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Got any Whaler Saved My Skin Stories?
|Author||Topic: Got any Whaler Saved My Skin Stories?|
posted 06-11-2001 01:02 AM ET (US)
In an earlier post comparing a Whaler to another brand of boat, lhg told a brief story of how his Whaler had saved his bacon. I am sure there are others out there with some interesting and informative stories. I am behind schedule on my Whaler repairs and need some additional inspiration.
posted 06-11-2001 10:09 AM ET (US)
I was the first of three to arrive at the ramp that morining. I loaded up my 1984 17 center console and slipped it into the water. I had about a hour before the others arrived, so I went back to the car for a quick nap. I got bored, so I went back to the boat to see if I could throw a cast net at any finger mullet. When I arrive at the boat, I find that it is half full of salt water, I left the plug out. I know the whaler will float swamped, that is not problem, but when my buddies arrive in a few minutes, I will never hear the end of it. I quickly jump in the boat, luckly the water has not gotten up to the batteries yet. I fire her up. It takes a little while to get on plane, but when she does the water just streams out the back. When I get back to the ramp, my friends are waiting and there is no evidence of my mistake.
I don't know if I would have been as fortunate if I hadn't had a Whaler.
posted 06-11-2001 10:16 AM ET (US)
You wouldn't have fared as well.
posted 06-16-2001 12:46 AM ET (US)
One spring day, my friend and I launched my 17' whaler at Turkey Point on the South River of the Chesapeake bay. We were attempting to do some fishing there but the fish weren't biting. A quick check with the weather service indicated that conditions would be calm so we decided to cross the bay to the Eastern Shore of Maryland where we fished the Bloody Point area and then up into Eastern Bay. The fishing wasn't much better there on the Eastern shore so we decided to call it quits and head back. When we rounded southern tip of Kent Island to make our way back across the bay, we were greeted with a very stiff west wind. The bay which had been like glass was now sporting waves larger than I had ever dealt with in a boat. I didn't have anything to measure them with but when we were down in the trough between the waves, standing up, we couldn't see land and I am over 6 feet tall! We needed to get back across the bay and we had 2 choices: wait until the weather calmed down which could be sometime in the middle of the night or we could try and make the crossing. I have alot of confidence in Whalers and since I was in one, I decided to make the crossing. Each time we crested a wave, we took land bearings and readjusted our course. After about an hour, we reached the safety of the calm side of the bay. I would never have tried that in any small boat other than a Whaler!
posted 06-16-2001 10:57 PM ET (US)
I had the same experience crossing from Bloody Point back to the west shore back in the early 60s. Then I was running a 21' bay built cruiser, I turned around and holed up untill it died down. Don't think it would be a pleasent run in that with my Montauk but I know it would make it.
posted 06-17-2001 10:56 PM ET (US)
Dick, I gotta admit that it was a pretty scary experience. I would never try something like that with my kids aboard...
posted 06-17-2001 11:24 PM ET (US)
Not something you would plan on doing, but the way that bay can kick up you never know.
I kept my boat up West River at the time and one morning I took a couple buddies over to the Eastern Shore to fish, just after sun up the fog moved in. By the time we realized how bad it was you couldn't see the bow of the boat, like an idiot I headed home by compass. We made it but looking back it is probably the stupidest thing I have ever done. Could very easily have been run over by a big one in that crossing.
Realy enjoyed and have great memories of the 3 years I spent in that beautiful area.
posted 06-18-2001 11:25 AM ET (US)
Grew up in Whalers, have tons of stories, I'll start with these: Had a 1964 13' and was running through barnegat Bay(NJ) and the boat kept getting slower and slower. I pulled back on the throttle and the boat stopped dead and a wave just flooded the boat. Drove it back to the marina half sunk and called dad. When he arrived the boat was dry. We pulled it and it was missing a 2x2 foot big patch of glass on the bottom. Come to find out it was repaired once and not well. Any other boat and us 12 year olds would have sunk way back in the marshes. #2 17' Montauk in Barnegat inlet. Was outside and ocean was kicking up. Got real nasty in 15 mins. I had it timed so i was jumping crest to crest. When I entered the inlet the waves got wider apart and I stuffed the bow into the back side of an 8 footer. Now I have 2 feet of water in the boat and she is tipsy, pull the plug and another wave breaks on my transom, now I am up to the guwales, basically sunk but the engine is still running and above water. I nail it and most of the water goes over the transom but I still have a 2/3 swamped boat. I am being drilled from the rear with 6-8 footers and came close to pitchpoling about 5 times. The water eventually got low enough from draining and running out the bow, etc that I was able to plane and get inside. by the time I was out of harms way, it was bone dry. Lost my tackle box and a couple rods, but still alive and boat was 100%. Got more for later.
posted 06-18-2001 11:44 AM ET (US)
Old Barnie is in the top 10 most dangerous inlets in the world and may have made top 5 last year. When she gets big the only small boats you see outside are Whalers. We used to make extra money as a kids pulling grounded boats off the flats with a 13.
posted 06-18-2001 01:34 PM ET (US)
I would spends hours jumping breakers in my 13 along with about 3 others at any given time. I have been so close to swimming many times. Lost gas tanks(have to retrieve quickly before you run out of gas), anchors, etc. never flipped though and I bet I have had the prop 8 feet off. You can literally count in seconds before you hit. The craziest yet most fun I did was on a dare. In Loveladies, I dropped down into the surf cut across the whitewash and blew over a nice 4 footer. Absloutely the best adrenaline rush but could have been a major disaster if I had hit bottom or stalled, etc. Try explaining to Dad why I was in the surf. i was 14 and stupid but wish I had photos. I live in FL now and really miss the inlet. West coast is too flat, back to chasing yachts. 32 and I still have not learned!
posted 06-18-2001 02:09 PM ET (US)
This is a long one. I will have to tell this one second-hand from my dad and uncle since it was before my time. They read this site every once and awhile and can fill any holes in the story if they would like. Apparently my dad and his brother use to take their 1966 13’ BW out for mid-night lobster hunts in Long Island Sound. On this particular night there were 5 divers and my future mom (who does not swim) on board. The night was going along fairly well with the 5 divers in the water and my mother waiting aboard the boat as lobsters would be heaved into the boat in total darkness. They moved and anchored at a couple of different spots until they had enough lobsters. Realizing it was late (2am) they decided to high-tail it home in the pitch black night using the compass. My dad, the Navy man, was the driver and my uncle was the lookout on the front rail. Running along at full speed my dad saw my uncle turn and dive towards the back of the boat. At that instant there was suddenly a dark steel can buoy standing 6 feet out of the water dead ahead. The Whaler drilled the buoy head-on at full speed. The little 13 tipped on to its side and skipped across the water momentarily coming to a rest coming to a rest right side-up with everyone still on board and OK. The boat had a 3 inch split from the front nav. lights through to the anchor locker and was full of water. It was still pitch black, things were floating out of the boat and the lobsters were everywhere but the engine was still running. My mother was apparently not happy with the situation but that is another story. My dad was able to get the boat going again and got most of the water to drain out the back even with six people aboard and a ton of scuba gear and weights. Had they gone directly back to the dock that night they would have been just fine but after taking an inventory of the equipment on the boat they realized that the oars and some new seat cushions had floated out so they went back to retrieve them. As they slowed down to retrieve one of the oars the water started shooting back in through the crack and filling up the boat. At the same time the engine stalled (apparently it had a tendency of doing that at idle). The water continued to come in and eventually shorted the battery out. Now the Whaler was dead in the water and swamped again but still floating level (but they did have one oar). As they started to paddle the swamped boat towards the shore a pleasure boat full of drunken partiers came by and saw them (the partiers were naked by the way). They stopped and were apparently amazed by the fact that the boat was floating since it seemed to be nothing more than railings and an outboard motor sticking out of the water. The party boat towed them to a dock about ¼ mile away. Safely at a dock but unfortunately not the right one, they had to call my grandfather (the boat owner) with the bad news. Between all of them they had one dime and went to go make the “phone call” at 3am. Unfortunately, the wrong number was dialed (by who is not clear). Therefore they had to relay the information to the poor guy that they woke up at 3am to tell my grandfather that the boat was wrecked, everyone was OK, they were at the wrong dock (not sure where) and the trailer was at the other marina. Somehow my grandfather was able to find them and during the time they were out of the Whaler it had practically drained itself of the water and was floating high. The battery was shot though. When my grandfather got there he took a look at the boat and all of them, shook his head and asked where the other oar went.
My grandfather replaced that boat with a brand new 1971 13’ because the old one performed exactly as advertised. The interior wood (console and seats), engine and railings were transplanted to the new one from the old. That boat is still in our family and I practically grew up on it. It is on its third engine and looks brand new. The wrecked 13 was sold to a marina that glassed over the crack and installed a new custom interior. It is still used as a tender to this day. I love these boats!
posted 06-18-2001 02:53 PM ET (US)
Reminds me of a couple more. Just so you Know, I grew up on Long Beach Island, NJ and just about every kid in my neighborhood had a 11, 13, 15, or 17 whaler. #1 Driving at night with 4 or 5 felow kids in y 13 to a party that wwas about 4 miles a away. I am doing about 20mph and can't see due to people in the front seat. Friend Frank yells "BUOY" and I just cut the wheel hard left and hard right and miss a green can by about 6 inches. #2 Girlfriends friend "borrows" her brother's 13 and is drunk. I am behind them with girlfriend. She is going ide open and cutting the wheel. Does this a few times and all of a sudden the boat catches and is riding on the the gunwale. My friend Frank(again) grabs my friend Tom and jumps out. The boat flips upside down with drunk girl inside. We flip the boat over and she is laughing. We got in my boat and left her anchored until the cops came. She was sent to camp the next summer. #3 friend's sisters boyfriend takes their 17 newport out to get gas. We are at a friends near the gas dcok and he sees us on the dock. He turns around and tries to spray us and falls out of the boat. He was still holdingthe wheel and the wheel bent in half. Luckily the boat was going around in circles damn near floored(only a 70hp). He gets away and we pick him up in my 13'. We are trying to get the runaway 17 that is doing donuts. We ride next to it and slowly get closer. My buddy rick is about to jump in and the coast guard comes around the corner. they make us get away even though we about had it. They waited for the boat to hit the seawall and a Cg guy jumped in it from land. Creamed the whole side of the boat etc. If they never showed up we would have had it. I'll think of some more.
posted 06-18-2001 06:27 PM ET (US)
That's it. I'm never letting my kids view this site.
posted 06-18-2001 06:49 PM ET (US)
Filled my Montauk up with water last year going in the Barnegat Inlet. I was trimmed down too much and caught the wake of an outgoing headboat.
Sliced right through the wave with the bow. The wave knocked my baseball hat off my head (5-11" standing at the console).
Since the boat was new, there were still a few bugs in her. The power lead to the bilge pump has vibrated off the tab, so the pump didn't kick in. So I just continued in full of water and got to a calm area next to the Lighthouse and reattached the power lead.
Water pumped out and I went home. The only problem: The darn hat was wet.
posted 06-19-2001 09:22 AM ET (US)
Pull the plug, quicker than pump usually.
posted 06-20-2001 04:12 PM ET (US)
Probably, but I don't like to leave the wheel when in the Barnegat Inlet.
posted 06-21-2001 08:12 PM ET (US)
This Story is So true so crazy I had to tell ya!
I first came into contact with a Whaler about 15 years ago when a friend invited me to take a cruise out to Mound key in Estero Bay, it was a 13' sport with a 35 evinrude and boy was I jealous. after that first ripp across the flat shallow waters of the back bay I new there was no other boat like it. at times we would gather up a group of friends load up the 13' sport and the 10 foot tender ( 25 hp Johnson) and go off camping on one of the barrier islands for the weekends ( we were only in our late teens/early 20's then).We would have the boats loaded to the gills with equiptment and personel, often times not making it to the camp before nitefall.
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