"Careening" sailboat while floating ? - SailNet Community

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Old 03-09-2012
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Lightbulb "Careening" sailboat while floating ?

Is it possible maintain/repair/paint bottom of sailboat by tilting it floating in sea? I assumed at least most modern sailboats would be possible tilt sufficiently for accessing bottom and make at least emergency repair and inspections. I searched Internet for tips and experiences about that - but I found nothing anywhere. While much was mentioned about "careening" using tide.

I have no saiboat myself, but a friend has one equipped with "saildrive" where it could be advantageous getting access to saildrive "leg" for inspection, gear oil exchange, etc without lifting the boat up at shipyard etc. He himself was unsure if this was feasible but did not exclude the possibility.

Has anyone in this forum experience or knowledge about this potential possibility?
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Old 03-09-2012
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Re: "Careening" sailboat while floating ?

We have careened a small 24 foot day racer to facilitate scrubbing the bottom .. this was a lightweight (2600lb) boat, rather tender. Using the spin halyard and winch we were able to get perhaps 20 degrees heel by tying off on a float a boatlength or two abeam. It did not go over easily.

The other issue is the boat tends to skid over towards the dock you're working from, so unless you can tie it off across, you end up with little room to work alongside the dock.

Practically speaking getting more than 10 degrees heel this way on a typical cruiser racer (with 35-45% ballast ratio) is probably going to be hard to do. Unless it's absolutely calm conditions trying to do anything other than scrub (ie paint) would be problematic.. you'd still have pretty limited access to the bottom of the boat.
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Old 03-09-2012
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Re: "Careening" sailboat while floating ?

Where is that video of the sailboat using big bags of water (weights) to heel the boat over to get under a bridge that was too high?
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Re: "Careening" sailboat while floating ?

That was impressive but it took what must have been a few tons of water... that amount of force would be hard to develop with manpower. Maybe tying off to a ground point at low tide and letting the tide do it for you would work...
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Re: "Careening" sailboat while floating ?

Proabaly easier and safer to beach the boat if it's in a tidal area that has enough height of tide. or use beach legs!
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Re: "Careening" sailboat while floating ?

Thanks "Faster", "CalebD" and "deniseO30" for interesting comments and
answers to my question.
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Re: "Careening" sailboat while floating ?

I have done this a few times with a very small keel sailboat and it is really tough. Finding a way to exert enough force on the end of the mast is pretty tough. I also worry a little bit about damaging the rig since it is a lot of load and all at one point with a very poor lead over your masthead sheave.

To get the boat over far enough to access half the bottom, you really need to exert a lot of force which unfortunately, pulls the boat down a little lower in the water. I remember not being able to get one over far enough one time because the cockpit was flooding. Also, I wouldn't feel very safe working under the boat and there would not be too many ways to put a safety on it.

It can be done but it seems like there would be easier and safer ways to do it.
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Re: "Careening" sailboat while floating ?

Careening was done on square rigged wooden boats by removing all the river rock ballast and stores from within, then the crew of 30 to 50 men would haul the boat on the beach and tip it on one side to repair the other. Just read about this.

Seems the fixed keel of most modern sailboats would make this extra difficult as posted above. Then there is the matter of finding a crew of 30-50.
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Re: "Careening" sailboat while floating ?

Careening a modern boat is difficult.

Get legs. These pics are from Mostly About Boats showing Peter's Vega on the beach near Sooke B.C.

Article on Sailnet here Giving Your Boat Some Legs by James Baldwin as well.
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"Careening" sailboat while floating ?-p1000244.jpg   "Careening" sailboat while floating ?-p1000256.jpg  
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Re: "Careening" sailboat while floating ?

The photos above are frightening to me. There's no way I'd climb aboard such a balanced vessel or be scraping and painting under the turn of the bilge. We careened both of our full keel Morgans at sandy beaches with a >6' tide back in the 70's and 80's, but that was always one side to the shore at a time and a very stable nest. Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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