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Kindness in the boating community.

Old 04-26-2019, 12:50 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 339

I have towed in many different stranded boaters over the years. It puts a damper on my plans, but I enjoy helping others and figured one day it would be my turn to need a tow. One day right at dusk, I gambled with the accuracy of my fuel gauge on my old 20' center console. While coming back to the ramp, I learned that 1/8th on the gauge means dry as a bone as my old OX66 sputtered to a halt. It was getting dark. No one was on the water anymore it seemed. I was in the bilge trying to get the fuel sender out to see if there was some fuel left in the bottom of the tank that I might access. I then heard the faint sound of a boat going by. I spotted him about 150 yards away. I jumped up and down on the bow of my boat in an attempt to get his attention, but he did not slow down. Just as I gave up and turned away, I heard his RPMs drop. He turned around and came over to me. Said he just barely saw me out of the corner of his eye. He hooked up to my boat, and we both sat in his boat, drank beer, talked, and towed my boat home for an hour in the pitch black dark of night.

I have also donated countless beers and burgers to those who had insufficient stock while at the local island.

Pay it forward!
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Old 06-16-2019, 09:43 PM
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Location: South Creek Village
Posts: 4,968

If you see someone broke down, always try to lend a hand. Whether they accept or not doesn't matter. You never know when it will be you.
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Old 06-16-2019, 11:34 PM
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: East Texas
Posts: 54

Within the last year or so, I stopped to help a guy change his boat trailer flat. He didn't have a jack so we used mine. But he shared a great idea with me, carry a cordless impact wrench. As soon as I could afford one, I bought it and have been carrying with me since, regardless if I'm towing a trailer.

A couple of months ago my wife and I were out joy riding on the lake and were flagged down by a man and his daughter in a pontoon boat. They had run out of gas. We towed them back to their dock about 5 miles away. I feel like it's our duty to help others if they are broke down, especially on the water.
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Old 06-17-2019, 02:51 AM
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: North shore Mass.
Posts: 264

Originally Posted by FloatMyBoat13 View Post
I helped out some kids on a jet ski recently. They sucked the tow rope for their tube up in the impeller. Loaned them a knife and kept close with the boat while they cleared the rope so others didn’t run them over.

At one ramp we go to the tide rips pretty fast, everyone always helps each other out docking etc. one day there was a guy there an I swear he was there for an hour just assisting boaters at the dock. Super helpful gentleman.
Funny, the exact same thing happened to my son. We were waiting for him to arrive at the ramp to pull the boat for the evening. He was late. We then see him come around the corner with a jet ski in tow. Same problem. We gave them a ride to get their vehicle at a neighboring marina (didn't have a ramp). They pulled the jet ski out, couldn't thank us enough, offered my son money which he refused. This was at Winnipesauki in NH. A good day all around.
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Old 06-17-2019, 02:54 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: On the beach
Posts: 2,954

Couple of years ago, wife, dog, and I paddled out to the spoil island for a few hours. Couple of young boys come up in a very poorly running johnboat with an old 6 horse Evinrude . It was running like crap. stalled just as they got to the island. They could not restart it. That was my era of motor so I offered to take a look. With merely a pocket knife, I got them running. Turns out the fuel line had a split in it at the connection. I cut off an inch of line and reattached it. It started. they were ecstatic.

still ran like crap so I adjusted the carburetor and it smooths right out. They commented the entire time they’ve owned the engine it has never run so well! They could not believe I fixed it with a pocket knife and my fingers. They were truly amazed.

as we sat on the beach and watched them play in their “new” boat, it made us both feel good that we were able to brighten their day. I remember being that kid once. With the old boat with an engine that barely ran...but the desire to be on the water.

yep! That was me. Glad I could help.
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Old 06-17-2019, 09:54 AM
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 65

Few years back we were trailing out boat to a new launch we hadn't used before. While we were getting ready someone pulled up behind us and handed us a license plate. Turns out it had fallen off miles before, and the guy had tried to follow me but lost me at a light. He assumed I was going to the major launch (probably 10 minutes away from where I lost the plate) so he went there and looked for our trailer. There is no way I would have ever seen that plate again if he hadn't driven all the way there to deliver it.

Similar experiences at our Marina, people are always helping each other out, lending tools, helping trouble shoot boat problems, etc.

Thanks for the thread, we always hear the negatives but there's a lot of really great people we've met while boating.
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Old 06-17-2019, 10:08 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: St. Petersburg, FL
Posts: 491

Three weeks ago a group of friends were at Bunce's Pass hanging out. It was a bit choppy that day but my boat and the friends boat could handle the gulf side, so we anchored there. Went for a short walk and on the way back one of the people in my group made a comment that the boat next to us looked funny. It was about an 18' bowrider with a 150 Yamaha 4 stroke on the back. I handed my wife my beverage and waded over there. Turns out the transom cracked and the thing was sinking. I jumped in the boat and moved everything forward. Got some of the other guys and we started bailing. Slowly but surely the boat started losing water. Put some weight in the bow to get the transom out of the water. Meanwhile my wife called ECSAR and they came out and had the big pump. About 30 minutes into this bailing with a 5 gallon bucket and their not even close to water tight orange box with their registration, the owners friend showed up. Then the owner about ten minutes later. By then the ECSAR boat was there and we had the boat mostly afloat, but I did not want to start the engine as it was submerged. They had a couple small kids and way too many empty beer cans floating in the boat.

A nice guy from the boat next to us came over and helped as well. We got it floating and ECSAR and the owner left. To my recollection guy never said thank you. All I heard was "we come out here all the time and this never happens".

Glad it stayed afloat and they were able to get out of there with it mostly still floating.
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Old 06-17-2019, 11:06 AM
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Posts: 3

Got plucked from a gator infested river by a mud boat :-)
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Old 06-17-2019, 11:15 AM
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Location: Suffolk, Va.
Posts: 17,063

Had a girl give me a good time while driving home one night.
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Old 06-17-2019, 11:45 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Clayton/NC Coast
Posts: 2,915

Several years ago we were running the boat back from Hack Point, Maryland to Wanchese, NC. Forecasters got the weather wrong as usual and the Chesapeake Bay was a washing machine. Around the Maryland-Virginia line we developed a small oil leak in the port engine and being late in the afternoon decided we should stop and try and check it out. Called out on the VHF and could not raise anyone until finally a guy monitoring 16 answered us and instructed us to come in to Deltaville and go to the Chesapeake Cove Marina.

They were closed when we got there but the mechanic hung around and then came on board and did his best to try and help us figure out the problem which ended up being a leak where the raw water pump was attached to the engine. It got dark and was beginning to rain so they offered to let us tie up for the night and even gave us the keys to their shop vehicle so we could go in to town and get dinner as we were totally exhausted. I'm telling you right now those were two of the finest individuals I have ever met and their kindness will never be forgotten. I tried to get them to take money but they refused so I insisted on paying for the slip, topped off on fuel, and went in to the store and bought a few things just to spend some money for all of their help!
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Old 06-17-2019, 12:02 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Ft. Myers, Fl
Posts: 184

I don't have a specific story 2 tell y'all but reading this thread especially the part about the young man who was bitten by the shark put me to mind to remind all of us to give blood! It is a precious commodity, and doesn't hurt except for maybe a little bit of time.
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Old 06-17-2019, 12:04 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 12

Last year I was headed offshore one afternoon at low tide for a little bit of after work fishing and running the boat. Was going out of the channel and saw a jet ski WAY up about 50 yds on a mud bank. I slowed down because something just looked odd to me. It was an old guy on a brand new Yamaha jet ski - with his OXYGEN BOTTLE and accessories!!! Luckily the mud bank was walkable so I anchored in the shallows and walked up to him. He'd been baking out there in the sun for a few hours and he didn't seem to be breathing that well but insisted he was fine, just a "little emphysema" - so I walked back and grabbed my anchor line and unshackled my anchor and pulled him off the mud. He would have been sitting there another 4 hours had I not helped him. Apparently this was his first time on a jet ski. 75 years old. Cool old guy - but had no business on a 60mph jet ski.
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Old 06-17-2019, 12:15 PM
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 65

Someone asked if I wanted to tie up with them when I couldn't get my anchor to set. This was during the Huntington Lighthouse Music Festival and I did use their hospitality (replaced the Danforth).

Broke down recently and a stranger from the marina spent several minutes looking over my engine for the culprit (i/o so he was squeezed under the raised seats). He did confirm my suspicions that I had a rusted ignition coil and gave me hints on how to prevent this as I replaced a rusty coil 2 years prior.

Plenty of people will stop what they are doing and offer to help out with lines when I am docking.
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Old 06-17-2019, 12:48 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 18

Coming into Wiggins pass in the back bay one day with a load of out of state friends giving them the tour of "how the rich people live". Came upon a guy by himself hung up on a shoal leading into Wiggins from the south side. Looked to be 50'ish and in a brand new looking 28' Scout with twins. Really nice rig. He's out of the boat trying to push it off himself, forward I might add, in a ripping current. No way was that thing budging and he looked close to having a panic attack. Came around on the backside from where he came from, tossed him a line and gave it everything our little 70hp pontoon had. Sure enough after a few good tugs he comes off the shoal gets his motors trimmed down and we tell him to follow us through where we knew there would be just enough water for him to motor through. Guy gets it in the pass and heads straight out to the Gulf without so much as a wave. Oh well as said here before someday it will be our turn. Hope he limited on the grouper that day.
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Old 06-17-2019, 12:57 PM
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Posts: 21

~15 years ago I was out in the middle grounds on a new 33hydrasports with the new (at the time) 300 HPDIs. For whatever reason, the motors drank thru all the oil in the tanks, and the owner had very little extra on board. We hailed a nearby boat, and they gave us enough oil to make it back.
I also had a person give me a few gallons of gas when I ran out...that was embarassing, but entirely my fault.

I try to help others when I can. I lent an extra battery to a big boat down in the keys so they could jump their inboard motor. In another more-serious case, I saw a woman swimming like mad back to her anchored boat in the keys. She was not making any progress in the full-moon current, and could only maintain her position about 10ft from the back of her boat. I threw out a rope and drug her to the bow of her boat so she could drift back and catch the swim platform.

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Old 06-17-2019, 01:28 PM
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Posts: 6,926

A couple of years ago, a storm capsized a catamaran and a couple of small boats at our small harbour, plus an old wooden boat got part of its stern pulled out by one of the Samson posts.
Within 30 mins there must have been 50 boat owners there to help in wind, rain and darkness, including one guy who turned up with a JCB on a low loader. Another hour later, the cat was the right way up, the two small boats righted and dragged to safety and the old wooden boat was dragged high up the beach - had it not been, the next tide would probably have caused it to break up.
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Old 06-17-2019, 01:33 PM
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Many years ago while I was launching my bowrider at a busy public ramp along the Delaware River, none of my friends had experience in boating nor towing a trailer, so I had to back down the trailer, launched the boat, started the engine and backed her down to the end of the dock, and then parked my car all by myself. The guys behind us were very impatient and kept yelling at us. My friend got nervous and dropped the dock line into the water without letting me know, so when I put into reserve leaving the dock, the lines wrapped around the propeller and the engine stalled. We drafted about 40 feet from the ramp and I dropped the anchor (it's big ramp so I did not block any traffic). Many boaters looked at us but no one lent a hand, just said "call the tow boat". After 20 some minutes, finally a jetskier picked up my anchor line and pulled me back to the ramp. I loaded my boat back on the trailer, but the outdrive wouldn't trim up so I was stuck. I checked and found the line wrapped around the outdrive and propeller so badly there was no way I could un-tangle it in the water. But since all the guys were yelling, I just pulled up, dragging the fin on the concrete ramp but got stuck again in the middle of the ramp. The crowd started cursing and even threatened to beat us up. Finally a gentleman came over with a filet knife and a tool box, yelling back "It's boating, shxt happens! shut the fxxk up!". He cut all visible part of the line, and then helped us removed the trim cylinders to free up the outdrive, even followed us back to the parking lot and helped us reinstalled everything. I offered to pay him but he refused, said "good luck on the water" and left. Al you need is one good man out of hundreds of arss holes and that counts.
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Old 06-17-2019, 07:01 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Savannah
Posts: 23

Neither my wife nor I are from families that fished or owned boats. I fished in creeks and small lakes in the midwest when I was a teenager, but it was all catch and release.

A few years back, we decided on a whim to try fishing a tidal creek near our house. We enjoyed being outside and caught some tasty fish.

I had never really cleaned fish, so I consulted youtube. If found a guy who covered all of the fish we were catching. He turned out to be local, and I was able to stop by his family's business and buy the knives that he used in the videos.

Anyway, fast forward a year or so. After a particularly muddy outing to our little creek spot, my wife suggested that we should get a little boat. Done.

On our first outing, we decided to explore the little creeks in the area. We went up one creek, and saw a guy at his residential dock that looked familiar, but I couldn't place him. It later dawned on me that it was the guy from the youtube videos that I watched over and over again. We reached the end of the creek and turned around. When we went past his dock, I asked if he was the guy from the videos, and he said he was. I thanked him for the videos, and told him that I had bought his knives. I told him how I was still learning, and that, for a while, I watched his videos whenever I had fish to clean.

He told us that he was about to clean a bunch of fish that he had caught that morning. He invited us to tie up to his dock, which we did. He then proceeded to spend over an hour with us, teaching us how to fillet flounder, trout, and redfish. It is one thing to watch online videos, but it is entirely different to have it demonstrated right in front of you, with the opportunity to ask questions. It was basically a private lesson on how to fillet the exact fish that we catch.

It was Father's Day, and he could have just said "you're welcome" and we would have been on our way. Instead, he took the time to teach two complete strangers how to properly clean fish, simply because he is passionate about it.

His name is Captain Vince Russo, and his kindness made for a very memorable first outing.
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Old 06-17-2019, 07:41 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Raleigh, NC / Indian Creek, VA
Posts: 2,888

I can't count the number of times I have provided help to another boater or someone has done the same for me. I have been in the bilge up to my armpits in grease in a neighbor's boat, towed boats in from a few miles out, been given a ride to west marine for parts in a far-off town when cruising, had a THT member airlift me a fuel filter in the Bahamas.

Last time I helped someone out was about two weeks ago. Got back from a day offshore on a friend's 27' albemarle and we had been on the boat for two days. It was about 9PM and I was quite greasy, smoking a cigar with my friends on the boat. Around 9PM a 28 or 30' sportfisher pulls up with a few guys and girls all dressed up looking to go to the country concert downtown. There was some current running and they had trouble getting to the dock, the captain might have been a little green and no one on his crew was helping in the least. So I rolled up there, cigar in hand and offered to catch a line. They were pretty wary of me and I eventually got them to toss me a line and tied them up. They were not very thankful and at this point I realized they may have thought I was a hobo. Nice

Last edited by dell30rb; 06-18-2019 at 04:24 AM.
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Old 06-17-2019, 09:04 PM
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Location: South FL
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Valentines last year I took the wife to Haulover sandbar, grilled a nice steak and some good wine, as we start heading back at 9pm, I see a boat 150-200 yds away signaling with cellphone flashlight and yelling, I decided to go check out and circled around asking questions, but nobody would communicate back to me. It was a Russian family with 3 adults, 4 kids ages 5-15, could not speak a single word in english. Boat was dead, drifting, no lights, and no apparent boating experience. I pulled a spare anchor line and got close and tied him up. Towed him to Haulover ramp.

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