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post #31 of 133 Old 01-14-2008
1977 Morgan OI 30
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'Moon'...low tide in Hingham Bay. Saw multiple sail boats 'aground' but 'had' to get to the overnight anchorage. Our OI only draws 3 1/2 feet and we strove to stay in a small channel but...[never mind I don't need anymore gafaws] ...anyway it was the lowest tide ever seen according to a veteran lobsterman. [next time overnight on the mooring during 'moon' tides!]

My formula for living is quite simple. I get up in the morning and I go to bed at night. In between, I occupy myself as best I can.
Cary Grant
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post #32 of 133 Old 01-15-2008
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My most interesting grounding occurred when I was approaching East Bay Marina, Nassau, Bahamas for the first time in my cruising life aboard my 42' CT Ketch drawing 6'4" in 1986. My guests, suffering cabin fever, were perched on the bow pointing to the marina where we intended to dock. I, at the helm, was reading the cruiser's guide which said, "take a sharp turn to the right to avoid a submerged wreck" . . . I asked the bow members if they could see any wreck but they continued pointing directly at the marina - BUMP! I was good & stuck, set out a banjo tight kedge and went below for a nap. At tide change, we sprung loose and made that right turn. Moral of the story, be your own Cap'n and follow your gut instincts. No harm, no foul on this grounding but it was embarrassing as they always are.
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post #33 of 133 Old 01-15-2008
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Talking Rock Ahoy!

Several years ago we were day sailing on Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire and headed in for the evening. The lake became very calm and we were barely making way near an island outcropping of rocks. I checked over the side and decided we were ready to come about and had just begun the maneuver when a large (30' plus) cabing cruiser sped by us, approx 100' away. The wake was easily 4 feet and caught us as we were changing direction. The wake lifted the boat up and slammed it on a rock that was at least 4 feet tall.
The noise was deafening, with the rigging vibrating and shaking, boom careening back and forth and the boat shaking horribly.
I immediately fired up the kicker, and locked it down to move away from the rocks. The second wake also threw us on the rock, but I managed to move away before the next waves.
As my first mate sped us into deeper water, I went below to see if there was any water coming in. I didn't see anything but decided not to chance a leak developing.
Since we have a trailer for our boat, I went to the back of the marina where the trailer was parked (it was nite by the time we got back) and we pulled the boat that nite. The next day we came back to inspect the damage and found a 3 inch chunk taken out of the front of the fixed keel.
We allowed the boat to dry out for a week and made the fiberglass repairs, cutting about 3 weeks out of our already short sailing season.
At least it was not the worst accident of the season. About a month after, we noticed a very large Beneteau on stands with some massive keel damage. It seems that the owner had picked up the new boat and immediately ran it against the Witches in the lake.
Lesson to the wise, rocks don't move!
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post #34 of 133 Old 01-15-2008
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Originally Posted by tenuki View Post
does sticking a hobie cat's mast in the bottom of the lake so bad we needed a power boat to get it unstuck count?
Haha, I've done that! Took hours to get the black Chesapeake mud out of the sheave at the top of the mast.

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post #35 of 133 Old 01-15-2008
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BVI grounding

My grounding experience was heading into the Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbor on a 46 foot chartered monohull. I had lined up the outer set of green and red bouys with the inner set, which were just before you made the right hand turn around the jetty. Motoring along with my mind on other things and bang! we were on hard ground. The non-sailor women on board were screaming and throwing on life jackets. Kind of a chinese fire drill. Turns out there was a red buoy to port which I thought marked the the split in the channel over to the ferry dock. But it marked a left handed jog in the channel.

Simply motoring off wasn't working. So, totally embarrassed, I mustered my crew (five plus me, but only my wife was a sailor) to the leeward rail after getting out all the canvas. It heeled the boat enough that we were able to lift the keel off the bottom and motor over to the channel without further incident. Upon inspection of the keel, I only cleaned off a few barnacles. My pride took more of a beating. Like the song says, "Nobody knows you when run aground!"
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post #36 of 133 Old 01-15-2008
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My worst grounding to date.

I won't put all the details here, I've got those on my website. I will say it makes for interesting reading. I will cut and paste a few of the passages. Most of the problem was due to a weak point in the keel structure allowing the keel to rotate back and flex the bottom enough to break it. The plywood bulkheads were weak. After the fact I fixed the problem permanently by installing FRP bulkheads.

for the entire story go to my website here:
go 3/4 down the page and look for the heading:
Gulf crossing Mobile to south Florida
the complete story immediately follows that. It took my feet many months to get back to normal from being constantly wet for more than 30 hours.
It starts with "I'm still Alive!"

here are a couple excerpts
Sitting on the boat making so many typing mistakes due to the rocking. I’m listening to water gurgling under a false cabin floor I’ve jury rigged to keep my feet dry. I’m also listening to the putting of a rented gas dewatering pump up on the dock. This is the first day in a long time, I’ve felt like I could take the time to write. I should get a full nights sleep, I’ve been working on about a total of maybe 8 hours of very broken sleep in the last 6 days or so. I’m sitting here tied up to the dock in St Petersburg Florida, Tierra Verde Marina. Actually the boat is tied up not me. I’ve got lots of things to ponder. What will my next boat be like? I know for sure it will have some sort of pilot house feature, forward looking windows, steering and controls inside protected from the weather. One thing I’m not pondering is how much water a 50 year old sailor in fair shape can bail in a 30 hour period to keep his boat from sinking. I was never worried about my life, most of the time just in 4 feet of water and not too far from shore.
My next boat will have better engine access and fewer sharp edges. More handholds, The radio has some fibers embedded in the front plastic from my stocking cap, probably just as many in my forehead. There are too many hooks and sharp latches and all kinds of places to get hurt while hurtling across a cabin. Cabins should be smaller so you can’t get going to fast before stopping. Proper engine access is not on your back feet above your head, back into a metal bracket so you can just about see the distributor, and having to remove it completely just to set the points. Just about everything I’ve attempted to do on this engine has been almost as difficult.

Any way back to the bailing question, my research shows that a healthy 50 year old can bail about 200,000 pounds of water in a 29 hour period. I did it. I’m also discovering why most people have just about no use for the Coast Guard. At first all I wanted was some info, where is a marina with a mobile lift. They took over the situation, paid no attention to what I asked for or wanted. I was happy to receive the help bailing but latter when we spent hours and they took me where I didn’t need to go, wouldn’t be able to leave, never informed me of what they where doing, then left me to sink at the dock, I was not very happy. Both times they could have taken me to a place that would have been able to better help my situation, it would have been less total miles for them, but to go by the book, they went out of the way to leave me in a rather terrible situation. Right now if my boat goes down, it’ll be in 30 feet of water. Could they have taken me to a part of the dock that was shallower? No that’s not their concern, or ground me on the shallows next to the marina, nope, got to be tied to the dock.

It’s hard to imagine the scene, 12 inches of water sloshing in a violently rocking boat, a 5 gal pail was easy to fill but it seemed like only 30% of the time some of it would end up out of the boat, often it would just end up being sloshed against the side of the companionway and pour right back in. I’m sliding around with the water, tilting, sliding, etc, climbing out to dump it was out of the question, had to be done faster than that. A rhythm was impossible to find. A 6 inch drain in the cockpit will be very necessary in a future boat.
Hopefully that gives you a taste enough to make you want to read and learn more from my mistakes and adventures. Someday I will write a book. I'm still in the adventure process, living the stuff that will be in that book or now probably series of books. At least I've learned I have to document it while It's still fresh. Enjoy.

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Last edited by jheldatksuedu; 01-15-2008 at 03:24 PM.
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post #37 of 133 Old 01-15-2008
Mas Tiempo, Islander 30
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First Grounding (in this boat)

It was my first day sailling a 30' Islander after moving up from a 24'. Of course it draws and extra foot! We'd just crossed the Sacramento ship canal and were tacking around near a channel marker when she went aground. It's unusual to have the river go from over 40' to less than 5' but in checking the charts there was a sunken wreck marked right where we were and so ....
After dropping the sails and getting ready to set the hook (to the amusement of the fishermen on the bank) I noticed a barge loaded with levee riprap coming up the channel. I jumped back to the halyards and got all sail up and sheeted everything in. I re-started the engine just in time as the barge passed and sent a beautiful 2' wake over to us. The wake lifted us up enough that I could spin the boat and get the wind on the beam after which she heeled and started moving away from the high spot. We tacked back out into the channel and were on our merry way. Thanks, US C of E!

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post #38 of 133 Old 01-15-2008
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almost went aground hard last year. I was navigator on another boat in an overnight race to P town. We were making great vmg 8.5 sailing at 8.5 knts. As we neared the tip the skipper sights, what he thinks is, the mark GF4s and starts to steer toward it without telling me, I'm below noticing the numbers dropping. I asked him what he was doing and he said he saw the mark, I checked course again and found us way off, then the kiss of death...he was losing sight of it but not behind other lights. I went topside just as the helmsman said I see land at that moment the shallow water alarm went off. I told him to gybe hard and go out the way he came in, as best he could. We dodged a bullet that night we were doing 8.5 knots right onto the beach. Turns out he was seeing a different mark inside the harbor and over land, thats why it kept disappearing! it was behind the dunes.

I took the ferry home.

Last edited by Sabre66; 01-15-2008 at 02:41 PM.
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post #39 of 133 Old 01-15-2008
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Were you navigating or at the helm??? .... be honest... 'fess up...


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Telstar 28
New England

You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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post #40 of 133 Old 01-15-2008
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Different Harbor, Shallower Water

My SJ24 draws 4', so grounding in the summer can be merely inconvenient. With a single anchor, I'd toss it out and pull. Then some helpers arrived and heeled the boat so that while hauling the anchor farther out, actually ended up farther downwind and discovered a shipwreck in 4'. I now have a second anchor to hold her in place while kedging with the other one. The old mooring and area all around was in all deep water. The new one requires a lot more care.
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