We have a 10' dinghy
with a 15hp outboard.... we found that dinghy wheels greatly simplified beach landings.
Our first landing was a disaster. No real damage except a bent oar and a really bruised ego. At San Simeon Bay (on our way down from the PNW to Mexico), I hadn't installed the dinghy wheels, and didn't time the waves like the other posters stated. After all, the surf didn't look too bad from the 'other side'. I knew to ride the back side of a wave in, but found that I couldn't tilt up the motor
, deploy the oars, and start rowing before the next one hit. Which turned the dinghy sideways. In an attempt to get the bow towards the incoming surf, I jumped out and started to swing the dinghy. Lesson #2: don't let the dinghy get between you and the surf. After the dinghy rolled on top of me, I finally got it all sorted out. Much to the amusement of those on the beach watching. You can find more about our misfortune here: Untitled Page
So, for me.... install and deploy the landing wheels outside the surf line. Time the waves and ride the backside in. With the wheels deployed, the prop is always protected from the bottom (unless we hit a rock, I guess). When the dinghy wheels hit, jump out and pull the dinghy ashore.
Getting off the beach, without wheels- I would wade out and start rowing, trying to pick up speed just as a wave broke, and try to get past the surf line before another one broke. Timing is everything. With the wheels deployed, I'd just wade out until the wheels lifted off the bottom, start the motor
and (once again) time my departure so as not to go through a breaking wave. Most of the time, I'd have to row out a bit.
Another lesson I learned (not that I did this or anything
) is to not 'power up' too much until past the surf. Not that you could go vertical or anything like that.
You'll have opportunities for practice on the way down. Watch for where the pangas land, it's often the safest spot.
Hopefully we'll get a chance to meet up in the Sea this season. Our plans are to head
towards Z-town for sailfest and then (most likely) head
to the South Pacific
Our travels from the Straits of Juan de Fuca up into the Sea of Cortez
are on our website....