of the Newport harbor under wind power, and after that had one tug boat pulling us from our bow and one directing us via a line from the stern. We skillfully slipped onto the dock which will be our home for an indeterminate period of time, theoretically 3-4 months.

And so, once again it has unquestionably been proven that there is no such thing as stability and certainty in the field of yachting, merely surprises and unforeseen adventures at every turn.



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