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As a new member of sail net I feel like I should offer something helpful for all of the good info I have learned here. I have noticed that I am the only sailor I know that has embraced the idea of running aground. For that matter, I actually find the term running aground somewhat objectionable. I prefer "Anchoring with the keel".

Lets discuss why running aground isn't completely a bad thing. First, the anxiety is removed because you've alread done it. Second you don't have to waist anymore time looking for navigational aids or studying the depth finder. Third, you can go ahead and make a nice cold beverage and relax because god knows your not going anywhere soon. My wife is occasionally making comments that I drink to much. Which is probably accurate. Now she can't yap about me getting drunk and driving the boat. However, once we are well aground and the anchor is overboard(for legal reasons involving blood alcohol content. I find it a good idea to be not "underway" so I can't be charged with a BUI. In no way am I trying to free the vessel.) I can go ahead and get hammered. At this point she may become embarrassed at our predicament and start to drink with me, a further improvement to the day. Fourth, my eight year old daughter loves to collect shells and you can find some really good ones on isolated sandbars. She has a nice collection BTW. Lastly, this a great opportunity to discover all the places the Yard missed during the last bottom job while charging you $90 an hour.(Its hard to blame them for they poor work in my case. Its rare they get a big a sucker as I am. They were just concentrating on all the other things they talked me into.)

Back to the topic at hand. How to run aground properly. The first thing IMHO you should do is turn of the depth sounder. Lets face you are going to run aground anyway. No need to be distracted by that thing and miss some nice scenery. Not to mention the alarms are really annoying. Second, High tide is certainly preferable, otherwise you may float off too soon. The only problem with high tide is with the increased depth its a little harder to go aground. Ogh, I almost forgot an important thing. Make sure the cooler is well stocked with goodies. (Im not even going to mention the need for multiple bottles of your favorite adult beverage. This a a sailing website so Im sure you took care of that before you left the dock.) My daughter can become quite picky about lunch and snacks when she has nothing to do for awhile. Third, A copy of Chapman's piloting can keep the wife busy for a while as reads and instructs you on how you could have saved everyone with a kedge anchor. She will probably come up with several other entertaining ideas as well. Last you will need some form of really cheap american beer. This is not for you or anyone aboard to drink. Ill now explain why. At dead low tide a guy with a 10hp jon boat will come by(this always happens regardless of location) and become convinced he can tow you off. From experience I can say it is easier to just let him try rather than talk him out of it. What happens next is fantastic entertainment! Video it if at all possible. Great fun. Once he is through trying to rip the transom out of his boat, its nice to be able to offer a beverage for his efforts. Hence the need for cheap American beer. Its quite awkward trying offer this guy a beer he has never heard of or cannot pronounce. I try and keep the socially difficult situations to a minimum.

Finally, if you still find anchoring with the keel embarrassing, I suggest this. Take a towel and a scraper with you. As soon as you run aground use the towel to cover the boat name and get out of the boat with scraper in hand and act like you meant to do it!

Regards,

Brian
 

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Owned by Velcro
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756 Posts
Now there is someone who knows a thing or two about proper boating.
 

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Erskine Childers said:
'About running aground,' I persisted; 'surely that's apt to be dangerous?'

He sat up and felt round for a match.

'Not the least, if you know where you can run risks and where you can't; anyway, you can't possibly help it. That chart may look simple to you' -- ('simple!' I thought) -- 'but at half flood all those banks are covered; the islands and coasts are scarcely visible, they are so low, and everything looks the same.' This graphic description of a 'splendid cruising-ground' took away my breath. 'Of course there is risk sometimes -- choosing an anchorage requires care.'
Read/download "The Riddle Of The Sands" free. Welcome to sailnet.
 

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Lake Hack
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Lake wind shifts. Tack goes from fairly bad to stalled and sloppy. Lee bank gets close and she grounds. Reversing smoke sail comes on, swing keel cranks up a bit, re-position boat for better chance of staying clear of the bottom. If you're truly grounded on a swing keel, put down the bottle, you're done!
 

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Mermaid Hunter
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I used to have a girlfriend that drove cars this way...
A girl friend's daughter had that problem. I found a 'Delta' nautical flag ("I am maneuvering with difficulty; keep clear") sticker for her bumper. No one else figured it out that I know of but it did always make me laugh.
 

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美國佬
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I have no problem running aground. When I lived in Florida, feeling your way around on the bottom was just about the only way to go anywhere cool with a 5'9" draft.

Now, my dad's former Sea Ray would touch bottom first with the propeller. What kind of nonsense is that?
 

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After grounding, I like to explore all sandbars with my metal detector. It looks cool and totally on purpose. I have not found anything of value yet, but I'm sure my odds for striking it rich are ever increasing. I'm looking for Blackbeard treasure, of course.
 

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2 very interesting groundings come to mind. The first was a powerboat that drove up onto the breakwall out in front of Navy Pier. The way the skipper "parked" his boat up on the rocks was masterful. In a hundred tries, I don't think I could have placed it up there so perfectly.

The second was a nice sport fisherman hauling pretty good in miami and it just beached itself up on a sand bar. They weren't going anywhere for a while.
 
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