Drying out alongside in an MG30

Hi all…  this list has been very quiet of late!  I will be off cruising for August – this year the English south west coast and, weather permitting, the Scilly Islands.

Something I have never done is to dry out over low tide alongside a harbour wall, although I have seen others do it.  I imagine lots of fenders are essential, and it would seem important to me to ensure that the boat lies into the quay a bit – perhaps I would take the main halyard ashore to cant the boat over slightly.  I imagine the long keel of an MG30 would provide enough fore-aft stability.  The trouble is, once embarked on, there is no way out of seeing it through.

Does anyone on this list have experience of this?  And how critical is the bottom?  Soft mud would not be good. Some ports are described as hard. Sand might be uneven. And what about stones?  Any advice/ experience would be welcomed.

Happy sailing – Tony

10 thoughts on “Drying out alongside in an MG30

  • July 21, 2003 at 11:41 pm

    Hi Tony
    Glad to hear from you and the others.
    I agree that the MG30 sits quite happily on her cutaway keel but has a tendency to drop her bow, the amount depending how soft the bottom is. I wouldn’t worry about damge to the keel as it is strong and can usually cope with a stony bottom as long as the the bottom isn’t littered with individual rocks. As Doug says the keel is very strong and my boat sits on her trailer with the weight mainly being taken by the front of the keel.
    I find a good tip is to lean the boat into the wall by standing a couple of 5 gallon containers full of water on the side deck nearest the wall. Alternatively lie your anchor chain along that deck. Be careful, however, to not lean it too far or you may foul the spreaders as she settles. Long bow & stern lines should keep her upright and you could also tie a strong warp from the offside toerail accross the coach roof & up to the harbour wall tensioning it as soon as he has settled on the bottom.
    My boat generally lies afloat against pontoons in the marina but when work was being done to repair the marina gate she sat upright in the soft mud quite happily at low tide for several weeks without actually dropping her bow.
    Have a good trip,

  • July 21, 2009 at 11:40 pm

    Hi Tony,
    I did this a few times, always in soft sand (Waddenzee).

    The mid-point of the keel/ground contactline is imo behind the center of gravity. I agree on hard soil the boat stays upright, but in softer soil she tries to dip forward. So I extend the halyard, attach it backwards on the quai, and tension it with the winch as soon as the bottom is hit.

    For lateral forces I use the mooring lines mooring lines. You have to be standby when the boat hits bottom. My halyard top construction would not like lateral forces. If the quai is too high I would connect to mast near the spreaders.

    I have a “riding plank” (literal translation from Dutch), a plank, hung between the quai and two or more fenders.
    mvg Boudewijn

  • July 21, 2009 at 11:43 pm

    Hi Tony and all others taking part,
    Here are two pictures of “Grampus” in the predicament!
    We stopped at Ilfracombe in the Bristol Channel, originally in the place where the UFO34 is astern, we sat there superbly, then moved forward, found a soft pocket of sand and hey presto. No damage bar to pride and the poor nights sleep.
    We had the anchor chain aft along inner side deck, cans of water fuel etc in cockpit, all the lines in all the directions but could not stop it happening.
    I am now making legs for these occasions. I think that a leg on the outer side with the bow well in against the wall will be the most secure, but we will see one day. The keel on our beloved MG’s are not really that long, she has a grand under water profile but the design guarantees some upwind performance also, like all things it’s a compromise, that’s my feeling anyway.

    Good to see some life on the site, I hope it may long continue. Any one visiting the upper reaches of the Bristol Channel will be made most welcome.

    Best regards all,

    Paul Chapman.

  • July 22, 2009 at 11:44 pm

    Hi Tony,its Brian from “White Heather ”
    Make sure you have plenty of fenders and move some wieght to the wharf side,make sure you take a halyard from the top of the mast to rake you an angle to the quay(it will hold there if you have not got the rake right). Remeber to ease it as the tide comes in ????
    Best of luck Brian
    Port Edgar

  • July 23, 2009 at 11:46 pm

    yes, but if you look at the pictures of Paul Chapman the important halyard goes from masttop *backwards* to the quay.
    The soil may be mud, like in Rye where I sunk in practically straight down.
    Or rock where the boat *just* stays upright, because the toe of the keel sole takes all weight.
    Paul had halfway firm sand: the toe was pressed into the sand, and the heel actually lifted from the bottom, see pic xxx003! An order of magnitude estimate for maximum forward momentum is 4500 kg * 1 m (half of the keelsole). The halyard should then do 15 m * 300 kg backwards!
    The front mooring line would risk pulling the cleat out of the deck, 5 m * 900 kg, and nasty angles.

    I experienced in Waddenzee sand something like 50 kg on on this backward halyard. Just the normal sail hoisting tension. And thought it was a bit of an unneccesary precaution. The guy drying out behind me complained a bit about the halyard extension. But these picture opened my eyes! Thanks Paul.

    And if you use a sideways “halyard” for lean to, it should be a separate one.

    mvg Boudewijn

  • July 23, 2009 at 11:47 pm

    Helpful and well worked out comments, Boudewijn. That 15m * 300kg on the top of the mast will translate into, say 5m * 900kg up the forestay.
    Any idea if the forestay and bow plate would cope with that?

  • July 25, 2009 at 11:49 pm

    Oh yes, mast and stays easily cope with that. My fore and aft stays are 10 mm dia, good for 3000 kg * 2 safety factor. Hull and mastfittings should match that. The safety factor is for dynamic loading under sail and waves, not needed for occasionally keeping the boat upright. When sailing to windward in force 4 there is something like 50 kg/m2 * 30 m2 = 1500 kg force working on the sails.

    I was a bit concerned about the sideways forces (much smaller of course) some where recommending to make the boat lean into the quay: My mast has integral (sheaves(?)) with steel halyards. If the steel halyard is bent to point sideways it will kink and might be damaged. Anyway on the average quay there will be no room for halyards pointing sideways. Certainly not on Pauls pictures.

    I am not sure I have the right Dutch-English translation for the words with ?marks.

    regards Boudewijn

  • July 25, 2009 at 11:50 pm

    Hello all again.
    Re leading halyard to Quay & risk to halyard at exit point on mast head.

    How about a 16mm dockline looped around the mast then pulling the loop up to the underside of the spreader bracket with a halyard. The dockline could be taken to the Quay wall abeam of the boat just before she touched bottom and loosely tied off and the halyard freed off. allowing the loop on the mast to drop. A halyard end from the mast heel also tied to the loop could used to pull the loop down with a winch to tension the dockline as she settled. The loop would have to be loose enough to shake down from the mast when finished with. Fiddly I know but would avoid damage to halyards.

    Incidently my MG30 has 6mm standing rigging all round and I was surprised to hear Boudewijn had 10mm! Should I be worried?

    Finally my MG30 has a a two bladed sailing prop 13.5″ x11″ which I feel is too fine. I’ve been assured my 16hp twin cylinder diesel engine would turn a three bladed coarser pitch prop. What sort of prop do others have?


  • July 26, 2009 at 11:56 pm

    Thanks to all who have contributed to the discussion on drying out. I like Brian’s idea of a dock line hauled up the mast to the hounds (spreaders) and taken ashore abeam. And if I have any concern about fore/aft stability, then I will take the main halyard aft to the quay and perhaps the spinnaker halyard

    If I do end up drying out I will let you know how I fair. Hopefully there will be no photo like Paul’s to share!

    regards, Tony

  • August 8, 2009 at 11:51 pm

    Oops, found out I was bragging a bit. Took my calipers, and my stays are 8 mm, and the shrouds 6. So no reason to worry. Had the rigging done (1975) by a pro outfit, they suggested two sizes, of which I took the bigger. Must have been 8/6 and 6/4 mm.

    Many French boats with similar sail area have even thinner rigging.

    regards Boudewijn

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