Getting the kids keen... West Wittering beach

ossian72

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Appealing to the kids interests, I’m getting them excited about daddy buying a boat (instead of spending it on them...) and they’re most excited about being able to land on the beach at West Wittering ... we saw a lift-keeper there last year pulled right up, and it obviously stuck in their minds in a peppy pig way!

Is it ok to do that? And would it be possible with a bilge-keeler, or only accessible for lifting keels? Many of you have already been helpful as I try to navigate my way through choosing a lifter or a bilge-keeler, so thanks for your patience and advice. I’m trying to figure out exactly what I’ll be using her for first off most of all — and it will probably be camping with the kids and beach trips...
 

Sandy

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Sounds ideal.

As long as you do your tide calculations you will be fine, make sure there is enough water under the keel when the tide comes back in to float off.

Another trick is not to spend too long at sea, I was advised an hour for each year, with children as they get bored easily, saying that my teenager is allergic to light (or so she tells me).
 

prv

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Works fine with a bilge keeler - arguably better since keels are tougher against an unexpected rock than the bottom of most hulls (Southerlies have a massive iron plate in the bottom, but most don't).

Don't think in terms of pulling the boat up the beach - what you're doing is running gently aground and then waiting for the tide to go out from around you. You're then stuck until it comes back in again, so work out the tide times to suit. Avoid beaching near the top of the tide since it gives you less margin to get off again (in extreme cases where the height of the tide is decreasing, you might not get off at all...).

When I used to do this (in the previous boat; current one is a fally-over type) I used to put out a stern anchor to pull the boat off with - you can let the line go slack while you're high and dry to avoid garotting anyone running past your stern. When it was time to leave I'd pull the stern line in nice and tight, then as soon as the moment came the boat would be pulled off automatically by the tension in it. But you can presumably motor off too. If you want to stay over more than one tide (for example overnight), put out a bow anchor further up the beach as well so that you float between the two during high tide and then come back down in more or less the same place.

Depending on the size of your boat a short ladder can be handy to climb down from the bow while the swim ladder at the stern is still hanging over water deeper than you want to paddle through.

If you have a holding tank for the heads, filling a bucket or two of water to flush it with before the sea goes away is a wise precaution. If you don't have a holding tank then you probably don't want to be using the heads while parked on the beach.

Pete
 

stephen_h

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I would be a bit wary of drying out on WW beach since its is open to the SW and will not need much of a swell to start thumping you on the bottom when you dry/float. East Head is more sheltered but less room!
 

FairweatherDave

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Yes, East Head is where you would want to dry out. It is the harbour facing beach behind the dunes of W Wittering. You would be joining plenty of like minded people ....... but the advantage of a lifting centre plate boat like the Sun 2000 is you can ground the boat and step off the back, no ladder required into a dinghy. You can get wash (or obviously on shore waves) which can give you a bumpy take off /landing but use common sense. On a sunny weekend it gets busy with many dinghies but the advantage of taking the ground is once you are there that's it, until the tide returns, whereas swinging around at anchor in a busy anchorage with strong currents at times can be less idyllic with children.
 

maby

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I'll add my name to the list of people recommending East Head - with the rider that, unlike West Wittering, East Head is within the Chichester Harbour administrative area and, as such, you should pay your harbour dues and display the disk. They are being a bit strict at the moment - our neighbour in the marina got a ticket last week for not having his disk on display!
 

DJE

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This is how we used to do it on East Head beach. A couple of hours after high water motor gently onto the sand and hold her there with the engine running gently until the tide leaves her securely aground.

OnBeach1.JPG
 

prv

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I was assuming that the OP meant the East Head beach rather than the outside one. If you're coming from the land, as he presumably did last year sans boat, they're effectively the same place.

Pete
 

Mark-1

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I was assuming that the OP meant the East Head beach rather than the outside one.

Me too. However, just in case I'll lend my voice to the others regarding West Witterings beach. For me personally the other reason not to go outside is that it dries into a series of lagoons protected by sandbanks. It's not insurmountable, but it's a bit of a faff making sure you try out towards the top of a sandbank. (Drying out at a low point in the lagoons leaves you with the problem of holding station in in a 1m deep lake surrounded by swimming kids waiting for another metre of tide to come up to let you out.)

East head has it's own set of problems though - overcrowded and frustrating to be sitting on a crowded rubbish beach within sight and sound of a far better beach. Everything's a compromise in the crowded South. :(
 

FairweatherDave

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My problem with East Head is the early morning dogwalkers shouting out "Joshie" or whatever, before I've had my morning cuppa ......
That aside, it is a glorious anchorage for a sunset,evening bbq or dawn..........just everyone knows it
 

wombat88

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Jaguar 21 on East Head beach. Keel fully retracted and sitting flat. Tide well out. The advantages (?) over bilge keels are that you can get further up the beach and you don't need as long a ladder.

People, dogs, picnics, the lot. Not for die hard yachtsmen but fine for families and young people requiring entertainment.

Screen Shot 2017-09-21 at 16.30.31 by dralowid, on Flickr
 

prv

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Rather than fight the crowds at East Head we used to dry out towards the northern end of the beach on the east side of Pilsey Island. No chance of ice cream though.

I've also dried out in Kindred Spirit on the sandbank in the middle of Langstone harbour, just north of the chunk of Mulberry harbour. Definitely nobody else around, and while afloat at high tide I had a seal come to see what I has having for dinner.

Pete
 

langstonelayabout

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Oh, go on then. That's us in the middle of it all. Lovely!

And if you like this then a trip across the Solent to Priory Bay on the Isle of Wight will also suit you. Protected from prevailing winds, ice cream for sale around the corner. Mixed sand and gravel beach that is easy to anchor off or dry out on.

Popular but enjoyable too. The rocks at the north end of the beach will give your children something to play on and the wall at the top of the beach can take the portable BBQs easily.
 

chrishscorp

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Use East Head as an overnight campsite, it is definitely less crowded if you are able to dry out.
Just make sure you can get off the boat onto the beach and make sure you will float off when the tide comes back in you do not want to be neaped, people have been. I recollect one gent being lent a spade by the harbour master so he could dig a channel.

This is us it was a quiet evening

IMG_1921 (1).jpg
 

mjcoon

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Use East Head as an overnight campsite, it is definitely less crowded if you are able to dry out.
Just make sure you can get off the boat onto the beach and make sure you will float off when the tide comes back in you do not want to be neaped, people have been. I recollect one gent being lent a spade by the harbour master so he could dig a channel.

Not a latrine?

Mike.
 

FairweatherDave

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The tide does circle around and can leave you quite a bit higher up than where you started. See PRVs advice on using a kedge, but if it is crowded not everyone will appreciate it....

Also the tidal curve is not symetrical which means you can end up with a long wait eg you dry out two hours before low water but don't float until four hours after.......good excuse for a night "sail" with the children
 
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