Owner of beached boat south of Edmonds has Sept. 4 deadline to remove it

If it can’t be saved by Sept. 4, the Potomac will see its final sunset.

The owner of the sailboat wrecked south of Edmonds’ Marina Beach Park nearly two months ago says he has been given until Sept. 4 by BNSF to remove the vessel.

The sailboat Potomac has been beached on the stony shore south of Marina Park in Edmonds, leaning toward its port side since July 6 and has taken damage from the rocks in that time. The hull is now compromised and needs to be repaired to be seaworthy.

Herman said that the railroad was “going to help me get a fiberglass repair kit so I could patch the hole, but I talked with Mike at BNSF Police, and he said his supervisor said, ‘No,’” Herman said. “So, at this point, Mike was able to put the date out further to allow me to try and get it out, but at this point, I don’t know what else to do.”

Woodway Police Chief Jason Valentine said he recently spoke with the railroad and received an assurance that they are diligently working on the situation.

Valentine said, “BNSF advised that their intention is to partner with the Port of Edmonds in conducting the removal operation. Additionally, we have been coordinating efforts with and receiving guidance from the Department of Natural Resources in this matter.”

When asked what would happen to the boat if he’s unable to recover it by then, Herman said the ship would be “hauled out and junked.”

BNSF Railroad has not responded to requests for comment.

— Story and photo by Rick Sinnett

  1. A month or so ago he was going to repair the hole – what happened? If you can’t afford a patch kit, you probably can’t afford moorage anywhere. There have been quite a few low tides in the time since it was beached, why didn’t the owner at least remove the mainsail?

    1. You should have some type of boaters insurance if he owns a boat or sailboat he doesn’t need stupid that would take care of it and get rid of it yes you’ve had some low tide to try to patch it hello

  2. I can afford the patch kit i just cant do anything till the 1st if Sept. And i plan to anchor it someplace close so i can have time to figure things out. But first I’ll bbe working on getting my bost out of there. And please ive been dealing with alot and if you can help it please leave all the criticism at home please. Thank you.

  3. Why is the Woodway Police Chief involved in this? Why couldn’t someone hike down the beach with some sort of hand pump and get most of the fuel out of the tank, if that is an issue? If you could get most all of the fuel out of it; seems like it could stay there forever with little harm done. Just an interesting local conversation piece until mother nature has it’s way with it. If it floats off ground intact, and becomes a navigation hazard at some point, it could be easily recovered and disposed of then. Boat ownership beyond a canoe or small rowboat involves big responsibility with insurance and knowledge of proper use as part of the requirements.

    1. No the fuel isnt an issue and it can’t free itself because the bow is wedged onto a rock with a hole about a foot in diameter in it. The plan is to patch the hole and get it out if the spot its in. And yes that is my boat and i have been continuously trying to get some help and i have a couple folks on standby with boats to help with the removal part but unfortunately i have to wait till the 1st of Sept to get the patch kit i need.

  4. Such constructive and kind words. You should all be very proud. It seems like he’s doing the best that he can. Maybe just let him.

  5. I doubt it could free itself at any stage of tide. It is a deep fin keel sailboat laying on its side and is likely flooding at every tide.even without the hole in the hull. He will need to make the cockpit hatches and the companionway water tight somehow and that is not easy. De watering will require a powerful pump as it rises off the bottom if those areas are sealed. This a professional job and the value of the boat even raised is essentially nothing with a ruined engine and interior. It is a 40 -50 year old boat. A patch kit is nothing more than a quart of resin and some fiberglass cloth , not much money but that is only the first step. To raise it and anchor it somewhere in the area is unrealistic as there is NO safe anchorage between Seattle and Everett. The alternative would be Kingston Cove but I suspect no one would tow it with an amateur patch across the Sound. There is a sailboat wrecking yard in Lynden that might take the hull off your hands if you get into the Edmonds Marina work yard. They would cut it up for the lead in the keel others wise it will be a financial albatross around your neck. I am sad for you, good luck.

  6. My understanding is that Mr. Herman is a veteran who has been under a lot of stress, and I hope that commenters are respectful. What a stressful situation!

    1. I have ever since the day it ran aground because of the record breaking low tide in early July, been trying to find help and find ways to get her out of the spot shes in. Ive been given some ideas but some of those are beyond my capacity to do so the best and cheapest way to fix the hole in the bow is to patch it with a fiberglass gel coat repair kit one for the outside one for the inside. Once the boat is lifted iff the rock and the hole patch i have a couple of people on standy with boats to help haul it out of there. Trust me im not neglecting or giving up in my boat and if my father were here RIP hed kick my a– for even hunting about giving up on it. Work with what you have hed say!! McGyver that if you have to!! Lol

      1. Todd – not to be disrespectful, but I don’t understand how you’re going to float the boat off the rock to patch it. With the hole, it’s not going to float. I agree with David Gow – dewatering this boat is a job for a professional.

        Also, no need for gel coat – that is for looks only. At this point it might need an actual structural repair with fiberglass i.e. how are the stringers and bulkheads…

        Been around boats for 59 years. Good luck, but try to get the pros involved.

        Also, if you get her floated, don’t just anchor out with no one onboard – that’s a salvage situation for anyone who wants to do it

      2. Also been around boats my whole life, sailing them and repairing them, and I don’t see any type of reasonable effort that doesn’t include marine salvage airbags that lift the vessel up and support the vessel in tow. If you get somewhere with this and you need deckhands I’d be happy to help.

        Also, weather is coming.

        1. I know about the weather which is why I’m going down there today to asses the situation and climb inside to see if I can access the hole from the inside as well take measurements etc. I’m not sure exactly what time il be down there but I’m shooting for between 2:30 and 4:30 so if you happen to come down and see a guy with a veterans hat on that’s me

        2. Folks I am closing comments on this story now. We’ll be tracking this effort and let folks know the outcome.

  7. I don’t think anyone means Mr. Herman any disrespect at all. If we’ve reached the point where asking someone to be as responsible as they possibly can is “disrespect,” we really are done as a functional society. All I’ve seen here are suggestions about how he might better handle the situation or how someone of us could help him handle it. It sounds like it is beyond him to take care of it, and it might just work to let him and the boat be, and hope for the best. Sometimes good solutions to problems just aren’t there.

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