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Old 27-07-2009, 18:50   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Cruising in Caribbean
Boat: Bruce Roberts 45ft Monohull
Posts: 39
Newbies - Boat Launching 101

enjoy, if you ever launched a boat or worked around boats,

BOAT Launching Procedures
So here it is.

I just bought a new boat and decided to take 'er for the maiden voyage this past

This is my first boat and I wasn't quite sure of the exact Standard Operating
Procedures for launching it off a ramp, but I figured it couldn't be too hard.

I consulted my local boat dealer for advice, but they just said "don't let the
trailer get too deep when you are trying to launch the boat".

Well, I don't know what they meant by that as I could barely get the trailer in the water at all!

What am I doing wrong?
Your gonna
love this guy!!!!!!!

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Old 28-07-2009, 10:25   #2
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Location: Yankeetown, FL(boat)Inglis(home)
Boat: Pearson P39Hull#72
Posts: 224
After working at marinas all my adult life..........

The boat launching stories could easily fill a book.
Transom tie downs left on,
Trailer winch inoperable,
forgetting the parking brake,
engines that won't start, (tow vehicle AND Vessel)
sheer utter terror on the part of drivers,
people RUN OVER (by either the boat or tow vehicle)
doors ripped off tow vehicles,

The list is excrutiatingly long.
Some are hilarious,
some were life altering.

Folks while we laugh, just remember...there's a checklist;
If You don't have 1, MAKE 1, then FOLLOW it, religously.
If all had seen what some of us have,
everyone would have a healthier respect for that 15% (or far greater) incline down to the water.

Sorry for "sobering" up this thread Yottie, it's something I felt needed said. Screw ups can be catastrophic, so
Don't BE Stupid. (video cameras are everywhere now, don't be "famous").
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Old 28-07-2009, 17:06   #3
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Location: Nicholasville, Kentucky
Boat: 15 foot Canoe
Posts: 14,192
The photo didn't come through for me so if its the photo of someone driving into the water pickup first I've seen it.

#1 on my checklist: Don't forget the drain plug before launching.

#2 Always have a bow line and stern line attached to the boat before backing into the water.

There are a lot more but I thought I'd start with those.

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Old 28-07-2009, 18:48   #4
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Location: Shreveport
Boat: Nor'Sea 27
Posts: 23
Ahh the adventures of the transition from air to liquid.....

I have some issues with my boat as well, in that, it weighs some 9000lbs which can be a bit much to control while backing down a ramp.

I asked the same type of question on the Nor'Sea group site and I recieved this intersting story:

(Names are deleated)

Quoth He: I helped *** ***** launch ------ - a number of times and they were ALL--every one of them---adventures to behold.

The best one was when we had the truck so far into the water the exhause was bubbling---" we aint making it ***(His truck and trailer)--so *** Says--Pull her out of the water---Once I start the engine I'll holler and you immediately back down you immediately back down to the same place and slam on the brakes!"

I wish, OH HOW I WISH, I had a video camera for that one---I slammed on the brakes, the truck kept sliding. it stopped with a bang and off rolled SHAMOO The Whale----the bow pointed straight up at the sky, *** was facing aft trying valiantly to hold on and steering frantically in reverse. There was a tremdous splash and he took off like a rocket in reverse---

I do not recommend the above maneuver.

Then there was the time we could not styop her on the road coming downhill- "***, I cant stop her ***!"

-*** was not Mr Maintenance and the trailer brakes were non functional-- -In those days I assumed that everone was a maintenance nerd like myself---

Ah the adventure and comeradery of it all!

End of quote

I hope your launching are a great deal less exciting.....My suggestion is to make a check list until you've got the process down pat. Start at the bow and work you way along the starboard side, across the stern, and back up the port side checking everything on your list. When your boat begins to float off the trailer your good to go. If it doesn't float off by the time your back wheels are in the water to the center of the hubcaps then it may be time to pull back out and reassess the situation.
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Old 28-07-2009, 18:52   #5
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BTW... the currency I've always used at the ramp is liquid refreshment. Hanging out at the ramps can be a wealth of information. Just know that every boat and trailer and ramp set up is a little different.
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