On a trip in 2005 from Providenciales, Turks & Caicos back to the Chesapeake, Willow
suffered a knockdown east of Cape Hatterass in the Gulf Stream (35° 41'N, 75° 03'W). The
particulars aren't that important, but the damage was pervasive. The cabin shipped
seawater, which rushed up the inside port hull as the boat laid on its ear. Everything
seemed to work fine for the rest of the trip home. Once back at our slip, I took a hose to
the inside of the boat to wash off all the salt. Little by little, systems in the boat
started to fail from corrosion issues. The following is a list of items that failed either
because of corrosion caused by seawater, the knockdown itself, or is at least close enough
in coincidence to warrant me to lump it all together under a single cause.
- Fuse blocks and electrical terminals in the engine compartment are corroded and need
replacing. This corrosion has played havoc with battery charging and monitoring.
- Fixed-mount VHF channel selector switch corroded incapacitating the radio.
- Battery charger would not automatically turn off and boiled the batteries.
- Port settee locker had no limber holes. It held about two gallons of seawater, which
corroded about half of my spare parts in that locker.
- The drawers on the port side, in the saloon and in the head, swelled and were difficult
- Four dozen soda cans on the starboard side broke open, flooding the lockers with sugary
soda. We did not find this right away, not until the fruit flies brought it to our
attention. Again, some of the lockers did not have limber holes.
- The aft port lifeline snapped at the gate, dropping the gate in the water. At the metal
break, it was corroded, which may have happened from age, but the coincidence is too much
- Anchor light failed.
- Tore leach out of jib.
- Port cockpit locker filled with water, flooded
fishing supplies, and rusted them away.
As with most things, it could have been infinitely worse!