SailNet Community banner
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,305 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
One has to wonder what set of circumstances and decisions lead to this one.

"The Coast Guard rescued a 57 year-old man who was reportedly suffering mild hypothermia symptoms, after his sailboat was beset by severe weather approximately three miles southwest of Wolf Trap Light in the Chesapeake Bay around noon on Friday."

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25,129 Posts
Guessing no plan B. It says the vessel was disabled, so probably got caught in conditions they didn't expect to be in for long. 25-30 kt winds and cold temperatures will bring about hypothermia quickly. Glad they are safe.

What does the USCG do with the disabled vessel in the Chessy? They are generally abandon at sea, but I'm guess not left as a hazard in the Bay. Commerical tow salvage or do they haul it back?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,305 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Guessing no plan B. It says the vessel was disabled, so probably got caught in conditions they didn't expect to be in for long. 25-30 kt winds and cold temperatures will bring about hypothermia quickly. Glad they are safe.

What does the USCG do with the disabled vessel in the Chessy? They are generally abandon at sea, but I'm guess not left as a hazard in the Bay. Commerical tow salvage or do they haul it back?
Based on another post I saw, it sounded like the pounding headed into those winds stirred up sediment in the tank that clogged the filter, shutting the engine down. Don't know why turning south and running for Mobjack Bay wasn't an option, (or staying at the dock with a Gale forecast and near freezing temps). Turning south and running for Mobjack Bay would be the best option under sail, but it would take a while to get there and the motion with those seas on the stern would be unpleasant. I know beating into that kind of wind means painfully slow progress and quickly depletes crew energy, even without the cold temps, so I expect when the engine quit, he was close to spent.

As far as the boat, abandoning a vessel in the Chessy is a pretty rare event. I can't think of another instance, except in the case of fire and in those cases, yes the boat gets towed in after the fire is out. Since the USCG did not say they towed the boat in, I assume Towboat or Sea Tow went out and got it. The area is "deep" by Chesapeake standards, so I doubt the boat could be successfully anchored. If the vessel was adrift It would probably be a salvage claim, so maybe a lucrative payoff from the insurance. I believe there is a Tow Boat US location at Gwynn's Island which would be the closest.

As you probably know, Wolf Trap light is few hours from any sheltered creek. Not a place most of us Chessy sailors would plan to be in a forecast Gale.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,530 Posts
I saw this on the Boat Watch FB page. An eagle eyed poster noticed that the anchor was set.

So I am thinking they just set the anchor and let the boat stay until a tow service can get it or run someone out with spare filters to bring it back.

Wild speculation in my part says the guy was cold and miserable, under dressed and not prepared. Maybe some other medical conditions, out of necessary meds, God only knows.

The other thing I not is that the CG was alerted by the guys sister. Ahe may have pushed a oanic button, and then when the CG got there, well why not take a ride home?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
263 Posts
. The area is "deep" by Chesapeake standards, so I doubt the boat could be successfully anchored.
I hope to be sailing some in that area some day soon. I wanted to test my map reading skills. So went to activecaptain and found what I thought was Wolf Trap Light and three miles southwest of it looks me to less be than 30'. Is that deep by Chesapeake standards? or I'm looking at the wrong place?

TIA
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,305 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I hope to be sailing some in that area some day soon. I wanted to test my map reading skills. So went to activecaptain and found what I thought was Wolf Trap Light and three miles southwest of it looks me to less be than 30'. Is that deep by Chesapeake standards? or I'm looking at the wrong place?

TIA
Yes, by Chesapeake standards 30' is relatively deep. Much of the bay is 1/2 that or less and most anchorages are 10' or less, so anchoring in that depth is not something most have any experience with. I'm betting that if he was anchored with nothing left in the locker, he was at best 5 to 1 for scope in heavy weather and zero protection.
 

·
Advanced beginner
Joined
·
642 Posts
Man, I've sailed across the Bay in conditions like that in June with a crew of 3 and it was an exhausting affair, no one out but us and the Coast Guard rescuing an overturned power boat, can't imagine heading out alone in March in such seas. If he was hours from an anchorage at 9:30 am he might have been out all night too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
263 Posts
Yes, by Chesapeake standards 30' is relatively deep. Much of the bay is 1/2 that or less and most anchorages are 10' or less, so anchoring in that depth is not something most have any experience with. I'm betting that if he was anchored with nothing left in the locker, he was at best 5 to 1 for scope in heavy weather and zero protection.
Good to know, Thanks for the response!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
235 Posts
Glad that fella was rescued successfully, that must have been quite a scare when the engine sputtered to a stop and wouldn't start. There's never enough details!

Regarding the Bay, here is some info I found that was interesting about the Chesapeake Bay regarding depths.
The Chesapeake Bay is about 200 miles (300 km) long. At its narrowest point, the Bay is 2.8 miles (4.5 km) wide. At its widest point, just south of the mouth of the Potomac River, it is 30 miles (50 km) wide. The Bay and its tributaries contain an astounding 11,684 miles (18,804 km) of shoreline.

Much of the Bay is quite shallow; more than 24 percent of the Bay is less than 6 feet (2 m) deep. The average depth is 21 feet (7 m). The deepest channel in the Bay is 175 feet (53 m).
Source: Chesapeake Bay Facts
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,305 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Glad that fella was rescued successfully, that must have been quite a scare when the engine sputtered to a stop and wouldn't start. There's never enough details!

Regarding the Bay, here is some info I found that was interesting about the Chesapeake Bay regarding depths.

Source: Chesapeake Bay Facts
I've
Man, I've sailed across the Bay in conditions like that in June with a crew of 3 and it was an exhausting affair, no one out but us and the Coast Guard rescuing an overturned power boat, can't imagine heading out alone in March in such seas. If he was hours from an anchorage at 9:30 am he might have been out all night too.
I once crossed from Onancock to Deltaville departing with morning SCA's forecast to end by mid day. Instead of dying down though they continued to build to a near gale. I was towing our dink, which flipped and lost our seat bag and contents and despite shortened sails and my best efforts the genny flogged in a nice rip when we went to furl it. I was concerned the whole day that the pounding would stir up the tanks and clog the filter, so I have some idea what the fellow was dealing with mentally and in honesty was lucky to avoid a similar headline. The relief I felt when we enter the relative shelter of the Rappahannock was palpable. Like you was glad to have 3 strong crew with me to handle the boat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,530 Posts
Typically you have a Racor or similar filter supplied by the boat mfg and then another filter that comes with the engine.

On most boats thatbis it, unless the owner does something different. Then the sky is the likit with there being all kinds of systems. I have equipped my boats with day tanks, you pump through a filter into the day tank, then through a second filter to the engine which has a third filter. Can still get some crud but this catches most of it and usually you can find the problem before you suffer a shut down.
 
  • Like
Reactions: aeaston

·
Registered
Joined
·
25,129 Posts
As hpeer says, the Racor is most common. Some models are easier to change filters than other. The 500 models seem to be most common and are simple. The trick is to mount them in an accessible place, if you can. To be really extravagant, you can have two of these, with switch over plumbing. One clogs and you just turn a valve to run off the other, until you clear it. These filter bodies are expensive, not to mention you need the room for two, or everyone would do it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,530 Posts
But also carry spares. When you get “stuff” in your diesel you can go through filters fast. One or two inshore but off shore? I probably have a dozen.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top