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  #1  
Old 07-11-2008
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Using the tides for bottom work

I’ve come across reference to this in a number of threads, and would like to know more details and safety precautions. (Boat is an Islander 28, 5' draft.)

In my location, I could ground the boat on a sandy beach at a low high tide; that would give approx. 11 hours before the high high tide re-floats the boat.

But:

Do I prepare a cradle of some sort or let the boat lie on its side? Any risk of damage to keel joint and rudder if boat on side?

Is this best done bow in or parallel to shore?

I also have a concern about large ship wakes during the grounding/refloating phases. My preferred location has access via automobile, with electrical and water available; although I could find a better protected location without utilities access.

I do need a haul-out to re-bed a leaking prop strut, but I’m 30 miles from the nearest haul-out facility. Before heading there I need, as a minimum, to re-attach the propeller (see thread “Prop/Prop-Shaft Key Size?”).

Is this a reasonable alternative to having a diver do the prop work? (Of course there is a laundry list of to-do's while at it.)

- Charlie, on the lower Columbia River
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Old 07-11-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skipaway View Post
Is this a reasonable alternative to having a diver do the prop work?
No offense, but you must be out of your mind. A diver might charge $150 to do an R&R on your prop and put the new key in and for that you're gonna lay your boat on her side in the mud and hope that she comes up right when the tide comes back in?
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Old 07-11-2008
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There's nothing wrong with using the tide to do bottom work..

Back in Brittany, it's a common sight to see keel boats on their side or propped up on either side with wooden legs while the tide is out. Boats there are a dime a dozen, and inland on low tide they're all resting in the mud. Needless to say, they love centerboards over there.

But seeing a keel boat propped up on either side, basically "balancing" on the keel is common practice, and has been for years. I tried to find some pics, and these seem to be a pretty accurate representation of what it's like.. I remember seeing them like that with the sea bed bone dry, so you don't need water. My grandfather had a set of those legs on his boat in case we got caught somewhere while the tide was going out.

For what it's worth, keel type doesn't matter.. you may need more support aft if you have a fin keel, but it's the same principle

--
EDIT - I don't have enough posts to post images, so here's some links.. copy/paste is in order..
---
urry.cyberscope.fr/Boats/Capriccio.JPG

k53.pbase.com/u42/saodika/large/33385694.LaTrinitsurMer.004.jpg

.. Adendum: I'm not going to pretend to assume all boats are created equal - make sure that your hull is both strong enough and sound enough to be supported in this fashion... or you may very well find yourself to be in possession of a "Red-Neck Handy Man Special - Lift-Keel Edition" .. But to make a long story short, what you want to do is very possible, and very feasible.

Last edited by TintedChrome; 07-11-2008 at 02:57 AM.
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Old 07-11-2008
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Charlie,
While you can probably lay her on her side to no ill effects you're still going to be in as deep of water as if you'd used the legs and you're going to have less working time, particularly on the propellor.

I've seen many photos of yachts careened for repairs and, as Tint says, it's quite common in Europe to let them rest on their keels or side. Twin keels are popular in England for just such conditions where you moor or dock on tidal flats.

Given that all you must do is replace the prop I'd probably hire a diver. You'll have an equivalent amount invested in rigging the legs and so forth. And, in my opinion, this is the type of job (careening) where it'd be real nice to have someone with you who's done it before. You could spend a few tidal cycles getting it right, ie...practising. And I shudder to think about unforeseen rocks.
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Old 07-11-2008
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I'd second what sway said.

If you really decide you need to careen the boat to work on the prop, you should probably go and view the beach you're planning on using at low tide and walk the area that you'll be using to see if there are any rocks or other nasty objects that could seriously damage or hole your boat when it sets down. You'll be setting down three-to-four tons of boat, so you will probably need to check the sand with a rake or such to find any hidden rocks.

Doing this would be much simpler if you had a twin keeler or a multihull.
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Old 07-11-2008
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There's another way of doing this.
Have a look here Atom Voyages | Islander Taipan 28 Refit Photos
Basically you get 2 (4 are better!) "stilts" on either side of the boat and if the tide is high enough, you keep the boat upright and can run around your boat and do the work.
The picture on the right on the above sight is doing just that. I've seen it done "real life" and it's pretty cool. You want to be sure about enough surface area on the stilts though because if they give way, the end result will not be pretty. Much worse than letting her lie on her side.

Tom
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Old 07-11-2008
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Skipaway,
I wouldn't consider doing this. They do it in some of the tidal rivers of northern Europe, and they've been doing it for centuries... which means the locals know exactly what the seabed is all about. I"m guessing that the tidal range is probably a lot greater than in the PNW. The boats there are either designed to do this or have a cradle in place where they were formerly moored. Building a cradle to hold an 8,000 pound boat in order to save $150 of course doesn't make economic sense. Moreover, you would be risking your boat, your pride and joy, should the flooding tide do something silly... like flood your cockpit, and then your cabin. And you'll be working fast. Say the seabed is exposed at midtide (and I doubt it will since your draft is 5') ; that means you have less than six short hours to do your work and prepare your boat for the inevitable. Your Islander is going to be leaning over at 50-60 degrees, which means the water is going to fill the cockpit and rise over the rail before it begins to float. You have to wonder if its going to pour through the seams of your companionway drop boards... Argh! I say! Argh!
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Old 07-11-2008
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I notice something else in that picture that Tom linked to:



There's an outboard on that Islander. If yours has a bracket, you might consider borrowing an outboard or looking for a good deal on one on CL and then selling it afterwards if you're trying to cut costs. The place doing the haul out might even loan or rent you one. Then you can get the prop done at haul out.
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Old 07-11-2008
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I have seen and heard of this being done. I would never have the balls to do it personally.
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Andy-

That outboard is probably for the dinghy, since it doesn't extend down past the waterline from what I can see, and the prop is way too small to really move a boat that heavy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arbarnhart View Post
I notice something else in that picture that Tom linked to:



There's an outboard on that Islander. If yours has a bracket, you might consider borrowing an outboard or looking for a good deal on one on CL and then selling it afterwards if you're trying to cut costs. The place doing the haul out might even loan or rent you one. Then you can get the prop done at haul out.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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