Another Reason We Have An Aluminum Boat

We were out walking on the foreshore here in Nova Scotia a few days ago and came across this remnant of what I’m guessing was a commercial wharf. Clearly it had been in the water for quite a while before it fetched up here in a winter blow.

Of course I can’t guarantee that Morgan’s Cloud would survive a collision with it, but I’m pretty confident that it would not sink us, or perhaps even do that much damage. I say that based on our own collision with a large growler (baby ice berg) some years ago and our sister-ship’s eight knot meeting with a sleeping whale. The former did no damage at all, and the latter deformed the hull plate only about 1/4” over a 1 sq ft area. (The whale swam away too, I’m glad to report.)

Then there was the time that I hit the corner of a steel floating dock in Scotland when I misjudged the effect of a 40 knot gust at the wrong moment during a docking. The crash was horrendous, making me fear that the boat would start sinking immediately. However, the impact only left a deflection about as big as that left by the whale. In both cases the dents were just filled with epoxy putty and painted over.

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John was born and brought up in Bermuda and started sailing as a child, racing locally and offshore before turning to cruising. He has sailed over 100,000 miles, most of it on his McCurdy & Rhodes 56, Morgan's Cloud, including eight ocean races to Bermuda, culminating in winning his class twice in the Newport Bermuda Race. He has skippered a series of voyages in the North Atlantic, the majority of which have been to the high latitudes. John has been helping others go voyaging by sharing his experience for twenty years, first in yachting magazines and, for the last 12 years, as co-editor/publisher of AAC.

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