View Full Version : Need help w/sweet spot for PS197 launch/recover

10-11-2010, 10:08 AM
Hi all

Def not new to MC, owned a 1994 PS205 for 16 yrs, but have had tough time getting the launch/recover down on our 2010 PS197.

The PS205 trailer really left very little room for me to screw up on alignment, in part I think b/c the hull bottom was free of strakes, and the bunks ran the entire length. It was a simple power on/off procedure, with the trailer guides keeping the prop in the safe area of the trailer prop guard. There was also room for me to the +/- on the water depth, ie did not require very precise depth placement down the ramp.

Now the PS197 + factory trailer (single axle) is a different story. The hull has strakes running most of the length, and the trailer as 2 sets of bunks. The rear bunks have *maybe* 3 inches of lateral play in order for the hull to be centered. On one recovery I was off to one side, so the strake was sitting on the bunk, so a couple of strong pushes when standing on land were req'd to get it centered -- but did not like the trailer rocking that required.

So then on the next recovery I tried placing the trailer a bit deeper, powered on until the boat buddy latched, but for the last foot, heard an awful grinding, which at the time I thought was the rubrail rubbing against the trailer guide -- a noise I had heard before on the PS205. Turns out I was not so lucky and I hadd bent back all 4 tips of the prop as it hit the inside of the trailer prop guard area -- a nice $400 5 second mistake. I'm frankly quite surprised that the dimensions of the trailer vs boat allowed me to get that far over, but that is because after 16 yrs w/the 205 there was never a question about getting that far off center.

So the questions are:

1) how far do you back in when launching? Unlatch strap when safely in water, then power off? Any chance the rear swings to the side and you hit the prop?

2) How far in when recovering? I dip the bunks fully, then have about 2-3 inches of the tire showing, but that then requires pretty good/power momentum and perfect left/right spacing to keep the strakes off the bunks. But I think it also keeps the boat centered b/c the strakes/hull engage the trailer sooner, and in the right place. I was very used to powering on the 205, but do you all just winch the last foot or so just for safety sake? Any tips to keep centered, given that the trailer guides appear on the 197 to be much less helpful than the 205 that I'm used to?

I know every ramp is different......but I'm hoping to hear some key tips..


10-11-2010, 10:17 AM
I have the same boat and trailer. I launch by backing in until the tops of the fenders are about 1" under water. Then, loosen the winch and the boat then slides back about 18" or so. From there, I just drive it off and it comes off of the trailer easy.

For loading, drive it on until I get about 18" from the final position. I then winch the boat up the 18" or so. I am not a big fan of power loading the boat all the way up to the boat buddy if I don't have to. It is 3 minutes of extra work, but I don't mind doing it.

I have had some issues with the boat centering on the trailer in the past. We did as you did one time and pushed it over laterally on the trailer in the parking lot. However, now I just keep an eye on it as I pull the boat out of the water. If someone is in the boat while I am pulling up the ramp and it is windy, I will usually ask someone to sit in the back and hold one of the guide poles to center the boat as we come out of the water. But, it really has only been a problem for 3 or 4 out of probably 100 launches.

10-11-2010, 12:52 PM
Almost the same technique as NCSONE, except we back the trailer and stop once the boat is in the water, unhook the trailer strap, then continue backing in until it floats off. I hand walk it off the trailer. This is not at a public ramp, so no rush/nobody is waiting in line.

For retreival, we back the trailer in until the top of the wheel wells are 1-2" below the water surface and slowly drive the boat onto the trailer; it normally stops 2' from the winch. The car driver winches the boat the rest of the way, while the person in the boat sits in the back and holds one fist width btwn the boat guide and boat. Depending on the steepness of the ramp, if the back of the boat still floating, the person in the boat may need to hold the fist width while the boat/trailer is coming out of the water. This procedure normally centers the boat perfectly...mac