Boye Knife Saves A Life
Dear Practical Sailor Magazine and David Boye,
I wanted to thank you both Practical Sailor for recommending Boye knives, and to David Boye for making the perfect sailing knife.
Per Practical Sailor's recommendation in the June 1st, 2000 edition, (plus subsequent issues), and speaking with David directly at the Newport Boat show a couple years ago, I purchased a Boye Cobalt sheepsfoot serrated bladed knife. For the past few years I have faithfully strapped my knife holster to my belt prior to sailing. Sadly, after 5,000 ocean racing miles and many a lazy day cruising along Long Island Sound, New York, my Boye knife was only used on rare occasions; cutting rigging tape or slicing the end off a line for re-whippings - nothing exciting or dramatic, but always reliable.
How quickly the tide turns.
This past weekend I was off-shore racing in Sydney, Australia on a 1980 12-ton Holland
44 foot sailboat. The breeze was a fresh 25 knots, gusting up to 35 knots, waves were rolling steadily from three to six feet. We were five miles off shore, racing down-wind with a spinnaker pulling the boat at speeds exceeding 9 knots. I was crewing at the mast, setting up for a dip-pole spinnaker jibe. Due to gusting winds, pitching boat through swells and whatever (things happen so fast in gale-force breezes), during our jibe the pole jetted for the sky, the mast fitting slammed down to the deck, the pole unlocked from the mast (still attached on the spinnaker end) and was whipping violently across the foredeck. The foredeck crew member was forced forward to the bow, unable to move aft due to the thrashing spinnaker pole. The crew member who was working in the pit (who has asked to remain nameless) came forward to assist me. In doing so, he accidentally placed his foot within the spinnaker sheet and brace. I was looking forward trying to sort out the pole situation, and heard a blood-curling scream from behind me. Because the boat was dead-down wind for the jibe, all the spinnaker sheets and braces became fully loaded with a 35 knot gust. I turned around to instantly see my friend's leg wrapped around a fully-loaded spinnaker sheet. He was hanging upside down, with half his body being dragged through the lifelines. I grabbed my Boye knife and within seconds positioned myself outside the lifelines and with a mere single swipe, sliced the spinnaker sheet clean through.
Please find attached a photo of the cut line remaining on the boat side (the cut non-loaded side is obvious, and yes the inner core was stretched six inches under the loaded cut side). The shackle snapped off the spinnaker end, so, fortunately, all we lost was the other end of the line. My friend's leg and life were saved.
My biggest lesson learned with respect to my Boye knife is to NOT wrap the knife blade around the lanyard. The few seconds it took me to un-tangle the lanyard may make the difference between life and death if an accident like this ever happens again.
I hate sailing stories like this, but I wanted to THANK YOU for making a valuable difference in recommending and providing a quality product when sailor's lives are on the line. Practical Sailor, please keep the great reviews coming. And David, keep making those sharp blades!
Wishing you fair winds and following seas,
USCG Cpt. John Brown III
Hawkbill Sea Turtle Rescue
While vacationing in the British Virgin Islands, Michael Kaspari came across a Hawkbill sea turtle on the beach, tightly entangled in fishing net. His moving account of saving its life, using his Boye Cobalt Basic 3 knife, speaks for itself:
I purchased a Boye Cobalt Basic 3 several years ago for sailing. For whatever reason, I threw it in our checked bag for our trip to Anegada, BVI even though our vacation would be land-based this year.
We were out for a walk along the beach near Soldier's Point when we came across a big snarl of fishing net on the beach. As we got closer with the intention of pulling it up off the beach, we noticed a Hawkbill turtle caught in the netting. It appeared to be dead but we thought we would pull the snarl of net off the beach anyway so no other creatures would be caught in it. When we got closer, the dead turtle moved his head and opened one eye. I would love to tell you I pulled out my trusty knife and freed him. Nope, my trusty knife was safely in our beach bag, in the car back at The Big Bamboo but damn, the turtle was alive, so back I went for my Boye.
When I got back, (almost three miles round trip over rough terrain in under 30 minutes by an out of shape fat guy) I gave the knife to my wife and said, "be really careful, it is really sharp." She and our friend Deb made over fifty cuts of the sand encrusted 1/4 inch nylon net while I held the turtle and tried to catch my breath. When he figured out there was a pretty good chance he wasn't going to die today after all he started to "help," and it was a challenge to keep him still.
He was pretty weak and couldn't get off the beach and through the surf by himself. My wife swam with him out to where the waves were smaller. She turned him loose and he slowly started to swim towards the reef. He made a big crescent turn when he got to the reef and slipped out through the break in the surf. It was the coolest thing.
I think the main difference between my Boye rigging knife and say, my dive knife, is its ability to hold an edge under horrible circumstances. I have no doubt my dive knife would have made quick clean cuts at first as I keep it very sharp, but there was so much sand ground into the ropes it would have lost its edge quickly. The net was so tight and [wound] so many times around the turtle's neck, if we would have had to saw at it the chances of hurting the turtle would have gone way up.
I have to tell you...I was amazed at how well it [the Basic 3] performed...to hear it grinding through the sand encrusted nylon made me wince, it sounded like we were running it across a cinder block. Still and all, watching it pop through the netting with one stroke made me smile. My thought was, I will contact the folks at Boye, they will know what to do about restoring the edge. The funny thing is, after cleaning and drying it, the knife is still the sharpest knife I own.
The experience was life changing for us. I feel like your knife made a couple with zero experience in marine animal rescue part of the solution.
Thank you very much for an excellent knife, keep up the great work.