St Lucia launch


New member
Good day, I'm heading to St Lucia over December and will be taking my boat with me. I've never launched from St Lucia can any one give some advice where the best launch site is between St Lucia and Cape Vidal?
Its been a while, but having a tread with no real answers does cause the topic to stay open.
The st lucia moutn is still open.
Due to this, there is no fixed launch site.
At times, boats are launched from the estuary mouth. so boats are pushed into the estuary channel and they then proceed to cross the sand bar.
Due to tides also changing, it means that the launch site will also change at times.
no use trying to launch from the mouth on a full low tide, there is not enough water to allow one to cross the sandbar safely and the suction out to sea is horrible.
so the St Lucia launch site can also be from just left of the st lucia mouth or more northwards towards ingwe beach.
in April 2023 we launched from just left of Ingwe beach onramp to right at the mouth.
what skippers also need to consider, is the tide chart.
launching on a outgoing tide from the estuary mouth, could cause some troubles as you get sucked into oncoming waves by the outgoing tide.
Waves might be predicted to be small "according to windfinder", but a outgoing tide could cause waves to be much bigger.

The good news about St Lucia boat launch is that:
There are no rocks which could cuase damage to your vessel.
Launching over a high tide is much easier as you have enough water all over to assist you when things go wrong.
Normally you are pushed into a gully and from there you will decide on your route in order to cross the sand bar.

i like to study the beach and launch site.
my crew knows where we will be looking at crossing the sand bar.
they know where the safe areas are where we will be waiting the surf out.
so we have a roadmap and if things go wrong, we will run to our safe zone/area.
so my advise would be to do some homework, on the launch site.
ask other skippers for info ask wiseman for info and guidance
take it slowly and do not rush it.

Wiseman is great in reading the sea conditions and he makes the call on where to launch the boats.

we have also seen that some skippers just put the hammers down and try and ride out the surf.
lucky for most of them, they have not had big mishaps like in capsizing.
but some have come pretty close to it.
the charter boats are much bigger and they need speed to get the vessels on the plane. only then, will they look at finding a gap between the waves.
so a smaller boat and skipper should not try this.
smaller boats are much more agile and quick, but they cannot punch the same size swells as the bigger boats.
if ever you do get a wave that just stands up onto you and its too late, then never turn away from it, do not give the ocean your boats side!!!.
rather slow down and take it on the nose.
a spray over is not the end of the launch.
a boat filled with water which is still facing the waves is much heavier and does not capsize easily.
you might still be able to get through crossing the sand bar.

for the record:
St Lucia is claimed to be a very difficult launch site compared to Cape Vidal and Sodwana bay.
but much more vessels capsize on Cape Vidal and Sodwana compared to St Lucia.
Why is this?
Skippers launching at St Lucia are just more careful in the launching of their boats, compared to the "cowboys" launching at other launch sites.
Not all are cowboys, waves do stand up and we all can make mistakes.

Cape Vidal is a different launch site.
i still do not like it.
yes you might have a safe zone behind the steel pole area, but on your left side you have a big set of rocks, and if you are too slow, you might end up over the rocks.
running to safety has to be through the gate at cape vidal and if you miss it, you are in trouble!!!

Sodwana is not a straight to sea surf launch.
the launch is at a angle to the left "around 45 degrees", out to sea and due to this, a beam sea is possible on your vessel.
Waves coming from the side and back are dangerous and should be avoided at all costs.
one cannot easily outrun waves at a angle. the best is to turn into the wave while slowing down in order to punch the wave.

here is a link to a surf launch explained at st lucia.
feel free to watch the other videos.

so stay safe, happy launching and hope you all have great fishing.