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post #61 of 133 Old 01-15-2008
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Originally Posted by sailortjk1 View Post
Your supposed to do what I do.
Whenever we have guests on board and something does not go quite as planned, I just kind of pretend like it didn't happen. Or "I meant to do that."
Our version of that is "Ooops!..... I mean A - Hah!"
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post #62 of 133 Old 01-15-2008
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I'm in the 2nd group (or 3rd depending), I admit it!

Approaching the fuel dock at a marina off the Long Island Sound (New York waters) I failed to see a " 1 " signifying basically zero depth about 400 feet off their fuel dock. Fortunately the bottom was mud so no damage was done as we plowed into the bottom at about 4 kts.

How did we handle it? Simple. There was no choice (on a falling tide) except to sit there 'till the tide came back so we barbequed (had to adjust the angle of the grill on the stern rail ), had a few bottles of wine and when we re-floated headed to our assigned slip.

At least we were able to barbeque which we couldn't have done in the slip!
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post #63 of 133 Old 01-15-2008
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First time out in my little racer/cruiser. I wanted a hand around in case there were problems. I launched in a natural lake I was unfamiliar with, my friends boarded and we took off in light but steady winds.

We were cruising along at about 4 knots. At one point I looked up and the sail were nice and full, everything seemed perfect except we weren't moving!!! we had slowly eased into the sand in the middle of the lake. It was a slow and silent stop, no one noticed.

Now we did have a violent stop on Lake Erie. We were on our boat I co-owned with my brother sailing from Huron OH. to Leamington Ontario. Beautiful day, cruising along at around 6 knots. We had our charts out and every thing looked good then Bam bam bam and we stopped dead. It seems we were just outside the area the chart we had out covered. Checking the next chart we had found Chickenolee reef. The marker for the reef is VERY small!!! It took us 20 minutes but we got off. No real damage, just a few dents in the lead keel. A real wake up call to double check your charts!!
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post #64 of 133 Old 01-15-2008
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I was having my sailboat towed back to Astoria, OR once from Cathlamet, WA on the Columbia River (dead engine). In foggy conditions we missed the main ship channel just where the Columbia starts to widen out at Rice Island. We were following buoys until the fog lifted in late morning. Then I could see we were clear around on the north (Washington) side of the estuary. Stupidly I said "Lets get over in the main channel as quickly as we can..." We were about two miles north of the main channel with nothing but shoals in between on a falling tide.

I quickly ran my boat hard aground. Couldn't budge it. I told the guy towing me to get out of there before he got stuck too. Then I waited. Around 3pm we had low tide and my 6ft keel was sitting in about 2 feet of water, boat laying on it's port side. I couldn't get any commercial tow... Duh, not enough water. I contacted the Coast Guard at Cape Disappointment and arranged to be pulled off when the water would be deep enough to refloat me (about 8pm). They did, and left me anchored for the night on the north side of the bay still with all the shoals to cross. Next morning I waited for high tide, plotted the best course I could across the shoals and sailed off the anchor. Had my fingers and toes crossed all the way across. When I finally reached the Astoria side of the river I dropped anchor again and waited for a commercial tow into West Basin Marina.
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post #65 of 133 Old 01-15-2008
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I had just gotten back from a fantastic three week trip up the West coast of Vancouver Is (dodging rocks a mile off shore, navigating twisting shallow channels into bays, 20+' seas for a bit) and I was sailing with my wife in Lake Washington on a nice sunny day with a warm 10K beeze blowing. I told her this was almost too easy after all the perils of the trip. Yep, not an hour later ran it into a shallow muddy area that I had been avoiding for 15 years. We were able to motor off in reverse with the help of some power boat wakes.


SV Laurie Anne

1988 Brewer 40 Pilothouse

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post #66 of 133 Old 01-15-2008
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Running Aground - Never

I have never run aground. I believe the terminology is "touching bottom" which I will confess to. In Matagorda Bay, TX, the bottom is soft mud (and oyster piles) ranging from 2' to 12' or so, except in the channels, which may be as deep as 38' or so. We were sailing in the channel, stbd side, with my neighbor at the helm, in 12-15' water when we suddenly "touched bottom". I, of course, as the irascible captain, berated him for not paying attention to the sounder and took the helm over. I showed him a proper course, following the boundaries of the channel at 15'-20' and a minute later, "touched bottom" with 12' on the sounder. That of course was my neighbor's fault again (the captain is always right). We quickly figured out there were heaping big mud bars (sand bars would be traditional but no sand here) and we were skipping across the tops.

With a 2' draft on a 36' trimaran, any old salt will realize it's impossible to run aground. You can see the bottom in that depth. Except in Matagorda Bay mud.

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post #67 of 133 Old 01-16-2008
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On my first passage through the Annisquam, northbound, sailing wing and wing at about 7 knots, I put this boat on the sandbar at the turn just below the Rt. 128 bridge. A nice gradual incline, allowing our 19,000 lb to slide WAY up on the bar. Shortly after high water. On a Sunday afternoon. We had no dinghy, and were unable to get an anchor set abeam for healing her with the main peak halyard. It was going to be a LONG wait, with a 10 ft tide. The good samaritan from a nearby boatyard, after ferrying my wife and five month old daughter ashore, said that according to his log 153 boats landed on that spot the previous summer. At low tide we were more than 100 yards from the nearest water. There we lay, at the end of an ever-deepening long groove in the hard sand, at a perfect viewing angle from the bridge.

I made it back to work Monday morning, hoping this episode was unnoticed. I was immediately greeted by a coworker and Gloucester oldtimer, "Hope you had a clamfork." I don't think he was kidding when he said it was standard practice to transit the Annisquam with one.

My five month old daughter is now 43 and the markers have been improved somewhat, but once in awhile, when you drive over the bridge, you'll still see a big sailboat, high and dry, right down there on the same bar. And my wife always has something else going on when it's time to go sailing.

Never sail closer to the wind in degrees than your age

Last edited by FishSticks; 01-18-2008 at 03:06 PM.
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post #68 of 133 Old 01-16-2008
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Avoidance after the fact

My idiot brother ran us aground in Lake Huron's Les Cheneaux Islands. He claims it was his idiot brother at the helm at the critical moment. Since our mutual idiot brother was not onboard at the time, the investigation to resolve blame is still ongoing. That said, I was determined not to let the idiot at the helm do it again. Since some idiot had mounted the depth finder closer to the stern than the bow, I get an excellent view of all the bottom we have passed, but virtually no indication of the bottom ahead.

After being pulled off the shoal by an ancient but beautifully reconditioned mahogany rum runner piloted by some an antique wooden boat buff, who smiled way too much as he pulled us off, I resolved never to be at the mercy of someone who took that much pleasure in demonstrating the virtues of a huge engine and a shallow draft.

I rigged an old surf fishing rod with a slip bobber and a lead weight heavy enough to sink the bobber but light enough to cast a good distance. With 5 ft of line between the weight and the stop, I can cast the thing well ahead of the boat, even at moderate speeds, and watch the bobber. If it sinks, I know I have more than 5 feet of water ahead of me. If it floats, I tell the idiot at the helm to do the right thing. I have not grounded since.

Please be advised that it is possible to miss a projecting pile, stump, or other submerged object, with the weight resulting in an innacurate picture of the submerged hazzards one is approaching. The divits on my hull, therefore, are not technically groundings, so much as they are "pilings" or "stumpings" etc. This definition allows me to state with a clear conscience that I have not "grounded" since using the weight and bobber. Such events are actually a good thing, because they are bound to kill off a few zebra mussels on impact.
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post #69 of 133 Old 01-16-2008
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running aground

my adventure for running aground,
my friend don and myself were motoring/trying to sail/on the intercostal heading to florida,we were a few miles from hilton head SC in the middle of the channel,as we approached a inlet heading out to sea i was watching the channel markers and the nuns showing where to go much to my suprise i heard a loud thud the boat came to a halt abruptly and wallah we were aground!
don was down below fixing coffee and came up to the wheel and said what happened,why are you out of the channel?i said im not,look at the markers,the nuns and where i am in the channel,exactly where i need to be.well as my boat only draws 3ft 9inches with the center board up.
and the tide coming in we just killed the motor fixed dinner,and about 45 minutes later we felt the boat break free and away we went.
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post #70 of 133 Old 01-17-2008
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rbridges...I know exactly where you were...they added another small green can there a little further on! (g)

No longer posting. Reach me by PM!
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