I’d planned to let the blog sit idle today, but after this morning’s fishing trip I just had to jump on and mention how to NOT sink your boat, because the one I just stepped off of had a stealth danger that most folks never think about. In fact, we were boarded by the Coast Guard today for a safety inspection, and even those guys didn’t pick up on it.

After spending the morning casting for stripers in the middle Chesapeake (there was a great bite on 14″ to 26″ fish in the shallows, by the way) and then being inspected, we ran in and gave the boat a quick wash-down. I dutifully scrubbed the inside of the boat, then started rinsing with the hose. But in a few moments, the cockpit was covered by a pool of water. I went back to the scuppers, and noticed that they were thoroughly clogged by tree garbage: pollen, leaf bits, and tiny pieces of bark. I flushed away the gunk stopping up the scuppers… and the water still didn’t drain. To make a long story short, it took about 15 minutes of blasting from the inside, then up from the outside at the scupper drain, back and forth, before we were able to wash the clog free.

If we’d taken a sudden wave over the bow, or backed into a standing greenie, the boat would have swamped and stayed that way. So remember: if you don’t want your boat to sink, you can’t let that tree garbage collect on the deck. Rainwater will wash it into your scuppers, and you could have a clogged drain pipe without even knowing it. If that happens, we can only hope you’ll find out about it the same way we did today – back on dry land, while washing down the boat.