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Old 29-12-2009, 20:31   #1
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Cure for Grounding?

It seems like there should be a simple solution for running aground rather than waiting for high tide or getting towed.

I have a Jeep and we use this solution when we get stuck in the mud, it's called a 48" high lift jack. Very useful tool and not that expensive at all.

If you can get something solid to pull against such as an anchor you could brace the lift on the inside of the boat and use it to pull against the rope and get to deeper water.

- Harbor Freight Tools - Quality Tools at the Lowest Prices
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Old 29-12-2009, 20:41   #2
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Easy solution On our boat, it was the bottom foot or so of the keel that was causing all the problems. So we cut it off.

In all seriousness... I just now came below to unwind after being aground in La Paz harbor for the past 4 hours. We tried 2 dinghys to move us off the sand bar (drifting, so not charted). No luck. So I motored out (in the dinghy) and set our Fortress anchor as a kedge and got lots of tension on the line. And waited for the tide to come in. And after a few hours....... sproing!!! We're loose and floating free again.

Now to finish the glass of wine. Now that we're securely anchored in another area for the night.

Steve
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Old 29-12-2009, 21:29   #3
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Good job, Steve!

Another trick I've used is to set the kedge out to the side of the boat. Tie a spare line to the halyard, run it out to a bight on the kedge's rode, and bring it back to a cockpit winch. Then, haul the boat right over to 30-45 degrees or so. Often, this will lift the keel clear of the bottom enough to back off.

A well-crewed boat might swing the boom way out on a preventer and have some hefty guys crawl out to the end :-)

Don't think I'd want to use anything to push up on the hull, though, especially not in swells or wave action. You might punch a hole in the hull :-))

Bill
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Old 30-12-2009, 00:20   #4
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would it be ill advised to tie off to the mast top in order to gain some leverage? I wonder if the spreaders and chainplates could take the pull if you didn't go crazy cranking in on the winch.
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Old 30-12-2009, 02:42   #5
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All of those things can work. We've pulled ourselves off with a kedge, like the time we touched in the Blackwater. A friend crawled out on the boom to tilt us off when we grounded her boat in Newtown Creek. Even violently rocking from side to side can get you loose if the mud's not too sticky. Definitely pulling over from the masthead, especially if you want to make sure the boat 'fall' uphill' if you've grounded on a slope.

Of course, in tidal waters, a cat or bilge keeler just have a cup of tea and skulk below. It's us single keelers who really look like eejits!
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Old 30-12-2009, 06:09   #6
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Unless you've got a wing keel

In which case none of this stuff will do much good.

But the upside is we only draw 4.5 ft and have yet to get stuck (touching wood).

But the downside is that the wing keel is attached to a (gasp!) production boat, and therefore it is unsafe away from a shore. Oh woe, doomed to hugging the shorelines forever.

Just sayin'.
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Old 30-12-2009, 06:19   #7
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Originally Posted by jdoe71 View Post
In which case none of this stuff will do much good.

But the upside is we only draw 4.5 ft and have yet to get stuck (touching wood).

But the downside is that the wing keel is attached to a (gasp!) production boat, and therefore it is unsafe away from a shore. Oh woe, doomed to hugging the shorelines forever.

Just sayin'.

What is unsafe, you or the boat? Afraid to go offshore? Consider some offshore sail training. Most boats that are abandoned at sea are still floating long after the crews are safely ashore unless they have been holed or something along that line. Get some education. It will enhance your life.
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Old 30-12-2009, 06:37   #8
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I guess my too subtle attempt at humour was, well, too subtle.

Neither the crew or the boat, are unsafe. We take it offshore every chance we get. We have training and better yet, 35 years of sailing experience. I have been told repeatedly by guys in old, skinny boats with no interior space, no cockpit and a 6 foot plus keel that our boat is a death trap. Sort of thing you hear on this board, now and then.

Just to be clear, we own a big assed ol' production boat with a 4.5' draft wing keel. I was joking, OK? I guess I better not do that again.

Point was wing keels don't respond to being pulled from the masthead or much else when they're firmly embedded in mud. Or so I am told.
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Old 30-12-2009, 08:06   #9
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I wonder if a couple of well placed float/air bags, say one on each end of a line passed under the boat, would lower your water line enough to float free?
They may be easy to stow along with the aqua lung or hookah rig.

Or...how much help would you get from tying your fenders to a line passed under the hull then use the winch from the other side to pull them under?
Seems if you did that from both sides and moved the live load around a bit it could help?
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