Ran aground!!!

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Well-known member
Feb 27, 2006
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Brooklyn, NY USA
I never thought it would happen to me, but it did this Saturday. I was in a tight channel with a large NYPD (New York Police Dept) boat coming right towards me. This boat was at least 75 feet long. I went alongside the edge of the channel to give him some room and not get slammed by his huge wake. I was cruising at about 30MPH when I felt my boat losing speed on its own. At first I thought I bumped the throttle with my arm or something, but then realized I had hit bottom. I cut the throttle, shut the motor, and came to a complete stop. I raised the motor out of the water, hoping we’d be able to drift away, but I felt the hull rubbing on the bottom. The huge wake from the passing NYPD boat slapped us right on the side so hard I thought we were going to flip over. We must’ve been in maybe 1’ of water, no more than that, and the bottom looked like mud. I lowered the motor until the prop was just under water, started it up, made sure she was peeing okay, gave some gas, and crossed my fingers. I felt the boat moving along slowly, rubbing on the bottom, and then all of the sudden I felt it speed up. We made it out. I lowered the motor and let her run at low RPMs for a bit before taking off. She ran fine for the rest of the day.

The only damage I can see it just to the skeg and prop. They both look sanded and polished now. I guess there must’ve been some sand under that mud? I definitely felt the hull rubbing on the bottom. Do you guys think I should have it hauled so I can make sure there’s no damage to the hull? It’ll cost me $200.00. I think most likely I just scraped off some bottom paint, but I want to be sure. If I haul it there goes my Memorial Day weekend on the boat though. What do you guys think?

Also, is it worth trying to re-paint the skeg? I can probably get the prop polished.

I personally don't think its necessary to pull her. I ran aground last year in Cincoteague where the channel is very narrow and instead of believing the bread crumb trail on my GPS, I turned at a stake. I had 4 men on board and was moving at perhaps 15 MPH. We stopped instantly, were thrown foward hard and lucky no one got hurt. It took maybe 1/2 hour of moving bodies around, and gunning the motor to rock her out of the sand. You can hardly tell where the keel was "sanded". I did have to clean and flush the motor good and unclog the speed pitot. But then again I trailer the boat and you don't.
I'm with John.

I don't think I would be pulling her after a "soft grounding" like you describe. I have mostly rocky bottom up here, so the odds of me having a "soft grounding" are pretty slim.

Grab a face mask and do a quick "look see" for peace of mind.

I'm just gonna leave it in for now. I really doubt I did any damage. I'll grab a set of goggles like cbigma mentioned and check it out this weekend. 8)

Everyone polishes a prop from time-to-time. If you haven't, you've been spending too much time in the slip. :)

Be thankful you had a soft bottom. :shock:
A scoured skeg is a badge of courage. What I hit wasn't so soft.
Sorry for the experience you had to go through.... someday it will be nothing... what you describe as possible damage is just normal wear and tear around here.