Our boat sank in the Catalina channel-Cabo 216

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MightyMach

Member
Aug 17, 2007
725
180
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Corona
Name
Jeff
Boat
Phoenix 29 SFX "Given Inn," 17' Duckhungint boat, "Camo-Toe"
Very scary!

upgrade your bilge pumps and add a Johnson 5000 gph high water pump. Not saying it would have saved you but it wouldn’t have hurt. I think they take a 2” hose. I put 2bin my bilge
 

shinbob

Well-Known "Member"
Oct 31, 2011
137
256
63
Pasadena
Name
Shin
Boat
Triton 240 LTS
Im posting this so hopefully it can help you all take a hard look at your boat and maybe re-evaluate how you do things or what you bring when you leave the dock. People die like this, no joke, we have all seen it on the news.
Thanks for being brave enough to post this, very informative. You could have very well saved someones boat, if not their lives, and will never know it.

But as David Lee Roth said, if you stick your head above the crowd, someone will throw rocks.

I bookmark threads like these and re-read them occasionally to remind myself of the hazards out there. Here are two threads that I found particularly useful, any suggestions on others?

https://www.bdoutdoors.com/forums/threads/most-dangerous-offshore-experience.436794/

https://www.bdoutdoors.com/forums/threads/this-may-save-your-life.169783/
 

Trayscool

Captain
Sep 26, 2008
8,070
1,133
113
Long Beach
www.skipjackmafia.com
Name
Travis
Boat
NO BOATS
Thanks for sharing another scary 2019 boating mishap. Way too many this season.

As Nomad said, a good start would be to keep your only source of movement alive and kicking.

Operator error has killed many a seafarer.

Never wait for the second swell before you react and get the boat moving forward, imho.

That bait tank is too large, too tall and is horribly placed over a deck hatch. That is just stupid, and you know/knew that already.

Batteries below deck / bilge area is bad and many manufacturers are guilty.

When my friend bought that same boat 25 years ago it only took one season to realize they were not the best for offshore fishing excursions.

You only get one chance to survive these mishaps, why would you risk your life in that same vessel ?
Thank you for posting and your opinion is very much appreciated given your background.

Operator error is definitely part of the equation here. We are all great boatsman but the decision to fish in that weather with the motor off not a good idea.

Yes, bait tank is too heavy and in a horrible spot and yes we knew that. Didn’t have an effect here, the location, but part of why I posted was for this exact reason. The weight was absolutely a factor and a terrible spot for that bait tank.

I would fish this boat again 100% but make some drastic changes in the setup, all that are noted here.

For a sea anchor, great idea, but this happened to fast that diploying a sea anchor would not have made a difference IMO
 
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Trayscool

Captain
Sep 26, 2008
8,070
1,133
113
Long Beach
www.skipjackmafia.com
Name
Travis
Boat
NO BOATS
holy smokes! Glad everyone made it! Sorry for that experience! Thanks for sharing I just bought a 1980 Grady White and it has open transoms well. Everyone has told me there great boat but now I'm reconsidering it. It's a 240 offshore. I'll attach a picture. I'm currently having the outboard bracket powder coated and bottom of the hull repainted. But my question is do I need to get the transom filled? Or get rid of it View attachment 1089081 View attachment 1089080

I would 100% fill that transom with at least something more permanent and secure. We had the same kind of removable board back there and water went right thru it. I don’t want to make anyone too paranoid to fish by this, but triple check your boat and make sure you are safe
 
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Capt. JB

BD’er
Nov 5, 2008
189
63
28
Cerritos, Ca
Name
Josh
Boat
Cabo 216
Let’s see, Your name is Josh. Josh owns Cabo 216. Josh probably wears a man bun and skinny jeans. We all know a Josh. Enough said.
So, I’m guessing you’re an idiot. Completely wrong on your assumptions, except I do own a Cabo among other boats. There are many professionals on this site, I guess you’re not one of them. Enough said.
 

SEA SEVEN

Member
Feb 2, 2006
479
111
43
San Diego
Name
None
Boat
None
Thread is kinda taking a wrong turn.. but glad your buddies are ok and good advice you providing. I actually almost sunk my old Skipjack 24 and that had a closed transom. Same scenario .. took a big wave over the stern. But I was lucky the boat was already started, probably a reason why I never shut the engines off. Great to know what your boat can and cant handle.
 

sickcat

Silverback
Aug 5, 2003
3,215
1,241
113
63
LA
Name
Kerry
Boat
Yellow spot
Thank you for posting and your opinion is very much appreciated given your background.

Operator error is definitely part of the equation here. We are all great boatsman but the decision to fish in that weather with the motor off not a good idea.

Yes, bait tank is too heavy and in a horrible spot and yes we knew that. Didn’t have an effect here, the location, but part of why I posted was for this exact reason. The weight was absolutely a factor and a terrible spot for that bait tank.

I would fish this boat again 100% but make some drastic changes in the setup, all that are noted here.

For a sea anchor, great idea, but this happened to fast that diploying a sea anchor would not have made a difference IMO
As many others have said great everyone is OK and thank you for sharing. Anytime "we" have a chance to consider safety its a good thing. I hope the insurance co makes you whole.

As far as the sea anchor I think the idea is to deploy it to avoid the first wave coming over. Once the first wave is in the boat the second/third often come pretty quickly.

I would add that hatch covers should have a secure latch and it is usually possible to add a seal to keep out as much water as possible.
 
Jan 30, 2012
67
45
18
Huntington Beach/ California/ U.S.A.
Name
Jake
Boat
Sea Flute
Im posting this so hopefully it can help you all take a hard look at your boat and maybe re-evaluate how you do things or what you bring when you leave the dock. People die like this, no joke, we have all seen it on the news. This happened 3 weeks ago, I was NOT on the boat just to clarify, but my good friend and boat partner was.

Took off early, hit nachos for a full scoop, and were going to head out to the slide to fish tuna. This is not abnormal, we have fished this boat 30+ miles numerous times and have crossed the channel even more, like monthly for the past 3 years we have had the boat.

About 10 miles out they decided it was too rough to make the long haul and get your ass kicked on the way back so fishing off the far rigs was the plan. There was NO small craft, it was 15kts, and a 3-4 swell from what I remember that day.

These boats drift with the ass facing the wind and swell and have an open transom. We had a removable bulkhead there to keep major water coming in, but it is a wet deck and water in the boat was usually no problem. Our boat has a big ass bait tank in the back, a outboard motor, and 2 guys fishing.

A large swell came up from the rear and over the bulkhead and into the cockpit and flooded the deck as well as the fish holds, I assume water poured into the center storage (where the batteries and oil tank are) and started to fill up the bilge area. No problem, turned on the 2-900gph bilge pumps and started to pump the water out. As soon as this happened another one came and more water was on board. Then a 3rd and so on....at this point the boat only going to take on more water from the rear

From what I understand the motor would not start after the 2nd swell onboard as the cowling seal was under water and the ECU was probably fried. They got on the radio and sent out a mayday and were in touch with the coast guard and and started swimming. They were picked up by another fisherman before Vessel assist and LBPD were on site. The boat went down FAST and had it not been for proper communication it could have been MUCH worse. The boat was still pumping water from the bilge pumps when it sank. I actually went down the next day and both pumps still work on the trailer.

The boat went fully under except for about 18" of bow rail sticking up. Vessel assist was able to grab onto the bow rail and get the boat back and pump out enough to get it to float. There was no water intrusion from the hull, thru hulls, etc. This all happened from big swell from the back.

Everyone was safe, boat is back on the trailer, and now the insurance is getting settled. We learned a hard lesson on what it means to be out in a big ass ocean. We all took it way to easy and paid a price that could have ended up way worse. A couple of random thoughts, we learned our lesson and maybe you will too:

-Open transom boats. Cabos have been known to take water from the back, especially older versions with the batteries and weight in the rear. There is a story of a similar incident where the boat turtled and people died, it ended up in a lawsuit. If you have any open transom boat take a hard look and make sure this cant happen to you. I have a friend with a Grady and the same thing happened to him, but his boat didnt sink just took WAY too much water from coming off plane from the surge.
-Bait tanks- we got this boat with the bait tank like this. Too much weight in the rear of the boat for sure AND it was on top of the hatch that opens to the bilge area. Stupid idea to have the bait tank on top of the bilge hatch.
-Fish holds- we have big ass fish holds in the deck that drain to the motor well. We had them plugged so water doesnt fill them up when parked however once water hit the deck they were full, more weight.
- live wells- these were in the back of the boat and drained straight into the bilge. Once water flooded the back all they filled up and drained a ton of water.
- VHF. We have 2 of them on the boat and this saved his ass. One handheld so its not attached to the onboard battery. The batteries worked until the boat went down but if you fry your batteries before you get a call off you are screwed without a handheld. Your cell phone is USELESS on the water.
-Nav. We have 3 navigations on this boat. 2 installed and a handheld, again you need this to call out a distress with the coordinates. If you dont than you may have no idea where you are
-PLB- We did not have one, but we do now. I got it from west marine a week after this happened and will NEVER set foot on a boat without it anymore. $350 can save your life. https://www.westmarine.com/buy/acr-...personal-locator-beacon--19496173?recordNum=2
-Bilge pumps- we were overdone here and it still sank. If you only have 1 you need to add another one. Redundancy is key here..
-Pay attention- Hindsight is always 20/20 but keep an eagle eye on everything. This could have been me and my 9 yr old son out there and he would never want to fish again after this.

Scary shit, be safe out there....

View attachment 1088605 View attachment 1088619
This is my sons account but I just finished repower ing and rerigging my Cabo 216. If you like I can share w/ you what I did, which parts we chose and who did the work. Almost every one of your observations are on point and have a few suggestions. Just a heads up it’s not cheap but very worth it. We did the boat in HB and boat is now on the way to Hawaii. Reach out to him he’ll give you my number. I dont know how to DM and don’t want to blast my cell on BD
 
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BiggestT

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Sep 8, 2004
12,363
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Fullerton
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SM
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Salsipuedes & Czech Mate
So, I’m guessing you’re an idiot. Completely wrong on your assumptions, except I do own a Cabo among other boats. There are many professionals on this site, I guess you’re not one of them. Enough said.
With all the posts here acknowledging the design deficiencies of the Cabo 216, it seems that you’re the idiot. I can send an e-Mail to classmate who’s a naval engineering grad from the University of Michigan and he’ll tell you straight up all the design flaws with the Cabo 216. Same with the Blackman 26. After years of experience the smarter ones develop a trained eye, thus I never bought a Cabo 216. Yet you did. :D
 
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apogee

My name is Apogee and I am a Squidaholic
Jan 29, 2009
3,046
2,012
113
Bakersfield
Name
Apogee..
Boat
Boston Whaler Outrage 28 (End Game)
Yup, sinking is really a drag. Glad everything went well. This is why I drive a Whaler....Ap
 

Capt. JB

BD’er
Nov 5, 2008
189
63
28
Cerritos, Ca
Name
Josh
Boat
Cabo 216
With all the posts here acknowledging the design deficiencies of the Cabo 216, it seems that you’re the idiot. I can send an e-Mail to classmate who’s a naval engineering grad from the University of Michigan and he’ll tell you straight up all the design flaws with the Cabo 216. Same with the Blackman 26. After years of experience the smarter ones develop a trained eye, thus I never bought a Cabo 216. Yet you did. :D
Wow, now you’re bashing Blackman boats? Read all the posts, this thread is about keeping people prepared and safe while boating at sea.
 
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Canyon

Mover
Sep 22, 2013
428
213
43
Santa Barbara
Name
Colin
Boat
Anderson 22'
Thanks for sharing. I'm sure it will help a lot of us, especially Cabo owners, investigate their boat's vulnerabilities.

It seems like all sport vessels, whether it's a 13' Whaler to a brand new 26' Radon can flip. Just requires certain conditions to come together perfectly, at the least opportune time for the boat operator.
 
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Willdoggy

Willing Member
Jun 25, 2014
2,093
2,560
113
Chula Vista
Name
IG = WetWillyBiz
Boat
Purr-Sea-Stance: Boston Whaler Montauk 170
Thanks for sharing your bad experience so we can all be a bit safer and wiser. I also appreciated all the legit comments of ideas to remedy this situation. When you're in that situation you need to know what to do immediately and that is not the time to start thinking....just doing.
Glad everyone is safe and I hope for the best insurance settlement to make the modifications that you need to make your boat safe.
 
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MYNomad

Heading South
Dec 12, 2007
3,384
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Rick
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Yes
Very scary!

upgrade your bilge pumps and add a Johnson 5000 gph high water pump. Not saying it would have saved you but it wouldn’t have hurt. I think they take a 2” hose. I put 2bin my bilge
A couple of big bilge pumps can save a boat in a variety of situations, especially when connected to a high water alarm (and the "high" point should be very low -- there should never be more than 1" of water in the bilge, and ideally no water in the bilge ever, though that is not achievable with many designs). But, the volume of water than can come over a low transom facing the weather is no match for any bilge pump, especially when the first wave lowers the transom enough that the volume of the second and successive waves rapidly escalates beyond the point of return. So bilge pumps are good, but a different plan is necessary to prevent intrusion in the first place. IMO, a boat without a self bailing cockpit should never have its transom exposed to the weather. So, either don't fish it in weather or always use a quick release sea anchor (I keep mine tied to a bouy, just in case someone cuts between my bow and the sea anchor and tangles with its rode -- if that someone is big enough, it could sink me) and always keep the engines running.

For a sea anchor, great idea, but this happened to fast that diploying a sea anchor would not have made a difference IMO
Deploy the sea anchor as soon as you stop the boat. Leaving the transom exposed to seas is dangerous in a boat without a self bailing cockpit, and particularly so when the transom is so low that the risk of a rogue wave coming over can't be ignored.
 

MYNomad

Heading South
Dec 12, 2007
3,384
3,077
113
Pacific Northwest / West Coast Mexico
Name
Rick
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Yes
Thanks for sharing. I'm sure it will help a lot of us, especially Cabo owners, investigate their boat's vulnerabilities.

It seems like all sport vessels, whether it's a 13' Whaler to a brand new 26' Radon can flip. Just requires certain conditions to come together perfectly, at the least opportune time for the boat operator.
Usually broaches are the result of operator error. Even in bad conditions, a broach can be avoided if the boat is handled properly.
 

MightyMach

Member
Aug 17, 2007
725
180
43
Corona
Name
Jeff
Boat
Phoenix 29 SFX "Given Inn," 17' Duckhungint boat, "Camo-Toe"
A couple of big bilge pumps can save a boat in a variety of situations, especially when connected to a high water alarm (and the "high" point should be very low -- there should never be more than 1" of water in the bilge, and ideally no water in the bilge ever, though that is not achievable with many designs). But, the volume of water than can come over a low transom facing the weather is no match for any bilge pump, especially when the first wave lowers the transom enough that the volume of the second and successive waves rapidly escalates beyond the point of return. So bilge pumps are good, but a different plan is necessary to prevent intrusion in the first place. IMO, a boat without a self bailing cockpit should never have its transom exposed to the weather. So, either don't fish it in weather or always use a quick release sea anchor (I keep mine tied to a bouy, just in case someone cuts between my bow and the sea anchor and tangles with its rode -- if that someone is big enough, it could sink me) and always keep the engines running.



Deploy the sea anchor as soon as you stop the boat. Leaving the transom exposed to seas is dangerous in a boat without a self bailing cockpit, and particularly so when the transom is so low that the risk of a rogue wave coming over can't be ignored.
I suppose mine are too high then....

I think of bilge pumps as time buyers.....if we have to depend on them you’re already doomed.
Having said that, I’d like to add one more 5000 gph to the front half of the boat where water will be coming in when I hit something submerged but I think the plumbing makes it nearly impossible
 

apogee

My name is Apogee and I am a Squidaholic
Jan 29, 2009
3,046
2,012
113
Bakersfield
Name
Apogee..
Boat
Boston Whaler Outrage 28 (End Game)
No sea anchor? No problem.. A five gallon bucket on a rope tied to the bow will work. You can even just lower the anchor and that will have enough drag to keep you pointed into the weather.....Ap
 

flytie

Well-Known "Member"
Oct 20, 2012
588
687
93
Orange, CA USA
Name
GC
Boat
Out of Office - Custom Invader CC
I wouldn't fish a boat with an stepped transom. Enclose your transoms and get rid of your scuppers.
 

karlow

Twins 2017
Apr 29, 2004
1,694
662
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62
Duarte/Covina
Name
karl
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20' skippy Topless /17' whaler Wet Ride (sold) /18' Outrage
My first concern about the bucket is the handle my very well fail on you, but it's better than nothing! As for taking a shot over the stern of a 24ft Skippy that would be some serious seas. A Outrage could be used for a swimming pool under those conditions! Hopefully the engine would stay above the waves. more like a wading pool as the stern is only about 10" tall so wave braking over the stern should mainly wash the for you deck.
 

Norcalfish80

Newbie
Aug 24, 2011
97
18
8
California
Name
Austin
Boat
Boston Whaler Montauk
Yup, sinking is really a drag. Glad everything went well. This is why I drive a Whaler....Ap
Couldn't agree more. I've fished a Montauk for 8 or so years and couldn't be happier with it. Unsinkable indeed. Still plenty of risk of rolling the boat but if you know how to drive a boat you're normally pretty safe.
 
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karlow

Twins 2017
Apr 29, 2004
1,694
662
113
62
Duarte/Covina
Name
karl
Boat
20' skippy Topless /17' whaler Wet Ride (sold) /18' Outrage
I meet a guy on Sat at the wash down at Davies with a 1st generation early model 17ft Whaler CC. He had just came back from SCI. he had been out killing the tuna! It had a 90HP Merc 2 stroke on it, but that would be one long ride on that hull! I bet it would cruse at 35Knts if your back can take it!
 

BiggestT

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Sep 8, 2004
12,363
6,688
113
Fullerton
Name
SM
Boat
Salsipuedes & Czech Mate
Wow, now you’re bashing Blackman boats? Read all the posts, this thread is about keeping people prepared and safe while boating at sea.
Dude go away. You don’t know wtf you are talking about. I own a Blackman 20 and know it’s issues. Been on many Blackman 26s and though they are built well, they have severe design problems that lead to a scary tippy down swell ride. Per my naval engineer friend, Blackmans were a garage designed and built boat. Cabin weight too high and too far forward on a narrow deep vee leading to the tippy ride. He was the naval engineer for Navigator Yachts in Perris and Sea Ray in Merritt Island FL. Currently now works in commercial sales at MTU/Detroit Diesel in Annarbor MI. I’ll defer to him over any Cabo 216 homer blowhard.
 
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Aggro

Keepin my pimp hand strong!
Mar 4, 2005
13,421
2,476
113
Clairemont
Name
AGGRO
Boat
skiff
Not to jump your thread but those beacons are a life saver and I have one I am selling cheap if anyone needs. PM me. Thank god you had redundant ways to call for help. If you fish long enough shit happens no matter how safe you try and be.

Being in the drink alone out there has to be the most terrifying thing I can think of. Especially watching your rig slip under.
 
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