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Author Topic:   Very sad story
blackdog posted 08-28-2001 09:59 AM ET (US)   Profile for blackdog   Send Email to blackdog  
This sent shivers down my spine. I think I will always own a Whaler after reading this story. Everyone - be safe out there...

DCPeters posted 08-28-2001 12:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for DCPeters  Send Email to DCPeters     
Two boats sank up here this year; no deaths.

In one, the guys floated with an empty beer cooler for 14 hours! in 6' Lake Ontario surf before being picked up.

It strengthened my resolve too about the BW concept.

daverdla posted 08-28-2001 02:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for daverdla  Send Email to daverdla     
It truly is a very sad story. I read about it in the local paper over the weekend. Made me think of the thread someone started here about whether or not we're kidding ourselves. I guess we're not.
WantaWhale posted 08-28-2001 05:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for WantaWhale  Send Email to WantaWhale     
I wonder why its still legal to sell a boat that does not have flotation? I am guesing it's do to $$$. Well I almost bought the farm once in a small jon boat. Got caught in a storm and lost 2 bulkheads on the way in due to shear pounding. I watched them split in 2 and then the water started gushing in. I didn't think I was going to make it. So here we are in 2001 and they still make boats that sink :(
Dr T posted 08-28-2001 06:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dr T  Send Email to Dr T     
My brush came when I turtles a Snipe one-design in four foot waves with my fiance (now wife of 17 years) on board.

This experience was enough to make me seek out the safest boat I could find for the money, in my case a Sport 13 that I still have.

The unsinkable concept is a strong one, especially if you have had a very personal look over the edge.

DCPeters posted 08-28-2001 11:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for DCPeters  Send Email to DCPeters     
Part of the problem is old boats...wooden classics and early fiberglass built before the minimum floatation stds were promulgated.

My '86 27' Sportcraft had no floatation either...the rules only stipulate for smaller boats! (I don't get that at all.)

If a plank opened up on my Lyman or Owens, they'd float only if the gas tank was empty! Actually, I'm not even sure about that!

I loved the boats, but knew that someday I might regret using them in serious water. I remember watching the hull flex in a chop and wondering...

They are retired to float in classic boat parades only at this point.

Bigshot posted 08-29-2001 10:15 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
I would love top meet the Sgt that suggested a BIG fish might have sunk a 21 Proline. My guess is no plug and lack of experience. When you see water in the stern you make sure the pump is working, etc. If not you try and fix it.If not you haul butt in because it should drain and remain drained while on plane. It is a sad story.
blackdog posted 08-29-2001 12:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for blackdog  Send Email to blackdog     
I think they had been out for 4 hours not sure it was the plug unless it was leaking. These seem to be older guys not young pups. The oldest one died.
I just can’t believe it went down so fast
Bigshot posted 08-29-2001 01:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
The only thing I can think of is they were running for 3 of the 4 hours which would keep the hull relatively dry. They might also have had the bilge rigged to one battery and after it drained, the water filled up but the boat either started on another battery or they never turned it off. If the bilge was running for 3 hours, would'nt they have wondered why? As soon as the transom goes under, it is all over, especially if 3 guys ran to the back to see what is up. I just helped get my buds 23 seacraft off the bottom of his canal last week. The stern was almost 3' under and the console forward was almost dry. if the canal was deep, she would have gone bow up due to the twin 115 4 strokes, etc. Again More info. is needed and unfortunately the captain who might have been the only experienced person is dead. There should be more info on it because the boat should still be floating. I am still very confused.
Bigshot posted 08-29-2001 01:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Mistake. The captain did live. The oldest guy died. Can't believe a 21 could drag you under with its vortex. How could a boat sink that quickly?
lhg posted 08-29-2001 03:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
A boating friend had a 26' OMC Stratos CC, with twin Evinrude 200's, all 1990 and bought new for a package price of $35,000. This boat had zero floation in it, with large, black painted bilge spaces below the deck liner. Not a well made boat at all. Forgive me, OMC fans, but this boat was junk. Also rolled and pitched in 4' seas like crazy, and would take waves right over the bow. No 25 Outrage, that's for sure.

Two years later he's trolling off Key West, 8 miles out. Finally, someone on board notices the boat is floating low in the water, which wasn't immediately apparent because of the 4' seas running. Finally, they notice water lapping at the top of the floor, and looked below. Engine hull below floor filled with water, and still rising. Could not, at the time tell what was wrong, but bilge pump not operating.

Tried to plane out the boat and head in, to help get rid of water. The 400 HP could not plane off the boat, and couldn't get much more than 10mph out of it. Managed to get the boat onto a beach to prevent it from sinking. All were very lucky. A hose on an underwater though hull fitting had come off!

Free Willy posted 08-29-2001 05:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for Free Willy  Send Email to Free Willy     
Powerboaters can take a lesson from the offshore sail racers playbook, wood thru hull plugs (ORC requirement). Used to attach them to the fitting, easy to find in a panic.
Reliant posted 08-29-2001 06:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for Reliant  Send Email to Reliant     
lhg – I have a similar story for you. A friend of mine purchased a 23-foot late model Four Winns. Two years ago, he brought the boat out of storage and decided to go out by himself on the maiden voyage of the season. Since the day was flat calm, he left the Saugatuck channel on Lake Michigan and decided that he would cruise up to the Holland channel and take a tour of Lake Macatawa. As he came off of plane into the Holland channel, he noticed that the light for the automatic bilge pump had come on. He decided that there must be some water in the bilge sloshing around and thought no more of it. He continued his tour of Lake Mac not thinking anything of the fact that the bilge pump light stayed on the entire time! Hello! McFly! They put that light there for a reason.

When he got back out to Lake Michigan, he found, much to his horror, that the boat was riding very low in the water and he could not get it to plain. A check of the engine compartment showed that the water was so high that it was half way up the engine and the flywheel was spraying water everywhere. Just like your friend, he finally got smart and put the bought up on the beach and radioed for assistance. Also like your friend, a through hull fitting had popped off – must be an OMC thing ;-)

Part of the reason why I included this story is that a year earlier when I bought my first whaler, a 16-foot currituck, this same friend stuck his nose in the air and pronounced, “Those whalers are just dinghies with a motor. You need a real boat like mine.” Ah, karma whiplash at its best.

Reliant posted 08-29-2001 06:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for Reliant  Send Email to Reliant     
Oops – second paragraph, “bought” should be “boat”. Time to get away from the computer for a while ;-)
njwhalerman posted 08-29-2001 06:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for njwhalerman  Send Email to njwhalerman     
Ironic! We went fishing for tuna offshore on Friday w/ a crew of six that include my brother in-law and his Dad. They have been estranged for years, but have been patching things up. His Dad was supposed to be on that trip but declined when he was offered to go on our trip. His Dad did not find out the news till saturday. Their relationship has grown leaps.


Whaletosh posted 08-30-2001 08:08 AM ET (US)     Profile for Whaletosh    
What I have never understood about inboard and I/O drive makers is why they don't include an emergency pump on the motor. A pump, driven off of one of the belts, with electric clutch would have a lot more pumping capacity than just about any electric bilge pump. A remote water level switch with a loud audible alarm would power the electric clutch. What would this cost, a couple of hundred dollars?

I know one of the safety lessons I was taught was to learn where the raw water intake is on the motor of an inboard or an I/O, if it readily accessible one should keep the tools handy that are needed to disconnects the hose from the intake fitting. Close the seacock, disconnect the hose and one gets a quantum leap in bilge pumping capability.


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