Saturday, April 5, 2014

The Muskie effect, the putrefaction continues

I know it's not pretty but this is real life. More accurately the end of this boat's life. The stages are simple. Abandonment, denudation of the vessel's usable parts, organic and inorganic decay caused by both biological and chemical breakdown, followed later by maybe a wood chipper or some other form of size reduction technology. Hmmm, a tub grinder would provide some very dramatic film footage. Eventually in either scenario internment in the local landfill cemetery is a likely outcome.

The only remnants of this vessel's existence will be in a box of old yellowed registration and tax documents stored in the basement of some government building, and even these will finally join the boat in Davy Jones locker at some point in the future.

So lets take a look at the current status. We have passed through the abandonment stage, and as you can see by the disheveled condition of the main salon everything of even dubious value has been combed through.

I haven't see anybody actually do this, but I suspect it's all done in the dead of night by local denizens hoping to find that sea chest full of gold doubloons, or at least something worthy of converting into a six pack of Pabst. My opinion is that the denudation phase is largely done.

We are are now firmly into the biological and chemical breakdown phase. Black mold is everywhere. Plywood paneling is starting to swell and delaminate from the rain that pours through the open hatches and companion ways. A fetid miasma emanates from the cabin while roaches and flies now abound.

One of the things that surprised me on the last visit was no standing water is in the boat. With all of the rain we've had I expected some. I haven't actually climbed inside this blighted hulk, but I can see the floor boards.

It didn't take rocket scientist to to figure this out. On the outside there is a growing red stain located around the area of the engine compartment.

I don't know what the darker stains are. I didn't want to become a human petri dish and wisely decided not to touch it. Maybe a through hull fitting has succumbed to nature and this keeps the foul water from dramatically accumulating inside the boat. It ends up in the bay instead.

It's been lying fallow here for over two months now. I'm still operating on the theory it was anchored in the recent mooring field expansion and the city wanted it to go away. 

I'm also theorizing that this is likely a case of it was easy to get it out of the water, but perhaps way more expensive, and difficult to make it go away than the city parents initially thought it would be. I still haven't gotten a response yet to my inquiries, but I will rattle the chains much louder this upcoming week. I'm going to continue following the progress of this vessel as it makes its way to a final resting place of eternal peace. 


  1. If that's a teak companionway ladder, I would salvage it, Bill. The rest looks severely done.

  2. Rhys, I think that there is some value in the teak, and the reason it's still there is the value doesn't easily translate to a six pack of barley pops. If I had had my tyvek suit, rubber gloves and disinfectant I might have looked a little closer at it.

    1. I feel better knowing that online photos don't convey odours. I find there's enough nice teak in abandoned boats to supply a significant percentage of refitters...if you know where to find it.

  3. Rhys, this version of eau de bateau wasn't a good seller. I think it permeated everything on the vessel for all time.


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