A phone call to Barefoot Marina, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!, confirmed that shoaling has occurred in front of their south dock. Call the marina, 843-390-2011, to get instructions before approaching the docks. Despite this temporary shoaling issue, Barefoot Marina is a GREAT place for northbound snowbirds to spend an evening, or even a few days resting from their travels, and, of course, year round Palmetto State cruisers should make this facility a regular stop.
On May 20th I was getting ready to dock at Barefoot Resort Marina(that’s the one on the left as you go north on the AICW) in N. Myrtle Beach, SC. A dock hand was standing on the face dock directing me into the dock when I ran aground on a sand bar. It was low tide and I draw 5 ft. I could not wiggle or move my boat from the bar. I called Tow Boat U.S. and the Little River , SC location dispatched a boat. It was on scene within 40 minutes.
I have a 42 ft. Endeavour Sail and within a few minutes the tow operator hooked a line to the bow and proceeded to pull my craft straight through the shoal. It stalled in the middle of the shoal and the tow operator increased the power significantly and pulled us through the shoal and off.
Later I discovered that a shoal had been building for some time and no one at the marina told us about it.
The next day when we left, we had to go very carefully until we found the opening through the shoal to get out into the waterway. The shoal is within 50 ft. of the dock and in the middle of the waterway.
We did not think too much of this incident until about a week later when the bilge pump started going off more than usual. Then another week went by and we were in Ocracoke and the bilge pump was going off every 30 seconds. We made it back to Oriental and was pulled out by Sailcraft and water came pouring out of our keel. The bottom of the keel had been punctured and the fuel tank and water tank had been ruptured. We had been taking on water for over 3 weeks and it finally got to the point that it was filling up the bilge.
Our boat is now high and dry with the bottom of the keel cut out. The boat yard is going to remove the generator and remove the water and fuel tanks and build custom tanks to take their place and repair the keel. The boat will be in the boat yard most of the summer.
So, please be careful when transiting the area around the Barefoot Marina resort and stay in the middle of the channel. They are just north of the section called the “rock pile” in Myrtle Beach.
Captain Phil Mullins S/V Katash Isle of Palms, SC