View Full Version : My first Launch Ramp Fiasco

east tx skier
09-30-2006, 07:21 PM
Well, we're back from the lake. This is our local lake that's spring fed, so depth usually isn't a problem.

The little man and I hop in the boat and my wife starts to back us down. When I'm confident we have enough of the stern over the water for comfort, I signal and my wife comes back to unhook the boat. She lets off the brake on the winch and the boat starts to slide backwards. The handle prevents her from hitting the winch. I hang on to my son and wait for the bad noise. I recall hearing a something, but we then stop. I hand the kiddo to her and pull the boat back up on the winch. We pull the trailer out and I give it a look fully expecting the worst. To my delight, we've somehow escaped even a dinged prop. Platform is fine, glass is fine, prop and shaft are spotless.

So we back it back in and I tell my wife that we won't unhook until the boat floats. Well, apparently, the local golf course was really sucking the lake dry because the next thing I know, we've dropped the trailer off the ramp. Thinking we can just pull it back up, we try that. No luck. About that time, another boater pulls up and tells me he did the same thing and that we need to literally lift the trailer back up on the ramp. I pull the boat off and anchor it and come back to the ramp. This ramp drops off at least 2 feet at the end. Eventually we muscle it back up on the ramp.

Now I'm worried how to get the boat back on. My wife backs the trailer down so that the tires are literally on the edge. The backs of the bunks are sitting on the surface (out of the water). So what can I do. I drive the boat all the way on. No problem. I couldn't believe it. They don't make 'em like they used to, eh Ric.

I think the only think I scraped is the center cross support as there's a little paint missing. I don't know how I got out with my fenders intact, much less without even a nick. It must have floated just long enough and gone straight off the back.

So we didn't bother skiing. We counted our blessings and came home. This is my first launch ramp fiasco. Glad it ended okay.

09-30-2006, 07:27 PM

09-30-2006, 07:34 PM
Hope you know I was kiddin..

Ah, glad the gulf course is looking good??

09-30-2006, 08:01 PM
Glad to hear you got out ok!:(

09-30-2006, 08:11 PM
First time I launched the tristar the water was about 4' lower than usual. I was so concerned about the ramp and rocks our lake is known for, that I forgot to tighten the hose clamp for the water intake. Launch goes great, boat starts for the first time great, then starts to die after a few minutes. Open motor cover and sure enough I'm soaking everything. Not directly related to the ramp, but indirectly related. At least I keep telling myself that.

09-30-2006, 08:23 PM
I've done that before, Doug - actually got a cross-member stuck in between two of the concrete slabs that make up the ramp. But unlike you, I only launch my boat once a year, so on a percentage basis I think you're doing pretty good...:)

09-30-2006, 09:49 PM
Glad to hear you got out ok!:(

What he said:rolleyes:

east tx skier
09-30-2006, 10:15 PM
Thanks all. I was very happy to remember that the guy who did the lift on my trailer had welded the pins on the axle into place, according to him, in case I ever dropped it off the back of the ramp.

Needless to say, next time, we'll bring a bit of PVC pipe to mark where the drop off is. I was proud of my son, he never made a peep. He just reached over and grabbed the steering wheel wanting to drive.

Hoosier Bob
10-01-2006, 12:29 AM
We ran across a severe drought about 15 years ago and every time I launched it seemed like we had to lift the trailer back on to the ramp. Had the Aerostar AWD back then, Eddie Bauer of course. One of the uglier vehicles maybe but I loved it. People forget the ramp does not go to the middle of the lake.8p

10-01-2006, 12:57 AM
Ive done it as well. Lukily I was able to get the boat on the bunks and all the way to the front. Trailer wheels were off the slabs and truck was hating life and not enough poop to get out. Fired the boat up and gave some gas for assistance and we were off.

10-01-2006, 01:01 AM
Glad it worked out ok East!!!

10-02-2006, 07:47 AM
That could have been much worse than it was. Glad everything turned out ok.