"Often a better alternative to backing off is to pivot the bow around and head
towards deeper water."
I rarely disagree with Kettlewell, but I do disagree with this advice, based on my own experience and the loss of a 70' custom sloop
Some years ago I wrote a story about this in Ocean Navigator. It concerns a professionally-crewed boat just returning from a circumnavigation
which ran up on a shoal just SW of Neckar Island in the BVI. The boat had a winged keel
, which apparently dug pretty well into the sand.
When, at the captain's behest, a rescue
boat attempted to pull his bow around toward deeper water, the keel bolts
snapped, the boat turned on its side and sank. Multi-million dollar loss, partly because of valuable paintings below.
What should he have done instead? Much better to put out an anchor
aft and -- using winches and windlass
assisted by a gentle engine
pull in reverse -- back off the way the boat grounded.
Here's a reference to the original article if anyone cares:
More thoughts on grounding in BVI - Ocean Navigator - January/February 2003