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Old 16-02-2011, 07:25   #16
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Quote:
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[FONT=Calibri][SIZE=3]I asked about fresh water because our “big” water here in ND is Lake Sakakawea. It is man made and feeds a hydroelectric dam. It is charted but the level can lower dramatically in a few hours. Toss in sudden super-cell thunderstorms and grounding is not if but when.
Another good option if you know you will be running aground it to buy a centerboarder. If you run aground you can just raise the board and sail off. A water ballasted boat would probably work to. Just pump out the water and you are floating again. There are a large number of great Good Old Boats with centerboards. Less with water ballast, but they do exist.
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Old 16-02-2011, 08:07   #17
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If using the motor to try and power off be careful of the sand and sediment you churn up. It will get into the raw water intake and fry your impeller - maybe more!!

I recently ran aground for the first time in soft mud/sand. I used the motor to get the wind off my broadside, sheeted the main and gib in as tight as I could, healed over like crazy and - off. The lesson I learned was to first go below and secure everything!!

Plan B was to inflate the dink and kedge out the anchor.

Plan C was to pray my SeaTow insurance was up to date.
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Old 16-02-2011, 08:13   #18
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If you are at Max High Tide you have got a problem. If not just wait and the water depth will change. When it does, try to have a good idea which way to go...
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Old 16-02-2011, 08:21   #19
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If entering unfamiliar waters,with shallow water,try to enter on a rising tide,but not at hightide.
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Old 16-02-2011, 08:40   #20
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As an ex lake sailer myself, I agree with the ideas of either a water ballasted boat or a centerboarder. I'd go with one with a swing keel, and if possible a kickup rudder. It will give you peace of mind, and takeaway a lot of worries...enjoy
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Old 16-02-2011, 08:44   #21
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Remember the STOP rule for crises. Stop, Think, Observe, Plan.
In clear water, go overboard with a mask and snorkel to see what's hanging you up. If this isn't practical, take soundings with a lead line. Pushing ahead could make things worse while freedom might lie a few inches behind you. Row out with a kedge, as has been suggested, especially if you know which way you want it to pull you. Call for a passing power boat to throw you a wake, especially if you know what you want to do the minute the wake hits you. Been there more than once but hey, if you haven't been in the putty today you probably haven't been anywhere.
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Old 16-02-2011, 09:06   #22
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Another good rule: before cruising any new area put the Tow service # in you cell phone. Not sure if you lake has one, but if so, they can be an (expensive) life-saver. Only way to get off a lee-shore in 20 knot winds at 2 AM. Not too many passing boats at that time of night. That was a $200 lesson I will not soon forget. If I had not had the phone # in my cell, I would have been there all night.
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Old 16-02-2011, 09:11   #23
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You get real creative....best not to be anywhere near shallow water on an ebbing tide, or its a long wait. Bring along a GPS with tidal curves so that you can plan your move in Time. Throw out an anchor to create a mooring if you want to sleep it out. I have slept on the wall of a berth once, until the Flood.

I planned and executed a maneuver once on a dark rainy midnight well offshore, hauling in the sails quickly to achieve a close hauled reach with a heel, then upon achieving the heel, gunned the engine and headed onto a broad reach, rolling off the bar, even in the face of wicked current that originally pushed the vessel onto the offshore bar that had moved from its location on the chart. The maneuver made the owner of the vessel who had been at the helm on his watch in the dark of night very happy A well thought out plan skillfully executed brings much peace to the soul We were all amazed at our answered prayers, as a powerful gale was to arrive in a few short hours You have to love adventure....captain richie
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Old 16-02-2011, 13:36   #24
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First try to reverse off. Since the prop (at least in most sailboats with a bit of a keel) is usually off the bottom (make sure you don't have a rock or something sticking up from the bottom to hit the prop) then powering is usually safe.

Put out an anchor and pull yourself off.

Tilt the boat. If you heel over the keel will be raised a little higher so you will draw less water.

Lighten the boat, throw all the beer overboard that warped your perception and caused you to run aground in the first place. Then pump out the water tanks. Throw the crew overboard.
Into the dinghy for later after you got off and need a bevvy

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Old 16-02-2011, 13:49   #25
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Lighten the boat, throw all the beer overboard that warped your perception and caused you to run aground in the first place.
Please throw your beer into MY boat; I will be hove-to a safe distance away.

In most cases, you are only a few feet from enough depth to make your boat happy. Sometimes, just getting everyone to move around the boat (together) is enough to wiggle her free.

John
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Old 16-02-2011, 14:12   #26
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im trying t think of a song, what do you do with a drunken sailor, what do you do with a grounded boat?

hmmm
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Old 16-02-2011, 14:45   #27
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The last time I ran aground, it was under power with an ebbing tide, on gravel bottom (by the noise it did on the keel). We tried everything we tought of:
- immediately reversing the engine, while heeling the boat: didn't work
- kedging: didn't work, the anchor didn't set, even with all the rode spread on the bottom
- heeling with the weight of the 2 heaviest men aboard on a halyard: didn't work
- pulling broadsides and heeling by heaving on the spinnaker halyard connected to a nearby mooring buoy: didn't work, we were afraid of breaking the fairlead on the mast
- getting out and pushing wasn't possible: 1.9m (6'3") draught, cold water (winter)

We had to wait for the rising tide.

Alain
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Old 16-02-2011, 14:57   #28
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Sometimes you just have to wait.

If someone with a power boat will go round and round you in small circles sometimes their wake will lift you off. Or give you a bloody strong tow.

You say it takes 'a few hours' to drop. Do you know the conditions that cause it or a way to get notice of any draining going on? Because then you could have the info and treat it like a (very irregular) tide.
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Old 16-02-2011, 15:04   #29
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The shape of the keel can make all the difference.
I was on a winged keel boat (O'Day 272) with an ebbing tide (tidal range 8') on LI Sound when we grounded. Tilting the boat would only dig one of the wings into the sand so we tried powering off with the engine, no dice, kedging, no dice. We spent the next 5+ hours watching all the water ebb out and flood back in while the boat stood on its winged keel. It was good to have some beer on the boat to help spend the time.
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