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Old 02-07-2012
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Air Draft vs. Bridge Height vs. Heel

Come laugh at the newbie!!

There is a drawbridge between my new mooring and the big blue sea with a closed height of 19'; my little 18' boat has an airdraft of 23' 2", I'm calling it 25' with the 'vane and a safety margin.

My trig was all rusty but I found an online calculator that showed if I induce a heel of 40 degrees I should be able to slip under the bridge without having to wait for it to be raised.

I don't need my math checked (but you're welcome if you want) I just want to know if this is a done thing. With a displacement of only 1500# it seems like it wouldn't be too tough to get it to heel over. I'd practice in open water to see how handling is affected and I'd need crew to do the heeling while I drive. If I heel over to starboard that would keep the engine in the water.

I don't see much risk unless it was really crowded; since the bridge only opens on the half hour it seems like I could save some time.

Do people do this?

Is there some cool name for it? Sailing has the best terminology of any sport.

The bridge is being replaced soon with one that will have a height of 21' that makes it even more tempting.
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