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No engine? No problem! - Soundings Online

No engine? No problem!

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DEC. 10 — After three years, 69-year-old sailor Petr Muzik from Cape Town, South Africa, became a circumnavigator, despite his engine dying and his boat taking on water.

Muzik and his yacht Shoestring limped into the Royal Cape Yacht Club Dec. 4, after 1,100 days of sailing, according to Sail-World.com. After traveling through 32 countries, Shoestring ran into trouble off the Chagos Archipelago, south of the Maldives when winds swept her onto a coral reef, tearing off the propeller and part of the keel, as well as damaging the engine. Three hours later Muzik found himself sinking.

“I dove off the side and covered the hole with foam,” said Muzik in the report. “I managed to stop the leak, but I had to continue pumping [water] every three hours.”

Fortunately, Muzik found a daggerboard on shore from an abandoned catamaran and was able to use it as a rudder for the boat, and the engine began running again, according to the report. Without autopilot, Muzik steered Shoestring through RichardsBay, Port Elizabeth, MosselBay and then Cape Town.

His wife, May, said she wasn’t surprised that he made it back in one piece, saying he’s been boating since he was 9. That was about the same age he began to dream of circumnavigating the world.

“It was only at 69 that I finally achieved my dream,” Muzik said to Sail-World.

— Elizabeth Ellis