Help Me Get a 5'10" Draft over a 3' Bottom - Page 2 - SailNet Community

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Old 06-15-2011
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I agree that heeling the boat as far as you can in the safest way, is the way to go. So I endorse the football team idea, since that's easily moveable weight, and safer and more controllable than stuff dangling from mast or boom.

Here in the Gulf, the wind-driven tide is often significant. Don't know about your area, but an onshore wind may give you a little more water, if you can time it with an extra-high tide (good luck with that--prayer helps).

Get a friend with a big wake-making powerboat (if there's enough draft). then if you can't get unstuck, he could make--a big wake, which might get you moving again. Heck, it's 'only' a hundred yards.
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Old 06-15-2011
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Bene505 will become famous soon enough Bene505 will become famous soon enough
If you do have to heel (lean) the boat, don't use any weight on the deck itself. You want as little weight on the boat as possible and a weight hanging from the top of the mast. The hanging weight needs a couple lines to it from the cleats on deck so you can control how far it hangs from the boat. To far from the boat (and to high off the water at the same time) and you'll get much more heeling than you bargained for (understatement).

You'll also need a way to keep the weight from getting too close to the boat, especially if you are using less weight than needed. (Enough weight will heel the boat enough to stay away from the boat, just don't pull it in too far or you'll have to restart and push it away.) You want the weight several yards away and you don't want it swinging back. The boom coud be used, as Tempest suggested.

Water works great as a weight because once it hits the water, it doesn't weigh anything. So you won't over heel.

Finally, you may be able to sell your diesel back to the marina, to help lighten the load. Diesel has a relatively long shelf life if it's kept circulated, and sailboats must provide enough agitation to qualify.

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The best minds discuss sailing, anchors, batteries, rode length, fridge-or-not, freezer-or-not, and guns-on-board. I don't know why. It's a mystery!
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Old 06-15-2011
S/V Lilo, Islander 32
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Double check with the marina, the depths on the charts are the official recorded soundings and may not take into account any personal dredging the marina may do to keep the water way open for their use. I know of a few places that pay (with proper permission, permits, etc) to have "unofficial" channels dredged for access to their location. They do not get charted at the new depth because the gov is not paying for the dredging, and so can not guarantee that it is done regularly and kept at the new charted depth.

Of course, the last slip we where in was "Just dredged to 7 feet" but we bumped our 4.5 foot bottom a few times before they found us a deeper slip

Check with the marina, sound it from a dingy (lead line or hand held depth finder), look for other deep draft boats in the marina ( a clue that they can get in and out OK) and if all else fails, THEN think about getting crazy creative with football teams or water bags or barrels.

Good Luck!
S/V Lilo
1964 Islander 32
Saint Helens, OR
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Old 06-15-2011
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Originally Posted by creedence623 View Post
Before choosing the yard as a destination, I spoke with the yard manager and subsequently the owner of the yard who assured me my draft (5'10") wouldn't be an issue come launch day. Well as we are getting closer to launching I was looking at the charts and noticed that there is no marked channel leading away from the yard, and the surrounding waters are charted at 3' (mud bottom) for about 100 yards before it opens up to an 8' deep channel.
I have a very hard time believing the marina doesn't have a dredged channel leading up to them. A 3ft approach would be useless for anything but smaller power boats and if that's all they handle for customers, then why have the lift capacity and slip depth for a Catalina 36?

I'd call them to ask about that. If they don't have a marked channel, they'll likely have a "best approach". If that was the case I'd buy a hand held depth reader, hook it up to my dinghy or kayak and explore the bay. Chart my own best route out.
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Old 06-15-2011
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You might want to ask a couple of people in the marina. A bit of local knowledge is priceless. In my area I can think of several deeper "unmarked channel" that is used by locals.

I can think of two where locals get annoyed when people anchor in these, even though there is not, nor has there been a channel marker or chart notation in my lifetime
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Old 06-15-2011
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Guys, thanks for all of the advice. You've given me a ton of good considerations, and I appreciate them all.

I forgot to mention in the original post that I would be using a 22' power boat running ahead of me plotting the depth. I was thinking in a worst case scenario, we could try using it to pull me off of whatever bottom I find.

A little concerning is the fact that I am the largest boat in the yard by a fair stretch, and I look to be about a foot or two deeper than the other sailboats in the yard. I couldn't see any signs of a dredged channel on the satalite image on activecaptain, but you guys could be right assuming the yard knows something I don't. I'm still waiting on follow up email from the yard confirming naviagation won't be an issue.

When I moved to the Chesapeake from Hawaii a few years ago I had to retool my definition of shallow water, but Florida is a whole new ballgame!

I'm planning on getting this done around the 19th of July, so any additional thoughts between now and then would be greatly appreciated. I'll try to follow up if/when we get this knocked out next month.

Thanks again


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Old 06-15-2011
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I would ask the guy who assured you that the channel was deep enough if he wanted to go for a ride to show you the way. Once through, he could always be returned by the power boat. The channel I have to go through was always deeper than charted, but you need some "local knowledge" to know where to go to be in the deepest part.
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Old 06-16-2011
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get in touch with your bottom - fnaa fnaa

if you have a GPS and a dingy go out and find the channel for yourself

Charles Stock used to use a pea stick as an echosounder

here is the technique in action on the slug

never leave homw without one because in my experience echosounders don't work at shallow depths

KTL 60 Ore spit « Keep Turning Left

a peastick of a dowell rod is a useful item for any shoal draft boat

zig zag from side to side looking for the deepest part

mark it on the gps when you do find it

identify the channel - and also find out how soft the bottom is


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Old 06-16-2011
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If you do have to use your original plan is the raw water intake location and the possibility of sucking up mud an issue? Dan S/V Marian Claire
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Old 06-16-2011
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Well, you've had useful suggestions and therefore I feel it is my duty to suggest something not useful.
A couple of feet off the bottom should do it.
Orange Crush
1974 C&C27 MkII

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