Misc. notes, trailer story etc.

Eric Zilbert (eezilbert@ucdavis.edu)
Mon, 9 Aug 1999 14:52:17 -0700

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West Wight Potter Website at URL
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Hello all - Have returned from vacation in Kansas and read all the daily
digests. For those of you who don't want continuous emails the digest
works great!

Michele- sorry to hear you broke your mast. These things happen, of course
inquiring minds want to know....

On anchoring - I keep a small danforth lashed to the boarding ladder of my
p19 with a 1/4 in. line coiled and attached to the starboard stern cleat.
It comes in handy if you think you might be going aground and the engine
won't start. I use a 11lb Horizon Claw for anchoring from the bow, I
keep it under the V birth. 150 ft. of 1/2" rode and 20 ft. of chain reside
in the chain locker. I tested the two anchors in mud on a recent trip to
Tomales Bay and found the Horizon to be superior. Otherwise, the Danforth
is a terrific anchor as noted in the thread.

The number of confessed screw ups in last weeks messages must be some kind
of record. Geoff, your story reminded me of an experience I had with a
trailer back in 1988. I learned an important lesson that might benefit
everyone - here is the story.

I was moving to Minnesota to go to school and had some stuff I wanted to
store at my folks in L.A. While a welding teacher in Salinas, California,
I had my students build a trailer for my Korralla Jr., a 12 ft sailboat.
I also had them attach fittings and make stake bed sides so I could use it
as a utility trailer. I loaded it up with a bunch of stuff (bed, lots of
books etc.) and headed south. In Oxnard we got a flat. I left the
trailer on the side of the road (it was late and I had no spare) and went
to my Dad's. He and I went back early the next day and got the tire fixed
(I always carry a spare now). Anyway, we hooked it back up and headed down
Highway 1. All went well until we got to Santa Monica. Then it happened.
It was a Saturday afternoon in August and the highway was crowded with
beach goers. The road there is six lanes wide with no divider. Traffic
was very heavy and stop and go. We had to stop short for some reason and
heard a thump and then a rending crash from behind. I looked in my mirror
and I see the trailer COMMING PAST US FROM BEHIND! As my father and I
watched in horror the trailer made a graceful turn to the left, CROSSING
ALL SIX LANES OF TRAFFIC! A space just sort of magically opened up as
drivers braked crazily to avoid it. To our unmitigated delight, it came to
rest against the far curb without hitting anything. After it came to rest
everyone on the road was in a state of shock. Traffic stopped dead,
everyone looking at us. At first we froze, then I looked to see if anyone
from law enforcement was about (I deserved a ticket). Then we jumped out
of the truck, ran over to the trailer, picked up the tongue and brought it
back over and hooked it up. No one moved, no one said a word. We got to
the house without further incident.

It turned out that both safety chains had broken - actually, the S hooks
had gone straight. I swear I had closed the hitch. Now I always use a
padlock to lock a hitch in the closed position. My dad and I often laugh
remembering the uncommon luck that was with us that day, we should have
gone right out and bought some lottery tickets! I think part of the
problem was insufficient tounge weight.

Eric Zilbert
Davis "not by the sea" California
P19 #621 "Riptide"