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Old 29-06-2019, 08:59   #1
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adrift skiff

So yesterday coming back from an overnight trip to Hornby Island we were faced with 15kts gusting to 20 coming right on out nose. We were also against current to so making 3kts under motor at an rpm that would usually give me 6kts in calm weather. My zodiac was tied to the stern and in hindsight it should have had a snubber or more scope on the tow rope but anyway it was reported as missing by a crew member and best we could recall hadn't been sighted for about 1/2 hour. We came about and now with the wind behind us still motoring we were maiking 7kts. We retraced our course for an hour with no sign of it before we abandoned the search.
So I have a couple of questions for our learned CF members:
How fast would an empty 7ft zodiac in 15kts of wind travel? And secondly is there any practical way to get word out to the boating community to see if anyone has found it who might would be willing to return it?
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Old 29-06-2019, 09:25   #2
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Re: adrift skiff

Did it have registration numbers and a sticker on it?
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Old 29-06-2019, 13:09   #3
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Re: adrift skiff

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Did it have registration numbers and a sticker on it?
no it didn't. I thought that was only required with a vessel over 10HP
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Old 29-06-2019, 14:14   #4
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Re: adrift skiff

The best way would would be to write your phone number in it before losing it ... But its a bit late for that now.

Its dead calm out here today, I can see ferries tugs yachts and fishing boats, but no empty zodiacs ... Not yet anyway.
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Old 29-06-2019, 14:15   #5
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Re: adrift skiff

wedivebc:

Put a word out to all the yacht clubs. PHone them up, tell 'em what happened, offer a reward, and hope for the best.

Perhaps get a small hard dinghy that'll fit on your foredeck. If you HAVE to tow, use a back up painter, so you have two lines to the mother boat.

I'd wager the dingy could blow downwind faster than you could chase it, plus the water it was in was going that way, too. If there was island in back of it, it might come to rest, or be on its way to Japan.

Good idea to paint a contact phone number on the dink, or a name, "Runaway" comes to mind.

Sorry for the troubles.

Ann
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Old 29-06-2019, 17:41   #6
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Re: adrift skiff

Wedive:

You don't say where you were coming back TO, so I don't know what your course may have been departing Hornby, and I don't even know which way the wind was blowing off Hornby yesterday. I don't know what time this was, so I don't know which way the tide was running. Anyway, catching up with a truant ribbie is a bit of a job, but on the other hand in the narrow waters north of Hornby she wouldn't go far before washing up on shore. If she was southbound on the tide, it would be a little more problematic, but sooner or later she'll wash up on shore - unless someone "salvages" 'er.

Now, finding an empty ribbie when it's blowing fifteen would prompt me, for one, to call the coast guard. It could be a serious situation requiring immediate attention. If I'd lost as ribbie in the manner you describe, I'd have called to CG to advise them that it WASN'T serious, just in case another skipper called it in, all concerned. It might even be, that the nice man at CCG would issue a "securitee" just to ask other traffic to look out for it :-)!

Now, off Hornby there are to Royal Canadian Marine Search And Rescue stations: #59 at Deep Bay just a very few miles to the south and #60 at Comox just a few miles to the north. It might be worthwhile to telephone them and ask if your ribbie has been found. Even if it hasn't, they'll keep an eye out for it. If they find it, you might make a donation to the station's operating fund. The stations are all volunteer operations (though reporting to CCG), and they are totally funded by donations.

But there is NO chance that she'll visit Japan. VI is one BIG mole :-)!

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Old 29-06-2019, 18:33   #7
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Re: adrift skiff

Thanks for the replies. I should have provided more details. I was heading SE toward Nanoose Bay from Hornby. The wind was in the mid to high teens out of the SE and the tide was flooding so we were against the tide and the wind until late afternoon when the tide changed but I expect the wind has a much greater effect on an inflatable boat than the tide.
I ended up buying a new skiff today and yes my vessel name and phone number are already pained on the transom. I am hoping to not lose this one so Ann's name is clever but I'm hoping not to have to name her "runaway"
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Old 29-06-2019, 19:15   #8
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Re: adrift skiff

A few years back, I happened upon an adrift skiff (40hp, RIB) a mile from shore during 25 knot wind. I took the half swamped (but otherwise perfect condition) craft under tow and immediately called the coast guard (US).

Coast guard had already been contacted by the owner, several hours prior. Seems his 60 (ish) foot motor yacht was pitching enough to submerge it's swimstep and "float" the dinghy from its chocks.

Anyway, the CG gave me the owner's cell number and the man offered me a VERY generous amount of money to salvage and deliver his tender about 50 miles (which I did via trailer and roadway).

Steve
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Old 29-06-2019, 22:22   #9
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Re: adrift skiff

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Originally Posted by wedivebc View Post
Thanks for the replies. I should have provided more details. I was heading SE toward Nanoose Bay from Hornby. The wind was in the mid to high teens out of the SE and the tide was flooding so we were against the tide and the wind until late afternoon when the tide changed but I expect the wind has a much greater effect on an inflatable boat than the tide.
I ended up buying a new skiff today and yes my vessel name and phone number are already pained on the transom. I am hoping to not lose this one so Ann's name is clever but I'm hoping not to have to name her "runaway"
Hey, wedivebc, I didn't mean to be mean, there.

Our dinghy didn't have a name for a while. It just didn't do anything worth naming it for. Then, it was stolen and set afire. But we got it back, with the burned hypalon hanging in shreds, all scorched and pathetic. Jim laboriously cleaned it up and we had new tubes put on. Now it's on it's 3rd set. Now it has a name: Phoenix, 'cause it rose from its ashes.

@TrentePieds: Okay, then, thanks for the chuckle. Sorry to say, I'm not familiar with the area.

Ann
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Old 29-06-2019, 22:34   #10
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Re: adrift skiff

I had an inflatable like that come loose in the night and get blown away by a 1o kt breeze. I had to chase it with another dinghy in the dark and I was AMAZED how far and how fast it had gone, just skidding across the surface, undeterred by tide or anything. I agree with letting everyone know in the area (marinas, cg etc) since most folks will understand and make an effort to find the owner I bet.
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Old 30-06-2019, 13:27   #11
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Re: adrift skiff

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Originally Posted by wedivebc View Post
So yesterday coming back from an overnight trip to Hornby Island we were faced with 15kts gusting to 20 coming right on out nose. We were also against current to so making 3kts under motor at an rpm that would usually give me 6kts in calm weather. My zodiac was tied to the stern and in hindsight it should have had a snubber or more scope on the tow rope but anyway it was reported as missing by a crew member and best we could recall hadn't been sighted for about 1/2 hour. We came about and now with the wind behind us still motoring we were maiking 7kts. We retraced our course for an hour with no sign of it before we abandoned the search.

So I have a couple of questions for our learned CF members:

How fast would an empty 7ft zodiac in 15kts of wind travel? And secondly is there any practical way to get word out to the boating community to see if anyone has found it who might would be willing to return it?


Coast Guard would radio out a notice for you on ch 16
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Old 30-06-2019, 13:59   #12
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Re: adrift skiff

Hm.. Making a securitee call on 16, either by the yachtsman who lost the dinghy or by the coast guard is going to prove rather ephemeral. It would have to be repeated at regular intervals to be useful, and that ain't likely to happen.

However, a call to RCMSAR, in this case to the two stations I cited, MIGHT prove useful because these lads are ALWAYS out and about in their own home waters, and they know from experience where wind and tide will take flotsam. Having a PURPOSE, such as having some specific item to look for, is also very valuable for the training of new crews and for keeping existing crew up to the mark.

TP
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Old 30-06-2019, 17:49   #13
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Re: adrift skiff

I did call Coast Guard yesterday to let them know so they weren't looking for a lost boater. I would be pleasantly surprised if the skiff was reported and returned but I have little expectation of it.
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Old 30-06-2019, 17:55   #14
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Re: adrift skiff

I bet ya a pint of Black Angel India Pale Ale it'll turn up. I got a beer waiting for me in Seattle so I'll just be swinging up there to pick that one up too
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Old 30-06-2019, 18:18   #15
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Re: adrift skiff

15 kn wind + current... in half an hour it's likely miles away from where your course was. An empty inflatable moves pretty fast, low wetted area and big wind catch. 3 knots of current alone puts it 1.5 miles out. Add wind to that I'm guessing 5 miles.
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