Run aground! Tell your story too. - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 20 Old 02-12-2011 Thread Starter
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Run aground! Tell your story too.

First real sail in a new to me C & C 24 and we run aground on a sand/mud bar out side Antioch Marina, Ca. I guess I will start by saying I have sailed here plenty of times before in a diferent boat with the bigest diference being the boat I had before had a depth finder. We were lucky mostly. We were sailing at low tide and most of the wind had died down. We started dousing the sails and we drifted a little (at least thats what im telling every one). I got my small kicker going gave it the gas and we went no where. My first thought was the propeller spun off on this old motor. When the boat started spining around very slowly I realized we were stuck! In the past I have touched down but never got stuck. Now I only draw 4', so my girlfriend (who is on her official first sail) gave me a spare oar and it touches down in 3-4 feet We tride going back, going forward, going backwards and nothing worked. I knew the tide was out so all we had to do was wait. Hopefully we wouldnt loose the little water we had around us.

My girlfriend and I started checking every tide chart we could find to see how long we would have to wait. We anticipated a 2 to 3 hour wait. I set as much sail as I could to try to heel her some, but there just wasn't enough wind. I left all the sails up and set the tiller tamer in the hopes that as soon as we had enough water we would be underway. My 3 year old, oblivious to what was happening went to sleep and my girlfriend was below decks staying warm when sudenly we started moving. It was kind of surprising. I just started to hear the rush of the water behind us before I even felt the boat moving. All said and done we were probably stuck about 1 1/2. We had food and drinks so it was quite comfortable. Nice day too.

So how about all of you. Do any of you folks have some stories about geting stuck and how you got out of it.

I wish you all good wind and following seas.
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post #2 of 20 Old 02-12-2011
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I've run aground a lot - I wrote about some of my experiences here:

Some people never run aground - they sail in deep water and the problem never arises. Others, like me, spend way to much time trying to sail in water too thin for the boat!

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post #3 of 20 Old 02-12-2011
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Hah! That sounds familiar. Last Sept, I was moving my new to me C&C 24 From Long Island Sound down the NY ICW to the Delaware Bay. Within sight of Atlantic City, right at a turn on the ICW a we ran agrond.

Well, everyone says the NY ICW is "subject to shoaling", which I proved as we were 15' INSIDE A BOUY. And I mean right next to it, so definitely inside what passes as the "channel".

We tried everything you mentioned, even floated the 25lb plow out 50' to try and kedge off. Nothing. Oh, and the tide was not our friend. I was getting pretty worried, and tried the motor again.

We could not back up, but I realized that we could "spin". Given the shape of a C&C 24 keel, that's not surprising. Well, it short order, we were able to spin 180, and "wiggle" 20 feet forward, back into the channel and be off to AC.

Another lessons learned.


"Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment"
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post #4 of 20 Old 02-12-2011
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First, it's not called "running aground". It's "making your own channel"

Story 1: My fiancee and I were sailing my dad's Catalina 30 in the back bay of Ocean City, NJ one night at about 2200. We had good wind and full sail as we entered one of the residential channels where houses line both sides of the narrow finger. I bragged that almost no one sails in the fingers because of the limited maneuverability. As the words left my mouth, the bottom met the keel and we landed in a heap on the cockpit floor. We got the sails down and fired up the 1 cylinder Yanmar. All the revving and backing woke a few residents and the lights turned on in a couple of houses. One lady leaned out her window and asked if I needed help. After 20 minutes we wiggled free and were on our way. She still married me and 30 years later is the namesake of the boat in my avatar.

Story 2: We were leaving Swan Creek near Rock Hall, MD with our Sabre 28 and ran aground at the point near N "8". The 25 kt wind was abeam us and driving us toward the rocks protecting the point. Our 13 HP Westerbeke wasn't powerful enough to bring our head around into the wind, so I got into the dinghy with our 25# CQR and dropped it 150' directly abeam of us. Using winch power and the engine, we brought the bow into the wind and pulled ourselves off. It was a text book maneuver and were free in less than 10 minutes.

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post #5 of 20 Old 02-12-2011
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Down here in Louisiana you will find the work boats pushing mud, as it is said.
When there isn't any room at the dock we would ground the boats on a mud bank and wait our turn to go along side the dock. Done this several hundred times. Only once did I need assistance to get off that mud bank. Oh we use keel cooler down here and don't have raw water intakes for the engines.

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post #6 of 20 Old 02-12-2011
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mine is two parts, copied and pasted from CF

well my tropical storm Hanna story

my boat is on the hook near baltimore's inner harbour so when we heard hanna was coming our way we decide run to a creek thats close to the house and hole up. so saturday morning we set out with the generator strapped down so we can watch tv to keep an eye on the storm. it starts raining on the way to the creek with me at the helm and the wife below staying dry, running the main under a reef and the engine for back up and control. we turn in to the creek and i pull down the main with just
10 mins to the hiddy hole and the wind picks up. now let me descibe the hiddy hole i was going to, its a creek with about 5 feet in depth that is narrow getting in and then it opens up in to a cove about 100 yards across. its surronded by by a very wooded park with a pier that i was going to tie the stern of the boat to, so its a great spot if TSHTF getting to shore is easy. well back to the day, about 5 mins after i pulled down the main the wind picked up big time my guess is 40 knots and i was motoring just fine at 3 knots in to the wind. then flump the genny got grabbed by the wind
and it opened about 5 feet from the top of sail for about 10 feet. i was planning on pulling the sails when i got to the hole. well the boat did an instant u turn, and headed down wind as soon as i tried to turn in to the wind at all the boat tried to broach. well the wife balled up in to a little ball and the boat took off like a rocket, with me just keeping heading.i saw an old fort that is an island with 20 foot walls, i decide to try to come around leeward and cut the sail loose. well as i came to the fort i still could not turn in to the wind (the knot gauge said 7 something knots running with the wind and waves ) to get in front of it. so knowing the area i decided to sail across ( if you can call it that ) the bay about 4 miles to where the water gets shallow and ground her. well i make it in to another cove and she slides in nicely on the sandy bottom. i then run up forward and see how bad the genny was, it twisted the foil so bad i could not get the sail down or out, it just knoted the foil around the headstay. so after about 5 mins of cutting the genny flew free, but now we had turned beam to the wind and waves and are getting pounded. i could now get to the radio so i grab it and call for the coast guard and guess what when running with the wind the water got to my vhf and killed it, i mean it turns on but wont do anything. so i go topside to get the ditch bag with the portable vhf and stuff, and find it gone, so i grab the cell phone and call the coast guard and inform them what happened and that we are fine. so i go topside to start the generator and the cord snapped, so no 110 volt and then the wife tells me her cell phone battery is almost dead, and i did not bring mine. well we wound up nicely beached at about a 45 degree list to port.

on to the recovery.
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post #7 of 20 Old 02-12-2011
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well after the storm died i decide to self rescue and i got out the anchor and walk it out and set it and start trying to get the boat out. i tried everything including pulling the mast over so we would be leaning into the surf, but no go. so i called the CG to give them an update and he tells me the high tide times which was 3 hours away, so i reset the anchor at an angle to pull the boat out a little better, and the wind had changed direction. so i ran up the main to help shake us loose and maybe push out out some. well as the tide came in i managed to kledge us 90 degrees to the shore. then the tide started to drop and we where not out yet so i lashed the genny halyard to shore to stop us from leaning out again. then i cooked dinner for the wife and i, and we went to sleep. about 2 hours later
i got woken by the boat bouncing in the surf again, i went top side and saw that the storm surge had risen about 2 feet. so now back to grinding the anchor line, and running the engine and suddenly we where free. so now we had a nice pretty view of downtown baltimore at night coming with clear skies.

the damage from the day is i lost my ditch bag, my vhf in the boat died, the genny is gone ( i have a hank on jib as back up ), the generator needs a new pull cord and the wife was a little shaken but she is fine now. btw if anybody sees a yellow dry bag floating in the cheasepeake with my vhf, flares and some food and water i would like it back

i did not do everything perfect but we where safe. the coasty on the phone said it sounds like i did the right things so all together i guess i did not do too bad
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post #8 of 20 Old 02-12-2011
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Owned the boat for a couple weeks, a 32ft Pearson, and was setting out on my first long trip, moving to the east coast of Florida. I decided I wanted to save some fuel so I started sailing in the ICW on the way out of my home port. I'd done it a few times before, so I was feeling a bit cocky about it.

I had a tail wind and just wasn't making much headway, so I decided to switch to the iron sail and bring down the canvas. While doing that and not paying attention to much else the boat floated out of the channel and ran aground about 100ft outside the red channel marker.

I tried for about a half hour to dig myself out but with no luck and a tide that was heading out. So I swallowed my pride and called in Sea Tow.

They tried to tow me off, but I didn't budge. I was stuck on solid. So the captain asks "We can try a halyard pull, but you'll need strong rigging...".

This was a new boat to me, I had NO idea how strong the rigging was. But it was a Pearson and they have solid reputation as a stout boat, so with visions of my main mast snapping like a toothpick I said sure and off to the races we went.

So there I was with gazillion horsepower tow boat going full throttle heeling my boat over so the rail hit the water while I slowly motored myself forward, waiting to hear that loud SNAP sound which would be the end of my trip and the start of large repair project.

But my girl held like a champ and I was able to motor myself back into the safe deep waters of the ICW and continue on with my trip, which otherwise was uneventful.
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Second time in the water we were on Sebago Lake, Maine. We were hooked to the mooring provided with the camp that we had rented. It was a very windy night and a little bit stiff in the morning. As my boy and I approached the beach, no boat in sight! I dropped the canoe and ran, to find my Lancer 25 almost on the beach. She was still upright but had buried her shoal keel about a foot into the sand. We frantically shoveled with the canoe paddles to free her up. As we did, a lady came down the beach and said "That was my mooring. It wasn't built for a boat that big." We apologized and promised to repair it. We finally freed the boat and motored to deeper water. After a few phone calls, it turned out that the marina that was supposed to supply the mooring hadn't "gotten around" to setting it. So, when I grabbed the only red mooring ball off the point, it wasn't the one included with the camp. The marina rented one for us about a half mile down the lake. It poured for the next 6 days straight. Sun came out 4 hours before the boat did.
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post #10 of 20 Old 02-12-2011
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Holy Cow ScottyT! That was quite the experience. No fun at all. One of the times we were aground, we got off a little sooner by setting the anchor off the beam and tying it off to a halyard. We were able to induce quite a bit of heel to make it easier to slide off the well charted shoal I found myself on. It saved us from enduring an additional hour of shame. I keep a paper sack on board with pre-cut eye holes that I'm going to wear next time we go aground.

We've been stuck a couple times in the Swinomish Channel as well.

S.V. Nikko
1983 Fraser 41
La Conner, WA

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Boating for over 25 years, some of them successfully.

Last edited by erps; 02-12-2011 at 01:43 PM.
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