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For educational purposes.

Went aground at low tide, would be very bumpy but just wait to float off? Learned that the hard way myself.....

And no attempt to reduce draft....

 

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From this particular armchair it looks like dragging the boat off sideways via a halyard might have been faster...though that might mean a trip up the mast when back at the dock. 

That said, these tow boats probably know what they can and cannot accomplish from a bow tow and have probably done this before...

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Probably would've come off a lot easier if the spinnaker halyard was used and the tow boat pulled beam to. Just be really careful not to shock load the halyard with the swell. With that much horsepower you could get the whole keel out of the water if you wanted to.

A buddy in his dinghy with a 9.9 helped me out on a falling tide and it worked like a charm.

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As a sailor, I looked at this and knew what I would do.  Dink in the water, man in the dink.  Raise the mainsail but have it eased all the way out.  Man in the dink takes the anchor out perpendicular to the sand bar, tension the line to the anchor.  Full forward on the engine, trim the mainsail in.

You're beam on to the wind.  The mainsail will heel you, the anchor and mainsail will help turn you, and the motor will help push you.

Bet they  could have gotten off.

Scratch that.  Dink doesn't have the motor on.  And it damn well should =/.  So many things wrong.

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3 hours ago, fufkin said:

From this particular armchair it looks like dragging the boat off sideways via a halyard might have been faster...though that might mean a trip up the mast when back at the dock. 

That said, these tow boats probably know what they can and cannot accomplish from a bow tow and have probably done this before...

Unnecessary to go up the mast.  Just tie a second line to it with a light slip knot and let it slip to the top of the mast.  Once you're done, pull the line down.

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There where 2 other tow boats.  Either could have pulled sideways on the mast and it would have come out faster.  They allso had a hard time getting a line on the sailboat.  I couldn't figure out why the guy was in the water.  And lastly I was amazed the tow boat didn't have a protective wall for the driver.  If the line broke or the cleat on the sailboat let go he could be hurting.  I was in the USCG when they did tows.  And have ripped more then one off of boats. 

 

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The Seatow captain was initially pulling from the wrong angle, when he cut out to starboard things when much better. The other two boats were TowboatUS, so not sure how they coordinate together at Boca.

 

Pat

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Most of those tow service drivers have no concept of sailboats. ALL they know is more throttle. I've seen quite a few vid's like this where NO attempt is made to tip over the boat. They don't know how & the boats aren't set up to do it.

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For a 'normal' (whatever that is) grounding, all these suggestions have merit.  However, in a surfline, things go bad very fast.  The waves are constantly (and quickly) driving the boat further ashore which is still further as the tide rises.  Pulling on the mast to lessen draft, also significantly increases the possibility of flooding the boat (of course, buttoning her up is the first thing to do, but still).  There is also the erratic motion and risk of being swept by waves.  These were not super bad, but the potential existed.  While tying a line around a strong point (mast, for instance), there is also the issue of maintaining a fair lead over the bow... difficult.  Quick action, powering (the towboat) straight offshore was probably the best solution under the circumstances.  I sort of wondered at the side to side towing but will give the benefit of the doubt that the operator was trying to 'wiggle' the boat to encourage movement.

There.  Now that I've totally given an impeccable armchair solution..../s,  well, I'm probably pretty vulnerable to further critique.  Oh, how I love the inter webs! Carry on!

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44 minutes ago, longy said:

Most of those tow service drivers have no concept of sailboats. ALL they know is more throttle. I've seen quite a few vid's like this where NO attempt is made to tip over the boat. They don't know how & the boats aren't set up to do it.

Respectfully disagree. Most of the tow captains I know are pretty thorough in their knowledge of how to unground a boat.

 

32 minutes ago, Elegua said:

Wouldn't be easy with the currents that run through the inlets.  

It's almost never easy. Sometimes!

22 minutes ago, Veeger said:

For a 'normal' (whatever that is) grounding, all these suggestions have merit.  However, in a surfline, things go bad very fast.  The waves are constantly (and quickly) driving the boat further ashore which is still further as the tide rises.  Pulling on the mast to lessen draft, also significantly increases the possibility of flooding the boat (of course, buttoning her up is the first thing to do, but still).  There is also the erratic motion and risk of being swept by waves.  These were not super bad, but the potential existed.  While tying a line around a strong point (mast, for instance), there is also the issue of maintaining a fair lead over the bow... difficult.  Quick action, powering (the towboat) straight offshore was probably the best solution under the circumstances.  I sort of wondered at the side to side towing but will give the benefit of the doubt that the operator was trying to 'wiggle' the boat to encourage movement.

 

Yeah, if too many things in a row go wrong it's all downhill. Hip towing is pretty limited, gives really poor maneuverability. You can pretty much only turn to the side the tow is on, so in this case you'd have to start off in the shoal water to push the right direction. 

20 minutes ago, sailman said:

He should have rolled out the Genoa to try and heel the boat and turn

maybe some mainsail sheeted in hard? just have to be sure they don't run over you when they pop off.

 

Seriously, you have to work the correct angles to get something like that off a sandbar. Can break a lot of gear trying to just pull and use horsepower.

 

 

Pat

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I once found myself in this situation on Bramble Bank in the Solent when I was knackered after a solo race. That's a nice soft mud bank (with lots of spectators on ferries). The way I got off was to hoist a flat A5 kite on the leeward side, first stretching out the foot and then raising the halyard to about 3/4 hoist. Breeze pulled the boat sideways into deeper water, at which point I hoisted the kite the rest of the way and bore away.

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3 hours ago, sailman said:

He should have rolled out the Genoa to try and heel the boat and turn

Based on the wind direction the genoa would have turned the boat the wrong way. 

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Boat name is Look Far from Vashon.  That sounds familiar to this Seattlelite.  Vashon Island is, of course, a common port around here.  They Look Far from home. 

I have no experience with un-grounding.  I'd be afraid and very resistant to being towed off with only a line to the mast.  Is that really a thing, are rigging and extrusion that strong?

OTOH sailboats pass under low bridges by hanging weight (water jerry jugs in a spinnaker bag?) off the main halyard to heel 'er over.  Thats what I'd try, in conjunction with a bow tow.  In those choppy conditions I'd pre-tie "sheets" to the weight & lead them fore and aft to keep the weight from swinging around.  Last step is hoist the weight (only as high as needed to achieve the required heel angle).  You'd pay out one (or two) sheets as you hoist to get the desired 3 point stability of the weight.  Now the towboat can tension bow line.  

I like the idea of hoisting the main to heel and spin the boat and have a means of propulsion once refloated.  Though a swinging, loaded boom may complicate matters more than help.

I also note considerable white smoke/steam from the exhaust.  I'd guess that's a hot, water-starved engine, ie raw water intake sucking air,  Hopefully he's not going to cook it.

 

 

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4 minutes ago, eric1207 said:

Boat name is Look Far from Vashon.  That sounds familiar to this Seattlelite.  Vashon Island is, of course, a common port around here.  They Look Far from home. 

I have no experience with un-grounding.  I'd be afraid and very resistant to being towed off with only a line to the mast.  Is that really a thing, are rigging and extrusion that strong?

OTOH sailboats pass under low bridges by hanging weight (water jerry jugs in a spinnaker bag?) off the main halyard to heel 'er over.  Thats what I'd try, in conjunction with a bow tow.  In those choppy conditions I'd pre-tie "sheets" to the weight & lead them fore and aft to keep the weight from swinging around.  Last step is hoist the weight (only as high as needed to achieve the required heel angle).  You'd pay out one (or two) sheets as you hoist to get the desired 3 point stability of the weight.  Now the towboat can tension bow line.  

I like the idea of hoisting the main to heel and spin the boat and have a means of propulsion once refloated.  Though a swinging, loaded boom may complicate matters more than help.

I also note considerable white smoke/steam from the exhaust.  I'd guess that's a hot, water-starved engine, ie raw water intake sucking air,  Hopefully he's not going to cook it.

 

 

Like this!

 

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They were beam-to the wind, raising the main might have heeled them over. Or it could have driven them more on the bar. 

But heel. Hook the main/spin/spare halyard to the dink and launch it - let it blow off. Pull. Maybe fill it with some water for more weight. 

They probably owe the YellowBoatPeople quite a bit of $$$. If the RedBoatPeople got involved, it would likely be double. That looked expensive. 

Looked like the engine was running the whole time. May be a bit of sand in the works from that. 

Now for something completely different: the Wavy Boat youtube guy has a channel "Miami Boat Ramps" which is as funny/horrible as you may imagine.....

 

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Ok just watched the video for a second time and have a slightly different angle now.

Here's my new, improved and obviously more definitive armchair p.o.v. The tow captain probably had a) knowledge/idea of the breaking strength of his line and appropriate max torque b) went with Plan A right off the bat, which was to tie attach a line to the bow, with a B plan if he was to find out the distressed boat was stuck too deep...which might be an alternate towing plan(halyard). 

His side to side towing strategy worked well and he probably judged by feel that he could get him loose in the present configuration. Between getting the line tied, gaining tension, and going with the back and forth towing strategy, the boat was off in 15 minutes. That's gotta count for something.

Some other thoughts/questions based on various comments and a second look.

-upon closer look it looks like it would be a steep challenge to heel the boat using the either sail AND get enough forward momentum with so little(virtually no) leeway. The boat's stranded direction looked almost straight up wind or close to it, with no where to bear off to...from a dead in the water start.

-this guy may not have had an able or heavy enough crew, but a quick and dirty 'one last try' would be to put a crew on the end of the boom and hang it toward the beach, heel the boat and gun it. It could've been worth a shot...even though there's the risk he would be pushed further in once freed.(I've ungrounded from sand using the crew on boom method, though not in a surf line. If using this method, it helps to go rudder hard over, stay in forward, spin the boat to dig a hole, and head out exactly where you came from. Don't use reverse. Obviously this guy didn't have room to do all of that.)

-would there be a case for shutting off the engine once the tow line is attached? (he was already risking air in the lines)

-is there any chance these sea tow companies have a clause or directive that they only tow from the bow and beyond that it's someone else's problem? 

-does anyone want to guess a price on this rescue?, or care to discuss pre paid towing subscriptions and/or clauses in their own insurance and what that does/does not cover?, and finally does anyone want to explain when a tow becomes a salvage and all that and what grey areas exist or don't exist with potential rescuers/ if you leave the boat or stay with it etc.?...no rush

 

 

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edit: maybe I was slightly off on the wind angle. I still say that it would be super tough to point that boat out of there from a dead stop.

 

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1 hour ago, fufkin said:

does anyone want to guess a price on this rescue?, or care to discuss pre paid towing subscriptions and/or clauses in their own insurance and what that does/does not cover?, and finally does anyone want to explain when a tow becomes a salvage and all that and what grey areas exist or don't exist with potential rescuers/ if you leave the boat or stay with it etc.?...no rush

That was a salvage. You contact your insurance company because it will be a big bill/negotiation and a percentage of the value of the vessel.

The vessel was hard aground on a sandbar with waves breaking on to it.

My thoughts: 

- the dinghy in the davit was not well secured; it was bouncing all over the place and will have chafe!

- outboards are great for getting fast to a rescue, deliver 5 gals of gas or tow a Bayliner out of fuel. That probably makes up 90% of their efforts. The prop is designed for high speed so not as much thrust/hp as a proper salvage type vessel with a big slower turning prop.

- let's just guess and say 2 x 250 HP engines. You can't develop anywhere near full thrust at slow RPMs so say about 10 lbs/HP. So 500 HP x 10 lbs = 5000 lbs. That feels about right to me. A couple of big primary winches and two anchors set well to windward will develop similar levels of grunt. But hey if you're in distress and have good insurance, call for help immediately.

But I've kedged off a similar size vessel (Panda 40) in almost exactly the same situation. We only me, 2 big strapping guys from Norway and a manual windlass. The anchor rode was bar taut and we had a few dinghies pushing to give the other males something to do. But it was the anchor that provided 90% of the effort.

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We pulled a boat off a reef, submerged island, in Bocas with four dingys sitting about the same as that. Two on tipping it two on the bow to spin it.  My guess in Florida you have to be really careful who you accepted a tow from three different agencies, they probably were insured via one. Could get pretty wierd for salvage.  The engine looks like it's full tilt the whole time and not much water coming out the exhaust so maybe a bit of panic mode.  Bow crew is letting a guy stand in the surf and try to throw a tow bridle up to him instead of sending a messenger line or use a boat hook.  Above all they need to change the name...

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Kinda hijacking the thread here.

Here's the worst I've ever been grounded. It was on the silver strand in San Diego. Gotta love the headline, an uninformed Navy photographer gave the photo to an uninformed Navy Editor and it ended up as a full page on the back of the Amphibious Times. Always ready with the waterline 6' above the beach. lt took 24 hours, 2 tugs, a stern anchor and another LST to get us floating before going straight into drydock to fix the cracked keel. 

I was on the helm when we beached.  I had been doing it for 2 years.  The Captain did everything wrong ON PURPOSE!!!  It was during refresher training before a WESTPAC cruise with an observer onboard. The Captain was relieved of command 8weeks later.

IMG_0519.JPG

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One of my good friends is the local TowBoat guy. He told me that the lines they use on the towboats these days will not spring with recoil back into the boat, so that's why they no longer need the shield behind the helm. I'm not sure of the particular brand, but it is a synthetic like amsteel, and of a diameter that it is so strong that on smaller boats (ie not ships), it just isn't going to break, because they cannot apply that much force with the tow boat itself.

I think in this situation with the boat moving so much it was apparent to the tow captain that she wasn't beyond yanking off, albeit with a wiggle or two on the way. I hope for the sailboat owners sake that his keel sits a bit deeper than his rudder. Lucky sumbitch, to have gotten help that fast. :)

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5 minutes ago, CapnK said:

One of my good friends is the local TowBoat guy. He told me that the lines they use on the towboats these days will not spring with recoil back into the boat, so that's why they no longer need the shield behind the helm. I'm not sure of the particular brand, but it is a synthetic like amsteel, and of a diameter that it is so strong that on smaller boats (ie not ships), it just isn't going to break, because they cannot apply that much force with the tow boat itself.

 

Spectra/Amsteel has very minimal stretch, thus minimal recoil if it parts.  Even if the bow cleat pulled out,  there's little risk to the operator.  Nylon, on the other hand....

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Error 1:  not having watched the incessant flood of Haulover Inlet videos on YouTube.  (suspect the tow boats and cops are standing by based on the videos...) 

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On 3/25/2021 at 9:38 AM, bmiller said:

For educational purposes.

Went aground at low tide, would be very bumpy but just wait to float off? Learned that the hard way myself.....

And no attempt to reduce draft....

 

How did you learn?

1722791457_2019-08-1510_57_55.thumb.jpg.d315169ba20c46e6affd223bd1493e21.jpg

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In construction most companies don't allow chains for pulling equipment that is stuck etc.  my personal anecdote - when finishing up a new subdivision there was one t-post from a silt fence left, ground packed down from trucks driving on both sides, didn't have anything to lift it out so put my 20' tow strap on it to the hitch and put truck in 4wheel low and just started easing. Now if I wasn't tired and frustrated from that being missed would have stopped and then pulled the other direction but how hard could it be? It came out and landed in the bed of the truck less than a foot from going through the back window.  No harm, no foul but won't ever forget that one.  A company I worked with had a worker killed when a chain broke and a link went thru his head.  I have seen cleats ripped from decks when operators don't realize stuck in mud means must have time to ease it out.  The local Tow Boats US are excellent with good equipment and drivers.

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1 hour ago, bmiller said:

Gross inattention to detail..........

How'd the owner take it?B)

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43 minutes ago, Cruisin Loser said:

How'd the owner take it?B)

With a saintly mix of poise, grace and patience.     Oh, and a sandwich.

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3 hours ago, bmiller said:

With a saintly mix of poise, grace and patience.     Oh, and a sandwich.

:lol: Saintly??? I've heard him described as a dickweed.

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On 3/29/2021 at 4:27 PM, d'ranger said:

In construction most companies don't allow chains for pulling equipment that is stuck etc.  my personal anecdote - when finishing up a new subdivision there was one t-post from a silt fence left, ground packed down from trucks driving on both sides, didn't have anything to lift it out so put my 20' tow strap on it to the hitch and put truck in 4wheel low and just started easing. Now if I wasn't tired and frustrated from that being missed would have stopped and then pulled the other direction but how hard could it be? It came out and landed in the bed of the truck less than a foot from going through the back window.  No harm, no foul but won't ever forget that one.  A company I worked with had a worker killed when a chain broke and a link went thru his head.  I have seen cleats ripped from decks when operators don't realize stuck in mud means must have time to ease it out.  The local Tow Boats US are excellent with good equipment and drivers.

I've always been taught that the right way to tow a boat, if the going is likely to be rough, is by the hopefully attached-to-the-well-tabbed-in-bulkhead chainplates at the very base of the shrouds.  Bow cleats generally aren't to be trusted due to the boomerang problem and the lack of large backing plates & structural tie-ins on most of them, unless they are tied into a fairly major structural feature.  Soft line attachments only.  And still a risky endeavor for the towed boat, if the tow boat has to really pull and it's bouncy.  I'd be interested in hearing different ideas on that. 


 

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17 minutes ago, Lex Teredo said:

I've always been taught that the right way to tow a boat, if the going is likely to be rough, is by the hopefully attached-to-the-well-tabbed-in-bulkhead chainplates...


 

Huh? Really? If being towed by a helicopter, yes. No shroud chainplate I have ever inspected is suitable for towing. I use the base of the mast for both towing and anchoring. If mast is deck stepped then leading the hawser back to the main winch would be my choice.

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1 minute ago, El Borracho said:

Huh? Really? If being towed by a helicopter, yes. No shroud chainplate I have ever inspected is suitable for towing. I use the base of the mast for both towing and anchoring. If mast is deck stepped then leading the hawser back to the main winch would be my choice.

Hence my asking. 

 

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On 3/25/2021 at 3:00 PM, seaker said:

  I couldn't figure out why the guy was in the water. 

 

He was standing in nipple deep water in swells. The tow boat didnt want to get that close  

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