Once upon a time on an un-named frozen lake on a fine spring day, a good sailor bore away in a puff. Unbeknownst to him, just to leeward was a long lead of fresh, clear, soft water. Into it he went, the boat skimming out into the middle. If a flash, the boat was blown onto the lee shore. The shore was found to be rather rotten, so with faithful picks in hand our hero clawed his through the slush to safety.
By and by, the rest of the fleet assembled at the “Scene of Stupidity” to see what could be done. The boat was unapproachable without going through. A line was got on board by lashing a vice-grips to the center of a long one and swinging it from each end, jump rope style, and dropping it over the runner. The rope tossers dosey-doed, thereby looping the line snugly around the end of the plank. A fast sailor was dispatched to the shore to get a float of some sort. The float was tied to the end of a throw line which was tied to a couple of others for good measure and the whole thing left to its devices.
Some while later, on another fine spring day not long after ice-out, a rescue flotilla was dispatched to see what could be seen. The position was provided by a tech savvy iceboater who always sails with her GPS running. The boat was just where it was left, but sixty feet lower. She came up by the muddy runner without a struggle.
The side stays were disconnected and an inner tube secured to each end of the plank. It was then easy to haul up on the headstay until the bow breached.
Another pair of inner tubes under the springboard completed the floatation package, and with the sun on the face and the wind at the back it was homeward bound.
The only damage, aside from that to the ego, was excessive swelling of the mast and springboard. The mast swelled such that the boltrope came right out without much trouble. The moral of the story is, of course, keep your boat dry.
David A. Price
(207( 846-0099 (office)
Why don’t iceboaters fasten automatically triggered inflatable life vests in the available space Inside the hull? May only require two or three, but would be cheaper than new plank, mast, or hull.