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Old 14-07-2014, 21:10   #46
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Re: Dinghy theft in PNW

Hi Ann,
I clearly wasn't being clear: I do lock with 3 half hitches. Always.
Cheers,
Bill
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Old 14-07-2014, 21:34   #47
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Re: Dinghy theft in PNW

Just glad you got your stuff back in any case. Missed whether you had to drive down to get it. Not sure if Sasquatch could undo a triple lock cleat hitch...but I'm sure the dead battery would hold him up. Specially if he had found some beer first.
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Old 14-07-2014, 21:41   #48
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Re: Dinghy theft in PNW

Hi IdoraKeeper,
We took the mothership there and back. Fastest clearance through customs ever - no one wanted to aggravate the matter further. We're not drinkers but we didn't even get asked about any booze being brought back. Thanks. We're glad to have our stuff back too. Hats off to the fuel jockey (who arranged temporary moorage for us on July 4th) and to the homeowner who preserved our stuff.
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Old 15-07-2014, 00:20   #49
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Re: Dinghy theft in PNW

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Just curious: What is the actual distinction between "pranked" and "stolen Livingston's"? If they are taken without owner's knowledge and permission is there any distinction in law, or accepted social norms in the US San Juan Islands? Any law enforcement practitioners here?

Sorry I was being a smartass. I should have just pointed out that dinghys breaking away from boats, beaches, or docks is really common in the san juans for whatever reason. We would find one or two stray dinghys every year on our long stretch of beach. Im sure all owners of them were confident they were secure as well.
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Old 15-07-2014, 00:46   #50
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Re: Dinghy theft in PNW

Okay, Bill,

Back to the theft hypothesis: a triple half hitched painter shouldn't come loose by itself. And, as you say, your dog isn't really a "watch dog".

You're really fortunate you got everything back. Maybe a nice note to the fuel jockey's boss and some kind of a tangible thank you to the nice folks ashore is in order?

Ann
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Old 15-07-2014, 03:31   #51
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Re: Dinghy theft in PNW

Folks, Not the PNW, but perhaps helpful! We sail in the BVI's with a newer 12' AB RIB and 15 HP Yamaha. Since dinghy theft (read outboard theft) is becoming more prevalent down there, we use a short plastic covered security cable to secure our outboard and gas tank to our dinghy with a REAL padlock. Then, using a 10-12' plastic covered security cable and a REAL padlock, we always secure the dinghy (through the outboard handle) to the stern pulpit overnight and to any dock that we may be using in the daytime. Thieves are inherently lazy and fearful of being caught. Make it to difficult and they will defer to someone who doesn't and there are plenty of them. We have lost a $5000 dinghy and outboard years ago prior to this procedure. First time, shame on them / Second time, shame on you! No problem since! George
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Old 15-07-2014, 05:38   #52
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Re: Dinghy theft in PNW

Sorry to be late to the party but this is fascinating. I am glad you got your stuff back.

Couple of more questions - Kayaks tied to dinghy, dinghy cleated off. You have a 42 foot boat.

- Is this a water level stern cleat or is it a bulwark level stern quarter cleat?
- If a stern quarter cleat how high above water level is it - i.e. would a paddler have to stand in his boat to untie the knot? (determined prankster in this case)
- Or would he have to board your boat to untie it? (crazy prankster)
- How far from the anchorage to the location the stuff was found?
- Is the location downwind and/or downcurrent?

So I don't buy "outright theft" because you wouldn't have gotten your stuff back - i.e. the thief had gotten away with the goods. All he had to do was move the gear ashore and wait for you to go home and then sell the gear/whatever. But also, why would a thief untie the knot - cut the painter is way faster for a thief.

Prank theory -

We presume the thief was in a human powered craft. To pull this off in a motorized boat of some kind would be plain lunacy - the risk of being heard is way too high.

If the prank was to take your stuff - hide it for a day and then bring it back - it is the stupidest prank in the history of pranks. Prankster would have to tow your stuff while paddling - find a place nearby (unless he wanted to tow it a long way) to hide it. And then go back the next night, presumably after you reported it stolen and are on high alert with the police on the lookout.

A prank would have been to tow it to the dock and tie it off - that way you would be perplexed, maybe file a police report and then find your gear at the dock. You would now second guess yourself on did you swim back to your boat last night - how did this happen - ha., ha. Still a stupid prank but it makes more sense as a prank than to try and go back to your boat the next night.

Occam's razor - Stupidest prankster in the history of pranksters or the line came loose?
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Old 15-07-2014, 06:31   #53
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Re: Dinghy theft in PNW

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Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
Sorry to be late to the party but this is fascinating. I am glad you got your stuff back.

Couple of more questions - Kayaks tied to dinghy, dinghy cleated off. You have a 42 foot boat.

- Is this a water level stern cleat or is it a bulwark level stern quarter cleat?
- If a stern quarter cleat how high above water level is it - i.e. would a paddler have to stand in his boat to untie the knot? (determined prankster in this case)
- Or would he have to board your boat to untie it? (crazy prankster)
- How far from the anchorage to the location the stuff was found?
- Is the location downwind and/or downcurrent?
Hi Ex-Calif,
It was tied to a swimgrid cleat, at the starboard corner - about 6" above the water. No boarding required. The stuff was found about 1/2 nm upwind from where I was anchored. I'm not sure how the currents flow (there's a dog leg turn after the mouth of the Harbor) but the impression I got from the homeowner is that nothing washes ashore by his home.
Cheers,
Bill
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Old 15-07-2014, 06:59   #54
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Re: Dinghy theft in PNW

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Hi Ex-Calif,
It was tied to a swimgrid cleat, at the starboard corner - about 6" above the water. No boarding required. The stuff was found about 1/2 nm upwind from where I was anchored. I'm not sure how the currents flow (there's a dog leg turn after the mouth of the Harbor) but the impression I got from the homeowner is that nothing washes ashore by his home.
Cheers,
Bill
So the prankster thought it would be "funny" to tow about 450+ pounds upwind 1/2 mile - He's hilarious!

Occam's razor - Stupidest prankster in the world or Big Foot?

Big foot is starting to sound logical - LOL...

This is certainly a mystery.
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Old 15-07-2014, 09:55   #55
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Re: Dinghy theft in PNW

I say it was a pretty nice prankster to take all three boats and leave them tied together after hauling them upwind. He probably swam to Reid Harbor from Roche as there isnt much out there right? Surprised he needed more exercise after swimming that far though....
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Old 15-07-2014, 10:59   #56
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Re: Dinghy theft in PNW

Reid Harbour has plenty of current and the tides have been larger than a ten foot swing. The breeze would have been low enough for the flood to assist... The island is remote, 50% State Park , the rest private. No place to haul away stolen goods. All paths are steep and rocky. If the thief couldn't start the dink, abandoning the effort would make the most sense. The current outside the harbour can be 5 knots this time of year. Just relating all this for those who have never been there. The most similar place outside the PNW is probably in the Canadian Maritimes.
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Old 15-07-2014, 16:07   #57
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Re: Dinghy theft in PNW

Hi, Idorakeeper,

Thanks for setting the scene.

If Bill says he's a bit OCD, (obsessive compulsive disorder), and he says he uses 3 locked half hitches when he ties them up. why not accept his word?

Jeez.

Ann
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Old 15-07-2014, 19:37   #58
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Re: Dinghy theft in PNW

Hi All,
First day back to work since the boat trip - just got back. I've done more mulling. There are 3 possibilities:
1) I screwed up (I discard this for a number of reasons)
2) it was an intended theft
3) it was an intended prank

#1 is out. None of you know me. I notice things. My staff know that I'll find each staple (or what-have-you) dropped on the office floor (and I'll pick it up and put it away). I do not miss anything. I put my wallet and keys in the same place when I get home ALWAYS. There's just some things I ALWAYS do. The dinghy was properly tied up and it did not get undone without someone else doing it. Why would it get loose during thieving hours (11:30 pm - 7:00am) and when it was most calm? Why would it turn up the day after without anyone seeing it - I can't imagine a boater ignoring an empty dinghy floating around?

If #2 or #3 there are a number of possibilities I didn't consider before. Perhaps the prank was simply to untie the dinghy and just move it away a few feet and let it drift (this would be against the prevailing winds but I'm not sure about current)? Towing anything slowly is no big deal whether it's 500 pounds or 5,000 pounds. It would have to be slow because the dinghy motor was down, it's an electric tilt and with the battery problem there was no way that engine was coming up manually. Perhaps while towing it slowly another boater (at night) was coming near and the thief got nervousness and let it all go.....

There are a huge number of possibilities. Again, I reject #1 and I originally posted as a warning to others because it was either #2 or #3.

Cheers,
Bill
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Old 15-07-2014, 19:53   #59
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Re: Dinghy theft in PNW

If you are convinced was a prank, have you interviewed your crew?

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Old 15-07-2014, 20:07   #60
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Re: Dinghy theft in PNW

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If you are convinced was a prank, have you interviewed your crew?

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My crew consists of my wife, two kids, and doggy. Doggy doesn't have opposable thumbs and there were no bite marks on the painter. He didn't do it. I didn't do it. Wife and kids said they didn't do it (I just asked). Their reactions were the same as mine when our stuff was gone: a mix of shock, anger and disappointment. Big Foot can't swim and he breathes heavy when exerting himself - so it wasn't him either. Santa only comes out once a year and he only does good stuff not bad. I do find it odd that in this day and age young kids sit on his knee - but that doesn't mean he took my stuff. Robin Hood died many years ago - but he could have done it - it's right up his alley. BTW, if it was an intended theft I don't believe it was anyone from Stuart Island. It would have to be some other opportunist not far away.
Cheers,
Bill
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