This is so embarasing.... I sunk my boat :(

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by SWG, Sep 29, 2006.

  1. SWG
    Joined: Sep 2006
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    Location: USA

    SWG Junior Member

    Well, at first I was feeling very accomplished.... for a boat building newbie. I was looking to build a boat that was less then $100 and something I could take apart to fit in the back of my pickup truck.

    And you guys might laugh at this (in fact, I do to), but I went to Target and got two 50-gallon crates, usually used for household storage. I got two and attached them together by drilling holes in two places on the top of each and pushing metal bars though both sides of one crate and then into other. (I used two and attached them so it wouldn’t capsize when in water).

    So then I tested it, I went out there and actually got it to float!!! I prattled my way out into the lake and felt pretty accomplished.... even though it probably looked like I was floating in two trashcans attached to each other, LOL. It was also hard to paddle and get moving, but I slowly inched my way around.

    On my way back I noticed I was getting some water into the create I was floating in. I didn’t think much of it, but as more came in I started to realize that I needed to be careful. But because this thing is pretty small, my body was getting tiered of being cramped in one tight position, and as I tried to move my body more water started coming in.

    A family was watching me (along with some other random people on the trails around this lake.). They yelled out "are you ok?". It was obvious my boat (if you would even call it that) was tilted, and just barely managing to float now. And as I turned my head and said "Yeah, don’t worry about me"


    I swear man, it was weird. I dunno, feeling of a boat just disappearing from right out under ya and leaving you there floating in the lake (I had my life jacket on), was a weird one. ...and also pretty embarrassing.

    I had to swim back to shore. I got on the grass, turned and looked around.... the boat was out of site (completely sunk).

    ....standing there not knowing what to do,,,, and feeling a little retarded,,, I just picked up my shoes (which I left on the grass), and left.

    On my way out as I am outside the park I here, WwweeeeeEEEeeewwwwwww. A white van with flashing lights and sirens passes by me. Not an ambulance,,, some type of emergency vehicle I never seen before.... and the thought that went through my head was.... "errr, was that for me". Of course I was in my vehicle at the time so no one around knew who I was on the road, and it just passed by me and headed towards the direction of the lake.

    Wow,,, i feel so embarrassed. I didn’t even know what to do. Was just going home the right thing? There were people there, and that one family was closest to me. And they saw that I got back to shore safely... though they didn’t approach me (nor talk to me). But,,, bleh,,, I dunno. I kinda feel embarrassed enough going out there in these two cheep $21 tubs and sinking it. Mind you, I would of felt great and cool if all went well,,, but seeing as things didn’t,,, I dunno, I just didn’t want to show my face, so I kinda ran off.

    Anyways, I just wanted to share my story with someone. And also send a warning to all other newbies out there to ALWAYS were your life jacket when testing a newly built boat. It was… kind of a life saver for me.
    1 person likes this.
  2. Figgy
    Joined: Feb 2006
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    Location: Boot Key

    Figgy Senior Member

    Great story!

    Yeah, I probably would have done the same thing. Not the best idea to just leave it sunk, but with the whole family watching, I cant say I blame you.
    There are plans out there for cheap row boats that fit in your bed. I built a Bolger Nymph a few years ago, cheap and easy. My Home Depot boat! You could probably build one for under eighty bucks(w/out sail setup), and it rows nice too.
  3. westlawn5554X
    Joined: Aug 2006
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    Location: home lazy n crazy

    westlawn5554X STUDENT

    well at least your're alive and earn more money for new plastic boat this time...:(
  4. skyl4rk
    Joined: Aug 2006
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    Location: Lake Michigan

    skyl4rk Junior Member

    Just another successful experiment. Now you know what not to do next time.
  5. timgoz
    Joined: Jul 2006
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    Location: SW PA USA

    timgoz Senior Member

    Can you really call that a 'boat'?

    Good points:

    You were wearing a lifevest.

    You posses a longing to be afloat.

    The 'boat' (floating object:), was so hard to propel that you were close in when it sank out from under you.

    There is now more fish cover. Might want to cast a line in the vicinity.

    Bad points:

    Money & time spent by the emergency responders. Hopefully they spoke to the family and got informed as to the situation.

    I once had a Sunfish style sailboat sink from under me approx. 30 from the dock. Almost made it. Thankfully I was able to tow the submerged boat in by the painter.

    The plywood boat spoken of above would be a good idea. With it your time afloat could be measured in years not minutes.

    "A man that does not fear the Sea will soon be drowned, for he will be going out on a day that he should not.
    But we, we fear the Sea, and we only be drowned now and again."

    Saying from the Aran Islands

    Take care & be careful.

  6. safewalrus
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    Location: Cornwall, England

    safewalrus Ancient Marriner

    Guess that white van probably had a couple of guys with a strait jacket in it - so you did the best thing:eek:

    But you lived to tell the tale, and of cause you have learned from it! A lot don't!! :cool:

    welcome to the world of small boat madness the worst disease you'll every catch (the best too!):p

    the next one will be better, and more fun - good luck and enjoy it! :D Friend:D
  7. fiberglass jack
    Joined: Dec 2005
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    fiberglass jack Senior Member

    next thing will be someone telling a story how they smashed there boat into two 50 gallon tubs just like the ones u left behind, those things submerg a few feet below water, so remember that the next time you go water sking and end up in a wheelchair funny story i will aggree but be a man and get your boat out
  8. longliner45
    Joined: Dec 2005
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    Location: Ohio

    longliner45 Senior Member

    yes I agree: also someone should tell the oil companys to remove the pilings from the rabbit riggs in louisianna ,,,,,big pipes just below the surface,,,talk about hairy!
  9. boltonprofiles
    Joined: Oct 2005
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    Location: Liverpool - United Kingdom

    boltonprofiles Senior Member

    Hello SWG,

    I won't preach about the dangers of what you did (we have probably all done it) and the story was a good laugh but I think if all else fails even an anonymous 'phone call to the lake authorities telling them of the submerged danger would be in order.
    Why don't you try buidling a small kit.

    1 person likes this.
  10. Poida
    Joined: Apr 2006
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    Location: Australia

    Poida Senior Member

    I have looked at all the mathematical permitations (if that is a real word) and have worked out the reason why your boat sunk.

    It was the extra weight of your life jacket. Next time don't wear one.
    1 person likes this.
  11. Sander Rave
    Joined: May 2005
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    Location: Amsterdam; The Netherlands

    Sander Rave Senior Member

    Maybe it is too much to say you'd better try a different design?

    First think that comes to mind is a cat build out of PVC rain pipes, glued covers at the end, two bars, cross linked by cables and an old chair without the legs to support your bud.
    Pretty safe and cheap, and I think it will move at a fair speed.

    Take a fender on a fair piece of rope attached to your cat. Just in case you accidentally bought the type of glue to attach wallpaper... Helps you finding back your pretty baby.
  12. kach22i
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    Location: Michigan

    kach22i Architect

    Sounds like you had fun.

    Where are the pictures?
  13. SWG
    Joined: Sep 2006
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    SWG Junior Member

    LOL, AHAHAHA. I'll keep that in mind.
    Though, actully, now that I bought another one of the same 50gallon containers, I think it was the holes in the handels. I didnt think much of them at the time, but then as I took another look at them again, I relised that even though the lable says the contains can hold 50 gallons (each), the holes in the handels falsifys that. If I was to do this again, I think I'm going to seal the holes first.

    Hu? Wont you need a lot of PVC pipe for that? How long (and thickness) of pipe were you thinking of?
  14. Willallison
    Joined: Oct 2001
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    Willallison Senior Member

    Aww - c'mon guys, without that kind of inventive spirit we'd all still be landlocked. He's just a few thousand years behind the rest of us that's all!:D

  15. safewalrus
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    Location: Cornwall, England

    safewalrus Ancient Marriner

    Well .......he is American after all! so guess your right Will! Maybe next time?
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