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Old 05-18-2017, 12:38 PM
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ETOWNCANUCK ETOWNCANUCK is offline
 
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Default Boat launching tips and info?

Hi guys,

As some of you know I have bought my first boat.

It will also be my first time launching a boat and well I was wondering if anyone has some tried and true tips for an absolute newbie.

I have watched a few videos on YouTube, which have been great but gathering some more info couldn't hurt.

Also I have watched a few Epic Fail boat launches videos and I wonder how it is that some can sink their trucks the way they do.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZ1IrkzabIg

Is there a series of missteps one can make for this to happen,
or is it merely bad luck trying to get the boat on the water?

Thanks.
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Old 05-18-2017, 12:47 PM
Roderek Roderek is offline
 
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Make sure you put your drain plug in before you launch the boat.
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Old 05-18-2017, 01:15 PM
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Only bit of info I can offer is before you head down the launch, make sure everything is done so all you do at the launch is back down, other person starts the boat backs the boat off and you drive up, nothing more annoying than when the boat is on trailer in water then people start unpacking gear inflatables etc.
This should all be done at the staging area of the launch.
happy boating, and enjoy fishing spots you could never get to before.
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Old 05-18-2017, 01:16 PM
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Don't forget to undo the tie down straps !
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Old 05-18-2017, 01:49 PM
Tfng Tfng is offline
 
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Don't get the trailer too deep when putting the boat back on. Most trailers I've used have been good when an inch or two of the fenders are showing. Experience will show you how deep it needs to be.
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Old 05-18-2017, 01:58 PM
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After I have the boat all ready to go and before I swing in line to back down the launch, I tie a 25 foot rope from the front of the boat to the post holding the winch on the trailer. As I am usually launching solo this allows me to back down the launch, have the boat float off the trailer and then I pull just far enough forward so I can get out of my truck and untie the rope from the front of the trailer keeping my feet dry. Take boat over to dock to tie out of the way or pull up on shore out of the way. Jump back in truck and go and park it. Walk back to boat, jump in and away I go. Launched in no time at all and do not unduly hold up anyone else.

If two of us, then one rides in boat other backs trailer into water till boat floats off. They park truck, guy in boat starts it and moves out of the way.

Do not get flustered and panic. If you need help just ask as usually pother boaters at the launch are happy to lend a hand.
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Old 05-18-2017, 02:26 PM
Pierre Pierre is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bubba 96 View Post
Only bit of info I can offer is before you head down the launch, make sure everything is done so all you do at the launch is back down, other person starts the boat backs the boat off and you drive up, nothing more annoying than when the boat is on trailer in water then people start unpacking gear inflatables etc.
This should all be done at the staging area of the launch.
happy boating, and enjoy fishing spots you could never get to before.
Amen brother, Amen.

Been to Maligne a few times, and I'm ready to launch but some guy is packing/unpacking his boat at the launch preventing anyone else from launching (narrow launch), I got po'd and carefully backed alongside him. He was eyeballin' me pretty good/givin me the evil eye, to make sure I didn't scratch his truck. I launched and was in/out and on the water fishing and he was still blocking the launch.
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Old 05-18-2017, 02:52 PM
yetiseeker yetiseeker is offline
 
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I would also practice backing up your trailer before attempting to launch. That is of course if you need practice backing up trailers. If you do, set out a couple pylons and pretend it's the launch.

As like other said, make sure you're ready before launching at the lake. Back straps off, plug in, gear etc set up, and have a spotter. Keep a rope tied on the front of your boat.

Practice will make perfect. And if you practice and don't tie up the launch and **** people off, it will be more enjoyable for everyone.
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Old 05-18-2017, 03:09 PM
norcodh norcodh is offline
 
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Unloading is pretty straight forward follow all tips provided, loading can be tricky 1st few times mainly to figure out the proper depth u want your trailer in water to deep boat floats to shallow and u crank forever. Practice to find sweet spot my boat fenders out of water an inch my father's boat fenders buried under water. When pulling on trailer calculate wind factor etc to pull on to trailer straight makes it way easier
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Old 05-18-2017, 03:19 PM
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If this is the first boat or trailer you have pulled in a while, go to a vacant parking lot and practice backing up and maneuvering a fair bit before heading to the boat launch. Like a golf swing, it's harder to do well when a bunch of impatient strangers are standing there watching you.
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Old 05-18-2017, 03:53 PM
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Lots of great advice offered so far.

I would add go down to the launch before you are ready to back in and inspect it. See how far the blocks go, are there any broken ones that you could hang up on or damage your tires? How steep/slippery is the launch and how far do you have to back up to float your boat? Watch others that have similar vehicle/boat to yours to get a sense of that.

Personally I do not undo the bow strap until I have the stern in the water, then I jump out and release. Seen several boats slide off the trailer from sudden braking.

If you are launching/recovering with assistance, family radios can be very helpful in maintaining communication.
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Old 05-18-2017, 04:45 PM
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i always unplug the trailer wire harness before backing in as well, saves from blown bulbs or fuses.
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Old 05-18-2017, 05:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dodgeboy1979 View Post
i always unplug the trailer wire harness before backing in as well, saves from blown bulbs or fuses.
+1!
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Old 05-19-2017, 08:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohninAB View Post
After I have the boat all ready to go and before I swing in line to back down the launch, I tie a 25 foot rope from the front of the boat to the post holding the winch on the trailer. As I am usually launching solo this allows me to back down the launch, have the boat float off the trailer and then I pull just far enough forward so I can get out of my truck and untie the rope from the front of the trailer keeping my feet dry. Take boat over to dock to tie out of the way or pull up on shore out of the way. Jump back in truck and go and park it. Walk back to boat, jump in and away I go. Launched in no time at all and do not unduly hold up anyone else.

If two of us, then one rides in boat other backs trailer into water till boat floats off. They park truck, guy in boat starts it and moves out of the way.

Do not get flustered and panic. If you need help just ask as usually pother boaters at the launch are happy to lend a hand.

Best advice!!!
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Old 05-19-2017, 09:12 AM
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Looks like everything has been covered in the previous posts the only thing I would add is when you are loading back far enough into the water to make sure your entire bunks get wet. Then pull ahead to your desired depth to load the boat. Much easier to crank boat on with wet bunks.
It is has mentioned a few times before but I am going to mention it again. Do not remove tarp, load boat etc. in the actual launch do all of this in the staging area. If someone is doing this mention to them nicely to rig their boat in the staging area, I have done this a few times and the people doing it usually never thought of it.
BOAT RAMP ETIQUETTE
https://vimeo.com/67253679
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Last edited by bobalong; 05-19-2017 at 09:20 AM.
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Old 05-19-2017, 09:22 AM
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There is some great tips here.
On your end, make sure you practice with the trailer. It's a lot of pressure if you stink at it. Rookies tend to "over steer". Pretend you're following the boat in and just make small corrections. It will come easier as you do it more. I've been boating for years now and one time I forgot to put in the drain plug. That could have ended very negatively. I wasn't getting on plane very easily and it dawned on me lol.
Others have mentioned: get your boat ready to launch BEFORE you line up. Undo the tarps, plug the drain, undo the straps. I leave the front winch hooked up until the boat hits the water then release as my wife backs it in.
Relax if you make a mistake. If you are ready to launch and respectful, nobody will get upset. It's the folks who feel entitled to undo tarps and prep everything while everyone watches that people get upset at.
Remember these days. Once you're a seasoned pro, it will help you have patience with newbies struggling. Always lend a hand whenever possible.

Nothing beats experience. When you are loading up, come in very slowly. the rails of your trailer should be just barely submerged. Wind and chop are tough to navigate, but you will get a feel for it.
Dont forget to tie her down again and always re-tarp before hitting the road. Do this away from the launch area to again, avoid frustrating people. And PULL YOUR PLUG.
Dont leave minnows in the boat.

The best time to give it a go is on a weeknight when it's quiet. I suggest Wizard lake or Mulhurst bay at Pigeon Lake for your maiden voyage.

Have fun. It's expensive but totally worth it!
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Old 05-19-2017, 09:41 AM
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ETOWNCANUCK ETOWNCANUCK is offline
 
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Hey guys,

Thanks for all the tips.

My first trip isn't for a few days yet ,

Hopefully everything goes smoothly.
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Old 05-19-2017, 09:44 AM
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ETOWNCANUCK ETOWNCANUCK is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildwoods View Post
There is some great tips here.
On your end, make sure you practice with the trailer. It's a lot of pressure if you stink at it. Rookies tend to "over steer". Pretend you're following the boat in and just make small corrections. It will come easier as you do it more. I've been boating for years now and one time I forgot to put in the drain plug. That could have ended very negatively. I wasn't getting on plane very easily and it dawned on me lol.
Others have mentioned: get your boat ready to launch BEFORE you line up. Undo the tarps, plug the drain, undo the straps. I leave the front winch hooked up until the boat hits the water then release as my wife backs it in.
Relax if you make a mistake. If you are ready to launch and respectful, nobody will get upset. It's the folks who feel entitled to undo tarps and prep everything while everyone watches that people get upset at.
Remember these days. Once you're a seasoned pro, it will help you have patience with newbies struggling. Always lend a hand whenever possible.

Nothing beats experience. When you are loading up, come in very slowly. the rails of your trailer should be just barely submerged. Wind and chop are tough to navigate, but you will get a feel for it.
Dont forget to tie her down again and always re-tarp before hitting the road. Do this away from the launch area to again, avoid frustrating people. And PULL YOUR PLUG.
Dont leave minnows in the boat.

The best time to give it a go is on a weeknight when it's quiet. I suggest Wizard lake or Mulhurst bay at Pigeon Lake for your maiden voyage.

Have fun. It's expensive but totally worth it!

It will be at Pigeon during the week when I don't anticipate much to be around.
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Old 05-19-2017, 10:17 AM
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I only have a 12 ft tinner but I have seen and helped people try to put a large boat back on the trailer after it rolled off when they touched the brake backing up. Un hooked the winch too soon and that tap on the brakes dry docked the boat so to speak right on the launch.

It's not too tough to do, after a few tries, you will not be so nervous
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Old 05-19-2017, 10:46 AM
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One other thing. Others have mentioned do not ready your boat on the launch when launching.
But not sure if this has been mentioned, do not pack up/unload your boat on the launch/ramp when leaving. Load and secure the boat on trailer then leave the ramp area. Then unloading the boat and other things such as tie downs etc can be done some where out of the way.
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Old 05-19-2017, 01:14 PM
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So that is the easy part, well covered off. Have fun boating. Now comes the time to put your craft back on the trailer.

I'm sure others will/can be more help than me because I drive on under power. One word of advice going in; back your empty trailer to the exact spot where your boat first floated off the bunks. That is where you stop, and start, the procedure. Mark that spot mentally by the amount of fender left above water. With time and practice, you will drive on like a pro and trim up at the bow stop.

Free
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Old 05-19-2017, 01:54 PM
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Funny video too. One can only think the vehicles were not in park when they stepped out of the door to get in that deep

The lady who drove the Toyota out after being submerged made me laugh. The crane truck picking the vehicle up right off the ground too. Back to the OP.
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Old 05-19-2017, 02:59 PM
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Lots of good advise here.
In my experience, the 2 most important parts of the launch prep are:
Undo the transom straps first, check the plug at that time
Unplug the trailer, but leave the bow strap on.
My brother in law has had first hand experience with a boat that slid off the trailer while backing down the ramp because the bow strap was removed early.
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Old 05-19-2017, 03:09 PM
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On my Trailer I installed a Boat buddy best investment ever. its a spring actuated latch drive my boat onto the trail once the D loop hits the trigger pin goes through and done, boat is ready to come out slick as slick had several people comment how slick that was to watch...
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Old 05-19-2017, 04:23 PM
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Being a 2nd year boat launcher myself this year, the only possible other advice i might add is don't get rushed/rattled. Mistakes start to happen when people get rushed, and i speak from experience. 3rd time launching the boat last year and my buddy wanted to help me. I started to undo everything in the staging area, and forgot the plug. It wasn't until we were in the water that i realized what had happened. Needless to say, only thing hurt was my pride but it was memorable and i'll never do that again. Just take your time, and don't let the impatient people rush you into making a mistake. Do you think they care if you feel rushed and screw something up and damage your boat because they're in a hurry??
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Old 05-19-2017, 06:34 PM
Amateur Hunter Amateur Hunter is offline
 
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Today was my first launch at Gull. Wasn't busy at all ( thanks God)
Prepared boat as per " your " advice ( thanks everyone). Backed up no problem
Launch was text book
Son and I did little fishing, water was very calm.Than clouds and wind moved in.
Off we go to load boat Trayed to back up trailer that I don't see was terrible Took me 10 tries Then son tried to drive boat on trailer with strong western wind and side waves ( OMG) and missed few times . Wind and waves were just pushing him aside ( real nightmare
Somehow we managed to load it up, standing in water up to my ( you know what), fully soaked and wet, pushing against waves and wind. Luckily we had spare clothing
As we are inexperienced I believe everything will come with practice/ time.

The thing that concerns me the most is how to backup empty trailer that you don't even see? I put tailgate down and still count see trailer.
Any suggestions would be appreciated
Thanks all and have a great boating and fishing season
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Old 05-19-2017, 06:38 PM
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Might want to invest in a pair of chest waders for those windy days. I use mine quite a bit while loading.
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Old 05-19-2017, 07:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amateur Hunter View Post

The thing that concerns me the most is how to backup empty trailer that you don't even see? I put tailgate down and still count see trailer.
Any suggestions would be appreciated
Thanks all and have a great boating and fishing season
Guide-ons are the posts or bunks you see on many trailers that help to center the boat. They also help a lot to see where the corners of the trailer are when backing. You can get various bolt-on styles depending on your boat type, or even just get a pair of bicycle flags or driveway markers and attach them yourself if you don't need the guides.
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Old 05-19-2017, 08:40 PM
Tfng Tfng is offline
 
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Wind and current definitely make things interesting. I usually come in kind of sideways and upstream. At the last second square the boat up to the trailer and drive on. Having the trailer a little shallower than normal can help get it square, the bunks will help guide the boat.

If it's on but not quite in the right spot hook the bow strap on and back trailer in until it just comes off the bunks and push it over with a paddle from inside the boat. Pull truck ahead as soon as it's in the right spot.
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Old 05-19-2017, 09:35 PM
Sumara Sumara is offline
 
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Good luck on your first time at pigeon! Lots of helpful advice here so i hope it goes well!
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