That Sinking Feeling...

Discussion in 'MEMBER FISHING REPORTS (BECOME A FISHING LEGEND)' started by EricM, May 11, 2008.

  1. EricM

    EricM Active Member

    Harrison TN
    Eric Maurer
    Uh, I think I found my boat leak.

    Alternate titles:
    Gone in (another) 60 seconds
    Voyage to the bottom of the lake
    Sinking of the Titan-eric

    A friend (Josh) has been trying to get together with me for a long time to get out on the Chickamauga, but instead he, his wife, and I had (another) EricM ADVENTURE today, and it involved being IN the water, not on it.

    I got to Skull Island near Chattanooga, TN early and ran out to net some shad, and since Josh was running late I stayed out and fished for about 2 hours, caught one 8 lb cat and a 10 lb drum (this is the fishing report part of the story), and talked with locals Cheez and Spurhunter, WLG and Monstercat, Cathooker, and BOC guide Rsimms of Scenic City Fishing. I ran back to the ramp to pick up Josh & his wife and off we went! Got out to the nuke plant area and as we slowed we suddenly were taking on water like you wouldn't believe. Full throttle and a quick turn back toward the ramp, and now the water is ankle deep and coming up fast. I dodged into the ski club ramp nearby because there was NO way we were going to get back to Skull Island. One hundred yards to go and I'm sitting in water to my waist and the boat is wallowing like a pig and porpoising like mad. I barely had enough forward momentum to ram the bow up onto the ramp and destroy the prop when the boat settled onto the lower unit with the stern a foot under the water and everything floating out the back. Thank you God! We didn't have another 30 seconds before completely sinking.

    I stood there scratching my butt and wondering just how I would ever salvage this disaster. Called Rsimms for advice and he gave the boat the last rites over the phone. We got a ride from a homeowner back to our cars (thank you, thank you good samaritan) and I decided to back the trailer up to the boat and push the trailer under the boat by backing up and winching at the same time. Good idea except the boat was almost sideways to the ramp and there was a steep drop-off on the edge of the ramp. A couple of guys from the ski club/community, Josh, and I pushed and pulled and wiggled and squirmed the boat partway onto the trailer, tied the bow down, and pulled it partway out to get the transom out of the water and start pumping with the bilge pump. Once we got enough water out, I straightened out and backed the boat into the water again to get it the rest of the way onto the trailer.

    As horrible as the day was, I was soooo lucky to have not lost the boat and motor that I'm heading out to buy some lottery tickets.

    After emptying everything out of the boat to dry out (I had thought to save the cell phone, the camera, my wallet, and the handheld GPS - told you I was lucky), I did an inspection to figure out what had happened. It turned out that the top shell of the boat had been delaminating from the hull in a back corner under the bumper rail, and with the extra weight of 3 people and a full bait tank, the seam was low enough to be below the water line on that side, so when it finally really opened up the water simply poured in when I slowed down.

    Now for the hard part; repair this hull (probably not a good idea, it's 24 years old and I use a boat hard), buy a used hull and transfer the motor, etc. (maybe OK), or consider a new rig ($$$$$$). OMG, I could wind up needing a j.....o.....b (sob out loud)!

    Sorry, I completely forgot how much fun pictures would have been (for all of you!), I never thought to take any! (Lucky again!)
  2. biga

    biga Well-Known Member

    you must be glass half full type of guy if you call that luck eric..:smile2: hope you can get back on the water soon... what kind of boat [was it] :big_smile::big_smile:

  3. CountryHart

    CountryHart New Member

    Close call Erik. Glad ya'll made it to the bank, it could have been alot worse.
  4. Arkansascatman777

    Arkansascatman777 New Member

    That's not good Eric, but at least you made it back to a ramp and nobody was injured. Definately time for a new boat.
  5. Pennsylvaniacatchaser

    Pennsylvaniacatchaser Well-Known Member

    Sarver, Pa
    Glad everyone was safe Eric! :big_smile: Man that had to be one scary ride back to shore! :eek:oooh: Good luck in your upcoming decision on what to do with the boat!
  6. SkipEye

    SkipEye Well-Known Member

    Winfield, MO
    Hope you were wearing your lifejackets Dad!:wink:
  7. Big Dav

    Big Dav New Member

    Wow Eric, I guess I would have to agree with you on the luck part. I am not saying good or bad luck but if it were my kind of luck the motor would have died at the same time. I would have been swimming from the middle of the lake.:crazy::eek:oooh::0a20::0a20::0a20:
    I am glade you and your guest made it back to a ramp and all were safe. Some luck is better than no luck I guess. Hope you get back on the water soon.

  8. stumpjumper

    stumpjumper New Member

    Dallas, GA
    I am really sorry to hear that Eric. Glad everyone was safe though.
  9. fish

    fish Active Member

    Eric, how much are you going to knock off the price of your boat when you sell it? LOL Sorry, I couldn't help myself. You have to be the luckiest fellow I know of. We are sure glad you and your friends didn't go down with the ship. Man I can see a new Carolina Skiff in your future, Cheez or Doc might loan you theirs.
  10. massa_jorge

    massa_jorge New Member

    man i'm glad you got back safe eric! that situation, as bad as it was, could have been a lot worse.
  11. MRR

    MRR New Member

    At least you all made it back safe. Too many people don't. Like Skipeye said hope you an d the others was wearing life jackets.Boats can be replaced human lifes can't. Better buy those lottery tickets.
  12. bw69r

    bw69r Well-Known Member

    West Newton, PA
    glad to hear all of you are safe. sorry to hear about your boat Eric. hope everything works out for ya.