Towing sailboat from Point Roberts, WA, USA – Feb 2020

When two CLI members found themselves at short notice to move to Belgium, they generously donated their 26-foot sailboat to the CLI. The sailboat was moored at Point Roberts WA – USA, but needed to be in Canada to enable CLI to put it up for sale.

It was decided to send the Delta Lifeboat to Point Roberts to tow the yacht to Ladner and so at 0800 on Saturday 22 February, the Lifeboat departed Ladner with a crew of six. The forecast was for NW wind rising to 15 – 20 knots. Not ideal conditions for a 26-foot sailboat to be towed, but an improvement was hoped for. Off Sandheads, a lively 3-foot short caused a lot of spray, but after altering course to the south an easy following sea gave two new recruits a good workout on the wheel.

Arriving in Point Roberts, the RHIB was launched as it was planned to use it to tow the sailboat out of its berth. After securing it alongside the Lifeboat and laying out the towing gear an easy departure was made. Once clear of the harbour, the tow was streamed to 300 feet astern. The RHIB was recovered and the tow was taken up at 6½ knots. Fortunately, the sea had calmed considerably allowing the passage to be made at the sailboat’s hull speed.

With one crew member on the sailboat’s helm, there came a time for the crew change. The transfer was made by launching the RHIB. All of the above proved to be excellent training and was carried out in very good order.

The Lifeboat finally secured back at the station with the sailboat again secured alongside at 1615. A very good day, excellent training, and a job well done.