Confession: The night the earth moved for RIB romantics

In this month’s Confession, we hear how one boater witnessed a dangerous liaison between a randy RIB couple

There is something about Mediterranean summer evenings that encourages romance. It was late June and I was stuck on the boat halfway through refitting a new saloon floor before my family arrived for their two weeks of sun.

The only way to work at this time of year is to labour from sunrise to mid morning and then chill out until sunset, when it is cool enough to start again.

I was sitting on the aft deck of my boat at 2am trying to find the focus to pick up a jigsaw and attack another piece of wood when I heard the gates of the boatyard being opened, and a car pulling up in front of my boat.

As I tried to concentrate on keeping the jigsaw straight I heard the car doors open and close, and the low tones of a male voice and girly flirtatious giggles moving between the boats.

The boat next to me was a smart-looking 30ft RIB, with two 500hp Mercury outboards and a neat cuddy cabin at the bow.

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I had watched as the RIB was lifted ashore a few weeks previously and had smiled as the owner risked injury by running in front of the travel hoist wheels to scrub off some oily marks.

The RIB was lowered into place next to my boat but rather than being chocked up with wood under the keel to take the weight, the owner instructed the yard to prop the RIB up on supports that were spread around the sides of the boat, a metre off the ground.

Back to the scene, the giggling continued as the amorous couple boarded the RIB via the swim ladder and made their way to the cabin. Now that I had neighbours I wasn’t sure if I could continue with the jigsaw, it was half past two on a Sunday morning after all.

I’m sure it hadn’t occurred to the couple that I was up here working, even though all of my lights were on. They had other things on their mind, and it wasn’t long before the giggles turned to mild grunts and murmurs.

At first there was little movement from the RIB, but as the couple became more energetic the boat started to sway. As the tempo increased the RIB began to rock and one by one the supporting props around the boat moved out of alignment and fell away until the forward chock collapsed.

The result was a mixture of shrieking pleasure and crashing catastrophe as the front of the boat smashed to the ground.

Almost immediately the stern fell from its remaining supports, culminating with the noise of the engine legs being buried into the ground and ripping off the transom mountings.

I jumped to my feet and peered over the deckrail to see a naked male body emerge unsteadily from the cabin. The owner began to feel his way around the uneven deck of his beloved boat, now flat on the ground and tilted over on the keel.

At first the silence was deafening and then he started to sob. Soon after a woman in her underwear emerged from the cabin, climbed out of the boat, shuffled into her dress and retired to the safety of the car.

By now I was locked in a moral quandary – should I go down and offer help and solace or did the owner want to maintain some level of discretion?

In the end discretion won and I retired to my saloon. As I looked through the port light I saw the owner take one last look at the wreck of his boat before pulling on his clothes, scuttling to his car and speeding out of the boatyard.

As the sun rose and the yard staff arrived for work there was a hive of activity around the RIB. They assumed the catastrophe was a result of their incompetence when propping up the boat and no one wanted to carry the blame.

When the yard owner arrived he inspected the damage in disbelief, and climbed my boarding ladder. He was ashen-faced and visibly shaking, so I poured him a coffee and explained the events of the previous night.

As the story unfolded the anxious look on his face changed to a grin, and we erupted into fits of laughter like a pair of adolescent kids.

The author of every confession we print wins the original Stephen Shaw cartoon artwork (above) and an Icom IC-M23 Buoyant VHF Marine Transceiver handheld VHF radio worth £165.

For your chance to win, spill the beans on your funniest boating moments in 650 words. Email your story to:


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