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A Canadian Weed Problem


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No, not the whacky stuff we like to smoke here up north.

The 2 marinas on our prairie lake have developed a weed overgrowth problem. Every sail and power boat leaving the marinas drag a big clump of weeds out into the lake with them. If the wind is lite these clumps just float around the lake just waiting to wrap themselves around my Hot Foot 20s keel. We had a 4 race regatta a couple of weeks ago and I managed to collect a gift of said weed 3 of the 4 races. Not good. 

 

What to do? Sell my Hot Foot and buy a boat with a  keel that can be lifted under way like an S2 or Santana 23. Or, should I look into a kelp cutting blade for the leading edge of me keel?  Where would I find a blade? Thinking you coastal guys might have some advice

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Back when I was racing in Vic many years ago, kelp was a big issue at certain times of the year.  

Before the start, it was standard practice  in Vic to back the boat down to shed the kelp.  Even did it a few times in the middle of a race.  With practice, you don't lose much time and the occurrence is mostly random, so everyone would snag some kelp at some point so it all evened out in the end.

You can also get your rudder fouled with kelp or weed and I have hung off the transom with a boat hook to pull it off - which is no simple task using only one hand at 4 kts.

The big trick is to recognize it and avoid it

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On 9/26/2019 at 2:03 PM, fastyacht said:

The America's Cup guys in San Diego had kelp wands.

Star guys in Dago tradionally use thin bamboo poles with a tether.   Crew hikes out, jabs bamboo onto top leading edge of keel and it will slide down the keel.  Easy.

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2 hours ago, blunderfull said:

Star guys in Dago tradionally use thin bamboo poles with a tether.   Crew hikes out, jabs bamboo onto top leading edge of keel and it will slide down the keel.  Easy.

The 'Dago big boys use a T-handled carbon fiber tube curved to match the curvature of the hull, with a rope flicker tail on the end.

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We have a problem with hydrilla.  The stuff pops up in the middle of the lake and fouls everything, including swimmers.  The Bass fisherman love it because it allows them to snag large spawning bass off of thier beds.  (In the middle of the night when no one is looking). Otherwise, it is more than a mess.  It is such that it can entangle a swimmer and drown them.  

Last Sunday, while sailing in open water, the boat came to an almost complete stop.The rudder would not respond and what little movement there was, was followed by large boils of water behind the boat.  Yep, I looked down and had sailed into a mass of hydrilla, fouling both the rudder and keel.  Without an effective rudder, I was unable to steer into the wind and had to drop the sails and use the outboard to steer the boat into the wind to back it down. Then a quick dive under the boat to assure all was clear.

Grass crap which do not reproduce love the stuff. I would love to drop a few thousand into the lake but would probably spend a few years in prison for doing so.  

As much as we love living on our lake, the hydrilla issue may hasten our permanent move to the Florida Panhandle. 

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