Breathe out and remember the first rule of the pit: if you’re in a hole — stop digging
Much of what comes to mind immediately after the stranding, can only aggravate the situation. Get ready to guess, nervous and doubt myself. And still — to listen to lots of advice from others who will be not applicable in practice.
Sitting on the ground, first consider the situation and tread very carefully otherwise the chaos will consume you. If this is your first grounding, then you are either new to sailing or a very cautious man. The experienced yachtsman on a story about all such cases you can go the whole weekend. And certainly in this story is not without stories of mutilation: often it happens that the grounding lead to bruises, cuts and even fractures and concussions. So the first thing you need to do is to check the status of your crew. If someone needs medical help immediately do it. In the worst scenario, when grounding the boat may leak. Make sure that all crew members wearing lifejackets. If the boat takes on water, don’t send anyone to the cabin to get out will be difficult.
Before you begin to move away from the shoal, to determine the nature of the bottom in the place where he met your keel. If it is a coral reef, imagine that before you the hundreds of hacksaw on a lunch break. Once your yacht starts to move, break the hacksaw over.
in developing the plan of salvation, plan for the least possible number of movements.
Try to avoid “turbulence” and roll. The logic (and statistics show), it is best to give back and leave the way you came ashore. If you have a powerful enough motor and you are not deployed, try to start it and go off the rocks on the crest of a wave. But all must be reconciled, otherwise, when a wave you down, you may be back on the reef.
Stones is the second worst option after corals. Even if the stone on which lay your keel, smooth and even, you don’t know where you are waiting for a sharp edge. The stone has no damping effect so that the impact of the rock are much more likely to blab to the fastening of the keel and rudder twist some.
Sand and dirt similar characteristics, and they — very popular environment for running aground. If you turn the keel stuck in the mud, he’s only deeper bury — remember what happens to your feet when you walk on the sand. The best option to get out of this trap, are the most obvious: in the case when grounding your keel dug in the sand or dirt channel, try to get back on it though.
Be removed without engine
Worst of all, if your yacht has no engine. Exit back under the engine is easier, but if it doesn’t work or it does not, only the sails, and it means that the direction and thrust limited. If the wind is on the nose, lucky you! Try to bring the boom to the wind, and the staysail to take out manually so he pouted at the other side, and backwards. In any other case, you need to be sure that the deep water in front, because the boat will go forward and to the leeward side. If you know that the deep water on the leeward side, try to heel the boat. Sediment will decrease and you will carry in the wind.
Some suggest to climb the mast and therefore to create a roll. But it is worth doing only if you are sure that the yacht will carry into deep water. If this confidence you have, don’t tilt the boat, don’t calculate all the consequences.
It is theoretically possible to try to pull the yacht off the rocks with varovania.
If you have a boat, taken her anchor to the place where you were before the grounding. Take a chain, people and everything that has anything like a significant weight. Drain the water tanks. You need to lighten the boat. This will help reduce the draught of the yacht and pull it off the rocks will be much easier. Otherwise traction even through the winch may not be enough. The angle at which you have to pull the boat off the rocks, most likely will be unsuccessful, and with the appearance of a rescue tug will be difficult to release him the way to give the opportunity to get close to your boat. If there is no boat, you will need to throw the anchor as far as possible. Ask yourself how far you can throw the anchor weighing 10 kg? And 20 kg?
However, one certainly a valuable feature when grounding at anchor there: it can keep you in place. The anchor will prevent the current, the wind and the waves blow the boat further aground. If you see that the tide is over, or are there other reasons to stay in place safer — drop the anchor against the direction of the wind, waves or current that blows you. If you don’t have a boat, throw the anchor far enough away will not work, but you can try to hang before the main anchor additional load. Anchor end is pressed down, and thereby holding power of anchors will increase. Later will be a bit difficult to pull off, but it’s better than if the anchor crawl. So you should use this chance.
Be careful trying to move away from the shoal on the motor
Trying to move the engine aft, remember that the screw is working. The more gas you give, the more it picks up from the bottom of silt, sand and other dirt. It all settles in the cooling system of the engine. After turn off the car, is not a sin to check the condition of the filters and, if necessary, immediately clean them.
When you stepped on the gas when in reverse gear increases the torque of the screw, and you can begin to expand. You need to carefully ensure that the yacht was moving straight back, and to compensate for the trend to reverse. You don’t want to keel more or stuck to the nose fell on a rock. Better go back to minimum required power, gently adjusting the throttle. All of these recommendations relate to the situation when you are stuck hopelessly and completely. If (as is usually the case) you felt a light warning strike in the bottom, let’s go full reverse and hope for the best.
What to do when you are on the catamaran
To move away from the shoal on a catamaran difficult, especially if you got only one float. When you trying to go broke, turn on both engines, you will begin to expand. For example, if the starboard float broke, and left in deep water, then the reverse you will start to turn counter-clockwise. At this point we should not forget about what started this article — consider the nature of the seabed.
To free float the right side, you need to work in reverse on the starboard engine, the left engine laboring to avoid the effect of rotation. Turns out that stranded you on the starboard side, and when the keel will be released, you will deploy clockwise and you will go aground. To avoid re-planting, immediately after the liberation of the keel need to turn the engine in forward to turn the stern to the rocks.
In the case when a friend of the yachtsman, the opponent in the regatta or other members of the movement on the water come to you for help, stay alert. It should be clearly understood, will not hurt if you and your boat tips and guidance that they give. Follow the direction in which you are towing. Do not tie a tow sling, is not designed for this, even if you strongly suggest to do so. If you decide to knit the towing strop for weaknesses, then tie the knot with insurance, so it’s easy to untie. If possible, secure the tow end through a special loop that you can control the direction of towing. Follow screws — our own and the person helping you.
A few words about exploration of places where you don’t know the depths.
Keep the nose towards the rocks possible. Mount the rudder vulnerable: when shock acts ON IT is a huge shoulder. Baller, rudderpost — all this is easy to bend, break and can damage the aft part of the hull.
When you have gone broke and it was all over, sit down and think over the situation again from the beginning to the end to draw conclusions. How did this happen? There lies the map? Whether you have read it? What is now a period of ebbs and flows? Broke anything? Do I need to purchase additional equipment in such cases?
If you have removed the boat afloat on their own — great job! Sailors face this problem a thousand years and successfully cope with it. But even if you had to call for help — do not worry, sometimes it’s the only option. Important to the end of the day, and the yacht, and her crew was ready to go to sea again.
The article was written June 1, 2018, Don Margraf (Don Margraf) for the magazine Sailing Magazine.