Monday 18 February 2019

Beach Launching

For one reason or another beach launching along the south coast of England is quite rare, perhaps we're spoiled by deep water mooring and slipways, and in some cases councils who have banned beach launching for some unfathomable reason. But over on the Normandy coast of France there's good public access to the sea across the beach for both commercial fishermen and pleasure boaters alike.

Extensive hard sand beaches with good access and abundant free parking allow people to get afloat all along the coast between the rivers at Ouistreham and Courseulles. A lot of local inshore fishermen  and sailing clubs use tractors, which given the tidal range and the distance across the sand makes a lot of sense.

Clearly it's ok to leave launching trolleys at the water's edge on a falling tide, just keep a careful eye on the time if you're gone for a long time.

Recovery with an onshore breeze is always going to be a challenge, although these guys made it look very easy, the RIB was up on the trailer and away almost before I could get any pictures.

Good idea to check everything before going to launch, it's a long way back to the clubhouse for a missing shackle or other broken item of gear.

While a tractor is probably the favorite launching vehicle, that Fiat Panda 4 x 4 seems to be doing a good job on the soft sand.

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