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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:19 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 04, 2017 8:22 am
Posts: 3
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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Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2017 8:55 pm
Posts: 56
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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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 5:58 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 04, 2017 8:22 am
Posts: 3
Thanks for this Pollo. Your dock and setting look beautiful, but I think I'm going to need a different solution.
I want to keep both kayaks inside the garage between uses, at least most of the time.
I have them on wheels so I can roll them down to the water, about 75 feet away. We are willing to wade into the water, usually about halfway up my calves. But when the tide is not high enough, I can't traverse the pluff mud without sinking very deep into it.

I am thinking what I need is some kind of walkway that will allow me to get out farther and into water deep enough to float the boat. I also need a handrail to hold onto while getting in and out of the boat.
One possibility is laying down a walkway of treated wood or aluminum grating, possibly attaching the walkway to the piers of the dock to keep it above the mud. Then I could attach a handrail to the dock as well.

I've seen kayak lifts and launches, including the EZ Kayak launch. https://www.ez-dock.com/product/ez-kayak-launch/
And this lift system: https://thedockdoctors.com/ladder-lift-launch.html
But this does not solve the problem of getting the kayaks from the garage to the launch and back, or I should say they do not appear to save much labor in that process.

On a related issue: what do Hobie owners using wheels do to remove and install the wheels during launch. I like rolling the boat right into the water on the wheels, but this makes it hard to get the wheels out. Is there some nifty way to get the wheels out (and in) without having to turn the boat on its side or lift the back end? All suggestions are welcome.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:49 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2011 9:39 am
Posts: 105
On a related issue: what do Hobie owners using wheels do to remove and install the wheels during launch... I switched to solid plastic wheels that don`t float. Makes the cart easier to handle under water.Image


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