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Hi all,

well, we've gone and joined 'the first of the two kinds of sailors' - those that have already run aground. We're not too proud of it, but we'd love to get some advice from anyone here who's had a similar experience. We were in the NY harbor, south of the Statue of Liberty. It felt pretty soft-ish, like sand (and muck). But it took several tries to free ourselves(using our engine), so it felt like we may have scraped our keel pretty hard in the process. So the question is, do you think we should pull it out of the water to inspect, and possibly repair, the keel?
As far as we can tell, from the inside, there's no structural damage. But if there's a crack in the keel, it could be slowly taking on water and leading to a more expensive repair down the line. The boat is a Catalina 27, with a fin keel.

Any advice??
 

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Warm Weather Sailor
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Most of the damage from groundings happens when you first hit and that damage depends on how fast you're going and the nature of the bottom. If you managed to get off with your engine it's not a real hard grounding. I would not worry too much about it. Usually a hard grounding with a fin keel will result in pulling the front of the keel down and pushing the back up. This can damage the boat, pulling the bolts down at the front and compressing and weakening the fiberglass at the back. Check to see if waters coming in at the keel bolts. I wouldn't think that it is. Check for keel damage next time you haul.
 

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baDumbumbum
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Is your water clear enuf to inspect it in the water? I'd suggest snorkeling under to inspect the keel. If you can't, you probably ought to pull it, if only for a half hour.

Hope everything is unharmed!
 

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I would agree with Vasco. If it was a "soft" grounding (No hard thumps; just a deceleration as the stern rises slightly) there should be no problem, especially as you were able to power off. As Vasco advised, check for leaks at the keelbolts; if they're OK you should be fine.
 

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How far south were you of the liberty island ferry channel? I'm kind of amazed you ran aground there with that boat, given a relatively shallow draft. That's a common area for barges to anchor.

I'd start making marks in the bilge. Pump the bilge then with a sharpie or paint marker, mark an inch (measure it) above the bilge water for your mark. The idea is that as you sit there you can confirm whether you're losing your mind or not. Measure it as often as you need to make yourself feel better. No water indicates nothing critical. You almost certainly just rubbed the paint off the bottom.

You're unlikely to have caused any damage given where you stuck it. It's all mud and silt, which is nearly impossible to rip anything loose unless you were moving at pace.
 

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On the Chesapeake we call that being "disgraced again." With the emphasis on "again." Can't imagine you took any damage if it was just muck.
 

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After using your engine to free yourself from a grounding, you should probably change your water pump impeller. Chances are excellent that you stirred up a lot of sediment, which then ran through the cooling system.
 

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If you do not have water inside do not worry. The keel is much more stronger than the boat. If you do not have damage on the boat at the back side of the keel, that means the impact was not too big and nothing happened neither to the boat nor to the keel.
 

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I wouldn't worry about it either, just be thankful it was muck/sand. Going down with a mask might make you rest easier. You'll probably feel easier after you ground a few times too :) I did do a little damage to the FG on the bottom of an encapsulated keel grounding on gravel but the metal keel would laugh at a little muck. Structuarally I cannot see sand/muck doing any damage.

Rocks I have less experience hitting :eek: but I am sure others can report on that unfortunate situation. The speed of impact is a factor.

Now rudders, they are less resistant to banging into hard objects :eek: ...luckily you stayed clear of your rudder!
 

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I ran aground in San Diego harbor in muck. Tide was going out. Missed the channel to Chula Vista. By the time Vessel Assist got to us we were a few inches below the water line. They attached a strong rope to the bow and dragged us off the muck at a 35 degree angle. Must have pulled us about 15 yards into deeper water. I have a full keel and ballast is encapsulated so we didn't haul out since there was no water in the bilge. Had the boat bottom painted 2 years later, and saw no damage what so ever. My boat is built differently from yours, since it has a full keel, but hopefully this helps you make a decision that is right for you.

We couldn't motor off, and the boat broker who was helping us move her from Dana Point picked up the $600 Vessel Assist fee. We became members the next week.
 

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overdue at Sans Souci
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Hi all,


Any advice??
Everything you've been told sounds like decent reassurance. Here on Georgian Bay, we tend to run aground HARD, on granite and gneiss. When I bought my C&C 27, the previous owners had struck a rock ledge hard enough that the toe of the keel looked like Thor himself had whacked it with a Valhalla-sized ballpeen hammer. There was no damage even at that to the keel bolts and the keel-hull joint was fine. It took me five rounds of WEST epoxy to repair the bludgeoned crater in the lead. If you smooshed aground, got off under your own power (you went aground on one of the harbor's old oyster beds, methinks), didn't see bolt damage, and aren't taking water, you should be able to sleep, I should think.
 

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██▓▓▒▒░&
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Don't feel so bad, beck, I think the first boat I saw aground there was Pioneer, out of the South Street Seaport at the time and in theory having not much excuse to go parking out there!

A quick haul ("lunch" haul) to let you inspect it may seem overly cautious but, wth, if you have to ask, do the haul and you'll sleep better at night.

OR--at least take it into what passes for cleaner local waters (off Brooklyn or into the Sound) and take a swim underneath with a face mask to check it out. FWIW, anytime I'm going to have my noggin under a hull in the water, I try to wear a couple of wool watch caps. It isn't much--but it is enough padding to make the inevitable bump against the hull painless. And keep the bottom paint out of your hair. :)
 

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Everything you've been told sounds like decent reassurance. Here on Georgian Bay, we tend to run aground HARD, on granite and gneiss. When I bought my C&C 27, the previous owners had struck a rock ledge hard enough that the toe of the keel looked like Thor himself had whacked it with a Valhalla-sized ballpeen hammer. There was no damage even at that to the keel bolts and the keel-hull joint was fine. It took me five rounds of WEST epoxy to repair the bludgeoned crater in the lead. If you smooshed aground, got off under your own power (you went aground on one of the harbor's old oyster beds, methinks), didn't see bolt damage, and aren't taking water, you should be able to sleep, I should think.
20 something years ago, I made a lot of money (relatively speaking) hauling novice power boaters, wayward sailors and drunken houseboaters, off the rocks in Honey Harbour on Georgian Bay. In fact, I have whacked several at high speed myself. The prop repair guy knew me by sight! :)
 

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20 something years ago, I made a lot of money (relatively speaking) hauling novice power boaters, wayward sailors and drunken houseboaters, off the rocks in Honey Harbour on Georgian Bay. In fact, I have whacked several at high speed myself. The prop repair guy knew me by sight! :)
I think there's still good money in that, even with water levels rebounding this year. Knock on wood, so far I've had more excitement hitting deadheads than rocks.
 

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well, we've gone and joined 'the first of the two kinds of sailors' - those that have already run aground.
There are sailors that have not run aground?

I have run aground three times since my last haul, but I sail on a lake. If my keel falls off I can swim to shore. If you will be sailing out of crowded areas, I would encourage you to consider the fate of Cynthia Woods (and several others):

From the Coast Guard report:

"The Coast Guard found that the loss of the Cynthia Woods' keel was likely attributed to a number of groundings and subsequent improper repairs to the vessel prior to the incident of June 6, 2008. According to the technical report submitted by Ancon Marine Consultants, the falling off of the keel did not occur because of bad weather or normal racing loads.

"The Coast Guard investigation into the cause of the incident revealed that despite the numerous groundings of the Cynthia Woods, all evidence examined in this case indicated that no major repairs, examinations or marine surveys were performed on the sailing vessel by a qualified third party."

From: 12-19-08: Coast Guard releases S/V Cynthia Woods investigation results
 
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