Boat washes up on the beach | Sailing Blog - Technical Hints and Tips - Sailing Television

Boat washes up on the beach

What do you do if your boat washes up on the beach? Storm winds come up from the wrong direction and your anchorage becomes a lee shore. Then your anchor lets go and your boat is washed up on the beach!!!
This happened in an anchorage in the Balearic Islands a few years ago - thankfully not to us. We had been keeping a close eye on the weather and had left the anchorage before the storms approach. When we came back to the anchorage there was a boat up on the beach where the storm had thrown her. She drew more than 5 feet and you could walk all around her without getting your knees wet! She was well up the beach and after trying a number of ideas it was impossible to pull her back to sea.

Winching, pulling, a line to the masthead to lean her? No Way! She was well and truly planted as the sand had reformed around her keels (she had twin bilge keels) and she was sitting in perhaps 6 inches of water with her keels down three feet in the sand.

It turned out the solution was to use a couple of small outboard engines?!? Starting by digging a small hole in the ankle deep water - the small dinghy outboard could be run as a fan blowing sand out to make a wading pool than a larger and larger pool. After a couple of hours there is room to move in a more powerful outboard.
More and more water flowed back into the pools until finally the yacht was nearly floating in her own swimming pool. Incredible that a small engine could move what must have been 100 tons of sand. It did require a bit of TLC afterwards!!
We filmed this exercise and it is included in the first season of Distant Shores on DVD the episode is also available for digital download here on Vimeo.
blog comments powered by Disqus