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Any Suggestions on first Launch

Discussion in 'Boats and Motors' started by dday, Jul 17, 2004.

  1. Well, there's a good possibility I may become a boat owner soon, and I could use some advice on launching.

    It'l be a smaller boat, prob a jon boat. I have a saturn vue, stick shift. I also usually fish bymyself 90% of the time.

    Is it possible to launch boats by myself? Or should I at least have someone with me the first few times? (I'll be fishing all inland lakes)

    Thanks for any help!!!

  2. captnroger

    captnroger OGF Webmaster

    I'd recommend taking someone who knows what they are doing to show you the ropes, but after that you should be all's really easy, just take it slow, don't rush and don't panic. Nothing to it.

  3. dday, I agree with Captnroger. Take someone with experience with you if you can. Also you could watch other people launch and learn some things from them Make a checklist, dont tie up the ramp while you buy bait, use the restroom, park the car, etc. Have fun and good luck with your fishing.
  4. Dday,
    I think the most problem people have in launching and loading their boat is backing the trailer, So, If you have no experience at backing, Go to an open area and practice, practice, and practice. And be sure to be able to use the side mirrors. Then, After you have this mastered!!!

    Go to a busy boat ramp and have a seat. Believe me, and you can ask just about anyone on the site, You are in for a treat. Both very knowledgable and smart boaters will be giving you lots of information and there will be a lot of Very funny stuff.... Yep!!!!

    The Most important thing is to be thoughful and curtious to all the other boaters and use common sense. Please don't tie up the ramp any longer than you need to, You don't have to run, But hustle never hurts......

    If I can help,, Please PM me,,, And there is probably a couple hundred other fisherman on here that will do the same....
    Good Luck!!!!!
  5. Reel Lady

    Reel Lady Dreams DO come true!

    We've had our Tundra for a couple of weeks now. Neither of us had any previous boating experience, and unfortunately, didnt discover this site until our first day in the water (where we met Ruminator and his wife).
    My advice to you is dont do what Rob and I did... meaning... bring someone along that knows what the heck they are doing! Luckily, and I do mean luckily, we avoided any major catastrophies.
    What we have learned is that you have to be very methodical when it comes to launching and loading your boat. We both have our "mental" checklists of all that needs to be done. Before launching or loading we talk to eachother making sure that "critical" things were done. For instance... Here I am, about to be launched when I asked Rob if he put the drain plug in... Good thing I asked because of all things to forget.....he forgot it! That would have been a serious problem :eek:
    Before leaving for home, we walk around the boat and do our verbal check list to make sure that everything is done.
    If we were thinking ahead... we definitely should have spent time at the launch ramps and watched people load and unload their boats.
    Dont be afraid to ask for help if you need it!
    Congrats on your new boat! If Rob (Reel Man)and I could, we would be on our boat 24/7!

    Marcia (Reel Lady)
  6. 1st. time out by myself, forgot boat I heartly agree, take someone experienced your first time. write out a little check list to keep handy in boat. Get yourself the "Free" Ohio Boat Operator's Guide > summary of laws and rules. I got mine at Rangers station at Eastfork. good luck to you
  7. Thanks all,will definatly be looking for help when I do launch, when i get a boat, when i get money, you know the deal... ha.

    So, it is possible to do a launch (EVENTUALLY) by myself?

  8. As I learned last year in my virgin boat launching experiences:

    1. install drain plug
    2. check drain plug
    3. practice backing trailer if not experienced
    4. take experienced boater or ask for help at launch.
    5. get everyhting in boat, boat/motor ready, prior to entering launch area.
    6. check drain plug
  9. dday, I launch all the time by myself. Once you get comfortable with the launch/retreval process it's no big deal except you got noone to blame forgetting the drain plug on. :D:D

    If you know someone with experience that'll help you out the first time or two, by all means used all the knowledge of theirs you can. I learned by myself and still have my moments. So just keep in mind when something goes wrong it's not just you; it happens to all of us. So when you run into the jerk at the ramp that trys telling you differently you'll know he's lying. Maybe the first time or two try going out on a weekday when the ramps aren't real crowded and you can take your time and work through the process without being rushed. Oh, don't forget the drain plug... I just did that Saturday, fortunately I was still on the trailer and remembered it and got the boat out of the water pretty quickly. :eek:

  10. but since you have never launced a boat - this is my routine:

    -Pull in parking lot (not launch area)
    -Take off front and back straps on boat
    -put in plug
    -unhook trailor lights
    -load EVERYTHING into the boat including bait, food, drinks, etc..
    (This is important to do now, or you will definately forgot things)
    -check all of the above

    Now you're ready to head to the launch ramp

    -If you are not familiar with the ramp you should check it out before using it.
    -Back the boat in nice and easy, Put truck in park & USE YOUR EMERGENCY BRAKE!
    -Make sure you are either on your boat, or have hold of a rope attached to your boat before unhooking it from the trailor.
    -Take your boat to a courtesy dock (IF available) and hook to dock If no courtesy dock, move your boat to the far side, out of the way; just use common sense
    -Pull trailor up to lot & lock up

    Go catch a bunch of fish! :D (this last part doesn't always work for me)

    I fish alone about 75% of the time, but my routine is the same if I have a partner. I still prep and launch the boat by myself. Once you get the routine down it only takes a few minutes.
  11. mrfishohio

    mrfishohio Recovering Fishaholic

    Be sure to have everything ready before you actually pull up to the ramp so you don't take too much time blocking it. Nothing frustrates me much more than when I'm ready to launch & someone blocks the ramp, loading up coolers, taking straps off, etc, etc.
    You might want to leave the front strap on your boat until you're in the water & the motor is started. I take mine off, but that depends on the boat & ramps as your boat may slide off the trailer isf you have teflon guides or a steep ramp.
    I don't unhook my trailer lights. Mine are submersable, alot of people forget to hook them back up & run down the road with them on. I used to unhook mine, then I forgot to unhook them & had no problem, so I stopped.
    There's an argument that the cold-heat pops them, I've never had that happen with several trailers & some not submersible. If the heat-cold kills them, then every time in the winter when you hit your brakes(cars, trucks, trailers), they would pop.......
    Biggest thing is to remember to have the drain plug the right hole too, not in the livewell intake or discharge (been there, done that! :D )
  12. I would only add one little step that I did not see mentioned. My primer ball is below deck so, I have to prime it with the lid up. I go ahead and prime it before I back in so I have one less step to do before I crank her over. Doesn't save a lot of time, but it does give the impression tha you are trying to hurry. Plus, you can always ask some one to help. I've always found most prople to be helpful.

  13. ncraft150

    ncraft150 Buckeye-Basser

    One thing I didn't see mentioned is make sure your motor is tilted up while backing in and pulling out of the ramp. All to many times I see people forget that and smack their lower unit on the ramp. It could cause some serious damage. How far you back your trailer in is important also. To far or not enough will all cause trouble.

    I boat alone 99.9% of the time and I can load and unload my boat as fast and safe as most people with a person in the boat and a person in the truck. A lot of the time two people will cause more trouble and just yell at each other. If you have help work together! If your boating the the Akron area give me a PM, I'll help you out.

    PS: Trailer design can make a big difference also. Especially when loading. A lot of the older trailers can be a bear. It is worth it to put a little money into them.
  14. mrfishohio

    mrfishohio Recovering Fishaholic

    Lots of good suggestions...also on the primer bulb, it has a ball in it, keep the arrow to the top side so it will seat.
    Most trailers you back them in until the fenders are about 2" out of the water. All are a little different, I back mine in until the boat starts to slide off a little. Dave's boat has to submerge his fenders. Rule of thumb, use common sense, you'll be fine.
  15. Fish4Fun

    Fish4Fun Relaxing.

    ncraft150 i have to agree my bigist problem when got the boat. Since i boat alone 99% of the time was the boat floating around and off the trailer. A little of my time and few bucks and i made some bunk rails problem solve now i can load and launch quickly and the boat stays put.