To Scuttle Or Not To Scuttle? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 44 Old 06-20-2010 Thread Starter
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To Scuttle Or Not To Scuttle?

In a number of threads in this and other forums, opinions have been raised in relation to abandoned boats at sea where the sailor has been rescued for one reason or another. What is the right thing to do? Do you scuttle the boat or not, the boat may be fine but the sailor sick or injured, the sailor may be fine and the boat is broken but still floating.

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post #2 of 44 Old 06-20-2010
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One thing's for sure - I wouldn't scuttle the boat while I was still on board :-)

But if you're leaving a boat out there on it's own, it's better to send it to the bottom.


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post #3 of 44 Old 06-20-2010
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Scuttle; but make sure if for some reason the rescue attempt fails you can re-board and pump it out. (Put the boarding ladder on the side for this reason also)

It would require a slow leak upstream of a valve that can be closed. If I had to do this I think I would put a cut in the sink drain below the waterline. I would not cut the hose completely off; that would allow water in too quickly. Then turn the bilge pump off. It might take several hours but the boat would eventually sink.

OTOH; MARPOL says disposing of PLASTIC anywhere in the ocean is illegal!!

Last edited by KeelHaulin; 06-20-2010 at 05:30 AM.
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post #4 of 44 Old 06-20-2010 Thread Starter
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But would your insurance company pay out?

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post #5 of 44 Old 06-20-2010
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good question. . If you have to scuttle a boat would an insurance company pay the claim?.. anyone have an experance with this?
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post #6 of 44 Old 06-20-2010
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Would they pay out if you didn't? If the boat is adrift; it's not a total loss...
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I could just imagine the insurance assessor “ Its about your claim for total loss..(smiling)...it says here you opened the through hulls...(frowning)...... and cut the hoses..(glaring)....you then turned off the bilge pumps .......(crying).....and then got into your life raft as the helo arrived....You have heard about the penalties for fraud?

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post #8 of 44 Old 06-20-2010
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good post SimonV
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post #9 of 44 Old 06-20-2010
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You're damned if you do and damned if you don't. If you scuttle, there's a risk that the insurance won't pay off, but if you don't, you might get sued by someone who hit it and damaged their boat or is injured or killed. If I thought I could come back and salvage it, I probably wouldn't scuttle it, but, if not, I'd probably scuttle it and hope I could persuade the insurance company that, by eliminating the boat as a hazard to navigation, I was also acting in the best interests of the insurance company, by preventing any further liability claims against it. If the facts support your actions as being prudent, the chances are fairly good that it'll work out, but there are no guarantees.
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post #10 of 44 Old 06-20-2010
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I'd point out that some boats just can't be scuttled easily. Most multihulls will float regardless of whether the seacocks are open or not.

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