A cautionary tale to be sure.
Thanks for posting your account
I am curious as to the response of the folks from the other boat to your stress and costs. It doesn't sound like they had an anchor alarm on and had not setup their ground tackle well enough to prevent a drag in modest conditions. Were they prepared or did they offer to compensate you for your aggravation, damage and costs? It's not really a legal question as much as a question of decency and doing the right thing...
Greetings from Victoria, BC. We hope to be following in your wake in a few weeks.
NT 37 Tugaway
---Reply posted by Chuck on 6/29/2018
One reason I carrried a float and fifty feet of 3/8 line was to attach to my anchor and mark its location for me and other boaters. Had you done so finding the anchor would’ve been easier. But less “learned” sailors will always drag, too little scope and drop across your rode
---Reply posted by Evan on 5/17/2018
Thank you for these details Dougal.
This is quite helpful & probably worth reflecting on in advance of an an unlikely event like this...
I do not suppose it is appropriate to share my opinion of the other boater except to say that they clearly didn’t appreciate or refused to acknowledge the degree of stress, hassle and expense they caused you by their incompetence.
I applaud your generosity.
Have a great trip!
---Reply posted by Dougal Gardyne on 5/11/2018
How to approach the people that dragged into us was definitely something that we put some thought into. I wasn’t sure we’d post all the details here on this public blog but I don’t think there is any harm in doing so at this point.
The night that the the incident happened a sherrif’s deputy met us at the customs dock in Friday Harbor to take a report but he told us that we were pretty much on our own in dealing with the people on the other boat since neither one of our vessels were “underway”. Not sure that I agree with that assessment but that is the information we were given.
I had the Washington state registration numbers from the other boat which I thought might be useful if we had to make an insurance claim but we have a high deductible policy and trying to get payment from their insurance company seemed like it could into a time suck and ultimately a losing battle.
We went back out to the anchorage in a couple of dinghys the next day to assess make an attempt (ultimately futile) to grapple the lost ground tackle with small anchors.
I ran circles around the other boat and the owner eventually came out. He was pleasant enough and we exchanged cards and contact info but seemed surprised when I told him that we had lost all of our gear thinking he had cleared the tangle from his boat before we pulled off. I told him that we would have to pay to recover it or buy new ground tackle, after which offered to split the cost of the diver with me but only had $170 on board and gave that to me. The cost to recover the gear ended up being $600 so that money didn’t even cover half but it was better than nothing.
I can secure my guess my actions while the event was transpiring but in hindsight if we didn’t drop all of our gear while backing away from the other boat, things could have ended up a lot worse. We could have been dragged into the rocks or the UW dock, where the other boat ended up before finally getting underway to re-anchor. The section of rope securing the chain to the inside of our anchor locker actually parted under the strain from pulling off of the other boat so we were definitely still attached when the chain dropped.
The cosmetic damage to our boat and cost to recover is relatively small compared to what could have happened if we’d been dragged aground or continued to bang against the other boat in the wind.