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View Full Version : Drive on or float on?


Commandohorn
07-28-2007, 11:39 PM
Putting a rudder steer boat on the trailer is not the easiest thing to do...do you drive on or float it on?

Hoosier Bob
07-28-2007, 11:43 PM
I drive on. Power load so to speak. Some ramps I have heard do not allow this. Washes the river or lake bottom away creating a drop. I coast up and power on. Boat Buddy does the rest.;)

T Scott
07-28-2007, 11:45 PM
I idle slowly towards the submerged trailer and then put it in neutral as the bow passes the guide poles. I then let the boat settle and center itself on the trailer. Give it a little gas and the boat buddy engages, pull it up the ramp. I can usually take the boat from the water to up the ramp on the trailer in 1-2 minutes.

rektek
07-28-2007, 11:47 PM
we hand load when the ramp is not too busy, power load when people are waiting to get in or out. hand loading is by far safer.

swatguy
07-29-2007, 12:04 AM
Pretty much same as T Scott. We put our single axle trailer in just so that the fenders are just under the water at most of the ramps we launch at.

BrianM
07-29-2007, 12:04 AM
I idle slowly towards the submerged trailer and then put it in neutral as the bow passes the guide poles. I then let the boat settle and center itself on the trailer. Give it a little gas and the boat buddy engages, pull it up the ramp.

Ditto.........

Leroy
07-29-2007, 01:42 AM
I drive on also after Hoosier Bob showed me how to work the Boat Buddy!

I drive on. Power load so to speak. Some ramps I have heard do not allow this. Washes the river or lake bottom away creating a drop. I coast up and power on. Boat Buddy does the rest.;)

milkmania
07-29-2007, 02:01 AM
power load like T Scott

I also use my guide poles with my hand to help center myself..... push/pull lightly

TMCNo1
07-29-2007, 08:07 AM
I idle slowly towards the submerged trailer and then put it in neutral as the bow passes the guide poles. I then let the boat settle and center itself on the trailer. Give it a little gas and the boat buddy engages, pull it up the ramp. I can usually take the boat from the water to up the ramp on the trailer in 1-2 minutes.
Same here, but the wife does the boat driving! She just has that magic touch!

Jesus_Freak
07-29-2007, 08:53 AM
Same here, but the wife does the boat driving! She just has that magic touch!

Very cool!

TMCNo1
07-29-2007, 09:06 AM
Very cool!


Just like putting a tired baby to bed!

bigmac
07-29-2007, 09:09 AM
I only load the boat on my trailer once a year, but I float it on...safer and easier given the relatively shallow ramp I prefer on our lake.

TMCNo1
07-29-2007, 09:12 AM
Then she does the soft click, it's not Pro Wrestling!

ski_king
07-29-2007, 09:34 AM
I idle slowly towards the submerged trailer and then put it in neutral as the bow passes the guide poles. I then let the boat settle and center itself on the trailer. Give it a little gas and the boat buddy engages, pull it up the ramp. I can usually take the boat from the water to up the ramp on the trailer in 1-2 minutes.
Almost same for me.
I have the old bar connection on mine and it works well for me, except I need a second person to hook it.

How far the trailer is in the water makes a big difference. I keep my trailer fenders about 4 inchs out of the water. This will vary depending on the angle of the ramp.

JohnnyB
07-29-2007, 10:09 AM
I powerload on most ramps. A couple, like the one at the lake we vacation on, tend to wash out so I don't powerload on those....I put the trailer in a bit deeper so that I can coast on most of the way and winch the rest.

betsy&david Harrison
07-29-2007, 10:35 AM
I load the same as your wife #1. Not too difficult to do.

rstitson
07-30-2007, 07:42 PM
We float on, though I would prefer to drive on in some cases, but my wife doesn't do the back the trailer in yet. Another issue for us is that we are often boating a new lakes/ramps so it is not always obvious just how far to back in the trailer to load.

M-Funf
07-30-2007, 08:03 PM
I float on most of the time. Just get her lined up and drift forward until she stops. I guess I just feel safer knowing that the prop isn't turning as it gets close to the trailer...

Michael Epp
07-31-2007, 09:00 PM
Bad experience....loading '07 X-15 last weekend after 1 month in water; late in the evening; unfamiliar with launch; a poor launch set up; helper not familiar with process; tried to protect hull above bow hook by wrapping cloth around boat buddy (I hate the scratches caused by the boat buddy); long and the short of it...tried several times to hook up to boat buddy without success (I've done this many times...'04 X-10 and now '07 X-15); got crooked on trailer and didn't realize it; throttled up and actually jumped the boat buddy and at same time prop hit trailer. A poor ending to a month of great boating. Prop is repairable ($200 CDN); once repaired will keep as spare; anticipating that prop shaft is okay; new OJ prop $600 CDN; need to arrange for trailer repair; total bill for my "learning experience" will likely be $1,200; will consider floating on and hand cranking in future; anyone done something like this?? It would help if I knew that I wasn't the only idiot (person with momentary lapse of sound judgement and applied skill) out there.

flipper
07-31-2007, 09:06 PM
I always drive on except the time I blew the motor.

Roonie's
07-31-2007, 10:24 PM
My wife drives it on as she sucks at backing up a trailer so I usually get trailer and stand in line. She idles it until past the guides and then puts it in neutral. Let it center itself. Then she may give it a little gas. Majority of the time we end of winching it on until it clicks into the boat buddy. She came in fast the other day and nailed the guide almost head on. Made me wince a little but that is how we learn. Total time it takes to load is about 2 minutes.

ivectoryou
07-31-2007, 11:18 PM
My wife drives it on as she sucks at backing up a trailer so I usually get trailer and stand in line. She idles it until past the guides and then puts it in neutral. Let it center itself. Then she may give it a little gas. Majority of the time we end of winching it on until it clicks into the boat buddy. She came in fast the other day and nailed the guide almost head on. Made me wince a little but that is how we learn. Total time it takes to load is about 2 minutes.
I'm guessing that the deeper you put the trailer (fenders completely submerged) the less likely you are to hit the prop on the trailer. I didn't even know you could hit the prop if you tried.

We haven't had any issues loading other than I don't like powering into the boat buddy after coming to a rest just short of engagement. It just seems too rough to me. We have decided to "winch it" that last foot from now on.

My girlfriend and I take turns loading the boat and backing the truck. That way she gets better with the truck and I stay proficient with the boat.

Lastly, is there anything wrong with the way we do it? We drive at the trailer at a speed that allows for steering and then as the bow is about to pass the back of the trailer we cut the gas and let it ride up and settle. We always hook up the winch before going up the ramp because I just can't risk the boat buddy snapping and seeing a $25,000 boat slide off onto Mother Earth.

Dan

east tx skier
07-31-2007, 11:19 PM
Gentle power loading here much like others have mentioned.

roddydog
07-31-2007, 11:25 PM
Drive She Said!!!

Michael Epp
08-01-2007, 02:21 PM
I appreciate the comments. Live and learn. The upside...I'm going to try a different prop (Acme 13.5 x 17.5) to see how it performs with the LY6 engine. If I like it I'll buy it and keep the rebuilt 14.25 x 14.75 OJ prop as a spare (in case I have another momentary lapse of judgement).

Chicago190
08-01-2007, 05:56 PM
Powerload here as well, but I attach the winch strap after engaging the boat buddy because we have to go up a pretty long hill after loading so its not worth the risk. I find it easy to load if I imagine where I need to be over the trailer as I sit in the drivers seat. Look a foot to the left of the right guidepole and draw a line and just drive up that line without making major steering corrections. Go in and out of gear to keep the speed down, and then put it in neutral as I pass the guidepole to let the boat come to a stop.

87MCProstar
08-01-2007, 07:37 PM
i float on, i've noticed very minor gunnal damage from drive on/offs so i've stopped them. still in and out in under 3 minutes, which is better than some of the people i watch when dropping the boat in or taken her to for a cleanin. im sure its like that at every lake, but if i stayed at the boat launch for two weeks, i could right a comedy. i've seen people jack knife their trucks and trailors on the ramp with is a double ramp (two cars are supposed to fit at once). some funny stuff. my feelings are those stupid people shouldn't be driving boats if they can't drop them in without a problem.

Archimedes
08-01-2007, 07:47 PM
We always power on. And to the poster above who mentioned concern about hitting the prop on the trailer, you'd have to mess up catastrophically to hit your prop on the trailer.

Archimedes
08-01-2007, 07:52 PM
i stayed at the boat launch for two weeks, i could right a comedy.

So true. About a month ago we were coming back to the ramp in our boat and we saw an I/O that appeared to be beached on the ramp. No truck/trailer in sight, so I'm thinking they've had some sort of problem, lost power, drifted in, etc. We pull up to the dock and I jump out and run over to help them, ask them what happened and they look at me like I'm from Mars. "Nothing, we're just waiting on my Dad to bring the trailer." I notice it's a very new boat...the front of which is literally scraping on the concrete ramp at the moment. They had pulled onto the ramp, jumped out and were holding their boat right there on the ramp.

I got back in the boat and told my wife, it's okay, they agreed not to reproduce.

OHIOPRO205
08-01-2007, 09:34 PM
We ( my wife ) drives on with just a little power, the boat buddy does the rest. She does a great job!

Ryan27r
08-01-2007, 09:45 PM
I idle slowly towards the submerged trailer and then put it in neutral as the bow passes the guide poles. I then let the boat settle and center itself on the trailer. Give it a little gas and the boat buddy engages, pull it up the ramp. I can usually take the boat from the water to up the ramp on the trailer in 1-2 minutes.
same here.

wakolman
08-01-2007, 11:40 PM
We winch it the last foot. As we get more comfortable with the boat, we may find it easier to just ease it into the boat buddy. But for now, I am not taking any chances with hitting it too hard, or having the bow miss left or right (the wife does the loading half of the time). I have seen many people who don't know what they are doing try power loading and often screw it up somehow.