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Thread: Keeping a boat on the beach

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
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    Martinique, NS, Canada
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    Default Keeping a boat on the beach

    I'm looking for advice about how to keep my boat at my new property in Isle Madame.

    _DSF2598.jpg

    The details:

    - shingle beach
    - soft mud bottom - maybe 10 feet deep at 100 feet out
    - on an approx 1 mile wide straight (Lennox Passage) fetch is maybe 3 miles max
    - tide comes up to about the bottom of vegetation

    The boat is a trad. build 14' dory skiff rowboat (http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...in-Cape-Breton)

    Any thoughts? Some options I thought of are:

    1) some sort of an elevated cradle on the beach with a bit of a ramp and a winch - I guess rollers to launch and retrieve
    2) a mooring a little ways out with a clothesline type system to pull the boat in

    ... ?

    A constraint is that we want to preserve the rustic and natural vibe on the beach, so building a wharf is out of the question. A dock maybe, but probably not.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Austria
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    253

    Default Re: Keeping a boat on the beach

    This is what I saw how local fishermen keep their small boats at the beach of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria:

    Two low wooden trestles, one fwd and one aft. Two sticks rammed into ground keep boat from turning over with ropes fixed to garboard.

    Gran Canaria.jpg
    Hay mas tiempo que vida!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
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    Madison Wisconsin
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    10,848

    Default Re: Keeping a boat on the beach

    Late last fall we built a shore ramp for the Boston Whaler using a Shore Docker hardware kit and treated 2x10s. Since the bottom of that boat essentially has three keels, I also added some black keel rollers in the middle. Come spring we will move it down into position with the far end on the bottom and the first rollers just about at the water level. Haven't gotten to try it yet, but don't anticipate and major problems and it went together pretty easily. The company has a variety of models to choose from with different lengths and weights of boats in mind.

    ramp.jpg



    https://shoredocker.com/product/boat-ramp-kit-2000/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    East Quogue,NY
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    26,340

    Default Re: Keeping a boat on the beach

    Since its tidal, I vote for a clothesline. This can be built with an anchored buoy to seaward, or you could sink a piling offshore. If you put a piling offshore, you can run the line high, and keep it out of the water, which solves some problems.

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    South Puget Sound/summer Eastern carib./winter
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    Default Re: Keeping a boat on the beach

    This might be a place for a tinnie

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Keeping a boat on the beach

    Quote Originally Posted by wizbang 13 View Post
    This might be a place for a tinnie
    I kept an 18' aluminum skiff on the beach for 15 years and it got thoroughly beat up. When the tide was right I kept it on an outhaul, but the tide was not always right and the storms were frequent.

    The beach in the OP would tear a wooden skiff to pieces in short order, and the exposure in that spot might render an outhaul impossible in some weather.

    The only workable solution is to get the boat above the high tide line. Consider a simple cart with tundra tires and a winch anchored in the trees.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    N.E. Connecticut.
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    7,378

    Default Re: Keeping a boat on the beach

    Maybe a low impact railway built out of pressure treated lumber? Built right at the gravel level, with stakes into the ground and it would be barely visible.
    2x6ís laid flat with 1x3 or 1x4ís fastened vertically to the sides would make a simple rail system to roll a wheeled cart up and down on.

    much simpler and lower impact than this picture even.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
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    Sound Beach, NY
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    5,219

    Default Re: Keeping a boat on the beach

    I kept my tenders on the beach for years, sand beach in a small harbor. I drove a heavy locust stake into the sand about high tide mark and attached the boat to it with a wire rope bike lock cable. At low tide I would roll it up or down on fenders, maybe a dolly. The lower beach was soft, and instead of trudging up and down I would stand near the top and pull a long painter.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Keeping a boat on the beach

    I vote for a clothesline as well. I used one with my Cartopper for years on Vancouver Island, with its 15’ tides. Very handy for the ability to use your boat on a whim. I’d want to attach as low on the stem as you are comfortable to assist with swell. There’s a need to keep her light when the weather is up; sweet area for boating you have there! All the best. / Jim

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Keeping a boat on the beach

    I could see a clothesline working well, but then there would be weeks or even seasons when I'd want to get that boat up above the high tide line. For instance, if I was off on vacation and wouldn't be around or if a storm was coming. (There's something to be said for crappy aluminum skiffs that can bang around the beach and dry out.)
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.

  11. #11
    Join Date
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    Mukilteo, Washington
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    578

    Default Re: Keeping a boat on the beach

    My beach neighbor used something like this for his wherry skiff that he was gracious enough to let me play with. Was pretty easy to launch and retrieve.


    Trailex-SUT-300-U-Super-Size_-Full-vs-Std-2.jpg

  12. #12
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    magnolia springs, alabama u.s.a.
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    Default Re: Keeping a boat on the beach

    Finns use those all the time. You can get one from any dinghy shop on line. Depends on the size of the boat, but I had a home-made one once built from pvc.

    Mickey Lake
    'A disciple of the Norse god of aesthetically pleasing boats, Johan Anker'

  13. #13
    Join Date
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    Seattle
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    Default Re: Keeping a boat on the beach

    I moved my Bobcat to and from the water on a dolly I built with wheelbarrow tires. A similar dolly would work here, perhaps with bigger balloon tires. You could use a hand crank winch or a block and tackle for the trip up the beach. I used a block and tackle.
    What's not on a boat costs nothing, weighs nothing, and can't break

  14. #14
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    Mar 2009
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    2,309

    Default Re: Keeping a boat on the beach

    Build a simple ramp into the bushes. No structure, just clear the trees, level it, tamp, and gravel it. Pick the rocks between there and low tide to improve the travel. Use one of the carts recommended above. If you are around, and the weather is good, you can leave it on the beach, but drag it into the trees if the weather gets gnarly, or you leave for a week or so.

    I have used canoe slides here in NW BC, where the local folks cleared the rocks to beach their dugouts centuries ago. Serious big rocks, quite rough as this is quite far from the open sea, with little wave action to round the rocks. More tidal swing, but no fetch and quite sheltered, so the waves probably weren't a problem, and they could drag the canoes into the woods if they had to. Ancient technology! They probably used rollers to get the boats above the tideline.

  15. #15
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    Long Beach, CA
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    3,515

    Default Re: Keeping a boat on the beach

    Schooner sailors love to get blown offshore!

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Keeping a boat on the beach

    A clothesline sounds like it might be best but does anyone use one on a shore that has lots of floating seaweed? My experience is that weed jams the turning block and disables the haul.
    "We can't have rainbows without rain." - Dolly Parton

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
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    Martinique, NS, Canada
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    Default Re: Keeping a boat on the beach

    Thanks for the ideas everybody.

    I like the sounds of the clothesline a lot, I'll look into how to do that. And yeah, some sort of ramp on the beach like the ones shown in pictures would be a great idea. For occasional haul-out I could use a couple rollers maybe and then winch the boat up above the water line.

    The bottom is very soft silt / clay. I'm thinking it would hold a mushroom anchor very well.

    Quote Originally Posted by rbgarr View Post
    A clothesline sounds like it might be best but does anyone use one on a shore that has lots of floating seaweed? My experience is that weed jams the turning block and disables the haul.
    I found an old thread that discusses that: http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...-which-is-best

  18. #18
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    Default Keeping a boat on the beach

    Quote Originally Posted by rbgarr View Post
    A clothesline sounds like it might be best but does anyone use one on a shore that has lots of floating seaweed? My experience is that weed jams the turning block and disables the haul.


    That is why I suggested a piling for the offshore anchor. A 4 x 4 would be more than enough. That keeps the clothesline overhead.

    Kevin

    Edit: Here is a picture. Not a remote locale( sag harbor, ny). The boats in the foreground are moored on a clothesline between a piling offshore and another up on the beach. The photo does not show it, but there is a sand beach directly betwen the camera and the boats.
    Tide range is 4-5 feet at this spot.





    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Last edited by Breakaway; 01-15-2023 at 08:33 PM.
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Keeping a boat on the beach

    Right. I see that the Ottowa River (where Hull is) isn't tidal.
    "We can't have rainbows without rain." - Dolly Parton

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Keeping a boat on the beach

    Quote Originally Posted by rbgarr View Post
    Right. I see that the Ottowa River (where Hull is) isn't tidal.
    The OP wrote: " Tide comes up to bottom of vegetation."

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
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    Victoria BC, Canada
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    629

    Default Re: Keeping a boat on the beach

    Quote Originally Posted by adamarthurryan View Post
    I'm looking for advice about how to keep my boat at my new property in Isle Madame.

    _DSF2598.jpg

    The details:

    - shingle beach
    - soft mud bottom - maybe 10 feet deep at 100 feet out
    - on an approx 1 mile wide straight (Lennox Passage) fetch is maybe 3 miles max
    - tide comes up to about the bottom of vegetation

    The boat is a trad. build 14' dory skiff rowboat (http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...in-Cape-Breton)

    Any thoughts? Some options I thought of are:

    1) some sort of an elevated cradle on the beach with a bit of a ramp and a winch - I guess rollers to launch and retrieve
    2) a mooring a little ways out with a clothesline type system to pull the boat in

    ... ?

    A constraint is that we want to preserve the rustic and natural vibe on the beach, so building a wharf is out of the question. A dock maybe, but probably not.
    We saw some low tech ideas on our trip through Newfoundland. The shores were similar to yours.

    IMG_3418.jpgIMG_3417.jpg

    We also saw some low tech wharves.

    IMG_3421.jpgIMG_3420.jpg

    The "pilings" are wood filled with rocks.

    Jamie

  22. #22
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    Dec 2009
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    Vancouver Island
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    2,391

    Default Re: Keeping a boat on the beach

    Two 'conditions' from the OP:

    "I'm looking for advice about how to keep my boat at my new property in Isle Madame." ... Isle Madame is in Cape Breton, tidal around there.

    "A constraint is that we want to preserve the rustic and natural vibe on the beach, so building a wharf is out of the question. A dock maybe, but probably not.
    " .... Self explanatory to me, who appreciates the natural vibes. A grid from the highwater mark into the trees might be a nice addition to a clothesline system. / Jim

  23. #23
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    Apr 1999
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    Hyannis, MA, USA
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    51,107

    Default Re: Keeping a boat on the beach

    The 'clothesline' system I used had a leader about three times the depth at high tide from the join of the two ends. That way the boat could accomodate various winds. It's the least intrusive rig unless the boat's light enough to use wheels on the stern.

    https://www.vevor.com/boat-steering-...35203f64588d.1

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Keeping a boat on the beach

    Tell the family you need to do some light coppicing so light gets through the trees to help the wildlife as "good responsible ground management"...then say "I know we can build a raft and hold it off the beach with a clothsline system as on open water swimming platform!".

    Then sit back and assess said platform's survival and performance over 12 months without risking your boat. If it's still there and the novelty wears off...slide your boat up and on.

    Elm is tough and won't split plus it loves being immersed but I don't think it's what grows your way...whatever floats your boat! Alot of Greenheart gets used for warf stuff this of the pond. Probably should keep it local.
    Last edited by Edward Pearson; 01-17-2023 at 07:29 AM.

  25. #25
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    Jan 2005
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    Deepest Darkest Wales
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    25,057

    Default Re: Keeping a boat on the beach

    The tidal range makes quite a difference to which options work best.

    Here we have a ten metre (33 feet) range so you never see a clothesline system.
    I'd much rather lay in my bunk all freakin day lookin at Youtube videos .

  26. #26
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    Dec 2007
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    1,074

    Default Re: Keeping a boat on the beach

    Around this part of Finland we have that sort of beaches almost everywhere. The standard slipway used consists of two barked spruce poles as long as possible and at least 3 inches in top diametre laid parallel as the rails of a ladder. The "rungs" of the ladder are made from either round poles or 2x4 or 2x5 nailed with galvanized 5 inch nails. The rung ends s often protrude outside the rails half a metre or so. Sometimes you have a pair of 4 inch boards or smaller poles nailed on top of the rungs as a secondary rail.
    Then the whole "ladder" is turned upside down so you get the rungs underneath the rails. It is laid directly on the beach. If the rung ends protrude they can be weighted down with beach stones so the whole contraption doesn't float away. The upper side of the "rungs" get strips of leftover plastic municipal water pipe nailed to them to reduce friction.
    A simple winch bolted to a post or a boulder helps you the boat out. Launching is downhill and goes without any help.

    We have no tides here but the water rises and falls depending on wind and weather. The range is 2-3 metres depending on where you are. If you have 10 or 12 metre long poles for the "rails" you get the boat rather far up.
    However if you have extreme tidal ranges in your area it is another matter.
    Amateur living on the western coast of Finland

  27. #27
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    Mar 2009
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    2,309

    Default Re: Keeping a boat on the beach

    In Prince Rupert, with a 24 foot tidal range, clotheslines are quite common.

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