Grounding and Sinking of Recreational Vessel Silver Lining

Grounding and Sinking of Recreational Vessel Silver Lining

Full report :






Half a million dollars in damage.

Using visual points on land to determine position is not dead reckoning by any definition I’ve seen.

Note to self: review study material on navigation by watching dinghy at end of towline.


1st chuckle of the day Lee. Will check later after my tee time today.

At least in theory, looking at a trailed dinghy, to estimate distances, is not a bad idea.
However, a 100-foot towline is ridiculous; from the flying bridge, one cannot see more than good eyes see perfectly without the dinghy. Less than 1000 feet cannot help…

The problem is in his (lost!) chart:
He either had a local chart and did not look at it, or he had an approach chart, or he had a touristic roadmap (Hey, look at this blinking thing out there… it is called ‘Two Sisters’…).

With a whole family on board, many children climbing around, the distractions are countless…

Corrected Edit: Just to give an idea just what the Silver Lining looks like…

The dinghy idea would work fine with maybe a 1000 foot towline, all the other irate boats dodging it not withstanding.I have to give the guy credit for not just staring at his phone, but obviously something got lost in translation there somehow. A bearing off part of the bridge would work fine and be pretty easy.
Also just going right at the bridge, turning port, and going over to the channel that way would work fine with even less mental effort and less risk.
Back in the pre-GPS days I suspect a lot of us had these little routines of “when that tower bears 90 and the tree is lined up with the flagpole” and so on. When I used to commute to work in my ski-boat I had a lot of those things mentally mapped out for coming home at night.

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1000 ft towline?

Yeah, it about 700 feet from one end of the shoal to the other, so maybe shorten it to 800 feet LOL. Obviously not a practical solution.

Ask any pilot transits of shore objects is a time honoured way of navigation in daylight when you are constantly navigating over the same body of water. I used the method to navigate over the Manukau bar as an exempt master of a feeder container ship with daylight entry only. Doing the same after 7 years absence - no way.
The wreck of HMS Orpheus at the entrance of this harbour resulted in the greatest loss of life in New Zealand history.


That’d be my guess here as well. I suspect when he ran there the first time he took a closer look at the chart. Likely he had too much confidence in his recall and misremembered what the depths were like around the marker.


Misremembred is a term a certain very good MLB pitcher used more than once at a hearing.

Or the marker got moved in his absence.

Not sure where it would move to since it is affixed to the highest pinnacle of the rock.

He was unprepared, untrained and should have spent a few hundred bucks on an el cheapo plotter for the flying bridge (or use his phone). Especially if he’s living on the boat full time and all his earthly possessions (can’t say for sure) are aboard. Just say’n.


He may have let the grandkids distract him from paying closer attention to navigation. I saw a weekend warrior totally blow a docking evolution by answering a ringing cell phone. Ignore the damn thing and return the call when you’re done maneuvering.


I agree wrt to the phone or plotter. Nothing wrong with navigating by eye on nice days but near nav hazards better to cross-check with another method. Cheapest most reliable second method is GPS. Laying out track lines is probably too formal but a quick look at a plotter to verify is a good idea.

Careless is as careless does… earlier in my career of sailing rec boats around I made (and got away with!) some truly stupendous feats of carelessness - a couple of which really struck home and changed my behavior (seeing a barnacle-covered ledge pass inches below your keel in crystal-clear 50 degree F water can have that effect). This guy was remembering how easy it was back when he did it last, so it should be easy now - no need for charts or nav electronics (I bet he used to hold forth at serious volume levels at the YC about how he didn’t believe in “all those new-fangled gadgets”)

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