Cruising, The Unexpected Fun Experiences


We were tied up alongside a fishery wharf in northern Newfoundland when the roar of powerful engines brought us tumbling up from below to see two seine boats attached stern to stern by a thick line and both at full throttle.

Now I have heard of truck pulls in the USA and our own Nova Scotia has ox pulls, but a boat pull is a new one on me. It turns out that the boat on the right has always been able to out pull the one on the left, but the erstwhile loser had just repowered with a larger engine. Ostensibly to be more efficient at its primary job of quickly encircling a school of herring by pulling the seine net out from the mother ship—but we all know the real reason for the repower, don’t we?

(Click the photographs to make them bigger.)


And who won? I guess the smile says it all!


So, if we can’t win at the pull, how about a drag race?


And in case you have never seen a seine boat or, as it is rather crudely called on Morgan’s Cloud, “a boat with a boat up its…”.

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Meet the Author


John was born and brought up in Bermuda and started sailing as a child, racing locally and offshore before turning to cruising. He has sailed over 100,000 miles, most of it on his McCurdy & Rhodes 56, Morgan's Cloud, including eight ocean races to Bermuda, culminating in winning his class twice in the Newport Bermuda Race. He has skippered a series of voyages in the North Atlantic, the majority of which have been to the high latitudes. John has been helping others go voyaging by sharing his experience for twenty years, first in yachting magazines and, for the last 12 years, as co-editor/publisher of AAC.

2 comments… add one
  • Sid Sep 20, 2011, 9:38 am

    It is a very good thing that the rope did not part and take someone’s head off. It does not look like a very smart maneuver but, boys will be boys.


  • Bob Tetrault Sep 20, 2011, 11:18 am

    Very common competition where the boats were designed to do just what they are doing in competition. The loads are able to be precisely calculated and the line probably has a SF of five. With slip added to the equation it’s safer than it first looks. Now when the tractor tugs do it while loaded with spectators I’m amazed anyone would write insurance for that.

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