Author Topic: shallow water  (Read 3145 times)

shallow water

  • Registered
  • Posts: 1
shallow water
« on: May 29, 2015, 11:08:03 AM »
What do you do when you sail upon a sandbar, mudflat or oyster reek which is less than 4.5 feet below the surface of the water ?  Are there rescue techniques ?  Is it drop sails, lift keel and call for a motorboat ?

Peter Beardsley

  • Class Member
  • Extremely Active
  • *
  • Posts: 1043
Re: shallow water
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2015, 01:56:26 PM »
Assuming you end up there unintentionally, it all depends on how hard you're in there.  You can definitely pull up the keel for short periods of time and sail off the bottom though -- the keel lifting assembly is just a 6:1 line purchase that easily stows in the cockpit locker, unlike a M24 or a J70 where you need a large metal assembly that you would rarely if ever carry with you while sailing.  Most Viper guys sail with their keel lifters, if only to save time at the hoist afterward since it doesn't weigh more than a pound.  If you're not aground very hard, you can also just heel the boat and try to sail off. 

If you're using the keel lifter, you may need to drop the mainsail and take the boom off the gooseneck (just a cotter pin) depending on how high you need to lift the keel and whether you can do the entire thing while on port tack since the line that supports the keel lifter is on the port side of the mast and you'd want the boom and sail out of the way. 

Apparently Mark Griffth in Australia beach launches his Viper and then pulls it up on the beach, at least for the purposes of this video: https://youtu.be/kf6sMfd6W1A?t=2m35s

Overall: not a huge problem if you find yourself in this predicament and the solution isn't too bad, but the best technique is to avoid the shallow spots altogether.   
Larchmont YC Fleet
Viper 269 "Great Scott!"
Formerly Viper 222 "Ghost Panda" and Viper 161 "Vicious Panda"

Craig Wilusz

  • Extremely Active
  • Posts: 482
  • Don't Piss Deborah Off........please
Re: shallow water
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2015, 02:29:50 PM »
Some shallow spots can be sailed out of with jib up after lifting keel a bit.  On our boat I don't have to remove the boom to hoist the keel up as I cut a sliver out of one side of my keel plate to give just a bit more  There is a ramp we launch out of at times which requires us to leave the dock with about a foot of keel up.  We sail out of ramp with jib and then drop keel.

Then again if we sail into ground, we typically tack and roll out of the zone with heel.

C
Craig and Deborah
#100 Myasasaur

John Learmonth

  • Class Member
  • Active
  • *
  • Posts: 36
Re: shallow water
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2015, 03:12:41 AM »
I would carry an oyster pick just in case, have a feed and wait for the tide to rise , might pay to have a few beers on board as well.
John L
198
Aus

Michelle Lee

  • Class Member
  • Active
  • *
  • Posts: 51
Re: shallow water
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2015, 07:39:39 AM »
You've gotten some good advice.  The only additional thing we've discovered in our area is that the system and terminology is different if you're a guy skipper and team or if you're sailing with mostly women.

If you're a woman sailing with women, you talk a lot about how you've just grounded, try to heel to one side, discover you don't weigh enough to actually do that and convince someone to hang off the back of someone else so you can get the boat to heel far enough.  While this is happening, cheerily wave to other boats passing by and if they offer help assure them that everything is fine and that you've got it covered.  When you get back to shore, tell everybody that you grounded and warn them about the shallow spot you discovered in the middle of the channel so they can avoid that spot.

If you're a guy, you don't ever "ground", apparently.  From their description, it sounds like you either "bump" or "hit a manatee".  Not sure what else happens since the description is usually mumbled right before a change of subject.  But I'm guessing you either just wait for the manatee to move out of the way or don't worry about something minor like a bump, so it's all good.  :-)

Dan Tucker

  • Administrator
  • Extremely Active
  • **
  • Posts: 724
    • Maureen's Paralympic News
Re: shallow water
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2015, 12:47:38 PM »
Michelle wins "Best Answer of the Thread"
Race it like you stole it.

Justin Scott

  • Class Member
  • Extremely Active
  • *
  • Posts: 1386
Re: shallow water
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2015, 10:43:59 AM »

If you're a woman sailing with women, ....hang off the back of someone else so you can get the boat to heel far enough.  .... cheerily wave to other boats passing by...if they offer help

Good grief! Who is not going to offer to help with that visual?

I am definitely signing up for Sarasota Winter series. This sounds like way too much fun to miss.
We had Michelle, Nicky and Veronica staying with us over the NAs. I can promise you that The Sarasota Sailing Squadron is even more fun in real life than any forum post can begin to convey.
Viper - Mambo Kings
Right Coast Refreshments Committee

Michelle Lee

  • Class Member
  • Active
  • *
  • Posts: 51
Re: shallow water
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2015, 10:48:35 AM »
Can't wait to have the Mambo King and all our other friends from the north come sail with us this winter!  I will be glad to point out the shallow spots and the guys can point out where the manatees hang out. 
« Last Edit: October 20, 2015, 12:00:14 PM by Michelle Lee »