Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Lake Minnetonka (near Minneapolis, Minnesota)
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 17
I never thought I would need a tow. After all, I own a sailboat. If the sails don't work I can use the motor; if the motor doesn't work I can use the sails.
Well, I got hit with a double whammy on Saturday. Tacking through a channel in 25k wind when my kick-up rudder pivot bolt broke. I noticed the rudder floating behind the boat, attached by the pull-up line. The boat rounded up immediately and was quickly blown towards the lee shore, only 100' away.
What to do? Start the motor, of course. I reached over the transom to lower the outboard bracket. In my haste, I didn't notice that my knee was on the fuel line. When I lowered the motor, the fuel line ripped right out of it, destroying the fitting.
Ok, no motor, no rudder, what's left? Drop the anchor. Too late. I was only 20' from shore by then, and the anchor didn't bite. Fortunately, the bottom was soft mud and weeds, so no harm came to the boat. She stopped with her nose to the shore, just as if I had planned it that way. The centerboard held us in place, but the 25k wind was doing its best to drive us further up the beach.
I called TowboatUS on the radio but got no answer. So I called the BoatUS 800 number on my cell phone and they dispatched a towboat, which arrived a half hour later. They tossed me a line and slowly pulled me back as a raised the centerboard. Took about 5 minutes and cost $118. Since I had no rudder and no motor, I also needed them to tow me 2 miles back to my mooring: another $120 CASH. BoatUS paid $50 of that under my basic membership.
I upgraded my membership today for unlimited towing (inland, fresh water) for $34. If I hadn't been so cheap and had this before this weekend I would not have had to pay anything for the tow. Live and learn.
Chiquita - 1974 Macgregor Venture of Newport 23
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