if only I’d known that…..

Writing on 26th July in sunny Camaret it’s now time to recount a problem that occurred last Sunday and wasn’t very funny at the time.

Andrew’s friends on Bryher, Martin and Fi,  had invited us to a seafood lunch using ingredients caught in their own pots. And to celebrate the (almost) completion of building works we went across from our mooring in Filibusters tender, armed with a couple of bottles of bubbly.

It was going to be a fine afternoon with lovely food and great company overlooking Hell Bay. We arrived ashore and tied the dinghy well up onto the slip as per photo.


It was indeed a fine afternoon with lovely food and great company overlooking Hell Bay. Replete we wandered back to the slip. The tide was at the top of springs.


Surely not, in one of the finest cruising spots, could someone have stolen it?

No evidence either of coming loose and floating off downwind.

So we asked around and someone in the nearby shop remarked that they had indeed seen a dinghy under the slip. Tim got a lift on a local boat and looked long the line of the slip:

…..he saw the transom peeking out from under the slip…..

…5 feet under water.

The rising tide coupled with gentle breeze has lifted the dinghy under the slip where it became stuck and subsequently submerged under the rising tide. This particular slip as you can see in the photo is supported on cylindrical pillars and otherwise open underneath.

Our plight had been noticed by the fantastic people at Bryher Boat Services and they loaned us a dinghy to get out to Filibuster for a period of contemplating the tide and donning swimming gear.

We waited for the tide to drop low enough to a) wade out and then b) extract the dinghy.

Well, to cut long story short we recovered the dinghy back to Filibuster for treatment. The final result was a 100% operational tender.

Valuable lessons learnt:

  • be aware of slips that can trap your dinghy
  • we are not alone: the other dinghy in the photo was even further submerged….


 How to get a submerged engine going

read on if you want to know how to fix a dinghy engine that has been under the water for several hours:

  1. wash everything in copious amounts of fresh water
  2. drain the fuel tank as it almost certainly contains sea water
  3. drain the carburetor
  4. take out the spark plug, dry and clean
  5. Tip the engine upside down and empty any water out of the spark plug hole
  6. Give the starter cord a good tug to expel any water inside the engine
  7. dry out electrical contacts with WD40. A good time to check for a spark is now
  8. Replace spark plug, fill tank with fresh fuel and let some run through the fuel system before replacing the carb drain
  9. reconnect everything
  10. turn on the fuel etc and try to start

If you have a good engine (Johnson 3.5 2 stroke in our case) you will be reward by it coughing into life.

Give it a good run. We found going to the pub was just about right….

1 Comment

  1. Liz says:

    What a bunch of cowboys!!!!!
    Why am I not surprised??!!

    All well at the Horseshoe tonight.