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Old 27-02-2014, 11:02   #16
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Re: Dodging Crab Buoys or Not?

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Indeed.

Some folks are lucky. Not me!

I have a partial skeg, semi-balanced rudder, supposed to give some of the benefits of a spade rudder, with the strength of a skeg. Pot ropes go straight into the joint at the bottom of the keg. The excellent rope cutter on my prop shaft is of no help in that situation. Don't ask me how I know!!
Well, yes, of course. With your configuration there is a horizontal slot facing forward between the bottom of the skeg and the top of the rudder. It's almost designed for picking up warps!

Don't get me wrong... I'm not advocating blatantly running down pots. But the underbodies of both of my recent boats shared one significant feature that -- I believe -- renders them nearly pot-proof. On both boats, if you extend a straight line between the outside of the hull at the part of the counter athwartships to the prop and the bottom of the keel or skeg, that line passes outside of the locus of the tip of the prop located in an aperture. This geometry makes picking up a line on the prop extremely unlikely. Combined with the absence of any slot between the rudder and skeg (or aft end of the keel), what is the line going to hang up on?

I especially enjoy night sailing, even on moonless nights. Regardless of attempts to preserve night vision, there is no way you can spot every pot buoy in crab-intensive waters like the Chesapeake. This is a major reason why -- after experience with my pot-grabbing-prone first boat -- I have deliberately chosen boats with the above characteristics.

Even so -- not to tempt fate -- I gently alter course to miss pot floats when I see them, but I don't go all apoplectic when I hear one sliding along the hull.
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Old 28-02-2014, 07:11   #17
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Re: Dodging Crab Buoys or Not?

Despite having a Spurs line cutter installed, I managed to pick one up just abeam New York harbor while motorsailing at night and it made a loud bang then a horrible vibration so it sounded like the propeller shaft must be bent and was about ready to rip itself right out of the boat or the maxprop must be a mangled mess. Only if I kept the RPM's below 800 was the vibration even bearable. So I shut off the engine and sailed to the mouth of the Cape Cod Canal but they require an engine to pass through it so I started the engine back up so if anyone was checking they'd see cooling water coming out of the back of the boat and since the wind was favorable, sailed through the canal just before sunset. Exiting, the wind soon died away to nothing so we motored at 800 RPM and about 2 knots in flat calm and thick fog all the way up to Marblehead. Only when I was safely on a mooring did I put on the mask and fins to check out what I expected was severe damage from hitting something. There was no damage at all, just a lot of pot warp wrapped around the max prop in an assymetrical manner that was preventing the blades from assuming the proper pitch, which I quickly cut away with a knife and my drive train was as good as new. My lesson learned was to not just assume what the damage is without actually looking at it, and I should have dove on it once it was daylight and seas were relatively flat before I passed through the Cape Cod Canal and saved myself a lot of time and trouble.
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Old 28-02-2014, 07:27   #18
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Re: Dodging Crab Buoys or Not?

Not that hard to avoid them, so why would you not apply a smidgen of steerage to avoid them? Regardless of underside configuration, there is just no need to run them down. Only takes one time having one tangle in a prop to ruin a great boat!
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Old 28-02-2014, 08:00   #19
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Re: Dodging Crab Buoys or Not?

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Originally Posted by Ukeluthier View Post
I think it depends entirely on your boat's underbody configuration.

I don't worry about it at all with my current boat, a small cruising Cape Cod-style catboat with a transom-hung barndoor rudder that does not extend below the keel, and the prop in an aperture.
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Don't get me wrong... I'm not advocating blatantly running down pots. But the underbodies of both of my recent boats shared one significant feature that -- I believe -- renders them nearly pot-proof. On both boats, if you extend a straight line between the outside of the hull at the part of the counter athwartships to the prop and the bottom of the keel or skeg, that line passes outside of the locus of the tip of the prop located in an aperture. This geometry makes picking up a line on the prop extremely unlikely. Combined with the absence of any slot between the rudder and skeg (or aft end of the keel), what is the line going to hang up on?
Agreeeeeed with your particular boat... BUT... I could walk the dock in my marina and it would be about the 175th to 300th boat BEFORE I found one with a similar underwater geometry to yours... We all have compromises, plus AND minus with our boats... Yours sounds like a great PLUS! But not too common...
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Old 28-02-2014, 08:27   #20
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Re: Dodging Crab Buoys or Not?

Funny you should ask...last week I caught my first crab trap in almost 10 years. I was singlehanded, tacking, and concentrating on settling the boat down on the new heading while grinding the genny in. I didn't even see the float, but heard it bump against the hull. Making just enough leeway during the tack that the float was pulled under the side of the boat & wedged in between the prop & hull. I tried everything to get it loose, obviously didn't dare run the motor, and getting in the water was out of the question. Finally I had to snag the line with a boathook and haul it up high enough that I could just reach it and cut it loose. I hated doing that, because it leaves a 'ghost' trap on the bottom that kills crabs, but I really had no other course of action.
I am always on the lookout for traps, but I occasionally miss seeing them. Under sail, in a straight line, my boat does a pretty good job of shedding them, and hopefully it would under power as well. (Wouldn't want to test it, though) It was the transient condition of leeway while tacking that got me.
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Old 28-02-2014, 08:48   #21
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Re: Dodging Crab Buoys or Not?

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Funny you should ask...last week I caught my first crab trap in almost 10 years. I was singlehanded, tacking, and concentrating on settling the boat down on the new heading while grinding the genny in. I didn't even see the float, but heard it bump against the hull. Making just enough leeway during the tack that the float was pulled under the side of the boat & wedged in between the prop & hull. I tried everything to get it loose, obviously didn't dare run the motor, and getting in the water was out of the question. Finally I had to snag the line with a boathook and haul it up high enough that I could just reach it and cut it loose. I hated doing that, because it leaves a 'ghost' trap on the bottom that kills crabs, but I really had no other course of action.
I am always on the lookout for traps, but I occasionally miss seeing them. Under sail, in a straight line, my boat does a pretty good job of shedding them, and hopefully it would under power as well. (Wouldn't want to test it, though) It was the transient condition of leeway while tacking that got me.
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Old 28-02-2014, 09:31   #22
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Re: Dodging Crab Buoys or Not?

I have a full keel with a cutaway forefoot and as such I thought my chances of snagging a crab pot was very unlikely under sail. Regardless I always steered clear of them when I could. One evening I was coming back from a sail on the bay, entering a river. It was dark and I had just passed a barge also entering the river. I knew there were crab pots outside of the main entrance and I was giving them a wide berth, however with the barge behind me, I decided to give him more room and skirted the edge of the channel. I could not see where the crab pots were, but figured that being under sail that there would not be a problem. Some minutes later I noticed that the barge was passing me now and I thought that he must be opening up the throttle until I looked down at my knotmeter which no longer showed the 6.5 knots that I was doing. The wind had not moderated and I was still on the same point of sail. Finally I decided that I must have saged a pot so I turn the boat up into the wind to stop it and prepared to douse all sails and dreaded the trip over board to cut what ever was slowing us down. No sooner that I had stopped the boat, from astern pops up a half a dozen floats, much like the scence in Jaws. So now I know that I must go over board, but before I could get on the wet suit....I notice that the floats are drifting away. I raise sail again just to be sure there is nothing remaining and sure enough I gain back speed. Later on I could find no evidence of just how the snag took place.
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Old 28-02-2014, 09:33   #23
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Re: Dodging Crab Buoys or Not?

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............... if you extend a straight line between the outside of the hull at the part of the counter athwartships to the prop and the bottom of the keel or skeg, that line passes outside of the locus of the tip of the prop located in an aperture. This geometry makes picking up a line on the prop extremely unlikely. Combined with the absence of any slot between the rudder and skeg (or aft end of the keel), what is the line going to hang up on? ....................
I've had this same configuration on my last two boats going back to 1973. My rudders on these vessels sat atop a rudder shoe that was contiguous with the keel. The only pot line I've ever caught was when motoring in reverse at Lower Matecumbe Key about ten years ago.

There are some places in Maine such as that cove to Starboard on the way into Tennant's Harbor or the entrace to Cape Porpoise where the lobster floats are closer together than the beam of my boat. I just slip over them, but I do end up with the little streaks of flourescent pastel colors just above my waterline from the bright paints on the floats. Fortunately they clean off easily.
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Old 28-02-2014, 12:20   #24
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Re: Dodging Crab Buoys or Not?

I just wanted to say that no matter what arsenal you have equipped on your boat to fight against snagging the crab pot. Avoid it at all cost. Don't ruin other's mean of making a living.

Let's do our best to co-exist with each other.
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Old 28-02-2014, 12:29   #25
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Re: Dodging Crab Buoys or Not?

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I always steer around anything I can see.
Yeah, what Cheechako said!
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Old 28-02-2014, 13:03   #26
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Re: Dodging Crab Buoys or Not?

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I never worry about them sailing or motoring. With our boat, they just slide right by. Alomost imposible to avoid them at night in the Florida Bay.

LOL just one response here that I agree with!

How do I start...? In my 35,000 nm cruise... Nah, that sounds pretentious....

Ummmmm... How about... Given the number of pots you will sail by on a circumnavigation....

Thats a better start....

But lets be more succinct...
There is NO way you will get caught in a crab pot, fish trap etc unless you are EXTREMELY unlucky. Visavie the respondent who has got caught once in 10 years.

If you are going sailing at night around the world there is no chance of seeing them at night and, no, we dont anchor at night, so you just plough on.
If you think the east coast of the USA has a couple crab pots splattered about you have no idea the number in Asia. Its like they invented the bloody things. Rows upon rows of every different form of pot.

Just charge through the bloody lot.

Nets are a teeennny weeny bit different and the idea there is to understand that the net is worth a few weeks wages to the owner so its going to be easy to spot, likely to be well lit, and in poorer countries have a boat to protect it.
Find the mid point and sail right over it.
On very rare occasions it will be floating all across the surface, in that case you will need to find the end, but its quite unusual.

Long line fishing can be a more likely problem where the line is 500 meters long and has a plastic oli container every 50 meters. You wont notice them till you grab it round your keel. The trick is to NOT stop! Slow down but keep way on. Get a boat hook out and leaning over the side pick up the line and slice, being very careful that the end that flicks around the keel doesnt have a hook suspended. If you do hit one its probably got away from the fishing boat so it could be a mass of lines, you dont need to cut them all, just enough so the longer end (you wont know which that is) pulls the shorter end around the keel. Remember to keep the hands well clear of the hooks!


The first few times you hear a bump in the night of a fishing bouy its a bit scary. But after a while its just a friendly tap on the hull


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Old 28-02-2014, 13:21   #27
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Re: Dodging Crab Buoys or Not?

With the modern LEDs it would seem plausible they could fit the floats with some kind of light on a stick so they are visable at night. I know the fishermen are generally struggling financialy so they probably not too keen on spending the extra cash.

Asia is a different story.
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Old 28-02-2014, 13:24   #28
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Re: Dodging Crab Buoys or Not?

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Interested in whether you worry about steering around crab buoys or not when sailing? If you have your transmission in reverse gear to keep the prop from spinning, seems that your risk profile is pretty low that you somehow would get a line wrapped in the small crack b/t rudder and hull. Great to hear thoughts from others.

Lobster pots for me.

In the daytime I avoid them, at night I try not to think about them.

But you just have to come to terms that there is a magnetic attraction between pot floats and fiberglass.
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Old 28-02-2014, 13:27   #29
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Re: Dodging Crab Buoys or Not?

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But lets be more succinct...
There is NO way you will get caught in a crab pot, fish trap etc unless you are EXTREMELY unlucky. Visavie the respondent who has got caught once in 10 years.

I've caught more than one. And one even stopped my boat cold where it wrapped on the keel. But have never had one wrap on the prop, which is the only important part of the whole thing..
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Old 28-02-2014, 14:27   #30
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Re: Dodging Crab Buoys or Not?

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Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
........
But lets be more succinct...
There is NO way you will get caught in a crab pot, fish trap etc unless you are EXTREMELY unlucky. Visavie the respondent who has got caught once in 10 years.

If you are going sailing at night around the world there is no chance of seeing them at night and, no, we dont anchor at night, so you just plough on.
If you think the east coast of the USA has a couple crab pots splattered about you have no idea the number in Asia. Its like they invented the bloody things. Rows upon rows of every different form of pot.........

Mark
That's it; it's official, I'm one extremely very unlucky basta'd then having hooked up at least a half a dozen or more in WA and Asia - and that was when I was trying to avoid 'em!

Sure, the underwater shape wasn't helpful and I had less problem once I change the shape of the keel / rudder interface but....

To be anchored by your stern with a rope around your rudder and 20+ knots up yer backside, a 10-15 ft swell running and a distant (+20 nm) lee shore in the middle of a dark night short handed sure raises my BP to unacceptable levels but it does (finally) gives one some confidence in the strength of your rudder pintles when they don't break before freeing oneself only to hook up again before dawn

Anyway, MarkJ is the lucky one, Wotie is the unlucky one

FWIW, I concur with Mark's thoughts on long lines - they can be nasty to get free from!
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