As we reported on Monday, Chris Perkins’ J/105 Good Timin’ was stolen from its slip at San Francisco Marina sometime over the weekend. We are happy to announce today that Chris was reunited with his boat on Monday afternoon in Pillar Point Harbor, about 50 miles south of San Francisco. Aside from a few scuffs and missing items, the boat seems to be in sound condition, though Perkins has yet to do a thorough survey. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for the thief. Here’s the story as we understand it:
About mid-day Monday, Pillar Point Assistant Harbormaster John Draper received a cellphone call from a guy claiming distress offshore. Draper called the Coast Guard and they went out to render assistance. What do you know: the boat in trouble was Good Timin’. When the wetsuit-clad man aboard saw that his saviours were the Coast Guard, he jumped in the water and tried to swim away.
Once hauled back aboard, "Dan" — age 30-something and hometown unknown — claimed he had "fallen in love with the boat and just wanted to go for a sail." Pond had apparently sailed before; Perkins said the main and spinnaker had been rigged more or less the right way. But it was obvious to most — including, apparently, Dan himself — that he was "off his meds" and not thinking correctly. As if to underscore the fact, when Perkins went below he found numerous items missing, including the cupboard doors, companionway ladder, the engine cover, engine belts and so on. Even the engine mounts had been partially unbolted. Dan was apparently throwing almost anything and everything he could get loose over the side as he headed south. When asked why, he replied, "The boat surfs faster down the waves."
It appears that Dan first slipped aboard Good Timin’ sometime on Saturday night, when it was pouring rain and blowing about 20 knots outside the Gate. The main companionway was locked, so he got into the boat through the forward hatch, found the ignition key and motored out.
There was no food on board. And the only gear that Dan had was a bag of clothing, but no foulies. Officials speculated that he might have been planning on returning to the Bay, since he mentioned his car was still parked in the StFYC’s parking lot.
Dan was arrested and is currently being held. For his part, Perkins went through "all the stages of grief" over the brief loss of the boat, and was fully prepared to throw the book at Dan. Upon seeing the situation firsthand, however, most of the anger is gone and he now just feels sorry for the guy. Good Timin’ will be hauled at Andersons within the week to inspect for damage, but so far, it just seems as if it only needs replacement of various odds and ends that Dan jettisoned on his strange ride down the coast.
Look for more coverage of this story and how to keep your boat secure in the December issue of Latitude.