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Old 26-11-2007, 12:45   #1
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Some Timely Advice

Cruising Season is upon us once again, and today's 'Lectronic Latitude contains an article with some timely advice on coming ashore and going out, through surf, with a dinghy. (Lots of other good stuff in this edition, as well.)
~ ~ ~

"Avoiding Dinghy Disasters


"November 26, 2007 – Planet Earth



"They say timing is everything. And that certainly holds true with dinghy landings.

Photo Latitude / jr
2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

"With the start of another cruising season, we'll remind readers that dinghy landings can be extremely dangerous. If you're not careful, you could be injured or even killed, as an outboard prop can rip right through flesh. Here are some guidelines to follow. . ."

Full article here: http://www.latitude38.com/lectronic/...ayid=38#Story5

~ ~ ~

TaoJones

My apologies, everyone. Here's the link to today's 'Lectronic Latitude:

Latitude 38 - The West's Premier Sailing & Marine Magazine
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Old 26-11-2007, 13:05   #2
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Hi Tao,
Not sure how that was supposed to work. One link took me to a photo of one heck of a wipeout in the surf and the other link took me back to this website. Did I miss the article somewhere?
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Old 26-11-2007, 13:09   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David M View Post
Hi Tao,
Not sure how that was supposed to work. One link took me to a photo of a wipeout in the surf and the other link took me back to this website. No article.
Sorry for the foul-up, David, but I've gone back and fixed the link. Thanks for the heads up.

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Old 26-11-2007, 13:39   #4
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I value my time as a surfer, where I spent a lot of time past the breakers, watching the sets (and the breaks in the sets). Or on the beach, waiting for the break in the sets, to get out there.

If it's a normal (non storm) swell, you can usually count the number of waves in the swell, and peg the time in between sets.

Like sets of 12, 5-7 seconds apart, with a break of 20 seconds. Doesn't mean that there won't be any waves in that 20 second part, but they're not going to be swells.

Hang past the breakers, count them out, get your timing, and gun it.
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Old 26-11-2007, 14:23   #5
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The 'Lectronic Latitude picture that accompanies the article is funny - though probably not to the two people in it. It looks to me like the Captain was probably operating the dinghy and bailed out at the first sign of trouble. He's standing in relatively shallow water, and didn't even lose his baseball cap or sunglasses. The Admiral, though, was probably seated forward, and she's about to pay the price for the Captain's misjudgment!

Hopefully, she wasn't injured seriously, and his sincere apology was accepted.

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Old 26-11-2007, 18:54   #6
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Each set of conditions call for different solutions and the advice given is basically sound for what I call the “adventure” approach. Especially parts about reading the wave sets

However, if you and your crew are not Commando material and you need to land in breaking surf, try this less ballistic method:
  • Carry a folding grapnel type anchor about 8 ft of chain and lots of line that coils easily.
  • Have a second long line tied to the stern ready for a beach tie.
  • Before the break, lower and set the anchor and chain, holding astern towards the beach
  • Set up the lines for quick deployment.
  • Also set up the oars in the locks (but inboard) and flip the engine ready to tilt.
  • Pick your time then use the engine one last surge astern to get you going towards the surf while paying out the bow line and early enough Shut off/tilt up engine.
  • Rower faces Forward towards the sets/Switch to oars while freely paying out the bow line which is only there to keep you head to waves if you get broadside.
  • Once surfing, bring oars inboard and focus on bow line.
  • As soon as you ground, jump out with stern line, snug bow line head to waves and help out the crew.
  • Choice is always yours to anchor outside the surf line and swim in if the break is right at the beach
The nice thing about this method is that you can quickly get away easily (even after dark and with a few brews) and you always keep your bow into the danger and don’t risk a turning prop.

With practice you can do it by yourself
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Old 27-11-2007, 00:00   #7
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Having grown up around surf, surfing, body boarding and taking dinghy's and kayaks to and from shore, I could not imagine backing down a surf. Glad it works for you.

The L38 article makes sense. The only points I would add are get as much weight aft as you can coming in to reduce chances of pitchpoling. And you likely are not going to come "straight" at the shore. Watch the direction of the break and stay ahead of it and out of the white water if possible.

Going out you will likely have better success at the begining end of the break rather the end of the break. Weight distribution more forward.
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