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Launching secrets

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Old 05-26-2006, 09:09 AM
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Default Launching secrets

OK so I am moving up from a 22' open bow with a roller trailer to a 342 Baja with a bunk style trailer. The old boat I would just drive right up the rollers and pow it was on the trailer.

I am sure that a bunk trailer and 9000 pound boat aren't going to be as easy to load and unload. Any pointers to help keep me from looking like an ass the first time I put the boat in and out of the water? I always hate the people that take forever on the ramp so I am hoping not to become one of those people.

Also any help going through locks? I have never done this either. Guess there is much to learn with the new boat.

Thanks
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Old 05-26-2006, 09:23 AM
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Default Re: Launching secrets

Well here in Northern Michigan where we have docks that run down into the lakes at all of the ramps, we don't power load or unload.
I just tie the boat to the dock and back the trailer under the boat and hook the front cable and pull out. the boat doesn't touch the bunks until I start up the ramp.
For unloading I just back it in until the boat starts to float, stop, unhook the cable, float the boat back alittle, tie it to the dock and go park the truck & trailer.
Also check and see if you have enough room for your tailgate to open. I open mine before I back down the ramp, it makes for a nice step and I never have to get my feet wet. JB
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Old 05-26-2006, 09:27 AM
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Default Re: Launching secrets

Secret #1, put plug in.

Secret #2, Be sure to disconnet the winch before launching so you don't try to launch the boat, put it in reverse and the boat goes no where, stall a motor because the exhaust is underwater, try to start it again and realize you just hydro-locked the motor!
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Old 05-26-2006, 09:30 AM
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Default Re: Launching secrets

I powerload a 31 on bunks and hae several buddies with 35-40 footers doing the same. The first few times out your gonna take a long time. Try to use the ramp at off-peak times. Eventually you'll learn just how far to put the trailer in the water so that you can drive right up the bow stop. With mine it takes putting the trailer fenders 3-4 inches under water......
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Old 05-26-2006, 09:32 AM
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Default Re: Launching secrets

Practice, take the time and go to the ramp and practice launching and loading. Mark how deep your trailer needs to be to load, will save alot of frustration later on.
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Old 05-26-2006, 09:37 AM
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Default Re: Launching secrets

I power load and winch load depending on the ramp. I would sink the trailer more if you are winch loading. FLoat the boat up as far as you can attach the cable and start cranking. After a few times it will be much easier. Power loading I feel doen't require the trailer to be as deep in the water. Just make sure you have plenty of water because the drives will wind up being deeper in the water once the bow goes up on the trailer. Just take it slow the first couple of times. Of course currents and tons of people standing around watching you will not add any pressure or stress

Frank
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Old 05-26-2006, 09:46 AM
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Default Re: Launching secrets

When you are loading you may want to wet the bunks down, the boat will lide a lot eaiser on wet carpet than dry. Either hose it or dunk it then pull it up the ramp a bit to the right loading position
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Old 05-26-2006, 10:02 AM
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Default Re: Launching secrets

At a new ramp I back slowly until I see the boat move a little, in my case that is when the trailer fenders are at, or 1-2 " below the water line.

Be sure to take off the back straps before doing this

Some ramps are not level below the water line, so you may have to make a couple of tries to get a level spot.
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Old 05-26-2006, 10:18 AM
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Default Re: Launching secrets

First, I am going to diasagree with Panther on his step 2.

I back the boat into the water first, and then I release the trailer winch. It is highly unlikely that you wil have do to a quick stop while reversing down the ramp, but I don't take that chance. I want the boat releasing from the trailer exactly when I say so. You boat is not a stepped hull, so it is possible for the boat to slide backward. If it ever does, you want it landing in water and not on concrete. I'll back in far enough that the boat is just about to float off the trailer, and then go back and release the winch, jump in the boat, fire the engines, and check guages; make sure bilge pumps don't turn on; then back the trailer down an addional couple feet to float the boat off easily.

Second, launching is the easy part. Retrieving is the harder of the two. This works for my trailer an setup, but could be different for you. When backing in the trailer to retrieve, back it in far enough to get ALL the bunks ALL the way wet, then pull up a bit so you have a bit of the forward bunks exposed above the water line. Then you can either drive the boat forward and land on these exposed bunks, or walk it up with ropes. I then winch it up the rest of the way.

Depending on the condition of the ramps you use, and wind and current, you might can power load. However, its just not my preference.

Last edited by Sydwayz; 05-26-2006 at 12:31 PM.
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Old 05-26-2006, 10:28 AM
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Default Re: Launching secrets

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sydwayz
First, I am going to diasagree with Panther on his step 2.

I back the boat into the water first, and then I release the trailer winch. It is highly unlikely that you will have do to a quick stop while reversing down the ramp, but I don't take that chance. I want the boat releasing from the trailer exactly when I want it say so. You boat is not a stepped hull, so it is possible for the boat to slide backward. If it ever does, you want it landing in water and not on concrete. I'll back in far enough that the boat is just about to float off the trailer, and then go back and release the winch, jump in the boat, fire the engines, and check gauges; make sure bilge pumps don't turn on; then back the trailer down an additional couple feet to float the boat of easily.
Totally agree on the front strap and safety chain.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Sydwayz
When backing in the trailer to retrieve, back it in far enough to get ALL the bunks ALL the way wet, then pull up a bit so you have a bit of the forward bunks exposed above the water line.
Be careful on going too deep on a new ramp (ask first), some of them drop off suddenly, especially river ramps. I have seen people get their trailer stuck this way.
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