“We were traveling two knots. We were extremely safe.”
And then, the keel came off on something. Or something.
Another odd tale of tempestuous tall waves, or tales, or tails…
A couple, aged 24 and 26, bought a sailboat to live on and cruise the Gulf. Two days into the trip, that ended abruptly. The 28-footer (make undetermined – help me out here, peeps?), lay swamped on its side awaiting removal on pain of pissing off the Coast Guard., at a potential cost to exceed the total purchase price of the boat.
The couple said they’d sold everything to buy and improve the boat, and basically lost all that when they had to abandon ship. Their Walker Bay dinghy seems to have survived, so perhaps there was that. And the pug. Ah, the pug…
“Dangerous Currents?” I’m assuming that’s what the sign says. Did Danger Pug (a/k/a Remy) get them off the stricken vessel and into the Walker Bay Life Pod? Pugs can be pretty smart. I know one pug that plays his parents like a couple of instruments to get treats. I digress…
So, in the interests of being fair and reporting more fully, here’s what little we know…
- The couple, who seem modest and very nice, left their life in Colorado behind, and bought the boat in Alabama before bringing it to Florida. They lived aboard their new home, “Lagniappe,” at Tarpon Springs for about a year.
- They worked at a marina and also did boat deliveries.
- They departed for Key West to begin their journey.
- The next day, they struck something in John’s Pass and the boat apparently lost its keel and capsized.
- They began a GoFundMe campaign, and soon wound up with over $14,000, well exceeding their target of 10k.
- They say their plans are to salvage Lagniappe and get another boat.
The quote at the top is from the boyfriend – they were traveling at 2 knots. That’s indeed a safe speed. I’m really wondering how they could have separated what ought to have been a swing keel from that hull at that low speed. Even at some velocity, swing keels don’t tend to lock in the down position. They lift up, which absorbs the impact.
Also wondering about the boat and the purchase price. They say they were into that boat for 10k. In a generally depressed used boat market, with most boats under around 30 feet not holding much value, and this one being an awkwardly large trailerable, these numbers don’t add up for me. (I should note that after Irma, the market for used boats might have improved due to loss of inventory down south.) But, where did 5k go into that boat?
Some naysayers are predicting that this couple will pocket the money and not replace the boat. Others are taking them to task for getting into boating irresponsibly and therefore getting into trouble. I wasn’t there every step of the way; we have their statements as evidence and little else. Time will tell what will float to the surface to be revealed. Perhaps a new boat for them should be called… Pugnacious? Pugnacity? Danger Pug?
Here are links to a few articles and some video on the story so you can try to gauge for yourself…
Tampa Bay Times (winner of 12 Pulitzers, apparently)