Discussion in 'Laser Talk' started by baldheadguy, Nov 27, 2010.
I broke a finger once launching in heavy surf. I'm a lot more cautious now
I know this forum is pretty old but the information found was pretty interesting.
I had my experience 7 days ago in an open beach in Argentina.
I was used to beach landing on windsurf and therefore felt confident...
I had a pretty nice launch and had an incredible sailing with about 20 knots.
On coming back I had my doubts but considered that as long as I could stay in front of the surf at my back and not catch up the one in front I should manage the situation.
I also waited for the big waves to pass by and when decided the moment was right began sailing at top speed to the shore.
My mistake was that when near the shore, raised the center board all the way and lost grip, capzising inmediately.
I could raise the boat again but the surf reached me and after capsizing once more the top broke.
My doubt now is... If I would have not have raised the center board completely but only 70% and would have jumped at waist depth would the story been different?
I am afraid on trying once more and now I go sailing when I see there is no much surf on the beach but I know wind can change....
Regards and thanks for the tips I have read.
When you raise the centerboard completely, you don't have much steering ability. You're pretty much at the mercy of the waves and wind at that point. I don't raise the centerboard all the way in heavy winds when approaching the shore, but I do take it up most of the way (75%). If the wind and surf are heavy, I turn the boat away from shore when the water is between waist and chest deep and walk it in the rest of the way. In light winds (and small surf) I sail as far as I can go without scraping the boat.
As free agent says, I never raise the centreboard comletely, the boat just "slides" with out it, you need some grip to make it go where you want it to go.
I never sail into a downwind beach with the sail still rigged for normal sailing, undo the mainsheet and let it blow out in front of the boat so you sail slowly in, and then pull the board out at the very last minute, before you slide off the back.
Since I started this thread over a year ago I've gained a lot more experience beach launching/landing my Laser. After many landings I have acquired enough data to say that my sailing skills are such that 50% of all unassisted beach landings with me at the helm are going to have undesirable results. (At least in the conditions normally found on the south beach of Bald Head Island in North Carolina.)
Last spring I figured out a pretty simple solution to the problem and since then every beach landing has been perfect:
1. The mainsheet on my Laser was not class legal. It was nearly 50 feet long, so I didn't need any additional rope in order to lash my Laser to the underside of the porch of our beach house.
2. I bought a Hobie Getaway.
3. I came to terms with the fact that I was a jackass for trying to sail a monohull from this beach.
I realize that my solution may not work for everyone. (Those of you with class legal mainsheets may need to get some additional rope, or may need to figure out some other means of storing your hull out of the way to make room for a catamaran.)
Some introspection never hurts...
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