A Newbie Question About Visiting a Lake Sandbar/Island


New Member
Oct 10, 2019
Boat Info
2001 240 Sundeck
350 Mercruiser TBI, Alpha I Gen II
Hi All, I'm on Lake Norman and have a 240 Sundeck inboard/outboard. I've been wanting to visit some local islands on the lake, and a local restaurant where beaching the boat on sand is the norm. Getting onto the beach shouldn't be too hard. but how do y'all back the boats off when it's time to leave?

Do you put it in reverse and slowly put the sterndrive back down into the water? Do you just put it all the way down and hope you're not hitting ground?

I know it's a total newbie question, but growing-up on my dad's inboard (1957 Chris Craft runabout), we stayed as far away as possible from land unless there was a dock.

Thanks in advance.
I am also on Lake Norman. I rarely beach my boat at an island, if we want to go onto the island, I usually anchor in 4-6' of water and wade in. Depending on how long I plan to be there, I might pull a stern line in and tie to a tree or something. This keeps the boat facing the waves and prevents it from swinging if there are other boats around. But more often than not, we just anchor around the islands in a little deeper water, ie 10-15ft.
That said, if you want to beach, slowly approach the beach, with the engine trimmed up as high as it will go using the trim switch. As I get close and the water is getting shallow I shut down the engine, trim the engine farther up (using the trailer button) and drift in. I usually try to hop the boat when the water is shallow enough and walk it in (I think your 240 has a bow ladder that is great for this) - running your boat up on the beach will start scratching the gelcoat on the keep pretty bad, so I would try to make as soft of a landing as possible. Leaving, same thing walk the boat into a little deeper water, trim the drive back down as far as you can without hitting bottom. Crank it up and slowly back away. You don't want to run the engine with the drive trimmed way up above idle speed for two reasons. Slow and soft is your friend -- these people you see running up onto the beach fast -- don't do that!
I was at the lake yesterday - most crowded I have seen it all year, most of the islands I passed were packed with people having a good time. The one south of Governer's island must have had 100 people on it and at least 30 boats all around.

1. It's bad on the U-joints to run the engine trimmed up past the trim limit range.
2. In very shallow water you can suck up sand etc through the waterpump which will reduce the lifespand of the waterpump.
3. If beaching is your thing, you might look into getting a keel guard.
BillK, great advice, thanks!

Specifically, my wife and kid want to go to Eddies it's nearby and it's got a beach area for grounding. I see a lot of boats there, was just trying to figure out the best way to get out.

Many thanks for your experience!
Does anybody around your parts back into the sand bars? You need two anchors and some practice, put the boat right at that sweet spot where the water starts to shallow.
It's a relatively light boat. If you want to play it safe, and you're going beach it with bow in, you could shut down the engine before you get too close, trim it up, and pull the boat onto the beach by hand with a line tied to the bow eye. Same for getting back out, pulling from a line in the stern. I know it sounds like overkill but this is how I do it. I don't like to run the motors trimmed up (especially I/O) and this way feels safer. We have big tidal swings so we can't beach it for too long w/o adjusting.

Forum statistics

Latest member