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Old 26-04-2024, 02:35   #1
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Bilge keel taking the ground

Being used to our deep draft long keel Endurance 37, I have never sailed a bilge keeler.

This summer I have acquired a Westerly Chieftain to do some river, canal and creek crawling. I am really looking forward to venturing into places the big guy can't go, but am a little nervous about how to evaluate and use drying anchorages.

Any tips will be very gratefully received.
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Old 26-04-2024, 03:38   #2
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Re: Bilge keel taking the ground

Nothing to it really. After the first few times you'll become an expert. The boat will bounce about a little as the keels dance on the bottom. This happens just as she is coming off floating and again as the tide comes back in

But make sure you know the tides and so you don't get left high and dry for a few days, say by going in as far as you can up the beach at close to high water springs. You always have to be able to back yourself out.

I typically tie up using 4 long lines from both sides of the boat, fore and aft. Ideally tucked up snug in a little cove designed for one boat, and a decent sized tree on each side.

Be careful too of the wave action. Best to pick somewhere where the wave action is minimal.

A holding tank is obviously vital if you stay on board. As is some sort of ladder.
It's best too to raft the dinghy to the side of the yacht, otherwise it can get stuck and sunk as the tide falls.

Enjoy!
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Old 26-04-2024, 05:06   #3
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Re: Bilge keel taking the ground

Thanks Grant. That's all useful. So do you drop an anchor on your way in, to prevent being bumped up the beach as the tide returns?
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