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Dinghy Launch and Storage on Mucky Shore Advice


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I'll receive my first sailing dinghy (RS Zest) next week.  It's just now hitting me that I need to figure out the logistics of getting it in/out of water...or keeping it in water.  I could really use some suggestions from experienced folk.  Beach it?  Boat lift?  moor it?  dock it?

Just moved into a northern Michigan lakehouse with a mucky bottom shore.  It's officially wetlands but I have a dock and lift for my 13' Whaler.  2k acre freshwater inland lake.  See photos of my shore.  My plan is to muscle the Zest up and down the shore, with my wife to get it in water initially.  I'll sail it for a few hours.  But then what?  :unsure:

I could maybe try storing it on the shore if my wife and I can muscle it in/out of water but:

- the muck sucks.  It's knee-deep.  not very pleasant.  No Beach!  Some large rocks along waterline.  Marshy shore but mostly solid.
- I really hate the idea of having to wait on my wife to get me in/out.  Would rather go solo.  I have a 9 year old that will hopefully start sailing too.

So should I just let it float?  Should I but a small used lift?  

What would you do?

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19 minutes ago, kprice said:

Make a long one-wheel cart  with two handles like a wheelbarrow and navigate down the dock.

I could see that for put-in.  But not feasible to get it from water, back to dock. 

This maneuver isn't even possible with my SUP board or kayak.  Instead, I have a 12' x 24' muck mat near the shore, along the dock.  I use it to stand on, to carry SUP board and kayak out of water for daily shore storage.  Maybe I do the same?  Seems the Zest will be too wide...or something.

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Drag over muck mat, or put on a dolly that runs over the muck mat. Dinghy dolly allows you to put the boat in it's balance point, making for a light load. a wheelbarrow setup will be a ton more effort.

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8 minutes ago, martin 'hoff said:

Drag over muck mat, or put on a dolly that runs over the muck mat. Dinghy dolly allows you to put the boat in it's balance point, making for a light load. a wheelbarrow setup will be a ton more effort.

This ^^ and get a dolly with wide tires

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The dolly idea (e.g., Dynamic Dolly) is growing on me.  So, can I leave the boat on the dolly on dry land while not in use?  Or are dolly meant to just be temporary?

Also, will I rig the mast and everything else once in the water?  Or on dry land?

 

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48 minutes ago, Eric Jacobson said:

The dolly idea (e.g., Dynamic Dolly) is growing on me.  So, can I leave the boat on the dolly on dry land while not in use?  Or are dolly meant to just be temporary?

Also, will I rig the mast and everything else once in the water?  Or on dry land?

 

You can store the boat on the dolly on land. Then rig the boat, hoist sail etc. with the boat on the dolly on the land - preferably with the dolly moved so the boat is pointing into the wind. Wheel the dolly to the water, launch the boat and sail away.

 

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16 hours ago, Eric Jacobson said:

So, can I leave the boat on the dolly on dry land while not in use? 

 

Just be sure to secure boat / dolly if stored in an area exposed to possible strong wind, i.e. from a thunderstorm. 

 

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Most dinghies sit in the dolly (trolly) all summer. Usually tied down. Two strong points either side, ideally roughly level with the mast. Line over the boat, possibly a couple of times around the mast. I use the same strap that I use to tie the boat into the road trailer.

Don't know about where you are, but in the UK if your boat isn't tied down and it blows over then you're not insured.

How to create strong points is a whole new thread. Most dinghy sailing clubs provide them, I wouldn't pay the parking fee at a club that didn't.

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I've never been at a club that provided tie down points and I've been to at least ten different clubs.

So the users made their own, at one club they were on a flood plain, if the river gates were closed to protect the city down river, then the dinghy park could flood to 3feet deep in 30 minutes from normally being 3ft above the normal waterline. There some left their boat drains open and tied down securely. Others planted two scaffolding poles either side of the hull and used rings round the poles to allow the boat to float up and down.

Most clubs you dig a hole, each side, use a bag of instant concrete in each hole fixing a large eye bolt into the wet concrete.

As for your muddy exit ,  if you are permitted, I'd be pouring gravel into the mud to make more secure footing.

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15 hours ago, The Q said:

I've never been at a club that provided tie down points and I've been to at least ten different clubs.

So the users made their own, at one club they were on a flood plain, if the river gates were closed to protect the city down river, then the dinghy park could flood to 3feet deep in 30 minutes from normally being 3ft above the normal waterline. There some left their boat drains open and tied down securely. Others planted two scaffolding poles either side of the hull and used rings round the poles to allow the boat to float up and down.

Most clubs you dig a hole, each side, use a bag of instant concrete in each hole fixing a large eye bolt into the wet concrete.

As for your muddy exit ,  if you are permitted, I'd be pouring gravel into the mud to make more secure footing.

You've been hanging around the wrong places Q. I did penance at Barton as a school boy, and even there were tie downs.

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1 hour ago, European Bloke said:

You've been hanging around the wrong places Q. I did penance at Barton as a school boy, and even there were tie downs.

Although I've sailed and raced at  / on Barton Broad , I've never been to their  land Moorings... I arrive by boat.... and probably will always do so.. As once I retire in a couple of years, I'll tow my boat up their for their regatta  (August Bank Holiday each year) and stay on board the motor boat.

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8 hours ago, Eric Jacobson said:

@LakeBoy, have you done this?  

No, I'm just a random internet guy giving advice.  

The community I live in has an EZDock installation that runs about 450 feet from shore and has 22 slips on one side.  I'm pretty impressed with the product.

Seems to me a solution for you is some sort of platform at the end of your dock, either floating or fixed, low enough to drag boats on and off.  

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Beautiful location. Two directions you could go, both require some more investment. 

1. improve dock functionality, add a low profile pull on /push off EZ dock type design.  This will allow you to single hand. It will also serve other water craft in the future and as an easy water in-out for kids.

2. expand your muck mat footprint and buy a dolly.  A Zest is ~ 170lbs which will be easy to move on wheels. Get the biggest wheels available.  Add a winch post on shore and moving the rig up the shore will be no problem when solo.

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20 hours ago, KevV said:

get rid of that stinkboat - put zest on lift - Priorities!

How big is that lake?

that is funny!  But no.  I'll keep my Whaler for the glassy water dead calm days.

 

Green Lake is 2 thousand acres.

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Boat lift for sure.  On downwind side of dock.  A jet ski lift might even be adequate, it is for my Laser.  I bought a cheap cable winch from Harbor Freight for the jet ski lift.  Rig, then sit in boat, push down button, you're off.  

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 7/18/2021 at 7:47 PM, Eric Jacobson said:

@LakeBoy, have you done this?  

My wife's aunt and uncle keep a Force 5 on a dock like that up in the 1000 islands of Canada.  It's pretty easy.  There's has a v-shape to the dock in the center so it does a pretty good job of keeping the boat in place and they tie the painter to a cleat or loop on the dock, that's it.  Mast and boom stay up.

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This could be pricey, but a pull-on floating dock may well do the trick.   You might get lucky and find a used one for a jet ski that would work.   The sailboat is much lighter than a jetski, so it would float it fine, and you could tie the floating cradle to the side of your dock.   

 

JetSLIDE: Slide-on jet ski floating dock (Standalone with 2 posts) -  Candock Miami

 

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