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Old 02 September 2008, 16:25   #1
Country: Ireland
Town: Dublin
Make: Lencraft
Length: 5m +
Engine: Outboard
Join Date: Sep 2008
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hints for launching from beach

I am new to RIBs and boating in general. I have completed the level two course and have launched and retrieved from a number of slipways. It would be much more convenient for me launch and retrieve from a sandy beach on my doorstep. I would be very grateful for any hints or things to watch out for, Thanks

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Old 02 September 2008, 17:05   #2
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My advice would be to carefully drive back up the beach and head straight for the nearest slipway

The beach may be closer but is unlikely to be more convenient unless the sea is as calm as inside a harbour and the sand is as hard as a concrete slipway!

I know plenty of people that do regularly use beaches but I've seen enough 4x4's up to their roofs in wet stuff to put me off doing it.

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Old 02 September 2008, 17:24   #3
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I'd agree with that. Stick to a slipway in anything but the calmest of conditions. Although I have launched & recovered often off a beach my Shogun's been stuck twice thanks to a combination of waves, wind and deep sand. (second time thank god for the passing JCB - but that's another story).

For recovering in good conditions, make sure the trailer is on a slight angle to the tide and pull the trailer out at an angle. Be quick as trailers quickly sink in soft sand.

Better still use a roap from firm sand further up the beach.
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Old 03 September 2008, 07:06   #4
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I'd agree that a length of rope is a good Idea to keep your vehicle on the firmer stuff and further from the advancing tide if you still get stuck!
Its easy to bend your jockey wheel if starts to plough into the sand as you pull up the beach though.
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Old 03 September 2008, 13:52   #5
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I've done a few of these, in good conditions it's all good fun, however, one must remember a few points;

1. The beach is there due to erosion and the constant onslaught of waves towrad you.
2. You will be stern on and will then need to rapidly turn the boat bow to the waves, it is this time when the boat is side on to the waves that it gets hairy
3. Most slips are postioned to be in better places (for launching) than most beaches.
4. You might launch in good conditions but a lot can change, tide turns wind picks up and it's looking quite different

It's not taboo or anything and you'll see some excellent exponents of it in Oz or South Africa with modified trailers, just be wary.
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Old 04 September 2008, 02:44   #6
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You need to pick your point on the beach first that suffers least wind & waves (obviously), then I suggest you walk into the water up to knee depth to check for submerged rocks that you might hit the hull off when it comes off the trailer. (or that will impede the trailer as it goes into the water)

Also, you'll be checking for sand bars that alter the elevation of what you are launching into, since you want a nice steady deepening slope all the way out. The worst of all times to launch & recover is whilst the tide is nearly full, as you will have precious little 'hard' sand to work with, and this is where you are most likely to get stuck.

You dont say what you are using to launch with, if its a tractor .. your sorted , if its 4x4, you need to be a lot more cautious, your biggest problems are really traversing soft sand, in that if your rig is heavy, and your wheels are small, it wont roll easily through soft sand, and produce a lot of drag to the towing vehicle, the next problem, is that you will probably have to go into the water further, as the beach may not be as steep a slope as the slip way you are used to, meaning the vehicle will get wet with salt water.

Watch the wind when you recover too,.. its easy for a wave to lift the hull a little and shift the boats position as you are trying to get it on the trailer, assuming your recovery trailer has a winch, make sure the drill is practiced, and perhaps a second body is advisable to winch like the bejesus whilst someone else holds the stern steady
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Old 07 September 2008, 11:18   #7
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One thing to watch out for if launching off a rocky beach and powering the rib on or off the trailer (if it is a bunk trailer like mine) is that more than about 2 seconds squirt on the throttle will create a wash of water picking up everything off the bottom (even if the prop is well clear of the bottom) and feeding it through the prop with a series of expensive clangs. No prizes for guessing how I found that out

I launch off a beach every time and it is OK once you get used to it, but you really need to know how the beach gradient and surface is at every state of the tide before you can be comfortable with it - I now know exactly where on the beach I need to put my trailer in at any state of the tide to get just the right water depth but it was a bit hit and miss for a while!
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Old 07 September 2008, 16:49   #8
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Almost every time we launch, it's off a beach. Sometimes sand, sometimes shingle, occasionally rocky. (Give me sand any time). On most of our training courses we're teaching how to launch in these conditions.

There is some good advice in the answers you have been given. As a novice, the simple advice I would give you is:

a) Know the beach
b) Always plan to keep your vehicle well clear of the water
c) Launch on a rising tide if you can, and recover on a falling tide
d) Make sure you have enough hands to help
e) Wait until you've had lots of practice before trying in anything other than flat water
f) Treat gravity, wind and any waves as an ally rather than an adversary
g) Set up your trailer for beach launching

Good luck. PM me if you want any more specific suggestions
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Old 08 September 2008, 17:14   #9
Country: Ireland
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Many thanks for all your hints and warnings. I know the beach well and there is little tidal movement in the summer months. Having the ability to launch on my doorstep is very tempting and collectivelly you have given me ideas on how to do so safely.
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Old 08 September 2008, 18:22   #10
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People launch off beaches all the time around here - we have to when the water is about 1 mile away at low tide!!!

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