Shipwreck on a Alki Beach in Seattle – Video
I heard from the West Seattle Blog that there was a beached sailboat stuck on the beach near my house, so I rushed down there to check it out! It’s not normal for boats to get stuck or get wrecked in this area since Puget Sound is a “sound” which means generally protected waters.
The owner had just gotten the sail boat for free from Shilshole Marina in Ballard and was towing it back to Tacoma, about 40 miles away with another unsafe boat. He only got about 7 miles when the trimaran sailboat started to take on water and begin sinking. His plan was to get both boats to the beach before the sailboat sunk. This particular beach is right under this large condo complex, that sticks out over the water on pilings. I went down to talk to him and felt really bad about his situation, he sounded pretty clueless about boats. His plan was to live on the boat for free, anchoring it for 2 weeks then moving 5 miles as the law states you must.
I guess he didn’t know boats are rarely free or cheap. He actually complained to me that registering this free boat cost “a lot of money” and that driving back and forth to Tacoma cost $20 per trip! Wow. I doubt he could ever afford to live for “free” on any “free” boat. After he abandons this wreck on our beach I’m sure tax payers will be paying $thousands to clean up his mess. I was hoping the guys from the “Shipwreck Men” show on the Discovery Channel were going to show up any minute.
Take a close look at the Bayliner tow boat (above), he must have got that for free too. It didn’t have a floor! Bayliner’s are known for being one of the most cheaply made boats around, (Washington made also), especially old ones made in Arlington. I used to have one and it was OK. They are cheap and fit that market but his was another level of unsafe! It had the floor removed and all the wood pieces on the gunwales that give the boat longitude strength. It was just a THIN fiberglass shell about 1/4″ thick, and it was towing a large sailboat! No wonder the storm had broken it’s back. The man was lucking he didn’t drown in this boat. No flotation foam means it would go straight to the bottom when the towing forces caused it to fold up like a pop can!
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