Launching a boat can be a bit annoying. It’s a task that makes you sweat because you are afraid you might tip your boat into the water or crash into another boat. Mastering a launch is vital to boating, and since it is the first step before you set sail, you need to be able to do it correctly.
Since driving a boat on a trailer is heavier than a car, why not get familiar with the weight by practicing turns and the reverse gear in an empty parking lot.
The night before, get your gear ready so that you have nothing on your mind and are completely free in the morning. Next, recount the steps you will take to launch the boat. You can even create a checklist and attach it to your rearview mirror.
If you have a family member or friend who frequently boats, then take them along with you so that they can guide you and lower the pressure with encouraging words. Moreover, if something does go wrong, they will be there to take over.
Now that you know where to start, let’s take a look at those steps:
Load the Boat
Place all your gear in the boat and drive it to a parking lot close to where you will launch it. Install the boat’s drain plug, remove the safety straps and do a last-minute check to ensure everything is in place.
Position the Trailer to Back Up
Drive to the marina and back up your trailer close to the water. Get close to the landing so that you are parallel to the shoreline. Now, turn from the landing so that your trailer is perpendicular to the edge of the water.
Get Close to the Water
Back up your trailer until it is touching the water. You will be able to do this easily With a friend by your side. If you are driving solo, go very slow. Keep the trailer straight so that the boat does not bump into anything nearby.
Don’t Let the Winch Submerge Under Water
Apply the brakes while going down the ramp. Ease the trailer slightly into the water. Make sure that the winch and tongue of the boat are out of the range of water. Now, stop and put your car in park.
Remove the Winch Hook and Tie the Tow Rope
When you have removed the winch hook, tie the tow rope and ask your friend to hold it. If you don’t have someone to help you, tie the rope to a dock cleat. This will stop the boat from backing into the water on its own.
Keep Backing Up
Continue backing up until the stern of the boat is floating. Stop your car immediately so that it doesn’t go into the water. Put the car in parking again.
Lead the Boat Into the Water
Use the tow ropes to guide the boat into the water and then tie them to the dock cleat.
Park Your Car
Now that your boat is in the water, park your car away from the water.
Congratulations! You have launched your boat successfully.