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If You Run Aground

BACKING OFF

If you've grounded lightly and hull damage appears to be minimal, you can try to free yourself. Determine what's on the bottom first. While backing off a soft bottom should do less damage to your hull than backing off rocks, reverse prop wash may throw sand and mud towards your bow, grounding you even more firmly.

With engines in reverse, slowly and carefully try to back off. If possible, have some one go over the side and push the boat side-ways in both directions. This may free the boat more quickly than trying to back-up. 

  • If you are on coral or sea grass, BE CAREFUL! You can cause tremendous damage to either the grass or coral, and subject your self to stiff penalties and fines for destroying them.  It's best to wait for the tide to take you off, or to call a professional tower for assistance.
  • If you try to back off, monitor your temperature gauges carefully.  The engine raw water intake may suck up dirt and debris and clog or damage your engine's cooling system.  Shut down your engine immediately if you notice a rapid rise in temperature.

If you're lucky, a good Samaritan will offer to give you a yank. You'll need to determine the wind and current to make sure you get the best angle on the pull.