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Thread: Lead line

  1. #21
    Join Date
    May 2018

    Default Re: Lead line

    A leadline once allowed me a pleasant afternoon in the dinghy surveying a marginal passage inside an island in Turkey, knowledge I used many times to save the long passage around.

    A couple of years later it allowed me to take this passage confidently under full sail at 6+Kts but despite much vigorous waving-off the 8 man German-crewed 10ft longer Bavaria in pursuit that was irritated at being out-tacked by an old solo'ed Sadler insisted on following. They simply shouldn't have made the assumption they did and should have heeded the extensive warnings I signalled. But Germans? Nah!

    Silly buggers.

    Schadenfreude? Hehe! And how!

    Hours later they arrived rather quiet in the restaurant where I had long finished a leisurely supper so I anonymously got my friend the waiter to deliver a glass of water "on the rocks" to the skipper from an 'admirer".
    The look on his face, and his crew, was utterly, utterly priceless! It could have ignited WW3!

    Perhaps I shouldn't have done, but the opportunity was just too good to miss.
    I had to leave by the back door as I was laughing so hard.

    So yes, I'm rather attached to my leadline.

    Whether the Bozburun crabs got worse sore heads from repeated bombing by a kilo of lead or a single vigorous application of three tons of it is open to conjecture. I'm afraid to admit my split sides took days to recover.
    Last edited by Old Bumbulum; 20-11-19 at 01:20.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2004

    Default Re: Lead line

    It seems Im one of the very few who very rarely uses one , although I did fail to say in my opening statement I do use my little spider anchor hanging off a bit of string once or twice a year to check my depth sounder off set.
    In my defences we do nearly always anchor in deep water and we don't have the problem of any tide to really worried about but even so when our sailing ground was the east coast of England I still never use one unless something got me concern.
    I can't imagine finding my way over the deben bar while someone hanging over the bow .

    I see some use it to check depth of water around their anchoring scope, I tend to just poke my bow in if I am that concern and take reading before anchoring or motor around a bit, rather then anchoring first rather then using my dinghy to check what depth there is, then finding your not 100% happy and have to re anchor by which time in the popular anchorages another five boats have anchored leaving you with little option but to anchor in a more exposed place.

    As for the condition of the sea bed , it's something us who live on our hook for most of the year just live with, sand,weed,rock,mud as long as our anchor set it really make no different .

    I not sure how anyone who single hand would use one anyway, unless there in a dinghy , do they run back and fro to the bow taken reading?
    Even with two on board one at the bow while the other at the helm , at what point do you say enough is enough, .2 below the keel by which time it's too late and if we talking half a metre then one would hope most of us was capable to sound that from their depth sounder,
    I can imagine in our early days when our depth sounder where a set of neon light a lead line would have come in very handy , but without speaking for others here I find my Raymarine sounder very reliable.

    Just to finish this off , we must watch hundreds of people anchoring each year, remember we on the water everyday for nine months of the years and I can honestly say other then someone checking the depth of the water behind his boat when med moor to a quay has Jordanbasset suggested, I can't remember last time I sew anyone coming in to anchor and using a lead line to check depth around his boat and I not just saying that I being 100% honesty.

    Noelex I too like you little devise now that could be handy for us who like going off the beating track and up little uncharted rivers while following the dinghy for sure it be a lot easier to use then keep dipping the depth while moving forward especially when you only got a few CM to play with.

    But hey we are all our own captain of our ships and we all do what we think best,
    Last edited by sailaboutvic; 20-11-19 at 07:03.
    Warning forumite dyslexia near by

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Me: Johannesburg South Africa Yacht: Richards Bay East Coast Africa

    Default Re: Lead line

    I picked up a handheld depth sounder some years ago to use from my dingy

    Never used it in anger.
    Life is too short not to have a sea view

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Surrey and Gosport UK

    Default Re: Lead line

    I was gifted yesterday a handheld lead line with the lead covered by a leather covered by a retired sailer along with a few other items so looking forward to trying out next year . Presumably I need to stock up with a good supply of talllow but interested to learn where I can read more by way of a dummies guide to lead lines?

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Boat Orwell - Me Norwich

    Default Re: Lead line

    I bought one when I got my first (non-dinghy) boat, found it useful and have hung on to it ever since.

    It gets used several times a year. A couple of weeks ago i had to remind myself whether the echo sounder was set to total depth or depth under keel.

    It is handy in shallow anchorages and berths to check variations in depth across the length and breadth of the boat. If one should accidentally happen to go aground (and on the East Coast if you don't you're not trying hard enough!), it indicates which direction is likely to be the best way off.

    The East Coast also suffers from a lot of stirred up sediment, like oldmanofthehills reported for Bristol Channel. Here the waters are just thinner mud, and the land just slightly thicker mud, so at times the echo sounder gets confused. (I remember being aground once in the approach to the Havengore, while the echo sounder was still insisting there was 2.5 metres under our shallow keel.)
    Last edited by LittleSister; 20-11-19 at 23:41.
    LM Owners Association

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Me - Zumerzet Boat - Wareham

    Default Re: Lead line

    Buy one! A fishing weight and a marked length of cord does a job.
    Facilitated by AWESEM WP Agency

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Nov 2004

    Default Re: Lead line

    As it happens, I've used ours several times this year as our echosounder packed in over the summer.

    However, I normally would only use it a few times each season to check out the bottom in unreported anchorages by sticking a dollop of Vaseline in the bottom of the weight. Obviously that doesn't tell you what lies under the surface of the seabed, but knowing whether the top layer is sand, mud, gravel, stones rocks or kelp is helpful.

    Although not used often, I regard it as a necessary piece of kit.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Nov 2008

    Default Re: Lead line

    It's thirteen years now since I rearranged the knots on our lead line, so that it now reads in new-fangled metres instead of good old fathoms. I've had it from the days before echo sounders were readily available, and in its day it was invaluable. It still occasionally gets used in the dinghy, but with both a digital sounder, and a fishfinder (brilliant for anchoring), it's really only there as an old friend.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Oct 2010

    Default Re: Lead line

    Every time time I go sailing someone else has been on the boat before me. I always plan to check the echo sounder setting (keel or waterline) before leaving the pontoon. Sometimes I forget, but about 10% of the time it is not what I expected and has to be re-set.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Apr 2011

    Default Re: Lead line

    Quote Originally Posted by davidjackson View Post
    Using a lead line is part of the DS Practical course.
    Interesting. The "day skipper practical course" I did was monumentally awful and if there was a lead line on the boat I certainly didn't know where it was. I sat in a a couple of other DS practicals where lead lines weren't mentioned. I believe (it was a fair while ago) use was mentioned in the theory course I did but that was it. I'm not questioning your statement that it's part of the practical syllabus but just wondering how many others have used a lead line in DS practical.

    Similarly I recall our theory instructor (who was very good) discussing non-electronic methods of measuring speed. Our hopeless practical instructor did not.
    Last edited by laika; 01-12-19 at 11:10.

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