Restless Boat That Got Away Will Do So Again

By JOHN M. DERBY
Times Founding Publisher
January 31, 2019

I was playing sun ball on the beach when Kathy, my wife, comes running and shouted: “Your boat is getting away.”
I looked up and out toward the water, and sure enough, the boat was 500 feet from shore, and on its way out to sea without me.
If this had been the first time, it would be one thing, however, my boats have taken off by themselves so many times that I can not recall them all.
And this is not because I am a bad sailor. It is just the boats don’t want to stay put.
In this case, the anchor which I had dug in deep in the sand, had been dislodged when the boat spun around and wrapped its rope and chain around the anchor so it was no longer effective.
Not a few weeks ago, the boat lifted the entire mooring block off the bottom of the ocean when an unusual high tide took all the slack out of the rope and chain, and ran off with it.
Fortunately, we found the boat in a deserted beach about a mile away relaxing on shore. The boat just does not like to stand still, or I should say, float still.
We have had dozens of problems keeping the boat tied up. The salt water in Mexico is so hot (and I mean corrosive) that it can eat through a 3/8th inch of galvanized chain in two years, maybe quicker if there are a lot of sharp rocks or wave action in the area.
One year, I brought down 200 feet of double galvanized chain and had it on a 50 pound anchor. I got a call from Mexico that my boat was found 35 miles away and that part of the keel had been damaged.
When I checked things out, salt water had backed into the cooling system on the motor and had ruined the motor. My brother and I had to sail the boat across the Sea of Cortez without a motor.
It has gotten so bad that I do not trust chain anymore for mooring purposes. I use heavy rope and I add to it every year just for the good of it. This is rope one inch thick and it takes a terrible beating as the wave action and wind blows the boat from one side to the other.
The winds will be to over 50 mph, and in the case of a hurricane, we have had winds of over 100 mph. Two other boats were blown on shore in recent hurricanes, but that has not happened to me.
Our area has had four hurricanes hit it in the past 10 years so they can be a major problem, and for some reason have gotten worse in the 20 years that we have lived in Mexico.
Now I have gotten used to most problems, but there are always some surprises, and everyone who owns beach front property is on the lookout for wayward boats.
Mine in particular.


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