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Old 05 May 2013, 13:46   #1
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Country: UK - England
Town: Basingstoke
Boat name: The Titanic I guess
Make: Yam 340S
Length: 3m +
Engine: 15hp outboard
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Techniques for launching without a slipway?

I have a 3-meter long Yam inflatable, with a 15hp outboard motor.
With a slipway it is easy to launch - I just attach the wheels to the stern, pick it up at the bow, and roll it down the slope. After which I reach down and detach the wheels, stowing them in the boat.

But I would like to be able to use the boat in places where there is no slipway - such as canals and most parts of rivers. And due to the weight of boat + engine I only just can't get it launched + retreived on my own in this situation.

The purpose of my question is to ask if anyone has any good ideas as to how to do this, either with techniques or equipment I could use?

A typical scenario is that I have the boat assembled on its wheels at the side of the canal, with a 1-foot drop at the edge to the water. What I can do is put the bow out into the canal, and with the engine horizontal hold the bottom of the engine next to the prop and lift the stern over the gap and drop it into the canal.
But the engine + boat are too heavy to do that in reverse.

I do have a block and tackle that I could try using, but that would require a sturdy branch right above the river bank (and knowing my luck the branch would break and land on my head).
The engine on its own is too heavy to lift out of the boat when on the water - it is hard enough to lift it onto the boat when stood on dry land right next to it.

One thing I have tried successfully is pulling the bow out onto land and then levering the stern out. But that puts a big strain on the keel with the engine attached, and I am sure it will break it.

Are there such things as portable slipways?
Any other ideas?

Thanks
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Old 05 May 2013, 14:06   #2
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Welcome to the board.

My suggestion is find a strong friend to help. Or find a different location to launch and recover.
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Old 05 May 2013, 14:29   #3
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Country: UK - England
Town: Blakeney
Boat name: Lindy
Make: Avon
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Launching without a slipway

I think your problem lies with the engine. On most canals and rivers you'll be nudging the speed limit on tickover, and the weight of a 15hp...............

I think your boat should be light enough to carry/ hodge down the bank and back up again, so it might be worth investing in one of those generic 3.5 two strokes.

I do this very easily with an Avon s60 and a Tohatsu 3.5. You might even go electric!

I've tried (once!!) to do this with my Avon 311 Rib. It's got a Tohatsu 9.8 on it, which is very light for its horsepower, but it's just not worth the hassle without a slipway. On a slip it's a doddle, but on a 45 degree grass bank, it's a total nightmare.
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Old 05 May 2013, 14:42   #4
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Ok, you're right, it's an absolute PITA. However, there are a few scenarios.
Once in the water you will find an easier place to recover from, then collect from there. Risky as you may not find anywhere.
The other way is, still risky but doable singlehanded.
Once by your recovery site and afloat, stop fuel supply and tighten breathers. Tie up and offload everything except engine onto bank.
Tilt, turn and lock engine off.
Deflate the keel, floor and remove any stringers and solid floor. If this means deflating sponsons slightly then so be it. The boat will still float and you are still tied off. Once solid floor is off the boat you can reinflate.
Exit the boat onto the bank and check bank for sharps and nasties and remove or cover them, then remove stern line. Swing the stern out so the boat is perpendicular to the bank
Untie the bow and lift onto bank. You should be able to get the boat quite a way up high, the engine weight will help.
Once you have the transom as close to the bank as possible pull down on the bow. The engine should be only a foot or two off the bank and 90% of your hull will be on the bank. Walk the bow to one side by three or four feet and do the same in the opposite direction. A few more times if necessary.
Your transom should be on the dry by now.
The rest is down to you. Just make sure the engine is above land when you loosen it.
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Old 05 May 2013, 15:12   #5
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Take apiece of board covered with carpet with you and slide the boat up onto the towpath.if its to heavy take your outboard off first.
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Old 05 May 2013, 15:33   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simon23 View Post
Take apiece of board covered with carpet with you and slide the boat up onto the towpath.if its to heavy take your outboard off first.
The thing is, what does he do with the engine once it's off. Too heavy to hoik out from a foot below by one man.
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Old 05 May 2013, 15:37   #7
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What about winching it up the bank from a vehicle? My little winch has a small key fob sized wireless remote control.
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Old 05 May 2013, 16:28   #8
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Take apiece of board covered with carpet with you and slide the boat up onto the towpath.if its to heavy take your outboard off first.
We used to use this method when i was a kid.dad who is 4'10"about 9 stone with two sons aged 5&7 with 12' fibrecell dingy with 9.9 2 stroke.dought we were much help!
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Old 05 May 2013, 17:10   #9
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Hot air balloon.
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Old 05 May 2013, 19:29   #10
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Well thank you all for an overwhelming response to my question.
I feel honoured

I think the answer, as suggested by Mr Millard, is to use a smaller engine, perhaps an electric one.
This would allow cruising at a sedate pace of 4mph, which is the speed limit for most rivers and canals, and they only seem to cost around 100 on ebay I think.

It would allow an average Thames lock keeper to retain his nerves (on more than one occasion I've been taken to task for crusing past Mapledurham House on the Thames at 18mph (apparently the wake from the boat drowns little bank-inhabiting chicks))

My current plan is to travel the Islington tunnel in east London's Regent's canal. Spooky!
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