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Old 11-10-2010, 20:31   #1
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Yet Another Grounding Story

I was out on the Long Island Sound yesterday on a friends O'Day 27' that has a winged shoal keel. We planned to do an overnight and were cajoled by a local to try a more secluded but shallower anchoring spot.
We found the bottom of the next cove with the keel on an outgoing tide. We tried to back off with the engine while unloading crew as well as kedging with an anchor to no avail. We spent the next 5 hours watching the tide recede and come back in again while the hull remained upright and stood on the wings of the keel along with the rudder even after all the water was gone from around the keel. We were high and dry on land, truly grounded on the rocky but nearly level bottom.
Five hours later the tide refloated us and we motored into Norwalk Harbor (CT) with no apparent damage except to the captains ego. I haven't heard about wing keel boats behaving in the manner of a Westerly before but this one did.
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Old 12-10-2010, 06:45   #2
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Yeas, the perils of a winged keel:
1. You cannot unground them by heeling the boat over.
2. They tend to snag slack anchor rodes.
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Old 12-10-2010, 07:46   #3
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Gotta watch that tide range in LIS as it can be 8' or more and that can get you into trouble. Use your charted depths and you should be safe.
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Old 12-10-2010, 07:53   #4
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That must have been an interesting feeling and perspective just hanging out w/o water under you...

I can tell you if we tried that in our Westerly we would have toppled over (she's a fin keel)

I would think it could be fun to experience with a proper bilge keel though!

Glad there was no damage to the boat and no threat to your safety...
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Old 12-10-2010, 07:58   #5
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In Northern Europe the tides are high/low enough that the boats have dual keels and regularly sit on the mud as the tide goes out.
- - Winged keels have been a topic of must discussion about whether they really "do" anything versus normal keels. From what I have seen their two best features is allowing for extra lead weight to be placed lower down on the keel - and - the ability to keep a boat "grounded" longer than other types of keels.
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Old 12-10-2010, 08:01   #6
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i went aground last Friday while exploring a new route .. soft sand on an outgoing tide. I tacked 180 degrees and started the motor as well .. came off in a few seconds and things went better after that
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Old 12-10-2010, 08:26   #7
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Any look you would have gotten from me would have been a look of "well at least it didn't happen to me again."

It happens. If you want a great story, my coworkers father's boat (million dollar motor yacht type thing) was being towed by Vessel Assist and they towed it onto a sand bar. Took forever to get the thing off and caused a ton of damage.
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Old 13-10-2010, 04:31   #8
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A Westerly will only stay upright if its a bilge keeler... the fin keelers don't...
As I found out when I grounded my Longbow in Poole Harbour in the early 90's.
I knew/know the harbour very well as I'd worked on two survey's for the oil exploration in the area.
However my previous boats had in the main been small bilge keelers and cats with 9" to 2'6" drafts which I'd been happily 'Short cutting' over sandbanks and mud flats for years...
First time out in my new 5'draft boat had me doing my usual going beyond the channel markers as I tacked past 'Blood Alley' when I hit bottom... I tried everything to no avail... and I didn't have the Bilge keelers option of break out the tea/coffee and biccies to make it look deliberate...
Slowly she went over until she could go no further and we sat there for 4hrs... much to my embarassment as boats from the B'yard I worked in at the time sailed up and down the channel taking the piss....
The boats name was 'Deep Water of Cowes'..... so you can imagine the stuff that was being shouted across...
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Old 13-10-2010, 05:40   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CalebD View Post
I was out on the Long Island Sound yesterday on a friends O'Day 27' that has a winged shoal keel. We planned to do an overnight and were cajoled by a local to try a more secluded but shallower anchoring spot.
We found the bottom of the next cove with the keel on an outgoing tide. We tried to back off with the engine while unloading crew as well as kedging with an anchor to no avail. We spent the next 5 hours watching the tide recede and come back in again while the hull remained upright and stood on the wings of the keel along with the rudder even after all the water was gone from around the keel. We were high and dry on land, truly grounded on the rocky but nearly level bottom.
Five hours later the tide refloated us and we motored into Norwalk Harbor (CT) with no apparent damage except to the captains ego. I haven't heard about wing keel boats behaving in the manner of a Westerly before but this one did.
Where are the photos?! No pictures -- it didn't happen!
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Old 13-10-2010, 12:49   #10
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The owner took a photo of the keel when the water went out. If he is smart he wont give me a copy.

I had the mistaken notion that most Westerly's had the bilge keels setup.
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Old 13-10-2010, 19:39   #11
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if you ground in soft sand then use your engine to try to get away, that 'soft sand' can be sucked with the h 2 0 thru your raw water pump and do some serious damage to the impeller blades. good idea to check your impeller after such adventures...
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Old 13-10-2010, 19:46   #12
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if you ground in soft sand then use your engine to try to get away, that 'soft sand' can be sucked with the h 2 0 thru your raw water pump and do some serious damage to the impeller blades. good idea to check your impeller after such adventures...
This is one of the main reasons we gave up trying to power off of the shoal area.
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Old 13-10-2010, 19:46   #13
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If you followed my examples, you'd only go aground on a rising tide.
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