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downeast450 11-10-2012 07:09 AM

Breasting my fin keel? Help please.
I would like to take advantage of mother nature's dry dock and set my Islander 28's fin keel down, tie off to support the bow, let the tide go out and have the hull out of the water. It doesn't seem like it should be a big deal. We have 10ft. of tide. There is a very robust, well protected (not sunny) location on the town pier with draft enough to more than take care of the boat's 5' needs. I can place a permanent keel block on/in the bottom myself and locate it for the boat. I can also tie a rigid standoff to the dock to tie the boat against for stability and spacing. Am I missing something? Is it possible to keep the boat level on its fin keel while dried out? I have no experience. I can certainly add a boat stand under the bow as the tide drops. I don't mind getting wet and the bottom is very hard. If this makes sense I will get busy placing a keel block. I have options there. It could be a flat block of granite or an anchored (not sure how yet perhaps bolted to the granite) 6" x 12" x 3' piece of hemlock. Suggestions on how this is done will be most welcome.



jameswilson29 11-10-2012 08:09 AM

Re: Breasting my fin keel? Help please.
Why are you doing this?

(This didn't happen unless you take photos).

downeast450 11-10-2012 09:18 AM

Re: Breasting my fin keel? Help please.

At first that question puzzled me. Just for a couple of seconds until I realized that my situation is probably not "mainstream"? The reason is to have access to the hull below the waterline without putting on my scuba gear. All the reasons from inspecting, removing pot warps from the shaft, cleaning, zincs, painting, ... It also would make keeping the boat in the water for 12 months without paying Hinckley or Morris $10.00/foot to lift it,not to mention the mast, or haul it to a storage location for annual stuff.

I have the gear. I have the time. It would be much simpler than having a yard involved. I also have an excellent location. Town dock, breasting location for lobster boats, no parking conflicts, very hard bottom, 5 minute drive from my house with a single stop sign. Not crowded, protected, I can row out to the boat and have it at the dock in 15 minutes. I am retired! A big plus! Skipping a year's haul / storage expense, not to mention having the boat all year long. ( It rains every month here.) All of those seem like good reasons to me.

There must be lots of folks in the PNW that do this?


Gene T 11-10-2012 09:29 AM

Re: Breasting my fin keel? Help please.
People dry out their boats all the time in parts of Europe. Search the web for that term and you should get some info. I have seen pictures of boats leaning against a wall or with lines out to stabilize. I have also seen boats modern boats sitting on their bulb keels with no support at all.


downeast450 11-10-2012 11:06 AM

Re: Breasting my fin keel? Help please.

That is my take. I am just searching for the down side particularly with a fin. I have done it with a full keel boat. No problem. No forward moment.


msmith10 11-10-2012 12:18 PM

Re: Breasting my fin keel? Help please.
I have no experience with tides being on the great lakes but we do get water level variations of several feet due to wind. You said the bottom under you is hard. The one caution I'd give is that in our case, as the keel is starting to touch the bottom small waves can lift and drop the boat and it can hit pretty hard. Once it's firmly seated it's fine, but as water is going out and coming back it can pound.

downeast450 11-10-2012 12:36 PM

Re: Breasting my fin keel? Help please.
That is a good point. I expect I will choose the conditions carefully and work when there is little activity in SH. The location is behind our dinghy docks which kills wakes. Perhaps that is the consideration which determines what I use for the keel block. A large hemlock timber 6"x12"x3' anchored to a granite base perhaps.


PaulinVictoria 11-10-2012 12:47 PM

Re: Breasting my fin keel? Help please.
There was an article in Good Old Boat recently about this, no problem doing it with a fin keel boat, just make sure to keep it balanced fore/aft by moving weight around.

overbored 11-10-2012 01:16 PM

Re: Breasting my fin keel? Help please.
if you don't mind getting wet then why not dive on the boat to inspect. scraping painting a bottom on the beach does not seem to be very environmentally responsible to me. are you the only one that lives in this town and uses our oceans? For me the risk due to the learning curve would not be worth the $ 280 haul fee. how much work can you do in the couple of hours you will have after you get the boat secure. the tide does come back in. seems like it would be non stop work for 12 hours with no time for a break. so a real show for the whole town

GaryHLucas 11-10-2012 03:45 PM

Breasting my fin keel? Help please.
Hurricane Sandy showed how this is done. There is a fin keel Hunter 27 standing perfectly upright on the keel and rudder. Sandy left it there gently touching a power boat lying on it's side, where the flood waters left them!

Gary H. Lucas

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