First 235 • 1987
The End of Shindig
Salamander Bay, NSW, Australia
Shindig was destroyed in a massive dust storm here on Wednesday last week
(September 16, 2009). It's been a heartbreaking experience. The east coast
of Australia was hit by storm force winds; the average wind speed here
at Port Stephens was over 100klm/hr at midday. Salamander Bay, where Shindig
was moored, had 1 meter waves breaking on the beach.
Unfortunately a large ferro-cement ketch dragged its mooring onto Shindig sometime late in the afternoon. I received a phone call from a yacht mate to advise me the boats were entangled and Shindig had lost her rig. Their moorings were entangled by the time I arrived and Shindig was sitting to windward under the bow of the ketch. Unfortunately, the ketch had a large bowsprit which was systematically destroying my beautiful little boat as it pounded the decks from bow to stern.
There is nothing more heartbreaking than standing on a beach watching your boat being destroyed and not being able to do anything about it. The seas were too rough to get out to her.
The photo sequence says it all:
I had a sleepless night hoping that she would still be afloat next morning and was on the beach at daybreak. F235s are tough. She was still floating! Winds were still around 25kts. My mate from the local boatyard picked me up in the work boat and we headed out to inspect the damage.
It was a mess.
We secured the rigging onboard (which was a bit hairy in the conditions) and I motored Shindig 5 miles down the bay to the marina to await the insurance assessors.
Here's some close ups of the damage to the decks. The cabin is shattered, all fittings on the port side were literally ripped form the boat, including the winches!
The black ketch isn't insured and he apparently has a 'home made' mooring. Water Police and NSW Waterways have started an investigation. One conservative estimate for repairs to the hull and decks was AUS$40,000: AUS$10,000 for a new rig; electronics, deck hardware and sails not included!
Shindig was officially written-off by the assessor yesterday afternoon (Friday). It's a tribute to Beneteau that the hull is largely intact and hadn't leaked a drop of water. Although we haven't inspected the hull underwater where the mooring lines were rubbing.
It's a sad way to leave the F235 community. As I said an absolutely heartbreaking experience after many hours hard work to restore Shindig from her original poor condition to being a 'new', beautiful little yacht. Thanks to everyone for their help and advice over the past few years. Australia is now down to one F235, I'm going to negotiate with the insurance company on Monday to try to ensure Logs has first option on the keel, rudder and any other spares he may be able to salvage from her.