When Unsinkable Comes In Handy

A conversation among Whalers
jimh
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When Unsinkable Comes In Handy

Postby jimh » Sun Apr 23, 2017 12:04 pm

At the most basic level, I think every owner of a Boston Whaler is aware of, takes interest in, and appreciates the general "unsinkable" nature of the Boston Whaler double-bottom foam-filled hull. Occasionally some incident reminds me of the value of this feature, like the recent distress of a large pleasure craft in Lake Michigan.

The 76-foot motor yacht was on an early season voyage from Pentwater to Traverse City on April 15, 2017. About 20-miles into this passage the captain noticed the boat was taking on water. The boat was intentionally put aground on the sandy bottom in about 3-feet off water off the Ludington State Park beach near Big Sable Point. The captain was rescued from the boat by the Coast Guard. A few days later wave action had taken a toll on the boat, and most of it has disappeared from view. The State Park has been closed and debris is being removed from the beach.

These three photographs (from the USCG) show the initial grounding and then the condition a few days later:

stranded76MotorYachtLakeMichigan.jpg
stranded76MotorYachtLakeMichigan.jpg (44.94 KiB) Viewed 2418 times

stranded76MotorYachtLakeMichigan_2.jpg
stranded76MotorYachtLakeMichigan_2.jpg (38.55 KiB) Viewed 2418 times

stranded76MotorYachtLakeMichigan_3.jpg
stranded76MotorYachtLakeMichigan_3.jpg (50 KiB) Viewed 2418 times

Oldslowandugly
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Re: When Unsinkable Comes In Handy

Postby Oldslowandugly » Mon Apr 24, 2017 10:23 am

That is absolutely why I sought and found a small Whaler. Even when big storms rage I sleep easy knowing it won't sink and will be found. When I was young and dumb I complained to an old timer that my boat was small. He replied that when a big boat gets into trouble- the first thing they do is climb into small boats.

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Todd
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Re: When Unsinkable Comes In Handy

Postby Todd » Mon Apr 24, 2017 2:26 pm

Thanks for the story and pictures. Thankfully, no one was hurt but still very sad to those who appreciate such vessels. That area of Lake Michigan is familiar to me having traveled it many times in our 38' Sea Ray. Another boat sank in that area of Lake Michigan in 2008, it was believed to have encountered a rogue wave that broke it's back. See video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MxTJ-0U-Oq0 You see the captain and his young son jumping off the Chris Craft Constellation as she went down in just seconds.

I never ran into a rogue wave but did run into a fog bank in that area a few years ago. Came up so quickly we didn't have time to get off the lake and navigated by radar, gps, compass, the sounds of other boats horns, depth of the water, and prayers. There were other boats without radar that followed us to port to get out of harms way. We found one guy in a kayak who was totally lost 2 miles off shore, he didn't have a compass and couldn't tell which way to shore. We all put in at Pentwater waited for the fog to clear thankful we made it safely.

Now I am an inland boater with a 16 Dauntless, I still have gps though for navigation purposes but don't venture too far out on Lake Michigan. The Whaler is such a great boat and the one of the few I trust enough to put my family in.

ConB
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Re: When Unsinkable Comes In Handy

Postby ConB » Mon Apr 24, 2017 5:08 pm

!987 Outrage 18 / 1987 150 hp Johnson & 1969 13 / 30hp Johnson tiller

jimh
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Re: When Unsinkable Comes In Handy

Postby jimh » Wed Apr 26, 2017 12:04 pm

The boat looks like an old Trumpy-style motor yacht. All-wood boats in fresh water are at risk to dry rot. Maybe there are some nice pieces of old-growth mahogany on that beach that could be recycled into something for a classic small boat.