Originally Posted by Mckelley
Hi all, I was hoping for any advice that would help me in drying out my thirty foot fixed keel
boat. I need to give her a new prop and give the hull
a good cleaning
. I've never dried a boat out before and could use any help you can give with regards to process, technique, and concerns. Thank You!
Presumably you are planning to use the tide to beach or "dry out" the boat.
The are many issues, some are show stoppers and others that you just have to take account of in the planning.
Principally the tidal variation has to be sufficient ; this may be self evident
The length of keel is also important, much harder to beach a tall thin keel than a short long keel. I'm not familiar with you vessel but most keel types can be beached with some care,
The forecast weather
is also important - again this may be self evident
Are you planning to keep the boat upright during the drying out period; if so, you will something to lean the boat against - jetty, dock
, wharf, pilings or even attachable legs. Clearly the bottom substance must be suitable. Deep thick gooey mud is not good while firm sand or shingle is great
If you are planning to lay the boat over, then there are many other considerations but again the bottom type and weather
are important issues.
I'l done both with a 30' steel
boat with a 'medium" keel. Laying the boat down was more nerve racking for me but that may have just been lack of knowledge on my part.
To lay her down, I choose a protected gently shoaling bay with a sandy bottom. I brought the boat in on a falling tide, dropped the anchor
and let her back towards the shore until the keel "kissed" the bottom. Quickly ran out a stern anchor
and hauled the stern around (pivoting on the keel) so the boat was parallel to the shore. Ran another small (dinghy) anchor to the shoreline and attached the boat end to the main halyard
. I used this to haul the boat over so she lay down with the high side facing the open water
. Then sat back until the tide did it's work.
Once settled, it was all hands to and carried out the required work.
Before the tide turned, I checked the bow and stern anchors and moved the small anchor from off the shore (and halyard) and set it out to the open water
and attached to an amidship cleat.
As the tide returned, I kept even tension on all three anchors line to prevent the boat being pushed up the shore
. As soon as the hull was nicely clear of the bottom, I eased both the amidship and stern anchor and encouraged the bow to face the open water as the tide continued to lift
her. Once the keel was free of the bottom, I up-anchored and the job was done.
I'm not suggesting this is the best way - it may even be a bad way
- but it did work for me.
I made sure the next high tide was higher than the previous high tide - again self evident for some but not others
Forget to add that all sea cocks were kept shut and the weather was mild (sitting under a big high). Tide range was around 9' or so if memory serves me correct and the draft
was 6'. Tide was changing from neaps to springs - always a good thing when drying out.