|The traditional nautical pastime of getting a leg under. Photo (c) atomvoyages.com|
|Legs could be in pairs or just one with some sort of trim ballast and dependent on the firmness of the sea bed. Photo (c) The Yacht Leg and Cradle Company.|
Now, while in certain circumstances, a large tidal range represents a complication, it also represents an opportunity, as many British and French and Atlantic and Pacific Canadian sailors understand. Sure, the currents of metres of sea water coming and going in vast, sometimes wind-aided volumes can be hard to sail in, but can also, of course, speed your boat in or out of its particular destination. Travelling at about five knots under motor, but 11 knots with the tide, can be a bit of a rush.
|Cardiff Bay Tidal Barrage: Aside from all this water stuff, it cuts two miles off the bike ride to Penarth!|
|The Bay of Fundy is a logical place to make tidal power. This is the plant at Annapolis Royal.|
|Ar, scrub the barnacles, ye scurvy pre-industrialist workforce!|
|This is easier for full-keelers because they don't tend to heel over enough to have a porthole or hatch below the waterline when the refloat. Photo (c) S/V Moulin-Rouge.|
Also, in most careening situations, it can be hard to impossible to paint or to effectively scrap the last foot or two of the keel as it will never be fully dry. And you have to do the whole process twice...because only one side of the hull will dry out per tide.
|I'm guessing "Malaysia"...the travelift, not the boat.|
Another primarily British method of getting at the bottom of the boat when the tide is out is the twin or bilge keel design. Consisting of two keels offset from the centreline of the hull, and a strong, slightly shorter rudder, bilge keelers will happily sit on the exposed sea floor, allowing all sorts of necessary maintenance.
|A slightly faster looking twin keeler.|
Here's where the "beaching leg" comes in. It's a extendable adjustable aluminum sleeved pipe, in essence, with a load-spreading "foot" and tensioned lines to keep it vertical. The main weight of the boat rests on its keel and the legs only have to provide balance, in the same fashion as the training wheels on a child's bike.
|It's engineering, sure, but it's not rocket science. It's basically a strut. (c) S/V Panope|
There's no particular reason why one couldn't make them oneself, and in fact, that is where I got the idea: from a Cruisers' Forum thread on making one's own beaching legs, although I had seen them mentioned on occassion in the more obscure cruiser narratives. The poster named "Panope", who has an interesting refit thread of his own here, has a boat perhaps even more densely built than Alchemy,
|There's a family resemblance, I will admit. Photo (c) S/V Panope.|
|The less-confidence-inspiring single-leg option. Hope it stays calm.|