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Old 28 January 2005, 14:12   #1
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launching and landing in surf

hi,
i have finaly managed to get my searider together, and want to go out!

the problem i have is that i am going to be launching and recovering from a beach

does anybody have any tips for launching and landing in waves, as i am only used to harbours

i dont have problems getting the boat in and out of the sea as there is a tractor available!

thanks
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Old 28 January 2005, 14:28   #2
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118118, where abouts are you on the island and what beach is it?

Tim
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Old 28 January 2005, 14:29   #3
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I will probably be going from yaverland in sandown bay most of the time
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Old 28 January 2005, 14:46   #4
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My tip for recovering. Follow a wave in behind the crest and drive up the beach. Take care not to trash the prop and skeg, got to trim up. Have people standing in the surf leg deep to give you a depth marker. As you hit the sand, your helpers should drag the boat up the beach and keep it bow up the beach. Once landed and out of the dangers of the surf you can winch the boat onto the trailer off the sand. Some trailers are better than others, especially break trailers. Having friends to help is a must. Let the trailer pull itself under the boat rather than keeping the trailer still and pulling the boat up the trailer.

If you are going to do this alot you may consider a metal rubbing strip on your keel to prevent GRP damage to the hull by pebbles.

This technique sounds mad, however in surf its the only way. You will find trying to get it on the trailer and pulling out as you would do on a slip very hard. The boat is likely to swamp and become very heavy. Getting that water out is near impossible as you are repeatedly swamped. Also the trailer will sink into the sand. You will need a large 4x4 to pull it out. I learnt this method from professional fisherman in Withernsea. After we struggled for 2hrs trying to recover a 5.5m RIB in rough surf and requiring the eventual assistance of a tractor. The fisherman in a 7m RIB cruised through the surf up the beach and recover in less than 5 mins!!!!

Launching is less of a problem, just get it in fast and turn bow to the waves. Once the boat is off the trailer pulling the trailer out is not as difficult as recovery. Keep the boat bow into the waves until you have power then drive over the surf and into calmer water.

With both launch and recovery, you should get help, more bodies to hold and help you makes light work. Brief them all very well so they understand what you are going to do before you do it. Finally get the right kit ... drysuits etc ... so you are not affraid to get wet & stay warm.
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Old 28 January 2005, 14:56   #5
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Beach landing for me too
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Old 28 January 2005, 15:40   #6
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Beach landing for me too
yus butt yew waz aymin forr sowfamptun att de tyme
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Old 28 January 2005, 16:08   #7
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Well it didn't cost that much to get the Tug off the beach and it was dark
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Old 28 January 2005, 16:11   #8
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Word of caution here. It is perfectly feasible to launch and recover from a beach, but please, get someone to show you or advise you for the first couple of times. It may look strait forward, but trust me its not.

More damage has been done whilst launching or recovering in unfavourable or moderate conditions. And there lies the problem, how do you describe an unfavourable wave? The advice of coming in hard on the back of a wave is sound advice, but remember your still gonna run aground!
If there is anything more than gentle waves that you wouldnt let toddlers into then, chances are you wont be able to hold your rib in it. For some sound advice learnt the hard way read bilge rats tale about how his rib flipped over on a beach launch (see thread What would take to flip a rib ) Ribs are great in rough waters but they need space.
If you can travel, then launch from a slipway, its a lot easier.

A well executed beach landing can look a most slick manouver, just remember to get the weight to the back of the boat. If necessary drop the crew off and wait until they are ready to receive you, or drop the anchor far enough out to hold the boat head to wind.

Have a plan of what ifs... and be aware this is sods back yard, he learnt most of his most cunning foul ups on a beach. Nearly everyone who has tried it will have a tale or two. Ask around.

More than anything its good entertainment!!!
Good luck.
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Old 28 January 2005, 17:18   #9
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Got to agree with Swifty ... launch and recovery in surf is not for the faint hearted ... I have seen this go wrong on many occasions trashing boats and people. If possible stay clear of surf and breaking waves completely and find a slip. However it is all very possible providing the surf is not too big, with planning and guts!
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Old 28 January 2005, 17:26   #10
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My situation was slightly different, the beach i launched from was very steep shelving with a nasty steep lip worn out of the beach by the waves, it was nearly high tide and small steep dumpy waves were breaking onto this ledge, everything happened so fast and there was absolutely no way we could have held the boat steady once the deck had become swamped.

Beach launching is just like anything else in life, get it right and your'll make it look easy, however catch the wrong wave or take your eye of the ball for a sec and your in a whole world of shit, its definately a skill i wont be practicing again in a hurry.
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Old 29 January 2005, 04:59   #11
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Would be easier to trundle it round to the new harbour in Ventnor and launch from the slip if there are any waves and only lauch from Sandown if its calm.

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Old 29 January 2005, 05:13   #12
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thanks for all the replies,
launching from ventnor, probably wouldnt be possible, because the boat often gets used as a sailing safety boat, going out whenever there are races ,

as we are usually on the water first it shouldnt be a problem to get other sailers to help launch us, and recover us at the end.

like andy's method, and will probably think about fitting a keel band.
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Old 31 January 2005, 08:49   #13
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on the subject of beaching

On a related topic, can anybody give some advice on how to stop at a beach for a picnic?

Assuming its a calm sunny day do you just idle up and nudge the keel into the sand, get your family off but then what? Do you run the anchor up the beach and let the boat stay on the water's edge or let it back into deeper water. What happens when you want to get back on?

Are some beaches better than others for landing on? Are there regulations? Can you land on the sands at, say, Bournemouth or Lepe?
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Old 31 January 2005, 09:22   #14
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Picnics

Is the tide coming in or going out?

We often come in for some nosh - but the favourite beach is very gently shelving sand, so the distances the tide covers can be quite big.

On an incoming tide, I wade back out till boat is totally floating, and stick a sand anchor down to keep her bows out at that point. When finished munching, I have a longer wade, (sometimes a swim too) to get back to the boat.

On an outgoing tide, I take the boat well out and use the same procedure (except for bows in). I also keep an eye on it, and if it starts to ground as the tide falls, I move it further out again.

There is not a single solution - depends on your beach, and tides.

Hope this helps some.

Bill S
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Old 31 January 2005, 09:52   #15
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Last year we launched off Bognor slip at low tide, probably the calmest I have ever seen the water it was like glass. On returning with the first group of divers the conditions were still the same, but when we came back at high tide from the second trip it was a different story. The sea off shore was still like glass but as we approached the shore there were waves dumping onto the beach & slip. We hung back a watched a group of about 6 people trying to get a small speed-boat onto their trailer, a wave picked the boat up and through it over the trailer & Volvo estate dumping on the breakwater beside the slip, before dragging it back down ready to repeat it another 3 times.
After seeing this I dumped the divers (without their gear) to swim ashore, with instructions to take the trailer & all the cars to Littlehampton while I took the RIB along the coast.
Over the last year we have had to repeat this process 3 times, if it had been low tide it would have been another story (probably would have had to wait at Littlehampton until the tide came in enough to get it out)
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Old 31 January 2005, 17:12   #16
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Just as launching or recovering in surf is difficult to advise, because it is allways different. Then landing on a beach is also different each and every time. Generally there are 2 major factors to concider.
Wind and tide. For Wind ask yourself is it onshore offshore or accross the shore?
Offshore makes for a relatively easy approach as there will be very small waves, and the anchor can be placed on the waters edge buried in the sand (so you cant stub your toe!), with the boat riding on its warp facing the beach (head to wind). When its time to go, dig up the anchor and haul the boat to you.
Onshore wind is different. The anchor will have to be out in deeper water because we need to hold the boat out clear of the shallow, but this in some ways is easier. Drop the anchor in deep water and pay out the warp until you are where you want to be. It is possible to end up very close to the shoreline. To depart, step onto the boat and haul on the anchor. Drop the engine and off you go.
I have anchored well upwind of a lee shore and played out the anchor until I was about 4 feet from the edge. No need to motor astern, I just let the wind blow me back. Stepped ashore in me wellies with white surf all around.
The hazards are numerous but most importantly, carry a decent anchor. Allways keep an eye on the boat and bear in mind the tide. Any change in wind speed, direction or tide will change things, often for the worst. Remember sods law is written in the sand!
Tide effects mean if you leave the boat where it is, it will either be high and dry or in such deep water that you will have to wade or swim back to it. You cannot afford to leave it unattended for long!

As regards landing on a public beach, no problem. Providing you obey the local bye laws. Most bathing areas have a speed limit or a complete ban of powered boats. Ask the locals or check with the harbour master.

Hope this helps. Its worth reading Powerboating by Peter White. About 12, and then get on a level 2 course. If not get a 1/2 day practical lesson on beach landing. Most reputable RYA teaching centres will be able to do a course for your club for a modest fee.

Tim.
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Old 31 January 2005, 19:24   #17
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Anchoring off a beach

We have a trick that I have used many times. Take an anchor with six feet of chain. At the end of the chain attach a block and loop your anchor line through the block so that you have two lengths of rope running down to the anchor chain. Tie the ends of the anchor line together to form a very long loop. Drop your anchor offshore and motor in slowly to the beach paying out your anchor line as you go. Nudge onto the beach, get everyone out and tie the loop onto the boat. You should then be able to pull on one side of the rope and your boat will magically drift out to the anchor. Then tie your anchor line onto a second anchor that you remembered to bring ashore with and have dug into the sand. We use a thing that looks like a big corkscrew. When you want to go, untie the line from the land anchor and pull the boat to shore.
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Old 01 February 2005, 03:23   #18
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Originally Posted by 118118
I will probably be going from yaverland in sandown bay most of the time
It can be interesting in a Southerly in the bay , but if you are providing safety cover for Yaverland Sailing club , you will have plenty of helpers to launch , Swiftys and Andys advice is very sound , study the wave sets prior to luanching this will give you an idea as to when to go for it , but you will need helpers and it can be tricky at high tide at Yaverland , i spent some time their as a lifeguard we had to launch in all sorts of fun stuff , and the trick is to have a shore party for launch and recovery . The Isle of Wight Lifeguards are running a training course early April and rescue boat training is on offer to qualified Lifeguards so if you wanna get fit and do some training come and join us . all the best Tim
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