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Thread: Lead line

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Med
    Posts
    6,271

    Default Lead line

    After the last thread on who Carries what , I was interested to see how many people carry lead lines .
    The question I like to know how many times have Tho who carry them have used them in the last 5 years ,
    And how many used them to test the sea bed condition ?

    I dont carry one and never have but I can make one up very quickly if need be , the last time was three years ago when I was navigating in a uncharted channel in the Venice lagoon and it was used from the dinghy by my partner while I follow behind.
    I have to hold my hands up in 40 years sailing I never used one to test what the sea bed was like I never found the need to.
    I sure there going to be some here who use them regularly,
    Last edited by sailaboutvic; 19-11-19 at 04:58.
    Warning forumite dyslexia near by
    www.bluewatersailorcroatia.webs.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Surrey & boat in Dorset. Both have pubs
    Posts
    3,844

    Default Re: Lead line

    I've got one but only use it to check how level the sea bed is when anchoring. Normally the charts and pilots are fairly accurate on what the sea bed material is. It gets used most years as well.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    3,288

    Default Re: Lead line

    I guess I can give two answers.
    On my own boat. A lead line is not required, as personal yacht no very much is. I am like you. I don’t carry a traditional lead line. However I have been known to drop a line with a weight on it. The grapple dingy anchor has been used as has a light line with a handy weight, shackle or big wrench.
    Particularly after dropping anchor in a shallow cove, just to be sure I had enough water bellow to suffice. Easy enough to do.

    Other vessels where it’s required. It’s carried.
    I have tried the traditional cast of a lead. Just to see if I could and to say I had. In the distant past. I have armed the lead to test the bottom in an unfamiliar anchorage. Never tried to find my way up the channel using the lead line.

    Many decades ago.
    I got a minor case of frostbite, (My ear lobes froze, stupid new guy didn’t pull my took down )while, sounding round(inside and outside) a vessel, after a steering failure and unscheduled anchor drop, of all 3 anchors. A long conversation with USCG which I would rather not repeat. Turned out OK, we had 3ft under the bow.
    Main reason it’s still a basic requirement on vessels which have requirements.

    The only other time I have personally been required to use the lead. Was in Alex, when we didn’t quite manage to arrive alongside.
    The old man flipped out, when he read my log entry. “vessel aground off dock.” He wanted “vessel touching the bottom adjacent to the dock”. Next time.
    Either way I had still had to sound round the vessel.

    “Never go aground with your anchors in the pipe” “even if dropped on the rock” and “always take soundings”
    Last edited by Uricanejack; 19-11-19 at 08:56.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Sydney, Australia.
    Posts
    5,663

    Default Re: Lead line

    As we draw only 1m we can test the depth, when it is critical, with our, extendable, boat hook and by being slightly aggressive force the hook into the seabed. In clear water we can look over the side and note the distance between keels and seabed.

    Do a boat hook count and a No 1 Eye Ball count?



    We can cobble up a lead line, as (in common with most here) we do carry the odd (and not so odd) spare shackle and some thin cord (for example - we have 2mm Kevlar lines for lightweight spinnaker sheets - on reels).

    Jonathan

    another omission from the original list (I agree with the addition of bolt croppers)

    Fog Horn

    and a decent Malt Whisky
    Last edited by Neeves; 19-11-19 at 06:18.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    UK, Greece and Spain
    Posts
    25,317

    Default Re: Lead line

    Mine was already on the boat, to be frank the only time I have used it, and then only very occasionally, is when I am tying back to the wall in Greece, which really is a bit over kill as often it is deeper than I thought
    Last edited by jordanbasset; 19-11-19 at 06:57.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    3,399

    Default Re: Lead line

    I have a lead line, but have not used it for some time.

    It is a back up for the boat’s main electronic depth finder, but its main normal function is to check the depth from the tender. We anchor in some isolated and poorly charted areas so it is nice to have the ability to check the depth within the swing circle, especially with dangers such as isolated rocks. Although this is needed only occasionally it can be valuable in some instances, especially in areas of high tidal variation where even normally deep water can become a hazard at some times of the day.

    It also can help decide the best path to escape or where to lay a kedge anchor in the event of a grounding or when going ahead in the tender to decide if a channel is safe.

    Like many devices this has been replaced by modern technology. Small fishfinders are very inexpensive these days so I made up a depth sounder for the tender. It fits over the stern on a simple plywood bracket that has the fishfinder and small 12v battery for power. It is not attached to the tender most of the time (I think it may be too tempting for light fingers), but it simply drops in place, so it is easy to fit when needed.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    N of Ardnamurchan, winter Loch Melfort
    Posts
    957

    Default Re: Lead line

    I use mine to calibrate the offset for the echosounder to get depth below WL.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    1,741

    Default Re: Lead line

    My first boat came with a traditional lead line and I have kept it when I sold the boat. I had never used it in anger, until last summer, when I had to use it a couple of times when moored over a steeply shelving bottom to make sure we were not going to touch anything when the tide went down. The spot sounding from the echo sounder was definitely not sufficient in those cases.
    Of course I could have improvised a line with a spanner or a shackle, but it felt nice to have the real thing aboard with a line already marked.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    West Mersea, UK
    Posts
    353

    Default Re: Lead line

    It came with the boat, unused by me.
    Thinking of using the weight as part of an anchor buoy.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Home: North West, Boat: The Clyde
    Posts
    3,770

    Default Re: Lead line

    I have one on my boat and I use it once a year (unless I forget) to check/calibrate depth gauge / keel offset.

    Since retirement I now spend a fair amount of time on other boats. On school boats I get DS students to check if gauge is reading water depth or under the keel. Using a lead line is part of the DS Practical course. On delivery boats I always throw something heavy over the side for the same check to avoid embarrassment in shoal waters

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