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  #1  
Old 06-15-2011
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Help Me Get a 5'10" Draft over a 3' Bottom

A Little Background:

I sailed my boat from Norfolk, VA most of the way down to its new permanent home on the West Coast of Florida. We had a great trip, but light airs led to slower than planned progress, and my work schedule caught up with me; so I hauled out short of our destination and had the boat trucked to a yard in Florida.

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.

First, let me say I'm not dogging the yard folks for anything. I probably should have gotten hold of the charts before I chose the yard to begin with. In any case, the boat is where it is, and nothing short of another semi truck ride is going to get it out of there UNLESS I can get creative.


The Half-Baked Plan:

Looking at the tide charts, I see I have a couple 2" to 2.7" tides coming during my launch window- that's about as good as it's going to get . That "should" give me anywhere between 5' and 5'8" to play with.

My plan is to take a few 55 gallon drums, fill them up to lean the boat (Catalina 36), and motor on out to the channel during the rising tide.


The Questions:

Does this sound like a reasonable plan? I've heard of the guys who do it down Lake Okechobee way to help boats get under the low bridge on the cannal so I know it's possible.

What considerations should I be looking out for if I do strap 5 380-pound drums to the side deck?

Can anyone think of a better idea?


As always, thanks for the help!

Last edited by creedence623; 06-15-2011 at 01:35 AM.
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Old 06-15-2011
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Just what I was thinking a copula 300lb bags of water hanging off the mast to lean the boat over enough to get by ..
I have seen the video of the water bag trick for getting under the bridge also
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Old 06-15-2011
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Not sure a 2-2.7" tide will do anything for you, 3' to 3'2" is not enough to worry about, UNLESS......the OLD UNLESS part, you hit the inch key insted of the feet key, Then yes, a 2-2.7' tide could get you out, with some barrels at the top of the mast, along with UNLOAD any and ALL items you can, IE sails, ALL water, black tank, extra clothes etc. This might net you another 2-4" of less draft! While generally speaking not usually enough to shake a stick at, but in your case, those 2-4" could be ALL you need!

Too bad you are not in the salish sea area, a 3' tide would be a really really really small one! 12-14' tides would not be too uncommon, with a -4 on one end, along with a +12 on the other!

Good luck!

Marty
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Old 06-15-2011
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Good advice above, heeling is an old trick to get in and out of shallow harbors.
If you launch on a low pressure day the tide will rise higher than predicted. There can also be additional significant hight increase depending on the wind direction in relation to the harbour mouth and tidal stream direction, locals will know the best wind to push up the tide.

Safe sailing
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Old 06-15-2011
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A few rambling thoughts...

I'd might head out there in another boat and measure the depth along your route to deep water.

If the charted depth is 3 foot it would be charted at MLLW. There may be more water than you think.

Waiting for an unusually high tide might be all you need?

55 gallon drums are pretty awkward....what were you going to fill them with water? IF so, water is approx 1# per pint..so a gallon is 8 lbs. x 55 = 440lbs. plus the weight of the barrel. Or the equivalent of two High school linemen...
You could invite the local football team down..and have them all stand on one side..

Swing the boom out all the way..make sure the topping lift is in good shape..rig a preventer and hang some weight off the end of the boom..
I've floated myself that way. A few people sitting out there works...worse case the topping lift breaks and someone goes swimming.
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Last edited by Tempest; 06-15-2011 at 07:34 AM.
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Old 06-15-2011
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Bottom

If the bottom is mud could you not just get a friendly mobo

tie a bridle to the bow and stern and drag it sideways across the shallow bit

Dylan
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Old 06-15-2011
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Old 06-15-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tempest View Post
I'd might head out there in another boat and measure the depth along your route to deep water.

If the charted depth is 3 foot it would be charted at MLLW. There may be more water than you think.
It is posts like this that get Tempest a helpfulness rating of five.

We have many of the great electronics on board. We draw four feet and regularity go into some places that show no marked depth - just light blue on the chart.

We have on board a length of white 1/8' line, marked with with a black circle every foot. Five is marked with two rings, ten with three, fifteen with four rings and we stop at 20 feet. On the end is an old shackle.

Dead slow with one of us on the bow calling out the soundings.

Even better in a little aluminum boat with a small outboard.

Like Telmest says - "You may have more water than you think."

Rik
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Old 06-15-2011
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Local Knowledge...Does the Marina know something you don't?

On the NC coast there are numerous locations where the charts say an area is not passable due to shallow depth, but locals do it everyday. They know of certain unmarked routes through the shallows. I have had experience in one situation where the water is 2-4 ft. on the charts, but have gone through with a local and experienced a real draft on that prescribed course of 5 ft. minimum.

My guess is that the marina would not have misled you by that much. Before you fret too much, confirm with them that they really know how to get you to deeper water. A draft of 5' 10" is not that uncommon. Many boats in our shallow area draw 5'. Assuming your temporary docking area is similar, then you need only a little help from the tides and you are ok.
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Old 06-15-2011
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Tempest has it- nothing beats the old Mk I eyeball to know what the situation is really like.
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