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Old 10-11-2015, 09:21   #1
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Catalina 30 fin keel flat sheltered mud beach tidal layover safe?

My big question:
Can I "safely" tidal lay over my "still new to me" 1984 Catalina 30 fin keel on a flat soft muddy sheltered Puget Sound bay beach? Will it just lay over nicely with the outgoing tide with weight to one side at first to help it lay over to the side I want? Or can it get crazy and fall back on rudder somehow, or nose forward somehow, or tidal water make it over the side into the cockpit, etc.? I really only ask because I've never tidal laid a fin keel over quite yet, but a full keel 24 foot boat I have laid over several times for many years, but that was only a 4 foot draft and full keel. This common catalina 30 is a 5 1/2 foot draft fin keel, so I'm looking for anyone who has done this on relatively flat mud beach (or do I possibly need to use a steep beach and lay it toward shore of course?... I'm hoping not necessary, as I'd rather use my own beachfront.) I'm loving this boat and don't want to screw up my first tidal inspection/zincs. I have scuba gear I use often for maintenance, but this sheltered tidal beaching has so many advantages, if safe to do with this boat. I'm thinking/hoping the designers have to make these safe to lay over softly and rise back up with the tide, right? Of course I'll make the boat light and empty my holding tanks, etc. before laying over. My beach is nearly flat at the layover area, maybe 5 degree slope. Thanks in advance for any insight on this.

Background:
For 30 years, as a grade school kid through adult, I used to lay over my 1970'ish Columbia Special 24' , 4 foot draft full keel on our calm and nearly flat Puget Sound mud bay bottom whenever I wanted for cleaning or maintenance, or reaching the masthead from our dock, no problem ever. The incoming tide never came close to pouring into the boat before it would float, rudder was at back of keel and full length so it always hit but never sustained damage. The muddy bottom is such that you sink a foot into it when walking barefoot, so it is naturally easy on boat hulls, and the hulls don't sink in, just the keel sinks in to the mud a few inches typically as it settles to lay over. I prefer to use the natural beach whenever possible instead of using marina lifts. I don't want to use a dock tidal grid if I don't have to.
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Old 10-11-2015, 09:35   #2
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Re: Catalina 30 fin keel flat sheltered mud beach tidal layover safe?

Seriously? All that work and time to avoid diving the boat?

BTW- guarantee the designers did not have careening in mind when they put pencil to paper.
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Old 10-11-2015, 09:46   #3
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Re: Catalina 30 fin keel flat sheltered mud beach tidal layover safe?

Thanks for the reply. Yeah, If I can safely lay this boat over, in a single tide cycle I can replace the prop zincs, clean the bottom, and inspect the through hulls (and replace thru hulls if needed, something I can't do with scuba), and inspect the hull in general. As much as I love scuba for boat maintenance, beaching has advantages for me. No lost time for me because it is my beachfront, so I can mow lawn, work on dock, etc. if I possibly run out of things to do on the boat hull while waiting on the incoming tide. Huge advantage over using a marina lift, grid, or scuba in this case.
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Old 10-11-2015, 10:10   #4
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Re: Catalina 30 fin keel flat sheltered mud beach tidal layover safe?

Well, the interior is going to get tossed all over. Any fluids (water, fuel, waste) could leak out. You could wind up with an air blockage somewhere in the fuel line.


What is the effect on the rig, particularly chain plates and thru-deck fittings? I really don't know- does the weight of the mast at angle exceed the force of 50kph winds on the hard?


Soft mud may well spread out the load on the hull, but will it be enough? You could wind up with spider cracks. Not most mud I know of is "all mud" but includes shells, clams, etc which can scratch the hull- and it appears you have a painted hull. And you have to clean the mud off.


I'd be inclined to just have it short hauled, do the work, and back in.
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Old 10-11-2015, 10:11   #5
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Re: Catalina 30 fin keel flat sheltered mud beach tidal layover safe?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, bradteed.
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Old 10-11-2015, 11:22   #6
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Re: Catalina 30 fin keel flat sheltered mud beach tidal layover safe?

I have a Catalina 30. I wouldn't careen the boat. My guess is that it would place a lot of stress on the keel bolts and connection. And if it rested at all on the rudder it could easily bend the rudder post (a 2" stainless pipe just glassed in. It's not the toughest design out there)

BUT - I am nowhere near anything resembling a naval architect, or mech engineer.

One of the great joys of owning the Chevy of the seas, is you can call Catalina and they'll answer your questions. So give 'em a call and ask em.
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Old 10-11-2015, 11:49   #7
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Re: Catalina 30 fin keel flat sheltered mud beach tidal layover safe?

Thank you so much for the owners insight on this. I admit that I'm surprised at how rare careening is. I grew up thinking it was normal for boat maintenance, and that all nearly all fiberglass sailboats must be designed for such, as we essentially never used a dock, a slip, a marina, and rarely a trailer. I'm always learning... thanks again.
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Old 11-11-2015, 09:02   #8
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Re: Catalina 30 fin keel flat sheltered mud beach tidal layover safe?

There was a story once posted in Latitudes and Attitudes of the owner of Wanderlust 3 which was a Hunter 50 which got caught in a extreme Spring Tide outside of La Paz (near Panama Canal??) and he had pictures in the dark of the boat laying on it's side and it survived. I believe at the time the boat may have been a couple of years old but, for a unplanned careening it survived. They had to hurry and secure items prior to it finally laying over. I would try and remove any excess weight off the rigging, sails, and such so to limit the weight aloft on the high side of the stays. As I have heard the Catalina 30 is a robust boat and I would worry about the rudder. depending on the weight of the rudder (???) you could also consider inspecting and repacking the rudder while careened. Basically, it needs some planning.
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Old 11-11-2015, 09:04   #9
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Re: Catalina 30 fin keel flat sheltered mud beach tidal layover safe?

The owner of Wanderlust 3 has passed away some time ago and Catalina is located right down the street from my work. I would like to know what they think.
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Old 11-11-2015, 09:05   #10
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pirate Re: Catalina 30 fin keel flat sheltered mud beach tidal layover safe?

I cannot speak about a Catalina because I have never owned one, but I own a 1975 Tartan30 #256 (maybe it owns me) and I have "careened" (did not know that was what it was called) several times. I would say it was 3 times on purpose, and one time a little less on purpose.
I have done it on sand in the Pamlico Sound, as well as sand sand off Captiva Island in the Gulf of Mexico. I have also done it in the muck of the ICW down in Georgia.
These boats are heavy layups, and built like tanks so it also did not really dawn on me that you could not do it.
I personally would be a little suspect of a hull so thin it would not support it's own weight......but I could be way off base. The Tartan30 was design to be a MORC budget cruiser/racer so they are stout with a 500 pound fin keel and a skeg hung rudder.
In order to make sure it lays over on the proper side I will usually row or walk an anchor out 90 degrees to the boat amidship on the side I want the boat to settle on. I then take my spin halyard and make a quick release knot to the anchor rhode so I can put just enough pull on the masthead to ensure she will roll over to the side I want.
When she is laid over due to the shape of the hull it never really touches any higher than right at the waterline, so the sides of the hull don't tough.
One time when laid over (careened) on the side of the ICW in course sand near the Topsail Island Bridge, where I had anchored while waiting for a bridge opening, I feel asleep, and the boat swung over a small bar made of course sand. I was very concerned that the wake from passing powerboats would cause her to slam on the sand, but it turns out that the shape when she is laid over is not good for a quick lift from not much water and the wake just split and passed around me.....much to my relief.
If the fluids and gear would not stand a careen......then what would it do in a knock down at sea? Sure if it's not stowed properly, which I am familiar with by the way.......it will be a mess below.
I think you would find that even when she is on her side she is not actually healed over that much more than in a good blow. It's not like it's going to be 90 degrees over.
Sorry for the long post and thanks to EVERYONE (almost everyone) for all the great information passed on here.
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Old 11-11-2015, 09:35   #11
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Re: Catalina 30 fin keel flat sheltered mud beach tidal layover safe?

You probably will sink it. There will not be any buoyancy until the water reaches half way up the cabin sides as the tide comes in. Need to seal off all openings so water will not fill the interior. Otherwise, you will experience what a ranger 29 folk got when he careened his boat up here in mid coast Maine. It flodded and stayed underwater. Another problem will be the suction of the hull as it settles into the mud bottom. Need to also check on how secure your batteries are, how fast the tide runs in(shifting hull on the bottom can really rip up the sides), and the boat's weight distribution.

Or just spend the money and have it hauled. If you can not afford a haul, you can not afford the boat.
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Old 11-11-2015, 09:38   #12
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Re: Catalina 30 fin keel flat sheltered mud beach tidal layover safe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mholtzberg View Post
There was a story once posted in Latitudes and Attitudes of the owner of Wanderlust 3 which was a Hunter 50 which got caught in a extreme Spring Tide outside of La Paz (near Panama Canal??) and he had pictures in the dark of the boat laying on it's side and it survived. I believe at the time the boat may have been a couple of years old but, for a unplanned careening it survived. They had to hurry and secure items prior to it finally laying over. I would try and remove any excess weight off the rigging, sails, and such so to limit the weight aloft on the high side of the stays. As I have heard the Catalina 30 is a robust boat and I would worry about the rudder. depending on the weight of the rudder (???) you could also consider inspecting and repacking the rudder while careened. Basically, it needs some planning.
that boat was not careened on the flat, but wedged between two rock outcrops.
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Old 11-11-2015, 09:40   #13
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Re: Catalina 30 fin keel flat sheltered mud beach tidal layover safe?

I Grew up on the shores of Puget Sound and we careened all manner of boats every season. You should have no issue with the keel, rudder or refloating. Make very certain ahead of time that there are no small rocks where she will land.

If you enjoy digging clams on your beach then think hard about tainting them with bottom paint.

Don't really understand your aversion to laying her against a wharf other than you don't have one in front of your home.

If your beach is in a protected cove, no issues. If the wind could pipe up and pound her as the tide returns, not so good.

Anchor her fore and aft and careen the mast up the beach.

We owned Treasure Island in Port Madison for a decade and every weekend we would get unintentional careenings onto our clam beds. Never saw a boat take water before lifting.
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Old 11-11-2015, 09:42   #14
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Re: Catalina 30 fin keel flat sheltered mud beach tidal layover safe?

" I'm thinking/hoping the designers have to make these safe to lay over softly and rise back up with the tide, right?"

No, that is not the case.

I think the main issue will be re-floating. What stops the boat from slowly flooding as the water rises? On my boat, water would enter through the anchor locker, the dorades, the cockpit hatch, the lockers in the cockpit, and so on. If these leaks are too fast, the boat will never float.

All the tanks rely on on vents with a U lock in them. As soon as the boat is on its side, they no longer work and you'll get leaks from all the tanks.
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Old 11-11-2015, 10:25   #15
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Re: Catalina 30 fin keel flat sheltered mud beach tidal layover safe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by reed1v View Post
You probably will sink it. There will not be any buoyancy until the water reaches half way up the cabin sides as the tide comes in. Need to seal off all openings so water will not fill the interior. Otherwise, you will experience what a ranger 29 folk got when he careened his boat up here in mid coast Maine. It flodded and stayed underwater. Another problem will be the suction of the hull as it settles into the mud bottom. Need to also check on how secure your batteries are, how fast the tide runs in(shifting hull on the bottom can really rip up the sides), and the boat's weight distribution.

Or just spend the money and have it hauled. If you can not afford a haul, you can not afford the boat.
Thank you. These questions are not automatically a money issue... not sure why that always comes up in replies to these types of threads like it does. I simply want to do it on my waterfront if safe to do so with this make/model/size. (like I have for 45 years with my other boats, seaplanes, etc.... a beach cultural thing.)
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