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Old 12-10-2012, 12:46   #16
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Re: What would you have done?

Check the rocks on the right there, had the same thing happen to me a few weeks ago except it was a mooring string line that was floated by kelp. Took about 30 minutes with snorkeling gear, knife, and screwdriver to clear.

My friend held us in position with his dinghy as I cleared the line. Total pain in the ass. The only thing it really taught me is:

a) Flashlight the prop and the waterline in general before you turn on the engine, every time, minus open water. Probably should do it then too but the odds of picking up polypro in open water seems pretty slim.
b) Snorkeling gear is not "dive gear" and needs to be pretty accessible. Our dive gear is under the v berth and is a total pain in the ass to get at. Now, basic snorkeling gear is super easy to get to.

In general I don't anchor close to shore unless I've been in the area for a while and feel comfortable with it. I'm sort of wimpy like that.



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Old 12-10-2012, 12:46   #17
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Re: What would you have done?

It was a floating log, partially submerged. I never considered mooring to it because it could then bump against us in the night.

We actually never tried rotating the shaft from the engine room but I must admit that my wife did suggest it. I discarded the idea because of the strength required to turn it and the difficulty we would have had communicating between one of us pulling and the other being inside the engine room.
Another purchase that should maybe be moved up the priority list... walkie talkies.
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Old 12-10-2012, 12:47   #18
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Re: What would you have done?

One thing you can do when anchoring and towing a dingy is tie it to the side of your boat instead of keeping tied off at the stern. We always tie it off to the side of boat as we enter an anchorage so we don't forget to when a lot is going on with the anchoring. Keep a tight painter when dinghy is tied to the side. It's best never to back down with any boat with dinghy tied off to the stern no matter how tight the painter is.

But it sounds like you did a great job at getting out of the situation but I bet it was a lot of hard cold work.
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Old 12-10-2012, 12:48   #19
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Re: What would you have done?

A floating dinghy line.
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Old 12-10-2012, 12:51   #20
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Re: What would you have done?

Oh, and *never* tow the dinghy. If the engine is going on, the dinghy goes onto the deck. It's a pain in the ass, but this is honestly a really good reminder of how easy it is to screw up. I've moved 30' in an anchorage before and I pulled the dinghy up on deck with a halyard, including stowing the outboard properly.

If it's really urgent, anchor the dinghy then go and swim out to later. If it isn't urgent, get it on deck (or davits). If you're just stopping somewhere for the night, don't drop the dinghy in the first place.
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Old 12-10-2012, 12:51   #21
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Re: What would you have done?

Plan A would have been what you did - 2 hours over the side with a rubber dink clearing the prop from the rubber dink! As a kid I did that a few times - eventually the skipper learned not to run over so much stuff (usually own mooring ).........and both of us are paranoid about anything getting tangled in the prop (if in doubt the engine goes into Neutral).....the prop will suck in a line.....doubt is cured by knowing where the line / rope is - not simply from guessing (hoping) that it is ok......lots of peering overboard! / fishing around with a boathook!


Swim Goggles or a facemask (sometimes you can simply untangle / unwind - if you can see WTF is going on)
Breadknife (for the serrated edge) - handle drilled for a line.
Hacksaw (it also cuts rope)
A line on the diver - plus the inflatable dink hanging off the boat is also a comfort.
Never done one at night - but I guess a divers torch might be useful.
A wetsuit would be nice as well, get cold and tired fairly easiliy in temperate waters at least (especially fingers).


In your case, plan B would have been to set a 2nd anchor - out in the middle.......and to have remained on deck all night doing an anchor watch........and then have another crack at the shaft in the morning.

Plan C would be keeping the Inflatable dink afloat - and with a grabbag to hand.
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Old 12-10-2012, 12:52   #22
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Re: What would you have done?

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Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
A floating dinghy line.
I use polypro for my dinghy painter but the "floating" aspect isn't nearly enough to overcome a loop aimed downwards plus the suck from a fast spinning prop. Plus you can cross your stern over it and get it down there easy enough.
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Old 12-10-2012, 12:54   #23
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Re: What would you have done?

Here is another scenario if I was in that situation. I would cut the painter and put another new one to secure the dinghy. I would try to remove painter as you did. If not successful I would have no qualms about starting the engine and grinding the old painter up with the spinning prop. Many times during haul out I find many windings of somebodies fishing line wound around the prop shaft.
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Old 12-10-2012, 13:10   #24
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Re: What would you have done?

When I'm in that area I like the little nooks where I can get out of the wind and make a stern tie. Since often the bottom there is rocky or mud over rock and deep you get a better angle on the bottom that way. That being said I did have to ditch the stern tie one night in the Copelands and reanchor around between the islands and more out of the wind that came up in the middle of the night. And you did what I've done, a fish knife duct taped to the boat hook and dive mask leaning off the front of the inflatable. Scary business in the middle of the night.

I think the log wouldn't have been a problem, even a deadhead in an anchorage tends not to move much and a bump in the night probably wouldn't cause damage.

Barry
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Old 12-10-2012, 13:10   #25
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Re: What would you have done?

We actually do have a floating painter and I (very wrongly and foolishly) relied on that too much. As I was reversing, I looked at the dinghies and saw they were quite a ways off the starboard side. They were also tied to the starboard side so my mistake was ASSuming that the floating painter was not behind the boat and even if it were, it would be fine because it's floating.

THAT was definitely the mistake that lead to the situation with the dinghy and which served to accentuate the situation with the anchorage. All-in-all, I feel very fortunate in that A) we emerged unscathed and B) that the painter situation did happen because that vulnerable feeling was a real life lesson without consequence (thankfully) and one I won't forget.
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Old 12-10-2012, 13:11   #26
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Re: What would you have done?

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The next AM when we pulled up the anchor we pulled up a sunken motor boat that we where dragging on the bottom with the anchor stuck in its foredeck.

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wow V...nice job! hope all is well with you guys and motor fixed..
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Old 12-10-2012, 13:33   #27
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Re: What would you have done?

This thread certainly got my attention having just done the same thing just three days ago.

I was also in the PNW in Smugglers Cove, single handling and backing up on my anchor the (floating) line went around the prop and began to pull the dingy under water. Neutral, run back and let out more chain. Now drifting toward the shore so run back and take up some chain, (but insufficient scope now).

First sent up an urgent prayer to the One who can still the waters.

Cut the dingy loose and rowed to the only other boat in the anchorage to ask if he could be with me while I went into the water. He said he would when his sons came back with his tender.

I tried the rotate the shaft technique but to no avail. So went into the water with no wetsuit and quickly decided a heart attack was not worth the effort.

Got on the radio (asking the coast guard to switch to channel 83alpha so as not to become the joke of the day on ch 16), got the number of the Scuba Shop in Secret Cove, ($500), and they said tomorrow am.

Just then the dingy showed up and his two sons with wetsuits came to my rescue! Tried to pay them but they would not hear of it.

Re-set my anchor, called off the scuba shop and cracked a beer. (Oh ya and gave thanks to the One who can still the waters!)
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Old 12-10-2012, 13:46   #28
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Re: What would you have done?

$500? For that price he should have at least been willing to come out on a emergency call. That sounds like highway (seaway) robbery.

I see diving gear and lessons in my future. It's sounding more and more like a good investment.
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Old 12-10-2012, 13:58   #29
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Re: What would you have done?

Scuba gear is a great asset to a cruising boat, but for a rope around a prop simple free diving gear a face mask, snorkel and fins with wet/dry suit with weight belt (if cold) are the tools of choice.
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Old 12-10-2012, 13:59   #30
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Re: What would you have done?

I keep a wetsuit, sharp knife, diving mask, underwater light and a weight belt on hand for this sort of occasion. So far, I have not needed to use the underwater headlight.
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