Friday, July 29, 2011

July 27, 2011.

Let’s say that you and a buddy decide to spend some time touring the east coast in a 27 foot Catalina. Simple day sails, gunkholing your way through the Chesapeake. You finally make your way to Annapolis and its pretty hot outside. You take a slip, tie up for the night and head off to one of the towns many watering holes. Sounds like a fine way to spend a summer evening.

After a few beers and a meal you and your buddy head back to the boat. It’s after dark and something just doesn’t seem right with the boat. You hop onboard and step below into shin deep water. Oh f@#k. Fortunately, the captain was aware of one of the golden rules of boating; the water should NEVER be shin deep inside the boat.

Water was coming in somewhere but they couldn’t figure out where. They checked all the usual suspects but nothing jumped out at them. The difficulty in finding the leak was compounded by the fact that every thru hull fitting was under water. Shit. It’s not that big of a boat, where the hell was the water coming from?

The bilge pump was running, but fighting a losing battle. One guy got the boat started and backed out of the slip while the other guy grabbed a bucket and started bailing. There is no more powerful bilge pump in the world than a scared sailor with a 5 gallon bucket.

In spite of this near disaster the Gods were really smiling down on these two. They got back from their night on the town just before the starter went under. They headed off in the dark into an unfamiliar port towards the first travel lift they saw. It was our travel lift and by dumb luck our service manager had stopped in late to take care of something. They flagged him down, he phoned one of the yard crew who lives nearby and the Catalina was soon safely hanging in the slings.

The culprit turned out to be a nasty crack a couple of inches below the waterline on the starboard side.
The crack is beneath the starboard side settee. There is no thru hull there so they never bothered to look there for the leak. In the dark I doubt they would have found it anyway. The cause of the crack is up for speculation. There were no real scrape marks as if they had glanced off something. It was almost as if something had impacted them directly from the side but well below the waterline. According to them they were tied up in a slip between 2 other boats so I can’t imagine how that might have happened. Dud torpedo perhaps or maybe an aggresive helmet wearing rogue manatee, I dunno.

Or it could be a bullshit story and they were out drinking and boating and bounced themselves off something in the dark. Who knows, it’s a mystery either way.
The hole is fixed and they have some new bottom paint and they’re back out continuing the adventure…..

2 comments:

Mutulfun.. Day by Day said...

It is interesting as you look at the top of the crack and paint is .issing. The bottom of the keel shows like it had rubbed on the bottom. Like you said I think they is more to there story.

S/V Veranda said...

The bottom of the keel might just be from various groundings. The paint missing at the crack is weird because there was no scrape mark at all. It really looked as if something had hit them at a 90 degree angle????? Weird.