A metal skiff that had capsized is hauled out of the water Sunday by a crew from Charles Bradley Construction. PHOTO COURTESY OF KATE COUGH

Skiff capsizes: It’s a ‘mystery’

TREMONT — A 23-foot aluminum skiff owned by Maine Coast Heritage Trust capsized and partially sank while on its mooring in Seal Cove Saturday afternoon.

It was hauled out of the water Sunday morning and will be inspected to determine what caused it to take on water, according to Douglas McMullin, MCHT’s stewardship manager for the Mount Desert Island region.

“It’s a mystery; it was in great shape,” he said of the Pacific 2325 skiff, which was built in 2006.

The trust purchased it in December and had the hull sandblasted and repainted.

“So, we had a full inspection of the bare hull. It was perfectly intact,” McMullin said.

The skiff had only been in the water for about a week when it capsized. Someone noticed that it was low in the water and called Tremont Harbormaster Justin Seavey. Not long after that, the skiff rolled onto its side.

“The air in the hull and an inflatable that was wedged in the bow kept the boat buoyant enough that the bow stayed above the water,” McMullin said.

Apparently, no fuel leaked into the water.

“There was no sheen around it Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning,” he said.

Wid Minctons, owner of Charles Bradley Construction in Southwest Harbor, which specializes in marine construction, salvage, recovery and repair, hauled the skiff out of the water.

“Wid and his crew and Justin Seavey were fantastic,” McMullin said. “With their expertise and ability to act so fast, the boat was in the water less than a day.”

He said the welded aluminum hull wasn’t damaged, but the engine, which was just over a year old, and all of the electronics will have to be replaced. He said that whether Maine Coast Heritage Trust keeps the skiff might depend on the “insurance process” and whether the cause of the capsizing can be determined and resolved.

The aluminum skiff replaced a fiberglass one that MCHT had owned for about 10 years. The organization also has two other skiffs. It uses them primarily to take staff members to do conservation work on nearby islands where the trust owns property or has easements.


Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]

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