Down in the Mud | Sailing Blog - Technical Hints and Tips - Sailing Television

Down in the Mud

Our first time to put the new 49 on the ground - or in this case the mud. This is the immensely cute town of Bosham (pronounced bozzam) with its’ 1000 year old church down by the quayside. We came in at the noon high tide and stayed until the next noon. Tides here are much higher than we are used to at up to 5.2 meters! At low tide the whole of Bosham is surrounded by mud flats. All the sea is missing!

Here is the scene by 4-5 in the afternoon. All the water is gone and we have sunk down onto the mud. We were careful to tie so we could fall without straining our mooring lines. Long lines are good here. In this case we didn’t fall very far since the we landed on the mud - although the tide fell 4 meters we only fell a bit less than 2 so it was easier to tie!

If you want to do work on the bottom you can use the drying grid they have installed here. The boat behind us is a 42 footer with over 6 foot draft. They had just a 1 hour window where the tide was high enough to allow them to come in. Then they tied up to the quay and the tide ran out. This meant a 3-4 hour period when they could get down and work on the bottom before the tide came back in. Bargain haulout!

Note their boat is leaning slightly toward the quay. This is important so she just rests against the quay and her fenders. They hung a bucket off the end of the boom swung out over the quay and moved a few other heavy items that side. If you don’t do this you might end up falling away from the quay and placing tremendous strain on the docklines (or worse - falling right over!!)

How-to Hints for drying out

  • Check in advance that the area is going to be ok. If you have a keel boat you probably need a purpose-built drying grid since it needs a solid base to stand on and walk around underneath to work.The harbourmaster will have more info and recommendations. In our case we just need to find out if there is anything we don’t want to settle down onto.
  • Tie up to account for the tides.
  • Check that future tides will allow you to get off again! Read over the tables carefully
  • Close the thruhulls before settling down on the mud. Especially intakes such as the engine, and head water intakes if these will be in the mud. We don’t want mud forced up into them. Remember to open them before motoring off :-)
  • If you plan to stay more than 1 tide you might check it out the second time you settle down to the ground incase something has changed. This is especially important if you are a keelboat drying on the grid since you need to make certain you will rest against the quay properly.
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