Friday, October 19, 2007

Mental Rehearsal for Running Aground

Our lake sure is drying up fast! I have plans for a couple more sails before we pull out next weekend -- including a sail with three non-sailors -- and I'd like to be prepared for anything. In particular, I'd like to understand and mentally rehearse the proper course of action to take if I'm out -- probably after dark -- and run aground and get stuck. BTW, Central Air draws around 28" and has a fixed keel. In my defense, I (thankfully!) have no personal experience (as skipper or crew) with this scenario, and I have not received any formal instruction on this topic.

Here's what I think I would do:

(1) Attempt to heel the boat *away* (correct?) from shore and sail back into deeper water.

(2) Attempt to (gently, so as not to leave part of the hull or rudder on the obstruction) motor back into deeper water.

(3) Attempt to hail a fellow boater via the VHF on channel 16 in hopes of getting a tow into deeper water.

(4) Call Jim Miles, club Historian, and ask him what to do.

(5) Call the Park Ranger on duty and ask for assistance. (Note to self: Go against instinct and do not attempt to 'play the chick card' here. These people are trained law enforcement professionals and would not likely succumb to my feminine wiles like the guys at Lowe's so readily do.)

(6) Swallow pride, keep can of RAID handy (I live to see spiders die!), and hunker down 'til morning.

Is this a good plan of action? What alternate actions would y'all recommend and where should they fall within my existing list?

1 comment:

EVK4 said...

you can also skedge (spelling?). Usually someone will row the anchor away from the boat, drop it and pull the boat towards it (heeling at the same time). In 28" of water, you can probably wade the anchor over without a dinghy.

I've never done this but have it in the bag of tricks. My run-aground story involved heeling while the engine was running, then kicking it into gear once I felt us lift a bit.