Beach Launch Requirement

Oddly enough, one of the things that was intimidating me at the beginning of the planning for the Everglades Challenge was the hand launch off of the beach at Ft. Desoto, starting from above the high tide line.  A trimaran poses some unique obstacles, especially if it’s not a flat-bottomed vaka design, as concentrating all the weight on a thin centerline, and then trying to push it across wet and dry sand just CAN’T be fun.  I thought of many, many ways to move the boat, including my own version of a big kayak cart using 24″ dock wheels (used to install and remove docks in climates where the water freezes in winter)

Hollow HDPE dock wheel

Heck, when I realized how bulky four of those would be, I even thought of installing LANDING GEAR on the boat, so I could automatically deploy wheels when needed!

At this point I realized the most serious problem I had was ME.

So, being of generally intelligent thought, I posted a question on the WaterTribe discussion board.  Lo and behold, fellow Triber Crazy Russian ( ) told me that, back in Russia, small cats and tris were quite popular (!) and that many folks used simple rollers that were sort of hourglass shaped so that the hull wouldn’t slide off, like it would be prone to do on a standard inflatable roller.  Not being savvy on the import/export of Russian sailing commodities, I tried to figure out an alternative.  I finally came up with two basketballs in a sewn sleeve!  Of course, basketball usually go for ten to twenty bucks each.  Then, last friday, I was out shopping at Sam’s, and they had basketballs for TWO BUCKS EACH on sale as a charity promo!  I bought ten… eight to make four rollers (better too many than too few). one spare, and one for Justin to add to the basketball collection in the garage.  It’s great when things go right!

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