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LETTERS

The boat looks great... the best I have seen. — G. Barrett, 'Barrett's Cure', Hampton 58

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Latitude 38

• June, 2015

⇑⇓ THE BEST HEAVING LINE I'VE SEEN The best heaving line I've seen to date was 100 feet of bright fluorescent green line that had a red rubber ball in the middle of the fist. This gave it plenty of weight, but was not capable of inflicting the kind of injury Robin Stout suffered. Brad Belleville Encore!, Beneteau First 32 Alameda ⇑⇓ THE MONKEY'S FIST LEFT HIM UNCONSCIOUS When I was a young man many year ago, I was an 'ordinary' for Chevron Shipping, sailing the West Coast circuit for summers to fund my college education — and thirst for beer. During that time I became skilled at throwing the line ashore, both to Standard wharves and tanker stations, where the target was usually a rather small platform. Normally the shore parties were wise enough to stand by waiting for the line and avoided the obvious hazard of our weighted 'fist'. However, one fairly dark night I tossed the line to the dock just as members of the shore crew approached from their shed. They were obviously recovering from a nap, and stood dead center looking up into the lights. The monkey's fist came hurtling out of the dark sky and unfortunately hit one of the fellows on the forehead. He dropped unconscious on the dock. Monkey's fists have been The mate on duty on the ship imused for generations. mediately ordered me to the engine room until we had unloaded and departed the next day. It turns out that the whole shore crew was looking for me the entire time we were there, hoping to exact some revenge. I later learned that the man had fortunately survived with just a minor injury. But I was just doing my job, you know. John McNeill Rocketeer, Contessa 43 Marina del Rey

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⇑⇓ TIE WHAT TO THE DOCKLINES?! A few years ago the company I was working for sold some equipment to a customer who was building a boat as a test platform for some military tech they were developing. I went along on the sea trials to commission our equipment. Everything went smoothly until we got back to the dock, at which point I watched in horror as our customer's resident boat 'expert' — I think he had a wakeboard boat — proceeded to granny-knot a one-inch anchor-chain shackle to the end of each dockline. I then watched in more horror as he twirled each one like David's sling, and launched the line, just missing the ear of the handler on the dock with the big anchor chain shackle. If there had been a boat on the other side of the finger, the shackle would have gone right through a cabin window — if not the topside. I'd been provided a copy of the operating manual he'd compiled for the boat, and that night I opened it up and read it. Sure enough, step one under 'Docking Preparation' was "Tie shackles to dock lines." A weighted monkey's fist would have been a major safety improvement to the big shackles at the ends of those lines. Name Withheld by Request Northern California

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Latitude 38 June 2016  

The June 2016 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.

Latitude 38 June 2016  

The June 2016 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.