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  #11  
Old 05-10-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john1066 View Post
I was once (actually, many times) in a discussion about the ultimate cruising boat and was pontificating about the need for it to take the ground without damage. I think I over-made my point when someone said "So, you think the performance of a boat on land is more important that its performance at sea?"

Anyway, here's some thoughts on running aground:
http://www.saltyjohn.co.uk/resources...%20aground.pdf
Good Advise...
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  #12  
Old 05-10-2011
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I've told this story before, but I think it's worth repeating here. My son and I were returning from Baltimore's Inner Harbor to White Rocks Marina, and we were hugging the south shore of the Patapsco, motorsailing into the wind. My depth gauge wasn't working at all that point, but I was keeping well off (I thought) the shore, as it gets shallow way out on that side of the river.

So we're cruising along at about 5 knots or so when I feel a bumping on the bottom of the boat, coming and going. I ponder this for a minute, then suddenly realize I'm bouncing off the bottom! As luck would have it, just as I grabbed the tiller to shove it hard to starboard and head off the shore, we struck hard on what felt like a large blob of mud/sand. There was no crash or grinding, but we stopped instantly, my largeish son careening into me, knocking me against the throttle -- killing the engine -- and almost falling down the hatchway.

I would have loved to have seen that from another boat. It's not often you see a boat under full sail and engine stop dead in open water! I fired up the engine again and we rocked her off the mudbank and headed home, staying even farther off the shore.

No harm done, just another day on the water with Dad.
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  #13  
Old 05-10-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cb32863 View Post
As others have said, good thing for the slow speed and the head wind. Glad there is no damage. Couldn't you calibrate your depth sounder so that it takes your draft in to account? Maybe with a little extra for comfort level? Just wondering.
I was actually wondering the same thing. I've only had this particular boat since last August. As with any new boat (new to me anyway) there are a LOT of things to do. Calibrating the depth sounder was never high on the priority list. Heck, given where I sail, I started to seriously pucker any time the depth is less than 30 feet. However, it got bumped up on the list after this weekend.

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Old 05-10-2011
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Me too

I too ran aground Saturday but mine was extremely close to being real bad news.

I was in a race and running down wind, wing on wing, with everything out making about 7 knots, very near the shore line. The shore line here on the Columbia River in the Wallula Gap is characterized mostly as basalt rock with vertical cliffs and flat tops. Well the main crash gybed over to the port side and I asked the helmsman to fall off for a short time while I pushed it back over to the starboard side. As I was doing so the helmsman shouted out 8 feet, 6 feet! I yelled to head out quickly and as he did so we drug the bottom of our keel over the rock plateau. What a horrible grinding sound! The good news was that we made it without coming to an abrupt stop. I then went back and looked at the chart plotter and, yup, there it was. The shallow area that stood out from the shoreline about 100 feet. We were very lucky that the water level was as high as it was because if it had been just a few inches lower we could have done some serious damage.

I allowed the helmsman to keep the wheel for the rest of the race but took over for the next race. (I was maning the working wench for each tack because he was an older gentleman that just couldn't crank in the sheet as quickly as I wanted. The wife had the lazy sheet.)

The good news for the day? We won both races although the second race was close! My boat just loves the higher wind speeds we had for the day. (18 to 25 knots true)

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  #15  
Old 05-10-2011
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Here on the Chesapeake we say if you haven't got any good grounding stories, you either (a) haven't been exploring far enough; or (b) are lying. I can't imagine doing it without a reliable depth insturment - the water here is too murky to see the bottom to estimate.

On our way north last spring our depth gage died in a place where we couldn't haul, we had 65 miles of ICW to travel to get to a boatyard that could help us. Catch 22 - we couldn't travel until we could monitor depth; and we couldn't monitor depth until we got to a boatyard. What to do? We bought a fishfinder from West Marine and strapped it to the boarding ladder. Made us look pretty stupid (but I suppose, less stupid than if we'd stayed there forever in that catch-22)
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  #16  
Old 05-10-2011
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Met a barge in a narrow channel, think it was a cut, on the ICW. Water was low, and as he was coming out of a curve, wasn't room for both of us. Put it in neutral and let it ground on the bank. Barge passed, I backed out, and was thankful it was a mud and not a rock bank, 'cause there was nowhere else to go.
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Old 05-10-2011
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Sailing in shoal water is all relative, but I say you can’t really said you’ve done it until you’ve achieved a speed greater than the water depth… Sorry, but doing that in a multihull is cheating… (grin)

No better place than I know of to do that is in the Bight of Ackins, in the southern Bahamas… Few boats venture in there, some are constrained by draft, but it’s the wild, remote Bahamas at its finest, I love the Crooked-Acklins District…

It really gets tight south of Delectable Bay, the passage down behind Binnacle Hill and out the southern end of the Bight is very thin, and most boats can only attempt it near high water… The conditions I had on this day were absolutely perfect, nice breeze in flat water in the lee of Acklins… An almost surreal experience, to sail for miles and miles in water that clear and so shallow, your keel practically kissing the sand, and the bottom so flat the depth may not change more than a few inches over a distance of 15 miles or more…

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Old 05-10-2011
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This is what I liked about my friends Macgregor 21. A fully retractable keel and when that heavy keel hit the mud, we stopped dead. All we had to do was retract the keel only partially and motor out. My boat has a dagger board that will just go up if it hits ground so I can still run aground but probably never too hard where I can't get out. At least I hope not, I guess I will find out one day but the whole running aground thing scares me enough anyway. I do have a super long oar and I hope if I ever ground too hard, I can shove off with that oar with help from the motor.
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