Date: 26 January 2014. What Not To Do (smart
Life on the water is wonderful and it can be inexpensive,
but all too often a boat that anchors long term becomes not just a hazard,
but a pain to all cruisers. It doesn't take a lot of money to buy a boat
and just living on a boat doesn't make you a boater any more than sleeping
in a garage makes you a car. Boaters -- real ones, not the bums -- are an
asset to any community they belong to or visit. Here's how not to create
problems for cruisers who follow in your wake.
Use a legitimate anchor light. (solar lawn lights are not
anchor lights -- not even close)
Keep your vessel clean and tidy. (wash your doggone boat)
Follow the rules (head pump-outs, no trash in the water)
It's really not necessary to "hang it all out" (wear
clothes on deck)
Be a good citizen. (retrieve trash that floats by and
dispose of properly)
What is wrong however is a circumstance that happens all
too often: A boat will be bought and is to being delivered by the
to their home
port. Along the way something goes wrong. Time constraints require the
boat to be left at a safe place along the way.
How to leave your boat:
When you absolutely must
leave your vessel, there are three options:
Dry storage. Hauled out
at a boatyard and placed on stands.
In a marina tied to a
In my opinion, the first
option is the ideal solution. Your boat is safe and she won't
sink. The second, at a marina, generally insures your boat will
be looked at. Both of those options however cost cash.
Thus a boat will on occasion be
left anchored in a protected location. If done properly it's not a bad choice. Note the
"if done properly" portion of that sentence please.
We can all understand the necessity of leaving a boat in rare
circumstances. What I fail to comprehend is that an owner would leave their
vessel without someone trustworthy to watch their sizable investment.
You may wonder what can happen in that event...
A while back I met a gent and his son (Nameless Ones aka NO
from this point forward) who were moving their newly purchased Westsail32
from Florida to Tennessee. Time-wise, there was "enough" provided all went
well. And it didn't.
Now NO did the right thing in that he didn't press on in
iffy weather. That was smart. All too often newbies think they are bigger
and stronger than Neptune. That's when Captain Murphy takes over and very
bad things happen. You read about those folks in Survival books quite often.
in a place with changing tides.
Using a single, albeit large, Danforth type anchor.
Now the boat has
dragged back from the
green star location as shown in Photo One.
The following day the boat is
snarled with the two boats that are to the left of the Red Star
shown in Picture Two.
A couple of tide changes later the boat
freed itself and was dragging further back.
After becoming free from the two sailboats in Photo Four,
the drifting wonder snagged yet another boat.
Quite naturally, other
boaters are less than impressed with this sort of behavior.
It makes all of us look badly whereas it is actually a
Dragging boats usually
are immediately taken care of and either properly anchored
or towed to a marina.
As you can see from Photo Six
↓ this is a crowded anchorage.
Nameless Ones were irresponsible and none of this should
have occurred. As a matter of fact the solution was
one phone call away. And yes, it has already been implemented. That
happened the day after the above picture was taken.
So how do you find someone to watch over your boat when you
must leave her for a while? The easiest and smartest way to find the best
person is to call your local TowBoatUS or SeaTow operator. Those are the
fellows who tow boats for a living.
Usually they are in the "Cure" stage, solving problems.
However there is one thing they also know about and that is "Prevention".
They'd much rather prevent an issue than have to come in afterwards and
fix it. Thus, if you must leave your vessel for any length of time, no
matter how brief, contact a professional and ask for advice.
Prevention is always cheaper than Curing an
issue after the event.
Fixing something before a problem occurs is simply smart boating.
Most of the pros running TowBoatUS and SeaTow franchises
will not be in the boat watching business, though some might be. They will
however know the locals with a good reputation who can help you.
Call the professionals, not the guys anchored nearby though
one may indeed be your man. If not a towing company, the local boat yards
and marinas would all know people who can help you. Then be smart enough
to take the advice offered.
Have you ever hired someone to watch your boat?
If so, I'd like to chat about your experiences. (It's for an upcoming
Fred and Ruby ~
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