Overnighting - Bring boat to shore, or anchor?


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New member
Sep 1, 2023
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Delta, BC, Canada
First post, thanks for having me.

I've had my 12 foot V Hull for about 4 years now, we love it. What I don't love and stresses me out is what to do with it overnight, or when not using it during the day while in windy / white cap / wave conditions.

Here's the notes.
  1. We only camp next to the shore, within 40 feet usually. So the boat is close to us.
  2. Freshwater only if it matters. Lakes.
  3. Rocky beach's almost always. As shown in image below.
  4. Lots of whitecaps during middle of day or windy nights. This causes the boat to move up and down and if it's too close to shore it constantly hits rocks on the bottom. So I pull it out more if needed.
Usually the boat ends up in shallow water, or being dragged onto shore, mostly out of the water.

In the image below I'm able to drag the boat up onto some logs that were not going anywhere. This was "perfect".

Dragging it across rocks up to 1.5" can't be good for the bottom... And the older I get the heavier it is... I see no major damage but can see scratches from dragging. What are your thoughts on this? Am I being too concerned about dragging it over rocks? (note that the rocks in the image I'd not drag it over, there are smaller rocks out of frame that they are dragged when required for beaching.)

My final question is this.

How do you anchor the boat so that you don't have to get into the water to bring it back to shore and get in? We go out in some frigid conditions... going into the water to retrieve the boat is not ideal. (I do have waders and go can go in a few feet if needed.)

Not sure if this is a good idea but I've seen where an anchor is let out in the deeper waters, connected to the bow and the chain / rope is snugged up. Then there is a pulley system that you anchor to shore. This allows the boat to be pulled to deeper waters from shore, allows the boat to hit the waves bow first, and allows the user to use the pulley to bring the boat back to shore. I think I understand this method (I've Googled) but was wondering if anyone has a good video, images, diagram, or explanation to share with me.

Or, do you have a better idea?


Thanks Ripdmup! From that video I found another good one with a title I never would have guessed.

Just need two anchors or anchor points with a makeshift pulley system between them. I have saw people use trees or add anchor points with a float on them for future tie ups if you go back to the same places. If you go to new places each time then you need to carry two anchors.
Was going to tell you that you either need two anchors, or one anchor and a tree or something solid on the shore, but they have you covered already. Just make sure your offshore anchor is really set solidly.

Dragging a boat will eventually wear spots through the bottom.
That shoreline in that picture won't hurt a 12ft.. don't stress about it
Probably one of the biggest advantages to aluminum hulls is being able to beach your boat without worry unlike glass boats. I camp a lot with my 21' Sylvan and always beach it. Did the same with my Starcraft, not a single worry. Make sure you take a good look at the shoreline and ensure you aren't landing on any big rocks. If it is scheduled to get some weather I take steps to make sure the boat doesn't go parallel to the shore. I don't know if you have one but anytime I am going to camp overnight on the water I make absolute certain that my auto bilge is working properly.
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You camp in awesome looking locations!

I'll drop an anchor several boat-lengths from the shoreline and tie off my bow. Then pull the stern to within a boat length of the shoreline and tie it off to a tree or another permanent anchor. I make sure that worst-case scenario is the anchor moves and the boat is still tied off on shore, rather than out deep or missing. I will camp in a spot one or 2 nights and likely never go back to that same exact spot so I can't be setting up a running line each time or leaving something there.
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