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Weekend Weather Washes Boats Ashore in Port San Luis

Central Coast resident and Latitude reader Jeff Chamberlain and his partner Paige were escaping cabin fever on Sunday and took a trip by Port San Luis to see if there was any storm damage. At first run it looked fine …

“We were there at maybe 10 a.m.-ish,” Jeff wrote, “and surprisingly, even though it was definitely pretty frothy out in the mooring field, I saw no fresh victims that had blown ashore, which kind of surprised me …?

“We took off after a time and and about 30 minutes later, my phone started blowing up with photos of three boats that had careened ashore. Looked like we had just missed the wave of boats that apparently had come to a foul end.”

On Monday Jeff went back to see what was going on.

“It was all a familiar scene out of my personal history,” he wrote.

“Almost looked kind of placid,” Jeff commented.
© 2024 Jeff Chamberlain
“It’s possible that her keel has sheared away, but it’s probably just buried in the sand beneath the boat.”
© 2024 Jeff Chamberlain

“The usual case is that most of these boats never have any insurance of any kind, so the Port usually has to bear the cost of the vessel’s removal,” Jeff writes. “Trust me, this is a timeless story that just repeats itself most stormy years.”

“Victim #2, about 100 yards to the north of the first one.”
© 2024 Jeff Chamberlain
© 2024 Jeff Chamberlain
“Looking at boats in this kind of situation is always a little disturbing. #herlastanchorage.”
© 2024 Jeff Chamberlain
“The ocean is merciless and this is always something you have to guard against.”
© 2024 Jeff Chamberlain

“I’ve found that sailors are mostly dreamers, but this is usually a dream they never foresee for some reason,” Jeff continued.

“In most cases,” he says, “the ‘reason’ for this type of ordeal can usually be traced to the chafing gear coming up off the mooring and onto the vessel’s bow cleat/attachment.

“A true southerly blowing into Port puts the chafing gear and pennant through a merciless, ungodly ordeal,” Jeff says, adding that it’s not unusual for there to be some boats that can’t hold out against such force for an extended period of time, “without something breaking or giving way.”

We agree, it is sad to see these boats on the shore, and whether it’s due to chafing or some other reason, we again mourn the untimely loss of boats that otherwise appear to be in good, (mostly) seaworthy shape. We can’t stress enough: Check your gear, check your lines, and be prepared.


  1. Bruce Bennett 2 months ago

    There are boats in my harbor that have lines that are chafing. The boats go unloved. One sank last Saturday. They had it re-floated by Saturday night.

  2. Ron Harben 2 months ago

    I have heard from another boat owner in the PSL mooring field that a fourth boat had sunk at its mooring.

  3. Roger Briggs 2 months ago

    The ketch was hauled up off the beach this morning after they removed the two masts and booms. She was hauled toward PSL facilities but I don’t know if that was to salvage her or to take her to the parking lot to chomp her up and put her in the roll off (that received the spars). She was pretty beat up. Companionway and long bow sprit broken. The sloop Allegra is a C&C 37. She actually looks pretty darn good sitting on the beach – no visible signs of damage although her keel may be folded. The rudder still looks good. I crewed her delivery from Channel Islands Harbor to Port San Luis and then I raced on her for many years. I happened to be watching the PSL webcam when I saw her drifting toward shore and watched her wash up on the beach, and I captured it on video. Sad stuff.

    • Richard Bush 2 months ago

      Roger, I have a C&C 37, sistership to Allegra, would like to know the fate of this one if you are able to follow up, thanks!

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