HELP! Keel Bottomed Out - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 09-10-2011
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HELP! Keel Bottomed Out

So,

We are from near Binghamton NY and there have been devastating floods this week. Fortunately we are up high and dry and other than power outages and my 3 month old car being left at work and totally submerged under water - we are fine.

We decided to go for a sail today to take our minds off the flood. Our boat is an hour North, in Cayuga Lake. Although the Cayuga area experienced heavy rainfall, there was little or no flooding. The lake was very high and had a minor amount of debris floating in the channel outside our marina.

Just as we headed out of the channel, I turned the motor up to 1/2 throttle (about 4 MPH) and BOOM! The boat raised out of the water, then back down. It was obvious that we hit something on the bottom of the lake (about 7-9 feet just outside the channel.

Our boat draft is about 5 ft, as we have a fixed keel. I immediately turned back into the marina and tied back up to the slip. After about an hour there was no water being taken on, and things appeared be OK.

But now I am scared to death to head back out. And I'm not going to know about the damage until we take the boat out of the water in the fall (we have to have it lifted out).

Does anyone have experience in this area? Should I have NOT gone out 3 days after heavy rainfall? And how do I know where that THING that I hit is resting now????

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks!
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Old 09-10-2011
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It would been great if you had the GPS turned on, and hit the MOB button to log the location. It would have made finding the obstruction much easier.

"Experience, it's what allows you to recognize a mistake when you make it again!"

Gary H. Lucas
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Old 09-10-2011
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Maybe it was a submerged fallen tree or something like that.

Maybe you could run a line along the bottom of the keel and have two people walk down each side of the deck holding the ends and if there is a large chip knocked out then the line will catch or you will be able to feel something unusual.
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Old 09-10-2011
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Its just one of those inevitable things that happens to everybody if they leave the dock

Cant say much except you can snorkel and have a look see BUT it really needs to come out and look at the keel/hull joint
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If a dirty bottom slows you down what do you think it does to your boat
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Old 09-10-2011
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...I'm certain it was a fallen tree. I'll call the Coast Guard tomorrow before someone rips their keel off!

Things like that just add stress to something that is supposed to be FUN
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Old 09-10-2011
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Channel markers missing

Irene brought flooding and wind here in NC. Not only were tree's knocked down, but the channel markers that mark our passage from the creek into the river are mostly gone. We had seven markers, 4 green, 3 red, the number one marker is still in place, and we know where number 8 is;




at our neighbors dock! But the rest are unaccounted for, talk about nervous heading out. Fortunately, I have a shallow swing keel sailboat, but even I am concerned about torpedoing an underwater marker piling. I have the channel path on our gps, but we have no idea how the shoal sands have shifted and what is left of our channel. We have to do a survey (any ideas on how to do that) or touch and feel our way out into the river.
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Old 09-10-2011
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you should have done a Security-Secruity on your VHF to let everyone know what happened to you because the Coast would have picked up the message! does not matter at this point of time. in the channel you went thru was what current wise out of lake or into lake? if out of lake the obstruction will move into shallower water! if into the lake let Coast Guard know so they can put out a Security-Security to let others in your area know.
if you were not leaking at dock when you got back more than likely the boat will not. how-ever your insurance will require you to check right away if there is damage, so they can settle claim and or have repairs made, to satisfy you.
you more than likely did not sustain dmg, at that speed but, you should still check asap.
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Old 09-11-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Merit25lovers View Post
But now I am scared to death to head back out. And I'm not going to know about the damage until we take the boat out of the water in the fall (we have to have it lifted out).

Does anyone have experience in this area?????
Have a diver do an inspection. Also check your bilge and keel bolts. Are you making water that you weren't before? It is entirely possible that no structural damage was done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Merit25lovers View Post
Should I have NOT gone out 3 days after heavy rainfall?
Why would you not go out? Bumping into a submerged object could happen any time, heavy rain or no.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Merit25lovers View Post
And how do I know where that THING that I hit is resting now????
You don't. Just go slow next time you transit the area where you hit it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Merit25lovers View Post
Things like that just add stress to something that is supposed to be FUN
If you want an activity that is guaranteed 100% safe, stay in bed.
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Last edited by Fstbttms; 09-11-2011 at 12:21 AM.
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Old 09-11-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fstbttms View Post
Have a diver do an inspection. Also check your bilge and keel bolts. Are you making water that you weren't before? It is entirely possible that no structural damage was done.
Very good points. You beat me to it when it comes to a diver. It will probably be cheaper than hauling out.

OP, welcome to the club. The folks who claim that they have never run aground or hit something are fibbing!
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Old 09-11-2011
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Not sure how tough your boat is but, we had hit a few rocks and things in our old Bombay before we sold her, Solid rock was one of them that brought the boat to an instant stop from about 6 knots, and we didnt have a scratch. I doubt you did damage. If the boat stopped then rose it means you hit and went up on it. prob a tree or vw beetle or ?
Grab a scuba mask and a dive light if you need it and check your bottom.
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