Two boat-lengths?

Yachting Monthly - - YACHT CHARTER - By Christo­pher Smith

The first three weeks of the cruise were idyl­lic. I was freshly re­tired and the very proud owner of my first yacht, a 30-yearold Jean­neau Es­pace, Scube. I sailed sin­gle-handed from Levkas, through the Corinthian Canal to Lavrion. Ev­ery­thing was ready for the nor­mal stern-to moor­ing in­clud­ing my wind­lass re­mote con­trol in the cock­pit.

I knew that the easi­est way to judge when to drop the an­chor is when you are about two boat lengths clear of the other stern-to boats. The ob­vi­ous space was be­side a fairly large yacht, so I es­ti­mated that one boat length enough. It was all go­ing per­fectly un­til Scube stopped sud­denly. I was al­ready at the end of my 50-me­tre an­chor chain. I scam­pered to the bow and added 20 me­tres of rope to the chain. I con­tin­ued astern, but Scube stopped again. By this time, the paid crew on the large yacht took pity on me and threw me a line so at least I was now se­cure. It grad­u­ally sank in that the boat I was along­side was sig­nif­i­cantly larger than es­ti­mated, and his ‘two boat-lengths’ were not quite the same as mine. My em­bar­rass­ment was com­plete as I leisurely set about adding an­other line to my an­chor warp, when a wave from a pass­ing boat lifted the bow and tugged the line out of my hand, which promptly sank into the murky depths of the har­bour. It wasn’t un­til the morn­ing that I man­aged to re­cover my an­chor with a grap­pling hook and es­cape the har­bour.

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