Post-tropical storm Arthur hit Prince Edward Island Saturday afternoon, sending boats crashing in to one another in Charlottetown harbour, even dragging at least one to the bottom.

The mast of the boat could be seen poking out of the water at the harbour on Saturday evening, one of five boats that looked to be in serious trouble Saturday. Another boat was ripped free of its mooring and is now floating loose, reported the CBC's Stephanie vanKampen.

She says there is extensive damage to the dock and wharf and some boats have broken masts.

Don Walters' sailboat lost its mast.

“We're concerned for the boat but there's nothing you can do. The big thing is not to be on the dock, it’s just unsafe and you have to just stand back and realize you don’t have any control over these things. You’ve done everything you can do and there’s nothing else you can do,” he said.

Arthur damage

The boats are banging against the wharf as post-tropical storm Arthur churns the waters. (Stephanie vanKampen/CBC)

Sailors tried desperately to keep their docks attached to the wharf as the howling wind bore at their backs, nearly knocking them over.

"It's the worst since Juan," one sailor told CBC.

Earlier in the day, many sailboat owners could be found at the Charlottetown Yacht Club trying to get their boats out of the water in advance of Arthur's arrival.

But the wind shifted unexpectedly Saturday, leaving many exposed to the pounding surf and wind.

"Yesterday afternoon the storm switched direction and came more to the west, which made it so that the wind direction now is coming out of the west, which is the worst direction for us here because it leaves us unprotected," said Kerry Marsh, with the yacht club.

The docks also took a beating. One of them was holding on to the wharf only by a live electrical wire and a chain.

Marsh says they'll survey the damage Sunday and see whether insurance will cover it.