What would you do?


There is a Westerly Corsair, lights blazing, somewhere 600 miles north west of the Cape Verde Islands, slowly fore-reaching across the Atlantic. She was abandoned seven days ago by a husband and wife team because the chain plates were starting to fail and her engine was malfunctioning.
Was their decision coloured by the fact that there was a score of boats or more over the not too distant horizon which could pick them up? Were they too hasty to leave what on the face of it is a perfectly good boat? I don’t know. There may well be other factors we do not know about.
What I do know is that if their chances of being taken off were slim they would have faced staying with their craft. So what could be done? Well forget the engine: it’s unlikely they would have had enough fuel aboard to get back to the Cape Verdes. That means they would have had to jury rig her. The picture here shows the actual boat and her side-decks. There do not appear to be many anchor-points on the deck to which jury shrouds could be attached. But she has a fin keel. It would not be impossible to flake all the anchor chain on deck, cut it into two lengths and drape one length over the stern working it back to the end of the keel and one over the bow working it back to the front of the keel. With the bitter ends brought up either side and shackled to spare wire or cord which could then be attached with respectively bulldog clips or rolling hitches, the rogue chain plates could be by-passed.