Sailboat sank

Four Most Important Things to Remember!

  • BBTK:
  • Batteries
  • Bilge bumps
  • Through-hulls
  • Oh, yea and keel bolts if you have them

To us, the three most important items on a sailboat, or any boat for that matter, are the batteries, the bilge pumps, through-hulls, and keel bolts, although sailboats like ours have an encased keel.

Sailboat sank
Sad sight

We were recently getting ready for the day and finishing our morning coffee when First Mate called to me and told me to come out on the bow and have a look down the dock. To my surprise there was a sailboat tied up at the end that sank last night. A sad sight indeed.

That got us thinking about the causes for such a thing and how important it is to have a good set of batteries on board along with a good battery charger. Those would be number one when it comes to keeping your boat afloat. Next, and just as important as the first, is at least one working bilge pump. We have two. The third, and these things are not necessarily in order, is to check your through hulls. If you are leaving the boat it is a good idea to close them, but they should at least receive a good inspection from time to time. Keel bolts are another thing that we have seen sink a sailboat. One weekend we were aboard and heard a loud bang in the middle of the night. It turned out that one of the longer sailboats a few docks away had a keel bolt snap. Water rushed in and it sank, but was later floated and repaired.

Anyway, it was a sad sight. I’m not sure just what caused this and I will follow up at a later date when they float this sailboat. In the end, if the boat had good batteries and at least one, if not two bilge pumps, it might have had a fighting chance.

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About Captain Tom

Over 10 years sailing and over 3500 miles under our keel. Was an engineer (EE) for over 30 years, then after moving into management, decided that the corporate world was no longer for me. Ran my wife's law office for 15 years and recently retired. Now we live aboard and sail the California coast, soon to leave for the Sea of Cortez.
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