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  #1  
Old 05-24-2013
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aground in slip

I arrived at the boat this evening to find her hard aground in the slip due to the unusually low tide (caused, I assume, by the long day of strong north-westerly winds in the Chesapeake).

So I have a couple of questions:

How can I reduce risk to the rudder? It was locked centered when the tide dropped. It is definitely deep in the muck now. Should I leave it locked, or let open the brake and let it swing? (i.e. is the pressure on the wheel steering mechanism the greater danger, or is pounding on an off-center rudder the greater danger?) What else can I do? (I have already moved some weight forward.) What is the likelihood that it gets damaged? (It is a spade rudder that is at least 6-12" less deep than the keel.)

Is there a source of information where I can find out how much lower than mean-low-water we are? If I am less than 2 feet lower than mean low water, I would like to try to get the marina to move me to another slip. They insisted that there was 7 feet in the slip, but it has seemed like much less based on depth sounder over the few weeks we have been here.

Last edited by mr_f; 05-26-2013 at 12:12 AM.
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Old 05-24-2013
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Re: aground in slip

You want to make sure your Rudder has as much "play" as possible. The last thing you want is for it to be "locked" into a position. What will happen when that big 35' powerboat blast by ignoring the no-wake sign? Well, the horizontal load put on your locked and anchored rudder by the wake could be enough to snap it in two- This I know from personal experience.
Whatever will allow your Rudder the ability to de-stress as much load possible is what you want until you can figure out a more accommodating slip.
Hope this helps.

Last edited by Harborless; 05-24-2013 at 11:35 PM. Reason: added "the wake"
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Old 05-25-2013
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Re: aground in slip

reading an article from a UK mag about mud berths.. they recommend locking the rudder. If anybody knows about leaving their boats in the mud, it is the Brits.
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Old 05-25-2013
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Re: aground in slip

No advice, but in my short time on the Chesapeake, I've never seen it so low here in Rock Hall. We're no longer aground. I'm typing this rocking gently in our slip, while everyone else aboard is still asleep.
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Old 05-25-2013
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Re: aground in slip

I've been in two different slips there on the Chesapeake and both locations had the boat aground under extreme tides. I found it best to lock the rudder amid ship so that the rudder stays on the same plane as the keel. If you allow the rudder to move then as the boat possibly moves fore and aft with the tide, the rudder might hit the stops so consequently more stress will be put on that rudder if it is not in line with the keel. I have a full keel so my keel is providing more protection than your fin keel with the spade. I also found that most slips turn shallow toward the dock so docking with the bow toward the dock would be best to try to avoid problems with the rudder.
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Old 05-25-2013
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Re: aground in slip

I use this site during extreme weather to predict how bad flooding will be. It's accurate.

Extra-Tropical Storm Surge: stn
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Old 05-25-2013
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Re: aground in slip

Thanks for the advice and for the prediction site.

Leaving the rudder locked inline with the keel made the most sense to me, but you could see the steering cables flexing, so that seemed worrisome.

And I certainly will be bow-in from now on.

Stuck again for now.
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Old 05-25-2013
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Re: aground in slip

Where on the Bay are you?
And be aware; after several days of NW wind pushing water OUT of the Bay, when the wind abates, we'll have a couple of very high tides as the water rushes back in the Bay. Seen it before.
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Old 05-25-2013
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Re: aground in slip

We are in Herrington Harbour. We have been here a few years, but not in this slip. No problems at the old slip.
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Old 05-25-2013
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Re: aground in slip

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_f View Post
We are in Herrington Harbour. We have been here a few years, but not in this slip. No problems at the old slip.

S or N? I used to sail off of O dock when I was in a sailing club and the boat I race on is at HHS. I'm up off the Patapsco now and love it. Plus it's deep and I draw 6'6".

Good news is you probably don't have to worry about wave surge or wakes at either HHN or HHS. I'd just leave the boat be and wait for the tide to come back up.
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