This is what my Cheoy Lee
Frisco Flyer looked like after a North wind
blew all the water
out of the channels and fresh water marina and out in to the open ocean durng a low tide. My keel
stuck in the mud of the slip (shallow Louisiana marina). The volunteer fire dept called me at work and said that they would supply a pump. I get down there and used an inflatable
raft, tied it low on the transom/rudder and inflated it. The mud still held the boat, but we got the cockpit
coamings above water somehow and the 2" pump from the FD got the water out of the cabin
and in short order she bouyed to the surface. That was in 1993, these days I would use lift
bags and have less panic.
A few months ago I towed a wood sailboat to shore that had sunk to its cabin
roof and floating in 50' of water. It was so neutraly bouyant that when I stood on the cabin roof it started sinking. Nobody new the owner so I was acting on good conscience. I tied the boat to a pile (dolphin) and waited for low tide. At 1am I floated out to the boat as it layed all the way over as the tide dropped...(oops), the line I tied it to the pile with had snapped off the brass winch
. The weight of the water in the boat was too much and it strained to outboard
until the winch
broke and she laid over. Actually when I saw that it was laying with the keel
toward shore I kinda panicked. But, at 1am and by myself I had to follow thru and get the boat floated before tide returned. As I pondered the detailed of the predicament I noticed the tide had changed and started trickling into the boat through a 3" chimney cutout in the port deck
. I immediately stuffed a sponge in the hole and it stopped the water flow. I had a portable 2000 Honda generator
in my boat with a 1/4HP submersible pump that I through into the boat and started pumping water. It worked, over the next 3 hours I watched as the tide gained on the boat and pretty son the boat started gaining on the tide. At 6am the boat was floating perfect and only about 6' water remained ni her and there was no obvious sign of why she sank. Today she still sits on here mooring
but the owner was contacted via the PD and I got a case of wine for my efforts.
For anyone reading this, if your boat sinks but is still partly floating, get some floatation under it, lift
bags, lots of 5 gallon buckets, rafts, tarps wont work unless you have a very good way of securing them at the bottom and on all points making a round parachute. Remember that the outward pressure on your air containers is fighting against the weight of the water it is holding back, so the air will find the path of least resistance and turn your theoretical 'lift bag tarp' into a mishapen collection of material that is dumping air as fast as you can pump it in. Rent an air compressor or use a scuba
tank to fill your floatation. Get the cockpit
coamings dry so water is not passing across the top edge and plug
all holes that are still under water. Then rent a 2"-3" trash pump and pump ou the water. i like 3" becasue it moves alot fast. If there is a place that water is getting in then it may compensate.