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Old 29-01-2008, 08:47   #1
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Dinghy Landing through Surf

While thumbing through a VERY old copy of the Oxford Companion to Ships and the Sea, I came across a little gem of knowledge about the landing of a boat through heavy surf that I now recall having seen during my childhood but had long forgotten. I thought others might find it useful.

Essentially, the technique involves the use of a small conical drogue bridled off the stern quarters of a boat or dinghy to keep the boat's stern to the waves, to prevent being rounded down sideways and rolled, and; to prevent the boat "surfing" down the face of a wave, "pearling" the bow in the run-out from the preceding wave, and being pitch-polled, tail over tea kettle (See below !) .

While it would take some experimentation to come up with a proper sized conical drogue (preferably with an open end) and the best length of line, it offers a very good solution to an old problem and would be better than what we've done thus far--i.e. deploying a small folding grapnel anchor beyond the surf line and feeding out a small rode as we ride in. While the grapnel has the advantage of giving us a means of manually pulling our bow through the waves for a departure, that is only so if the depth of the surf line is less than the 150' of 3/8" rode we carry and does present the possibility of the rode becoming fouled in our outboard if it is not retrieved quickly enough--a real problem if one is alone. The drogue, with a floating bridle, would not present such a hazard although it might be somewhat less effective during the initial departure stages.

FWIW!

s/v HyLyte
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Old 29-01-2008, 11:17   #2
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This is what I have learn't or have been taught. I grew up with surf beaches.
Most (maybe not in all circumstances) times surf beaches will have what are commonly called "Rips". A rip while deadly to swimmers, can be a great Ali to outboard powered small beach'able craft. A rip is caused by the water that has washed up on the beach by in coming waves, having to find a way back out again. These can easily been spotted if you know what to look for. Skirt the waves just back for the breaking line point to keep out of the cresting and breaking surf. Depending on surf size, it can feel a little scary, but it is surprising how much surf you can actually handle in reality. Just as long as you stay back form the line of braking waves. You will come across an area where the surf seems lower and simply does not break. The distances apart are varied, but usually they are to be found in ruffly 100yrd intervals. This is your exiting water from the beach and you can shoot in through that narrow waterway.
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Old 29-01-2008, 11:28   #3
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I've been wondering about this as well... how do you navigate a beach from a row boat with less than fine bow?
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Old 31-01-2008, 00:25   #4
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I'm glad to hear about this too. I'm tired of being thrown over with a rope tied abound my waist and being told "swim into the waves real hard!"
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Old 31-01-2008, 02:40   #5
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I'm tired of being thrown over with a rope tied abound my waist and being told "swim into the waves real hard!"
I hear Ozy's do that to catch sharks. Real blokes them Ozy's.
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Old 31-01-2008, 04:18   #6
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I hear Ozy's do that to catch sharks. Real blokes them Ozy's.
Yep, we dive in with a bottle of vinegar to sprinkle on the shark and some newspaper to wrap him in. Yummo! Just add chips!
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Old 31-01-2008, 07:25   #7
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The hazard of landing through surf is well illustrated by this clip from "Lectronic Latitude" of November 15, 2006 courtesy of Latitude 38.

Cheers,

s/v HyLyte
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Old 08-02-2008, 04:52   #8
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dingy landing in surf

Hello all
2004 summer holidays cruising the Islands of Bass Strait with my two sons our stove packed up, so all cooking had to be done on the beach with an open fire. We would prepare dinner onboard and row ashore, 2 afternoons in a row we were broached in the shore break, tipping us and the food, pots and pans into the wet. We had a 100 cone series drogue on board Asgard 28ft, with some spare 5inch cones, so we made a 10 cone drogue with 15ft leader and 5 ft bridle legs and it worked very well in the shore break. I have attached a photo of that wonderful 3 week holiday, taken at Hogan Island 40deg south, half way between the main land and Tasmania. It was this experience in Bass Strait that got me involved in making drogues.
regards
Bryan
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Old 08-02-2008, 06:32   #9
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Nothing like a day at the beach with a small boat!
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