The Boatist

Sailboat Ownership, Translation Work and Tales of Minor Adventure

Retire early, be passionate, don't worry, die poor

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Unlucky sailor

Old sailboats are like a history book, as I discovered today.

When I arrived at the boat this morning with laptop in hand, I saw that the rescued Bowman yawl had been moved to the transient dock.

I worked until noon, had lunch and then went over for a look.
Bowman yawl
A classic yawl from Dartmouth
It's a windy sinister looking day, just the right atmosphere for a mystery boat.

I was told that the owner left the hospital in Lisbon and flew home, or maybe somewhere else.

According to Ryker, the lifeboat crew, which is in charge of the boat, came down to check on it yesterday.

Water was sloshing over the floor sole and the boat stank, probably from the soup of water, clothing, food and other items all fermenting in a closed boat for 1 week.

Abandoned sailboat
Clothing, sleeping bag and other stuff was just left lying in the cockpit.
And here is the missing cowl that probably triggered this sad chain of events.
Plugging a cowl hole
Jacket stuffed (not very well) into the ventilation hole.
It makes me sad so see such a nice boat with so much history in this dismal condition.

Transient dock in Peniche
Dock crowded with boats waiting for a weather window. Got a feeling Sea Brigand will be with us for some time to come.

Broken windvane
Notice the ripped sail and broken windvane.
Did a little research and discovered that the sailor is Canadian and had another close call last year when 50+ knot winds unfurled his jib while at anchor in Dartmouth Harbour and his anchor began dragging. I mean, how unlucky can you get.

I don't know your name, but if you ever read this blog my hat goes off to you. How many 67-year old boat owners have the guts to single-handedly sail an ocean on a 46 foot boat.

Rescue video

Portuguese newspaper report about the rescue

English newspaper report about previous rescue during storm at anchor

I found another interesting tidbit on a delivery skipper's CV which states that he delivered the 46' yawl Sea Brigand from Lymington to Barbados in 1983.


  1. Indeed a lovely boat. Sad story though. You'd think someone would have the decency to pump the water out. The guys' gonna have a heart attack when he get back

    1. I think they eventually did pump the water out. At least the water line seems a bit higher now.

  2. That was my fathers boat. I was tasked with helping him move it from Portugal to England, another sad story, I am afraid. My dad had been sailing for decades, being an ex HMS officer, and found out on this run he had parkinsons. The boat was restored, yup, I did some of that, too, moved to England and sold.

    1. I lied, it is for sale here. for those interested :)

  3. I've been following this boat for awhile now. I was friends with the prior US owner (who did the delivery to Barbados with the hired captain), and then brought the boat up to New England. Spent several summers sailing and taking care of her, including Annapolis and St. John's to Martha's Vineyard deliveries in the 80's.