mjagmin

Proper Boat Launch Protocol

58 posts in this topic

1 hour ago, cyclops2 said:

Why does the plug need to be left out ?  Dripping wet swimmers do not fill up the bilge ?  2 minutes or the drive home should allow putting The plug in ?   Why not ?

None of the boats ever need the plug out.  The pumps & a high bow ride are good enough after the worst rain.

Some states (Ohio included) technically require you to have the plug out, to prevent migration of invasive species.

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It is too late to stop anything.  More useless jobs to stop what exists.  Exotics are constantly brought into the country. 

The good looking chicks are O K in my book.   :mandancing:

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 Having been in a slip for the past 7 years, I've never had to battle the long lines. But when I have launched or retrieved my boat it has been at extreme off peak times. Like....11pm. There is nobody there except me and my boat. So quiet its Zenful. Or I've gone to "non popular" launch areas. But this year is different. I will be trailering each time I use it.

I went up to Port Dalhousie [Saint Catherines, Ont.] to "inspect" a launching ramp yesterday. It is almost under water but still useable. The guy on duty was very friendly and welcoming. I asked him how chaotic it gets and he said its nothing like that. It has 3 prep lanes and 4 launch ramps. Its good to know that somebody will be there to keep things moving smoothly. I plan on using this ramp if the weather and Lake Ontario behave such that I can cross the lake to Toronto.

I am 99% solo and I don't want to get into situations that everyone has mentioned.

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It's hard to explain but once you get to the ramp...there is a cloud that comes over people...the person launching and the people waiting.  Getting a boat ready on the ramp instead of in the cue gets some looks for sure.  Our ramps tend to be single lane, one at a time and one courtesy dock and many times the other side of the courtesy dock isn't usable.  They tend to be on the junkiest part of the lake, maybe really steep or shallow or just unmaintained.  

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5 hours ago, Futzin' said:

Absolutely no offense intended, but at the crowded ramps around here I used to get very frustrated with folks who tied up the courtesy dock holding a boat for the only one in the party that can drive.  Lots of occasions I couldn't get to the dock to pick up my passengers.  I understand it's part of it, but I would encourage everyone to have their partner (and anyone else who comes along frequently) to learn to drive/approach a dock (or park a truck/trailer).  You never know when that might be needed.

Now that our boat is slipped, I certainly don't miss the long lines and frustration of boat ramps!  Lots of key boating times are lost dealing with launching/retrieving/parking.  Mornings and late afternoon/evenings on the water are the best.  We can enjoy holiday weekends on the water again, too. :)  Gotta say it feels great to stroll right by those long lines waiting to launch; it helps ease the pain of writing the check each year for the slip.

But we loved the options that trailering gave us.  Different lakes, having the boat at the house; plus I just like towing trailers (weird, huh?).

No offense taken but not a single word applies here on our local lake SO FAR. I have NEVER waited for a launch lane more than 2 or 3 minutes and that was on one of the many single lane ramps around here. On any one of the several multi lane ramps I have never had to wait for a lane.

Yes, in some ways lucky but in other ways not so lucky. This is a sportsman lake, mainly a fishing and waterfowl hunting lake. Easy to get into the water but a lot of areas with submerged timber so larger boats are restricted to the main lake and river channels.

Can't have everything I guess.

Joe

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2 minutes ago, Guzzi said:

No offense taken but not a single word applies here on our local lake SO FAR. I have NEVER waited for a launch lane more than 2 or 3 minutes and that was on one of the many single lane ramps around here. On any one of the several multi lane ramps I have never had to wait for a lane.

Yes, in some ways lucky but in other ways not so lucky. This is a sportsman lake, mainly a fishing and waterfowl hunting lake. Easy to get into the water but a lot of areas with submerged timber so larger boats are restricted to the main lake and river channels.

Can't have everything I guess.

Joe

The lines generally go relatively quick.  We have a million lakes but like many other things, people gravitate toward certain ones with certain characteristics.  It ends up many times that the problem becomes that all the parking spots are filled or that the companions who join the people who launched their boats park their cars in the trailer spots.  This upcoming weekend I can imagine is going to be crazy.   One reason we said goodby to trailering was the major pain of the whole rigmarole.  Now I walk 20 steps from my door onto my boat, press the button on the key fob to lower the lift and back away.  

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36 minutes ago, Chaparral Rider said:

The lines generally go relatively quick.  We have a million lakes but like many other things, people gravitate toward certain ones with certain characteristics.  It ends up many times that the problem becomes that all the parking spots are filled or that the companions who join the people who launched their boats park their cars in the trailer spots.  This upcoming weekend I can imagine is going to be crazy.   One reason we said goodby to trailering was the major pain of the whole rigmarole.  Now I walk 20 steps from my door onto my boat, press the button on the key fob to lower the lift and back away.  

The only times we avoid going out is just before and during one of the fishing tournaments. The fish for money guys are just too rude. That is about the only time we see the parking areas full and ramps busy. The "locals" here are generally very pleasant, helpful and friendly at the ramps and on the water. Also just like in your area there is a lot of waterfront property and most every one has at least one boat lift so the ramps are not normally that busy. 

Joe

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1 hour ago, Guzzi said:

The fish for money guys are just too rude. That is about the only time we see the parking areas full and ramps busy.  

Joe

It's funny you say that...the last year we trailered, we showed up to one of our then favorite lakes.  Earlier in the day, all of the spots must've been filled up and one of the competitive fishermen decided to just park right on the ramp access just a foot off of the cement at a single ramp access. The lot by then had cleared out but the truck and Ranger emblazoned boat trailer were still there. It was maybe the rudest thing I've ever seen in my life.  His truck was plastered with notes as you really had to want to launch to get around this guys rig.  I've seen so much bs over the years at ramps, I can't even tell you.   

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Pro Bass fishing guys are destroyers of all fish they catch.  YANKING AS HARD AS THEY CAN with 80 to 120 pound test line.     ........Does not hurt the jaw muscles of the fish......... I would like to set a hook that hard in their mouths.  Why are you guys sceaming with pain ?   The fish do starve to death. Way  back in time N J BANNED them at several resivors because of the dead starved fish floating up every few months.  If a basser parked like that at my ramp ? I would deflate his tires.  Correction. ALL of his tires.

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20 hours ago, sburke91 said:

My wife's not yet comfortable driving the boat on and off the trailer, and she can't back up a trailer, so ours is a bit complicated, but pretty smooth:

Launching:

  • Prep the boat in the rigging lane -- transom straps removed, power on, blower on, lines into cleats and coiled on the boat.  Safety chain removed from the bow eye, but winch tight
  • Wife and daughter ride in the boat from the rigging lane to the launch spot
  • I back the trailer down into the water until the boat starts to float off
  • Wife jumps off to the dock with 1 or 2 lines (depending on weather/waves)
  • I unhook the bow winch, hop in the boat, and start it
  • I back away and head toward the courtesy dock while my wife drives the truck and trailer to a parking spot
  • We pick her up at the courtesy dock and head out

Recovering:

  • I pull the boat to the courtesy dock and tie off--my wife and daughter stay aboard while I get the truck and trailer
  • I back down until the forward tips of the bunks are just underwater
  • Wife and I trade--she goes to the front of the trailer while I untie the boat and head to the trailer (our daughter either stays on that boat, or goes to the truck and starts taking pretty cool pictures, for a 6-year-old, of me piloting the boat in)
  • I bring the boat up on the trailer, my wife spots, connects the winch, and tightens the winch up
  • I drive the boat and trailer up to the rigging lanes and we do the transom straps, pull the bilge plug, secure loose items, etc
  • Head home

 

Nice routine.  All except putting the drain plug in... :captain:

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12 minutes ago, mjagmin said:

Nice routine.  All except putting the drain plug in... :captain:

Thanks!  I hate people that block the ramps unnecessarily, so we try to get it done pretty quickly and smoothly.  Retractable transom straps that bolt to the trailer have been a nice add, and trimmed a couple minutes on both ends.

I usually do the plug at home while loading gear--the plug and its wrench sit under the swim platform ladder cover, so I can't forget the plug.

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I am old enough to accept that some people just NATURALLY do things requiring much more time.

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The lake I go to most isn't the best lake but its 15 minutes away. There's 3 ramps where I launch with the courtesy docks next to them. When coming back in there was a jet ski half $^& docked and blocking one of the ramps, with people just sitting there. The ramp was beginning to get crowded and I asked if they were going to move. She said the jet ski broke down.

Seriously? There was a beach area 10 yards away where they could have parked it. Idiots.

My wife then pointed out they were the same people that drove within feet across my bow as I was about to load it on the trailer the previous week.

Hopefully the jet ski won't get fixed...

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I really am getting too old to ride in a ambulance with a bully like your PWC buddy. 

I am a anti bully guy. I like bulling bullies.  

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On 5/23/2017 at 6:31 PM, brclark82 said:

No I have a bunk trailer.  It's so weird that now that it's happened I can't figure out what we did differently.  

It seems like we probably didn't have it in the water far enough but at the same time I swear I remember previously undoing the winch further up the ramp than we did that day.  Maybe we didn't undo the safety leash previously and it caught there and then we undid that after it was fully floating but I can't for the life of me remember what was different last time.  

Ours did the same thing the other weekend. I think the trailer/boat were further in the water than normal.

We just bought a 2016 Dodge 2500 4x4 and it's much taller than my previous tow vehicle. Because of this I was able to back in further than I needed to.

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On 5/24/2017 at 7:53 AM, sburke91 said:

and the people that think the courtesy docks are a spot to fish off of, on a busy boating day.

Or let their kids swim there. Seriously...

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3 minutes ago, JP127 said:

Or let their kids swim there. Seriously...

We're lucky--there's a huge beach farther down, with a completely separate entrance, so we never see any swimming at the launches.

That said, I can't count how many times a lone jet ski is tied up at a courtesy dock spot that could take a 25' boat, or better yet, blocking the end of one of the ramp slots.

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23 hours ago, JP127 said:

Or let their kids swim there. Seriously...

Too many gators in the edges of the little coves for that. Only swim in the main lake or on one of the river sandbars.

Joe

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On 5/26/2017 at 9:13 PM, Guzzi said:

Too many gators in the edges of the little coves for that. Only swim in the main lake or on one of the river sandbars.

Joe

LOL. The southern perspective.

 

 I often try to hit the ramps a couple hours after sunrise. This puts me out after the hard core fish guys, but with plenty of time out before the late day party boaters/jetskiers and the wakeboaters turn the little lake into a washing machine.

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On 5/24/2017 at 6:25 PM, sburke91 said:

I usually do the plug at home while loading gear--the plug and its wrench sit under the swim platform ladder cover, so I can't forget the plug.

I keep the plug and wrench in the cab of my truck, sitting on the ledge in front of the dashboard gauges. Install and remove plug at the prep lane. Anytime I drive my truck I see the wrench and plug right below my speedo.

Joe

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Lovely day on the lake here (once we got on the lake).  4 launching lanes, no movement for a good 10-15 minutes.  2 had boats tied off in them, no one to pilot (people were taking trailers back).  One had truck/trailer/boat just sitting there (I think they were getting coolers or something).  One had a poor guy that launched it, pulled his trailer away, then found out his outboard wouldn't start.

The kicker on all this--there was a good 100' of courtesy dock space right next to the launch lanes that was sitting empty.

The marina can't open soon enough here!

On the upside, I'm starting to finally get comfortable with this boat.  It's amazing how much reverse throttle you have to give the SX drive to make any headway going backwards.

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