At the end of our last episode, we left you thinking we ran aground. Yeah, we did. Though in all fairness, it was more of a “nudge the bottom” situation. The question was, how did we manage to run aground in 8 feet of water, when we only draft 4?

Turns out we were drafting much more. Unbeknownst to us, the line we had strung under the hull between the midship cleats had slipped off turning our several mile journey from the yard to our first marina. Believing our board was still up (we draft 4’ 2” with it up), we thought we’d just squeak into a slip with 5 feet of depth.

Nope. We hit bottom about ten feet before reaching the dock.

Now what? This turned into quite the drama for our first days on the river. We started with staying overnight at a lock, which you generally aren’t supposed to do — especially without permission; fortunately the lock operator on duty was sympathetic to our situation, as the lock itself was the only area in this part of the river with enough depth for our boat in its current state.

The next morning, we backtracked six miles, first to Crowley’s Yacht Yard to procure some hardware for a new mast plug. The plug needed to bear the weight of the 200 lb. centerboard (via the pennant running from the board up through the partners and to the rope clutch on deck). This was our other problem: The first version of the mast plug we had fabricated didn’t work; we needed to make a new one.

The rigging master at Crowley’s was incredibly helpful, and even gave us a couple blocks for free. We headed back to Skyway where they had dock space for us to start building the new mast plug. We were hoping that with a new plug we’d be able to pull the board up. Alas, no dice… We had to haul out.

Three hundred and seventy-five dollars later, our board was back in its trunk, and our boat was again drafting 4’ 2”. We found out the centerboard had swung forward of 90 degrees, and the pennant had become jammed between the board and the trunk. Once we had the boat out of the water, we were easily able to free the pennant, and winch the board back up.

Onward downriver!

Hope you enjoy,
Lauren & Kirk

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