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February 5, 2024

A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Your Boat Unstuck

Imagine enjoying a relaxing afternoon aboard your precious boat with a fishing rod in hand, and you suddenly get jolted as you hear a loud crunching noise. That’s when you realize that your boat has run aground.

Running aground is part of boating life. Even seasoned sailors experienced it. It occurs when the water is no longer deep enough for a vessel to float, causing it to hit unseen rocks, sandbars, or other underwater objects. This sometimes occurs due to misinformation about water depths, operator error, or a change in the bottom structure of a waterway.

Here is a step-by-step guide on what you need to do in case your boat runs aground:

  • Step 1: Safety first, as always.

Before you panic, remember the first rule of boating: Safety first. Immediately check if everyone onboard is okay. Any injuries? Everyone accounted for? Good. Next, quickly assess the situation and ensure your boat isn’t taking on water. If you’re in any danger, don’t hesitate to call for help. Always put lives before property.

  • Step 2: Cut the engines.

When you realize you’ve run aground, your first instinct might be to throttle up and put the boat in reverse to push it away from whatever it is stuck on. Resist that urge. Cutting the engines is your safest bet as it minimizes potential damage to your propeller or hull.

  • Step 3: Check your surroundings.

Take a minute to check your surroundings. What does the water look like around you? Can you see the bottom? Are there any markers, buoys, or landmarks that can give you a clue about where the shallow water begins and ends? The more information you gather, the better your chances of getting unstuck without causing any further damage.

  • Step 4: Try to back off.

Okay, now that you’ve got a sense of your surroundings, it’s time to attempt a gentle exit. If your motor is okay and you’re not taking on water, you can try to back off the way you came in, slowly and gently. That’s because this is the known path and likely the least shallow. While doing this, you might want to lighten the load in the front to help the boat pivot backward.

  • Step 5: Kedging off.

If backing off doesn’t work, it’s time for a more advanced technique: Kedging. This involves taking your kedge anchor and setting it as far into deeper water as you can either by walking out or rowing out in your dinghy if you have one. You can then use a winch to pull your boat off the ground. It requires a bit of effort, but when done properly, it’s an effective method to free your boat.

  • Step 6: Call for assistance.

If all else fails, it’s time to call in the cavalry. Don’t hesitate to ask for help when you need it. Whether it’s another friendly boat in the vicinity or professional assistance like a tow boat service, it’s better to safeguard your vessel and crew.

Once you’re back at the pier or marina, don’t forget to check for any damages. Take a good look at your propellers, hull, and rudders. If in doubt, get your boat checked by a professional before you venture out again.


Use Your Old Boat to Uplift the Lives of Our Suffering Veterans

If you have a damaged boat that isn’t worth keeping anymore, you might as well turn it into an instrument of hope for the struggling veterans in your local area. All you have to do is hand it over to us at Veteran Car Donations.

Our team will have your boat auctioned off, with the proceeds distributed to reputable military and veteran nonprofit organizations that are in partnership with us. These nonprofits are committed to improving the living conditions of our former service members who are suffering from homelessness, unemployment, disabilities, and serious illnesses, including mental health conditions.

These IRS-certified 501(c)(3) nonprofits use the funding we give them to provide deserving veterans with housing and financial assistance, employment and livelihood opportunities, family support, free quality health care and medical treatment, psychotherapy services, and many other benefits.

You will also benefit from your charitable contribution since you’ll get to enjoy our free towing service anywhere in the United States. You’ll also love our quick, simple, and convenient donation process where you don’t have to do any paperwork. Plus, your donation will entitle you to claim the maximum tax deduction in the next tax season.

Best of all, you’ll get to experience the priceless satisfaction of helping our nation’s heroes live the decent and satisfying life they deserve.

Aside from boats, we also accept cars, vans, motorcycles, trailers, snowmobiles, and many other vehicle types.

If you’re interested to learn more about our vehicle donation program, feel free to visit our FAQs page. If you have any questions or concerns, send us a message here or give us a call at 877-594-5822.


Help Transform the Lives of Our Hurting Heroes Today!

Ready to give your vehicle a new and meaningful purpose? Turn it into a life-enhancing tool by donating it to Veteran Car Donations! Call us at 877-594-5822 or fill out our secure online donation form now!

Veteran Car Donations operates in all 50 states.

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Or call (877) 594-5822!