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Old 27-02-2014, 09:39   #1
TJR
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Dodging Crab Buoys or Not?

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.
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Old 27-02-2014, 09:49   #2
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Re: Dodging Crab Buoys or Not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TJR View Post
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.
Whaaa?????

Avoid... Avoid... Avoid.... Danger Will Robinson!

Why would you take any risk at grabbing a line no matter how small the risk??? It's PITA at the very best.... $$$$$ and lives at worst....

A fin-spade is going to grab it more often than not.... A full-barn usually has a nifty little slot ... Perfectly sized for wedging a line????
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Old 27-02-2014, 09:56   #3
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Re: Dodging Crab Buoys or Not?

Avoid them at all cost. Keep a look out at all time, including at night. Keep your night vision intact and don't flash your mate with your LED.

Good thing about sailing is not like driving your 911 Porsche at 140 mph, you have more time to react.
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Old 27-02-2014, 09:58   #4
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Re: Dodging Crab Buoys or Not?

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.

My previous boat, a Peterson/Formosa 46 cutter, was almost as impervious to picking up pot warps. Despite sailing mostly on the pot-laden Chesapeake Bay and being rather lackadaisical about avoiding pots, the only line I ever picked up in 33 years of sailing that boat was my own dinghy painter when I backed down on it. It had a long fin keel and a skeg-hung rudder, also with the prop in an aperture, and the forward edges of both the keel and the skeg were gently sloped.

On the other hand, my first boat, a Helms 24, snagged everything within a quarter-mile (almost) with its deep transom-hung rudder with a vertical leading edge. I once dragged an eel pot under sail from the Severn River to the Sassafras before I discovered it, wondering all the while while the boat felt so sluggish!
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Old 27-02-2014, 10:00   #5
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Re: Dodging Crab Buoys or Not?

Wow..starting to understand the need for new boater safety cards.

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Old 27-02-2014, 10:04   #6
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Re: Dodging Crab Buoys or Not?

I do my best to avoid buoys on lobster pots here Maine for lots of reasons. Even though your prop isn't spinning, they can still manage to get hung up on it and it's a pain to have to come up into the wind to lessen the forces while you work at getting yourself unhooked. If unsuccessful by using a boathook or gaff, then you'll either have to dive on it or cut it. Diving is potentially dangerous if there are any seas running because it's pretty easy to get bopped on the head while you're under there. If you cut it, some poor lobsterman is out a couple hundred bucks, depending on how many traps he has on the one buoy. The final reason I avoid them is that on some of the older buoys, they used nails to hold the float to the wooden stake and they also sometimes used nails to hold a strap on the bottom that the warp attaches to. If the buoy passes down the leeward side of your hull, that could be the head of a rusty nail that's scraping along the length of your immersed topsides. Several times a summer I'm unsuccessful at seeing one in time and I hear it passing below as it scrapes along the hull, but I try to minimize this as much as possible by keeping a lookout for them. If you look far enough ahead, you only have to change your heading by a couple of degrees to barely miss them, always on the downwind/current side.
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Old 27-02-2014, 10:08   #7
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Re: Dodging Crab Buoys or Not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyMdRSailor View Post
A full-barn usually has a nifty little slot ... Perfectly sized for wedging a line????
Not necessarily. Barn-door rudders are often set on a gudgeon that extends aft from the bottom end of the keel. No slot there.

My own current boat is the same model as in this pic:

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Old 27-02-2014, 10:11   #8
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Re: Dodging Crab Buoys or Not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TJR View Post
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.
My Dad was a fisherman and used pots for crabs. there is a simple way to know which side to pass pot ropes. Look at the large bouy and you will see a line about 6 ft long with a small bouy attached to it. This is the pickup bouy. If you always pass outside of the little bouy you will be safe as the tide takes the little bouy away from the main bouy with the line to the pot.
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Old 27-02-2014, 10:15   #9
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Re: Dodging Crab Buoys or Not?

Always avoid. In So. Cal. it's lobster pots.
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Old 27-02-2014, 10:17   #10
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Re: Dodging Crab Buoys or Not?

I always steer around anything I can see.
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Old 27-02-2014, 10:32   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ukeluthier
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.

My previous boat, a Peterson/Formosa 46 cutter, was almost as impervious to picking up pot warps. Despite sailing mostly on the pot-laden Chesapeake Bay and being rather lackadaisical about avoiding pots, the only line I ever picked up in 33 years of sailing that boat was my own dinghy painter when I backed down on it. It had a long fin keel and a skeg-hung rudder, also with the prop in an aperture, and the forward edges of both the keel and the skeg were gently sloped.

On the other hand, my first boat, a Helms 24, snagged everything within a quarter-mile (almost) with its deep transom-hung rudder with a vertical leading edge. I once dragged an eel pot under sail from the Severn River to the Sassafras before I discovered it, wondering all the while while the boat felt so sluggish!
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!!
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Old 27-02-2014, 10:55   #12
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Re: Dodging Crab Buoys or Not?

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Old 27-02-2014, 10:55   #13
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Re: Dodging Crab Buoys or Not?

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Originally Posted by jtsailjt View Post
I do my best to avoid buoys on lobster pots here Maine for lots of reasons.
For all areas I have sailed including Maine, Chesapeake bay, Keys, and So Cal, Maine by far has more pot buoys (density) than any place else. I am not saying I am upset with the lobster men, I understand it is their living. So I just navigate carefully.
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Old 27-02-2014, 10:57   #14
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Re: Dodging Crab Buoys or Not?

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Old 27-02-2014, 10:58   #15
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Re: Dodging Crab Buoys or Not?

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.
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