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jtrovato

Boat is stuck in 1.5 feet of water!

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jtrovato

I'm so angry right now that I don't even want to write down what is going on, but would like to get opinions on any damage that might be occurring or already occurred as I type this. Sorry for the long post...

So I keep my boat at a local marina on the river and they have been doing work on the dam downriver for the last two years. They are just finishing up and they had to lower the water level to gain access to the damn. I asked the owner of the marina a few weeks ago if they were going to lower the water level again and if I needed to take the boat out of the water and he said "no, they are lowering it but it will be just like before where you can still get out of the cove and use the river." So me, being the trusting person that I am, leave the boat there expecting to go out and use it this weekend.

So as I'm driving by the river yesterday I notice that the water level looks extremely low. On my way by the marina (not to go on the boat, just passing by on my way to a BBQ) I stop and go take a look at the situation. When I get back to the docks, I see the cove that they're in is so low that the docks on the left side of the ramp are completely dry with two pontoon boats sitting on dry ground (no big deal, their engines were up). And on the right side where our boat is, there is about a foot and a half of water, along with about 8 other boats in their slips, ours being the only inboard that is sitting on top of it's running gear now. I walked over the the boat and tried to move it with my hand fearing the worst, that it was already stuck in the mud, which turned out to be true. The bow isn't touching ground yet, but the prop and rudder are definitely touching bottom. I was able to rock it back and forth just a little bit, but there's no way I could get it out of the slip if I wanted to. Even then, the damn ramp has no water in front of it!

I'm so pissed at the marina for not calling and letting me know that the water level was as low as it is. The place is being run by morons that are leasing the marina to run their rowing club out of, so they are not there all the time, but I have to believe somebody was there to see how low the water was getting. They have paying customers that are keeping their expensive boats on their docks and they don't even have the decency to call and let them know that the water level is too low for their boats to float.

So what, if any, damage do you think has occurred at this point? I measured with a stick that the water level at the stern was about 1.5' and the bottom is pretty soft river sand/silt. From what I can remember of where the swim platform sits when it's actually floating, it looks like it's only about an inch or so higher than it normally is. Am I looking at no damage yet, or a bent prop shaft and rudder?

I've already called the marina with no answer, the company that's working on the dam with no answer, and the owner of the marina who leases it out to the rowing club with no answer. Somebody will be paying for any damages and it's not going to be me!

Edited by jtrovato

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Wildbank

I regret your situation. I have some hope that you are still alright (damage wise). I would not rock/push the boat now as this may create more damage. I would immediately block your boat so that it is resting on blocks should the water level drop any further. My hunch is that any payments that come from others would be out of good faith and not out of any contractual obligation. Best wishes.

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99response

Sucks man, and I'm really really sick of that river dropping over and over again.

The ramp in Lawerence is so low you can see where it drops off like a cliff.

-Chris

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jtrovato
Sucks man, and I'm really really sick of that river dropping over and over again.

The ramp in Lawerence is so low you can see where it drops off like a cliff.

-Chris

Yeah it's so ridiculous, a 4 month project going on 2 and a half years now. The Eagle Tribune had an article in the paper yesterday saying they pulled 7 vehicles out of the river near the Methuen/Dracut line since the water level was dropped so low, one of them reported stolen in 1990, and another, a 2007 BMW X5 with the keys still in the ignition!

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99response

We'll be rocking Lowell today if you want a pull, its only a little response lxi though....

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jtrovato
We'll be rocking Lowell today if you want a pull, its only a little response lxi though....

Thanks for the offer, but I'm at work until 7 tonight. That's too bad, you'll be driving right by my condo to get there, I live in the mill building right across the bridge from where Top Donut is on 110, right next to the Tsongas and Lowell Spinners stadium. I think I may have seen you pulling your boat down 110 recently.

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Baddog

Finally! A good use for tubes. if you can get a couple of them and tie together under the boat you may be able to float that baby out to deeper water at least and anchor until the level comes back.

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jtrovato

I just got a call from the guys running the marina. Apparently they didn't even get any notice from the company working on the dam that they were going to be lowering it like this. The thing that bothers me is he said they noticed in just enough time to get their crew boats out of the side that is completely dry right now, but he said he "thought" there was enough water on the side where my slip is. He was nice enough to say we'll figure out what to do if there's any damage so at least he didn't deny responsibility.

On a positive note, all the rain we got from Hurricane Bill on Friday and Saturday brought the water level up about a foot from yesterday so he said my boat is now floating again. Still not enough water in the cove to get it on the trailer though, so hopefully the water will continue to rise into tomorrow and let me get it out and assess the damage, if any. I may have lucked out. We'll see.

Edited by jtrovato

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Soon2BV

i would try to float it out so you can clean it before firing up, so you dont pull in mud (or worse) into the water intake.

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Bill_AirJunky

Depends on what the bottom is like as to whether or not there will be any damage. If it's soft sand or mud, probably no issues. If it's rocky at all, could be prop &/or rudder issues, not to mention the glass.

Like Soon2BV said, float it out, do a visual inspection, then run it slow & see if there is any vibration. Also check the bottom of the slip.... any rocks at all?

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MalibuTime

Also check your through hull intakes before you fire it up to make sure there is no muck stuck in there.

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mellen_mpz

I'd bet money that there will be no damage to your boat. The prop most likely sunk into the soft mud with no damage to it. Like others said, just make sure your intakes are clean before starting the engine.

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davemac

JT,

My buddy/coworker has his SN a couple slips down from you. He is also at wits end w/ the whole situation. While too late at this point, here is a link to the dam project that gives occassional bulletins on the progress (or more appropriately the lack thereof). Good Luck. Hopefully the water comes up enough for you to get it out of there. There is an angle the trailer can go on that ramp that gives slightly more water.

lawrence dam project

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wakeup

Hope all is well once you find out the damage or hopefully no damage! Not sure what's available in your area, but I would look a boat dock with an overhead lift to get your boat up/out of the water or keep it in dry storage.

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jtrovato
JT,

My buddy/coworker has his SN a couple slips down from you. He is also at wits end w/ the whole situation. While too late at this point, here is a link to the dam project that gives occassional bulletins on the progress (or more appropriately the lack thereof). Good Luck. Hopefully the water comes up enough for you to get it out of there. There is an angle the trailer can go on that ramp that gives slightly more water.

lawrence dam project

Which boat is your buddy's? The green/tan Nautique? I think he at least got his out of the water before the level went real low. I'm heading down there at lunch time today to go try and get it out. I talked to someone from that Enel company this morning and they basically said it's within their rights to lower the water level whenever they want and they have an email list that they send updates to, but you have to contact them to get on the list...ridiculous. So there's about a foot and a half more water now than there was over the weekend from the rain which might let me get it on the trailer.

Oh and I have been checking that link that you gave, but they never keep it updated and then the two most recent posts suddenly "appeared" AFTER the water level was already drawn down, I know because I had been checking it every week to see when they were lowering it.

Edited by jtrovato

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jtrovato
Hope all is well once you find out the damage or hopefully no damage! Not sure what's available in your area, but I would look a boat dock with an overhead lift to get your boat up/out of the water or keep it in dry storage.

Unfortunately this is the only marina on this section of the river so my options are very limited unless I want to trailer the boat to and from the river every time I use it. The water level has never been a problem until this dam project, which they say they are finishing in the next 3 weeks, so hopefully this will never be an issue again. I just can't bring myself to not have it in the water, it gets so much more use when it's sitting there ready to go whenever I want to head out for a quick wakeboard/surf session.

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davemac
Which boat is your buddy's? The green/tan Nautique? I think he at least got his out of the water before the level went real low.

Yup, he got out... and is not holding out much hope for getting back in there. Good luck this noon.

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WakeGirl

J,

Would the spot where your boat is located be accessible to a crane? Floating it out may be an option, & I'd sure give that a try first. But if it doesn't work, it may be worth the money to get a crane out there & hoist it off. I think that I'd see if the marina would take care of that cost too. Just a thought.

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jtrovato

Wellllll.....the boat is ok, but my truck is a different story.

So I went down there at lunch and the boat was in about 3-4' of water now, so knowing that the lowest it ever got never got the hull on the ground, just the prop and rudder were touching the soft sand, I just rocked the boat back and forth a lot to loosen up any dirt that might have been near the intakes. I had no reason to believe there would be any there though because the hull really never touched bottom. So I started it up and put it in gear to check for any vibes, nothing going on there, looks like we're good to go to the trailer.

So before I got to the boat, I surveyed the ramp and noticed that there wasn't enough water at the bottom of the ramp to get the boat on the trailer, so I backed the trailer in off the side of the ramp to where the water was about a foot deeper and gave me just enough to get it on the trailer. I navigate the boat around the dock and squeeze in the area where it's just barely deep enough to get through and slide it right on the trailer. Almost there! Just have to pull the trailer out of the water now.

So I get in the truck and start to pull out, tires start spinning. Switch to 4LO which I normally never have to do but the trailer is not on the ramp now, it's in the mud off the side of the ramp. All 4 tires start spinning now and the trailer is not moving. Tried to rock it a little bit, but the tire of the trailer just got deeper and deeper. The trailer frame is now resting on the ground. So I call up my friend who has a Chevy 2500 with a duramax diesel to tell him to come down and help me, and as he picks up the phone and I'm giving it my final try, SNAP, there goes the U-joint on my driveshaft. It snapped right at the connection to the transfer case and my rear driveshaft is on the ground, still attached to the rear axle. So I tell my friend to hurry up and get there because I'm definitely not getting out without his help now.

So I hang up with him and call AAA because now I need a tow truck to get my truck to the shop. My buddy gets there with the duramax, hooks up a chain to my front tow hook and pulls my truck and boat out without even thinking twice about it. Damn I need a bigger truck. Then my truck gets loaded onto the flatbed and brought to the shop to get the driveshaft fixed. This has not been a good last few days for me!

The boat is perfectly fine though, I did a good inspection of the running gear after we pulled it out and the prop and rudder look perfectly fine. So this whole thing is only going to cost me a couple hundred bucks to get my truck fixed now.

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obski

Well, glad the boat is out and ok, but.... Maybe it is time for a new truck. Dontknow.gif

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jtrovato

Truck is a 2006 Toyota Tacoma, normally has no problems, but I guess a trailer with a boat on it and the wheel stuck in mud up to the frame, going up a 30 degree incline was just a little bit too much for the little guy to handle! It'll be good as new in a few days!

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gmoneycrf450
Wellllll.....the boat is ok, but my truck is a different story.

So I went down there at lunch and the boat was in about 3-4' of water now, so knowing that the lowest it ever got never got the hull on the ground, just the prop and rudder were touching the soft sand, I just rocked the boat back and forth a lot to loosen up any dirt that might have been near the intakes. I had no reason to believe there would be any there though because the hull really never touched bottom. So I started it up and put it in gear to check for any vibes, nothing going on there, looks like we're good to go to the trailer.

So before I got to the boat, I surveyed the ramp and noticed that there wasn't enough water at the bottom of the ramp to get the boat on the trailer, so I backed the trailer in off the side of the ramp to where the water was about a foot deeper and gave me just enough to get it on the trailer. I navigate the boat around the dock and squeeze in the area where it's just barely deep enough to get through and slide it right on the trailer. Almost there! Just have to pull the trailer out of the water now.

So I get in the truck and start to pull out, tires start spinning. Switch to 4LO which I normally never have to do but the trailer is not on the ramp now, it's in the mud off the side of the ramp. All 4 tires start spinning now and the trailer is not moving. Tried to rock it a little bit, but the tire of the trailer just got deeper and deeper. The trailer frame is now resting on the ground. So I call up my friend who has a Chevy 2500 with a duramax diesel to tell him to come down and help me, and as he picks up the phone and I'm giving it my final try, SNAP, there goes the U-joint on my driveshaft. It snapped right at the connection to the transfer case and my rear driveshaft is on the ground, still attached to the rear axle. So I tell my friend to hurry up and get there because I'm definitely not getting out without his help now.

So I hang up with him and call AAA because now I need a tow truck to get my truck to the shop. My buddy gets there with the duramax, hooks up a chain to my front tow hook and pulls my truck and boat out without even thinking twice about it. Damn I need a bigger truck. Then my truck gets loaded onto the flatbed and brought to the shop to get the driveshaft fixed. This has not been a good last few days for me!

The boat is perfectly fine though, I did a good inspection of the running gear after we pulled it out and the prop and rudder look perfectly fine. So this whole thing is only going to cost me a couple hundred bucks to get my truck fixed now.

I tell myself the same thing everytime I go to pull something or get in a pickle....I NEED A DIESEL!!! I pull a little toy hauler when I go racing dirt bikes or for camping and it's all that truck can do to pull it up the mountains...I just can't afford a truck like that right now, but I feel your pain!

Glad to hear the boat is fine...much rather have truck trouble than boat trouble...you can always find another truck to pull the boat if your rig is in the shop, but a little harder to find a spare boat!

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davemac

That Sucks...as does that whole arrangement w/ that marina, river, dam, etc. At least you'll be able to sleep tonight knowing that your boat is on the trailer and safe, and having a grasp on what needs to be done to fix your truck.

I look at the river from my office. I felt your pain today... looking at those sandy banks that aren't supposed to be visible.

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Badger

I was following the story, hoping for the best for the boat. Then I saw "the truck is a different story" and all I could think was:

Please don't be a Ford!

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jtrovato
I was following the story, hoping for the best for the boat. Then I saw "the truck is a different story" and all I could think was:

Please don't be a Ford!

Yeah, I overworked the poor little Toyota. It wasn't meant to pull a 5,000 lb boat that's stuck in the mud up a launch ramp. Oh well, lesson learned!

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