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View Full Version : Boat Launching Tip


AZDave
03-07-2013, 04:31 PM
We all have our own methods of launching our boats. One way is to float it off, and another is sort of a power launch. I am starting to think that launching a boat "dry" so to speak, is not great on the gelcoat. Unless you float the boat, and get water between the bunks and gelcoat, there will be a lot of friction, because the carpet takes a while to get soaked. I now drop my boat in, with the winch hooked up. Float it slightly, then pull out to where the very top of both fenders, (maybe 1")are above water. I then unhook and drive the boat off. When loading, I always soak the bunks, completely. A few seconds more, but if you are launching several times a month, has to be easier on the gelcoat.

Table Rocker
03-07-2013, 04:34 PM
I float off and basically float on (winching less than a foot). Luckily the ramps I normally use are at an angle that makes it easy for me to do this.

clrussell
03-07-2013, 04:56 PM
I float on and off also, easier for me to do it that way


Tapatalk

mzimme
03-07-2013, 04:58 PM
Power off and power on baby! My boats 30 years old and I presume this has been the method of launch and retrieval for all of that time, and the gel looks just fine in those areas.

Sent from my Galaxy S3 using Tapatalk.

Nordicron
03-07-2013, 04:58 PM
I float off and basically float on (winching less than a foot). Luckily the ramps I normally use are at an angle that makes it easy for me to do this.

Same here! Did this for years with my fishing boat now with the wake boat.

Funny though ive had many people tell me at the launch "hey you do know that trailer is designed so you can drive the boat on". I just say yeah but I'll like to float it on. I still get some bunk marks but not near as bad as I would driving on.

TxsRiverRat
03-07-2013, 05:07 PM
I use this as my guid on how to not do it :D


http://www.friday-harbor.net/bm~pix/activities-boating-boatlaunch~s600x600.jpg

02ProstarSammyD
03-07-2013, 05:10 PM
I float on and off. Have someone take her to the end of the dock with a rope to wait and at the end of the day glide her in and winch it up a foot or 2. People love to powerload at my lake and look at me like I'm nuts.

thatsmrmastercraft
03-07-2013, 05:15 PM
When I launch, I back it in far enough to start and once the driver nods that it is running, I back in a little further for a modified drive/float off. Always drive it on.

detonate69
03-07-2013, 05:15 PM
I float off and power on. Been doing it for years.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I777 using Tapatalk 2

ttu
03-07-2013, 05:16 PM
i drive off and drive on!

tph
03-07-2013, 05:17 PM
When I launch, I back it in far enough to start and once the driver nods that it is running, I back in a little further for a modified drive/float off. Always drive it on.

Ditto!

TOO-TALL
03-07-2013, 07:05 PM
When I launch, I back it in far enough to start and once the driver nods that it is running, I back in a little further for a modified drive/float off. Always drive it on.

x2.....

bsloop
03-07-2013, 07:13 PM
I float mine off and on for better control.

For all the power loaders that think they are cool; below is a great pic of what power loading does to the bottom of a ramp.
Power loading blows away dirt at the bottom of the ramp. This can create a hazard for trailers if they fall off the end. If prop wash is bad enough, it can eat under the ramp, potentially weakening the concete so it may break when weight is placed on it.

TN Barefooter
03-07-2013, 07:17 PM
Float off and on.

thatsmrmastercraft
03-07-2013, 07:19 PM
I float mine off and on for better control.

For all the power loaders that think they are cool; below is a great pic of what power loading does to the bottom of a ramp.
Power loading blows away dirt at the bottom of the ramp. This can create a hazard for trailers if they fall off the end. If prop wash is bad enough, it can eat under the ramp, potentially weakening the concete so it may break when weight is placed on it.

Watching some of the morons cranking on the throttle digs the big holes. A careful bump or two does not.

TN Barefooter
03-07-2013, 07:23 PM
Watching some of the morons cranking on the throttle digs the big holes. A careful bump or two does not.
Strongly agree.

mzimme
03-07-2013, 07:25 PM
Watching some of the morons cranking on the throttle digs the big holes. A careful bump or two does not.

Exhibit A: bass boats.

Having that bar that's on my 83 almost requires me to keep a little power while loading. My winch doesn't get my boat high enough on the trailer to float on and still get the bar attached... so power on it is.

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thatsmrmastercraft
03-07-2013, 07:36 PM
Exhibit A: bass boats.

Having that bar that's on my 83 almost requires me to keep a little power while loading. My winch doesn't get my boat high enough on the trailer to float on and still get the bar attached... so power on it is.

Sent from my Galaxy S3 using Tapatalk.

I was originally going to use bass boats as an example, but tempered my response. I see them as the biggest problem. Also boats with not enough truck to pull the rig out of the water. They can't put their trailer in far enough and have to work hart to get the boat on.

JimN
03-07-2013, 07:40 PM
I was originally going to use bass boats as an example, but tempered my response. I see them as the biggest problem. Also boats with not enough truck to pull the rig out of the water. They can't put their trailer in far enough and have to work hart to get the boat on.

It's not the bass boats, it's the idjits at the throttle (I refuse to call that a 'helm').

thatsmrmastercraft
03-07-2013, 07:53 PM
It's not the bass boats, it's the idjits at the throttle (I refuse to call that a 'helm').

My previous post referred to morons cranking on the throttle as the culprit.

JimN
03-07-2013, 08:30 PM
My previous post referred to morons cranking on the throttle as the culprit.

I didn't look that far back. Sue me.:D

I saw a lot of these pinheads at Lauderdale Lake in Elkhorn, WI. They really screwed that launch up, something fierce.

Sodar
03-07-2013, 08:40 PM
I float off. At the pull out, I always leave the trailer out just a little, so the bunks catch the boat and stop it before the bow chock. I then power on the last foot or winch it on, if I am in the mood. Either way, it takes little more than bumping it in gear to engage the boat buddy.

east tx skier
03-07-2013, 09:32 PM
I float off and basically float on (winching less than a foot). Luckily the ramps I normally use are at an angle that makes it easy for me to do this.

+1. This is what I do currently.

You can wax the bunks (don't use silicone based products like 303 on the bunks). But if you wax them, don't ever unhook the boat until it is over the water. They will slide off.

sully
03-07-2013, 10:38 PM
When I launch, I back it in far enough to start and once the driver nods that it is running, I back in a little further for a modified drive/float off.

The county ramps I typically use have signs that say No Power Loading, and a resident of that county and my tax dollars go to fix those ramps I have grown to be politely vocal towards power loaders.

We typically idle to the trailer the winch it the rest of way.

orbeamlb
03-07-2013, 10:44 PM
Float off. Glide on at idle speed and winch that last foot or so.

thatsmrmastercraft
03-07-2013, 10:47 PM
The county ramps I typically use have signs that say No Power Loading, and a resident of that county and my tax dollars go to fix those ramps I have grown to be politely vocal towards power loaders.

We typically idle to the trailer the winch it the rest of way.

I would never go against signs stating no power loading. I fish some lakes with those signs and of course comply, but haven't had my '77 at a launch thus designated.

JimN
03-07-2013, 10:55 PM
The county ramps I typically use have signs that say No Power Loading, and a resident of that county and my tax dollars go to fix those ramps I have grown to be politely vocal towards power loaders.

We typically idle to the trailer the winch it the rest of way.

That launch on Lauderdale had a "No Power loading", too- it was a lot like telling a fire not to burn, though.

tdjaster
03-07-2013, 10:57 PM
I find it most fun...and challenging...to leave the Perfect Pass set at wakeboard speed and try to shoot the gap between the bunks. Of course, this is most enjoyable after killing, at minimum, a 6 pack.

I hope you catch my sarcasm. :-)

thatsmrmastercraft
03-07-2013, 10:58 PM
I find it most fun...and challenging...to leave the Perfect Pass set at wakeboard speed and try to shoot the gap between the bunks. Of course, this is most enjoyable after killing, at minimum, a 6 pack.

I hope you catch my sarcasm. :-)

:uglyhamme:uglyhamme:uglyhamme

jhall0711
03-07-2013, 11:02 PM
I find it most fun...and challenging...to leave the Perfect Pass set at wakeboard speed and try to shoot the gap between the bunks. Of course, this is most enjoyable after killing, at minimum, a 6 pack.

I hope you catch my sarcasm. :-)

Heck... Why not go for slalom speed... more of a challenge.....:rolleyes:

tdjaster
03-07-2013, 11:10 PM
Heck... Why not go for slalom speed... more of a challenge.....:rolleyes:

Because that would just be ridiculous.

JimN
03-07-2013, 11:17 PM
Because that would just be ridiculous.

Ludicrous speed?

Bouyhead
03-07-2013, 11:18 PM
When I launch, I back it in far enough to start and once the driver nods that it is running, I back in a little further for a modified drive/float off. Always drive it on.

I'm with Peter, just get it done.

GoneBoatN
03-07-2013, 11:24 PM
When I launch, I back it in far enough to start and once the driver nods that it is running, I back in a little further for a modified drive/float off. Always drive it on.

Same here.

thatsmrmastercraft
03-07-2013, 11:25 PM
I'm with Peter, just get it done.

http://forums.catholic.com/images/smilies/ani/ani_tiphat.gif

sully
03-07-2013, 11:26 PM
That launch on Lauderdale had a "No Power loading", too- it was a lot like telling a fire not to burn, though.

Jim,
Couldn't agree more, drives me crazy the DNR officials want to inspect my boat for invasive plants and Zebra mussel and some moron is power loading full bore actually kicking up mud and the DNR and park officials just turn and walk away.

thatsmrmastercraft
03-07-2013, 11:27 PM
Jim,
Couldn't agree more, drives me crazy the DNR officials want to inspect my boat for invasive plants and Zebra mussel and some moron is power loading full bore actually kicking up mud and the DNR and park officials just turn and walk away.

Darn crappie-cops:rolleyes:

Kyle
03-08-2013, 12:07 AM
When I launch, I back it in far enough to start and once the driver nods that it is running, I back in a little further for a modified drive/float off. Always drive it on.

Exactly what I do...

LaRue
03-08-2013, 01:14 AM
I don't always drive it on but when I do, I drink Shiner Bock

ASK
03-09-2013, 01:03 AM
Looks like MDR launch ramp.

ASK
03-09-2013, 01:06 AM
TxsRiverRat,
Looks like MDR launch ramp.

thatsmrmastercraft
03-09-2013, 01:40 AM
I float mine off and on for better control.

For all the power loaders that think they are cool; below is a great pic of what power loading does to the bottom of a ramp.
Power loading blows away dirt at the bottom of the ramp. This can create a hazard for trailers if they fall off the end. If prop wash is bad enough, it can eat under the ramp, potentially weakening the concete so it may break when weight is placed on it.

If you had ten feet more water this wouldn't be an issue.
http://mastercraft.com/teamtalk/attachment.php?attachmentid=90747&stc=1&d=1362697996

JimN
03-09-2013, 09:15 AM
If you had ten feet more water this wouldn't be an issue.
http://mastercraft.com/teamtalk/attachment.php?attachmentid=90747&stc=1&d=1362697996

Or, another 50 yards of concrete.

03geetee
03-09-2013, 09:47 AM
Ditto!

We are same!

JTR

GoneBoatN
03-09-2013, 09:49 AM
I agree on the need for more concrete - support your local contractors!

03geetee
03-09-2013, 09:55 AM
I also make sure to back in my trailer all the way so the bunks are wet let it sit for a little bit then pull up and set the trailer for loading.

This does two things...

1. Helps my 30 year old dino boats gelcoat stay looking nice and fresh and makes the boat glide on with ease.
2. Every other idiot on the dock screams at me YOU ARE IN TOO FAR TOO FAR PULL UP!!!! So when I do pull up they think I am listening to them, however upon arrival of the boat something happens. Wow that thing is clean, what a boat!, how old is that thing? You wouldnt know it is that old? Which I respond yeah look at the bottom of your boat and then look at mine, now you know why I soak my bunks before loading jackass.

Then I walk away and it usually takes them a second to figure it all out. Cant tell you how many times this has happened. What is funnier is that I usually have my Father in law grab the truck and trailer I handle the boat. The two of us get it done is no time flat, yet the yappers have an army and take forever and have the nerve to tell me what I'm doing wrong.

Life is funny.

JTR

ahhudgins
03-09-2013, 11:31 AM
I find it most fun...and challenging...to leave the Perfect Pass set at wakeboard speed and try to shoot the gap between the bunks. Of course, this is most enjoyable after killing, at minimum, a 6 pack.

I hope you catch my sarcasm. :-)


I prefer to load the family and gear into the boat while blocking the ramp as others are waiting in line. I unhook the strap, get back in the truck, and then lean out the driver's window (while holding a Bud Light) and yell "Ya'll ready?". I then let the truck roll down the ramp and apply the brakes at the exact moment the transom makes contact with the water. It's just like a ride at Disney World without the expense!

I hope they catch my sarcasm as well.:rolleyes:
It's been power on/off for the last 30 years.

tdjaster
03-09-2013, 11:48 AM
I prefer to load the family and gear into the boat while blocking the ramp as others are waiting in line. I unhook the strap, get back in the truck, and then lean out the driver's window (while holding a Bud Light) and yell "Ya'll ready?". I then let the truck roll down the ramp and apply the brakes at the exact moment the transom makes contact with the water. It's just like a ride at Disney World without the expense!

I hope they catch my sarcasm as well.:rolleyes:
It's been power on/off for the last 30 years.

I totally forgot about how I prep the boat while blocking the entire ramp (it's been since last fall). Obviously everyone else likes when I do it because they're always staring at me and then they wave their fingers telling me I'm #1!

Hooray ME!!

thatsmrmastercraft
03-09-2013, 11:50 AM
Or, another 50 yards of concrete.

I agree on the need for more concrete - support your local contractors!

http://www.vpsingles.com/pics/rotfl.gifhttp://www.vpsingles.com/pics/rotfl.gifhttp://www.vpsingles.com/pics/rotfl.gif

Jarome
03-09-2013, 12:32 PM
The X2,s have to float enough to allow the front of the hull to clear the rear set of bunks, otherwise the boat will be hung up on the trailer until you back in deeper. Its more of an issue on shallow launches.

Jason.H.
03-09-2013, 01:34 PM
I back my trailer in to get bunks wet but then have to pull it way out when loading and unloading or front tow eye will get hung on front v bunk. 1990 tristar. Pretty frustrating.

thatsmrmastercraft
03-09-2013, 01:37 PM
I back my trailer in to get bunks wet but then have to pull it way out when loading and unloading or front tow eye will get hung on front v bunk. 1990 tristar. Pretty frustrating.

Sounds like your ramp is pretty steep.

Jason.H.
03-09-2013, 01:54 PM
Sounds like your ramp is pretty steep.

I think its not steep enough to be honest. Loading and unloading isn't as bad when we go to smith mountain lake in virginia. It has a really steep ramp at Mitchell's Marina.

thatsmrmastercraft
03-09-2013, 02:01 PM
I think its not steep enough to be honest. Loading and unloading isn't as bad when we go to smith mountain lake in virginia. It has a really steep ramp at Mitchell's Marina.

I'm fortunate that the three places I normally launch at are all the perfect angle for my boat. Finding the best trailer position at a ramp with an unfriendly angle can indeed be frustrating.

SP Maristar
03-09-2013, 09:03 PM
Went deeper than usual on launch and retrieve today. Very slight power on/off required. I like it.

Stefan
03-10-2013, 02:48 PM
Boat floats off/on but have to do it with throttle due to varying currents (river). Usually the boat will leave the bunks when my driver backs me in and will come to rest on the bunks when pulled back out, no driving the boat on the bunks...

LittleFuss
03-11-2013, 12:01 PM
I use this as my guid on how to not do it :D


http://www.friday-harbor.net/bm~pix/activities-boating-boatlaunch~s600x600.jpg

YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG!

JimN
03-11-2013, 12:40 PM
YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG!

I really have to wonder what, besides a strong breeze, was going through that guy's head when he did this.

Scot
03-14-2013, 02:28 AM
float off, light power on with winch.

I always adapt to the situation though. I grew up using a private launch ramp that was about 50 yards long, very steep, and one vehicle wide. Many times of the year it was a 4 low launch. Tough with a tournament boat, but when you get your feet wet like this it is so much fun to watch the guys at a public ramp stuggling to get their "runabout" in the water with ropes, life jackets, and a guy on the dock. And it takes 15 minutes

ahhudgins
03-14-2013, 07:49 PM
I really have to wonder what, besides a strong breeze, was going through that guy's head when he did this.

His wife was driving? :D

GoneBoatN
03-14-2013, 08:53 PM
His wife was driving? :D

If it was my wife, she would say "but you didn't tell me to not do that" afterwards. :( Having someone that you can trust driving the boat while you are riding behind it would be priceless. Just say'n.

dvsone79
03-14-2013, 10:30 PM
I use this as my guid on how to not do it :D


http://www.friday-harbor.net/bm~pix/activities-boating-boatlaunch~s600x600.jpg

Definitely wrong, the boat's not even in the water yet. He needs to pull forward several more feet! :uglyhamme

mikeg205
03-14-2013, 10:55 PM
Definitely wrong, the boat's not even in the water yet. He needs to pull forward several more feet! :uglyhamme

Check the depth-ometer captain! ;)

thatsmrmastercraft
03-15-2013, 12:22 AM
Definitely wrong, the boat's not even in the water yet. He needs to pull forward several more feet! :uglyhammehttp://www.friday-harbor.net/bm~pix/activities-boating-boatlaunch~s600x600.jpg

Funny, it's usually more of a problem if the trailer is in too deep. Just sayin'

88 PS190
03-15-2013, 12:24 AM
One of our local launches has a hose, I presume under the hopes people will flush and rinse their trailors /bilges/live wells to avoid the whole zebra mussel game.

But it works great to hose the bunks down.