Bentley goes swimming in MAINE in March….really!

Bentley Collins, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Sabre & Back Cove Yachts tells us about the “dip” he took a few weeks ago in Portland, Maine. Here’s his story!

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On St Patrick’s Day I awoke, flipped on the TV and saw dozens of crazy Mainers going for a dip in the 42 degree ocean at Portland’s East End Beach. Buuurrr. Back under the covers for me. Not to be, I have an open house at the local dealership so I dress for the cold spring day and head down to the event. The very first thing I am asked is to do is a sea trial on the Sabre 42. It’s a beautiful morning so why not.

As I step on the swim platform to recoil the boats power cord I walk to the port side where the morning sun has yet to dry the water from the surface. To my surprise this is not water, it’s ice. Before I know it, I am swimming in the very cold water of Portland Harbor just like those craze people I saw on TV an hour or so ago. Am I crazy or what?

It’s a times like this that everything you have ever learned about being on and in the water comes streaming back to you but it’s all in fast motion. My mind reminds me I have two minutes in this temperature before hypothermia sets in. I relax once I know I have time and decide not to do anything rash. Next image is the swim ladder. Yes all of our boats are built with ABYC certified ladders that allow a person to recover him/herself from the water unaided. Of course by this time there are plenty of people gathered to help me but I am a big guy and with the soaking wet clothes nobody is going to get me out of the water easily.

Sabre 42 swim platform

The Sabre 42 Salon Express Swim Platform.
The retractable, stainless steel swim ladder is on the port side tucked under the platform.

I reach for the swim ladder, deploy the ladder towards myself reach for the hand hold on the platform and gracefully climb up and onto the platform. Total water time maybe 45 seconds in all. In a few minutes I am in the car then home to take a hot shower and then back to the open house.

As I reflect on my incident (which could have been a disaster), I wonder how many boat owners would know all this stuff that is embedded somewhere in my brain. I am going to encourage owners to jump in (to warmer water) and make sure they can get themselves back out. More boating deaths happen at the dock, at anchor or at a mooring than happen underway. The reason usually is that the boat they were on did not have a good swim ladder to use for self-recovery.

Swim ladder test done. Tick

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