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Old 02-03-2009, 09:53 PM   #1
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OK. I've never done it.

I've warped a boat, I've hauled a sailboat behind my dingy, I've tended a boat with my dingy, I've improperly used my windlass to shorten scope (hauling the boat along...tisk, tisk, bad form)...but I've never kedged. For clarification, my definition of kedging is taking an anchor in one's dingy, setting it from the dingy, then pulling the boat away from harm--be it a lee shore, or getting the boat off a grounding, etc with that anchor set.

We've been aground, but always in a situation where another successful remedy was more readily available.

So, for those of you with "real" kedging experience--Pray tell! what'd you do, how'd it work out? what was different than expected? what worked? what didn't? and so on.


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Old 02-04-2009, 10:48 AM   #2
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I look forward to seeing the discussion on this interesting topic.


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Old 02-04-2009, 11:52 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by redbopeep View Post
OK. I've never done it.

So, for those of you with "real" kedging experience--Pray tell! what'd you do, how'd it work out? what was different than expected? what worked? what didn't? and so on.

Many many times, especially when entering a bolt hole - be it Typhoon. Cyclone or Hurricane..

Dropping the kedge/s matter of course - then moving into the hole to set the forward anchor/s . These may be also be lines taken to shore rocks, trees - mangroves, whatever. Then wait for the storms arrival, making adjustments as it moves through the points of the compass.

Not to forget that every kedging will be unique!
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Old 02-05-2009, 08:48 PM   #4
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Years ago delivering my boat from St. Pete to Norfolk, ran aground almost on a daily basis while in the Inland Waterway. Fortunately, only went inland from Beaufort to Norfolk. The boat was a centerboarder so usually didn't dinghy out the anchor but walked it out. Found that dinghying out the anchor wasn't all that easy as the drag of the anchor rode made it hard to row out the anchor a sufficient distance. Wouldn't want to even try it with an all chain rode.

We didn't have a windlass so used the Lewmar 43 cockpit winches to haul in the anchor rode. We had mixed success getting off. A couple of times, with two of us cranking on the winches, buried the anchor so deep had to dive down and dig it out afterwards, yet didn't pull ourselves off. Had to wait for the tide to float us off. These were usually when we ran aground sailing with the draft reduced by angle of heel. Once, in Charleston, we ran aground on a falling tide that left us high and dry. Used the anchors, attached to the halyards,from the mast head, to be sure we stayed upright. These groundings were all in mud bottoms and usually with forward speed exceeding 4 knots and virtually flat sea conditions.

There are two types of sailors, those that have run aground and those that will. We proved that in spades. We ran aground a couple of times on shoals that weren't charted and may have been a temporary rearrangement of the bottom caused by a past storm, once because of a malfunctioning Nav. light, and a couple of times pushing our luck by continuing after dark and missing day marks. The most interesting one was at the end of the Dismal Swamp cut. Missed the turn to the new channel in the dark and continued straight on the old unmaintained channel. We finally ran aground where it died in a farm yard. We were literally yards from the cows, pigs and chickens serenaded both to our ears and noses by the bucolic scene. We walked out the anchor but decided to wait till morning to try and pull ourselves off. Waved to the farmer as we successfully kedged out of our predicament.


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Old 02-15-2009, 06:30 PM   #5
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We ran aground behind Monkey Island on PR's east coast. (it was the captain I swear!)

We ran out two kedge anchors attatched to two winches. Both lines were bar tight. We tried "rocking" the boat, digging, etc and still we sat, bumping bottom and digging deeper. Next morning a small boat with two early partying fishermen, and twin 250's, hooked us up and luckily, pulled us off. Good thing too, BoatUS, or SeaTow whomever it was, wanted a couple boat units.
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Old 02-16-2009, 02:21 AM   #6
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I think of kedging as a way of getting you off a grounding with the help of the tide. *As we did when we ran aground in the Annisquam River headed for Gloucester, Mass. *Put out an anchor in the deep water, in the direction we wanted the boat to go, pull it tight, and wait for the chop and incoming tide to float us back into deep water. *Without the anchor we would have just ridden further up the shoal as the tide returned.

Another kedging effort was used for a fellow who deliberately ran his boat aground into a mangrove shoal during Hurricane Hugo, after he had lost all five (5!) of his anchors. *When the hurricane passed, getting him off required running one anchor midships and to the main halyard in order to heel the boat, with a second anchor run off his stern into deeper water. *He had to reduce his displacement, though, to make it work, since there's no more than 6 inches of tidal range in the Caribbean where he was aground. That meant emptying all his water tanks, offloading some of his fuel (difficult, so not much of that done), and removing as much heavy stuff as he could into his dinghy. *It took a lot of work, including our pulling on a second main halyard with our dinghy to get the boat heeled enough to reduce his draft. *It worked, but it took most of the day and four of us helping the fellow. *

Our grounding wasn't serious, but to both of us it was a bit embarrassing, and after that we were much more careful to watch the tide when venturing into unknown waters. *It's a lot easier to be brave when you're exploring on a rising tide.
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Old 02-16-2009, 03:40 PM   #7
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Few years ago the unthinkable happened and my boat was firmly grounded on the rocks while being bashed by the waves. I believe that my prompt efforts of setting two kedge anchors, one from the stern and the other from the bow were vital in preventing the boat from being damaged. It was a terrible experience but luckily ended well.

If you want to read the gory details you will find them in: Travels with S/Y Thetis


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Old 02-18-2009, 01:23 PM   #8
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This may seem strange, but the only time we kedged we were not aground. We were in a lee slip in a marina, bow in on a boat that would not back predictably. A storm was brewing and the winds were very high. Normally I would not try to move the boat under these conditions, but I was due back at work soon and needed to leave. The slip was a repair slip and would be needed in our absence so we decided to move the boat. After leaving the slip the wind would drive us into another dock very close by if anything at all went wrong. There was nothing in the direction we needed to go to warp from, so we rowed out an anchor and used it to get us out of the slip and keep us off of the other boats until we could begin making way and retrieve the anchor. It was in no small way as simple as I have made it sound, but it sure gave us piece of mind as we cleared the slip. The audience of boat owners downwind applauded as we left!

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