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Old 14-03-2023, 08:52   #46
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Re: Grounded my boat

Originally Posted by riksf View Post
but that day I learned a lesson about uncharted obstructions.
And instructors😉
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Old 14-03-2023, 09:10   #47
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Re: Grounded my boat

Originally Posted by jalmberg View Post
I have a rule: if there’s a chance you might run aground, run aground slowly! Obviously this will minimize damage, but also you have a better chance of backing out if you haven’t driven yourself too far in.

So, my stories are pretty boring!

I have always had stout full keel boats that can handle a bit of ground. If I had a bolt-on fin keel I would be MUCH more careful than I already am.
Its actually quite the opposite. If you ground with a full keel, you are really stuck. If you ground with a fin keel, you just spin around and get off again.
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Old 14-03-2023, 09:13   #48
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Re: Grounded my boat

Boy, does this bring back memories. Although we've no doubt many lessons remaining, grounding was among our first.

After a year and a half sailing a 16 footer on inland waters 7 years ago (we should've started sailing 50 years ago), it was time for a coastal boat. The area we'd sail out of would be the North Carolina southern coast, close to where the wife's family has a place. However, I had only one persistent MAJOR concern: grounding the keel with the tide going out. That area is replete with ever-changing shoals. This concern could have very well prevented us from buying a coastal boat.

Despite that, we soon had an opportunity to buy a 24 footer. The considerate broker had a very experienced C.G. reservist and boat captain to take us on a trial sail prior to buying.

While returning from our first sail on that boat, and no sooner than me asking the captain the all-important question: "So, what DO you do if you ground the boat on a shoal?" came the answer. The 4 ft. draft keel hit a shoal in the middle of the very narrow ICW channel near day beacon 174 (if you're familiar). It was quite an abrupt stop. And the tide was going out! You might imagine my 'uninitiated' (almost panicky) thoughts. The captain's instructions were calm and reassuring and his decisive, deliberate instruction of having me simply 'spin' the boat 180 degrees gave me satisfaction that with THIS boat, such a grounding was not a problem. So we bought the boat. The fin-keeled 24 footer was equipped with an outboard. As time passed, other groundings would follow. They were all handled with the captain's coolness of response in mind. Although now, with a 30 footer on Chesapeake Bay, there may some day be a much more problematic and dangerous grounding, I hope to never loose sight of the captain's example of how to handle the unexpected events which are certain to happen over time.
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Old 14-03-2023, 09:35   #49
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Re: Grounded my boat

Lots of Chesapeake Bay groundings over the years. Especially pre GPS/Navionics Sonar charts, etc.

Last summer- first grounding in New England - Westport MA.
We were right in the channel. Bumped going slowly. I tried again more to port and got more stuck. Engine eventually got me off.
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Made it back out, anchored and went in with dinghy. Getting dark, big NEster coming, and we had a mooring waiting. Found the harbormaster who told me where the actual new channel is, forged by nature. I verified in my dinghy with handheld depth sounder (if you don’t have one, GET ONE!).
Went in, plenty of water, and nerve wracking to be where the charts showed no water was present
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Old 14-03-2023, 10:29   #50
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Re: Grounded my boat

Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
Its actually quite the opposite. If you ground with a full keel, you are really stuck. If you ground with a fin keel, you just spin around and get off again.
This reminded me of something that happened to me and reinforces the notion that it is good to have VERY stout cleats or samson posts available for that time you really need it! Many years ago when I had my 24 footer anchored off Santa Barbara the harbor patrol called me, "get down here, your boat's on the beach!" There had been no weather so I was sure they must have meant someone else, but sure enough, there was my boat rocking back and forth in the shorebreak. (Someone swam out to the anchorage the night before and untied a few boats hoping to claim salvage when they washed ashore.) My boat had a 3/4 encapsulated keel so I wasn't worried about damage but I was wondering how I was going to get her off as the tide was falling before her keel became buried. Thankfully the harbor patrol officer suddenly appeared with their new boat and she threw me a line and said, "hold on!" I dropped the loop on the newly reinforced bow cleat and she gunned it. The line snapped, went taught, and stretched. The boat pitched forward a bit and then leapt off the beach! Later she commented how she was glad I had beefed up the backing on the cleat. Some folks think in terms of running a line back to the mast in case of extra strength needed, but I always evaluate a cleat based on that event; can I yank the boat off a beach with that?
1962 Columbia 29 MKI #37
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Old 14-03-2023, 11:07   #51
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Re: Grounded my boat

Originally Posted by svfinlandia View Post
Matanzas Inlet seems to change daily. I have ran aground there also.

Al, S/V Finlandia
Not exactly the inlet, but my Matanzas grounding was beside Ft Matanzas in the ICW, after Dorian "obsoleted" the soundings around marker 81 A,B& C.
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Old 14-03-2023, 11:36   #52
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Re: Grounded my boat

There are a number of inlets along Florida's Atlantic coast that can offer refuge if needed for anyone who elects to sail outside. However, many of these inlets are not safe unless you have local knowledge. Some are only safe in relatively calm weather. A couple, including Haulover Inlet mentioned above, have low fixed bridges just inside the inlet, so sailboats cannot enter despite adequate depths and well marked entrances.

The Waterway Guide -- Southern Volume -- has a pretty helpful synopsis for each of these inlets and what to watch out for.

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Old 14-03-2023, 11:56   #53
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Re: Grounded my boat

Back to Takitimu, here's another from the Oregon coast.
In college (late 80s), I was foredeck on a Santana 20 for the Nationals in Yaquina Bay. We didn't do so well, but that's another story. After the races on day 2, our skipper (a local congressman) decided to debark at the marina, stupidly handing the boat over to me and another mate to sail to the boat lift some distance down the bay. I took the helm, and of course the other crew was a pretty girl. I could end the story there, I guess.

We raised the chute and enjoyed flirtatious banter on our gentle run toward the lift. I spotted the channel markers and knew we needed to jibe but was too cool to make a fuss about it, just yet--she was laughing and doing that thing with her hair.

Just as I was about to announce the jibe, our full green & yellow spinnaker pulled us into the muddy shoal just west of the channel marker, and the Mighty Duck stalled immediately. We got the chute down but by then had buried half the keel. We tried careening the boat with our weight, but after three tries I looked down and saw the mud rising (water lowering) at an alarming rate.

Another mate who had gotten a ride with the congressman to the lift had borrowed some binoculars and made a prudent call to the Coast Guard. They sent out two men in an inflatable who had to raise the motors and wade to us. We set an anchor and got a ride to shore to wait out the tide. In the morning, after a free night at a hotel (another story), we drove over the bridge to an abandoned amusement park and got somebody to give us a ride in an ancient mailboat to the Mighty Duck floating proudly at high tide.

The tide, like human folly, is fairly predictable. Since then, I've owned several boats, small and big. No more groundings, and I try to be vigilant, but nature will have her way
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Old 15-03-2023, 05:38   #54
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Re: Grounded my boat

Mantazas is not really an inlet per se..well, not an inlet for anything but a small shallow draft boat...

Having grounded there before on the ICW, I found the " deep" water to be right alongside the tall spoil bank on the west side of the ICW. nowhere near the marked channel.

The ICW along the east coast of Florida is a mess. While there are dredging operations from time to time, there are many "known" areas where the sailor must be cautious to avoid running aground.
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Old 15-03-2023, 05:50   #55
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Re: Grounded my boat

I have seen a lot of people aground at Matanzas. i’m going to have to give that a vote also. That is definitely a place where people run a ground.

I think I might have run aground there. If I wasn’t in a catamaran.

there was a hunter or something right in the middle of the channels stuck on something. He was waving his arms and telling me to go around. To watch out for things. And I just went right through. Ha ha. he didn’t know that I have a 36" draft with rudders down.

Plus I didn’t trust whatever direction he was pointing in to tell me to go. I really don’t think he knew it was any deeper outside the channel them in it. So I just stayed in it.
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Old 15-03-2023, 11:23   #56
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Re: Grounded my boat

Got stuck in the mud in British Columbia trying to get into Squamish. Lots of sail boarders stoped by to ask if we needed help, I said just bring beer but nobody did. Floated off 6 hours later totally sober. Maybe a good thing. Wonderful trip back to Vancouver. Howe sound is absolutely gorgeous and relatively protected.
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