Sunday 9 May 2010

On the Bank

Sailing back from Cowes on Saturday I was watching this racing yacht. We were a long way off near Calshot, but I remember thinking she seemed to be heading right across the Bramble Bank.

Was she possibly further away or perhaps closer than I thought? Maybe the tide was higher than I though since it was only neaps?

No, she suddenly stopped dead in the water, presumably with her keel stuck hard on the sand.

You would think that a modern race boat has up to date and sophisticated electronic navigational aids, plus the Bramble Bank is hard to miss, well apparently not.

Shortly after the picture was taken, she motored off on the rising tide.


  1. It happens to the best of us.

  2. If cruising/day sailing, there is no excuse. But in racing, squeezing time and water off from other boats, it's the price of doing business!

  3. Agreed - we've all scraped the barnicles off the bottom of the keel at some time or other during our sailing careers, but this was no race track corner cutting

  4. I don't know your waters, of course. But I would think that depth instruments are available with an adjustable alarm? I don't have to worry in my water, except for a narrow reef for which a moment's warning would be insufficient. Last year, in a race, I put an otherwise useless crew member on the bow looking for it. We struck. She was almost knocked off her feet because she was returning to the cockpit: she had become bored and lonely. Pieces of gelcoat off my keel.

  5. And subsequently water in the bilge?

  6. For me? Not a drop. It was a 'drifter'.


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