Ready to Launch Your Trailer Boat – 5 No-No’s
So, you’re ready to put that nice shiny boat in the water and enjoy your day. But not so quickly – there are some steps you need to take before backing that trailer down the ramp to launch your boat into the water.
Marina’s, lakes and other bodies of water normally have launch ramps for boaters. It is the boater’s responsibility to make sure the launch procedure goes smoothly and without incident. So you’ll want to make sure you know good and well what you’re doing, and how to properly do it.
There are several different things to take into account that will help you make this process quick and painless — making sure all of your personal items are on your boat before launching it is one of those things. That includes clothes, fishing poles, food, drinks, coolers, etc.
Here are a few more things to think about before launching.
1. Don’t wait to practice backing up a boating trailer down a ramp while other people are waiting for you. A busy public boat launch ramp is NOT the place to learn how to back up a boat trailer. Don’t rush!! It’s a fact that boater’s who rush the process are normally the ones who cause the most damage (or lose their boat from not concentrating). Be calm and get plenty of practice before the time comes to launch or retrieve your boat (whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned boater).
2. Did I forget to put the drain plug in? – Yeah, you’ll want to make sure that lovely little invention is securely in place before launching. And when you’re sure that it’s securely in place, check again…just to be extra sure.
3. Never launch your boat by yourself. It is much easier to launch a boat when you have help. Your helper can drive the vehicle and trailer away while you manage the boat that you’ve just put into the water. There are so many things that can go wrong while in the launch process – it’s best to have a buddy or adult family member there to help you in case of an accident and so the process goes along much more smoothly.
4. Don’t forget to tie your boat to the dock before pulling your truck and trailer away. There’s nothing worse than going to park your vehicle and coming back to a boat in the middle of deep waters…with no way to get to it! Make sure you tie a bowline to a dock before launching your boat into the water.
5. And last but not least, don’t forget about your engine. Your engine will need to remain raised during the launching process. Not raising your engine during a launch and/or in shallow waters can cause major unwanted damage. When you launch your boat, slowly motor over to the dock that you’ve attached your bowline to. Once you’re in deeper water, you can lower your engine.
The launch and retrieval process can be so simple, quick, and easy if you make sure you pay attention and follow these simple steps. Even the most experienced boater can forget to tie his boat to a dock, or even un-tie his boat from his trailer. But no matter what the issue, know that you’re not alone! Making a boating launch/retrieval check list may be a good idea. Or better yet, print out this blog and keep it in your vehicle so that you’ll have it at all times when you’re ready for a fun day on the water! Need a few more tips? Here are 11 tips to keep you safe while trailering your boat and tips on boat trailer maintenance. What’s your biggest challenge when launching your boat?