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View Full Version : Ramp Mishap - dodged a bullet


JohnnyB
07-22-2007, 03:12 PM
OK, I'm going to fess up....I had a pretty major mis-hap yesterday but others may learn from it.

Headed out yesterday for a family outing on a local river. To say the least I've launched my Mastercraft and those of my ski buddies dozens of times at this ramp. We have always undone the winch straps and boat buddies, backed the trailers in the water and driven off. I have yet to figure out what was different in this case as I've never seen this happen with any of the ski boats launched here. However, when backing down the landing, my boat slipped off the trailer :eek:

I was standing in the middle of the boat when it started to slide. My driver stopped the vehicle very gradually as I ran to the front of the boat (shifted weight in the boat).....it slid off slow and by the luck of angles and balances, hit reasonably soft on the prop.

In getting out and surveying the situation, the boat was resting mostly on the trailer with one prop blade bent over and holding the rest of it off of the concrete.

Putting the winch strap back on and adding tension, I had two bystanders sit in the open bow. This leverage lifted the boat off of the prop and I backed the trailer the rest of the way into the water and then winched the boat back on the trailer the rest of the way.

I think I dodged a bullet. I've since checked the shaft alignment and it is fine. There are no signs of cracking in the fiberglass around the strut. I wet tested with my spare prop and there are no signs additional vibration under running conditions. My alignment also passes the 'pinkie prop spin test' yet.

I'm guessing I'm safe and dodged a bullet....anything else I should check.....besides the shorts I was wearing????

I'm guessing my NiBrAl prop is a lot softer than the 1-1/8" hardened steel shaft and running gear and absorbed the load.

Here are some pics of the prop I'll be sending to ACME tomorrow....a quarter and dime are in the pic for size perspective....



Here are some pics of my prop.

JohnnyB
07-22-2007, 03:13 PM
Picture 2....

JohnnyB
07-22-2007, 03:14 PM
Prop damage 3......

JohnnyB
07-22-2007, 03:14 PM
Prop Damage 4.....

JohnnyB
07-22-2007, 03:15 PM
and 5..............

tex
07-22-2007, 03:17 PM
I hope it turns out ok! I have friends who launch the same way. I always wait to unhook my boat til I'm in he water. My friends make fun of me but I always say, it only takes one time! Good luck and as I said earlier, I hope everything is ok. You have reaffirmed my ways of launching! Thanks!

SDAhockey21
07-22-2007, 03:18 PM
Wow ouch. I do the same thing you did all the time! How steep was the ramp??

JohnnyB
07-22-2007, 03:18 PM
So, my wife actually commended me on staying calm and not teaching my kids any new four letter words....I think they were still in the truck when those came out!!

My 4 year old was bawling because the boat was broken.

I was dying of embarassment for looking like a wally.

Now, hopefully it doesn't wind up as a picture on the front page of the paper or something.

I will never again chance my boat, no matter how shallow the landing. It will be connected to the trailer until it is floating.

JohnnyB
07-22-2007, 03:19 PM
Wow ouch. I do the same thing you did all the time! How steep was the ramp??

Not very steep....JBFootin' can vouch for me....I'll try to take a pic next time I'm up there.

bigmac
07-22-2007, 03:20 PM
Whew! Scary.

If the runout on the shaft is OK, or the shaft and strut show no obvious bending, my approach would have been to do what you did -- go ahead and replace the prop and put the thing in the water and see how it runs. If there is vibration, time to rethink and reevaluate the rest of the running gear, otherwise good to go. If your boat is running well with the spare prop and there's no gel coat damage, I can't think of anything else to check.

This mishap illustrates the utility of having an extra prop on hand, though. Having that with you salvaged your day at the lake.

JohnnyB
07-22-2007, 03:21 PM
Anything else I should check for damage?

No fiberglass cracks.

No alignment issue (de-coupled at the tranny and verified with feeler guage.

No fluid leaks.

No water leaks.

No vibration while running.

luvtang
07-22-2007, 03:52 PM
damn i unload my boat the same way and that thought is allways in the back of my head, but i thought i was just paranoid! did you have extra weight in the back? or just wax the hull? or maybee a new backer downer person, who likes brakes? well good luck with your boat.

Leroy
07-22-2007, 03:58 PM
Sorry to hear this, Johnny. I would say you have it covered. There has been many pictures of boat sitting on prop so don't think you are the first.

phecksel
07-22-2007, 05:13 PM
I did that :( Except I dropped the whole boat on the ramp pulling it out. Damaged the prop and a small piece of gelcoat on the front chine when it rolled over.

Always make sure if it falls off, it's into the water!

JohnnyB
07-22-2007, 05:48 PM
damn i unload my boat the same way and that thought is allways in the back of my head, but i thought i was just paranoid! did you have extra weight in the back? or just wax the hull? or maybee a new backer downer person, who likes brakes? well good luck with your boat.

That's the odd thing......
-Average amount of fuel.
-Significantly less gear than normal as we weren't skiing.
-Significantly smaller cooler than normal 'cuz I wasn't skiing with my buddies.
-"backer down person" could've been the issue, but I didn't notice any significant on the brakes.....backer down person didn't panic and jamb the brakes once it started sliding which is probably what saved my arse.
-Since its the middle of the season, no new wax on the hull.

KnoxX2
07-22-2007, 06:41 PM
Sorry to here about your bad day. I hope this was not on your B-day.

I have had this happen with my first boat (73 Tri hull) on a roller trailer and since then have always waited to unhook the boat till I am in the water. Glad no one was hurt and that your boat is ok.

Hoosier Bob
07-22-2007, 06:49 PM
Sorry to hear this JB. I have not had problems but I do disconnect all before backing in. I have had the boat float off and have also had to try my Olympic long jump on occasion! I used to pull into a slip and leave the boat running. No ties as the pressure from the exhaust would nose the boat in fine. Well I have had to swim to the boat a couple of times so I tie her up now! No worries if you don't want to see me get wet don't watch!8p

h2oskifreak
07-22-2007, 07:17 PM
That prop looks like mine from last Thursdays ski. Loading the boat under power the prop hit the trailer prop guard. I didn't know that could happen. I will change the way I load and unload also. Spare prop was 13x14 (old one 13x13) turns out to be better performer with the spare so when the old one is repaired 3-4 weeks (prop season) I will make it my spare. Loaded hundreds of times and this was a new one for me.

theDano
07-22-2007, 07:34 PM
wow!!! sorry to hear. I know how you feel about feeling like a bone head. 2nd time out in our new (old) boat i whacked the prop on a rock not paying attention to the depth. Felt like a complete moron in front on my family. Live and learn......seems like you lucked out big time my friend. I wish your prop a speedy recovery. :)

h2oskifreak
07-22-2007, 07:36 PM
Thanks, we were lucky and didn't miss a ski day was the best part. My ski partner just skied his new ski (HO System 8) so I didn't want to be the one to put us out of commission. He is a big guy so he benifited from the prop pitch change accidently.

Kaser
07-22-2007, 07:45 PM
we always undid everything before backing in as well!

I'm ganna have to start watching that.... that is when we get a new boat! O.o

beatle78
07-22-2007, 10:36 PM
WOW, you guys are gutsy... I've NEVER unhooked my boat until I'm floating!!

My ramp is really steep, so it seems like a no brainer. I guess I don't understand what it's like backing down a shallow pitched ramp!!

Glad all is well!

peason
07-22-2007, 11:12 PM
Thanks for sharing. I will keep this in mind - typically I unhook everything and launch.

TMCNo1
07-23-2007, 10:17 AM
I always wait to pull the Boat Buddy pin and place it in the Arm position when we are backed up on the ramp, then when the boat and trailer are comfortably in the water do I remove the safety cable and winch strap and launch.

sizzler
07-23-2007, 10:30 AM
glad you havent had any shaft or strut problems........that was one expensive mistake for me....

http://www.tmcowners.com/teamtalk/showpost.php?p=372614&postcount=49

lsupcar
07-23-2007, 01:47 PM
I'm glad for you the prop is the only casualty and everything else is turning out OK. Not trying to pile on, but don't you think it is also a good safety practice to have everyone but the driver out of the launch vehicle, especially kids, when going down the ramp in case it slides into the water? Keep the windows open too. Good luck. Bill Z

JohnnyB
07-23-2007, 02:05 PM
I'm glad for you the prop is the only casualty and everything else is turning out OK. Not trying to pile on, but don't you think it is also a good safety practice to have everyone but the driver out of the launch vehicle, especially kids, when going down the ramp in case it slides into the water? Keep the windows open too. Good luck. Bill Z

That is a very good point and I have seen tragedy in the past with others being in the launch vehicle and this happening.

chudson
07-23-2007, 02:12 PM
In "88" the year of the drought I decieded to take the boat out early because our city marina was getting high and dry. We found a private ramp and and was backing in and the trailer just dropped of a ledge. Hooked the boat up but couldn't get the safety bar up to the eye and fasten so I just hooked it with the rope on the winch. We had a hoist at our place and I had just waxed from top to bottom so we just got the boat out of the water and the rope broke and she slid right back into the water luckily didn't touch a thing underneath the boat. The trailer came with a cloth rope on the winch and that got changed soon!!! Glad to hear there was no more damage than was, coulda been alot worse!!

:eek3:

jleger98
07-23-2007, 02:19 PM
I guess it never even occured to me to unhook before the boat is floating. That said, I've seen a few of the outboard types completely smash their lower units all to heck by doing this.

Willski
07-23-2007, 04:01 PM
Always have unhooked the boat before I back down. Never once had it slide, but my sometimes my wife gets heavy on the brakes when she is not backing down straight, then hits the gas in forward. I cringe, but never had a problem. Reading this thread kind of makes me think though.

jbfootin
07-23-2007, 04:33 PM
I launched my boat on Saturday the same way at the same ramp (Wrightstown?). One thing I noticed is that I hit bottom with my boat right by the dock. Must be a rock about half way down the dock. Good thing nothing more serious happened.