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Ok to sit keel on the mud or sand?

Yachting Home Forums General Ok to sit keel on the mud or sand?

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    Mark Ashley-Miller

    I am just doing some passage planning which involves visiting harbours which dry out at low tide, resulting in the need to sit “on the bottom” against a harbour wall.
    Has anyone got any advice about how sensible this might be in my 331?
    Would the weight damage the keel?
    What other considerations?

    David Babsky

    It’ll happily sit on its keel (..though ours is a 33, not a 331, but it won’t do it any harm).

    Beware, though, of rough water “bounce” wouldn’t want to sit on the bottom in, say, Dagenham Dock when a huge ship – with a huge wash – is going by!

    But on a slowly, gently ebbing tide, with no churning wash – you’ll be fine.

    (We’ve sat on ..the same patch of.. sand outside Dunkerque when I’ve (twice!) misjudged the tide by 10 or 15 minutes, and I’ve sat on the sand outside Ramsgate when I had to wait for something or other (can’t remember what).

    They’re SOLID boats, and I’ve sat on the keel in boatyards when waiting to be hauled in or out.

    If you’re intending to lean against a wall, ensure that you’ve more weight on the WALL side of the boat than on the ‘free’ side, so that she’ll be sure to lean the right way! Put your tools and kedge on the ‘wall’ side deck, and run a line from the ‘free’ side to a bollard ashore on the ‘wall’ side so that she can’t possibly tilt over the wrong way.

    David, “Nautilia”.

    Mark Ashley-Miller

    Thank you so much (again!) David…. that is very helpful. Mark


    In 2011 when I acquired Naïla the previous owner warned me of a void (a gap, a lack of matter) behind the shoe of the shoal draft keel. Latter I had some fiber glass cloth addeed at the place where he landed on some nasty rock
    Naïla is a NC33 1977/1978


    I’m wondering: is anyone familiar with the use of yacht /boat legs while sitting on the keel?
    I’m considering having them made for the ‘Wadden’sea Northern Netherlands.
    Bob van der Winden, Windroos, Nc 33 Mark2


    Not a problem, there were some adverts for n33 with the legs visible on deck, think it was a rather old mark 1 possibly Ipswich which would make sense.
    East coast sailors do it all the time, Essex marshes and some drying harbours ( Chichester Scarborough) and places with big tidal range are fairly common.
    There is (was) a company called Yacht Legs, worth a google

    Roger Sturge

    Wild Cat(33) spent two years in a mud berth, attached to a pontoon which settled on the mud. She didn’t come to any harm with mud up to her bootline twice a day but watch out for mud in your heads – best keep the inlet stop cock shut.

    Good luck


    I love sitting on legs with Naïla. Installation is straightforward (20 minutes at all). She will lean 15 degrees toward the front on a otherwise flat ground. I find that very usefull at night as the sensation well replaces an alarm clock. I take care to land on flat and stone free places thus my landing places are few. Sand is very good for cockles down here in La Rochelle.
    They were manfactured by “the leg company”, excellent quality.
    Landing on mud, as otherwise mentionned, leads to water intake potential cloging problems (motor, toilets) that one should be aware of.

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