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Old 26-10-2010, 18:03   #1
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Running Aground

Ok, so I have been reading and browsing about running agound which is my biggest fear. Yes, you should be paying attention to your surroundings, tide charts and local conditions. I read somewhere that there are 2 types of sailors, ones who have run aground and the others who have not yet run agound.
But how many people have actually had it happen to them? How was the experience other than scared sh*t out of you?
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Old 26-10-2010, 18:12   #2
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depends on where you run aground. in florida on a sand or mud bank is where i have done it 3 or 4 times .. each time i either sailed or powered off .. not scary but a pain in the rear end. running up on a rock or coral reef is a different thing. all can be avoided by not going near the shallow waters.
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Old 26-10-2010, 18:14   #3
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But how many people have actually had it happen to them? How was the experience other than scared sh*t out of you?
I have.

Not scared (calm, little wind) just annoyance at myself.
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Old 26-10-2010, 18:16   #4
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Old 26-10-2010, 18:20   #5
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The first time I ran aground, I hit a ledge where the New River meets the ICW in Fort Lauderdale. I was motoring at a good rate of speed and came to an abrupt halt. That scared me, and made me glad to have a glassed in keel. Since then I've ran into a soft bottom a couple times in various parts of the ICW, and never worried again - just backed out with the engine, no problem.
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Old 26-10-2010, 18:20   #6
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Well like Gonesail said, depends on where, when and how you run aground. If you are under full sail, big waves and run head on into a reef with the wind and waves pushing onto the reef then that kind of running aground is usually the end of your boat. So when sailing in the ocean with wind and waves you will be very conservative.

On the other hand, in calm weather trying to work your way at slow speed into a shallow area with sandy or muddy bottom running aground is usually no big deal at all so you may tend to push the limits with little risk.
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Old 26-10-2010, 18:21   #7
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Done it twice.... first time no worries just embarassment as boat owners who used the yard/moorings that I was working for kept sailing back n forth taking the pee....
Second time going into the Moorehead/Beaufort inlet when due to tiredness I confused my lights and missed the main entrance and ended up bumping my way back out on the opposite tack... good luck in the form of a quartering wave smacking my stern and helping get me round played a large part in saving the boat.
Scared me so much when I got in I did not trust my senses and tacked back and forth across the entrance to Taylors Creek for an hour before beliving what my eyes were telling me (engine dead).... eventually sailed in and picked up a mooring on the third pass... light winds, crowded and an ebb tide... got a great audience on the quay tho'....
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Old 26-10-2010, 18:24   #8
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If running aground is your biggest fear then how do you feel about propane leaks or dismasting?
A lot depends on where you sail and what kind of boat you have. My Tartan 27' has a center board which acts as a very realistic depth sounder. If we run aground (and we have) we raise the board and get the heck out of there.
I was recently on an O'Day 27' with a winged shoal keel with a falling tide on the LI Sound Connecticut shoreline and we ran aground. All the water went out to the point that we could climb off the boat onto the beach - the winged keel and rudder held the boat upright until the tide came back up and we just sailed off 5 hours later.
I have also been on sailboats in the Chesapeake that have touched bottom (hard not to in the Chessy) but the bottom is soft sandy mud and is pretty easy to get off if you heel the boat, throw a kedge anchor and/or backwind your sails or turn on the motor.
What is scary is to run aground on a hard, rocky, uneven surface.
Soft groundings should be no big deal
Hard groundings can be another matter entirely.
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Old 26-10-2010, 18:52   #9
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As I found out the first trip going down the ICW, don't worry too much about getting a lot of bottom paint on the bottom of the keel. Chances are that by the time you get through Georgia it will be wet sanded clean. Only scary the first couple of times, then not too much of a problem. Once you hit coral or rock country though it's a different story. Then the thought of it gets scary for me.
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Old 26-10-2010, 18:59   #10
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A couple of times.

b.
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Old 26-10-2010, 19:05   #11
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running aground

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Originally Posted by houseboy View Post
Ok, so I have been reading and browsing about running agound which is my biggest fear. Yes, you should be paying attention to your surroundings, tide charts and local conditions. I read somewhere that there are 2 types of sailors, ones who have run aground and the others who have not yet run agound.
But how many people have actually had it happen to them? How was the experience other than scared sh*t out of you?
If you own a boat sooner or later you will hit bottom that is just part of it!
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Old 26-10-2010, 19:13   #12
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I haven't been doing this long enough yet for it to matter that I haven't but the PO of my boat sailed from Sydney BC to Alaska and back the year before I bought. They were 100 meters from being back at their slip when they went aground! They made a sandwich, cracked a beer and waved to old friends while they waited for the tide to lift them.
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Old 26-10-2010, 19:20   #13
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running aground

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As I found out the first trip going down the ICW, don't worry too much about getting a lot of bottom paint on the bottom of the keel. Chances are that by the time you get through Georgia it will be wet sanded clean. Only scary the first couple of times, then not too much of a problem. Once you hit coral or rock country though it's a different story. Then the thought of it gets scary for me.
Georgia I avoid it! Plus from Goverment cut backs on dreging also winding and turning cruise a long ways to make a few miles and you will run aground if you don't work with the tides unless you just want to take the scenic route its very prety if you're not in a hurry.
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Old 26-10-2010, 20:21   #14
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Every one that sails regularly will run aground sometime. Keep your dinghy ready and an anchor for kedging off ready to deploy. When you run aground and can't back off immediately, get the dinghy in the water and the anchor out to kedge off right now. Waiting even a few minutes can assure you of a lengthy period of rock solid watiing.

About the only good thing about running aground if you have a decent tidal excursion is it gives you a chance to check your zincs and the bottom condition, btdt.
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Old 26-10-2010, 20:37   #15
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If you haven't run aground in the Chesapeake, you aren't adventurous enough.:-) Having said that, we've only had to be towed off once- leaving Smith Island in a cross wind. A local guy was nice enough to come out and pull us off.

We chartered a Contessa 32 in Falmouth Harbor one day and it was a different story. I was definitely more nervous about all those rocks! Fortunately, we didn't meet any first hand. I assume you just get used to being more careful.

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