More than likely the boat was a 24 foot fiberglass skiff. The skiff is the boat of choice for the mexican people and is used for everything from bait fishing, lobster trapping, transportation, to even marlin fishing. They come in various sizes. I tend to believe the story as is. Navigation equipment is scarce on Mexican skiffs, and I think that they were probably fishing with a sort of longline, which are long lines of baited hooks suspended by floats, which would account for their lack of equipment. Smuggling anything by skiff from San Blas would be an exercise in futility if you look at the location of San Blas.
Like I said, I have no proof. Twin 200's on a 24 footer makes for a rather fast vessel, not exactly like any long liner I've ever known and I've spent a good deal of time in the NY bight. They could afford these engines but had no compass? I'm not talking GPS or plotters or radar or sonar but not even a hand held compass? Not a lot of room to stow catch in a 24 footer with 3/5 men and fishing equipment on board. Smugglers have been known to meet ships somewhere over the horizon, take on contraband and return to shore for overland transport, so the location (if that is even valid) means nothing to me.
It just doesn't pass my smell test.
Another thing I didn't mention, these OBs have to drink at least 10gals/hr. Where would they carry enough fuel to make fishing trips an economically viable proposition.
Even if the report of 9 meters is correct. That's a 30 footer. Slower than a 24, but not exactly a scow either.
Then we get into the time element, nine months of exposure in the open ocean. If a 24, the best they would have is a Bimini top. How long would that last? The wave action alone would rip out the fasteners in the first month. If a 30' even with a cabin, wave action alone for a couple of months would have stuff breaking all over the place.
This just doesn't ring true to me Joe.
I went really low on the fuel consumption because the biggest outboard I ever owned was a 125.
I just looked up Nissan 140 HP, they drink 15gal/hr. Those twin 200's have to drink at least 35gal/hr.
Nothing makes sense in this story