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Old 05 December 2010, 00:15   #1
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Country: Canada
Town: Bella Coola
Boat name: Water Rocket
Make: Polaris
Length: 9m +
Engine: twin Yamaha 150 hp
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salvaging an aluminum boat

Howdy Gang,
Not a RIB but I figured you might be interested in this story
In late September our little valley in British Columbia had a flash flood.
Many houses damaged and a couple places got completely washed away.
My shop had water higher than the engine on my '57 VW bug project car.
Big muddy mess. Welders full of mud - diesel engine for our work boat apart and now junk.
My house was fine as we built the house with a large greenhouse on the south side and first floor 9ft up.
The greenhouse just got 3 ft of muddy water seap in and the plants didn't mind at all, just a few freezers died.

One family had their house and shop and a few large machines get washed into the raging water. They also had their 24ft. aluminum jet boat get washed off its trailer and down river about 10Km ending up in a log jam.
we heard about the boat and went looking for it. We found it in a log jam alright.
It sat for a month and half then I found the owner name and got in touch and got permission to salvage it.
We have spent the last few days cutting a path through all the downed trees
So far we move it to a better spot to jack it onto a trailer that I towed over with my Kubota 4x4 tractor. Sunday we will pull it out.
It has a V8 engine can't tell the make due to all the frozen mud in the engine room it has a Hamilton Jet and 11 hours on the Hobbs gauge. Sharp looking boat but I'd hate to feed it's habit of gas if I get it I'm pulling the V8 out and putting a Mercedes I 5 turbo diesel in .
that's my story and I'm sticking to it
cheers
hank
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Old 05 December 2010, 04:20   #2
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Hank,

Good luck!

Am I misunderstanding that you plan to keep the boat? Does the owner not want it back? Has his insurance paid out - that would normally mean the insurer is now the owner of the wreck (at least in the UK)? My understanding of salvage law (which might be wrong or might be different over there) is that you would only be entitled to a payment for your efforts and not the boat itself.
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Old 06 December 2010, 13:53   #3
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Town: Negaunee, Michigan
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Why not just get a lift helicopter to do the job for you?

I am very sure there are a few in your area capable of the task.

Sure would be very reasonable compared to all of the time that you will have into it.

Jeff
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Old 06 December 2010, 21:19   #4
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Shouldn't be too heavy, should it?

Photo looks like it is right next to river, can it be refloated?
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Old 07 December 2010, 13:00   #5
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Salvage

Good luck on the salvage and cleaning it out.
How are you planing to remove the frozen mud?
Do you have a large shed that you can heat or are you goin to wait until the spring and let it thaw out on its own?

Lee
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Old 07 December 2010, 16:24   #6
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Country: Canada
Town: Bella Coola
Boat name: Water Rocket
Make: Polaris
Length: 9m +
Engine: twin Yamaha 150 hp
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 123
Helicopter would be a great way if it wasn't for the big bucks involved.
They are Heli logging in the next inlet over and do fly over once in a while.

Just after the flood a huge heli made many trips nearby to bringing the steel bridge components to be build to replace the wooden bridge that floated off its posts and closed off a road.

The boat has a lot of frozen mud and must have doubled the weight
so it would take a big helicopter. We used a 6 ton bottle jack to lift the boat and trailer and it worked but felt very heavy so we used a 20 ton jack and it moved easy.
We managed to get the boat on the trailer and snake them out of the many log jams. I was pushing with the tractor while the cat was towing and looked over at the 3 guys standing around smoking and nobody looking at all the wheels
We made it 100 m before twisting one of the axles so badly one wheel is now in a 45* angle. Enough for one day.
Next day we built and mounted a new HD axle using some strong steel we had.
The axles and tires from a wrecked newer GMC 1 ton truck.

We are now waiting for the Cat to start the tow in the boulders and sand section appox. 1/2km to the side road.
good adventure so far
hank
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Old 07 December 2010, 16:33   #7
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Country: Canada
Town: Bella Coola
Boat name: Water Rocket
Make: Polaris
Length: 9m +
Engine: twin Yamaha 150 hp
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 123
As far as putting the boat back in the water and drifting down stream.
Thereis a ban on engines in the river and this one will not run for sometime.
impassable log jams just around the corner and no control with no power.
We felt the closest and easy route is the one we have taken. Could be wrong.

My shop will take the boat on the trailer and it is about 1km from where the boat is now. So I might have a inside job for the winter.
more photos soon
cheers
hank
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Old 08 December 2010, 02:29   #8
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Hi Hank, good luck with the project, it looks interesting. I just noticed you are located at Bella Coola. I drove out there the summer before this past summer and launched my SIB at the Harbour. From there I went to the Eucott hot springs, then overnighted at Ocean Falls. What an amazing location!!! I bumped into a couple of guys from Iowa who had taken their truck by ferry to Ocean Falls, who then rented a fishing boat. They told me it was a 6 hour ferry ride (doesn't sound right). In any case they couldn't wrap there heads around the fact that I had zipped over there in a 16' SIB. The next day, I went over through Gunboat Channel to Bella Bella to refuel, then had lunch in Shearwater at this nice hotel that overlooked the harbour. It was a great trip, even if added an extra 2000 km of driving to my round trip from Winnipeg to Vancouver. My only regret was that the weather was drizzly during those 2 days, so my photos were not as nice as they might have been.
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Old 08 December 2010, 11:35   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hank View Post
As far as putting the boat back in the water and drifting down stream.
Thereis a ban on engines in the river
???

What was a power boat doing in the river then anyway? Or was it used to trailer to some other place?

Polwart has some good points about ultimate ownership and salvage laws; make sure you're not spending money to recover someone else's property.

It would make a great project, though, and the payoff would be pretty nice.

Luck;

jky
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Old 09 December 2010, 09:47   #10
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Country: Canada
Town: Bella Coola
Boat name: Water Rocket
Make: Polaris
Length: 9m +
Engine: twin Yamaha 150 hp
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 123
"What was a power boat doing in the river then anyway? Or was it used to trailer to some other place?"

I'm not sure what the owners had in mind how/where to use the boat.
The boat has '08 Alaska registration.
It was on a trailer and the trailer is still in the river up by the site where their house was.
Looks like it was tied to the trailer but the bow cleats are ripped off.
One of their neighbours said they saw the jet boat being used in the river anyway.

It looks like the cost of repair will be quite high. Mud in engine and fuel tanks.
We are still waiting to get it off the river maybe today
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