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 Post subject: How Not to Beach the TI
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 9:28 pm 
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Location: Jupiter, Florida
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvQnvGKOZOY&feature=email[/youtube]

"Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment.”

My previous military life has taught me the importance of sharing near death, "bonehead" experiences in the hope of keeping one of your brothers from stumbling into the same trap. I share the following with that goal in mind.

I had recently finished some modifications to my TI including the new rudder installation. I was looking forward to getting out today to ops check all the new modifications. The weather was forecasted to be 2 foot seas with the possibility of showers/thundershowers starting around 11 am. The South Florida summer weather pattern is normally some showers/thundershowers in mid afternoon due to the combination of the sea breeze and convection heating. My plan was to have the boat in the water by 7am and be back by 11am or sooner. We launched about 30 minutes late into choppy 2 foot surf, which is unusual for early morning. The seas were sloppy 2-3 foot waves with about a 10 knot SE wind. We sailed for about 35 min then decided to return due to the building seas which were a solid 3 foot. Unfortunately, due to fighting a current and sailing into the wind our progress was slowed down considerably. Also a thunderstorm was building southeast of us and moving towards us. At first I was confident that we would beat the storm back to our recovery point but as we got close the seas began to build to 3-4 and the winds were gusting to 25 knots plus. We rolled up the windward tramps but the wind and sea conditions were combining to make controlling the boat difficult. Just before crossing the mouth of the Jupiter Intel (where a 50ft Sport fishing boat rolled last year) the conditions rapidly deteriorated. The temperature dropped 10 degrees and the gust front started to hit us. I decides we needed to retrieve the sail and beach the boat now. Unfortunately, the sheet line was tangled around the mirage drive. Although, we were around 200 yards from the beach by the time I untangled the sheet line and retrieved the sail, the wind and the waves had already pushed us very close to the beach. The beaching happened to quick and the result is a damaged boat and a near death experience.

Lessons learned:

1. If it even looks like it might be a little to rough do not go into the ocean. Its a kayak not a boat!
2. Control the ropes in the TI. I have never had the sheet line tangle like it did, but Murphy’s Law, it always happens at the worst time.
3. If you are in the ocean and you see a thunderstorm within a 100 miles of you, be afraid because you cannot run.
4. If you are beaching the boat and things are falling apart leave the mirage drive in and rudder down but unlocked. A bent mirage drive is cheaper than 2 AKAs.
5. Always beach the TI with the AMAs out. Looking at the video the boat is almost at a 60 degree angle. I believe the left AMA is all that prevented the TI from flipping over.
6. Live a life worth living. We are all one breath away from meeting God.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 10:28 pm 
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Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
Oh Snap

That was almost too painful to watch :cry:
I wish you well

Trinomite

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 10:58 pm 
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
Glad to see you made it in (relatively) unscathed - those conditions looked iffy to say the least...

One other thing you could add to your list:

7: Never let the kayak get between you and the waves.

Cheers,

Mike.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 11:32 pm 
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Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
I saw that vid again.

Ok The TI is a MUCH bigger craft than the AI and obviously needs big boat tactics to manage a beaching.

PLEASE! I am NOT making a judgement of any kind. I'm simply trying to find a better way to beach this 18' trimaran. (As I hope we all know a tri is not a surboard and will never behave like a flat bottom with 3 to 5 fins on the stern) so why do I always see kayaks go bow to the land?

What if one was to reverse the craft and put it in irons in reverse of the breakers (whilst they are still swells?) Toss out your anchor and set it and tie it off..

This gives your rear crewvmate time to tidy the rudder while the forward crew does a pull of the daggerboard, a tight roller furl of the sail and either locks the fins with a bungy to have the blades snug to the hull (or lift out the drive, if you can).

Now you have the ability to uncleat your anchor line and let the force of the waves push you backwards into the beach under control. the last breaker will be the most powerful one (based on the angle of the terrain and weather)'

I've done this with inflatable kayaks on the West Coast of Vancouver Island and it has works\ed for me (luck and a read of the swell and quick timing).

I hope this help anyone in a simular situation
Trinomite

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 6:04 am 
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Location: Sarasota,Key West FL
snjsanders:
I read you post in amazement, we ran into a similar situation in Key West on Sunday. Forecast was for 15 mph winds from the west with the storm coming in around 4:00. We launched our TI from the pier at the end of Simenton st and went north, after going a couple miles wife saw one of the big Sabago party cats anchored just off Sunset Island and wanted to go down close to it and maybe drop anchor and snorkel for a while (we didn't have our Scuba tanks with us). So I turned south hoisted the spinaker (the wind was now a steady 15 mph from the northwest (about 250 deg behind). We were moving right along having a great run (we hit 17 mph) and went too far south. Anyone who knows KW knows the current in the channel in front of Mallory square is really strong, and the buildings really mess up your wind, well we forgot. We worked for almost two hours trying to get back to our launch not making any headway going against the 5-6 mph current and the 15 mph headwind. Then the thunder storm rolled in 2 hrs early (probably the same storm as yours) and it went from bad to worse. It got windier, raining like crazy and the waves were 3 ft in the channel so I turned the boat around with the plan to put in at southern most point (near our house at the corner of Duval and US1), with the plan to just walk up and get the car a few blocks away once we were safe. We were flying along at around 8-9 mph when it started getting worse so my wife who is smarter then me said to put into shore and we will sit the storm out. We put in at a small beach just south of the coast guard station at Ft Zachary park. I did similar to what Trinomite suggested as we approached shore had wife throw anchor off back of boat then guide us in by feeding anchor line the last 20-30 ft. The anchor helped keep the boat straight through the surf waves. The beach was only 100 ft wide and there were huge shore rocks on either side that I'm sure would have wrecked the boat with the 3 ft breakers rolling over us by now. Once the storm subsided we sailed west outside sunset key and then north, once clear of the current and with clear wind we were able to make 8-9 mph going north with the jib and mainsail, we then came in from the far north (near the navy station) and had no problems getting in. A two hour sail turned into 7 hrs with a histerical wife vowing to never go out again with me. Lessons learned, next time don't take the wife (LOL). Seriously though it's important to know the currents and tide conditions where your planning to sail, and don't count on the weather reports being accurate (the storm rolled in 2 hrs early, and the wind changed from the west (which was ok) to from the northwest (very good chance of being lost at sea, and ending up in Cuba)). I'm just happy my wife had enough foresight to realize the way I was going around to the south of the Island (southern most point) was really stupid and we could have easily been blown out to sea unable to get back in against the wind, ending up in the Jamaica or Africa still sitting in the TI mumified with our feet still on the mirage pedals . In the mean time I'm out looking for a larger emergency motor, the 2hp gas motor I have couldn't save us when we were in trouble. Even with the sails furled, the motor on full throttle, and both of us pedaling very hard we couldn't make headway against the current and headwind in the cruiseship channel in front of Mallory square. When we tried tacking we lost even more ground.
Bob


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 8:23 am 
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Location: Jupiter, Florida
Trinomite

Good suggestions on using the anchor for a rough beach recovery. I had never considered using the anchor that way. Having a forum to tap into the corporate knowledge of so many experienced kayakers is of tremendous benefit. Thanks Hobe!

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 12:08 pm 
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Location: Fort Walton Beach, Florida
Very good information, i like the idea of anchoring beyond the break and easing yourself in "backward". Thank you for posting, and sorry about the damage to your boat!

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 3:40 pm 
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Location: Kailua, HI
The anchor idea sounds reasonable on paper but that side action mixed up beach break was going to be tough no matter what. Who was going to go up to the bow and get all the anchor logistics sorted? I have been feeling a lot more in control of my destiny since I switched to the canoe paddle. I get the wife to take out her Mirage drive and then she raises the center board and I raise the rudder. With my canoe paddle I can steer and flutter kick with my drive in if needed or just stroke in slowly with my drive out.

Its much easier to point the boat with a canoe paddle. Its the best 20 bucks I ever spent!...well, in recent memory that is!

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 4:07 pm 
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Location: tampa, fl
Living in Florida with lots of beaches to land on, perfecting the beach landing process makes the TI very versatile. The best way I found which pretty much eliminates the chance of damage is as follows. 3 foot seas are the biggest I have done this in so larger may be an issue.
Keep a 15 foot leash tied to the bow .
Furl the sail
When you are outside the break pull the drives.
Raise the rudder and center board
Now jump in the water holding the bow or the leash and swim the boat in backwards.
Depending on the depth and angle off the beach you can stand and hold the boat in control or put you weight on the bow and help the waves push it up on the beach. THe key is keeping things from going sideways.
This keeps you out of harms way if a wave lifts the boat and people create a lot of drag to keep things strait.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 4:09 pm 
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AND the single paddle is the best thing for controlling the TI when you are not able to use the rudder.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 8:21 pm 
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Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
snjsanders wrote:
Trinomite

Good suggestions on using the anchor for a rough beach recovery. I had never considered using the anchor that way. Having a forum to tap into the corporate knowledge of so many experienced kayakers is of tremendous benefit. Thanks Hobe!


Thank you. There are a few things I may have left out. For example, neither AI or TI come with a cleat on the bow. This makes using any anchor in a situation where you are not playing with a fish but trying to save your boat and crew very difficult as the boat will turn and present the beam sides to the breaking surf. This will certainly turn into a disaster. The Kayak we used had a D ring on the bow which enabled us to keep our bow square to the incoming swells by dropping our anchor (and me in the rear keeping our boat square with my double paddle. We rode out the swells with the anchor Rode directly off the bow through the D ring. As my wife backed us into the surf we rode the back of the crest backwards.

I've modified my AI to allow this ability:

http://i1199.photobucket.com/albums/aa4 ... G_3382.jpg

...by adding 2 hooks or a ring fitting to the bow

. The other factor was the Innova 'Sunny' was extremely thin in the beam with a relatively flat bottom to make this a lot easier than trying to stabelize 3 long thin hulls.

The experiments my wife and I did was to practice surf rescue in the Innova Inflatable in 3 to 4 foot swells on Canada's West Coast near Tofino. We both had full wet suits on with PDFs and were prepared to get dumped. In truth we did get dumped 2 times until we figured out the pattern of the waves...

If it was not for the float attached to the anchor Rode we would have lost our anchor. However, the effort was worth it. We both learned a lot

Regards
Fred

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:48 pm 
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The guys from the Transparentsea expedition had to make daily surf landings in all sorts of conditions on their way down the east coast of Australia. Apparently they chose to jump out and swim their AI's in and managed each time without mishap. Of course the TI would be a bit more of a handful.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:28 pm 
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Hiyas chris
I truly believe there may be a 'few' right ways to beach in surf. (However some may not be that 'right')
In the early 80's I had the pleasure to attend a computer graphics convention in Orange County. We had a 'free day' and went to Newport beach to do some surfing.
I preferred to body surf. I swam with all my might and caught a wave..
Due to the sharp rise at the end of the beach, the final breaking wave slammed me into the bottom head first.
I spent a day in the local hospital with a minor head concussion, and a week worth of headaches.
You 'play' sometimes you 'pay'.
Compared to where I live the surf is far harsher there due to the sharp rise on the beaches in CA.
It's just the way it is.
Regards, my friend

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 6:04 pm 
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Location: Jupiter, Florida
Thanks for all that have participated in this discussion. Again, I find this type of forum perfect for addressing these kinds of issues where tapping into the experiences of the community can prevent others from damaging their kayak or preventing serious injury. After weighing all that has been said I think the following can be summarized from the discussion:

1. Like everything in life this takes practice. Launching in controllable but semi rough seas without the sail or a lot of equipment and practicing recovering is a required event. If you live in south Florida and ocean sail, it is only a matter of time before your luck runs out (like mine did) and you will need to know how to do this.
2. Have a quick and workable anchoring system that connects to the bow and can be cleated.
3. With a two person crew, anchor the bow and slowly and controllable back into the surf. Have the second person with a line tied to the stern swim to the beach and control the stern.
4. If solo and sitting in the back (like I normally do) anchor the bow and have a cleat accessible from the back. Slowly back into the surf and when you can, jump out to control the stern while maintaining control of the line line to the bow.
5. Have a single paddle to help control the stern as you back into the surf.

Obviously, this is going to demand allot out of you anchoring system. I currently have a small claw anchor with about 2 feet of chain attached to it. Anyone have experience on what is the best anchor for a sandy beach in these demanding conditions? I am also experimenting with a more workable way to quickly anchor and cleat from the bow. Any suggestions?

Fusioneng. Regarding you comments for a 2hp motor for fighting currents/winds, I also have had the same thoughts. I often sail out to 5-8 miles offshore of Jupiter, Florida to fish. At the end of the day the current has often taken me north of my recovery point and I have to fight the wind and current to get back. After having to kick hard for one hour and 45 minutes to avoid another storm, I decided to buy the new Hobie evolve 2 motor. It is 2hp and eventually will be solar rechargeable. I should receive it in a few weeks. I will write a review on it after I test it out. With you living in the Keys I am sure you see the potential of this solar rechargeable motor for extended Everglades trips.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 7:45 pm 
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Hiyas SNJ
This thread was difficult for me as nobody wants to be put into a position to say ..."WELL if you ony did that and this and dat...."
Not the answer, as I think we all here may have made huge mistakes that almost cost us our lives (in retrospect)
However, it is human to explore and learn as we struggle through our adventures.
North of where I live, at full flood, the current can get to be 12 knots as the entire Gulf of Georgia tries to squeeze through tiny flow points between the mainland, numerous Islands and a landmass as large as England, Scotland, and Ireland (Vancouver Island).
I regard the stretch between the keys and Cuba as having the same type of properties. As the Gulf flow goes North up the peninsula of Florida the ocean flow flow just seems to just get faster (The Bahamas). (a double venturi effect also enhanced by semi tropical water currents hitting cold Atlantic layers that thermocline under the Gulf Stream)

The standard 3 lb. 'claw' anchor seems to be the norm. Your addition of a 2 foot chain is smart as it helps to keep the flukes at the ready to grab sand, and keep them there. (However other anchors' claim to fame is at your discretion as there are better systems out there than a foldable claw in sandy bottoms)
(May I ask that you consider attaching the chain to the 'bottom' of the anchor and use a light wire zip tie to attach the opposite end of the anchor to the chain or anchor rode. That way if you snag a reef or fixed rock, a sharp jerk will break the zip tie and free your anchor. Also a free running float is very helpful if you have to pay out anchor rode to bring yourself in backwards) for retrieval.

I wish you my best SNJ :-)
Fred

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