There are several ways to tell when spring and summer have arrived in the Pacific Northwest. One way is the weather is nicer, the rain is warmer and the days are longer. The other way is to listen to channel 16 on the VHF and see how many times the name “Bayliner” comes up. I would love to see some official stats of how many Bayliners are in the region. I suspect more than any other area of the country, since one of the biggest Bayliner factories was just up the road here for many years.
These two fellows were both moored to the same mooring ball over Memorial Day Weekend. The thing is, they used the same 1/2″ nylon line. They are convinced that someone came in during the night and cut the line (during a 45 knot wind) and have filed a police report stating the line was cut. I don’t buy it for a minute and after examining the cut line am more convinced that the line chaffed off.
They ended up about 70 yards apart on a beach about 6 miles from where they were moored. The white boat (2005) was lucky and landed in the gravel part of the shore near the high water line and suffered a missing trim tab and very small pinhole in the bottom of the keel. We were able to pull it off the beach at high tide by pulling hard for about 5 minutes and swinging the towboat back and forth. We then towed her 3.5 NM to the harbor where there was a waiting trailer to haul her out.
The blue boat (2009) wasn’t lucky at all. It landed in a rocky section of beach and had 4 or 5 4 inch holes in the hull, the keel had a split about 3 feet long and the port side of the hull separated from the chine for about 5 feet.
We had to come back at low tide the next day, secure lift bags to the hull and wait for high tide to float her off the rocks. The tide was rising and we decided we needed to reposition the tow boat to get a better angle on the tow. We barely tugged on the towline and the boat popped right off the rocks and was free. When it turned, the stbd. lift bag was pinched on a big rock covered with barnacles and punctured. We couldn’t tell at first as she was floating level. It soon became apart something was wrong and we needed to get another bag on it quick! We had semi prepared for this and had our air tanks pre-rigged and ready. I was able to hand line the stricken vessel up to our swim step while my partner tried to get around the cleat so we could attach the additional bag. The cleat had so many lines already attached that there was not any additional room for extra lines. The boat nearly rolled over right next us, until we were able to get a line around the hardtop and inflate the float bag. The boat didn’t roll completely (a good thing) but we could only make 1 knot. The tow took 3.5 hours. This put us into the harbor around 2300 (11PM) and all marina staff had gone home hours earlier. Our instructions were to pull the vessel as far up the boat ramp as possible and they would deal with it in the morning. Sounds good right? Not quite. The boat settled on the ramp o.k., but it was laying on top of several of our very expensive air bags that we couldn’t free. Our diver had to suit up, attach more air bags to lift the vessel off our stuck gear, free the gear and then deflate the extra bags so the vessel could lay on the ramp on bottom until morning. It took another few hours just to get our gear back and the vessel free so we could go home. All in all, a long day but we got the job done in one shot and didn’t have to come back a third day to finish.
Other photos from the week.