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Old 02 May 2015, 14:04   #1
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Suffolk SIB beach launch help/info

After a bit of advice please guys

I've been using my 2.7 airdeck Honwave for 5 years now and have done loads of outings on rivers and lakes (with the wife and my now nearly 5 year old daughter), but not at sea yet. I'm wanting to have a day out with them this Monday and wanted a bit of advice on launching and safety.

I've got the option of a 1003s Torqeedo (which I have 2 batteries for), and a 4hp 2 stroke mariner. For reasons of ease of starting, and transporting in the back of the car, I'm considering the Torqeedo. Please bear in mind I will only be attempting to launch if the weather is good and the sea is completely flat/calm. I will also only be tacking along the coastline no more than 20 feet out off the waters edge. Obviously all on board will have life jackets donned. I am considering this more as half an hours fun for a couple of go's with a picnic on the beach in between, rather than booming about bouncing of waves and seeing how far out we can get into the shipping channels!

Anyone have any good spots for doing this around Aldeburgh/Southwold, and does anyone consider it a complete no no? The wife and I are good swimmers, my daughter is very comfortable in the boat and happy in the water but is not a good swimmer. Please understand I am asking the forum for guidance of which I will take heed, although I am confident in my use and control of the boat and can quite easily haul it out of the water solo.

Cheers, Si.
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Old 02 May 2015, 14:28   #2
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20ft? Mind that egg whisk's prop...

Personally I'd use the petrol but I may be biased.

I totally get what you are describing. Presume you have alternative means of power (oars?) To do the 20ft if something fails? Anchor? If something fails you need to put the handbrake on to make sure u don't drift 200ft, or 2000, or 20,000...

VHF?

To feel like an adventure you need to not be able to see where you set off, or you need to get to somewhere you couldnt otherwise have gone. So you need to round a headland or go to an island etc.

Have you studied the tide tables and a chart yet?
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Old 02 May 2015, 14:43   #3
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Thanks for the answer, in answer to the 20ft out, I have Aldeburgh in my minds eye where it shelves very quickly, so I'm guessing there should be little chance of the prop fouling.

The rest of your response is what I'm getting at I guess, I'm not interested in disappearing out of view when I've got my young family on board, I just want a little bit of fun for her if the sea is calm and the weathers clear within sight of the shore just to pootle up and down. If i
were with my mates then i'd be happy to chuck the mariner on and look into investing into a vhf radio etc. Oars are fitted of course! Is studying of tides and charts an absolute necessity at this close range?

So, if I've got my mobile and a set of oars , am I entering into a dangerous game, or am I over thinking it? I do fully understand the sea should be fully respected, hence my questions.
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Old 03 May 2015, 03:44   #4
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This is the area of Suffolk I visit 3 or 4 times a year so know that bit of coast well over many years.
Now whilst I am a big fan of Torqeedo motors, I would opt for petrol although the Torqeedo man in the UK who lives 15mins from Southwold might disagree. I will say that although the beach is shallower at Southwold it is easier to get in and out of the boat because the pebble steep beach at Aldeburgh can be tricky as the tide moves the pebbles quite a lot so watch your little daughter.

Thorpeness can be a better spot but like all the beaches in this area, the mornings are by far the best time to get on the water. This may sound crazy but for some reason we have always found the water rough up in the afternoon and it doesn't make much difference what time the tide is.

We are down there as of 11th May for a week but the car is going to be very full so no Frib I am afraid.

One place you could go to if you like is Beccles on the River Waveney which is a lovely spot. Permit is available from the office at tourist information point which is about 20 for the week.

If you are going in at Southwold, there is a slipway just to the left of the pier, in front of the car park. This is not open very often but would be easy to take a small SIB and launch there which you may find an easier option.

Hope that helps

Phil
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Old 03 May 2015, 05:31   #5
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I too know these locations well and would agree with Phil... Aldeburgh needs treating with real care. It's not at all ideal for a sea newbie in a low powered SIB with very young family. In truth "20ft out" can be much more challenging than 2000ft out! Those of us that beach launch want to spend as little time as possible in that 20ft zone!

Launching then recovering from a steep shingle beach into breaking water (even if it looks minimal from a paddling point of view) could spoil the whole experience.

Southwold a little better with its more gentle beach but the harbour entrance can be very very dangerous.

Do you need to go to that area... I knows it's really nice as I've been going there on and off since a child... 50+yrs now... but there are other much better places for you.

We live in Cambs just up the A1 from your area and our place of choice for our 3.4m SIB is West Mersea. It is about 10mls nearer then Aldeburgh from you and massively more suitable for getting eased into the sea.

Have a look at my report with images on page 2 of this thread...

Launching question West Mersea

Totally perfect for you with the safely sloping slip away from swell or breaking water, pontoon for taking a break, cafes, toilets and a choice of bravely motoring out towards sea a little through the moored craft (always something to paddle to and tie on if the engine fails!) or staying in the creeks to build your confidence.

BTW for what you want to do it would be the Mariner for me every time.

Anyway whatever you do I hope it goes well... and stay safe!
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Old 03 May 2015, 09:07   #6
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That's most helpful Fenlander, exactly the kind of info I was after cheers. Will take a look and do a bit of research then go check it out!
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Old 03 May 2015, 15:36   #7
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Tides. I don't know is the honest answer as I don't know the water. I'm not so much thinking tidal streams etc just do you know when hi and low are. If putting into a beach for picnic what does that mean for when u leave. Any submerged rocks etc to avoid. Could be fine 20ft out on way out but not on way back.

Mobile in waterproof bag better than nothing. Is it a smart phone? Touch screen on a Sib is probably unusable in an emergency without taking out the bag. Big risk (not to the phone but to the call)

I didn't mean disappearing over the horizon just if you can see the slipway you set off from when you are having lunch they may well think this was a lot of FAFF for something we could have walked to...

What is mobile reception likely to be like?
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Old 03 May 2015, 18:09   #8
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I don't think you answered shiny's anchor question. often overlooked an anchor and appropriate length of line is an essential safety feature. check the forecast too. It can easily be nice on the way there and horrendous on the way back.
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