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Old 20-01-2007, 05:10   #16
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My father-in-law had a 14' Larson runabout for many years. One time we launched it without putting the plug in. Parked the boat and trailer and came back to find it VERY low in the water. He thought the self bailer would work if we got her up to speed. The little 35 and high altitude meant there was not enough power to even leave a wake. No electric bilge pump. Took a long time with a bucket to get it down enough to get it up on a plane so it would drain.

Add to check list: Install plug.


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Old 20-01-2007, 06:11   #17
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In Fernandina Beach FL in the mid 80s I was at the boat ramp and watched a very old & tattered pickup pull up with a tattered looking 25ft center console fishing boat on the trailer. Stopped at the top of the ramp, took out the frame pin on his break-back trailer, then eased her over the top sill and started down the ramp.

Now most people would stop when they heard the "thump" of the boat transom hitting the concrete boat ramp... and this guy did too. Got out of his truck, saw what had happened... and then cursed, got back in his truck and GAVE IT MOVE GAS so he could back down the ramp!!

At least the outboards were still tilted up..... not sure if they ever got that fiberglass streak completely off the ramp or not....


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Old 08-09-2007, 13:29   #18
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I was at the Marathon Yacht Club as a Junior member back in the late 60's when someone was putting there boat on their trl. About a 22' cuddy cabin I/O drive. Got boat on trl, tied it down and started up the ramp, truck stalls out and instead of just stepping on the brake, he's trying to restart it and the whole rig rolls back into the water. The ramp is very steep and slippery at low tide. Boat goes into the water with p/u still hanging by the hitch. Buddy of mine and I swim out to the boat., fore hatch on boat is open and water pouring in. We managed to get the hatch closed and at least saved the boat.
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Old 08-09-2007, 19:36   #19
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It's always funny to see the admiral on the boat yelling at the SO trying to back down the ramp. "Turn left, I said. No, dammit not the truck. The trailer." blah, blah...

An hour or two with an empty trailer in an empty parking lot would help a great deal.

The other one is that the "little lake" where my brother and I sail his force five has wires across the parking lot. There are signs everywhere warning sailboaters. Every weekend I've been there is someone who rigs his sailboat boat in the parking lot and attempts to drive it under the wires.

I pointed it out to one guy and rather than drop the mast (a 5 minute job) he thinks he is gonna raise the wires with a boom by standing on the roof of the truck. I got the video camera ready in order to win my $10,000 but discretion got the better of him.
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Old 05-10-2007, 22:20   #20
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I saw a brand new Hobie 18 slide off the back end of a trailer, down a steep concrete ramp and into the water. The boat then drifted off by itself in a good 15 knots of wind, capsized and eventually turtled itself about 50 yards away from the ramp. At least they had remembered to put the hull plugs in. Someone towed it back in for them.

I also got to see a 14 ft Klamath aluminum boat go grinding down a boat ramp.

Saw a Chevy Tahoe become mostly submerged. The water was past the FRONT tires.

In our city, a lady accidentally drove her car off the end of the boat ramp never to come back up alive. Her family sued the city. So now we have these massive barricades with flashing yellow lights at the ramp for people who cannot read warning signs.
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Old 07-10-2007, 22:36   #21
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watching people backtrailers down is always great. The lake here is a resivoir whose level goes up and down as much as 40ft, so the ramps are LONG. When I was a kid my dad and I would go down to the ramps and watch poeple for hours.

Only dumb thing I constantly do it forgetto put the plug in, so when I come back from parking the truck my boat is always full of water.
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Old 20-10-2007, 02:40   #22
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When I was a kid, my dad always pulled his 20' Santana out every fall and put in every spring. Or worse yet we would go trailer cruising. So many disasters and a shouting father were seen with that damned trailer. Now the Santana 20 is a fixed keel racer, and draws about 5' So the trailer is terribly tall and has to be backed down with a long line attached to the truck with a third wheel that swings down at the bow. He managed it most of the time pretty well. I said MOST of the time though!!!

Once he backed it into Klamath lake when it was to low and ran the axle of the trailer right off the end of the boat ramp. The boat and trailer dropped down hard onto the trailers frame, (luckly he left them attached) and tipped up to 90 degrees! My freaked out dad hit the brake! He then started working the clutch and brought the boat and trailer down and the whole thing bounced hard on that front wheel. Probaby crewed it up. (I remember a lot of welding done on that damned trailer) Ouch! Then he continues working that clutch and revving the hell out of that tired old slant six, trying to pull the axle back up onto the ramp, only managing to turn the clutch into a smoky gas that smells bad! At this point the truck now has no clutch and an angry dad who can't get out because the e-brake sucks and there is no clutch and the engine is a tired old six that couldn't hold the whole mess at incline even if there was a clutch left to hold it! So we run around, finally a guy with a tractor appears, chains up to the bumper and drags the whole mess out of harms way. I swore after that I would never own a boat on a trailer!

Another time I recall watching him getting the trailer stuck under the dock. See, if you don't let enough air out of the tires, the trailer can float... or maybe it had something to do with air in the frame. Anyway, the trailer floated just enough to scoot the fender and wheel under the dock. Dad hits the gas and comes up the ramp, only to come to a hard stop several feet later and us kids, cringing yet again with dad and his 5' tall boat trailer, (we've gotten used to the fact that the jowls of hell open when dad wants to pull the boat.) as he gets out do discover a ramp dock at a very strange angle and the pads of the trailer that are out of the water rather close said strangle angled dock. I am not sure how he got it out from under that dock. I think I fell asleep while waiting. I do remember there being no fender on the trailer after that!

Then there was the time as almost lost the wheel. My brother reported from the back of the van that the wheel didn't look right. With the bearings somewhere back down the road and the wheel leaning in at some 20 or 30 degrees and smoke coming out of the axle - it was a long day of getting a new spindle welded on.

And there was the time my brother noticed some parts falling off of the hitch (he liked to look out the back window as the 'mouse battle ship followed us (the boat while following the van down the road turned into a mouse battleship with little imaginary mice looking over the rail at as and doing stuff....yup before in car DVD players. We had learned not to bother dad when he was driving! no seats belts back then either.) So we stopped to discover the hitch had nearly disintegrated. Good. Another day with dad yelling about that damned trailer.

I hated that trailer. The boat was great, but that trailer is surely in hell, burning people!!!

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