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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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  #21  
Old 01-18-2012
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My best advice is don't run aground. Period. In most navies around the world, or shipping companies, if a captain grounds his or her command, he/she is removed for cause. I sort of approach sailing the same way. Thus, I don't run aground. And I ensure that through situational awareness and precautions in approaching unknown waters. If you are tempted to enter waters of which you lack a confident picture for any reason, and you are concerned about grounding, go someplace else. Once you start arguing with yourself on high tide/low tide, good chart/bad chart, one anchor/two anchors, you're already screwed.
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  #22  
Old 01-18-2012
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Just watch the Walk/Dont Walk sign and she'll be fine, matey.
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  #23  
Old 01-18-2012
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Obviously two different schools of thought at least,,I'd rather run aground trying to avoid heavily travelled channels...but I'm in SW Florida and sand primarily...these previous posters...well...it is an entirely different ballgame if there are rocks...and I get that...but....each region and each boat and skipper has his/her own dichotomies of how-to's when talking about potential of grounding...not a fan these days of edicts from above of about how folks should do one thing or another...sorry...

Last edited by souljour2000; 01-18-2012 at 05:16 PM.
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  #24  
Old 01-18-2012
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Yep- and we're of the mind that it's not that big a deal where we live. We're new enough to sailing that we figured it best to learn in a challenging area with plenty of current and tide to make it interesting, but not frustrating. We would obviously alter that philosophy if and when we get whatever 20,000+ lb boat we find, but for the moment, we'll learn on our little J24.
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  #25  
Old 01-18-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick486 View Post
My best advice is don't run aground. Period. In most navies around the world, or shipping companies, if a captain grounds his or her command, he/she is removed for cause. I sort of approach sailing the same way. Thus, I don't run aground. And I ensure that through situational awareness and precautions in approaching unknown waters. If you are tempted to enter waters of which you lack a confident picture for any reason, and you are concerned about grounding, go someplace else. Once you start arguing with yourself on high tide/low tide, good chart/bad chart, one anchor/two anchors, you're already screwed.
Rick,

Not trying to pick a fight here, but come on - really?

Your advice is sound at the beginning -- endeavor to not run aground in the first place. I think we can all agree that that's the best course of action. After that it gets a little preachy and holier than thou. Perhaps you are blessed with sailing grounds that don't include skinny water, and if so then my hat's off to you.

Your advice of "If you are tempted to enter waters of which you lack a confident picture for any reason, and you are concerned about grounding, go someplace else" would pretty well take much of the AICW off of the table for recreational sailors.

There's a huge difference between a multi-million dollar ocean going ship and your average recreational sailboat. First off, there's very little reason for these ocean going vessels to venture into relatively shallow waters that are not clearly marked shipping channels. Secondly, even a gentle grounding in one of those puppies is going to cost huge bucks to undo in terms of both floating them off and in returning them to full commission.

Recreational vessels OTOH spend most of their time outside of marked channels, often (at least here on the eastern half of the US) within a few vertical feet of the bottom. Every once in a while that narrow buffer disappears entirely, even with the best of intentions and attentiveness. The OP's question was "what next?"
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  #26  
Old 01-18-2012
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Depth sounder is forward, hump not

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Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
So why did your depth sounder not pick it up?
The depth sounder is about 3 feet forward of the long keel we have (to hide the c/board). Even when we were sitting on the stupid hill of sand, the depth sounder was still showing 12 feet - and it was right. A very strange place, but very pretty too.
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Finished the circumnavigation in early February in Grenada. Have to work on a book project for the next several months so the boat will be waiting for next year.
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  #27  
Old 01-18-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PorFin View Post
Rick,

Not trying to pick a fight here, but come on - really?

Your advice is sound at the beginning -- endeavor to not run aground in the first place. I think we can all agree that that's the best course of action. After that it gets a little preachy and holier than thou. Perhaps you are blessed with sailing grounds that don't include skinny water, and if so then my hat's off to you.

Your advice of "If you are tempted to enter waters of which you lack a confident picture for any reason, and you are concerned about grounding, go someplace else" would pretty well take much of the AICW off of the table for recreational sailors.

There's a huge difference between a multi-million dollar ocean going ship and your average recreational sailboat. First off, there's very little reason for these ocean going vessels to venture into relatively shallow waters that are not clearly marked shipping channels. Secondly, even a gentle grounding in one of those puppies is going to cost huge bucks to undo in terms of both floating them off and in returning them to full commission.

Recreational vessels OTOH spend most of their time outside of marked channels, often (at least here on the eastern half of the US) within a few vertical feet of the bottom. Every once in a while that narrow buffer disappears entirely, even with the best of intentions and attentiveness. The OP's question was "what next?"


Well, I've cruised in 3 different boats for 30 years from Canada south to NYC and have touched once (touch wood) in all those years, while seeing many, many beautiful harbors. But I have avoided sticking my bow where it shouldn't go. I most certainly have spent time in "skinny" water with a few feet between my keel and the bottom. But that's just the point you see. Make certain that you do indeed have a few feet of margin, or go elsewhere. That simple.
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  #28  
Old 01-18-2012
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Best grounding story (and getting off story) I have happened in Clifton Harbour on Union Island in the Grenadines. It is a very busy harbour because it is where you check in or out of St Vincent and the Grenadines going to/from Grenada to the south. We were anchored there after doing our shore visit on a lovely, sunny day when a gorgeous, Oyster (53?) came motoring into the middle of the harbour at about 6 knots. Those who have been there might remember that there is a large reef in the middle of harbour with deep water all round - pretty much all filled with anchored and moored boats. There was no excuse for hitting this reef - it is clearly on the charts and on this sunny day was looking that dirty yellow-brown colour with lovely turquoise all round.

The Oyster stopped very quickly and within less than a minute the boat boys started to appear - like piranhas when the hunk of bloody meat goes in the water (did I say that Union Island had the most agressive boat boys we saw in the Caribbean?). Within less than 10 minutes there were 13 of these boats, each with a good-sized outboard, pushing the boat, pulling it, pulling the mast over sideways (two boats for that). He got off pretty quickly but Boat US it was not. No idea how much it cost him, but should never have been there in the first place - think he went there because there so many boat anchored around the reef in the somewhat limited deeper water so he went where there was not traffic.

The capper is that the reef is called 'Roundabout Reef' and the boat was called 'Roundabout'. It was almost like it was pre-ordained. I hope there is no Ainia Reef anywhere in the world.
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Finished the circumnavigation in early February in Grenada. Have to work on a book project for the next several months so the boat will be waiting for next year.

Last edited by killarney_sailor; 01-18-2012 at 06:07 PM.
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  #29  
Old 01-18-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by killarney_sailor View Post
The capper is that the reef is called 'Roundabout Reef' and the boat was called 'Roundabout'. It was almost like it was pre-ordained. I hope there is no Ainia Reef anywhere in the world.
You've given me a great idea! I am now going to name my boat something like "Never Aground" - I should then be very safe, right?

Yes, I've touched the bottom - thankfully at low tide and rising.
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