Launching and retrieving on a beach?

davesimmons

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I launch a 18ft sports boat (Regal 1800) from a slipway located on a beach and when coming in it can get extremely, and worryingly, shallow! Reading the “destructions” on the boat it warns not to lift the leg higher than the trim will allow when in gear as the leg cannot take the stresses however this would mean digging the engine in sand? The marine guy said to lift the leg slightly higher however when trying this on shore it is still well below the bottom of the boat and in practice the leg needs to be lifted almost completely to prevent damage. At very low speeds (launching and retrieving) is this practice okay or am I heading towards future problems?

I guess obvious answers would be either to launch / retrieve only at high tides which would limit our use or to jump in and pull the boat to shore (not nice in cold weather)!
 

fluffc

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Often bought RIB's into shallow beaches; and it is necessary to raise the engine beyond the 'trim' settings.

Essentially there are two sets of hydraulic cylinders. One set is quite powerful, and only acts over the 'trim' range. Out of this range a different set of 'trim' cylinders; less powerful but with longer stroke; come into action.

I've not come across advice that running them in a 'tilted' manner is a problem, but am aware that you need to back off the revs to use the 'tilt' cylinders as they can't overcome the thrust generated by the propellor.
 

Alistairr

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I wouldn't do it!!
I'd go with the manual, We had a sports cuddy, with a mercruiser leg, and one day we beached it on an island for lunch, when we came to move away, i stayed in the water to push us off while swmbo was at the helm, once i'd jumped on, she put it in gear, and what an almighty gear crunching noise, she didn't have the leg low enough, it was still just in trailer mode. They obviously have a cut off for safety reasons, i wouldn't go any higher in gear than it allows.
Lesson learnt, no damage done, but never did it again.

Cheers

Al.
 

Channel Ribs

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[ QUOTE ]
Lesson learnt, no damage done, but never did it again.

[/ QUOTE ]

Likewise, our old Sea Ray had a similar set up and I tried 'pushing the envelope' too far one day. It was not a pretty noise and scared me silly, I still can't look at a Mercruiser price list without sweating! /forums/images/graemlins/mad.gif
 

davesimmons

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Thanks for the advice. Guess high tide it is then (or wet trousers)!

Went to trailer it yesterday and the marina guy was teaching me how to do it with power from the engine. Great results but forgot when jumping off the back that the wash would have cleared a lot of sand - jumped straight into a four foot hole in front of a watching crowd
/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif /forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif /forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif
 

gerbil

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Dave - assuming this is round Poole area -I'd be interested which beach can you get to and launch from - Swanage slipway prices thru the roof this season !

I'd have some reservations about stirring up too much sand and it going through the impellor etc - perhaps that would cause quicker wear ? Perhaps someone on here with actual tech knowledge rather than my guessing knows better though !

Dave
 

davesimmons

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We are in Shell Bay in Studland (next to the ferry). Not a public slipway I am afraid (at least not that I am aware of).

In regards to the power loading it was certaintly an interesting experience - do not think I will be doing it again! I am sure in the right circumstances it is not a problem but I was shocked at the amount of sand it displaced. Can't be at all good for the engine. FLushed it straight through with freash water for a good 10 mins when out.
 

dpb

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The mercruiser manual I have dated 2005 states OK to operate in the trailer mode range as long as revs below 1200rpm. We often use this to get close in shore and have not had any issues. However we do not find the need to go fully up as in any case beyond a certain point, as others have said, the drive gets noisy which does not sound good no matter what the manusl says!
However, I must say that it seems a shame to have to constrain your boating by tides in an area such as Poole where all tide facilities exist. Why not use somewhere else?
 

davesimmons

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To be honest dpb I have been over the moon with Shell Bay. It is right at the harbour entrance so 2 mins after launching you are out of the harbour and bombing it to Studland / Swanage etc. and everyone I have meet there is extremely friendly. The one worry is the tides but there are moorings right off the slipway so if it is that low at least there is another option.

It is a case of nothings perfect and the pro's far outweigh the con's /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif
 

dpb

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That's great, so did you get to Studland Bay yesterday? Like a mill pond. The low tide caught a couple of boats out, with one crowd on a high and dry Regal trying their best to look like they did it on purpose! Never a camera to hand when you want one!!!
 

davesimmons

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Yep - Studland and Swanage Bay. Absolutely superb!

Always worried about hitting a sandbank in Studland - did you see any? Where was the Regal (and no it was not me!)?
/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif
 

dpb

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It was a 24/25 footer on the beach in front of the Banks Arms.
Once away from the beaches I do not know of any sandbanks in the bay for us to worry about. There is a submerged rock usually marked by a mooring type bouy about 75m off the Banks Arms beach to be wary of, it is on the charts and I have hit it which cost me a new lower drive unit!
 

duncan

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worry about the rock not the sand banks! Mildmaid bank is about 1' shallower than the surrounding but not much else - although heights do vary in the SE end of the bay.

the reason for the guidance on the use of the leg in trailer position is that the shaft is live (even out of gear) and if you put any load or revs on the drive shaft the UJs will hit the drive casing! At tick over speeds this should be no problem but do not use the throttle even in neutral. The real muppets are the ones that rev the engines after starting whist still on the trailer with the engine in trailer position - you can hear the UJs knocking........... /forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif

Poole Harbour, even at Shell Bay, is so warm (even now - the kids were all in playing last weekend) you have no real excuse for not wading - I presume you personally carry everyone to the beach at Swanage /Studland when they want to get off anyway? /forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif
 

gerbil

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Studland always seem to have a few 'surprises' for me when I wade ashore....there is a fair bit of undulation in the shallows where we drop anchor opposite our beach hut (about half way between the two cafe's). You start off knee deep then after a 20 feet you can be up to your neck again before making it up to the beach :) Not so bad in the middle of the day but makes for a chilly trip back to Swanage at the end of the day when the sun has gone !! Mind you I managed to grab a pair of the Lidl bargain £9 chest waders but not sure I'd want to ve seen wearing them on the beach !

Had a look at Shell Bay website and it looked good but as we only use our boat down that way for three of four breaks at Swanage a year it wasn't cost effective really esp. on top of the cost of the local ski lake membership as well :-(

Dave
 

gjgm

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as you lift the leg and the prop approaches the sea surface, you lose alot of the propulsion and almost all the steering. Can you lift the leg that high in gear? Thats about as much use as you can get,anyway. Basically, I d line it up, and then lift the leg for the last small push onto the beach/trailer. I think the advertised depth is usually about 90cm, of which some is the hull below the waterline, and some is the leg protruding out below the bottom of the hull. By the time you lift the leg a bit, you can come into pretty shallow water, albeit without much control. Thats ok for the last 25metres or so, but if you are talking about shallows for alot further, then, yes, take a look at the the tide table, and do a few sums. Lots of people cant reach their mooring at lower tides, so you are in good company if you have to avoid an hour or two a day when the tide is lowest. With a tidal range of 4-5metres, you shouldnt have too much trouble. One tip.. coming back in when the tide is coming in might be a little less embarassing than getting stuck when its going out !! But have a look at the chart, and the tide table; I expect even if there is a potential problem, its actually quite a small window you ll need to avoid. And the chart/tide table is good practice when you trail to somewhere new.
On my YM course, one of the first lessons from the tutor was , always be sure you can get back in BEFORE you leave.
 

duncan

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[ QUOTE ]
With a tidal range of 4-5metres, you shouldnt have too much trouble.

[/ QUOTE ] /forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif /forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif /forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

more like between 2 and 5 feet range in Poole Harbour........ personally on sheltered firm sand such as you have (Dave) I would work out when I am using the engine and when I am hiking it up and walking in or out!
 

gjgm

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wow, sorry didnt realise the range was so small inside Poole. Apologies.
Even closer look at the tables required!
 
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