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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:19 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 04, 2017 8:22 am
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My wife and I own a Hobie Outback and Mirage. We live on a tidal salt marsh in SC and need to plan our outings around high tides. We will store our kayaks in the garage out of the sun and rain, and we take them to the water using the insertable wheels that make the kayaks pretty easy to maneuver. Depending on how early we launch or how late we return we run into problems with some very soft pluff mud into which I sometimes sink to my knees. I want to build some kind of ramp or launch that will enable us to get in and out safely and get the kayaks in and out safely. We have a dock that extends into the marsh about 50 feet, and though the water is not always navigable at the end of the dock, it provides a solid structure I am thinking we can use to attach a launching platform.

I wonder if others have faced this same type of challenge and have ideas about the best kind of launch under these conditions.
thanks for any advice you can offer.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 4:34 am 
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Site Rank - Captain

Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2017 8:55 pm
Posts: 35
Location: Cedar Key, FL
Native of SC here ... Cedar Key is very similar to your conditions. Typical tidal variation of 3 to 4 feet and a very muddy bottom (when it isn't oyster bed). I need about 1.5 feet above mean low tide to comfortably come and go with the mirage drive.

I installed a floating dock with a ramp. I used this company: https://www.ez-dock.com

The dock has weathered tropical storm conditions a few times and a near miss from Irma. It probably wouldn't survive a direct hit with a storm surge above five feet on top of a high tide.

I have a simple four unit float. I added a kayak rack and a vertical hand rail to aid in stepping in the kayak. They make a nifty (but expensive) kayak launch ( https://www.ez-dock.com/products/ez-kayak-launch/ ) which I considered, but decided that I didn't need because (a) stepping into the stable Outback is fine for me, and (2) the low profile kayak launch would take a pounding in stormy conditions in my situation.

My particular dock is not conducive to wheeling the kayaks out to the floating dock on each use (multiple levels and switchbacks), so my yaks stay on the rack during season (winter time for me). It's not the ideal storage configuration per the Hobie guidelines (boats on their side on J hooks), but I keep the bottom facing south and they come in for the summer and I have not had a problem so far, i.e., the boats are tough.

If you have a local guy who can build a floating dock, I'd consider that option, but there are a number of options out there for modular/configurable systems.

ETA Photo ...

Image

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2014 Outback
2016 Outfitter


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