Followup: Trimaran still on the rocks along Beach Drive; owner reported to be seeking help

(UPDATE: Saturday coverage is here)

While it looked like all might be well with the trimaran that’s in its third day of trouble off Beach Drive – it was afloat when Beach Drive Blog added new photos this morning – apparently not. We’ve just heard from Jessica, who happened onto the scene, unaware this has been going on a while (here’s BDB’s first report from Wednesday, and our update from yesterday), and e-mailed the photo above with a request for help on behalf of the boat’s owner. She says, “He needs to get his boat patched and fixed so he can possibly leave with the 8 am high tide!! ANYBODY WHO CAN HELP HIM would be ssssoooo NICE!! He’s stranded next to the apartments that go out on the water. His race is against TIME/ TIDE. He needs help with whatever anyone is able to help him with!!!! … Someone please help him!!” She says he told her the Coast Guard couldn’t help and just referred him to a boat-towing service which charges $1,000 he doesn’t have, and that the battery on his smaller boat is now dead.

27 Replies to "Followup: Trimaran still on the rocks along Beach Drive; owner reported to be seeking help"

  • West Seattle Hipster February 15, 2013 (5:01 pm)

    Way to help out Coast Guard!!!

  • Jeff February 15, 2013 (5:42 pm)

    Sounds like he was terribly unprepared for the reality of moving the boat. I hope his wages get garnished to cover the cost the state incurs in dealing with it when he inevitably flakes out.

  • Gene February 15, 2013 (5:50 pm)

    What would you have the CG do?? They’re supposed to help patch his boat? Maybe you could help WS Hipster instead of criticizing.

  • Please February 15, 2013 (6:13 pm)

    It’s not the Coast Guard (taxpayers) responsibility to bail out a derelict boat owner.

  • West Seattle Hipster February 15, 2013 (6:56 pm)

    I am sure that the “derelict” boat owner has paid taxes before, so it would be fitting if the Coast Guard helped him out in his time of need.

    I am glad that some of the judegmental citizens of West Seattle haven’t needed help before when things went wrong.

    I guess they must have much more important tasks at hand.

    • WSB February 15, 2013 (6:59 pm)

      We stopped by about an hour and a half ago. The owner was nowhere in sight. We did encounter Beach Drive Blog’s intrepid “Scupper,” who was headed by and said he’d charged the dead battery as well as loaning some other materials. As for the Coast Guard – their chopper flew overhead but too high for it to be specifically looking at this – they seemed to be beelining downtown. If this drags on much longer, we’ll see what shakes out in terms of accountability. Currently the boat is on private tidelands/beach.

  • sonoma February 15, 2013 (7:30 pm)

    Wow, it’s like West Seattle’s own Carnival Triumph. Without the sewage problem, the stranded passengers, the power outage, etc., etc.

  • SomeGuy February 15, 2013 (8:14 pm)


  • BeachDriveBoy February 15, 2013 (8:20 pm)

    This is a classic example of something ‘falling through the cracks’. USCG is about saving lives at sea, and dealing with hazards to navigation. They have a tight budget, so this is not their problem because the vessel and crew are not in peril, and they’re not a threat to navigation. The onus is on the skipper/owner to get his vessel off the beach, but it’s pretty clear the owner has neither a pot to piss in nor a window to throw it out of, and we all know you can’t get blood from a stone. Similarly, SPD, KCo, and City of Seattle really don’t have a dog in this fight now either.
    If there were any breakdown, I’d say it was with the public agency that sold this wreck. It would’ve been nice if they required the purchaser certify that they had a place to take it, and had the means (a Boat USA membership, or equivalent) to deal with any issues that may have arose during the towing. My guess is that this was a boat ‘ditched’ at Shilshole, and all they wanted was for it to be gone.
    My guess is the purchaser was hoping for a cheap liveaboard, and really had no maritime skills or knowledge to understand what ownership of this derelict entailed. Unfortunately, my guess is that the owner will probably walk away from this, and the impacted property owner will be saddled with the bill to get this hulk off their beach.

  • cake February 15, 2013 (8:48 pm)

    Relax folks (aka Jeff and Please). This entire scenario is about how the real world should work. Someone got in over his head, the forces contrived against him, and now he’s a little screwed. Ideally, some local person would go down there with a vat of bondo or whatever, help patch that business up and away he goes. Look at it this way: This guy is a scrapper (not in the metal meth-head sense of the word), found a free boat and “endeavored” to get it closer to where his people are. Couches and all. I admire this guy! So what if he didn’t google how best to bring a lame catamaran down to Tacoma?

  • eaglewatch February 15, 2013 (9:34 pm)

    I have been past this boat numerous times at Shilshole and it never had an impound sticker on it, so if it left the marina with a new owner it was a private transaction, probably for $1. Still, it represents a hazard to navigation if they get it refloated or a pollution/safety hazard if it sits there and rots. The guy who owns it is clueless and it will probably be another one of those projects the city or state will pay to dispose of, and will never collect a dime from the owner who will probably go back to living out of his car.

  • bs February 15, 2013 (10:46 pm)

    cake is exactly right in regards to the Coast Guard. Not so much in the other “judgments”. Give the guy a chance to get his vessel repaired and to continue on his journey. Or better yet, quit your whining, pull yourself away from your TV, and go give him a hand. After all, that’s what a “community” is supposed to be about.

    @WSB – Any method you may be aware of in contacting the Skipper?

    • WSB February 15, 2013 (11:12 pm)

      Bs, we have yet to speak to him ourselves. Somehow we’ve missed him on our three or four trips to the scene. As noted, though, the Beach Drive Blog folks have made contact, and were trying to help – you might e-mail them or leave a comment. Or head down to the beach in the morning and see what’s up.

  • Please February 15, 2013 (11:35 pm)

    Cake- you can’t have it and eat it too. The “captain” has done the community a disservice. He doesn’t have the $1k to tow thr vessel properly. It’s like driving without insurance-irresponsible.

  • Eilene Hutchinson February 16, 2013 (8:51 am)

    Sounds like “Scupper” is a nice fellow, lending a hand and doing something concrete to help in this situation. Hope someone gives him a good hand whenever he may need it, also.

    • WSB February 16, 2013 (9:03 am)

      We have an update from neighbor Michelle this morning (I will add her photo shortly) – now both boats seem to be sinking, with the tide in, anyway, she says, and they’ve heard that the Department of Natural Resources might help. Stand by for the addition … TR

  • Surfchick February 16, 2013 (9:35 am)

    The Coast Guard = military. Their missions are vast but primarily focused on preservation of life and national security. Would you call the Army if your gun was broken?

  • Rhonda Porter February 16, 2013 (9:38 am)

    Scupper is a nice fellow :) he’s my hubby… on his way to the “Skipper” right now to bring him some warm socks.

    I feel bad for the “Skipper” – it looks like he’s probably lost just about everything. It’s probably a good thing he was not successful with his boat repairs last night because he would have probably sank further out and gone down with both boats. We have been adding updates to our post as well.

  • Jessica February 16, 2013 (10:50 am)

    I was the one who sent in the recent photos of the stranded guy/ catamaran! I had no idea this had been going on for days! I told him I would do my best in getting the word out for help. I brought him a shovel, food, silicone patching stuff, a blow up floaty ( so he had somewhere dry to sleep, juice, etc.
    I didn’t have much to help him with, but it made him estatic that I was at least “willing” to help him!! That is all he wanted and needed, for someone to “CARE!!”
    I hope everyone on here who is putting this guy down never needs help, Bcuz U got it coming!! Karma is a nasty true reality!!!!
    This man has nothing and yet he is giving everything he has to help “the poor!!”
    It blows me away on how “un-neighborly” some of U R!! Just like the ignorant folks that are yelling at him to “get off the beach!”
    DUH, what do U think he has been trying to do?? If more of U would “try” to “help” instead of just “watching & complaining” maybe he would be on his way by now!! Don’t ya think?
    Anyone bad mouthing this guy and his situation are extremely “IGNORANT!!!!”

    • WSB February 16, 2013 (11:03 am)

      New update, a boat is there to tow away assist the trimaran. Got sidetracked before I could post Michelle’s earlier photo of swamped boat. Adding this update separately.

  • OT February 16, 2013 (11:31 am)

    “Ideally, some local person would go down there with a vat of bondo or whatever, help patch that business up and away he goes”

    You obviously haven’t looked at that boat. The entire thing is soft rotted plywood with a thin layer of fiberglass as a shell. It’s probably been cracking and rupturing more just by it’s own weight from sitting on the beach. No one wants to get involved b/c of the liability. Whose to blame when the area surrounding “the patch” breaks away. They should just remove all hazardous material, drag it out, let it sink and consider it a new dive attraction. If he REALLY wants to save it he could just apply for a $150 Boat U.S. membership w/unlimited vessel assist, and MAYBE they’d do it. My guess is they’d tell him he was on his own too.

    The guy got himself into this situation, anyone who “admires” him has issues they need to deal with. Picture this: You’re standing next to a guy at the zoo while looking down on the lions on display. The guy says “hey, those lions sure are cool, I think i’ll go get a closer look.” You would probably think, “THIS GUY IS NUTS!” and try to discourage him from doing so because you know what COULD happen. The guy convinces you he’s a lion tamer and can handle it. He hops the fence and gets attacked (as expected). Now everyone has has to stand by and watch in horror because one idiot followed through with a stupid idea and WE get stuck with trying to remedy the situation without compromising our own well-being.

    Whoever sold him the boat (shilshole or previous owner) is NOT to blame. The guy got himself into this situation because he didn’t prepare, and lacked the knowledge to go about things correctly. WE ARE ADULTS. I’m all for “community” and helping people out, I do so all the time. But when it gets to a point of “babysitting” your fellow man, it’s going too far. Freedom vs Stability? I’ll take freedom and darwinism.

    He’s probably just going to end up scuttling the damn thing. If so, he needs to be SEVERELY fined for polluting our sound. Oh yeah, he’s broke, so maybe several years of community service cleaning up polluted waterways.

  • Kim February 16, 2013 (11:57 am)

    I second exactly what Jessica said. Enough with the snotty judgemental comments. If you don’t know the full story you have no idea what you’re talking about– and you’re just mean. I hope folks are more kind to you than you are to others when you need help someday.

  • OT February 16, 2013 (12:32 pm)

    Ah well. You might see me as mean but I’m just stating my opinion (it is ok to have an opinion here right?) Since my last post, the towing companies have declined helping (like I said they would), a pontoon has busted off and more pictures have surfaced showing the poor condition of the boat and the “patch”(like I said). The pictures also show all the crap floating in the water (polluting the sound).
    So yeah, I’m just being a big ole meany. I’ll be out there later to help clean everything up.

  • WSB February 16, 2013 (12:43 pm)

    For anyone who wanders into this story via Google or elsewhere, our coverage continues with new updates this afternoon:

  • Please February 16, 2013 (1:37 pm)

    Have to agree with OT. Being nice or mean has nothing to do with the fact that this guy made an extremely irresponsible and negligent decision that is goin to cost all of us. Mean or nice, it’s unacceptable and the owner should be held accountable.

  • Been There February 16, 2013 (2:11 pm)

    @ OT – You are spot on. Thank you for your posting, and your help cleaning up the mess left behind by this fiasco that was bound to happen.

  • Scupper February 16, 2013 (2:48 pm)

    I’ve been pretty close to the situation and can tell you that the skipper performed to the absolute best of his abilities. I hold nothing against him and furthermore consider Michele, the Beach Drive neighbor who saved him from his hypothermic state on late Wednesday night, a true hero. This can’t be overlooked IMO.
    It would’ve been interesting to witness the handshake at Shilshole Marina when the ownership transferred. I would think the previous owner had a pretty good hunch this scenario would unfold… or worse. Should have been salvaged at the marina.

Sorry, comment time is over.