My boat sunk!

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Mickey Lake
Posts: 103
Joined: Wed Aug 02, 2006 11:18 am
Location: Spanish Fort, Alabama, USA

My boat sunk!

Post by Mickey Lake » Thu Apr 09, 2009 12:10 pm

She's alright now, sitting on her trailer on the hard, but it was a sickening thing to see her sitting on the bottom in six or seven feet of water.

Without going into detail about the sinking (too long a story to relate right now), I will say that I now know how to raise a sunken Dragon. If anyone ever has their boat sink in the harbor or in a calm-water envrionment, go to your nearest dive shop and ask them if they rent or lease salvage-rescue bags. The dive shop here at home had one-ton bags for rent at the reasonable price of $85 US per day. All you need is two of these one-ton bags, an air compressor, two divers, and a gas-powered pump.

Luckily for me my sailing partner of over twenty years is a lifelong diver, and another Dragon owner here at home has long experience diving as well. Once we had the right equipment in place it was a matter of about an hour for the two divers to wrap a bag each under the stern and bow, run lines on either side of the keel between the two and secure them, and inflate the bags to lift the boat to the point where the decks were awash. And this was after three days of worrying and fretting over whether or not the boat would be o.k.. I can tell you that one of the happiest feelings I have ever had was to see her floating in the slip that evening.

A salvage company wanted $3000 US to do this work (it probably would have been more. That was their minimum). Since everything that we did was either done as a favor or was borrowed the salvage of my boat didn't cost me anything other than three sleepless nights and whatever the repairs are going to cost to get her looking good again (we did lose some paint while she was laying on the bottom). Wonderful friends are a blessing and I can't thank everyone involved in the rescue mission enough, but if this ever happens to any of you please do yourselves a big favor and immediately check for these salvage bags. They are an easy and unobtrusive way of floating your boat and as I said, we could have saved ourselves a ton of worry and a lot of effort if we had just known about them from the beginning of the operation.

Mickey Lake
USA149
A disciple of the Norse God of aesthetically pleasing boats, Johan Anker.

trw999
Posts: 56
Joined: Wed Aug 09, 2006 2:10 pm
Location: England

Re: My boat sunk!

Post by trw999 » Fri Apr 10, 2009 8:00 am

Mickey

Very sorry to read of your sinking, though relieved to learn the red Dragon is back on land again. It sounds as if you were most fortunate to have such good friends to help you out.

We have had several sinking's in UK waters in the last few years and I know of others on the international regatta circuit. It is one of the reasons that the IDA now insists on greater built in buoyancy on new build Dragons.

Get that paint on quickly and get back out there sailing equally rapidly!

T

PS I do hope you didn't forget to put the bung in! :smile:

Mickey Lake
Posts: 103
Joined: Wed Aug 02, 2006 11:18 am
Location: Spanish Fort, Alabama, USA

Re: My boat sunk!

Post by Mickey Lake » Fri Apr 10, 2009 11:55 am

Tim, the bung is in rather permanantly, but one thing that I did forget was the through hull on the stern for the pump that I do not have :grin: . Since she lives on the trailer all of the time I had forgotten that that hole was back there. The combination of the leak at the rudder and 6" of rain that night combined to sink her low in the water, and once the through hull fitting was submerged it was pretty much over. I have since plugged the through hull until I can think about getting the automatic bilge pump kit. This was quite literally the first night I have ever had my boat stay in the water here at home (I have had her in overnight while traveling to regattas out of town, but never here in Mobile).

She'll be in the shop by the end of April and probably out after a week or so. A friend from Wisconsin has a bow piece for me (I have been looking for one for years) so we will put that on and get the paintwork renewed and should be ready to go.

On the positive side, we did have a good race that day. So very much fun to sail the Dragon again.

Mickey Lake
A disciple of the Norse God of aesthetically pleasing boats, Johan Anker.

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