Need help with onshore wind beach launch - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 20 Old 08-08-2015 Thread Starter
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Need help with onshore wind beach launch

I am an absolute tenderfoot at dinghy sailing and am having real problems dealing with launching from the beach with any strength of an onshore wind.

I know from windsurfing that I am supposed to point the boat into the wind, decide on which tack to take, jump in and raise the sail fully but it doesn't always work out that way. Even with the centerboard partially down or at least inserted, I find that the bow gets blown back into shallow water before I can get going off the shore. Jumping into this boat without taking on water at waist height is not possible for me. So my first problem is that when I get planted in the boat I am in very shallow water. If the wind
is light I can paddle or row out but I would really like to know if there is something I am missing during my beach launch routine.

This is my best attempt to describe my steps:

1. I am in just above knee deep water and the throat halyard is up all the way but the peak is down so I have about half of my sail area out.
2. If I put the peak up and get full sail area I am afraid of keeping control of the boat. It can take off to either side of the wind to shore and
I have to start all over.
3. I get my body into the boat and center myself as fast as possible. Not a pretty sight. Then I raise the peak and have full sail I have never been able to sail
off without full sail up.
4. I keep my hand on the daggerboard to make sure that it is not impeding my progress. As soon as I can I lower it all the way.
5. Sometimes I manage to get off without hitting any paddle boarders or swimmers. Oft times the bow gets blown on shore before I can get out.

Any tips or suggestions on launching with an onshore wind would be most appreciated.

Thanks very much,
Jim Lee
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post #2 of 20 Old 08-08-2015
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Re: Need help with onshore wind beach launch

Hah, I was just doing this, in a crowded boat launch, with people and boats all over - I'm not sure there is a magic solution beyond what you have outlined. You just get better over time., I mean over many years. Certainly paddling is a good way to get going. Planning every move and waiting for someone to get out of the way is also key.
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Re: Need help with onshore wind beach launch

What type dingy? you should have the sail fully hoisted before you get in the boat. hold the boat into the wind. dagger board up, rudder kicked up. get in and sail very close to the wind. when boat moves into deeper water you start the dagger board down, when fully down you put the rudder down and you are off. takes practice

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Re: Need help with onshore wind beach launch

One of my challenges in beach launching is that my rudder does not kick down. It is in a fixed position. The boat is a reproduction of a 14" Delaware Tuckup gaff rigged catboat. I actually have gotten 'stuck' with full sails up by the rudder sticking into the mud. I am thinking that I should try putting the full sail up before getting into the boat as it does take a few precious seconds for me to hoist up the peak halyard once I get my many pounds of personal ballast aboard.

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post #5 of 20 Old 08-09-2015
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Re: Need help with onshore wind beach launch

Also, it occurs to me that you say you have full sail up and you are rushing. Its possible you are quickly sheeting in too tight and this is causing massive drag on the sail and leeway.


If you think of starting out with the sail un-sheeted, and flogging loose then its technically doing very little. You can paddle the boat and the sail is just a flag. Paddle to windward to get your tack started and then sheet in just enough to get the boat moving forward. You might cleat it off and continue to paddle on the lee side of the boat as she starts moving .........then get the boards down.

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post #6 of 20 Old 08-19-2015
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Re: Need help with onshore wind beach launch

Having steerage is key. Starting with the sail hoisted, can you push the boat forward as you jump in, then immediately bear off and trim the sail? When deep enough, push down the centerboard?

My dingy is so light that I can get it going forward far/fast enough to get all the boards down and the sail trimmed before it runs out of gas.

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Re: Need help with onshore wind beach launch

I have a 15' dinghy (Fusion 15) that I keep on a beach. I rig everything up on the beach, including the mainsail and with it flogging, I pull the boat into the water and do the gymnastics you are familiar with of getting into the boat from the water. I have a kick up rudder and center board and so it is a bit easier for me, but perhaps 20% of the time I dont make it out of shallow water and have to re-launch
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post #8 of 20 Old 08-20-2015
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Re: Need help with onshore wind beach launch

Are you contending with waves also?

Adapting Hobie methods...

1. Fully rig the boat. Do not cleat the main sheet.

2. Walk the boat out as far as you can and still have reasonable control to jump in. Let the sail weathervane, keep the bow to the waves.

3. When in position, wait for a lull between wave sets, Turn the hull as perpendicular to the wind as you can. If the wind is dead in, position the hull no higher a close reach. Lower the centerboard to a safe depth.

4. All is ready! Climb aboard and center the tiller while sheeting in. Blast off!

Feel free to point out what I may have missed with regard to your boat.... I suspect you need to install the rudder while on the water....

Hope it helps...

Last edited by ottos; 08-24-2015 at 11:49 AM.
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post #9 of 20 Old 08-24-2015
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Re: Need help with onshore wind beach launch

Quote:
Originally Posted by ottos View Post
3. When in position, wait for a lull between wave sets, Turn the hull as perpendicular to the wind as you can. If the wind is dead in, position the hull no higher a close reach. Lower the centerboard to a safe depth.
How do you turn the hull without steerageway?

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post #10 of 20 Old 08-24-2015
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Re: Need help with onshore wind beach launch

Quote:
Originally Posted by MITBeta View Post
How do you turn the hull without steerageway?
You're still standing on the bottom - see 4:
Quote:
Originally Posted by ottos View Post
4. All is ready! Climb aboard and center the tiller while sheeting in. Blast off!
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