Chapter 3: Launching and Operation

Boat Launch

Before attempting to launch the boat, be sure to prepare for launch in advance. While still near the launch area, get the boat ready to depart before heading down to the actual launch ramp. This shortens the time other boaters have to wait before being able to launch their own vessels.

One will want to take the following steps before approaching the launch ramp:

  • Remove all tie downs except the winch line.
  • Disconnect the trailer's rear lights; insert the drain plug.
  • Remove any motor travel supports.
  • Put up the trim to prevent butting against the prop when you launch.

Keep in mind that if launching the boat with two people, one can stay inside the boat to steady it as it releases. If launching alone, one will most likely need to use a boat line.

Boat Launch

After preparing for a safe launch, approach the boat ramp and back up into the water. Back up into the water far enough to allow the trailer tires to be submerged, but not the axle bearings. The water intake holes, on the lower part of the engine, should be submerged.

Once the trailer and boat are at the appropriate depth, apply the vehicle's parking brake. Try to keep the towing vehicle's tires out of the water, at all times, unless it is necessary. Next, slowly release the winch line, carefully reversing the boat off of the trailer and into the water. If the boat's engine takes a while to warm up or has trouble starting, it might be a good idea to start it while it is still attached to the winch line. This way, one can quickly and easily retrieve the boat if the engine fails. 

Now that the boat is in the water, secure it to the dock and then clear the towing vehicle from the ramp. Try and keep the launching area clear, for other boaters, if not actively launching or retrieving the boat.