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Old 12-10-2017, 02:22   #1
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How do you judge if a beach is too "wavy" or if it will turn too unstable later?

I am going the multihull route to begin my sailing life.

So I have been wondering.

If you are out in the ocean and looking to a beach, it seems hard in some occasion to judge if waves are too big or if it is just calm enough to put the catamaran in the sand. How do you know?

Something else, if it is calm enough, no waves. How do you know if it wont turn in the future? Do you have to always look? Is there a geographical feature that says that beach is calm? I am thinking of a scenario of stopping in a remote island and stopping the catamaran in the sand, then go out exploring for some hours.
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Old 12-10-2017, 02:42   #2
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Re: How do you judge if a beach is too "wavy" or if it will turn too unstable later?

With a 5m tidal range we do dry out each year. However, it has to be very calm conditions, can't think of anything worse than waiting for the tide to lift you off whilst the keels bounce on the sea bed with every wave. Even sand can be hard.

You would be better anchoring just off the beach and using the dinghy to go ashore which is what most cruisers will do.

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Old 12-10-2017, 02:43   #3
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Re: How do you judge if a beach is too "wavy" or if it will turn too unstable later?

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Originally Posted by fernandosmooth View Post
I am thinking of a scenario of stopping in a remote island and stopping the catamaran in the sand, then go out exploring for some hours.

why do you want to beach the catamaran

isnt that the reason why anchors were invented ?, or am I missing something ?
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Old 12-10-2017, 02:50   #4
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Re: How do you judge if a beach is too "wavy" or if it will turn too unstable later?

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why do you want to beach the catamaran

But that is what they do in the adverts, then slip off the drysuit to reveal the Tuxedo :-)

There are some interesting you tube videos of small boats being capsized on the beach by even quite small breaking waves. Caution always needed in shallow waters.
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Old 12-10-2017, 02:53   #5
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Re: How do you judge if a beach is too "wavy" or if it will turn too unstable later?

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why do you want to beach the catamaran

isnt that the reason why anchors were invented ?, or am I missing something ?
Some of the very best, most sheltered anchorages are in places where there's little or no water at low tide.
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Old 12-10-2017, 03:09   #6
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Re: How do you judge if a beach is too "wavy" or if it will turn too unstable later?

Quite simply, don't "beach" a cat on any beach you can see directly from the ocean.

The pictures you see of beached cats will almost inevitably be inside lagoons, on the the landward side of a fringing island/reef etc
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Old 12-10-2017, 03:11   #7
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Re: How do you judge if a beach is too "wavy" or if it will turn too unstable later?

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why do you want to beach the catamaran

isnt that the reason why anchors were invented ?, or am I missing something ?

In my mind..

Considering the catamaran goes in quite shallow areas, it would seem to me that in some occasions a good place to anchor would be far off, The beach could be all sand, making an anchoring quite difficult. I dont know if this is true but the idea of beaching a catamaran and tying it to a tree for some hours seemed like a better idea, instead of rowing for some distance. That is why I thought it was/is a good idea.
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Old 12-10-2017, 03:17   #8
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Re: How do you judge if a beach is too "wavy" or if it will turn too unstable later?

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Quite simply, don't "beach" a cat on any beach you can see directly from the ocean.

The pictures you see of beached cats will almost inevitably be inside lagoons, on the the landward side of a fringing island/reef etc
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This is good advice. Until you build up experience, only beach the boat in very sheltered areas.
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Old 12-10-2017, 03:18   #9
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Re: How do you judge if a beach is too "wavy" or if it will turn too unstable later?

I deliberately "ground" my vessel quite frequently. My Presto 36 monohull, designed in 1884 by Ralph Middleton Munroe, was intended with just such antics in mind. She has a centerboard and 6"h X 9"w lead grounding shoe running about 18ft. in length , encompassing the fore end of the centerboard trunk opening, aft to the beginning of the deadwood. 2'-6" draft BU. Why ground? Recreation, exploration, maintenance and safety at night during "Anchoring", in busy channels are my most compelling reasons. I have also deliberately grounded during extremely violent weather. No normal vessels can "run you down" when you're high and dry. Works great.
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Old 12-10-2017, 03:21   #10
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Re: How do you judge if a beach is too "wavy" or if it will turn too unstable later?

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I deliberately "ground" my vessel quite frequently. My Presto 36 monohull, designed in 1884 by Ralph Middleton Munroe, was intended with just such antics in mind. She has a centerboard and 6"h X 9"w lead grounding shoe running about 18ft. in length , encompassing the fore end of the centerboard trunk opening, aft to the beginning of the deadwood. 2'-6" draft BU. Why ground? Recreation, exploration, maintenance and safety at night during "Anchoring", in busy channels are my most compelling reasons. I have also deliberately grounded during extremely violent weather. No normal vessels can "run you down" when you're high and dry. Works great.
Wait wait.. how? I mean, what if the tide doesnt turn as high when it comes back?

So, you just go into shallow areas, knowing it will dry out, then wait for it to come back? just like that? That is interesting.
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Old 12-10-2017, 03:27   #11
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Re: How do you judge if a beach is too "wavy" or if it will turn too unstable later?

OP: Only ground in VERY protected situations. If you can see waves then its too rough. Even small wave action can do serious damage.

Few things are more unpleasant than being aboard a boat which is being lifted and dropped on the beach repeatedly by waves...it does not take much.
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Old 12-10-2017, 03:29   #12
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Re: How do you judge if a beach is too "wavy" or if it will turn too unstable later?

it is also a good idea to check the bottom first by dinghy at low tide and identify a suitable place to beach clear of rocks,wrecks or other debris that can ruin your day if the boat settles on top of it.

i heard of a catamaran putting a hole in a hull with his fisherman anchor when the tide went out in a shallow lagoon!
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Old 12-10-2017, 03:29   #13
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Re: How do you judge if a beach is too "wavy" or if it will turn too unstable later?

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Wait wait.. how? I mean, what if the tide doesnt turn as high when it comes back?

So, you just go into shallow areas, knowing it will dry out, then wait for it to come back? just like that? That is interesting.
Not just like that. We check the Tide tables to be sure there's going to be enough water when we want to leave.
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Old 12-10-2017, 03:33   #14
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Re: How do you judge if a beach is too "wavy" or if it will turn too unstable later?

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it is also a good idea to check the bottom first by dinghy at low tide and identify a suitable place to beach clear of rocks,wrecks or other debris that can ruin your day if the boat settles on top of it.

i heard of a catamaran putting a hole in a hull with his fisherman anchor when the tide went out in a shallow lagoon!
We generally set a stern anchor to ensure this doesn't happen.
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Old 12-10-2017, 03:34   #15
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Re: How do you judge if a beach is too "wavy" or if it will turn too unstable later?

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it is also a good idea to check the bottom first by dinghy at low tide and identify a suitable place to beach clear of rocks,wrecks or other debris that can ruin your day if the boat settles on top of it.

i heard of a catamaran putting a hole in a hull with his fisherman anchor when the tide went out in a shallow lagoon!
...Few things are more unpleasant than being aboard a boat which is being lifted and dropped on the beach repeatedly by waves...

...on a rock!
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