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Old 09 June 2008, 17:45   #1
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Boatlaunch.co.uk Grumble

First of all I'd like to say that I am a very fond of boatlaunch.co.uk and over the last few years have not only found it a valuble source of information but have also recommended it to many others.

Unfortunately though, yesterday I was pretty cheesed off so say the least after driving for an hour and a half from Bristol to Lyme Regis to find that the slipway there is NOT (quote) "possible to launch at all states of the tide"

I arrived at about 1.30pm and spoke to the harbour master who advised me that I was welcome to put the boat in but in an hour the harbour would be completely dry!!

Boatlaunch also says "Sand has a shallow gradient so may be necessary to push trailer into deeper water" so I was totally prepared to push the trailer down on to the sand but what use is that in a dry harbour?!?

The harbour masters (there were 2 of them) were actually both very polite and helpful (unlike some I've encountered) so I've no reason to doubt their advice but if this is the case then boatlaunch needs to be made aware so that others don't make the same mistake I did.

I was absolutely gutted to arrive down there with a flat calm sea, not a cloud in the sky, my boat next to the slip and not be able to take it out (for it's first sea trial too!)

I wondered if anybody here could comment on Lyme Regis slipway, was I given the right information by the harbour master? Does Boatlaunch need to be updated? This totally wrecked what could have been a perfect summers day for me so I'd like to know others thoughts...

(sorry for the rant)

Andy
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Old 09 June 2008, 18:14   #2
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andy - you should ask boatlaunch for your money back
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Old 09 June 2008, 18:20   #3
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andy - you should ask boatlaunch for your money back
Fair point

I know it's a fee service and they (usually) do a sterling job, as I said before I think it's a fantastic site that I've recommended to others but on this occasion it either needs correcting or the harbour master needs a kick up de arse
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Old 09 June 2008, 18:27   #4
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Have you written to boat launch and told them? It could be that they were given duff info. Let em know so that it doesn't mislead someone else.
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Old 09 June 2008, 18:33   #5
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Have you written to boat launch and told them? It could be that they were given duff info. Let em know so that it doesn't mislead someone else.
was going to Andy, just wanted to know what other people with experience of the area thought first...

(not as a letter of complaint I'd like to add, mearly as an advisory)
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Old 10 June 2008, 02:03   #6
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A quick look at an almanac or chart would have shown you that the harbour dries.

Boatlaunch is a fantastic resource, but shouldn't be considered to be definitive. It can only be as good as the information that is supplied by its users - I hope you've submitted an update.

You're not the first person to get to a launch site and discover there's no water. Believe me, I know exactly how aggravating it is! More homework is the answer.

John
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Old 10 June 2008, 03:02   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy JC View Post
Unfortunately though, yesterday I was pretty cheesed off so say the least after driving for an hour and a half from Bristol to Lyme Regis to find that the slipway there is NOT (quote) "possible to launch at all states of the tide"
Andy, boatlaunch welcomes feedback so I am sure the description can be edited. However the chart I have for the harbour (attached) is pretty clear and the photo on the site also gives an indication - at LWS any real depth of water is some way from the slip.

Perhaps you can email geoff@boatlaunch.co.uk and suggest the text be changed to:
"Large concrete ramp . Ramp extends to the half tide mark and then onto hard sand and it is possible to launch at all but the lowest states of the tide. Sand has a shallow gradient so may be necessary to push trailer into deeper water."

Which chart were you going to be using once you did get launched? Perhaps the makers of that need more of a telling off.
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Old 10 June 2008, 03:09   #8
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Quote:
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A quick look at an almanac or chart would have shown you that the harbour dries.

Boatlaunch is a fantastic resource, but shouldn't be considered to be definitive. It can only be as good as the information that is supplied by its users - I hope you've submitted an update.

You're not the first person to get to a launch site and discover there's no water. Believe me, I know exactly how aggravating it is! More homework is the answer.

John
I agreee with everything you've said John but as I've found Boatlaunch to to so accurate in the past I had no reason to doubt the info supplied, especially for such a popular/busy slipway.

Unfortnately I don't have a chart for English Channel yet, a plotter is on the shopping list but will have to wait for a little while until I can afford one. For now I think this has been a lesson learned and it might be wise to get hold of a paper chart.

I have mailed Geoff at Boatlaunch advising him of my findings and mentioned it might be worth confirming launch times with the harbour master
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Old 10 June 2008, 03:15   #9
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Is it not possible to drive down to the water over the sand?
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Old 10 June 2008, 03:27   #10
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Is it not possible to drive down to the water over the sand?

Not sure Nick, the HM didn't mention that was an option, I would have been happy to do this however
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Old 11 June 2008, 04:51   #11
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"Large concrete ramp . Ramp extends to the half tide mark and then onto hard sand and it is possible to launch at all but the lowest states of the tide. Sand has a shallow gradient so may be necessary to push trailer into deeper water."
I've just received a reply from Geoff saying that I can edit the slipway description myself, didn't realise that was possible, what a great feature (as long as it's not abused of course!)


It's now updated using the above 'Ramp Description' as advised by Malthouse
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Old 11 June 2008, 07:56   #12
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It makes you wonder if abuse caused the erroneous entry in the first place!

Incidentally the following is a quote from
http://www.dorsetforyou.com/index.jsp?articleid=236

"Despite access being limited due to a 7.5 ton weight limit down Cobb Road, the harbour gets very busy during summer holiday weekends. Parking can be a problem at this time.

The harbour does dry out and following the recent coastal protection works the visitor buoys will have to be moved from their old positions, visiting yachts can also dry out against the harbour wall, please contact harbour staff for further details. Fresh water and showers are available, please see the harbour staff for a key.

Charges are listed on the main harbours page. A chartlet of the harbour can be found on Admiralty Chart SC3315.

The harbour is manned from at least 8am to 6pm seven days a week during the summer season. Harbour staff can also be contacted on channel 16 during this time, the working channel is 14".

As an alternative launch site, you might like to try West Bay (Bridport Harbour) which is only a short way East of Lyme Regis.

http://www.westbay.co.uk/harbour.html gives further information and confirms at least 1.5m of water in the outer harbour at nearly all states of tide. The slope itself is new and wide and the village has a number of good pubs and restaurants.

David
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Old 11 June 2008, 14:10   #13
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Thanks, some good advice there

With hindsight I would have done things differently and may well have gone along to West Bay. Hoping to launch from Teignmouth this Saturday, have done a little more homework this time and I believe the slip there is usable at all states.
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Old 11 June 2008, 14:22   #14
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'Teignmouth' all tides apart from very low ones, as I found out last August after Torquays red arrow display . Early start pays, for a very heavy discount
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Old 11 June 2008, 17:56   #15
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At least this week the tides times seem to be on our side - 3pm high tide

Just have to hope that other conditions prevail
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