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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 1:45 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 12:04 am
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Just recently purchased a 2015 Tandem Island to use at the beach and on the lake. I have found the boat to be very difficult to launch and beach in the surf, even in modest conditions. On the third trip a sea, we ran into trouble beaching the boat. I had my two sons, age 13 and 15 with me. I had read that in the surf that anchoring the boat can allow you to keep the boat straight in the surf and control the landing. As we approached the surf, I had my youngest boy jump out and hold on to a ten foot tow line. This seemed to be working well. My oldest son was in the front seat and I was trying to get him to remove the mirage drive at we hit the surf line so it would not be damaged while beaching. He struggled with this mightily. I was in the back seat with an oar trying to keep the boat straight. We were approaching very shallow water so I jumped out to try and hold the boat until he got the mirage drive out. As I did, the boat turned sideways. We were hit by a modest wave, but obviously strong enough to drive the left ama into the sand and we ended up with two broken akas on the left side. It also pulled the ends of one of the pairs of bungee cord out to the ama.

Questions

1) how do I repair the bungees on the ama? I don't think I lost any length of bungee but I don't know what holds it in place.

2) how can I replace my akas quickly? I don't think the dealer I purchased the boat from can get them in quick enough before I leave the beach. I was hoping to have some expressed shipped to me but I can't find anyone that does that.

3) what is the best approach to launching and beaching in the surf? This seems to be three person job at best. The boat is big and difficult to manage in the surf. I think using my youngest son as an anchor would have worked but when my oldest son struggled to get the mirage drive out, we got stuck in the wave line too long. My last thought is to take down the mast and secure it. Pull in the amas. And get a person in front and in back on ropes and beach it that way as it may be more manageable doing this both going in and out of the surf. It seems that there would be less risk of damage to the boat or people. Thoughts?


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:46 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 17, 2013 5:25 pm
Posts: 384
Location: Jaco, Costa Rica
The TI and AI just are not made to handle surf well. My advice is to launch and land in calmer waters, direct swell off the ocean can be very powerful. But on occasion if you find you must launch or land in rougher surf, proceed as follows. Speed and timing are of necessity. Always keep your kayak perpendicular to the incoming swell. Never let it turn sideways. The adventure island can take a lot of direct hits straight into it, but not at all sideways. Once shallow enough you should get out of the kayak and hold it straight from the rear. I always land prepared with heavy duty wheels already installed underneath the kayak before I enter the surf zone. Everything is put away and tied down, sail furled. Forget using a paddle for steering, use the rudder. You should be jumping out of the kayak at waist deep, use your mirage pedals to go as fast as possible, yeah I know the wheels are going to slow you down. Just before you jump out, pull the pedals and raise the rudder. One guy hold the kayak straight in the surf and push from the rear, the other pull from the front. Get out of the water as quickly as possible.
If the surf is too strong to perform these tasks without potential damage. Don't launch or land in these locations. My rule of thumb is 3 to 4 ft. surf max if in indirect swell (is beach contour proper, what is the tide cycle). Treat it like a boat with amas out on launch and landing.

EDIT: I land a lot in the TI alone in indirect surf. You have to time everything with an eye on the surf behind you. I now use my motor to land always. For speed.

EDIT Sept. 6th, 2015. I now launch with my motor (solo or tandem). I start the motor while still at the edge of the water on the beach (watch the swell for a bit to get a proper timing of the cycle), leave the choke on (note, the motor rides above the bottom with the wheels in), pull the TI out by the toggle from the bow, hold straight into the oncoming swell or break. When it looks good, usually right away, I let go of the stern toggle and submerge under the aka/amas, pulling the kayak forward and I floating backwards. Reach my rear seat, hop up on the seat sideways, push the choke in, and thrust full throttle forward. (Note, I do not have anything else in place but my amas and heavy duty scupper cart, no rudder, no pedals, no sail). Steer with the motor. On occasion I will get unlucky and have a rogue wave appear on my launch as I move forward (especially at day break) under motor power. Don't panic, nothing you can do but attack it full power straight away. The break will push you straight back, momentarily, soaking you, but never any damage (that's why I never wear my glasses or hat on launch, everything tucked away for the worst), just keep blasting straight forward, same would go for pedaling. Don't worry about the wheels, you don't have time to mess with them till you get safely past the break line, then stop, reach down under and pull them out of the scupper holes, prepare anything you haven't upon launch ( for me, rudder down, install pedals).

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Mark
Costa Rica Kayak Guide
http://www.cryaker.com
Tandem Island- 2013
Sport - 2014
Revolution 11-2015


Last edited by CR Yaker on Fri Nov 06, 2015 9:41 am, edited 4 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:51 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2007 6:14 pm
Posts: 3311
Location: South Florida
I'm curious, did the shear pin break on the left (port) side aka? Did it break but still not protect the akas on the port side?

I never land in surf, except I did this year in very small surf, which I did not think of as surf, buried the bow in the beach, but nothing broken accept the rudder shear pin. Islands are NOT surf boats. If you want to play in surf, I would recommend a surfing kayak or surfboard.

The MirageDrive is very easy to remove--just flick the latches open & pull the drive out. Have your son practice it before the next outing. You may not be able to get your boat repaired before you leave the beach. You have not indicated your location (you can do this in your profile) or the beach you are using so people cannot make specific suggestions.

Finally, be careful. Launching and landing in surf could get someone injured seriously--or worse.

Keith

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2015 AI 2, 2014 Tandem

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein

"Less is more" Anon


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2015 11:40 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 12:04 am
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Launching at the surf in Virginia Beach. The pin did not break. The akas got bent on the side driven into the sand and fractured. I wish the pin had broken. It would have been a lot cheaper. I have given up on the surf after two bad experiences. Now launch off the back bay and take it out on Smith Mountain Lake.

Disappointed that I can't really manage this well in the surf in what looks like relatively calm waves. The wind is much better off the beach as compared to the back bay and much easier to get to.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2015 12:15 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2015 4:14 am
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Location: Hilton Head Is., SC
Fully understand how you feel, I live not more than a mile from the beach. The first time out was in the surf, and I had a bad experience, I launched ok, but when landing my daughter was run over by the starboard Aka. As mentioned earlier never get off in front as it is moving, even ever so slightly, a small wave pushed it over her. She was ok except for some scrapes and bruises. From that lesson I now only launch in the Sound at a boat ramp. I would look into an area near the beach, or on a bay that doesn't have direct surf conditions. I know others are successful launching and landing in the surf and are far more experienced, so not putting it down, just not taking chances. I do love my TI, but be careful!


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2015 1:27 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2007 6:14 pm
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Location: South Florida
Hobiecook wrote:
Launching at the surf in Virginia Beach. The pin did not break. The akas got bent on the side driven into the sand and fractured. I wish the pin had broken. It would have been a lot cheaper. I have given up on the surf after two bad experiences. Now launch off the back bay and take it out on Smith Mountain Lake.

Now I'm curious why the aka shear pin did not break? Did you have tramps or hakas on? Did the surf push you in sideways so there was not much backwards pressure on the ama and shear pin?

Launching from Virginia Beach (never been there), aren't there marinas available that you could start/land at to get out on the ocean?

Keith

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2015 AI 2, 2014 Tandem

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein

"Less is more" Anon


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2015 1:36 am 
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Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 2:31 pm
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Location: Kailua 96734
Keith, from what I've seen, the boat only need turn sideways in 2-3 feet of water and the Akas can buckle when waves lift the boat and an Ama slams into the bottom, with or without passengers.

The shear pins dont react to or protect us from this type of torque. But you're right in thinking that tramps could make things worse if the impact results from forward movement.

Driving the mast into the beach could be another really lousy side effect of getting turned and highsided in the shore break.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2015 3:29 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2011 1:58 am
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Location: Forster, NSW, Australia
There are so many instances of bad things happening with surf landings (and launches for that matter), that I would only ever consider a surf landing if in an emergency.

All I have read leads me to plan to land the TI stern first, with rudder and centreboard up, and drives out and secured. I would jump in the water tied to my bow line, so I would act as a sea anchor, keeping the bow straight into the waves. My PFD would keep my head up, while the 30 feet of line would put me always at least one breaking wave back from the bow, theoretically ensuring a measured speed of landing.

Well that's my theory anyway! :)

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Tony Stott
2012 Tandem Island "SIC EM" with Hobie spinnaker and Hangkai outboard
only cool people follow the (non-magnetic) titanium weight-loss program! lol.)


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2015 4:42 am 
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Location: South Florida
NOHUHU--Yes, I guess surf slamming your amas on the bottom might do it. I did my only very mild surf landing last February, but I went straight into shore and did not have any serious consequences other than burying my bow point in the beach momentarily. It was a great shock when it happened to be sure.

My mast was driven pretty hard by the wind into the bottom when I capsized in April in about 6.5+ feet of water. I was happy it did not break or something else happen.

Tony--sounds like a good theory, at least until it is tried. I definitely agree with you that for most people (all people?) surf landing an AI/TI is best avoided. I am curious why you are going in stern first? Seems the design of the boat, any boat, would prefer a bow-first approach.

Keith

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2015 AI 2, 2014 Tandem

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein

"Less is more" Anon


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2015 5:32 am 
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Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 6:18 am
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Location: Sarasota,Key West FL
Here in Florida (well in Sarasota anyway), we have very shallow water in front of the beaches, you have to go out quite a ways to get to waste deep water.
Basically we have breakers (though usually only two to 3ft) pretty much all the time just off shore.

Most of the time we launch and retrieve on the inside of the barrier islands. Landing thru surf is very difficult, like Mark I usually furl my sail batton everything down then go straight in under motor power. When going back out we start the motors back the boat out a ways to waste deep water, then quickly turn the boat around and pile on. I think the whole key is you need enough forward speed for the rudder to work (without forward speed the rudder does nothing). Get that speed by whatever means you have available (ie... Sail, pedal like mad, etc). Timing is everything, it sounds like you got hung up trying to get the mirage drive out, which kind of screwed you (you lost forward motion). The mirage drives are very rugged and we often beach land with the drives in with just the bungy's on the pedals (most of the time this is all you have time to do (hint: you can still pedal with the bungy on in the surf zone). When in those conditions most of the time we have way too many people on the boat (usually 3 or 4 adults). If we are not using the engines we pedal as fast as we can (with the bungys on) to about a hundred ft from shore, everyone jumps off and we guide the empty boat the rest of the way in by hanging onto a rope dangling off the stern. It's really hard and dangerous to hang onto the back of the boat itself, I have been launched a few feet into the air trying to hang onto the back of the boat, it's not the going up part that hurts, it's when the hull comes back down on you (lol).

Never get between the boat and shore. BTW. My most horrific happenstance happened on miedera beach when I was coming in thru 3ft surf to land (fast as possible, straight in), when my wife with a 4yr old decided to greet me (right in front of me hand in and in hand walking out to greet me in knee deep water (waving), I suspect the kid learned many new and exciting words that day. I had to crank the rudder hard and landed on dry land sideways, I had the bungy on the mirage drive, jumped on the outward tramp to keep the boat from tipping, then using a gymnastics term stuck the landing (on dry land 20 ft from my wife (now realizing what just happened). The mirage drives didn't get damaged ( the bungys were on the mirage drives), it took out the left aka sheer pin and the rudder pin, ten minutes later we were out again. ( I was probably just lucky). True story

That rope dangling out the stern I find to be the the best way to walk the empty boat onto the beach ( everyone pretty much has to be off the boat by then. Fortunately here the water is always warm, and 99% of the time we were out there snorkling just off shore (because thats what we do) so everyone has swim suites on anyway (and PFD's of course). I always yell abandon ship, because I'm english and have the english humor curse (my dry humor drives my wife nuts BTW).

Many times we meet our powerboat friends at beaches and sand bars (thats what we do), most of the time we don't land (your not allowed to touch land on some beaches) so we anchor just off shore ( actually way easier) and don't run up on the beach, it's usually just the last 75 ft that gets you anyway. This is why we have a really good anchor and an automatic deploy system for the anchor off the stern. As we approach the beach we drop anchor about a hundred ft out, then tie off when about 15 ft from shore, then we put the sails down (we have a lot of sails (lol), lets just say our TI is a schooner and leave it at that) never touching shore. We have a second small anchor to keep the boat from going side to side, for some reason the power boaters don't like us to bump their boats (lol).
Hopefully some of this will help, knowing what to do and what not to do, and when makes a huge difference.
We have been doing this regularly for 5yrs now and haven't heavily damaged any TI's yet, (lots of rudder and aka pins though, we sail using the brail method (lol).
FE


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2015 6:24 am 
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Location: Forster, NSW, Australia
Keith, my theory is that the bow will be facing the brunt of the power of the waves, while the stern will hopefully arrive at the shore relatively gently. Besides, I always have a 30 foot line through the bow fitting, ensuring things stay lined up the the human sea anchor. :)

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2012 Tandem Island "SIC EM" with Hobie spinnaker and Hangkai outboard
only cool people follow the (non-magnetic) titanium weight-loss program! lol.)


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 2:06 am 
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Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2011 3:57 am
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Location: Fairfax, CA USA
I've landed fishing kayaks stern first, just keep paddling to keep the bow pointed. Much easier than bow first actually, at least until you really get the hang of surfing and bracing.
Only landed the AI a few times in the surf, and it was always a white knuckle ride. I like the idea of a stern first entry, with the human sea anchor!


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 5:17 pm 
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I've salmon fished out of Bolinas bay which always has some surf. I tried coming in thru 5 foot sets once using a 3' sea anchor on a 30 foot bungie cord. Worked very well thru 3 sets but the last one got me when the returning water washed me back now that the drive was out. The bungie had 6' of slack when the boat was picked up and started surfing in less then 1 foot of water. At the last second the sea anchor caught and straitened the boat but not before the left ama dug in the sand shearing the bolt. Rudder pin also broke when I raised the rudder which made the bungie cross over the rudder. My dignity was intact as I had a large audience. Lots of disappointed surfers who were hoping for a yard sale.


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