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Old 03 November 2014, 16:58   #1
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Launching from the beach?

Hi all I recently purchased an old inflatable boat with a seagull outboard, it needs some work doing to it but a gentleman I know with a boat said as it's an inflatable I could just go down to the beach and launch it, simple as that. Is this correct or does he not know what he's on about, I thought this would be the best place to ask.

Regards in advance

Callum
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Old 03 November 2014, 17:16   #2
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Basically yes. But lots of things to think of first. How reliable is the engine, Inflatable safe? Life jackets? And you should need to have local knowledge as in weather outlook, tides etc. As you are obviously new to this how about trying a canal or a lake first until you get some confidence. At sea things tend to go wrong very quickly for the unprepared. And you want to enjoy it.
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Old 03 November 2014, 17:44   #3
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Further to this insurance is a good idea and although Seagull outboards are practically bomb proof if looked after they can be a pain if not. Also not the most powerful engines so beware of tides etc.
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Old 03 November 2014, 18:24   #4
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I've used and owned loads of Seagulls over the past 50yrs and I would say they are not the best outboard for a novice beach launching unless it is dead calm and you know it will be dead calm when you return. They are very low powered and you will not have the ability to position yourself against any waves rolling into the beach and a launch against any sort of waves can be quite difficult.

As apshutt advises I would try river, canal, lake or perhaps a quiet harbour/safe estuary situation until you are happy the engine is OK to operate and appears reliable.... and to give you some feel for the boat before facing the open sea.

I don't know the area but what about the river Stour near Sandwich (it appears the lower reaches near the sea dry at low water and may be tricky). There is a slipway by the pay and display car park to the south of the river in Sandwich. Here if this works...

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.27...NxzFrIDcjw!2e0

Seems you can launch and have 2hrs either side of high water from the slip and there is loads of room in the car park by the slip to get set up.

Others who know it well may advise.
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Old 04 November 2014, 01:21   #5
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One problem with launching from a beach is that it usually means that you have to land at the beach a few hours later.

It is one thing to wade out, hold the boat steady, start the engine and set off into the waves. It is another thing to come back in cold and tired with a following sea and try to keep the boat under control as you land. If the waves have got up a bit and the boat turns sideways it can be a handful.

Before you even think of going in the sea you need to have a decent anchor and chain and a long length of anchor line. You ought to have an inshore flare kit. You need to be completely confident in your ability to start the engine and in the engine's ability to start.

On a calm day with a slight onshore breeze, the risks are reduced. Remember that the sea conditions can change quickly, and the state of the surf can change rapidly as the tide rises or falls and the angle of the beach changes.
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Old 04 November 2014, 03:01   #6
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I've had kayaks in the past so have an inshore flare kit, life jackets and a radio phone, it's been a while since I've been out just didn't know if the law was any different for an inflatable, when the boat is all sorted ill definitely be doing my research of tide times and weather

Cheers everyone
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Old 04 November 2014, 03:25   #7
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That Seagull will make a good anchor, SOME would say, but not me! ;@)
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Old 04 November 2014, 03:33   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by callambus View Post
I've had kayaks in the past so have an inshore flare kit, life jackets and a radio phone, it's been a while since I've been out just didn't know if the law was any different for an inflatable, when the boat is all sorted ill definitely be doing my research of tide times and weather

Cheers everyone
I don't think the seagull will have a kill cord (unless added by someone). You might want to investigate the possibility of this - whilst people are saying "its not that powerful" spinning a metal prop at 2000 rpm it will still take your arm/leg/head off. Waves, tight turns, inexperience all add to the risk that you end up with the boat circling around you.
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Old 04 November 2014, 03:48   #9
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A kill chord for an engine like this can be made by tying a thin rope to the HT lead so it you have a problem it will either pull the cap off the plug or the HT lead out of cap.
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Old 04 November 2014, 10:41   #10
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As it is an unknown quantity to you, I would put it on a river or lake first and see how reliable it is. It will also give you a chance to get some handling practice before getting involved with tides and waves etc. It would also be good to get an idea of fuel range, before taking to the sea.
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