I still hold the record
at Budget Marine
for the shortest ownership
of a dinghy and outboard
It started in the BVI, at Soper's Hole, where I woke up in the morning to find my dinghy line cleanly cut and no dinghy in sight. Several hours later, after filing a police report and finding out that my old Caribe dinghy wasn't the only one to go walkabout, I decided to sail to St. Martin to get a replacement.
Upon arrival I anchored outside the Dutch bridge, did my clearance and purchased a brand new 9.8 Tohatsu outboard and mid-sized dinghy. I asked about crime and they said it was bad, so I got some chain and, with a bit of gas from Budget Marine
, I dinghied back to the boat at about 5pm. I was quite tired, so all I did was tie the dinghy on and drape the chain to make it look secured. At midnight I awoke and went topsides to find the dinghy GONE
The next day I cadged a lift
and spent over a half day trying to get a police report done but the Dutch side officials weren't interested in taking a report and Budget Marine loaned me a runabout to let me search the outside and inside lagoon
areas to see if the dinghy might be abandoned somewhere. No luck.
I purchased yet another 9.8 outboard but no dinghy, sailed back to the BVI, went to Sunsail and bought their oldest, most beat-up but still functional and watertight dinghy and then never bothered locking it in the BVI; I beat up the engine
cover on the new outboard to make it look old and abused.
In St. Martin, Marigot, at the ferry
I learned to also run the chain through the gas tank, since one night my engine
cut out halfway back to the boat and it took me a bit to realize that the tank had gone AWOL and I learned that rowing a Caribe dinghy in winds is no fun.
Conclusion - Lock it or lose it