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Sawdog
08-23-2013, 09:23 AM
I am still getting familiar with launching our boat and never tried launching by myself. Most of the time I do all the work anyway but having an extra hand always seems needed just to help pull the boat around or throw a rope or whatever. My youngest wants to go to the river and the wife is busy wondering how hard it would be to launch alone. Any suggestions?

Thanks

salmonid
08-23-2013, 09:37 AM
I do it all of the time by myself. I have an 18' open sled. Once you get the routine figured out, it's a breeze. Note how far you back in to launch it and then to load it. I always power load and just jump off onto the dock or my truck gate after I drive it on the trailer.

I guess it depends on what boat you have though? What kind and how big is it?

Best,

Jimmy_M
08-23-2013, 10:18 AM
Back down the ramp.

Stop close to the water.

Remove ratchet straps (if any)

ENSURE YOUR PLUG IS IN!!!

Leave your winch strap attached to the boat but let out around 8 - 10 ft. (more depending on the size of your boat)

Get back in your vehicle and back into the water. Once your boat starts floating hit your brakes and it will float right off the trailer but wont float away since your winch strap is still connected.

Put your vehicle in park and apply the e brake before getting out and unhooking your winch strap and tying your boat off to the dock.

I normally start my motor at this time so it can warm up while I go park my vehicle and trailer.

PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE

Good luck and be safe!

Jimmy M.

Sawdog
08-23-2013, 10:34 AM
thanks guys. Actually launching is fine its loading the boat back onto the trailer that I have more an issue with. The boat is a 18' tracker and getting it centered on the bumpers in current has been tricky - seems to want to float up agains the ds bumper - I may have the trailer in too deep with I load? IDK.

salmonid
08-23-2013, 10:47 AM
Yeah, I see lots of guys back in too deep so the boat is off center. You want to back the trailer in so a portion of the bunks/rollers are out of the water to guide the boat. This will let gravity center it.

Once you see how deep you need to go, just remember that water height on the trailer for next time.

Best,

49erbassman
08-23-2013, 11:33 AM
Back down the ramp.

Stop close to the water.

Remove ratchet straps (if any)

ENSURE YOUR PLUG IS IN!!!

Leave your winch strap attached to the boat but let out around 8 - 10 ft. (more depending on the size of your boat)

Get back in your vehicle and back into the water. Once your boat starts floating hit your brakes and it will float right off the trailer but wont float away since your winch strap is still connected.

Put your vehicle in park and apply the e brake before getting out and unhooking your winch strap and tying your boat off to the dock.

I normally start my motor at this time so it can warm up while I go park my vehicle and trailer.

PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE

Good luck and be safe!

Jimmy M.

Don't forget to lock your winch after letting out the 8-10' or it may end up at 20-30' lol


Fish on!

49erbassman
08-23-2013, 11:35 AM
Salmonoid has it dialed in. I used to launch a 19' bayliner by myself all the time. Leave the top if the bunks about 2" or so above water and drive the boat on it


Fish on!

AnglingWes
08-23-2013, 11:37 AM
Agree with everything stated so far. Don't back too far in!!! Cant tell you how many people make this mistake.

One more little morsel of advice, or at least something that works for me:

When you get close to the water with the transom, unhook the bow strap and connect a bow line (the one you hand to the useless friend on the dock) and connect the bow line to the tow vehicle. I just loop it over one of the cleats inside the bed of my truck. When you back the boat the rest of the way into the water, ease the boat in until it floats off the trailer. Then you can just grab the bow line and pull the boat to the dock to secure it. There is no need to make the boat slide off the trailer by slamming on the brakes or anything silly like that. it should simply float off on its own, and the bow line keeps it from floating away.

hooks
08-23-2013, 12:08 PM
Agree with everything stated so far. Don't back too far in!!! Cant tell you how many people make this mistake.

One more little morsel of advice, or at least something that works for me:

When you get close to the water with the transom, unhook the bow strap and connect a bow line (the one you hand to the useless friend on the dock) and connect the bow line to the tow vehicle. I just loop it over one of the cleats inside the bed of my truck. When you back the boat the rest of the way into the water, ease the boat in until it floats off the trailer. Then you can just grab the bow line and pull the boat to the dock to secure it. There is no need to make the boat slide off the trailer by slamming on the brakes or anything silly like that. it should simply float off on its own, and the bow line keeps it from floating away.

If you hold on to it...don't ask! LOL

Line Stretcher
08-23-2013, 01:12 PM
I launch and retrieve my boats by myself and prefer to have it that way. It could be that your bunks are not evenly spaced but my bet is that your boat is not loaded properly. I would even venture to bet that it always loads off to the same side.

Do you have more than one battery?, a kicker motor or some other add on that is only on one side of the boat. If so, you should add the same amount of weight to the opposite side of the boat.

I use 100lb bags of shot and then with the boat in the water, I put a level on the transom and move the bag as needed to get the boat to sit level (port-stbd). It only takes a couple of minutes to find the sweet spot. In my boat, I pulled the deck up, put the bag of shot into a large plastic construction garbage bag and then put it below the deck.

When you launch your boat, put a mark on the fender where the water hit's it. When you retrieve your boat put the trailer into the water so that the mark is 4" out of the water.
On my boat and every boat I've ever owned, I launch with the water at the top of the fender and retrieve with it about 4" below the top.

By the way, my current boat is 25' long from stem to prop.

After thought - If your boat is sitting level in the water and are used to having the person driving the boat onto the trailer stay in the boat when you pull it out then have that person stand in the center of the boat until it is out of the water and I would bet your boat loads correctly.

Sawdog
08-23-2013, 02:41 PM
Thanks for the responses. May try it on Sunday just to say I can do it.

CRABBY
08-23-2013, 03:22 PM
If you hold on to it...don't ask! LOLYou of fart,he said he hooks it on a cleat in/on his truck!!!!I do the same,works great!!!:clown:

Line Stretcher
08-23-2013, 03:38 PM
Thanks for the responses. May try it on Sunday just to say I can do it.

I'd say good luck but that makes it sound like you'll need it. You don't, you'll be just fine. Have a great Sunday!

Polebrother
08-23-2013, 03:40 PM
Several visual examples are available at YouTube. Do a search there for "How to Launch a Boat by Yourself" to get started. Recommend you take a look at a few of the vids offered then modify as necessary based on your rig and the type ramps you will be launching from. Good luck!

mtn. man
08-23-2013, 04:52 PM
As for retrieving the boat back on the trailer by yourself, nothing beets a set of side rails. Even in a cross wind or current it's a piece of cake. I used to launch my boat by myself a lot.

When I went to back it in the water, I would stop just before the water and unhook everything. then I would tie a long rope to the end of the bow rope. run the rope up over into the bed of my truck, then right next to the cab. then just bring it in the window and back the boat into the water. as the boat floats off the trailer just let the rope feed out. that way it gets out past the trailer and you don't end up getting wet to retrieve the rope. this worked especially well with shallow launch ramps where you might have to back way out to float the boat. just back out, float the boat and pull back up on shore. all the while the rope slides through your hand and you never loose contact with the boat. Get out and pull the boat back up to the shore.

no problem....

hooks
08-23-2013, 05:45 PM
You of fart,he said he hooks it on a cleat in/on his truck!!!!I do the same,works great!!!:clown:

Embarrassed to say that I have witnesses as to my ineptness at holding a rope so a boat won't float away.

This lady who keeps telling me that she is my wife says that I'm loosing it......

K-15
08-24-2013, 07:13 AM
Just be aware of the ramp your at,..don't unhook your boat before your in the water, depending on style of your boat, or steepness of ramp.My sled slides of the trailer very easy, and about 20+ years ago at wards landing,we helped a guy lift his 16' skibarge back on the trailer,.after he started down the steep ramp with it unhooked:duh:. Mike

hrairguitar
08-24-2013, 01:21 PM
I just recently figured this out. New to boating so was pretty stoked when I accomplished this.......When I launch alone I tie the boat to my truck and have all the straps removed from boat then back it in and it floats but wont float away because its tied to my truck. I then get out and pull the boat over to the dock to tie it off. Park the truck and im on my way

For loading I do a similar process however when I back up my trailer I dont get it nearly as wet as when i launch and I only have it about 1/3rd submerged. I then line it up and slowly drive the boat up the trailer til its close enough to hook on and wench, I then hop off the boat, stand on the trailer and wench it up, hop in the truck and drive it up. I never get wet

I have a 16ft bass boat. If its too shallow then i might have to tilt/trim up the motor a bit when i drive it up the trailer. Note - its a slow easy does it drive up the trailer. I dont come in guns blazing. I creep in then give it a little here and there to get it up to where i can wench it

salmonid
08-24-2013, 02:48 PM
Good advice their hrairm & glad you got it dialed in!

On some boats and trailers like mine, the boat will stay on the trailer when you drive it on and you don't even need to attach the hook to the bow, you can just drive the truck up the ramp. Kind of risky if you're not sure though, and for what it's worth I have a flat bottom river sled on a trailer with bunks.

Best,

Sawdog
08-25-2013, 12:12 PM
Dang - Cant they make a drainplug that doesnt sink the boat if its out?

JK.

Launched this morning not a problem. Even tried a new launch I had never been to. Talking to a friend I realized I had been taught the wrong way to retrieve - I was told to put the trailer all the way in and well it never has worked. Alignment is always an issue. So I got it dialed in when I launched and backed up to the same place for retrieval and it was perfect not an issue at all and took longer to launch than pick up.


Thanks guys!

salmonid
08-25-2013, 02:40 PM
Glad to hear Saw, and it will only get easier. Keep observing the mechanics of it and change up/tweak as needed.

Now...how about the fishing report??

Best,



Dang - Cant they make a drainplug that doesnt sink the boat if its out?

JK.

Launched this morning not a problem. Even tried a new launch I had never been to. Talking to a friend I realized I had been taught the wrong way to retrieve - I was told to put the trailer all the way in and well it never has worked. Alignment is always an issue. So I got it dialed in when I launched and backed up to the same place for retrieval and it was perfect not an issue at all and took longer to launch than pick up.


Thanks guys!

Sawdog
08-25-2013, 06:56 PM
Hit the water probably about 7:30 with my youngest. Motored up to Rio Ramaza. She was basically done by 10 didnt get anything but saw 2 netted and 1 on a stringer. Great day to be on the water. Jigged and trolled the kwik. Tooled around for a while back to the dock by a little after 11.