Msg 1 Posted: 11:56 AM 06/20/07 (CST)
For the courtesy of others and to prevent rushing, prepare your boat for launching away from the ramp. |
Check the boat to ensure no damage was caused by the trip.
Raise the lower unit (remove supports) to proper height for launching so it will not hit bottom.
Remove tie-downs and make sure the winch is properly attached to the bow eye and locked in position.
Put the drain plug in securely.
Disconnect the trailer lights to prevent shorting of electrical system or burning out a bulb.
Attach a line to the bow and the stern of the boat so the boat cannot drift away after launching and it can be easily maneuvered to docking area.
Visually inspect the launch ramp for hazards such as a steep drop off, slippery area and sharp objects.
When everything has been double checked, proceed slowly to the ramp remembering that your boat is just resting on the trailer and attached only at the bow. The ideal situation is to have one person in the boat and one observer at the water's edge to help guide the driver of the tow vehicle. ( Also please make sure all your supplies are in the boat to make for a quicker launch as to not tie up the landing. If someone asks you to help you, please let them if you dont feel you can do it in a timely manner. Nothing worse than a person who is clueless on backing in a boat only to find them spending 10 minutes loading the boat with rods, coolers, etc... while the landing fills up with angry boaters yelling at someone )
Keep the rear wheels of the tow vehicle out of the water. This will generally keep the exhaust pipes out of the water. If the exhaust pipes become immersed in the water, the engine may stall.
Set the parking brake and place tire chocks behind rear wheels.
Make sure someone else on shore is holding the lines attached to the boat.
Lower the motor and prepare to start the engine (after running blowers and checking for fuel leaks).
Start the boat motor and make sure water is passing through the engine cooling system.
Release the winch and disconnect the winch line from the bow when the boat operator is ready.
At this point, the boat should be able to be launched with a light shove or by backing off the trailer under power. Finish loading your boat at a sufficient distance from the ramp so others may use it.
The steps for removing your boat from the water are basically the reverse of those taken to launch it. However, keep in mind certain conditions may exist during retrieval that did not exist during launching. As you approach the takeout ramp, take special care to note such factors as:
Change in wind direction and/or velocity.
Change in current and/or tide.
Increase in boating traffic.
First, unload the boat at dock or mooring if possible. ( I actually prefer to get boat out of launch if others are waiting, can always unload gear once you pull away from launch and into the parking lot )Next, maneuver the boat carefully to the submerged trailer and raise the lower unit of the engine. Then, winch the boat onto the trailer and secure it. Finally, drive the trailer with boat aboard carefully out of the ramp to a designated parking area for cleanup, reloading, and an equipment safety check. Practice will make launch and retrieval a simple procedure. The best advice is to retrieve your boat cautiously with safety as your main concern.
Since your boat may be sitting on its trailer for quite some time before it is used again, it is important to store it properly. To avoid damage from sun and weather, cover the boat with a tarp. To remove weight from the wheels, put cinderblocks or wood beams under the tongue and all four corners of the trailer frame