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Old 07 July 2016, 16:21   #1
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Medway sibbing

I am taking the aerotec to the medway later in the summer. A friend of mine is an archaeologist and wants to visit some sites in the estuary. I was wondering if anyone could recommend a suitable parking and launch site in the queenborough area?

Thanks

Simon
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Old 07 July 2016, 18:22   #2
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Not sure about the South side of the Thames area for launches I've been recommended two on the North side by a kayaker Holehaven*slip and Two Tree Island slip, both*24/24 and*free. You might find this website useful http://www.boatlaunch.co.uk
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Old 08 July 2016, 06:04   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yabadabadoo View Post
Not sure about the South side of the Thames area for launches I've been recommended two on the North side by a kayaker Holehaven*slip and Two Tree Island slip, both*24/24 and*free. You might find this website useful Boatlaunch
Cheers for the link, looks like queenborough town itself has a slip. Longest slip in the world though! https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/boatlaunchslipwayphotos/WebSitePhotos/183___Source.jpg
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Old 08 July 2016, 07:32   #4
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Need my binoculars for that one! Let us know how you get on, when the tide goes out it goes o...u....t. the slip may well be that long for good reason
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Old 12 July 2016, 18:24   #5
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Hi Simon

Minster leas has a good launch site, parking right by the ramp. Think parking is £3 for the day. Getting out late isn't that bad but pulling up the shingle beach is hard work once the tides a way out.
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Old 02 June 2018, 14:33   #6
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Hi all,

I'm heading out to Kent tomorrow. Has anyone had any experience launching from Minster Leas and also going through the Swale?
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Old 03 June 2018, 15:09   #7
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Well I think I will answer my own question and share my experience from today which was not good at all

We got to Minster Leas around 4 hours before high tide today. The sea was calm and I studied the area. There is a steep concrete slip with a shingle beach below it. We set the SIB up and took it down the slip and across the shingle on launch wheels to the water edge then carried the outboard down. We launched 3 hours before high tide which was easy and we headed East once we were outside the buoy channel.

With little warning, we started to see sea fog drifting towards land ahead of us. I contemplated turning around but thought I would continue a little more as it didn't seem too dense. Then very quickly we were surrounded by fog and we lost sight of pretty much everything around us. Luckily I have the Navionics app on my phone so I used this navigate back to the Cheney Rock Cardinel and then back to Bartons Point to find the buoy channel we launched from. We then hung around for half hour for the fog to clear.

After the fog cleared we headed back out East towards Leysdown-on-Sea where by now the wind had picked up to around Force 3. We were heading straight into the wind therefore the journey round was slow as the wife struggled to handle the SIB taking off over waves . We got to around 1 mile from Leysdown where in the distance we saw the sea fog rolling back in and decided to turn around and call it a day.

We returned back to Minster Leas in a fraction of the time. However this is where the day turned into a bit of a disaster. We headed up the buoy channel to a see a bunch of jet skiers were taking up the whole landing area. I did a few circles in the buoy channel as a way of flashing to them that I was trying to land. They eventually made a clearing but this wasn't due to any concern for me trying to land. We inched closer to the shore and I was busy keeping my eye on a child in the water. We got close to the beach and I pulled the kill cord to cut the engine. All of a sudden a wave caught the back of the boat and slammed us into the shingle. After this there was a panic as I jumped out and helped the wife out then pushed the SIB away from the shingle. By now we had a boat full of water and everything was soaked. I quickly put the wheels on and pushed the SIB out of the water as far as I could to retrieve the engine. By now the waves were pummelling the SIB across the shingle so I released all air valves and dragged it out of the water.

After returning home I checked the boat over expecting a puncture but I didn't find one scratch. I am astonished at the robustness of these things as our SIB was filled with water and being dragged across shingle by waves for at least 10 minutes whilst we were frantically taking it down.

Going forward I am only going to launch from sheltered sites on proper slips. and I'm only going to beach up if the sea is calm. I did a Power Boat level 2 course last year but this doesn't cover sea fog nor landing in choppy conditions. I guess anything after PBL2 is the learning curve. It's certainly not complete a course, buy a boat and off you go.

I don't plan on launching off Minster any time soon
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Old 03 June 2018, 18:20   #8
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Wow... pleased to hear you managed to get out of both the fog and the beach recovery situations in one piece. A very steep learning curve in both respects.

>>>Going forward I am only going to launch from sheltered sites on proper slips.

I've been going on the sea for many decades and I still do anything to avoid a beach launch/recovery location as my base for the day. To start off away from wave action with the amenity of a post launch pontoon and be able to put your nose out of a harbour or estuary makes the start and end of the day so much less stress.

Beach launch and recovery of an outfit like yours in anything other than good weather needs two... or ideally three... on the ball organised strong folks.


>>>and I'm only going to beach up if the sea is calm.

Of course as you've discovered launch and return weather can be quite different and unless you have absolute faith in a settled forecast be organised for an SAS style beaching to jump out and pull the boat clear of the wave action immediately. A bit like from 42s on in this video...

BTW yes inflatables are tough. I never abuse ours but it is unmarked despite at times being pulled onto sand, shingle, concrete etc.
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Old 04 June 2018, 05:28   #9
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Wow! Very pleased to hear you all got home safely - much of what you describe is similar to various experiences many of us will echo but usually in years of SIBing not one day! But looking on the bright side how much you have learnt in one day will be *truly* invaluable - boating in the UK is often tricky.

You just need to add:

1. running out of fuel.
2. engine failure.
3. inadvertently opening a floor valve.

And you'll have covered most common eventualities!

We went out last week to Start Point from Dartmouth in average weather - it turned within 10 minutes of the destination and the journey back was not fun - bucket of saltwater in the face every ten secs with wind over tide, rain, fog and lots of discomfort. All good fun looking back but you have to respect the sea.

And never go to sea without VHF and always carry a manual compass too.

Get a copy of 'inflatables' by Dag Pike (old but still the SIB bible IMHO) - great writing on handling SIB's at sea. If you find yourself into a harsh (esp wind over tide) head sea best thing is to tack at 40 deg or so rather than try and take it head on.

Launching/landing on even minor surf is never easy and requires preferably three people at launch happy to get wet - one each side in water, one in boat.

Coming in best to get engine up to highest running postion, time the waves and surf in as slow as poss/fast as necessary and at last minute lift and kill engine while person at bow leaps out and hauls boat up. You then leap out to help and pull it up as far as possible. If not then the SIB will go beam on in an instant and things get tricky...

[edit] did not register Fen's video above - echoing the above but coming in to much of the SE, the beaches are much steeper so you need to be quick witted!
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Old 04 June 2018, 05:50   #10
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And when you get even more experienced you can try the pro-only stuff at 1min30:

(OK, yet another excuse to post my favourite SIB video... )

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