Re: Sand through cooling salt water ok?
We run our dinghy right onto the beach at the saltwater lake we frequent. We even use a bit of extra power to get the nose up onto the beach a little more. It makes a little dredged channel behind the prop and a lot of sandy water. So far, no issues. This is the same engine that we've had for a few years, that flipped in hurricane Sandy. So I figure we are getting extra use out of it now.
Why do we do expose our engine to sand? There's been local discussion and newspaper articles about cesspools leaking into the lake near that same spot, after it rains. So I like to keep our feet out of the water as much as possible. They didn't close the beach, which may have been a political decision in a resort town. And some of the die-hards still swim there. But there is a noticible smell at extreme low tides, right at the shore.
We hose off our feet immediately upon going aboard our boat, using the transom shower. We also shower off the dog's feet every time, and his belly too, if that got wet. (By the way, the dog's fur was smooth all summer long, not like "salty fur" for lack of a better term. Nothing worse than sitting at your salon table and having a disgusting dog go by your legs. His fur stayed soft and everyone appreciated it.)
So to lessen our risk, I try to made a dry beach landing, or land such that only my feet get wet, and my wife and the kids' feet stay dry. That means a bit of sand in the intake, but I'm happier with a healthy family and a clean dog.
Achilles 11.6 with a Tohatsu 20.
P.S. I made 3 or 4 medium speed surf landings onto an ocean beach a few years ago, in smallish waves. Drop your family off past the breakers first -- it's safer for them to swim in. Put the "tilt-up" lever in the right position so when the engine hits sand it will flip up. Cool off the engine a bit beforehand so your not suddenly turning off a hot engine. Picture what you are going to do in your head a few times until you understand what needs to be done. Start out heading away from the beach until you find a bigger swell, a "set wave". Ideally find the last big wave in the set, then turn and ride before the following wave, the one behind the big wave. It will get you up the beach more and you won't have to worry about a set wave coming in behind you. Keep enough speed to 1) stay ahead of breaking surf behind you, and 2) get the boat up on the beach slightly more, where the next wave won't affect you as much. Position yourself closer to the wave behind, so you can zoom forward slightly and catch up to the wave in front as it dissipates on the sand. That gives you a little bit more inertia to get higher onto the beach -- really we are only talking about inches here. Sit low inside the dinghy, pushing on the far tube with your legs and braced so you don't fly out when you hit the beach -- don't go too fast or you will fly out. Aim for a spot where there are no people. When you get onto the beach, turn off the engine (use the lanyard that is always attached to you anyway), then run up and pull the dinghy the rest of the way out of the water before the next wave gets you. Then go back and raise the engine up the rest of the way. (It sounds dramatic, but they were actually smallish waves.) Grab a beach chair and enjoy the day.
Never did this in medium or big waves. Haven't had to. I supposed in an emergency the principles would be the same, it would be best to keep the family in the boat and be really careful with timing and position between the waves. Maybe assign each person a dinghy handle (or at least a side) ahead of time, so there's no confusion when pulling the dinghy up. Either that or give instructions to get away from the boat to the left or right, not in front of the boat were the next wave could push it into them. But that's theory. Anyone actually done this in medium or big waves?
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Last edited by Bene505; 09-20-2013 at 10:37 AM.