First Time Running aground - SailNet Community

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Old 11-12-2006
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Unhappy First Time Running aground

Uh OH....I hit bottom for the first time today. I was 150 yards from shore and moving along at a very slow 2.5kt pace when. One minute Im in 110ft of water, then with out notice, and no markings, I hit ground, rock bottom.

I only hit once, but it was enough to jar my Newport 30 hard enough for me to stumble at the helm, and scare the hell out of me. I am planning on having the boat pulled for inspection and for a bottom paint in December. Do I need to pull the boat out earlier now?

I dont suspect major damage, but would like to hear from others that have run aground and find out what I can expect. I know damage will vary based on the circumstances, but figure you all can give me some insight on what to expect based on your experiences.
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Old 11-12-2006
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If you didn't start any leaks, you are probably OK to wait until you haul for the winter. Watch the bilge level closely for a while.
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Old 11-12-2006
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You should lift your floors, and check all the tabbing bonding floor beams and stringers to the hull. Look for separation not where the stringer joins the hull, but where the tabbing ends, usually 3-4 inches from the actual stringer or frame, running parallel to it. The Newport, I believe, has a solid hull so the hull is probably fine, but there may have been enough momentary flex to separate some of the tabbing, most likely around and aft of the aft end of the keel.

This is not usually a complicated fix, but involves a lot of grinding followed by retabbing. I'd recommend epoxy resins and a cloth like Kyntex for a job like that. It's best done out of the water with the hull well supported.
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Old 11-12-2006
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Gwade -- Welcome to the membership of the Great Grounding and Bonding Society. By now you must know it's not a very exclusive group, but it can get your attention.

First, the boat stayed upright, which means the keel didn't fall off. That's good. But as Goodnewsboy says, check the bilge closely for water, and in particular pay attention to leakage around the keel bolts just to be on the safe side. Chances are all you have is a dent in your keel and that's easy enough to fix when you haul in December.

Second, just be thankful you don't have a winged keel because as some have stated on here before, running aground with a winged keel means instant death! Of course, others of us have different views on that.

Here in the Chesapeake with a preponderance of mud bottoms running aground is no big deal, but if you did hit something on the hard side I can see your concern. Anyway, chances are no harm, no foul.
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Old 11-13-2006
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The N30 has a lead keel, bolted on and then encapsulated. You may have broken through the fiberglass encapsulation where you hit bottom. This will be easy to fix, but I wouldn't want to leave it in the water for long as it could start separating. Also check for damage (cracked fiberglass) where the bilge stub connects to the hull, the keel bolts to this stub and this joint it is the weakest spot.
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Old 11-13-2006
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It would also help to know what you ran aground on. Running aground on mud or soft sand is generally not going to do as much damage as running aground on rocks or hard sand mixed with rocks. While the jolt may have felt pretty hard to you, it may have just been the rotation of the boat as the keel stopped as the rest of the boat attempted to keep going.
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Old 11-13-2006
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cardiacpaul is a jewel in the rough cardiacpaul is a jewel in the rough cardiacpaul is a jewel in the rough
I've got wheels on my keel to avoid this very problem.
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Old 11-13-2006
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[QUOTE=SailorMitch]
Second, just be thankful you don't have a winged keel because as some have stated on here before, running aground with a winged keel means instant death! Of course, others of us have different views on that.

SailorMitch,

I have a CS36 Merlin with a wing keel (Hydrokeel) and have run aground many times over the years. Usually on mud but a couple of times in shale. Got off every time but one on my own. Just wiggle the boat from side to side while backing. My rudder is as deep as the keel so that's another thing to worry about. The only time I couldn't get off on my own a little Hunter 27 pulled me off. Of course I have towing insurance, haven't ever used it but it sure gives you a bit of peace of mind.
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Old 11-13-2006
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I have not sailed every boat and cannot comment as such, but I will tell you that in general, a day does not go by in SW Florida I do not run aground. I think you would really have to hit hard on a well made boat to do any real damage... exception being rocks/coral.

Just back off, fix another drink, and give the shoal the finger!

- CD

PS I have a wing keel. Short of running aground so hard the bow comes up out of the water, it is no problem coming off once you know a few tricks... though it is easier to come off with a fin (in my very, very, very experienced opinion).
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Old 11-13-2006
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cardiacpaul is a jewel in the rough cardiacpaul is a jewel in the rough cardiacpaul is a jewel in the rough
It does make for the perfect time to brush the bottom free of blecchhhhy stuff...
(technical term)
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