Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Basic Boat tips: Launching your Vessel

Last week I took you through the beginning stages of preparing your boat for launch. You prepared your boat in the staging area, went through your checklist, and now you are at the launch ramp ready to go. So with your truck still in the staging area, you are now at the ramp for a pre ramp inspection. What I’m concerned with here is how steep the ramp is, how far I am going to have to back my trailer in, and how far back the ramp goes. We want to be sure that we don’t back our trailer off the edge of the ramp, also whether or not the ramp is coated with algae or not.

So now we’ve completed our pre launch check inspection, and it’s our turn to launch. For those of you that are just learning the skill of backing down, it’s advisable that you back in nice and slow. That way if you get off course a little bit, it will be easy for you to make a correction.  Now we are going to back the boat in just far enough that we can go ahead and get the engine started to make sure it is going to run before we actually take the boat off of the trailer. So now we are partially in the water and begin to put the engine down. I also have my safety lanyard attached, this is a cut-off switch, or a kill switch, that is there incase you are thrown or accidentally fall from the boat, the strap attached to the ignition switch will kill the engine to stop the boat.

So now the boat is fired up, everything is looking good. We are now going to back the trailer in just far enough so that the boat begins to float. I will now put my vehicle into park, emergency break is activated, and I can now move back in. We are going to undue the safety chain at the bow of the boat, take light pressure off the winch, and release the winch lock. Because the boat is floating it’s going to fall away a little bit, and that is normal.  The boat is fully in the water and it is now time to undue the safety hook.  At this point you should be able to back off with a little bit of reverse throttle, and have fully completed your launch sequence.

This concludes my boating tips for the week. Check next week for more tips on boating.

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