Pick your slipway before you pick your boat

dancrane

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29 Dec 2010
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I recall two years ago, worrying that I wouldn't be able to pull my boat up the club slipway, singlehanded. In fact, I discovered that I can, by 'tacking' several times while climbing the gradient diagonally. So in my mind the issue ceased to take up space...

...this Sunday was a busy club day, and I borrowed a Laser because my Osprey isn't quite ready. At the moment I came ashore after a pleasant 90 minutes, the slipway was seriously crowded, so SWMBO brought the trolley to the club's other, narrow little slipway, which is too narrow to 'tack' up...

...and I couldn't pull the Laser up it.

I was initially horrified...what could the reason be? Some frightful winter muscle-wastage? Last October I'd pulled the Osprey out on my own, and she's at least double the Laser's weight...now, I welcomed the assistance of a friendly and powerful young fellow who said he'd been in the same situation himself, waiting in vain for his girlfriend to help.

Actually he recognised immediately that the Laser was chronically overweight. That was my fault - because rather than risk losing the bung, the club's Lasers have the bungs tied to their rudder stocks...and when I'd taken the rudder off to stop it dragging, I'd had to unscrew the bung too...which I did without a thought, since the unladen hull seemed to leave the bung-hole clear of the water.

...but by the time I got the hull on the wheels, quite a weight of water had entered the hole, though I doubt the semi-swamped Laser was anywhere near the Osprey's mass.

It made me think, that if I had bought the boat and then approached any of many other sailing clubs with narrow slips locally, I almost certainly would have concluded (after a few sad attempts) that I couldn't cope with hauling her weight up the slipway, and that I must resign myself to a smaller boat. Just lucky for me that my club has a very wide slipway & foreshore.

I wonder how many dinghy sailors realise that if their choice of boat is limited by its mobility ashore, it is mainly because the narrowness of the slipway they'll use prevents diagonal hauling-out?
 

Kelpie

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15 May 2005
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Another factor is whether you can get a good straight pull with a car. There are a couple of slipways near me where due to the angles involved, you can't use a rope to the car, and this effectively rules them out for the Wayfarer, and even the somewhat lighter Wanderer.
 

prv

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29 Nov 2009
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There are a couple of slipways near me where due to the angles involved, you can't use a rope to the car, and this effectively rules them out for the Wayfarer,

?

Twenty five years ago we used to sail a Wayfarer from Emsworth sailing club, which has two narrow slipways that are not especially shallow. We certainly didn't bring a car into the compound to pull it out each time.

Pete
 

Alfie168

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28 May 2007
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I used to keep my trailer sailor ashore at Rutland Water as there was no other option unless you joined the sailing club. It was a bind on busy days, not from sailors who...with the odd exception... did their best by not bunging up the slipway longer than necesssary, but from idiots of the general public variety who would insist on walking behind a reversing trailer with a ton of boat on it whilst you were reversing it down the slip with the 4x4, or used the slip as a handy viewpoint or assembly area for the extended family. I was always painfully polite as thats the best way to get cooperation......inside I was saying something slightly more colourful.

It used to irk me that if you dared step on a pontoon without an L J on you were pounced on and given a telling off, but nobody policed the slipway for idiots on mobiles, parents pushing pushchairs in front of reversing trailers, kids whizzing past on bicycles and all the rest. Its much easier being parked on the mud at the seaside and waiting for the water to come to you. Does anybody know who turns the taps on twice a day to enable this miracle to happen?

Tim
 

Captain MikeT

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1 Sep 2016
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I used to keep my trailer sailor ashore at Rutland Water as there was no other option unless you joined the sailing club. It was a bind on busy days, not from sailors who...with the odd exception... did their best by not bunging up the slipway longer than necesssary, but from idiots of the general public variety who would insist on walking behind a reversing trailer with a ton of boat on it whilst you were reversing it down the slip with the 4x4, or used the slip as a handy viewpoint or assembly area for the extended family. I was always painfully polite as thats the best way to get cooperation......inside I was saying something slightly more colourful.

It used to irk me that if you dared step on a pontoon without an L J on you were pounced on and given a telling off, but nobody policed the slipway for idiots on mobiles, parents pushing pushchairs in front of reversing trailers, kids whizzing past on bicycles and all the rest. Its much easier being parked on the mud at the seaside and waiting for the water to come to you. Does anybody know who turns the taps on twice a day to enable this miracle to happen?

Tim
 
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