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Old 11-04-2014, 18:48   #16
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Re: Sailboat hits Main Street bridge in Jacksonvill, FL

I think it can be maybe 4 knots at times in that area. It is also pretty deep so would need to drop the hook well before the bridge, but hey what's a few paint chips on a bridge compared to the other crazy **** going on last week?
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Old 12-04-2014, 03:56   #17
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Re: Sailboat hits Main Street bridge in Jacksonvill, FL

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Originally Posted by SkiprJohn View Post
It's really hard to say why it hit the bridge. Bad timing, engine failure, couldn't get the anchor to set. Lots of reasons and not always the fault of the crew but sometimes it is. I'm glad it wasn't me and there were a whole bunch of folks watching to point fingers and tell me what I did wrong.
Hey just hope it never happends. I'm going along the thoughts if there is bad currents or tide shifts they should know their boat and the tides if there was no motor failure. It appears that you just can not just leave when you want to. Maybe need to plan for the right time for the tide so you don't get over powered.


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Originally Posted by Miniyot View Post
For those who are not familiar with Jacksonville and the downtown area where this bridge is located.....
Steve w. is right the current can be fast...
You can't always toss out an anchor and stop on a dime.....Or is there more to anchoring that I don't know about? Maybe wonderinglost can teach me?
I'll be happy as well to show you how I set my anchor just let me wrap the chain around your ankle a few wraps first before I drop it. : flowers :

I'll admit it I have never needed to anchor in anything beyond 5 or 10 knots of wind in anything bigger then a 17' bass boat hence the question of why not. I just was questioning if it was possible to do if needed.

Thanks to all of your experiences and ways to approach how not to get in that situation or to prevent losing control. The motors on a sail boat seem underpowered for some situations I am getting a feel for. You cant just leave when you feel like it.

This article I may of gotten a chuckle on. In all seriousness its a way to learn how to handle currents when nearing a bridge span and how others approach such similar situations. I know people have gotten a chuckle on what I have done like taking out my mirrors driving through the Holland tunnel one night. Then again it was either hit the car on my right, the railing on my left, or hit the brakes and keep the car infront of me. I was in a tow truck then.

I know for the heck of it as I get out im going to attempt it anyhow. If its even worth thinking about dropping my anchor to slow or even stop my boat. Then again I'm only trying to stop what a 2500 pound vessel. I bet a whole lot more force and inertia is in play trying to do that with 10 tonns or even more. So maybe a silly idea to try unless you are not going that fast it may not be as bad if there is less of a shock.
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Old 14-04-2014, 14:17   #18
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Re: Sailboat hits Main Street bridge in Jacksonvill, FL

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Originally Posted by Wonderinlost View Post
Im not one to read the news but I got a good chuckle out of this. Please how the heck besides drifting down the river with a dead engine... How can you forget about the mast? How about dropping the anchor to stop drifting? Id want to stay away from these people.

If they forgot about the mast great for a Darwin award....
.
Glad you got a "chuckle" out of this, but I didn't, and with all due respect, if I were going to submit candidates for the Darwin Award, you'd be close to the top of my list, if only for getting your kicks out of other boater's misfortunes.

Jacques
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Old 14-04-2014, 14:28   #19
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Re: Sailboat hits Main Street bridge in Jacksonvill, FL

Trying to drop and get an anchor to set in 2-4 knots of current is pretty tough, my finding is that it will just drag and not grab. And if it tries to dig in will just foul up, if it grabs a rock or something the shock load alone of jerking a heavy boat to a stop can break stuff and or dislodge the rock again...
Tough spot to be in

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Old 14-04-2014, 15:32   #20
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Re: Sailboat hits Main Street bridge in Jacksonvill, FL

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Originally Posted by Dulcesuenos View Post
Trying to drop and get an anchor to set in 2-4 knots of current is pretty tough, my finding is that it will just drag and not grab. And if it tries to dig in will just foul up, if it grabs a rock or something the shock load alone of jerking a heavy boat to a stop can break stuff and or dislodge the rock again...
Tough spot to be in

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Not to mention the fact that the Main Street Bridge is in a 35' deep commercial channel. You want to drop a small boat anchor in it in a pinch? Good luck.
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Old 14-04-2014, 16:08   #21
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Re: Sailboat hits Main Street bridge in Jacksonvill, FL

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Originally Posted by tdominic_97 View Post
Darwin awards are great, but the whole point of the award is that the person is taken out of the gene pool. Either by death or by not being able to reproduce. So if they forgot about the mast and died, then it would be a funny Darwin award.
CORRECT!! Folks who FAIL are "Runners-Up" - Still a hazard to future generations.
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Old 24-04-2014, 06:56   #22
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Re: Sailboat hits Main Street bridge in Jacksonvill, FL

Not nice to chuckle at others miss-fortunes..Learned that the hard way.
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Old 24-04-2014, 07:21   #23
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Re: Sailboat hits Main Street bridge in Jacksonvill, FL

It sure happens. I was sailing without an engine once and had to leave a channel next to a bridge. The wind died at just the wrong time and left me drifting toward the bridge. Found the bottom was smooth rock and the anchor didnt think about biting. Luckily this was my first boat that was a trailer sailer. I was able to drop the mast and go under the bridge barely clearing the structure. I had to wait for the tide to change to drift back because the bridge didnt have clearance to get back under with the mast up.

Another time I got a call at 1am asking for help. Same bridge, I was living in a marina close. A friend had fallen asleep at the helm and when he woke was pinned against a bridge piling with a strong tide holding him there. I was pretty stupid for even attempting what i did but drifted backwards while pointing into the current threw him a line and managed to pull the 36' boat off with my 23' aquarius powered a 9.9 yamaha outboatd.
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Old 24-04-2014, 08:26   #24
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Re: Sailboat hits Main Street bridge in Jacksonvill, FL

I dare say that the OP is either not a Sailor, or has extremely limited experience.

Bridge tenders are in a tough spot. If they open too early, they get complaints from drivers, too late and boats can ( and do ) hit bridges.

They typically want you to be right up on the bridge when you are waiting, and will tell you to bring it closer when you attempt to stand off too far. The prudent mariner has to constantly reevaluate their approach. Current, wind, and other factors can easily cause havoc near bridges.... One need not have much time on the water to experience the mindless power boater pulling ahead of you and stopping just as you approach the bridge or attempt to circle.

It is very unwise to mock the misfortune of others... You are only safe if you never leave the dock yourself.
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Old 24-04-2014, 09:56   #25
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Re: Sailboat hits Main Street bridge in Jacksonvill, FL

Oceannavigator is right. No way its a 7 knot current. I thought about it again and found a note I made on a chart that I hit 7 knots SOG with the current running under the main street bridge many years ago in my Precision 21. No idea how accurate that GPS was. Guess that is what I was remembering and that supports the 2.5 - 3.5 current others have mentioned. BTW, a few years ago, a group of us took 4 new Hunters to the downtown boat show and we used Ocean navigators technique of pointing the bows into the current at a fast idle to hold our position while waiting for the bridge to open. Worked great and I can see how reducing rpms to back down on the bridge would be a prudent way to do it and still have full forward power and control to get out of a hairy situation.
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Old 24-04-2014, 10:29   #26
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Re: Sailboat hits Main Street bridge in Jacksonvill, FL

Occasionally, a boat helmsman just "zones out."

Back in the early '80s when I lived aboard about 100 yards from the Spa Creek drawbridge in Annapolis, I saw it happen. I was working on deck on my boat and noticed a beautiful blue Hinckley Bermuda 40 yawl approaching the bridge under power and bare poles from the direction of the main harbor. As she passed my transom, I noticed that the lone helmsman was staring straight ahead and hadn't signaled the bridge. I figured he was surely going to throttle back or circle, so I went back to work.

He didn't. I looked up again when I heard a crunch as he motored directly into the center of the drawspan at a good 4 knots. The mainmast came down on one side of the boat and the mizzen on the other. He didn't throttle back until he was well on the other side of the bridge. When he did, he just stood there for a moment looking dazed with the boat dead in the water.

Turned out from the reports in the paper the next day that the guy was a delivery skipper who had just brought the boat down singlehanded from New England, was buzzed out on "stay-awake" pills, and exhausted from lack of sleep.

I suspect the owner was none too happy.
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Old 25-04-2014, 03:03   #27
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Re: Sailboat hits Main Street bridge in Jacksonvill, FL

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v 'Faith' View Post
I dare say that the OP is either not a Sailor, or has extremely limited experience.

Bridge tenders are in a tough spot. If they open too early, they get complaints from drivers, too late and boats can ( and do ) hit bridges.

They typically want you to be right up on the bridge when you are waiting, and will tell you to bring it closer when you attempt to stand off too far. The prudent mariner has to constantly reevaluate their approach. Current, wind, and other factors can easily cause havoc near bridges.... One need not have much time on the water to experience the mindless power boater pulling ahead of you and stopping just as you approach the bridge or attempt to circle.

It is very unwise to mock the misfortune of others... You are only safe if you never leave the dock yourself.
Yes you may dare to say and I will confirm. Not yet but I am going to be. Just as I ran on land im sure I am sure ill fair out ok off the land. This summer ill be tossing my first sailboat in the waddah.

If admitting I got a chuckle is mocking wow. I never said what a idiot how can he hit that or that vessel should not be there, revoke that persons boat safety certification. At least I was honest which most people I have come across embilish to the point you know its bs. After being upset on my own ooops I chuckle at what I have done.

My last ooops I ran the driverside mirrors alongside the railing in the Holland tunnel leaving NYC in the work truck. May of been 4am and I was on my way home. It was either hit the car on my right or hug my left. Then bam $800 bucks for 2 new mirrors. Im not perfetic but have fun when I can.

To all who has given some ideas how to avoid such thing to happen I tip my hat and raise a glass. Thanks.

Cheers.
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Old 21-08-2014, 21:46   #28
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Re: Sailboat hits Main Street bridge in Jacksonvill, FL

I have an Ericson 27 with a new Yamnar in it, and at full throttle could only maintain position in the St Johns once. In downtown Jacksonville it is narrow and 40+ feet deep. At the piling bases of the Acosta bridge it's 90 ft deep. In the downtown area the current runs up to 10 kts on occasions. The current there regularly hits 7 kts, and represents a hazard to sailboats. Mainly because of the presence of the Main Street Bridge. The Main Street bridge has a clearance of only 37 feet. Smaller sailboats can have problems, especially if they get too close and find out the bridge is on a 2 hour advance request schedule. My recommendation is always call the bridge from well off if you have a smaller sailboat (lower horse power).
Main Street Bridge: 904-891-2191
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Old 22-08-2014, 07:18   #29
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Re: Sailboat hits Main Street bridge in Jacksonvill, FL

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Originally Posted by oceannavigator View Post
7 knot current in Jacksonville???!? Lololol. Ridiculous sea tale (river tale). You don't have the tides to support it given the river dimensions.

Here is a list of the strongest currents in the USA. Hmmm.. Don't see Jacksonville or many places with 7 knot currents. Do you realize that exceeds the hull speed of the majority of sailing vessels inside the main steet bridge, including your own boat?


FAQ - Tidal Current Predictions and Data - NOAA Tides & Currents


Here is the real current.

Tidal Current Predictions - NOAA Tides & Currents

Nothing in the entire St John's River exceeds 3 1/2 knots. lol

How did I know? Been just about everywhere, including several places at the top of the current list. The st john's river has no current in comparison.
Well Mr. Navigator, It does seem that 7kts. is a stretch, but you seem a little too sure of yourself. The current speeds speeds listed can easily be exceeded at other stations along any waterway by strong winds driving water in and out of bays ,heavy rainfalls,exceptional astronomical alignments etc..
I have no familiarity with this particular bridge, but do know that the engineers that build them prefer the shorter spans for cost reasons where the flowing water is constricted and thereby accelerated (think of putting your thumb over a flowing hose).
How often have I read here that predicted weather or sea conditions fail to materialize ( are exceeded) with resulting havoc with the unsuspecting and unprepared crew.
The flip side of this is illustrated by my experiences with a close friend who will call me and suggest a sail ,based with certainty on some internet site that suggests a pleasant sail a few days hence. When the allotted day arrives all too often there is "not enough wind to lift a tarts skirt ". I suppose that if I lived in the high latitudes there would be more days when an anticipated pleasant day would prove to be one where it "blows the oysters off the rocks".

………………………..luv you all……………………mike…………………………………………..
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Old 22-08-2014, 17:36   #30
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Re: Sailboat hits Main Street bridge in Jacksonvill, FL

My personal experience was a few months ago. We had the highest, high tide in eighty years. An entire foot of extra height. If you think about all the water upstream from downtown - the place in question - that translates into millions of cubic feet of extra water trying to escape after the high tide. I found myself at full throttle against the current. I was only able to hold position, I could not move forward. The Main street bridge area is the narrowest part of the St. John's river, and the deepest. It is well known for having treacherous currents. There were no winds at that time.
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