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Old 06 May 2011, 09:02   #1
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Shallow Water

What minimum depth do most of you look for to safetly use ribs when checking tides and chart?
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Old 06 May 2011, 09:22   #2
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What minimum depth do most of you look for to safetly use ribs when checking tides and chart?
Far too many variables to give a definitive answer!
In my 'usual' operating area in a calm sea I get twitchy with less than 2m under the keel, but that's over a muddy/sandy seabed which shouldn't(!) do a great deal of damage.
I treat rocky or shingle bottoms with much more respect.
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Old 06 May 2011, 09:52   #3
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What minimum depth do most of you look for to safetly use ribs when checking tides and chart?
Welcome to Rib net!

For me, it all depends on what speed I am doing, what the conditions are etc.
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Old 06 May 2011, 10:12   #4
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For me also I get twitchy around 2M mark, but if it is 2M I would be going rather slowly anyway, its also depends if your in an area you know well or not, if you know it well then you probably know where things start to get shallow and slow down and keep an eye on depth. If you don't know it well then there aint no substitue to studying a paper chart and tide tables.
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Old 06 May 2011, 10:13   #5
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Welcome to Rib net!

For me, it all depends on what speed I am doing, what the conditions are etc.
Ditto.

I won't plane unless I'm certain it's safe to. If I see the depth go to less than 10 feet, I'm back down to displacement speeds unless I know the area is clear.
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Old 06 May 2011, 11:38   #6
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thank you, i'm fairly new to ribbing as well as the forum if you couldn't tell!

i was out the other week and certainly aimed to be in at least 3m all the time, especially when planing. The worry i had was going back up the river and to the slip i wasn't sure if there was enough water, but i made it and it ended up being more than 1.5m.

Depending on the weight in the baot etc i would normally aim to have a depth of a least 1.5m even at very low speed
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Old 06 May 2011, 11:42   #7
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Have you got a depth sounder/fishfinder and a chartplotter?
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Old 06 May 2011, 11:45   #8
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yes i don't want to take any risks
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Old 06 May 2011, 13:56   #9
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I've probably done as much shallow-water ribbing over the past two years as anyone on this forum, most of it at Mont St. Michel, and in its surrounding estuaries; I don't seem to go anywhere else nowadays. I think shallow water causes people more concern than bad weather, rocks or night sailing. Being off the chart in 2ft of water, ten miles from safety makes you feel very exposed, believe me.

I would say that if you're going to get into 'skinny water' ribbing you have to accept that sooner or later you're going to run aground; it's only a matter of time. It may or may not be the end of the world but in any case it's a small price to pay for glory. Have a look at this video if you want to see what a real shallow water cock-up is all about. I have loads of others on my YouTube channel:

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Old 06 May 2011, 14:20   #10
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What minimum depth do most of you look for to safetly use ribs when checking tides and chart?
Why not consider doing a course in navigation Essential Navigation and Seamanship would be a good starting point followed by a practical course .
Takes the guess work out of the equation and will give you more confidence.
Can organise you an online course if you like (blatant plug I know).
You will learn about tides and passage planning and how to use a tidal curve so making your boating more fun and your insurance company should offer you a discount.
Tim
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