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Old 06 May 2011, 13:43   #11
Country: UK - England
Town: Oxford
Boat name: The Boss
Make: Avon
Length: 5m +
Engine: Outboard petrol 100h
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 45
thanks for all your comments and help, i've done a RYA Level 2 course so have a few basics, the next course i'm heaing for is the vhf.

The main reason for initial question was more to do with finding slipways and making sure the the boat would get down the river/access to open sea and wondering what other people allowed for river depth so i know what time to use the slipway based on the tide curves available.

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Old 06 May 2011, 14:04   #12
Country: UK - Wales
Town: Barmouth
Boat name: Blue Marlin
Make: Ribcraft
Length: 7m +
Engine: Yanmar 315/Bravo 2X
MMSI: 235020218
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 827
Hi Geoff,

It will be slipway specific - and sometimes very local to the slip. I need +3.8m of water to get my boat into the water at my local slip - but the last +1.5m of depth is just to get the last 20m to the slip!! You can get in and out of the harbour itself (and the mooring) at anything above +1.7m.

You need to look at the chart for where you'll be operating, and get a feel for what's going to happen as the tide changes!!

On the other stuff, if it's calm, and I'm approaching a sandy beach - I slow down at <5m (depth) - displace at <3m - minimum speed at <2m - and watch the depth sounder carefully and knock it into neutral at <1m. This is on our local (relatively flat) sandy beaches, that I know quite well, and know that when I've got 0.6m under the keel the skeg of my outdrive leg will just be touching the sand.

On a boulder beach - I generally stay well clear - and if the chart says mud - it's not worth the cleaning!!


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Old 06 May 2011, 15:42   #13
Andy B's Avatar
Country: UK - England
Town: southampton
Length: 4m +
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 342
Nothing like a fist hand view of the bottom of the slip, get yourself down there at a really low tide and have a look. Check the approaches for banks, rocks and old cars!!! Even at 2 knots you can go from 2m to nothing in less than the length of your boat if you’re off line.
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Old 06 May 2011, 16:10   #14
Country: UK - England
Town: Northampton
Make: RibTec
Length: 5m +
Engine: Outbaord mariner 75
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 506
I have my shallow alarm set to 1.5m i know the depth of the hull in the water so that gives me arround 2m of depth ish.
engine get tilted up as soon as I get to 1.5mtr just to make sure I dont hit the prop/skeg.

I know the boat will float in about 12-18 inches of water.
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Old 06 May 2011, 17:20   #15
Country: Other
Town: Stanley, Falkland Is
Boat name: Seawolf
Make: Osprey Vipermax 5.8
Length: 5m +
Engine: Etec 150
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 3,704
Last time I was out I was down to 1.6 feet of water on the sounder, engine tilted up, which given that I was miles from home was starting to make me pucker a bit as I wasn't sure if the sandbar was going to get any shallower before I got over it and I'd not crossed it before. As it was I was ok, though I wasn't certain if the tide was rising or falling so I did take a different route on the way home...

I agree that less than 6ft/2m in unfamiliar waters makes me really pay attention and slow right down even if the chart says it is OK.

GJ0KYZ's video is excellent

As somebody who launches off slightly dubious beaches, I also agree that a good poke around at dead low water is well worth doing so you know where the lumpy bits are (& can pick up any prop mangling debris and dispose of it)
A Boat is a hole in the water, surrounded by fibreglass, into which you throw money...

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Old 06 May 2011, 19:18   #16
Country: UK - England
Town: Dorset & Hants
Boat name: Streaker/Orange
Make: Avon/Ribcraft
Length: 4m +
Engine: 50Yam/25 Mariner
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 5,551
I used to regularly run in 2 foot or less at planing speed , as has been said its all to do with local knowledge and experiance.

If its mud,sand you may get away with it , but all it takes is one rock and its expensive !

I am happy to do 30knts + if I know the area well , but if its unknown its 6knots max . Interestingly the local RNLI ILB runs on the plane as soon as possible to lift them out of the water , rather then at displacement which took more water etc - but they had other things to think about and didn't pay for new ss props !

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