Speaking of wood boats and leaking, I bought a wood boat but it wasn’t leaking… it had sunk. Let’s start from the beginning. I found this beautiful 55′ 1957 Chris Connie (translate-Big Wood Boat). I fell in love with it which was my first mistake. It Was all mahogany and teak and it was the grandest boat I had seen. The master stateroom was redone to look like an old sailing vessel and it had a king-size bed. There were 2 more staterooms and the galley was the largest I had seen and everything was polished.
The day before we were supposed to close, I decided to take one last look and that’s when I saw my dream was on the bottom. Instead of walking away, I figured I could get a deal. Everyone including the broker (which is how I met Sorry Dog) said don’t buy it but I was smitten. So I bought it for 10 cents on the dollar and set about rebuilding it. I won’t go into too much detail but I did find out that if a boat sinks, all of the wiring is destroyed and mold and mildew decides to come visit. Well, 1 year and $150,000 dollars later, I had a fully restored 1957 Chris Connie. Of course, that’s when I found the next fun thing about wood boats, you have to work on them everyday. That was fun for the first year but I finally decided that I would rather use a boat than work on it. If you get a chance, you should own a wood boat at least once. Send us your dumbest boating decision and we may publish it!!!
If you are taking on water and the bilge pumps are not keeping up, the first thing to do is have someone notify the coast guard of your situation and that you are going to try the following 3 tricks. Then find the closest marina with a travel lift and let them know you are taking on water and to have their straps down so they can take you out of the water as soon as you get there. Ok, here goes: open the hatch to the shower sump pump. Take the hose from the shower that is used to suck-up the water and push it down into the bilge. Wedge the float switch up until the pump starts and it will pump the water overboard.
First thing to do in any situation is don’t panic, you still have another pump! Open the hatch to the fresh water tank pump. Open all of the sink faucets. Cut the hose from the water tank pump to the sink and lay it in the bilge. The pump will pump the water from the bilge and drain it overboard. In most cases, this will keep you even until you can get somewhere safe.
Water is still coming in and the pumps you have going are still not keeping up. Open the hatch to the engine room and get down on your knees (no, you’re not praying yet). Make sure the engine is still running and the shaft is turning (albeit under water). Hang upside down in the hatch, you are going to get wet from the turning engine so ignore this. Take a hacksaw and cut the water intake hose for the engine and let it drop into the bilge. Make sure you Turn off the sea cock for that engine. The engine will take the water to cool it from the bilge and spit it back out to sea. If you are still taking on more water then do the same for the second engine. When you get to the marina and are going to go into the travel lift, make sure to keep the engine revving even when it is in neutral. You are almost finished but this is not the time to make a mistake. We have never sank using this idea because the engines pump lots of water.