Salvage After Storm

People wonder, “Can you salvage a boat after a storm?” The threat of Hurricane Irma loomed large and led to a bevy of oil tankers showing up in the York River. We went sailing on a bright and beautiful day with two delightful couples. A key element was wondering about salvage after storm.

Let’s go sail the York River, where couples enjoy a serene three hours. Find happiness and health outdoors near Williamsburg with exciting fun on an anniversary or birthday. Great memories! Learn navigation to become a sailor. See birds, dolphins, maybe a Navy submarine. Bring your dog.

Julio Pons and his wife took their friends Steve and Bridgette Perry out so they could appreciate Julio’s passion for sailing. He put life back on an even keel with a romantic experience for a birthday or anniversary. 3-hour sailboat cruise as a semi-private yachting charter lets you exhale and relax as you enjoy comfort, stability & speed. Semi-private yachting charter.

Young couple.“I’m in the US Coast Guard Reserve and I have my captain’s license, but I’m about to lose it for lack of time on the water. Years ago when we lived in Florida, I salvaged a 27-foot Hunter that sunk in a storm at a marina. The man who owned it won the lottery and then died suddenly.”

Free for the Taking

I took a moment to process that. “The marina owner said I could have the boat if I could raise it up. He even waived the slip fees. All I had to do was pay $600 for the survey to gain the title. I got it up and tried to fix the 2 horsepower diesel, but it was ruined.

Sunk“Then I found a used 10 horsepower Yanmar, and the guy who helped install it was a former football player with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I went off to get the hoist to install the engine. When I got back, he held it up in his arms and smiled to say, ‘Where do you want it?’ It weighed 250 pounds.”

Let’s go on a romantic sail. Sit up on the bow for privacy. First-timers or skilled mariners can learn to sail fast on a cruise Near Williamsburg VA. They get to sail a modern 32-foot sailboat in a unique setting of wildlife and Spring foliage. Professional photos for free. Enjoy a romantic getaway. Sail the warm breezes of Spring and Summer. A unique and intriguing event, as well as an extraordinary anniversary idea.

Renew my license.Julio switched gears. “I have to renew my Coast Guard license because the five-year period is up, but I’ll have to get waivers for the lost time. That’s an extension to gain time on the water. I work in Search & Rescue for the Coast Guard and travel all over the world, but I didn’t get enough time on the water while in the Reserves.”

That helped explain the sailboat. “I went down to the marina every week to run the engine but didn’t get out much. After three years Verizon reassigned me to Texas. By now the marina owner had fallen on hard times. I turned over the boat to him to help pay the slip fees for all those years. It only seemed fair.”

Up on the bow.Whitecaps appeared as the wind picked up. It seemed fair to let Julio run the helm all day. He loved it and quickly adapted from a tiller on his H-27. Eventually he took Gerrly up on the bow for some privacy time. We sailed fore and aft among five barges anchored outside the main shipping channel. They were a half-mile apart to allow plenty of swing room in a storm. 

Didn't teach me to read.We got close enough to one of the tugs that lay snug in a barge. I gave Juilio’s friend Steve the binoculars to read the name of the tug on the stern. He said it was Bluffin. That sounded esoteric for a tug, but okay. The thing about tugboats is that they will answer to “tugboat” only once. When they come back on radio, they include their name and expect you to get it right as you use it in response. It’s tugboat protocol, albeit an oxymoron term.

I radioed on Channel 16, “Tugboat Bluffin anchored in the York River, I am  the sailboat Deadline on your aft quarter.” No response, so I repeated the call but this time on Channel 13. I called twice. Eventually he responded with one word. “BLUEFIN,” he said coldly. I turned to Steve and glared in mock seriousness. He shrugged his shoulders and said, “Hey, I went to school in Texas, and they didn’t teach me to read.”

Tug with barge.I thought the barges might contain gasoline that they picked up at the York Oil Terminal through the Colonial Pipeline. Bluefin reported instead that the barges were en route from New York to New Orleans when they ducked into the Chesapeake Bay to ride out Irma. “We have ballast, not gas,” he concluded. You definitely want ballast in a storm, though not so much that it would compromise the vessel’s stability.

The next day with another group, I contacted Bluefin again to ask, “If the ballast is water, I hope it doesn’t get mixed later with oil.” This time the captain was more cheerful since I didn’t call him Bluffin.

Oil tanker.He replied, “The water is stored in horizontal tanks that lie below the oil storage. The water also flows to tanks on each side of the barge.” I asked if that leaves much room for oil. “We’ve got capacity for 70,000 barrels,” he replied. I wished him well riding out the hurricane, which by now was forecast to veer west and bypass Virginia altogether. He wished me well too. We sailed up the York River in perfect 12 mph winds. 

The best Williamsburg boat tour offers safe “social distance sailing” daily for up to 6 people. It’s an extraordinary experience for couples. Leave your worries behind. Enjoy the thrill of moving with the wind without a care in the world.

Virginia Law

Virginia Game & Fisheries has a formal procedure to acquire ownership of an abandoned boat. It begins to qualify if left unattended on private property for more than 10 days without the consent of the property owner. At this point that does not include moorings offshore, but it does include marina yards. Next step: “In order to apply for title to an abandoned watercraft, it must have been abandoned on the applicant’s property or water immediately adjacent to his/her property for a period of 60 days.” The 60 days follows the initial 10 days. It’s a wonder more marina yards don’t take advantage of the law, but it’s also a hassle to dispose of the wrecks.

Let’s Go Salvage after the Storm

Scroll down Rates and pick a day for a sailboat charter. Scroll down Reviews on Trip Advisor. Go back to the Home Page of Williamsburg Charter Sails.   

Take one of 6 sailing adventures near the Chesapeake Bay for your best vacation excursion: Adventure, Event, Appreciation, History, Lessons, Boat Buying. Sit in the catbird seat or up on the bow. Women enjoy sailing today more than ever, and particularly a romantic cruise. Couples get to enjoy a romantic getaway as they sit up on the bow for privacy, and Let’s Go Sail provides professional photos for free. First-time or skilled mariners are welcome to sail a modern-32-foot sailboat in a unique setting of wildlife and Fall foliage or Spring bloom. It makes for an extraordinary anniversary idea. 

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