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Guest plesbit

Chopped up plants

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Very low water levels at the weekend gave me a scare or two. On Surlingham Broad the water was so low most of the wherry graveyard was out of the water. We entered the broad from that side and trundled past. I almost never anchor up that end so I decided on this occasion we would - the sounder was showing 2ft 6 or so. Susan pointed out that she could see all the plants growing beneath the surface - something we've not seen before on that broad.

Anyway, being twin engine our boat can rotate on the spot and I always turn her into the wind before anchoring (chucking the mudweight). On this occasion that meant turning almost 180 degrees so leaving the starboard engine on tickover in forwards I pulled the port engine onto tickover in reverse. Conscious of the depth (or lack of it) I looked over the stern to watch out for problems. The props were churning up the mud horrendously but, more alarmingly, bits of sliced and diced plantlife was coming to the surface and heading in different directions. We moved off to find a deeper bit of broad.

Now, the question is basically about whether or not I should be concerned. The engines didn't falter or give any indication the props were snagging anything and she appeared to be turning normally. Does seeing mud being stirred up automatically mean you're in the wrong place or could there still be a foot or more to spare? I would estimate the end of the drive legs sit about 1-1.5ft beneath the sounder location on the hull, so 2ft 5 would not normally concern me. However, I cannot verify the accuracy of the sounder - for instance Lake Lothing didn't register deeper than 21ft at any point and I've managed to hit something at 2ft 8 before (though I think I know why in that instance).

Anyone?

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If you hit anything or picked up anything in the cooling inlet you'd know Simon, I imagine the plants were uprooted by the thrust and the upper parts chopped a bit. You can easily stir up mud with the prop wash in 4 feet of water, I do it nearly every time in our marina. You create quite a little mailstrom down there with one prop going oe way and the other prop the other way.

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Okay, that's good to know. The water levels do seem very low at the moment. We were certainly stirring things up down at Rockland St Mary before we set off.

Incidently, you've been through Lake Lothing - does 21ft seem a reasonable depth? Given the size of some of the stuff which moves around in there I would have expected it to be deeper.

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Incidently, you've been through Lake Lothing - does 21ft seem a reasonable depth? Given the size of some of the stuff which moves around in there I would have expected it to be deeper.

Don't recall Simon but there is a dredged chanel, I will check my chart and let you know the maintained depth.

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