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Old 16-08-2022, 21:25   #1
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careening, any ideas?

Okay it occurred to me that the tidal range is plenty to give me almost full access to my boat's bottom if I ran aground and either braced the hull to keep it relatively level as the tide went out or let it tip to one side and work on the exposed side and then the other on the next low tide. And it was the practice before shipyards.
Now reading various rules I find that repairing a boat while in use in the waterways is an allowed use of submerged land. And of course everyone is very particular now about debris and sanding or chemical applications. And some official with a badge is bound to show up and ask if they may be of 'help' and also issue citations for not spending money on what should be a costly boatyard project.
Any experience with this practice of our recent past and likely still done in remote and less monitored areas?
A friend didnt care to pay for a crane and so he motored under a bridge and had a helper lower him a line and used it to raise his mast, worked great, and they did it in the wee hours of early morning to avoid spectators and phone calls. Im sure he was breaking many laws and yet his resourcefulness is still admirable.
So, Careening? I think it might be a useful idea. If done at the right time and place.
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Old 16-08-2022, 22:17   #2
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Re: careening, any ideas?

doog, it would help everyone who might wish to reply if you let us know where in the world you are planning to careen. Rules and conventions vary considerably between different countries and even in different states.

Alternatively you could complete your profile information to provide your approximate location.
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Old 16-08-2022, 22:59   #3
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Re: careening, any ideas?

Doog yours is not an original thought and your mate's dismasting isn't an original action. Where there are appropriate differences in high and low tides you might find people careening their boats. Wharves, bridges, or just posts in the seabed to tie up to. If you have a boat that can remain upright when the water leaves it high and dry then it can be careened. Applying antifoul between tides works pretty well too.

When I had a shopping list for my next boat, (subsequently bought) one of the features on my list was the ability to beach her. It wasn't a 'must have' but a 'nice to have'.

And in my view, all boat owners should be cognisant of their environmental footprint and how their behaviour affects others. It's not about 'officials with badges', it's about doing the right thing.

Certainly too in many parts of the world using a bridge to dismast isn't going to breach any laws. Close by where I live I know of at least 3 wharves equipped with hand cranes specifically for use with masts. One is at a Club (pictured on opening day) and so non-members must pay a fee, and the others are free.
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Old 16-08-2022, 23:29   #4
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Re: careening, any ideas?

Hi doog, I inadvertently ran aground on a flat reef in the Western side of Fiji at near high tide with my 12m steel "Joshua" long keel ketch Bottom of keel was 10m long and about 400mm wide and 12mm steel. No way to back or kedge off as the water was dropping. I took a 35kg anchor + 10m of chain with a halyard to the mast head out to each side in the dinghy. The reef dried out completely leaving "Sundowner" sitting high and dry. Kedged off into deep water at the next high tide.

I personally wouldn't like to let even a steel boat lie on her bilge. The old wooden ships careened, but they had really flattish rounded bottoms, hardly any keel, they would naturally sit mostly upright, and they could be rolled down (hove down) with ropes to the shore.

One danger of careening (just letting the tide go out and the boat lie over to one side) with a modern keel boat is that she lays over so far on the low tide that when the water comes back it could flood into the boat before she starts to stand up.

Here in N.Z. up till a few years ago it was common and legal to go onto a "grid" which was a concrete ramp with wooden piles on one or both sides that you tied to. There are still a few grids around, mostly in out-of-the-way areas, but scraping bottoms, anti-fouling is illegal. Changing zincs, props, doing non-polluting repairs is still legal.

The bridge trick for pulling masts is pretty cool. 25 years ago, I pulled Sundowner's 14m main mast using a small fixed crane at a marina N. of Auckland. The crane was mounted on the land and we used a truck to pull the cable up after securing it to the mast at lower spreader level. Dead easy as the mast was deck stepped. Just a bunch of us yachties. Cost me a few beers. Probably totally illegal now with nanny-state "health and safety" laws, but we had a good time.
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Old 16-08-2022, 23:39   #5
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Re: careening, any ideas?

Where there’s the tide, you’ll find people already doing this, assuming it’s legal. I’ve never heard of anyone I know careeening anything. At least not on purpose…

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If there’s no tidal grid around, you can usually find other spots to tie to. Most obviously, a pier… pilings. Nice and mucky at the shallow end of the docks here, even a fin keel can park and sink itself safely into the ooze.
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Old 17-08-2022, 00:26   #6
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Re: careening, any ideas?

Originally Posted by Oeanda View Post
I’ve never heard of anyone I know careeening anything.
Edit - whoops, I meant - I’ve never known anyone here to purposely lay their boat over on the tide. Careening in the vertical sense - we do that regularly, as shown. There was a mishap here a couple weeks back where a fellow ended up with his boat leaning away from the pilings on the grid and it flopped over hard when the tide dropped. The keel snapped. Obviously not a very sturdy boat- a heavy fibreglass cabin cruiser. Anyway, for what should have been a simple bottom cleaning, the boat got totalled, with a fair sized fuel spill to boot. A real shame. But generally it’s easy- not usually fraught with danger.
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Old 17-08-2022, 01:48   #7
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Re: careening, any ideas?

Oeanda I did that once in Nelson New Zealand. The wife and I put our yacht on the grid and low tide was sometime in the early hours. Anyway I fell asleep and did not have the ropes tight enough against the poles. Sure enough I woke up when the yacht lurched away from the poles. Luckily the yacht managed to stay on a crazy angle all morning until the tide came back in.
Doog I have seen a few water damaged boats from careening. Usually the water gets in via a cockpit locker or one time it was a badly placed air vent on the deck. Both times the boat stood up before a lot of water entered the boat.
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Old 17-08-2022, 01:56   #8

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Re: careening, any ideas?

Sure we do but it depends on the type of hull. This wooden trawler swung over the reef while at anchor on the ebb tide and floated off on the next high with no damage ( maybe antifouling damaged a bit). The other boat is dried out on an island directly off Bowen wharf for a bottom scrape and prop clean.... shell only, no antifouling[ATTACH]262995[ATTACH]262996
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Old 17-08-2022, 06:22   #9
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Re: careening, any ideas?

Here in Bay of Fundy,boats are either laid down(careened) or stood up using home built floating cribs. These floating wooden cribs are custom built for each particular boat,& are just the right height to allow the boat to lean slightly to the crib side.
The crib is fitted with 2 lines.When a boat wants to ground out,he sails up to his floating crib,grabs the low end line,takes it up around the bow , keelhauls that rope back to about midships. He then pulls the crib under the boat with this rope & ties it.Then he goes back to the crib side,picks up the high side rope & ties it.
Next step is to put some weight (buckets of water,etc) on the crib side,causing boat to list toward crib.

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Old 17-08-2022, 06:48   #10
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Re: careening, any ideas?

Depending on the type of keel, you may want to make some "legs" to hold you boat up. Here is an example:Yacht drying out legs
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Old 17-08-2022, 07:29   #11
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Re: careening, any ideas?

I've used careening several times to change a cutlass bearing, clean the bottom and apply touch up of antifouling. This was done in Georgia, U.S. without a grid or poles to keep the boat vertical just a sandbar that would dry out twice a day with a fin keel. It is very important that you lay the boat over on the "uphill" side from the keel. This was done by anchoring fore and aft and using a lead weight to judge the shallower side of the boat then putting weight on the shallow side of the boat as she grounded.
As far as regulations I was quite amused to see the SeaTow guy come cruise around the now empty and underwater sandbar, and leave disappointed as I pulled back into my slip. Some good Samaritan must have called him out from his base an hour away to sell me a tow.
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Old 17-08-2022, 07:30   #12
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pirate Re: careening, any ideas?

Dunno what type keel you have (full, fin) but either way I would pick a spot with good sand and a 15-20* rising bottom, run her in 1.5 hrs before full water till you touch bottom.
Use lines to swing her beam on to the beach then using say your spinnaker halyard heave so she settles up slope to lay on her side.. do your af whatever then repeat process for other side on next flooding tide for the opposite side.
In Ferragudo there is a perfect spot for this proceedure with a 35 degree incline from a flattish bottom where one can do this, once settled with a lean inshore one can scrub the bottom with a broom as the tide recedes then start the af working from the bottom up.. gives a good 3hrs painting time.
Spring tides are best 2 days before maximum springs.

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Old 17-08-2022, 14:35   #13
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Re: careening, any ideas?

Used to do it regularly with my steel boat during a period of overzealous aversion to antifoil, but wouldn't risk it with anything else.

I usually used two lines around the mast over the lower spreader. One to the anchor on the seaward side and the other to a tree on the landward. On the occasion illustrated I used what looked like a large half buried rock on the beach since there were no suitable trees. The rock turned out to be not so large nor well buried and the slight surge started the boat swaying and pulled the rock out.

There was a case taken to court in northern Australia by the authorities where the judge dismissed the case as no case to answer because there was no antifouling on the boat and the judge considered the detritus as just a natural material being returned to it's natural habitat.
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Old 17-08-2022, 15:22   #14
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Re: careening, any ideas?

I've flopped my boat over on a falling tide on a sandbar many times, to address one or another issue.

It takes a careful review of the tides, as you want to be sure the next high tide is going to be higher than the one previous.

As the wind direction could change on you, you'll need to be sure you have some anchors set out in the event you need to pull yourself off to windward.

Some attention also needs to be applied to the interior of the boat, as the pronounced angle of heel is going to cause problems.

Besides the above, I'll leave the dink in the water, filled with a cooler of water and other beverages, sandwiches, etc, besides tools, paint, etc.

This is a summertime job!!
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Old 17-08-2022, 18:06   #15
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Re: careening, any ideas?

Thanks everyone for the great details. And good questions, but each boat has its issues. After building mine from scratch I know its strengths and have lifted and moved it. Sheer legs are a great idea, and lumber is cheap right now. And one thing its not going to do is tip over and break But I could certainly spill the coffee pot!
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