Heads Up To All Boat Owners

I never expected to see another boat sink at dock. But, there it is. The second time in a year that a boat, only a stones throw from us, ended up under water when we woke up in the morning.

Boat sinks at dock

Boat sinks at dock

This was a relatively new express cruiser that arrived in this marina just a couple days ago. She appeared to be in good shape and ran well.

I talked to the harbor master the day after the sinking and discovered what happened. The sea water cooling line to the genset popped off the cooling pump. No one knows how or why.

I have my suspicions. Either the hose was not properly installed and clamped or the clamp (there really should be two clamps on this line) failed. What else could it be?

Periodic Inspections

Here’s where periodic inspections by the boat owner really pay off. More than a couple times during my own inspections of Mai Tai I’ve found rusted hose clamps on cooling system hoses. In one case a clamp was completely rusted through on a sea water cooling line.

Not all clamps are equal. Just because a clamp is labeled “Stainless Steel” doesn’t mean that it can’t rust. There are different grades of stainless steel and different quality of clamps.

Anything attached to a through-hull should be fitted with marine grade clamps. And, any hose connected to a through-hull should be double clamped.

Inspections of all the hose clamps should be performed periodically.

Raising A Sunken Boat

It was very informative watching how the team went about raising this boat. The first day the dock master and owner showed up. Then the fire department, then fish and game. Then SeaTow.

The second day the professionals arrived.

Professional Divers

Professional Divers

Reading the sign on their truck it became apparent that there are enough sinking boats to warrant making a business out of it.

The Process Of Raising A Sunken Boat

It didn’t take the pros long to start the process of raising this boat. The first step was to contain any contamination. Then they set up their big pump. Then they sent the diver under the boat to set inflatable bags.

The pump was started, the bags inflated and the boat began to rise.

Raising Sunken Boat

Raising Sunken Boat

Once they had everything in place it wasn’t long before the boat began to rise out of the water.

Sunken Boat Raised

Sunken Boat Raised

By lunch time no one would have guessed that this nice looking boat spent a day and a night under water. Luckily it was mostly fresh water.

The efficiency of the professionals that performed this service was truly impressive.

Lessons To Be Learned

You hear it everywhere these days. Do your own due diligence. To me that means knowing your boat. When you have service performed by someone besides yourself, trust but verify.

Personally, I do most of the work on Mai Tai myself. But when I do have someone else help me out I make sure I know exactly what they did and then double check it. I have cruised with experienced sailors and cruisers and this is what they do, too.

What If You’re Buying A Used Boat

How do you know if you are buying a boat that has been damaged? Believe me a boat sinking is damaged. Even though you can’t see it after it’s dried out. At the very least, the entire electrical system has been compromised.

First, you can check with the insurance company to see if there have been any claims. Then I would check with a service, for a fee, like boathistoryreport.com to see if there has been any incidents reported. Including sinkings.

Read our first post about “Boat Sinks At Dock”