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Dealing with corrosion on a boat can be an ongoing battle but the rust I’m referring to in this post’s title has nothing to do with metal. I’m instead referring to the rust that Rebecca and I have acquired after having been away from our boat for the winter.

Our first slightly-comedic example of this came when we attempted to start our engines for the first time after being dropped in the water. We had expected to have some difficulty turning them over as after all, they had been sitting for months without running. And as expected, our multiple attempts at starting both engines proved fruitless. It was only after all of these attempts that Rebecca remembered that we hadn’t yet opened the fuel line up. Doh! Fuel on… engine started!

Note: We let the engines run continuously for at least 30 minutes after starting them.

Although the next example ended without a scratch, it could just as easily have been quite expensive! The next day we were required to move our boat a bit further down the dock to free up the shoreside slip for launching. Interestingly I had visions of us doing this the night before where both engines quit in the process and we drifted out into the bay. Guess what happened? With me at the helm and 20+ knots of wind helping to blow us towards the dock, both engines quit on us when shifted into reverse. They were quickly restarted but only to repeat this stalling procedure about 8 more times. And yes, through all of this we were blown out into the bay!

Engines not working? No problem… just raise the sails. Problem… sails are not yet rigged.

Drifting towards danger? No problem… just drop the anchor. Problem… anchors were still stowed and not ready on the bow.

As I said, we ultimately got everything sorted and Katana safely tucked into the intended slip. The entire docking maneuver was, as I said, a bit rusty!


  1. Nicely written!

    Bad events always seem to come as the result of a cascade of things, most seemingly fairly innocuous, don’t they? Congratulations on getting thru it unscathed. (Would you care to write this up for my “I learned about sailing from that” series?)


  2. Well I’ll leave it up to you Mike –

    You had a near disaster, and got out of it. Are there any learnings from this? Is there anything you’d offer to others to do? Or not to do?

    If you write it up and it seems lame, well, don’t send it… =)

    If you do decide to send it, send it to WindborneInPugetSound @ gmail . com


  3. Everyone has a moment like that at some time,and the beginning of the season is always a prime opportunity.
    Your description gave me a flashback to a similar incident.
    Anchor starts dragging in a crowded anchorage in high wind. Start motor-promptly wrap dinghy line in prop. We are now being pushed backwards,towards a beautiful expensive 40+ sloop.Got the prop unwound,the Admiral manning the boathook,prepared for the worst. Motor starts,boat under power 3 ft before a collision. Tragedy Averted. no problem!

    • Yup, sounds similar. We were probably only a few feet from the dock by the time I got the engines restarted (the first time).

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