Friday, March 21, 2008

Don't Try This at Home

Here is one that I bet most of you haven't tried. The story on this picture is that I was on my way up to Malibu (about 10 miles from MDR) to pick up a boat for a customer at the end of the season. He anchors his boat off the beach in front of his house. He couldn't be there, but I figured I could handle a 23' I/O by myself. This was a flat rate, scheduled tow. On my way up there, VA dispatch called and said they had a member disabled up near Malibu in a 16' SeaDoo Jetboat - could I tow that back to MDR? Sure, why not. I figure a tandem tow with two little boats is no big deal, and I can make tandem profits.

When I get up to the SeaDoo, the guy has put his boat on the lifeguard mooring, with another 10' SeaDoo jetboat tied behind the 16' Jetboat; and he has swum ashore to get his trailer. On the phone, he tells me the smaller boat got swamped while he tried to tow the larger one, and they both need to go to MDR. So, I gather up the 2 SeaDoo Jetboats, then head over to my original target, the 23' I/O.

With some careful maneuvering and favorable currents, I managed to get the entire mess all stretched out on two towlines. On the way home, I nervously looked back every few minutes to be sure all three little ducks were still following. About halfway to the harbor, I looked back and the smallest jetboat was gone! By now I was out of the lee and the chop was kicking up bigger than the photo. I turned around and found the AWOL boat about 1 mile back. Getting that hooked back up was a nightmere. Somehow, I got all 4 boats (3 casualites and 1 towboat) back to Marina Del Rey without futher ado.

So, a triple tow, all 3 unattended, and me with no deckhand.