Why sailboats sink

Just as many people slow down to look at car accidents, most of us can’t resist the scary fascination of a sunken vessel. For Boat U.S.‘s marine insurance division, however, the statistics of sinking boats are an integral part of its business. As such, Boat U.S. compiles interesting data on why boats sink.

For sailboats, Boat U.S. has broken their stats into two categories: The reasons boats sink at the dock and why they sink while underway.

While at the dock:

44% Failed below-the-waterline fittings

33% Stuffing box leaks

7% Leaking keels and centerboard trunks

7% Rain infiltration

3% Head back siphoning

3% Above the waterline fitting


40% Struck a submerged object

16% Prop shafts or struts broke

16% Failed below-the-waterline fittings

8% Groundings

8% Leaking stuffing boxes

8% Storms/knockdowns

4% Failed above the waterline fittings

By Ocean Navigator