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Old 10-04-2015, 20:52   #1
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How to get my boat in the water??

Just bought a 25ft Hunter for my first sail boat. What all do I need in order to get her legally in the water to anchor out somewhere? How much does a Marina or whoever normally charge to launch a boat? I'm new to the sailing world and I'm trying to get my boat ready for a live aboard lifestyle. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Also I have no hitch on my car to tow it to the water. Any suggestions??
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Old 11-04-2015, 14:25   #2
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Re: How to get my boat in the water??

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Originally Posted by Mvivier View Post
Just bought a 25ft Hunter for my first sail boat. What all do I need in order to get her legally in the water to anchor out somewhere? How much does a Marina or whoever normally charge to launch a boat? I'm new to the sailing world and I'm trying to get my boat ready for a live aboard lifestyle. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Also I have no hitch on my car to tow it to the water. Any suggestions??
Where do you live? In most states in the USA you must register your boat with the state, often with the DNR. Use the Internet to find out the details.

Is your boat on a trailer or just sitting in your yard on blocks? If it's on a trailer, you can probably find someone with a vehicle with a tow hitch to move it for you or if your car is big enough you can have a hitch installed on it.

Unless you're planning on leaving it in a marina or on a mooring, you will have to tow it back home when you're done.

As for marina costs, call and ask. It's going to vary by marina and how much is involved.
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Old 11-04-2015, 15:21   #3
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Re: How to get my boat in the water??

Assuming your Hunter is on a trailer and sea worthy...you just need to follow state registration guidelines and Coast Guard safety equipment guidelines (PDF per person, throwable, noise maker, flares, fire extinguisher or two). Once you have that, take it to a boat ramp, back into the water and use docklines to get it off the trailer and tied to the dock. Take a buddy or two, especially your first time.

If your boat is on the hard, talk to the yard that it is sitting in about launching it.
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Old 11-04-2015, 15:50   #4
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Re: How to get my boat in the water??

Thank you so much to you both. I live in Ohio. The boat is on the hard in winter storage on Lake Erie. The registration is expired so I got that getting taken care of by purchasing the 3 year registration. Not sure of everything I need to be coast guard approved.. I no life jackets, fire extinguisher, flares... But do I take my boat somewhere to be inspected for that stuff or how does that work? I am going to call the marina and see how much the launching fee is going to be and when winter storage is over bc know one ever told me when that is.

Also any recommendations on charging batteries with an outboard motor that's not going to cost me $500?? Any suggestions would be great.

Also I accidently named the boat wrong it is a Catalina 25 not a hunter. I have looked at so many I got confused lol.
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Old 11-04-2015, 17:37   #5
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Re: How to get my boat in the water??

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Originally Posted by Mvivier View Post
it is a Catalina 25
Then get to know these great guys:

Association Forum - Catalina 25 Specific Forum

You could also do some research on the internet, like this:

BoatSafe.com - Boating Safety, Boating Courses, Boating Articles
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Old 11-04-2015, 18:46   #6
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Re: How to get my boat in the water??

I'm going to suggest two more things:
1) Buy and study this book:
2) Take a US Power Squadron or equivalent boating safety course.
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Old 11-04-2015, 19:09   #7
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Re: How to get my boat in the water??

Go to: I Want a Vessel Safety Check!. The local Coast Guard Auxiliary will give you a free inspection and tell you what you need for safety gear. As a beginner, (like we all used to be) you will also want to take a boating safety course (It may actually be required...) and a navigation course. I highly recommend the Sailing Skills and Seamanship book by the Auxiliary. Very comprehensive.
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Old 11-04-2015, 20:19   #8
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Re: How to get my boat in the water??

Ohio: AFAIK you will need to take and pass an Ohio Safe Boating course (online) or in a class. Once you've passed you'll get a temporary operator's permit until the real one comes.


Many states are now requiring a boating safety class for anything with an engine on it.
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Old 12-04-2015, 11:17   #9
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Re: How to get my boat in the water??

Good luck. I wish you had done some research prior deciding on the live aboard dream.
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Old 12-04-2015, 12:02   #10
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Re: How to get my boat in the water??

Congratulations on taking the plunge and buying your first boat. I'm a bit envious, because you are going to learn so much, and have so much success and satisfaction coming your way soon.

You have already received advice above on a ton of topics. So my advice will be limited. Do one thing at a time, and do it well. The best source of info is other local boaters.

I had a C&C25, very similar to your catalina 25, and I would not have hesitated to spend the entire summer aboard. In fact, the worst part of any sail was having to go home after...I just wanted to be aboard all the time. I'm not far from you, just up on Lake Ontario. Your boat is fine for Lake Erie. A small boat keeps the costs down.

So your fist step is to get your boat in the water. Its not much fun to own a boat on land. You didn't mention if its on a trailer, but your mention of truck and hitch imply that it is. I have found its easier/cheaper to hire a guy with a truck rather than rent a truck yourself. Any marine hauler would have a suitable truck, and might be willing to help you with this "small" job at a reasonable price. I hope you have found a suitable marina or at least a good ramp for launching. Once you are among other boats and sailors, you will have access to more help than you can imagine. As demonstrated by this entire forum, sailors love to give advice...LOL!

Good luck with your boat, and don't forget to have fun!
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Old 12-04-2015, 13:18   #11
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Re: How to get my boat in the water??

Thank you everyone for your advice I really appreciate all of it. The boat is on lake Erie at the moment I am working on setting a launch date. I have done plenty of research actually my brain is kind of overloaded. The reason I was asking the forum for advice was just because I wanted to make sure everything I had researched and what I believed was right. So far things are going great I am very excited to get into the water and begin my adventure. Choosing to live abroad is a big step and it wouldn't be as much of an adventure if I knew everything about it. My husband and I are very adventurous and we are extremely excited to start a new life in a new way. I can't wait to make lifelong boating friends!! My husband already has his boating certification so that is cleared up, I just have to get mine now. Which isn't going to be that hard. Again Thank you to everyone for the awesome advice and to others who feel I didn't Do my research, I'm sorry you feel that way just because I asked a few questions making sure my research was right. Thanks everyone!!! Happy sailing maybe we will meet up on the great lakes on our way to Canada.
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Old 13-04-2015, 10:22   #12
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Re: How to get my boat in the water??

As you are new to boating, in addition to the advice previously mentioned, I would recommend you also do the following prior to launching: 1) If you didn't have the boat surveyed prior to purchase get it checked out before it's launched to be sure that all hoses and thru hulls are water tight and that the engine works, 2) Check with the municipalities and marinas in your area about both their liveaboard regulations and whether or not you can live aboard on the lake during their winter freeze.
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