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Pranks and Practical Jokes
Posted: Tuesday, May 6, 2008 6:10 PM
Joined: 02/05/2008
Posts: 392

Have you ever been asked to calibrate the radar on your yacht? I have spoken with quite a few deckhands who have been tricked into wearing tinfoil and told to stand at the bow of the boat making funny arm movements while the rest of the crew laughed, pointed and took photos.

When you live in close quarters, you inevitably become comfortable with one another and if you have a jolly jokester onboard, watch out.

Many boats also have rituals -- rights of passage if you will -- for new crewmembers. What happens to your crewmate the first time they cross over the equator? A bucket of slop thrown on them perhaps? That's yet another story I've been regaled with as I walk the docks at Bahia Mar (Fort Lauderdale).

Tell us your tales of torment and trickery in the DockTalk forum. 

Posted: Wednesday, May 7, 2008 12:26 PM
Joined: 02/05/2008
Posts: 2

Here's one for all you girls working onboard at the moment... Many moons ago I spent a couple of seasons on an 80ft sailing yacht; in rough seas somewhere off Norway I badly injured my left ankle.  As we were far from any help we were put in contact with HMS Amazon who kindly offered medical assistance; Whilst waiting to link up with the Amazon it dawned on me that I had been on the yacht for many months in weather only conducive to wearing wet weather gear hence I had given no thought to the very girlie subject of shaving my legs. The idea of a young navy doctor inspecting my ankle made me realise, in spite of the pain, action was required.

I would not recommend shaving a cracked ankle unless you are into self torture however needs must. Once aboard HMS Amazon I was indeed greeted the striking Doctor in full uniform and was reassured by my earlier efforts, all was well until he insisted on comparing the shape of my left ankle with that of my right!!!!! Yes girls you guessed it. ALWAYS REMEMBER TO SHAVE BOTH LEGS.


Posted: Friday, May 16, 2008 10:14 PM
Joined: 16/05/2008
Posts: 1

You mean like this?
Posted: Thursday, June 5, 2008 10:07 PM
Posted: Thursday, September 11, 2008 6:16 PM
Joined: 19/05/2008
Posts: 6

A naval officer fell overboard and was rescued by a deckhand. The officer asked the sailor how he could reward him.
"The best way, sir," replied the bluejacket, "is to say nothing about it. If the other fellows knew I'd pulled you out, they'd throw me in."

Posted: Thursday, September 11, 2008 6:21 PM
Joined: 19/05/2008
Posts: 6

This is the transcript of an ACTUAL radio conversation of a US naval ship with Canadian authorities off the coast of Newfoundland in October, 1995.

Americans: Please divert your course 15 degrees to the North to avoid a collision.

Canadians: Recommend you divert YOUR course 15 degrees to the South to avoid a collision.

Americans: This is the Captain of a US Navy ship. I say again, divert YOUR course.

Canadians: No. I say again, you divert YOUR course.


Canadians: We are a lighthouse. Your call.

Posted: Friday, September 12, 2008 1:45 AM
Joined: 09/07/2008
Posts: 1

I have asked new crew to check the coolant level on the anchors....  That leaves them fairly puzzled for a hour or two.
Posted: Friday, September 12, 2008 1:37 PM
Joined: 19/05/2008
Posts: 6

A small vessel is approaching the Weser river delta from the north sea. The fog is so dense that the captain sends a deckhand to the bow and reduces speed to dead slow ahead. "Can you see anything !?", the captain shouts.. "Not a tiny thing"!, is the answer from the bow. The captain lets the ship sly ahead at lowest speed, only hoping that the currents don't set the ship off to far. "Still nothing in sight!?", the captain asks. "Nothing at all!", is the reply. "Oh, now there seems to b something! It's almost ahead, just a bit to starboard!" "Well, and what is it !?" "I can't tell! By now, it's just a shadow! We need to close in a bit so I can see better!" Cautiously they proceed and the captain turns the ship a little bit to starboard, decreasing the distance to that object. "Can you see it now?" - "Not really, it's still just a shadow!" "Yes! It looks like a buoy ... oh yes, now i can recognize the shape, it is a buoy! Just close in a little bit more!"
After a short moment: "What type of a bouy, can you see that?" "No, I can't! Can not distinguish it's colours, see just a shadow in this fog! Go on closer! It's still slighty to starboard!" Again, the captain turns the ship a bit and they continue dead slow ahead through that thick fog. "Now, what kind of buoy is it !?", the captain shouts. "It's , uhm ..., it is ... "
Rummms! They hit the ground. "Oh yes, now I can see it!" replies the deckhand, "It's a shallow water warning!"

Posted: Thursday, September 25, 2008 7:49 PM
Joined: 15/08/2008
Posts: 5

I always got a kick out of sending the new guys on a mission to find relative bearing grease.  Another great one is to have them get all dressed up in safety gear, give them a hook, and stand the "mail buoy" watch. 

The Norris
Posted: Saturday, September 27, 2008 2:44 AM
Joined: 05/09/2008
Posts: 6

I've had a few guests ask me what we do on anchor watch.

In reply I answered "we go and sit on the bow with a torch and make shore the anchors are still connected to the chain and once an hour we must get into swimming gear and go have a closer look"

On one charter, they insisted that they did the anchor watch...

Posted: Monday, July 6, 2009 6:42 PM
Joined: 22/06/2009
Posts: 4

I really hate to admit I fell for this one.... when I first started working on boats I was asked by a Captain to go see then engineer and get him a Long Weight..... the engineer, while continuing to work on the engine kept insisting that he was looking for it..... He finally couldn´t contain himself anymore and hit the ground laughing, explained the situation to me and sent me back up on deck.

The entire crew was waiting and I felt like a right git! Nice..... long wait....

Posted: Tuesday, July 7, 2009 3:06 AM
Joined: 14/07/2008
Posts: 4

Next time the girls nip out for a swim at anchor and they are swimming around the bow, If two other crew stand on the bow and both point at something moving in the water at a distance and ask each other in a voice loud enough for the girls to hear,  is that a shark ? or what............. you will be amazed how quick the girls can swim back to the boarding ladder !!  Sometimes the 40 m swim can be done in milliseconds.............................

Good luck try it sometime..........

stephen banks
Posted: Tuesday, July 7, 2009 7:28 AM
Joined: 31/05/2009
Posts: 14

coming over the atlantic for bermuda we hit some bad weather and diverted to ft lauderdale. Many of the crew didnt have b1/2´s and some werent even allowed into the U.S so we had to go to the bahamas to drop off crew. most were taking the short flight over to ft lauderdale, but 1 was going home to south africa to obtain the b1/2. He was told he was on a "seamans ticket" and that he must wear his charter uniform to board the plane or he couldnt go. he was pretty stoked to be going home so he complied. we were all in shorts and casuals and this young fella was there in Nassau wearing a tie, black polished shoes etc as if on charter. After he checked in his bags he realised it was a joke. He ended up riding all the way to South Africa via 3 other countries with his charter uniform on.
Posted: Tuesday, July 7, 2009 5:09 PM
ahh, the ole mail bouy is always good for a laugh, another personal favotite of mine is sending someone for a bag of sparks for the spark plugs in the jet skiis.
Posted: Wednesday, July 8, 2009 11:44 AM
amazing that this has happened more than once, I remember first hearing this from my dear old "water logged" dad in the early 1970's
Posted: Tuesday, July 14, 2009 9:04 PM
Joined: 28/06/2009
Posts: 1

I think by far the best is by Stephen!!!
Posted: Thursday, February 10, 2011 3:45 PM
Tie a full 1.5 liter water bottle to the end of a fishing line on a rod, let out 3/4 of the line before putting the clicker on and calling someone to reel in the "fish". If you are going fast this can be a long hard job with 300m of line out, and very funny when they realise it was a practical joke.....<br>
Posted: Friday, February 11, 2011 6:15 PM
Joined: 04/06/2008
Posts: 18

I once had my flip flops glued to the welcome mat. When I went to put my feet in them, I toppeled over, carrying the rug with me.
Miki Brettschneider
Posted: Friday, February 11, 2011 6:43 PM
Joined: 14/05/2008
Posts: 12

I have also heard of people putting grease on the radar/Arpa for when you put your face in to look and also read about the Mine game (catch frase) "Who's shirt is this?", "Its mine!" have them do pushups or something like that
Posted: Friday, February 11, 2011 6:51 PM
A variant of the radar test was getting the deckie to walk down the beach in Dubai in a silver reflective fire suit. There were a few hundred bemused sunbathers
Posted: Saturday, February 12, 2011 7:07 PM
Joined: 30/06/2008
Posts: 85

I heard of an apprentice engineer who was asked to get a Fallopian Tube.  Apperently the shop clerk was as clueless as he was.
Then there is the timeless left handed tool gag.

Posted: Tuesday, November 15, 2011 6:31 PM
Super Glue a Euro coin to the dock behind the boat so there's some amusement for the crew on gangway'd be surprised at how many people will stop and try to pry it off the dock!!

Posted: Wednesday, November 16, 2011 1:52 AM
Joined: 13/04/2011
Posts: 1

One of the best i ever heard of was from a mate who is a captain on a small charter yacht in BVI. After guests repeatedly blocked the toilets and kept demanding everything under the sun he finally got his own back. On the last request to unblock a toilet he quickly unblocked it, smeared Vegemite around his lips and dove overboard.......... upon climbing back onto the swim platform where guests were having sundowners he proclaimed in his best ocker accent......... She's all good now, just had to quickly blow back through the through hulls. Grabbing a beer he kept a straight face and continued chatting with guests for a few minutes...... result? No more blockages of toilets for the remainder of charter (6 Days) and a very hefty tip at the end....... Classic!
Posted: Wednesday, June 27, 2012 12:39 AM
Nice I'm going to remember this one for future reference
 Average 3 out of 5