Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: SW Florida
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In the last 7-8 years of fairly frequent sailing trips on a progression of boats from 18-29 feet I have gotten my self grounded probably close to a score of times. The 18-foot Buccaneer, the 20-foot Hunter, and then more recently the Seafarer 24 (coming in at around 2 tons) were still all fairly easy to get ungrounded even singlehanding as is often the case with me.
The Seafarer 24 I managed to ground pretty well once where I was fortunate to have a experienced sailboat couple (they did yacht deliveries) help me and my crew of 6-7 teenagers (another story) but we were camping on an island and the boat became "encamped" on the adjacent grass flat let's just say...Well anyways, the captain of that sailboat helped us to free our halyard (by jumping aboard and shimmying to the top of the mast and grabbing the halyard end that had migrated there with help) and then he directed several of us to pull on the end of it from a about 40 feet to one side abeam of our boat while some pushed from the sides of the stern and one of us gunned the 9.9 Merc sailpower outboard....we were only about 20-25 feet from a channel by then but we were gassed getting her there by then until that couple came along....
My current boat is an old Columbia 29 of over 4 tons and 4 foot draft and a couple months ago a kind local crabber helped me the last 20 feet back into the channel by towing my main halyard with his little crab boat and popping me over to the channel toward the end of high tide in about 20 minutes or so...I had been stuck for close to a day and a half...and had only been able to turn my Columbia back towards the channel by myself by pushing her bow during each high tide (4 am or so but cell phone alarms are amazing)....I had been singlehanding at night and not paying enough attention with the spotlight in a long precipitous stretch of channel in Northern Sarasota bay..
I got stuck alot in the first three boats...but Florida's sands are very forgiving and it's always tempting to try and get away from the ditch with all the big powerboats and their wakes in smaller boats. However my Columbia is not a "smaller" boat anymore at close to 5 tons loaded with gear and I will be doing my best to not get her stuck from now on...I have never called Seatow before that time and as I wasn't a member...the 700 dollars they quoted me was a shock...though kindness is certainly it's own reward...I still owe that Cortez crabman bigtime...and that sailing couple too....they saved the camping trip it could well be argued.
Last edited by souljour2000; 01-12-2012 at 08:34 PM.