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  #1  
Old 11-06-2006
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What to do if my slip runs dry

I have my Catalina 25 swing keel in a slip on Lake Hefner in Oklahoma. The water level in the lake is continuing to go down and because of the drought there is currently about 4.5 feet in my slip. I have my keel up.

I am guessing that in 6 weeks or so my slip will be dry. The slips are made out of concrete peirs So what can I do? I don't have a trailer and if I did it is too low to get it out. They are not currently allowing mooring out in the lake.

How is the best way to stablize my boat? What problems should I anticipate with is sitting on the bottom over the winter?
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Old 11-07-2006
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They won't let you anchor out? UGH... Isn't there a travellift to haul your boat out of the water with? Hauling the boat, and storing it on the hard with boat stands would probably be the best option.

While you could leave it in the slip and use lines to keep the boat upright, my concern would be that any movement of the boat, due to wind, boat wakes, etc would cause the boat to "grind" against the concrete. In cases of fiberglass grinding on concrete, the concrete usually wins.
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Old 11-07-2006
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DB...does the Lake not freeze occasionally during the winter? If so, you need to be getting the boat out of the water anyway.
Assuming you can't move the boat or anchor out AND that the bottom under your boat is hard pack rather than mud...I'd get some railroad ties underneath the keel to provide support when the water runs out so the lines from the dock don't have to do as much work. If the water goes all the way out then jackstands on top of plywood sheeting should be used to support the boat. Double up on your lines in any event and check frequently for chafe/wear.
Are others in the marina in the same situation? What are they doing about it?
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Old 11-07-2006
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Interesting post, Not very often heard of in the states, but I think I have heard on the otherside of the pond that they do this quite frequently with the changing tide. I remember reading an article about this. Maybe some of the sailors form England have advise for you.

If it were me, I would get out of the slip while I could, hual my boat and hope to have a better season next year.
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Old 11-07-2006
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Last I heard, Oklahoma lakes do not reach the freezing point, but I would be concerned with hull damage. The boat had to have been placed into your slip somehow, simply remove it the same way - for peace of mind over the winter.
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Old 11-07-2006
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Luckily there has been some rain as of late, so your level may start coming up. I currently have my boat in Texoma, and it is still down a bit, but coming up.

I would agree that the best solution is just pulling it and putting it on stands. Or, bettter yet, pull it and drop it in Texoma. It is an awesome sailing lake, and good prep for the ocean.

If you cannot have it pulled or craned out, the railroad ties are probably the best solution I can think of. Let the boat lean over slightly on the dock WITH LOTS OF BLANKETS OR TOWELS to protect it. Tie the boat off fairly tightly to try and keep it from moving... especially on the oppostie side that will take some pressure off the side on the dock.

One Disclaimer: THis IS MY OPINION! I HAVE NOT DONE THIS! I am just speculating what I would do in your circumstances, so don't come back and start writing posts about "That Cruisingdad is sooo awsome on everything else, is obviously very knowledgeable, knows everything about sailing, is the Hinckley of cruisers, but gave me bad advice on my boat!"

Well, on second thought, maybe you can come back and write everything but the last part! HAHA. If you want any more thoughts on Texoma, let me know. You can PM me and I can give you some thoughts.

- CD

PS I drive 2 1/2 hours each way to get to Texoma... tells you what I think about it.
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Old 11-07-2006
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Yes Oklahoma lakes do on occasion freeze, though not as solid as the northern lakes. This happens mostly on the shallower lakes. The deeper the lake the more thermal protection you have. Cruising dad you have me beet on driving time I am only 2 hours from my boat. Are you Texas or Oklahoma?
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Old 11-07-2006
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Wayyyy out in the sticks in East Texas... and still not far enough from a city! Now, does that sound like a cruiser or what?

The closest city is Tyler and that is about 45 mins away. I almost dropped the boat in Houston instead of Texoma, but decided the guys up at Valiant were a better source for information to outfit it versus Joe and Bob liveaboard down in Keemah (now that was mean, huh?). In all seriousness, I cannot imagine having anyone better to help me with questions and problems than the guys at Valiant... though we often dissagree on what constitutes as competitive rates! Still, they did my last boat and I never sank. THought I would give it another swing!

Texoma is a great shakedown lake and safe from Hurricanes... I reccomend it for everyone.
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Old 11-09-2006
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Giving your boat some legs

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Old 11-09-2006
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You should be able to find references either on the web or in print, there are folks who routinely use "legs" to stabilize their boats when the water runs away. These can be either pipe or timber (i.e. 2x4) which are placed vertically outboard of your rail, with a piece of plywood or plate as a "foot" on the bottom of them, if the bottom is soft/sticky. The leg is then lashed or bolted to the rail and a stanchion, depending on how your boat sits you may let it stand on two legs plus the keel, or four legs plus the keel. With a 25' boat I'd think four 2x4's would be plenty of support unless you have extreme weather. And of course, take off the sails so there is less windage.

Surely the marina operators have SOME plans to get the boats either out of the marina, or into deeper water, as it runs down?? I'd suggest contacting the other owners, raising some local hell, and pressuring the authorities into allowing temporary moorings to be used so you can actually USE whatever water is left.

Is this a natural lake, or a Corp of Engineers (etc) manmade problem?
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