Sailing a boat in open waters successfully takes practice and skill. Throw in complications like bridges with low clearances and things can get even trickier—but not if you’re the pro in the video above. According to YouTube, the mast of the boat is 80 feet tall, which is 15 feet taller than the passageway would allow. Instead of turning the boat around, the crew used water-filled bags and some pro-level maneuvering to angle their vessel through unharmed.
"The balls get swung out with an initial turn to port or stbd [starboard],” Hunter Parrot explains. “The tendency then is for the roll to continue by itself, but is controlled by letting the bags out slowly with a line made off to each bag and running through necessary tackle to a cockpit winch.” If you’re unfamiliar with boating, the terminology can be a little confusing, but the visual is pretty clear.
In responding to YouTube comments, Parrot admits that he does not know the math that went into determining whether or not the mast could handle the weight of the water, but he does know that it was “carefully considered.” As for stressing the shrouds of the ship (the parts of the rig that hold up the mast), Parrot said that “added stress on the shrouds is irrelevant. There essentially is none, as the rig is designed to survive a knockdown at sea - under sail, a gust of wind pushes the boat completely on her side so the rig is in the water. At that point, the weight of the keel would bring her back upright.”