Sunday, February 21, 2021

Death of a Sailboat (don't worry--not ours)

Sachiyo looking like she's seen better days.
But this was the best we ever saw her.

This is a post we wrote awhile back but never published. We're still enjoying the Maldives. Yesterday Matt and the boys swam with dolphins (well, 'with' might be overstating things since the dolphins were just going about their business, but they didn't swim away).
We spent over four months with a view of this steel sailboat from our spot on the opposite wall in Galle Harbor. Apparently, she sailed from India to Sri Lanka years ago (the stories range from 5 to 10 years). 

She didn't have an inboard engine, but tried to leave Sri Lanka with a small outboard.  After the engine died and the boat was damaged in a storm, it was towed back to the port and tied up. The owner went away and the years went by.

Broken mast from all the banging the day
before and dangerously low in the water

After banging against the wall without fenders for years and suffering from total neglect, the boat had missing port lights and rusted out holes on the deck.  Every few weeks the cheap dock lines would chafe through and she would pinwheel forward, usually bouncing off the work boat parked just in from of her. The coach house roof had holes and the boat  would would take on water and gradually sink lower in the sea. It had no bilge pumps, so the local agent would organize regular pump-outs every few weeks to keep her floating. 
Heavier and more frequent rains from the southwest monsoon season had her sinking lower and lower. It's uncertain if the violent surge from the day before cracked something that started a leak, or if it was just the accumulated rains, but one morning she was riding so low in the water that we alerted the local agent. Unfortunately, the pump out didn't make it in time.

This guy went on the boat to bail, but his
added weight only made it worse...
Uh, oh...

Glug, glug, glug. After a few days of work by divers, the boat was winched back towards the shore so it could be lifted out by a crane.

Up she comes...

Her resting place for a few months

Some of her remains after 'disassembly'


  1. Looks like a Colvin Gazelle. Good yachts, plenty have circumnavigated. All these old yachts floating around are really becoming an issue here in Australia. Here in Queensland they have allocated 20 million for the "War on wrecks"

    1. Possibly the design, but it was apparently home built by an Indian physician.


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