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How To Beach A Boat [Step by Step]

This is what you should do when beaching a boat:

  • When approaching the shoreline, look for hints that can help you determine if it is OK to come in fast or not. For example: how deep does water get? What kind of obstacles (like rocks) are nearby so as not to hit them while coming towards land
  • Judge the water depth- you want to see waist-deep water so that someone can jump out
  • Watch out for tricky, fast currents that can mess up your beaching
  • Turn off and then trim up your engine (whether it’s outboard or sterndrive). And then you’ll need to get 1 or 2 people to help pull the boat ashore bow first
  • Then you’ll need to secure your boat- try walking your anchor onto the beach or tying the boat to a helpful tree
  • Don’t pull the keel all the way up because it might make it tough to leave
  • Once everyone is disembarked, you can pull the boat in a bit further because there’s less weight
  • To leave, you can just pull the boat into shore until it’s floating and then load it up
  • Watch the video below for the exact process you should use to beach your boat:

Beaching a boat means sailing or rowing to the shore and then running the bow onto the shore.

Here Are Some Reasons Why you Might Have to Beach a Boat:

Here are Some Reasons Why you Might Have to Beach a Boat

  •  You’ve been knocked off balance by a wind gust and are going to be pushed onto the shore.
  • You need to change your boat’s path so that you can maneuver around another boat or some other obstacle in your way, but you don’t have room to turn (you’ll need a minimum distance from shore).
  • Your motor has failed, and the current is pulling you onto shore whether you like it or not.
  •  You want to tie up near a beach where you are going to camp.
  •  You are caught in a storm and pushed onto the shore, but you don’t want to lose your boat.
  •  You have run aground on rocks or some other submerged object and now need to get off it.

Tips on How to Beach a Boat

Tips on How to Beach a Boat

  • First of all, you need to decide where you will beach the boat. It should be a place that only has waves one foot or less and be flat, so the boat doesn’t get damaged by rocks.
  •  Do not jump into the water when you get ready to beach the boat. Make sure that all your crew is in their life jackets and harnesses before you start coming in close to shore. When you get close to shore, make sure that your bow is faced with the oncoming waves. This minimizes the danger of your boat taking on water.
  • When you get to shore, step out of the boat and let it sit with the bow facing into the waves so that it doesn’t take on more water. Next, lower the sails and tie off any loose ropes or lines.
  • When you decide to get back into the boat, do not put any weight onto it until you have pumped out all of the water and have replaced all of any damaged planks.
  • If you have taken on any water and have fixed the hull, but you notice that your boat is still taking on water, you can take it to a place where you can beach the boat more safely.
  • You’re out of mooring or haven’t found one. Or, you may not have enough room to beach the boat safely.
  •  You need help bailing water out of your boat because it takes on water.
  • Your rudder has hit a shoal, stump, or rock damaged. This can make it difficult to steer your boat toward the shoreline (this could also cause damage to your rudder).
  • You’ve capsized, or your boat is upside down, and need to beach your boat.

What Should You Do When You Beach a Boat?

What Should You Do When You Beach a Boat?

  • Man the boat’s pumps and bailers.: Work with other people who are on the boat.
  • Make sure that both anchors have been dropped and have a good hold on the bottom of the water (if you drag either anchor, it could get stuck or break).
  • Once you beach the boat, keep an eye on it if it drifts back out. You may need to remove the anchors and pull your boat back up onto the shore if this happens.
  • Repair any damage that your boat sustained while you were at sea: restack the damaged planks neatly in order, and where possible, patch or replace the damaged planks.
  • Before berthing your boat on land, make sure that it is as low in the water as possible (to minimize likely damage to your boat). Also, pay attention to the tides and other factors that may affect how low you can get your boat into the water.
  • Keep your boat near the shore as much as possible for a few days. The longer it stays at sea, the greater it’s chance of getting damaged again by waves and currents.
  • Test the pumps and bailers again before leaving on a new voyage.
  • Keep the water level down in your bilges (this may help you if you get a pump-out problem).
  • Don’t sail or row at night or in the dark (to avoid having to beach your boat).
  • Avoid sailing during stormy weather (you can tell when the weather is likely to be stormy because of: signs of an impending storm—like dark clouds or discolored water, a feeling in your gut, or other omens from nature).


Beaching a boat is not all that hard, but it is something that you should take seriously. Before you beach a boat, make sure that your crew is in the water and if you’re going to tie off, make sure that all knots are tight. After beaching your boat, make sure that it is safe to get back on.

Ensure that there are no loose ropes or lines before you climb onto the boat. These could get caught in something and cause a bunch of damage when getting back into the water.

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