Ran aground! - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 19 Old 02-03-2016 Thread Starter
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Ran aground!

Coming into an unfamiliar harbour, assuming the voyage was complete, I hit an underwater reef. Being new to sailing, coupled with the jarring sensation of your keel scraping against rock, I was instantly filled with adrenaline. I was going around 4.5 knots and the hit barely, if at all slowed the vessel down. We anchored, I checked the bilge, no more water than had bin there before. I checked the next day, and so on, I take on rainwater, and condensation just as I always had. On a calm day in clear waters I noticed a bit of growth missing on the keel, along with a small spot of white, about 5 or six inches long, no more than a half inch wide. Ive heard all sorts of mixed possibilities of damage, and ways of repairing, im curious/paranoid and wondering to what degree the damage could be, and how I could go about fixing it. I plan on taking her out of the water come spring, when i'll have some actual sun and time to re paint and work on any damages that may be.
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post #2 of 19 Old 02-03-2016
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Re: Ran aground!

Assuming the white spot is intact gel coat it'll be fine until spring, just keep the barnacles etc. scraped off.
If the damage has gone through the gel coat to raw fiberglass you can always put some underwater epoxy on until you haul and fix the damage then.

Most importantly, practice not hitting things lol.
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post #3 of 19 Old 02-03-2016
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Re: Ran aground!

If your boat didn't come to a brutal stop, you're not taking on water, chances are you just have a nasty scar from the rock.
Check again to see that you didn't go through the gel coat or ripped through the fiberglass. If not, good advice to get some epoxy that you can use under water just to keep things dry.
Do you have a depth gauge?
If not, keep a good eye on the charts, figure out where the passages are , know where you are, all the time, and in case of doubt, don't even risk it. Slow down in unfamiliar harbors... stay away from rocks and wrecks, sail boats have a knack for finding submerged obstructions...
Oh And it is always better to "try to get in " in an unfamiliar place at mid tide...rising....if you do run aground... softly, don't panic, try to get an anchor out and just wait for the tide to come in. Nice to have a dingy to get the anchor out there... or a Tow Boat membership.
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post #4 of 19 Old 02-03-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Ran aground!

Cant say ive heard anything about underwater epoxy, this happened about 8 or 9 days ago. Too late? I would have the opportunity to borrow a wet suit soon enough. I suppose I could find some guides on application. Would there be serious effects of exposed fiberglass say within a months time?

Last edited by Jarsh; 02-03-2016 at 10:19 PM.
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post #5 of 19 Old 02-03-2016
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Re: Ran aground!

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Originally Posted by FSMike View Post
...

...Most importantly, practice not hitting things lol.
A Definition of Flying: Jumping off a tall object, and not hitting ground.


One of the reasons why I bought my current boat is Historical Inevitability; as long as I am going to continue to go aground, why not get a boat that doesn't mind it so much?

Some 35 years back, the local Rag ran a picture of me, knee deep in water, next to the stern of my boat, scowling at the photographer, and waiting for the Tide to rise. Tides too are inevitable.

Another time, during a Race in the Carquinez Straits, the wind died totally, so we just drifted. We just drifted in a five knot Ebb. We just drifted in a five knot Ebb, right into the only object within visibility, right into the Ozol Pier, hitting it sideways.
This unique Facility is still shrouded in mystery, but if after loading up at the Naval Weapons Station a few miles upstream, and finding a need to top off the Tanks, that was where one headed. On occasion, explosions could be heard. The Fuel Tanks were buried in the hills above, and they didn't give Green Stamps.
I tied off, and under the scowl of the Pier Watchman, I got Old Man Volvo finally going, and dropped out of the Race.
There was a Bouy near the Pier; I missed that. Another boat, a Balboa, caught in the same Ebb, didn't.



When I got my present boat, a friend, knowing my attraction to things that are _not_ water in watery areas, gave me a Workshop Manual:










If an Iceberg ever makes it into SF Bay waters, admittedly an increasingly unlikely event, I'm prepared.

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post #6 of 19 Old 02-04-2016
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Re: Ran aground!

Lift up all floorboards and check the the stringers to ensure that they did not delaminate from the hull.

if you have a fin keel check the cabinetry aft of the keel location. That is where the forces will load up.

If you want be be very sure, have a surveyor inspect the hull and keel.

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post #7 of 19 Old 02-04-2016
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Re: Ran aground!

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-----Would there be serious effects of exposed fiberglass say within a months time?
Serious? Who knows? The purpose of keeping the fiberglass sealed is to keep water from saturating the fiberglass. If the raw fiberglass is exposed I would seal it with some epoxy now.
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post #8 of 19 Old 02-04-2016
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Re: Ran aground!

If your keel is external and bolted on, then it's probably painted lead or cast iron, and epoxy probably won't do much. Once you haul out, look at the hull adjacent to the keel, and on the opposite side from the impact. I.e., if you hit the front of the keel, look behind the keel. Impact that damages the hull tends to be evident there, where the root of the keel gets pushed into the fiberglass. You might see the hull deformed there, or cracked, if you hit hard enough to cause damage. You might want to look at the keel bolts (one at a time, obviously) if you think you hit hard enough to damage them.
I've hit harder than your description and just lost some paint. If you're not leaking around the keel-hull joint, I'd think you're probably OK till you haul out.

Last edited by VallelyJ; 02-04-2016 at 09:16 AM.
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post #9 of 19 Old 02-04-2016
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Re: Ran aground!

There are three kinds of sailors: 1) those who have run aground 2) those who will run aground 3) those who have run aground and lie about it. You've checked a box. Now move on to something else, like, getting over powered, putting your rail in the water and having your Mrs. freak out. Or, how about a good anchor drag? That will get you blood going at 2 AM. Or my personal favorite; parking in an empty spot in the marina only to get set down on a ledge just after the second beer. (There's always a reason for marine blank spots).

Hey Val, did they ever figure out how that Hylas 70 hit East Goose Rock? I've looked online but it seems to be hushed. I'm assuming the guy was from away so the stories should be flying.
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post #10 of 19 Old 02-04-2016
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Re: Ran aground!

So if I have run aground, and lie about it, that will prevent me from running aground in the future?

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