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post #1 of 12 Old 09-03-2006 Thread Starter
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Here's to the friends...

Yesterday (Saturday), I got a call from my daughter relaying the information that my ODay 28 was on the beach, having been, to this point, adequately anchored off New London awaiting that all-elusive buyer of fine sailboats. I headed to the shore ASAP, a 60 mile drive, wondering what, if anything, I would be able to do. My experience of hauling a boat off a lee shore with a 10 foot WB dink and a 2-hp Honda is non-existent. I received two calls from the dock master saying not to worry, they were going to put Kukulcán on a mooring, and then another, just as I was rounding the last corner, saying she had been secured with an additional anchor. It turned out that another sailboat had entered the cove looking to escape the decaying winds of Ernesto,(which actuallly became stronger as the day progressed), had paid out too much scope, if there is such a thing, and drifted down onto my boat, getting the anchor lines tangled, and after about 25 minutes, a particularly violent gust swung both boats together enough to pull my anchor free of the bottom, give the other guy room enough to grab his anchor off my bow, and after a vain attempt to grab my boat, he puttered to safety. At this point, the dockmaster and four friends off 3 different boats grabbed a dinghy, took the anchor off the bow of one of the boats pointed outboard, carried the anchor to my boat and using one of my jenny winches, wiched my boat off the sandy bottom into deeper water, reset my anchor and added the other anchor, where she is still holding. Tomorrow, I shall go and take a good look, but the eye-witnesses said there was no apparent damage, I know from experience that the encapsualted keel can take quite a pounding without structural damage, and there are no keel bolts to loosen. So I am grateful for the fact that, if the boat had to drift anywhere, it was directly on shore onto a soft bottom and not into all the docked boats to the South , not into the rip-rap surrounding the Pfizer offices to the North, or to the Groton side of the river to the East, and that these people were willing to go to my rescue, in a competent fashion. There was discussion and criticism of how the "other guy" was handling his boat, but it appears to me that he did what he could. Having been caught in severe situations on my own, it can be difficult to do everything just right the first time, as evidenced by so many posts, and, in a way, the incident was a validation of my boat's anchoring capabilities, having been beset by a larger boat in what were, perhaps not extreme conditions, but certainly out of the ordinary. The saddest part is that no-one thought to take pictures! So much to be grateful for, the friends and the outcome for both boats. Monday should be a much better day! See you on the water!
Patty and Bill, O28 so VERY reasonable)/O40, New London, CT

Last edited by wlcoxe; 09-03-2006 at 08:54 AM.
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post #2 of 12 Old 09-03-2006
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Actually, encapsulated keels generally can take less of a beating than a bolt on keel. With an encapsulated keel it is the supporting structure of the ballast that takes the direct impact at the point of impact. This can result in a localized flexure and puncture, as well as an abrasion of the actual support structure. Often the damage to an encapsulated keel is marginally visible or even invisible.

In a hard grounding or a grounding with repetitive impacts but on a surface such as hard sand, the membrane between the ballast and the bilge is often breached and the ballast dislocated, delaminated the ballast from the encapsulation envelope, and greatly reducing the strength of the boat. Once that occurs any small puncture of the encapsulation shell will allow water to enter the bilge a surprising rate.

Where as with a bolt on keel, it is the ballast that takes the impact and distributes the loads to a larger area of the supporting structure. The larger area allows those smaller unit loads to be absorbed and distributed without damage.

For the durability and strength of the boat, all F.G. boats should have transverse frames to distribute the keel loads into the hull. Boats with bolt on keels typically get transverse frames a a matter of course. That is not always true of encapsulated keels. Most encapsulated keels that I have seen have a comparatively light encapsulation membrane between the bilge and the ballast, and minimal, if any transverse frames.

When I worked in repair yards this was a very common problem, and one that was difficult to remedy properly. A few years back when this topic came up on this BB, I went to a yard and tapped a couple dozen boats with encapsulated keels and found that nearly half had ballast keels that had large areas of delamination between the encapsulation and the ballast. Another member of this BB went to a yard in his area and found roughly a third, if I remember correctly, had this problem.

As a result of the design of an encasulation keel, once the bond between the ballast keel and the encapsulation is broken, the support of the ballast occurs right at the bottom of the keel itself. Because this area is being laminated in a confined area that is hard to work in, I have noted doing repairs to boats with encapsulated keels, the glass work in that area is generally of a very poor quality containing lenses of pooled resin, and areas with improperly wet out cloth.

In other words, the bottom line here is that you should notify your insurance company of the grounding and plan on having a surveyor look at the keel and bilge when you haul for the season. It is better to know early whether you have this problem so that you can dry out the encapsulation envelope and try to repair the damage with the help of your insurance company, rather than wait until it comes up on a buyer's survey. If survey shows that you do need this repair, whether you do it or not, I would respectfully suggest that you should probably disclose it to a potential buyer. You might also want to get all of the insurance info on the guy who dragged into you, just in case.


Last edited by Jeff_H; 09-03-2006 at 09:30 AM.
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post #3 of 12 Old 09-03-2006
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A fortunate outcome.

Do check the rudder it's stock and its asscociated bearings. It has been a long while since Iv'e been aboard an ODay 28 (roomy thing!).

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post #4 of 12 Old 09-03-2006
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I offer two comments. First, you have been very fortunate that your boat was not a total loss. Hats off the volunteers who rescued your boat in your absence. Now FWIW I'd say leaving your boat alone on on anchor, apparently for a period time, is quite negligent. Unless you subconsiously anticipate the insurance payout as better compensation you are likely to get from a buyer, you should put the boat on a mooring. "adequately anchored.." putting aside the issue of not attending to your boat, it sounds like you had one anchor out! Adequately anchored should involve at least two (if not three) anchors...Any chance you only have one anchor on the boat...would fit the rest of the picture.

Secondly, are you sure an ODay 28 would have an ecapsulated keel? What year is your boat - i thought all ODay models were built with external fin kels or centerboards. Just curious, always nice to learn something new.
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post #5 of 12 Old 09-03-2006
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I do hope that someone got the name and boat information of the guy who dragged into you. I believe he is the one responsible for any damage to your boat, as it was through his actions that the damage to your boat occurred.


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post #6 of 12 Old 09-03-2006
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Jeff, i think its a bit misleading.

to lump all encapsulated keels into one package. I have an O'day 30 that has encapsulated ballast. i suspect that his 28 is similar to mine. they built keel center boards that had very long stubby keels with ballast set in both sides next to the centerboard opening. mine is 130" long at the top, 96" at the bottom. the bottom of it is 14" across at its thickest point of the chord, at the base its about 6" wider, its also very short 26". thus it spreads the loads out a lot over a very wide area. also you have to keep in mind that the boat is still floating. its not like it was dropped from a crane or something onto dry land.
you are correct in that you can get some flex if the boat becomes air born and comes crashing down off a very big wave. i don't think this is unique to encapsulated keel/centerboard boats though. it may be for the deep draft encapsulated keels though. i am not really familiar with them.
FWI i do hope that some one got the name of the other boat. its definitely his responsibility if there's damage to the O'Day

s/v Que Pasa?
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post #7 of 12 Old 09-03-2006
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I hope you've got no damage but echo the thought to look very carefully at the rudder. A grounding with "no" damage may still leave hairline cracks, which will eventually cause rudder failure. You really need to look hard at this, not just casually. Anything that snags a knife edge or fingernail, will lead to rudder failure down the line unless it is thoroughly dried out and sealed.

I also second the thought that someone got the name of the other boat--AFAIK he's fully responsible, and even if there's no damage you need a diver or a haul to inspect it well enough to say that. It was his job to stay clear of a previously anchored boat.
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post #8 of 12 Old 09-03-2006
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I am happy for you that your boat is ok.
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post #9 of 12 Old 09-03-2006
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One of the boats that I worked on was a small Oday that had driven its ballast up through its membrane between the ballast and the bilge. The membrane was only a couple layers of glass thick. O'day 28's in particular have minimal transverse framing.

I kept my comments general to address wlcoxe's "the encapsualted keel can take quite a pounding without structural damage" comment which was a broad generality that is not particularly true.

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post #10 of 12 Old 09-03-2006
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I know the thickness of glass around mine

I had to beef up the plates and add two more bolts each plate that hold the center board in place (metal plates were only half as thick as needed and would bend thus letting the board wobble and make a lot of racket when at anchor if the board was down) and i found that the glass is a minimum of 1/2 to 3/4" thick. it could be a model or manuf. specific thing. I agree 100% in that if it was a deep draft i wouldn't want an encapsulated keel. i could foresee way to much loading in way to small an area.
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