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where can I launch a small dinghy?

Guest Cattleya

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Hi all, I just got a small sailing dinghy and am really keen to give it a go on one of the Broads. I see I can buy a short term licence to do this, but what about launching? Are there any suitable places to launch a 12ft dinghy close to one of the Broads?

The BA have a list on their website, but these seem to be boatyards on the rivers. All I need is either a slipway or somewhere I can park nearby and lower the dinghy in.

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All I need is either a slipway or somewhere I can park nearby and lower the dinghy in.

Don't forget that you will need to recover it as well...

Sliding a dinghy over a quayside is a lot easier than pulling all that weight back up again.

(especially as it may be half-full of water by that time... :lol:

(says someone who once managed to capsize a sailing dinghy whilst getting out of it when it was tied up at Ranworth) :oops:

There is a thread on the forum for slipways...


Rockland St Mary and Hickling have public slips with a broad nearby...

This doesn't mention the various sailing clubs etc who might also let you use their facilities for a small fee

(or find a mate who is a member and get him to go with you).

All I can say is that if you are new to flappy things,

1) Launching somewhere public might prove embarassing for a first timer, e.g. the Horning public slipway next to the Swan Inn .

2) Make sure that you have some oars as well (useful for getting out of the trees etc) but make sure thay are secured in the dinghy

3) I always like South Walsham Broad for sailing a dinghy as it is nice and quiet and less embasasing when you make a whoopsy.

(compare it to Malthouse Broad (Ranworth) or Barton Broad and you will see what I mean)

but I have always towed the dinghy there behind a cruiser...

4) Remember to put the bung in before launching! (I borrowed a laser to try it out before I bought my own but when I launched my new one

for the first time there was a hole where the other one had a optional self bailer..:oops::oops: )

5) If you can't find a suitable launching site, find a mate with a power-boat, launch in their boat-yard

and then get them to tow your dinghy to a suitable spot to try sailing.

(That way you will also have a rescue boat on hand if thing go really belly up)

6) Please wear a life-jacket when out in the dinghy, capsizes and thumps from the boom are fairly common especially whilst learning!

Good Luck



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Thanks, that's great.

Yes I'm new to sailing. The dinghy is I'm told very difficult to capsize, so I'm hoping not to spend too much time in the water, but will of course wear a life jacket or buoyancy aid. I have a 27 foot motor boat, but sadly not on the Broads. That's why I got a go anywhere sailing dinghy.

I have an electric outboard I can pop on the back if it's a way from a slipway to a nice sailing area, but it seems the BA charge double for a sailing dinghy with engine.

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The dinghy is I'm told very difficult to capsize.

Do we add this to the set of "Famous last words", I hope not

I held my dinghy club's capsize record for many years, (and may still do so as I left them many years ago)

I capsized my Laser SEVEN times and still finished the race (I didn't win!)

(They didn't count the time I retired after 10 capsizes, you had to finish for it to count!)

My worst capsize was when I inverted my Laser (i.e. right upside down), but the capsize wasn't the problem, it was the fact that the depth was just about the height of the mast..

All was well until I climbed up to right her and pushed the mast into the bottom, oops! :oops::oops:

The Laser is a shaped bathtub with a sail, and not very forgiving, but I find the little lug-sail dinghies some hire companies let you rent are actually even more tricky..

But the Laser has inherrent bouyancy, capsize a Norfolk lug, right her, and you actually have to bail her out before you get back in,

and the hire cmpanies don't supply a bailer...

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  • 7 years later...

I need to ask but a bit different. Just got a 2 man dinghy and on instruction manual says there’s a gauge inside to make sure it’s the right pressure, when all there is is a 10cm rule. How do I know when it’s the correct pressure, I’m brand new to this by the way, thanks

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13 hours ago, JennyMorgan said:

Oulton Broad has a really excellent, council owned, free slipway right next to a large (charged) public carpark where trailers are welcome.

Some council owned slipways are for local residents use only. For some inexplicable reason (senility?) the one at Reedham comes to mind. There are loads all over the Broads, but being a 2 man inflteable, off the riverbank all over the Broads, though high tide on the souther rivers. 

Interesting to see this thread was originally started 8 years ago by "goodall_m1". That's a name from the past, does anybody know of, or what's happened to Martin?, it would be nice to know if some of our old members are still around. 

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I would also be mindful of taking an electric outboard with you - don't think having a heavy battery loose on board if you were to inadvertently capsize is ideal!!

By all means have one to use at other times, but unless it is well strapped down, its perhaps not appropriate in a sailing dinghy. Not sure how big your dinghy is either but if it is one of those cheaper type electric outboards, ie not a Torqeedo, they can be less than effective at times and you should be aware of the benefits/disadvantages of them. A decent pair of oars is almost as effective and don't run down!!!!

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10 hours ago, MauriceMynah said:

People will start telling us to "get a room!"

Been said many a time to me by people with nothing better to bother about, without it changing a thing :default_party0010:

Now back to the thread......

I'm launching my kayak (me in it) soon whilst taking a running jump (obvious jokes need not apply) over the top of all moored boats at the closest BA mooring to where I decide I wanna start (back pack full of booze with me too sorry SPEEDTRIPLE), then rowing back to the bank for the b*tch.....

Would this be acceptable behaviour above "that" bridge, or am I bringing the rowdy modern party to you MM???? :default_smiley-angelic002:

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I'll repeat, would this be acceptable behaviour up your neck of the woods MM, or are you all much more civilised in the northern part of "that" bridge, and me and my friends will find you're all a noble bunch with names on seats in each pub..............

Ooh I'm gonna rock your quiet worlds, now wheres the karaoke bars :default_rofl:

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Slip ways on the Broads, http://www.thegreenbook.org.uk/

Click  on the Green book, then Boat launching and recovery...

On ‎20‎/‎07‎/‎2019 at 18:54, brundallNavy said:

Wroxham Broad is a good site car parking and slipway next to each other and a large expanse of water to play on. 

Please note that Wroxham broad is a private broad and you are using it at the gift of the Sailing club. By all means go for a sail, But unless you want an earful, stay out of the way of their sailing..


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Jay, Both the Pleasure Boat and I would look forwards to such an event, there is even a small mud slipway by the stern of Nyx. Rowdy is not a problem, boozy is encouraged and the pub enjoys live music, often providing its own.

Just please make sure you visit when I'm there.

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As a matter of interest, as a private broad is it subject to legal speed limits? if so who dictates the limit and who enforces them?

I am fully aware that there are 5 mph speed limits as you enter the broad, but their validity rather depends on the answers to the above questions.

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