November Swimming in NY
As many of you know, I like to sail. A lot. So much that my boat usually gets launched in April, and not hauled until November. So, while the marina is closed, and most boats on moorings have been hauled, my boat is still in the water.
This was good because I went sailing this past Thursday with my Dad and Nephew. It's November, so the weather was cool - around 50, but sunny. Anyway, the sailing was great: wind pretty steady at 12-15 kts, from the Northwest, and the sea not too rough. We sailed from my home port, Mt. Sinai, around the Middle Shoal lighthouse, and back in around 2 hours. There were very few boats out, but I did see WanderingStar out with all sails flying.
When we got back to the harbor we decided to sail in, since the wind was from a favorable direction. But, to be safe, we started the engine and left it in neutral. When we were in the channel, the wind was blocked by some high land banks, so my dad, who was at the helm, put the engine in gear. Right away I noticed a new vibration. Then I heard a thumping sound. I put the transmission in neutral, and the sound and vibration went away.
Hmmm, what is going on? We put the trans in forward and the vibration seemed to be gone. Did we knock some marine growth off the prop? At higher revs I did notice a vibration, but nothing severe. So we motored to the mooring, and put the sails away.
We got in the dingy, and I pulled close to the boat to have a look underneath. Then I saw it, a crab or lobster pot float was stuck on the prop. I didn't have time to do anything about so we left.
With only a week or two left in my season I wasn't sure if I could remove the float from the dingy, go for a swim to remove it, or just have the boat hauled and remove it from land.
Yesterday I prepared to try and remove it. I tried cutting it free from the dingy, but I could not see what I was going. It was a nice day, sunny, little wind, around 50, so I decided to go for a swim and remove it that way. My wife and son were there, so they were able to offer moral support and provide tools. I stripped down to a bathing suit and put a few towels and blankets in the cockpit. I had a mask and snorkel, and work gloves so I could grab the prop. On the swim platform I put two knives. I climbed down the swim ladder and the water didn't feel too cold on my legs. From the sonar transducer the water temp was listed at around 55 degrees. Then I jumped in.
WOW, THE WATER IS REALLY COLD!!!!
Under the boat I saw that the float was wrapped around the prop, but not too badly. The problem was that I felt so cold I could not hold my breath very long. Before I went in I promised my wife that I could not get the float out in less than 5 minutes I would give up. With the timer running I tried to free the float. First I untangled it. That was taking too long. With a sharp serrated knife I cut one line. One more breath and then I made another cut. Once more under the boat and I pulled the float free.
Out of the water and back in the boat. I dried off and sat in the sun to warm up. Total time in the water: 4 minutes.
We started the engine and motored around the harbor for a few minutes. No vibration and I can sail for another week or two!
Deep Blue C, 2002 C&C 110
Mt. Sinai, NY
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Last edited by BarryL; 11-06-2011 at 03:41 PM.