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Old 03-05-2021, 12:17   #1
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Temporary Mooring - Plow/Bruce/Delta/Fluke/Pyramid

I am hoping to visit a friend, who has a house on the water, up near the very end of a very calm/protected creek (Broad Creek, MD). His dock is just a smidge too shallow (4' at low, and 7' at high, and my draft is 5.25.)

Two questions:

a. Is it okay to dock, and let my keel hit with 1.25' too low? (too much pressure on the keel? or is this okay to do?)

b. Rather than set a mooring - I'm thinking I buy an oversized, bomb-proof anchor for my 30' Catalina 30. Boat might be left alone for 1-2 weeks. Very muddy, soft bottom. Is this feasible? Or should I buy something like a 200# pyramid block? Something else?

I'm hoping to visit for about 2 months. Can use the dock for periods I'll be away for a while (if you guys think the 4' low on the 5.25' draft is okay). But would like a "temporary mooring" option. The water is 6' at low, just 50 yards from the dock.


Your advice and ideas are most welcome!!!!
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Old 03-05-2021, 13:30   #2
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Re: Temporary Mooring - Plow/Bruce/Delta/Fluke/Pyramid

What do you think the boat rests on when hauled out? The keel.

If your friends dock is a fixed dock, that is to say, not a floating dock, your boat will sink into the mud and lean gently into the dock just fine. I live on a creek not far from Broad Creek and my boat and my daughter's boat has done this for years. It is a little hard on the bottom paint on the bottom of the keel though.

Two big Danforth anchors set 180° apart, would be much better than a big block for a mooring.
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Old 04-05-2021, 03:21   #3
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Re: Temporary Mooring - Plow/Bruce/Delta/Fluke/Pyramid

If the water is shallow, you don't want a mooring that will stick up above the surface--it could impale your hull. I'd buy the three cheapest biggish anchors at the first consignment shop and drop them in a 'Y' pattern, with a swivel where the three short chains meet and a heavy pennant from there to the boat. In the sort of mud you see in around there, the type of anchor hardly matters.
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Old 04-05-2021, 03:38   #4
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Re: Temporary Mooring - Plow/Bruce/Delta/Fluke/Pyramid

The keel is unlikely to push up thru the hull but if you get a lower than normal tide, you may have the boat fall over.

As mentioned, there is the risk of dropping onto hard objects which could include moorings and anchors.

I'd look for somewhere else to moor for the 2 weeks.
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Old 04-05-2021, 08:39   #5
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Re: Temporary Mooring - Plow/Bruce/Delta/Fluke/Pyramid

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spring-Fever View Post
I am hoping to visit a friend, who has a house on the water, up near the very end of a very calm/protected creek (Broad Creek, MD). His dock is just a smidge too shallow (4' at low, and 7' at high, and my draft is 5.25.)

Two questions:

a. Is it okay to dock, and let my keel hit with 1.25' too low? (too much pressure on the keel? or is this okay to do?)

b. Rather than set a mooring - I'm thinking I buy an oversized, bomb-proof anchor for my 30' Catalina 30. Boat might be left alone for 1-2 weeks. Very muddy, soft bottom. Is this feasible? Or should I buy something like a 200# pyramid block? Something else?

I'm hoping to visit for about 2 months. Can use the dock for periods I'll be away for a while (if you guys think the 4' low on the 5.25' draft is okay). But would like a "temporary mooring" option. The water is 6' at low, just 50 yards from the dock.

Your advice and ideas are most welcome!!!!
Given your numbers and the soft muddy bottom I would use an appropriately sized Danforth anchor. You could test leaving it at the dock a couple times and see how she rests, moving it to the Danforth if it proves negative. The mud will remove some of the antifouling paint.

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Old 04-05-2021, 08:54   #6
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Re: Temporary Mooring - Plow/Bruce/Delta/Fluke/Pyramid

It seems very shallow and there could be other hard stuff not marked that you may strike, so unless you have a long dive to swim a grid survey, I would not moor
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Old 04-05-2021, 09:19   #7
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Re: Temporary Mooring - Plow/Bruce/Delta/Fluke/Pyramid

I looked at the chart - assuming the "Broad Creek, MD" you are referring to is the one off the South River SW of Annapolis, how are you going to get your Catalina under the 25' Riva Road bridge? If you're in the one off Magothy Bay, that's a beautiful spot, with no bridges

I would suggest a couple Danforth anchors - they set like crazy in the Chesapeake mud and they're pretty cheap if you shop around (Craig's list, etc.) Anchoring bow & stern on a pair of those should work a treat in a sheltered cove.


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Old 04-05-2021, 09:29   #8
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Re: Temporary Mooring - Plow/Bruce/Delta/Fluke/Pyramid

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Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
The keel is unlikely to push up thru the hull but if you get a lower than normal tide, you may have the boat fall over.
I wonder how true this is. I was once at a dock overnight and found to have 3.5' of depth the next day, the clearance is 5' under the transducer, I had to wait ~2 hrs to float. I checked the boat from various docks at the marina and she was sitting straight up with slack lines, no listing whatsoever. I believe the hull has enough buoyancy that it will stay straight provided there is some water under it.
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Old 04-05-2021, 09:35   #9
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Re: Temporary Mooring - Plow/Bruce/Delta/Fluke/Pyramid

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I wonder how true this is. I was once at a dock overnight and found to have 3.5' of depth the next day, the clearance is 5' under the transducer, I had to wait ~2 hrs to float. I checked the boat from various docks at the marina and she was sitting straight up with slack lines, no listing whatsoever. I believe the hull has enough buoyancy that it will stay straight provided there is some water under it.

It'll depend on how soft the bottom is. If the keel sits firmly on the bottom and the water level around the hull starts to drop, you're at more risk for the boat falling over, at least to a point where the water will hold it up. But if the bottom is soft and the keel sinks into it (and then pulls back out as the water rises), you'll likely stay upright.
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Old 04-05-2021, 09:46   #10
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Re: Temporary Mooring - Plow/Bruce/Delta/Fluke/Pyramid

[QUOTE=Spring-Fever;3400075] His dock is just a smidge too shallow (4' at low, and 7' at high, and my draft is 5.25.)

What do you mean by low, & high? & how long will you be there? If you mean the depth is 4 foot at lowest Low Water Springs, will the tides be that low at LWS when you are there?

If the bottom is soft mud, sinking into it shouldnt be a problem. Has your friend ever checked out what the bottom is like at lowest tide at his dock? Maybe by wading it? Any rocks? Other debris?

If hard mud or sand - what is your keel like? My boat will happily stand unsupported on its 10 foot long, 1 foot wide, level flat bottom fin (which is almost half the weight of the boat) all day (exaggerating - never actually tried it for more than a few minutes). Yours might not want to do that.

So it all depends. Hope that helps.

If you do use any kind of anchor, please make sure it is impossible for your boat ever to sit down onto it. Nasty....
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Old 04-05-2021, 12:04   #11
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Re: Temporary Mooring - Plow/Bruce/Delta/Fluke/Pyramid

Or you could do what my friends do, pull in at high tide, come ashore and drink all of my beer and eat most of my food and leave before the tide goes out
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Old 04-05-2021, 13:38   #12
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Re: Temporary Mooring - Plow/Bruce/Delta/Fluke/Pyramid

The creek bottoms off the Chesapeake are soft mud. Remember, when a boat is hauled it sits on it's keel. Stanchions merely keep it from tipping over. Just make sure you have good protection between the hull and the dock and the dock cleats are sturdy and you'll be fine. Tie off to dock pilings is best if possible.
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Old 04-05-2021, 13:50   #13
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Re: Temporary Mooring - Plow/Bruce/Delta/Fluke/Pyramid

Quote:
Originally Posted by rslifkin View Post
It'll depend on how soft the bottom is. If the keel sits firmly on the bottom and the water level around the hull starts to drop, you're at more risk for the boat falling over, at least to a point where the water will hold it up. But if the bottom is soft and the keel sinks into it (and then pulls back out as the water rises), you'll likely stay upright.
Makes sense, the bottom near us is soft mud. Thanks.
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Old 04-05-2021, 14:11   #14
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Re: Temporary Mooring - Plow/Bruce/Delta/Fluke/Pyramid

I wouldn't be too sure of the boat staying upright. Probably, But I've seen them tip in the Chesapeake.


Spring tides don't mean much, but a strong sustained north wind can blow 1-2 feet out of the Bay, below normal low tides.


There is a lot of poor holding ground in Broad Creek. Some of it is soup, some of it is good. You will need to test it. It tends to be worse way up the creeks.


Sounds like fun!
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Old 05-05-2021, 07:45   #15
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Re: Temporary Mooring - Plow/Bruce/Delta/Fluke/Pyramid

Thanks, everyone! (Duh. I guess she does sit on her keel while on the hard, eh?). You've all cheered me up -- as I think now, I could probably leave her on the dock for extended trips away. Then if I'm using her frequently, put together a strong multi-anchor system and leave her just off the dock where it is 6' deep at all times. I wouldn't have thought DANSFORTH, but I guess in the mud, that makes sense. (Note: The Broad Creek I'll be in is the one near St. Michaels, not the one by Annapolis).
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