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 Post subject: Beach launching the PA14
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 6:48 pm 
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So who beach launches their PA? Do you walk out deep enough to insert the mirage drive, then mount, and peddle through the surf? Or do you hop in, drop the rudder, and paddle like hell? What would be the height limits for surf launching this beast?

I've never been offshore in a yak, but the cobia are running right now and the tarpon will be here before long!!!


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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 7:59 pm 
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Either way works. The golden rule is, always stay perpendicular to the waves. If you get sideways in the surf with a PA you are gonna get rolled. I would not try to enter in 3ft surf, thats where I draw the line.


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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 8:13 pm 
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I fish mostly on northern Lake MI. Unless it's real windy, I can generally handle 3-4 ft swells out on the lake, but try to avoid heading out if there is more than a 2-3 ft breaking surf at my launch area. I roll my PA out unitl it is in knee-deep water. This provides sufficient clearance to pull the wheels out from below. I pull the wheels out while floating on a wave crest and stow them. I have the Mirage Drive clipped to it's keeper leash and resting in the cockpit. I aim out into the waves, hop in, and paddle out while dropping my rudder. When I get to a consistent depth of 3' in the troughs (on my FF) I click the Mirage drive into place, and I'm on my way. Reverse process coming back in. I never have to tip the PA to insert or remove the wheelset this way, and make maximal use of the Miage Drive for getting through any breaking surf. FWIW, I find it far easier gettting out in a breaking surf than getting back in! The PA has a tendency to yaw and can swamp coming in with a quartering surf.


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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 5:41 pm 
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I only fish the Gulf of Mexico and I take my PA out to about knee deep and jump in and paddle it out to 4 ft or more (whatever the depth is past the surf zone). I have found that it is better to leave the rudder up while going and coming through the sure...................if it is down those surf waves have a tendency to grab it and sent your yak one way or the other.

For re-entry in a rough, high surf, I pull up my rudder, take the mirage drive or eVolve out and turn the bow toward the incoming waves at the surf zone. I paddle backwards and let the waves push me to the beach.......Always keeping my bow into the big waves. I have never flipped that way.


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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 7:00 pm 
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Mythman - That sounds like an interesting solution to the problem of getting turned broadside to the waves when coming in through the surf zone. Anybody else "back in" that way?


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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 10:58 am 
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Location: Hill Country TX & NW ON CA
Lake in Northwest Ontario without any significant wind. I push it out until it is floating, step in and sit down, put the Mirage Drive in as it is gently bobbing out deeper and depper and then the rudder.
I was out for hours the other day fishing and didn't use the paddle except once. Had to retrieve my jig and bait from a bush! OK so I cast out too far. Just needed to slow my approach to the rocks.

The PA is still new to my household. WE just picked it up not even a week ago and I've been out several times already. LOVE IT. No complaints about anything.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 1:15 pm 
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Location: Amelia Island, FL
Surf re-entry by coming in backwards will work 99% of the time. It allows to to "hold" your kayak into the breaking wave rather than being swept sideways, which ain't good.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 1:46 pm 
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Someone should make a video.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 1:50 pm 
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Location: Amelia Island, FL
Tim Antoine wrote:
Someone should make a video.

Don't think anyone wants to be embrassed when they turtle :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 2:24 pm 
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For me...When beach launching there can't be much surf. Everything happens quickly and I usually fish with alot of gear along...and even though its secured before launch, I just don't like taking a chance of being turned over. When I launch, I make sure the rudder is up, and the mirage drive is on the deck but not in the drive hole. I walk the PA out until the water is about 2 feet, or just above my knees...Then I jump in and paddle until I'm past the breakers. I never try to install the mirage drive before that time because all it would take is a wave breaking just right, pushing the PA backwards or sideways into shallower water either flipping the PA or damaging the drive by bending the fin support masts in the sand. Before deploying the Mdrive you should always make sure you are in an area of water where you have full control of the PA...Which is usually just beyond the breakers. And then I always deploy the drive as quickly as possible to avoid being pulled back toward the breaking waves. Remember...Everything happens more quickly when launching from the beach. Be prepared to launch, jump in and paddle out quickly to avoid being thrashed before you can get the Mdrive in place. :wink:


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:33 am 
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Location: Humble TX
I took my first BTB/offshore trip in my PA 14 this past Saturday. Swellinfo.com was wrong AGAIN and the conditions were less than ideal. I'm not good at estimating what the wave or swell heights are but they were definately at the limit of my comfort range. I watched a few guys in a variety of kayaks go out ahead of me, some made it and others didn't. I thought about all the info I had read, and decided to give it a try.

The first attempt I left my rudder up, the drive was in but secured and I wasn't using it. I jumped in started paddling and struggled from the start. Got almost all the way out and got caught a little sideways and rolled it. Luckily I quickly got it turned over and didn't lose anything. The turtle or the paddling was not a fun experience! I emptied my front hatch made sure everything was still secure and jumped right back in for round two! This time I used the mirage and dropped my rudder and felt much more secure. I was able to head straight into the waves and made it out pretty easily. That doesn't seem to be the way most recomend but it worked for me. I felt a lot more at ease and in control that second try. Again this was only my first trip so experience may change my methods.

I was glad I made it out and ended up having a good day. Caught a nice kingfish and a bunch of undersized snapper and other fish. I also learned a lot about the PA. Most of it good and I couldn't be happier with my new ride. The big concern for me was the water that got in the front hatch. I took a LOT of waves over the bow coming out. Once I got past the breakers I felt something was wrong and checked the front hatch and found it was just about full. Luckily I had a hand pump and quickly got it emptied. Sure wasn't comfortable doing it in those big swells though. I'm seaching the posts about a fix for that now.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 11:18 am 
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Ive read quite a bit about adding weather stripping to the front hatch to help with water intrusion. I would think the center hatch would need it too. Even with that I don't believe you could make it waterproof. Don't forget to add pool noodles to the inside of the hull to aid in floatation for if you do fill up with water. More bouyancy is always a good thing. Every little bit helps!!


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 12:10 pm 
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Ring King wrote:
Ive read quite a bit about adding weather stripping to the front hatch to help with water intrusion. I would think the center hatch would need it too. Even with that I don't believe you could make it waterproof. Don't forget to add pool noodles to the inside of the hull to aid in floatation for if you do fill up with water. More bouyancy is always a good thing. Every little bit helps!!


When I bought my PA in 2009 there was much discussion about making the PA water tight. There was an incident where someone sank their PA because they said the fishing rod tubes filled with water when they tried a reentry from the bow, which later turned out to be a forward hatch not securely closed problem. Hobie chimed in and said it was very hard to create a water tight seal around a hatch as large as the PA' foward hatch. Before it was found to be a hatch issue though, some guys bought large scupper plugs, one guy posted pics of some kind of ball that he stuffed in each hole, and I just took the rod tubes out altogether and covered the openings with a piece of sheet metal aluminum (overkill)...But it did leave me with more forward hatch storage space and I never used the rod tubes anyway ;)

After it was determined that the guys sinking problem wasn't because of rod tubes, and was a forward hatch issue, I installed weather stripping both to the underside of my PA front hatch lid, and on top of the hatch liner. This made the bungee hold down much tighter. Then to correct the issue with the middle hatch, I bought Hobie's special tool to remove the bungee screw, I shortened the bungee and then reinstalled everything to make the bungee hold down the hatch tighter. Last but not least, I went around the inside hull wherever I could reach and covered any screw or fitting that went through the hull with silicone sealer. That made my PA water tight. The only water that gets in now is from condensation, or when I have the PA in really bad conditions where waves are constantly rolling and breaking over the bow.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 11:28 am 
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I have not read the other replies yet, but I live in southern Cali, and every time I have to beach launch for my PA!
Normally what I do is,depending on swells, I will take out to where my drive system can drop in and i make them lay flat with the hull.
I jump in give a few hard sprint paddles about 4 or 5 drop my rudder and peddle like hell!
Over 500 launches in over 8' breaking swells I never hard 1 problem landing or launching!
Even my first time launching in 6' swells.


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