Photo by Nassau Helicopters, which airlifted the Bradley's friends away from the scene.
Australians Geoff and Jenny Bradley own the 1989 Chris-Craft 82 Anne Marie, which is now well aground in the Abacos. While most other boaters left to escape the oncoming storm, the Bradleys and another couple rode out Hurricane Dorian at anchor. The storm deposited Anne Marie and her crew 300 feet from the water.
Remarkably, the hull was relatively unharmed, perhaps because of her aluminum construction. One of the props and its running gear were damaged, and the boat is substantially without electricity because its gensets are water cooled, though the solar panels are supplying enough power for communications.
Friends of the Bradleys were evacuated by Nassau Helicopters, which took some remarkable aerial photos on the way out. At time of press, the Bradleys have enough provisions and are remaining aboard while they build an assembly to move the vessel back to the water using rollers.
Bradley said via email: “We have a good team. Jenny and I [are] on site and a couple of engineer mates from Australia [are] designing everything required. The system we have chosen to build is lightweight and can be fabricated off-site. It will be put together on-site easily [with] only 24 holes drilled through the lower bump rail.
“We are confident that the design will carry her 300 feet to the water. A rough draft with weight calculations is complete. We start measuring in detail today. Friends in America know fabricators. That should go well. One of the more difficult parts will be getting the material here, but time is on our side so that will work itself out.”
What follows is the latest on the salvage project as described in a message to fellow cruiser Skip Gundlach after the original article was published:
I'll give you a reasonable run down on where we're at with the project.
Yesterday, we found a guy in Miami who can supply all the truck hubs and wheels. This is good news as we spent too long with another company who said they could supply and quote. They left us sitting here waiting.
We are well into the development, design and strategy stage of the project. Then come ordering fabricating and shipping from Miami. This will be followed by transporting 6 or 7 pallets of equipment to the boat from Sandy Point dock.
The 1/4 size dolly mock up is being built as of today so photos can be supplied with blueprint to fabricators.
For your information, if the hub purchase didn't come through we were going to make hubs out of 3/4 steel welded to a solid shaft via gussets. We then slip the shaft through a pipe attached to the dolly system. Fully greased it would work but more frictional resistance than the preferred hub method.
The next stage involves building a raft to get heavy items and materials to the land from the boat that transports equipment to our island. That will be a big old flat bottom conch boat. The raft will be built from materials used to do the project. Air bag jacks for flotation, ply, 4x2 timber and appropriate fastening systems. These items will arrive first.
After everything is rafted to the high tide mark, the raft will then be turned into a cart with wheels, we can then pull the loaded cart to the boat via an electric winch.
Now we have materials at the site, build benches and temporary shelter for a work shop, then fabrication, attachment of dolly system to the boat, the dolly will be bolted into the bump rail, then held together by its opposite dolly with 4 X 1300kg straps at all 6 dollies. 12 wheels all up. The 24 straps will add support to the keel and therefor hull while stopping the wheels from doing the splits.
Now for the slow process of jacking. A time line on this part of the project is hard to establish at this point. We require 12 X 4 ton air bag jacks, 2 X 60 ton Harbour freight jacks, the 20 ton Jack we have on board, lots of blocking and a few other safety straps. This is by far the most dangerous part of the project and will be treated as such.
We hope to have all equipment and materials here in a month. The plan is for all pallets to arrive on the same day. We will use a shipping agent in Miami to store and pallet before shipping to Nassau.
Once the boat is jacked to height and sitting on the wheels. The boat will be winched over a period of time to the water. This will involve a 6 ton 12v winch bolted to the back of the swim deck and the boat being winched towards a 3/4 plate 500mm X 500mm secured into the limestone ground 400mm deep with 1" threaded rod and chemical set glue. We will have pulley blocks within the line to increase the winch strength to 12 ton as, or if required. There will be 4 bolted points in each plate at different depths to allow for cracking in limestone. The boat will roll on a packed ply path.
There is an extensive requirement for machinery, tools, fastening systems, lifting and clearing equipment. We are going over each project point by point attempting to build the project on paper, we will therefore know what's required.
We will then put what's known in Australia as a bill of quantities together. This is what building engineers do so a builder has every nail, power point etc for a job.
The generator required to run our 225watt welder is 9kw or 9000w. This and most tools will be purchased from harbor freight. One reasonably priced store with good enough tools. Buying one store will help reduce potential for odd things going missing.
Hope this gives you a good insight to the project, we are all good for now but appreciate the offer of help.
Jenny and are are amazed how easily you can live without refrigeration. We are eating very well and have time to enjoy this beautiful part of the world. We've seen 2 green and 1 purple flash sun sets in our time here. After years of watching for them, we had never seen one.
Cheers for now.