Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Don’t Do What I Did!

February 1, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

In 2012, our boat was moored in Northport Harbor.  While many vessels were already hauled prior to the end of October, our boat was still at its mooring in this very protected north shore harbor, as I was hoping for a few more weeks of boating.

As satellite readings came in and weather maps converged, it became abundantly clear that Hurricane Sandy was going to affect Long Island in a significant way by the coming Monday.  So I went to the boat on Saturday (although it was windy, the weather that day seemed remarkably nice) with a plan was to remove all loose items, put on extra lines to hold down the dingy, make sure the mooring lines were in great shape and ensure the covers were secure.   I secured the boat the best I could, and as the launch picked me up and pulled away, I was wistful, yet confident.

The day after the super storm battered L.I., I returned to Northport to check on the boat.  This was quite an experience, as fallen trees and downed power lines made it a dangerous and, at times, treacherous trip.   As expected, launch service was not operating so soon after the storm, so I brought a pair of binoculars with me. From the dock, I could clearly see the boat was still at its mooring, the covers were intact, and the dingy was still there.  The boat survived the storm of the century!

We know that many people and businesses didn’t fare well.  Lives were lost, homes destroyed, and our region’s infrastructure faltered.  In the days following Sandy, we were unable to get Boating Times Long Island’s operation back up, as our office was damaged and without power.  And if all that wasn’t enough, the forecasters were now predicting that a nasty nor’easter was coming our way!

The predictions were again accurate, but my attention was solely focused on the magazine, since I knew my boat was secure, or so I thought.  The day after the nor’easter, I received a phone call from the marina:  “Barry, I’ve got some bad news about your boat.  It broke free of the mooring and became beached just north of the Centerport Yacht Club.”  No damage assessment was offered— just advice to get to the beach immediately.

So I got in the car and headed where directed.  I found the boat resting almost perfectly erect with the hull nestled into the uppermost portion of the beach.  The boat ended up behind someone’s home, and that person was kind enough to attach an anchor to the boat and up the beach towards his home to prevent it from floating away during the next high tide.

I discovered some damage to the covers, a hatch, the windlass, and the dinette area where the hatch blew open. The hull seemed relatively unscathed (thankfully, there were no other boats in the path my boat took to get to the beach).   Given the way the boat was laying, damage to the props, shafts, and rudders seemed inevitable.

Seeing how the boat was perched, I couldn’t quite comprehend how they were going to extricate it from the beach.  However, several days later I received a call from the marina that they were able to get the boat off the beach. I was once again advised to come down to my boat. There it was once again, floating in the water.  Miraculously, no water was leaking into the bilge!

I spotted the remnants of the mooring lines, which wore through about a foot from the chocks.  Apparently, the two lines rubbed up against the anchor stock until they frayed.  Though I hope to never have to prepare for another intensive one-two weather wallop, future severe storm preparation will definitely include removing the anchor if it is stored off the bow of the boat.

Note:  I never found out who placed the anchor on my boat while beached. I hope you’re reading this and will accept my sincerest appreciation.  I also want to thank Dave from Seymour’s Marina and Mitch from Tow Boat US for their efforts.

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