Sometimes the most fun you can have with your boat is jumping out of it to swim or frolic on the beach. But, before you go and beach your boat you need to make sure you know exactly what you’re doing. If you have the wrong technique you could damage your boat, wind up stuck, or both.
Here are the best ways to beach your boat directly on the beach itself and how to beach your boat just offshore of the actual beach. With both techniques, it is critical that you always maintain your situational awareness because when it comes to being on the water things can change in a hurry.
When the soft sand is calling and you want to play on shore and still be close to the water, it’s tempting to want to beach your boat directly on the sand. Most experts strongly advise you to not do this. However, the truth is most boaters will do this from time to time. If you do decide to beach your boat on the shore make sure you fully understand the risks and you are willing to live with the consequences of your decision.
As mentioned above, it is never really ideal to beach your boat directly on the shore. But, if you find a nice sheltered cove, or you really want to go ashore without all the trouble of dealing with complicated anchoring techniques, you will want to beach your boat directly on the beach.
Because of the constant changes in the tide, it is best if you only use this technique if you plan on being ashore for a short time or you are willing to move your boat every hour or so.
You will want to make sure you have great visibility and that there are no rocks between you and the soft sand where you plan on beaching the boat.
The biggest hazards when you beach your boat directly on the actual beach are:
Before beaching your boat, you can mitigate the most severe risks to your boat by fitting your keel with a guard. You will also want to give your boat a thorough cleaning and consider reapplying antifouling coatings sooner than usual.
When dealing with the risks presented by the changing tide your best defense will be using the technique described below and being vigilant about watching the changing tide and the position of your boat.
Beaching your boat just offshore is the safer technique. Most veterans have found that parking the boat just off of the beach allows them more time to play, is safer for the boat, and allow for greater peace of mind.
While there are still risks with this technique, they are easier to manage and much less severe than the hazards encountered with beaching your boat directly on the shore.
When you want to relax, swim, or play on the soft and inviting sand, beaching your boat offshore is a great idea. You will only want to beach your boat in good weather and when you are aware of the tides and winds.
You can beach your boat close enough to the shore that everyone on shore can hear the music from the boat and in deep enough water to allow the boat to float and anyone that wants to swim.
Beaching your boat offshore is great for when you want to picnic on the beach or just enjoy the sun.
When you beach your boat just offshore you are much less likely to damage your boat, but there are still some possible hazards:
If you use the proper technique, you can avoid almost all of these risks. Most of these hazards happen because boaters are in a hurry, inexperienced, or fail to pay sufficient attention to details. However, even if you follow this technique exactly, there is always a danger of changing winds or tides creating a problem. You should make it a habit to check on the boat’s position relative to the shore and the water level regularly—at least once an hour.
In order to lessen the risk of getting stuck, the goal of beaching your boat just off the beach is to end up with the bow pointing towards the open water and away from the shore. Using this technique properly will require the help of a crew member.
When it is time to go all you will need to do is load everything up, pay out a little scope on the bow anchor rode and pull in the stern anchor rode as everyone gets back on board. Once everyone and everything is safely loaded, you can use your bow anchor rode to pull the boat into deeper water until it’s safe to start the engines, pull up the bow anchor and head to your next stop.