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davidpm 12-27-2012 11:12 PM

The balance point
Some folks recommend that for some crusing locations it is a good idea to get a boat with a long enough keel so the boat can be tied at high tide and dry out at low tide for a quick bottom check.

Of course this requires that the the boat will balance OK on the keel.

Is there anyway to tell if a given boat will behave this way in advance of just trying it.

How would you try it if you were not sure?

jackdale 12-27-2012 11:35 PM

Re: The balance point
You might look for a tidal grid in your vicinity.

Even then your will need to support longitudinally the boat unless it has a full keel. You will have to support the sides usually by leaning it against the dock with a fender board and fenders.

CalebD 12-27-2012 11:52 PM

Re: The balance point
Get a wing keeled boat.

I was on a friends O'Day 272 which is a shoal draft wing keel model. We ran aground behind Sheffield Island on an ebbing tide. Wing keels are notoriously difficult to get off a grounding. The tide went all the way out and the boat was left standing on the wing keel. I would never have believed it NOR would I have set out to try such a thing but I have BTDT by accident.

With my nearly full keel boat I would consider doing this if there were a piling or two the boat could be secured to as the tide went out. It would not want to stand up on the keel unless it sank deep into the mud.

I would think there could be considerable stress placed on a fin keeled boat that was careened.

jackdale 12-27-2012 11:58 PM

Re: The balance point

Originally Posted by CalebD (Post 967891)
I would think there could be considerable stress placed on a fin keeled boat that was careened.

It depends on the boat. The Copelands careened their Beneteau 38 to do some rudder work.

Faster 12-28-2012 12:14 AM

Re: The balance point
In our experience, boats with the 70's style swept keels (C&C 30s etc) tended to nose down on a tide grid, masthead trapeziodal keels (ala Peterson Ganbare etc) are hit and miss but some will balance on the flat keel tip (my brother's Ranger 28 did so). Short J fractional rigged boats likely have the keel so far forward that they will tend to settle at the stern (and onto the rudder!! :eek:).

The forces are not usually large, just the ultimate imbalance, sometimes countered by as simple an act as removing an outboard from the transom and putting it forward. But it's nice to know beforehand which way you need to provide the extra support.

So as Jackdale suggests, it depends. Also of concern is whether or not the hull itself is sufficiently stiff to resist 'hogging' over the keel and potentially causing some issues in that regard.

Difficult to know until you try it.. unless you know of a sistership that has done so.

blt2ski 12-28-2012 12:56 AM

Re: The balance point
If you can get on some forums based in the UK, you may find out what boats do well careened if you will or not. That is a normal practice in those northern climes. I've seen pics of all kinds of FK boats leaning against docks on the hard! I've also seen a pic of a shoal draft Jeanneau that accidently got dried out, sat on its keel just fine for 8 some odd hrs as the occupants sat and barb-ed some food, drank some wine.....had a jolly good time waiting for the tide to come in.


GaryHLucas 12-28-2012 12:45 PM

The balance point
Surprisingly my Etap 26 with a retractable bulb keel was offered with two stiff legs attached towards the stern on either side to create a tripod for just this purpose! Permanent brackets bolted to the deck on each side.

Gary H. Lucas

azguy 12-28-2012 12:50 PM

Re: The balance point
Someone here must have a copy of that picture I have seen where a boat is ground on sand bar with the owner standing next to it and it's standing picture perfect against the horizon...anyone, bueler....

Faster 12-28-2012 12:57 PM

Re: The balance point

NCC320 12-28-2012 02:17 PM

Re: The balance point
When my Catalina 320 was being commissioned in 1999, we had a tropical storm pass just offshore. The boat was in the water at that point, but mast had not been stepped. Dealer anchored the boat out in the river with two anchors on a spread from the bow. The storm largely passed us by, but the wind blew much of the water out of the river. Next morning, I went to check on the boat. When I saw it, it was upright on the wing keel, but the rudder had sunk into the ground, so the boat was at an angle, with stern touching water at that point. A fellow sailor saw the boat about 30 minutes before I did, and at that time, he said it was sitting perfectly level on it's lines balanced on the keel and steadied by the two anchor rodes...i.e. like the one pictured in the post above. I was concerned that we might have damage, but we did not. Later in the day, the water came back up to near normal and the boat resumed floating peacefully at anchor. Of course, this situation was totally unstable and the boat could have gone over at any time if the supporting soil gave way or wind/wave action hit it the right way. Some EU boats (often twin keelers) are designed to rest on their bottoms when the tides go out. Also, some swing keel boats. I wouldn't want to trust working around a typical single keel boat without some sort of secure steadying arrangement (pilings with boat tied securely to them).

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