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A wheel of a time – a confession by Simon James.

My wife and I took possession of our dream 36ft yacht as the winter weather set in. The first opportunity to take the boat out was from the marina berth to the hoist.

I enlisted a couple of friends, the engine checks were done, the lads organised the fenders, and the mooring lines were readied. We were off with a touch of reverse and slowly backing out, the lads busied themselves fending off and to my horror I went to turn the wheel only to find it was not there.

Where there should be a wheel was simply a stump of binnacle. The wheel, I remembered, had been put in the cabin for safe keeping.

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The lads were now relaying positional instructions and getting a little anxious as the boat was getting close to the adjacent pontoons. I hurled myself into the cabin, grabbed the wheel and was back behind the binnacle in a trice, where I thrust the wheel onto the axle.

To my surprise, with the now reassembled wheel, we did not hit anything and even more amazed when we were discussing our performance afterwards that the lads were unaware of my little drama.

They thought the skipper’s slightly erratic performance was down to nerves. I could have kept my secret and nobody would have been any wiser.

Do you have a confession like A wheel of a time? For your chance to win a Standard Horizon HX210E waterproof VHF radio worth £134.95, send your confession, in under 300 words to: yachtingmonthly@futurenet.com