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Old 12-15-2012, 12:25 AM
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musicmd musicmd is offline
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Boat: 2004 Mastercraft X-10
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Proper launch

I've been around boats my whole life. In September, I bought my first MC, a 2004 X-10. And, I couldn't be happier.

My boat came with an "on lake" delivery, including an extensive orientation to the boat - - - it's features, operation, etc. The person who did this orientation cut his teeth as a professional driver and, frankly, I learned a great deal from him.

One question remains, however, that I'd like to put to the MC TT forum. My professional driver stated that I should *always* drive the boat off the trailer. His advice was that I should back into the water until the boat "lifted" a bit off the trailer, then get in the boat, fire it up, and back off of the trailer using reverse.

His justification for this was that I would know if the boat would start and run properly before the boat was off the trailer. If it didn't start (for whatever reason), the boat would still be on the trailer.

Up until this point, I have always "floated" my boats off the trailer. My wife and children grab ahold of lines on the bow and stern, and I back up until the boat floats gently off the trailer. Once the boat has "floated" away, I pull out and go park the SUV and trailer. I return a few moments later, we fire the boat up and head out.

If the boat didn't start (which has never happened, frankly), we would simply load it back on the trailer.

My question is this - - - is it better to drive the boat off the trailer (confirming the engine will start and all is well), or it is still okay to float the boat off the trailer, as I've always done?

The second scenario is actually a bit less cumbersome, as my wife neither wants to back a boat into the lake or drive the boat off the trailer. It has always worked well that we simply prep the boat with bow and aft lines, and float it off the trailer as I back it in. Once disengaged, I drive the SUV and trailer to the parking lot and we head out to the lake.

Am I missing something? Is it better to drive the boat off the trailer?

TT Forum - - - I'm looking forward to your wisdom.
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  #2  
Old 12-15-2012, 12:36 AM
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Double D Double D is offline
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Proper?? Who knows. Mine floats off when my brother back me in the water then I start it. If it doesn't come off for some reason, I start it and drive it off..


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  #3  
Old 12-15-2012, 01:12 AM
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Tristarboarder Tristarboarder is offline
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I am careful like you, and my wife can't drive a boat worth a darn, so I float it off myself, then jump in, fire it up, warm it up while she parks the truck, and off we go. The only real problem is, I suppose, is if there is a problem with the boat, which I have seen personally but not experienced, that side of the slip on the dock is blocked, and people get all mad instead of offering to help....
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  #4  
Old 12-15-2012, 01:30 AM
kgrove kgrove is offline
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The other advantage to driving it off the trailer is you don't need to put the trailer in as deep. I cost myself a lot of money in repairs by backing in deep enough to put the tongue under water - got water in the surge brake reservoir and rusted out the master cylinder. I know others who have done the same thing and in addition they rusted out the inside of the brake caliper mechanism causing the brakes to lock. It's a semi-common problem which I had never heard of until iwas already writing checks.
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  #5  
Old 12-15-2012, 01:49 AM
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GoneBoatN GoneBoatN is offline
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In general, do what you are comfortable with. You can always wench it back on if you have a problem starting. However, if you are going to power on/off make sure you have a nice clean debris free ramp with a solid surface like concrete. Otherwise you are blowing crap around (your prop and hull) and/or digging holes.

I like to float off. My son drives the boat. Wife can't drive the boat nor the trailer. I put the boat in the water but still firmly on the trailer. Unhook wench. Son starts boat. When we agree we are both ready, I back up the car/trailer a little more and at the right time tap the brake and wave buy to the boat. I go park the trailer. Son noses in and picks me up when I return.

Given a situation where you don't have another driver. Just float off. Tie up at end of dock/ramp so someone else can start launching as well if it is long enough. Quickly park, return and go boating. Have your wife start the boat just to confirm it does start. If you trust her to monitor temp and oil, leave it run. If not have her shut if off and re-start when you return. Do the best with what you got. Go boating and have fun. Nobody minds if you do what you need to do. People get fussy when you stand around with your thumb stuffed your but acting like no one else wants to go boating too or you are doing stuff that should have been done at the top of the ramp.
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  #6  
Old 12-15-2012, 01:52 AM
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Driving or floating on or off is a matter of personal preference. There is no reason to do one method when you are more comfortable with another. The real key is to be efficient and smooth so you don't take any longer than necessary.

When I launch with another experienced person, I drive off and back on. When I am by myself, I float it off, but drive it back on.
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  #7  
Old 12-15-2012, 10:28 AM
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my .02... if you plan to float off make sure you don't get too deep with trailer. most boat hull damage caused by trailers being too deep. When trailer to deep nose of trailer structure becomes a hazard because bunks will not be able to life bow above brackets etc. Sorry to bring this back up CC2MC but here's what can happen when trailer too deep.

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  #8  
Old 12-15-2012, 10:34 AM
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Miss Rita Miss Rita is offline
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I back the trailer in the water until the hull is wet, then pause. Once the driver (whoever it may be) gets the engine started, I back in further until the boat floats off the trailer. They drive away, I drive away.

It's not that complicated.
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  #9  
Old 12-15-2012, 10:35 AM
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Jerseydave Jerseydave is offline
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We have to deal with the tide at our ramp, so at low tide I always float it off. Worst mistake is forgetting the plug (everyone has done this at least once) so triple check that before you float off (and sink).

If it's not low tide, sometimes I need to launch by myself while waiting for my crew so I drive it off, tie up to the dock, park my truck and start filling the ballast. When my crew gets there we're ready to ride!
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  #10  
Old 12-15-2012, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss Rita View Post
I back the trailer in the water until the hull is wet, then pause. Once the driver (whoever it may be) gets the engine started, I back in further until the boat floats off the trailer. They drive away, I drive away.

It's not that complicated.
That's the sequence.

It's funny to watch the disbelief on the faces of the people that take 30 minutes to launch their boats.
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Single Axle Package Starting at $319 - 2 Aluminum wheels, 2 ST205/75R14 tires, mount & balance.

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