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jokid
05-25-2010, 05:14 PM
I have been told two ways on the proper way to put your boat back onto a trailer after a day at the lake. The first way is to back the trailer into the water so that there is only about a foot of the front bunks sticking out of the water, pull boat onto trailer (with a little gas to get all the way up), hook on, and then pull the boat out of the water. Another way was to back the trailer all the way into the water so that the boat can pull up to the winch (still floating), hook on, and then pull the boat out of the water making sure it is even on the trailer. Is there a technique that is favored over another? I would imagine how steep the ramp or how deep the water would also play a factor. Just curious what everyones take is and any good suggestions on proper techique.

maxpower220
05-25-2010, 05:51 PM
One of the greatest things about ski boats and their trailers is that they are "drive on" trailers. No getting out of the boat and floating it on.

I have a "boat buddy", which means I don't even hook the winch until the boat is done with clean up and ready to drive down the road. I place the trailer to water just at the wheel wells and drive the boat on. Once I hear the click, my wife pulls us out of the water.Takes 20-30 seconds max.

Razzman
05-25-2010, 06:10 PM
My experience has been the drive-on method works well for those without steep ramps. My lakes are all very deep and hence the ramps are all very steep, not condusive to the drive-on method. I have to sink the trailer until the fenders are covered before driving on where my wife waits to hookup, takes us about a minute and were gone.

jester
05-25-2010, 06:19 PM
It really depends on the ramp and what the ramp is made out of. If the ramp is dirt and rock the more people drive on their trailers the more just behind the trailers builds up and one day someone will it it with their prop. If you have good ramps then the drive on can make sure the boat is set evenly (or more or less) on the trailer. The float you can be off to one side or another and have to put the boat back in again to make sure you care center.

This year i have been having problems loading for some reason and let off the gas too soon so i end up about 2 inches to far back so i have to crank the last few to make it the rest of the way on. Talk about causing more work for ones self.

Ian Brantford
05-25-2010, 08:51 PM
If conditions at the ramp make it particularly difficult, you might have to power on.

Otherwise, winch on. You'll spare the ramp and your boat's engine from dug-up silt. You'll also spare yourself the unpleasant experience of accidentally bumping the throttle at a particularly bad time.

My previous boat had some scars on the bow from the youngest and laziest marina employee powering it onto the trailer during de-winterisation. I had to politely make my feelings known.

you da man
05-25-2010, 10:45 PM
The ramps I use at the lake are average in steepness, I've seen some crazy short and steep ramps that I wouldn't try without a 4x4. I back my trailer until fenders are under. Ease the boat in and once it's centered and settled I just throttle up. The nice thing about having a black truck is that I can see the bow hook in the reflection of the tailgate so I know when I'm centered and how close I am.

cab13367
05-25-2010, 10:50 PM
I have been told two ways on the proper way to put your boat back onto a trailer after a day at the lake. The first way is to back the trailer into the water so that there is only about a foot of the front bunks sticking out of the water, pull boat onto trailer (with a little gas to get all the way up), hook on, and then pull the boat out of the water. Another way was to back the trailer all the way into the water so that the boat can pull up to the winch (still floating), hook on, and then pull the boat out of the water making sure it is even on the trailer. Is there a technique that is favored over another? I would imagine how steep the ramp or how deep the water would also play a factor. Just curious what everyones take is and any good suggestions on proper techique.

jokid,

I employ method 1. I started out with method 2 on my first boat but found that unless the boat was exactly centered, it would often rest on the bunks crooked when I pulled out, so I would have to back it in again, let it float, then try again and hoped it dropped on to the trailer straight. So I started using method 1 - drive it on until I was about 1' - 2' from the roller, then winch it on the rest of the way. That way, it is always centered on the trailer. That is the way I have been doing it on the Moomba although it sounds like I could probably employ method 2 and be okay.

Al

Razzman
05-26-2010, 12:08 AM
I never have centering issues at all floating on. Once hooked up i sit on the sunpad and hold the guide pole while she pulls us out and it self centers every time without fail as i know exactly how far to hold off.

cab13367
05-26-2010, 12:30 AM
I never have centering issues at all floating on. Once hooked up i sit on the sunpad and hold the guide pole while she pulls us out and it self centers every time without fail as i know exactly how far to hold off.

Razz,

My first boat was an I/O and the trailer did not have any guide poles. When the water was perfectly calm, it usually loaded correctly. If not, it was a crap shoot. The Moomba would probably load perfectly every time but I just been doing it the other way for so long it's just automatic now.

walb0244
05-26-2010, 01:03 AM
We just got our boat and we are still learning exactly where to put the trailer and all in the water. When we first did it we put the trailer in to where there was 2" of water on the bottom of the back guide floats. Well the boat was floating and didn't stop because it wasn't on the bunks. Next time we put the boat in where the rear guide floats were 2" above the water. Well with this we didn't make it all the way up. Ended up having to back the trailer in more. The last time we put in I put the trailer in to where the rear guide floats just touched the water. That seemed to work pretty good. We have never had the boat really go on unlevel tho. Seems like everthing is too tight for it to get on there too unlevel.

kaneboats
05-26-2010, 11:20 AM
The nice thing about having a black truck is that I can see the bow hook in the reflection of the tailgate so I know when I'm centered and how close I am.

I love it! I'm going to put a shiny black stripe across the back of the hatch on the Suburban. ;)

viking
05-26-2010, 11:41 AM
Just drive mine onto the trailer - run up to the bow and lean over and hook the winch up the bow hook and snug it down. And the wife pulls us out! Launching is the same but reverse order :) This way nobody has to get out and get wet and boat is all loaded and ready to go at launch

As for centering the back of the boat. I heard a good tip in this forum last year about attaching bungee cords to the guidepoles. I used my "stretch-n-slide" (http://www.overtons.com/modperl/product/details.cgi?i=87151&pdesc=Stretch_N_Slide_Dock_Line&aID=602C1&merchID=4006) dock lines and worked perfectly.

moombabound
05-26-2010, 02:33 PM
Sounds like there's no one-size-fits-all. Depends entirely on the steepness of the ramp. As Jester points out, gunning the throttle to get it on the trailer at a shallow ramp causes movement of the lake bottom and the next guy dings his prop. I think it's a macho/pride thing for some, to nail that loading perfectly; gunning it hard the last 4 feet. Please people; be considerate. I've dinged twice: Once at my lake; once at an extremely popular lake/ramp in B.C. So I do two things now:
1. Leave the front of the fenders visible. Makes much better visual alignment than submersing them.
2. Align the boat as best as possible, with very slow momentum, then disengage to neutral once the nose is close to the trailer. However far onto the trailer the boat ends up is far enough. Winch it the rest of the way on.

cab13367
05-26-2010, 03:42 PM
Align the boat as best as possible, with very slow momentum, then disengage to neutral once the nose is close to the trailer. However far onto the trailer the boat ends up is far enough. Winch it the rest of the way on.

That is exactly what I do.

Also, I am a one man show - I back the trailer down, then my wife picks me up at the dock and I drive the boat on the trailer. I then step over the bow and while stepping on the trailer tongue, winch the boat the rest of the way in. I then open the cargo hatch of the Durango, step inside, close the hatch and walk up to the driver's seat and drive away so I never get my feet wet. I'm sure I get some curious stares from others :)

KT Mobius
05-26-2010, 04:22 PM
I take the boat off the trailer, just becouse my wife isnt confident in backing up. However, she puts the boat on with no problems. The last time she stopped about three inches from the winch and then I backed down a couple more inches, she slowly powered up, leaned over the bow secured the boat and we were off... I didnt even get my feet wet. She use to stop approximately 4 inches from the winch and then I would secure and winch, but I think I like our new technique better. Sometimes she comes in a little hot/fast and hits the guide post harder than I like, but no dammage yet.

Honestly Im thinking about getting a boat buddy, but Im kind of on the fence, due to the fact I have also heard a lot of negative comments... Any opinions?

jester
05-26-2010, 04:36 PM
That is exactly what I do.

Also, I am a one man show - I back the trailer down, then my wife picks me up at the dock and I drive the boat on the trailer. I then step over the bow and while stepping on the trailer tongue, winch the boat the rest of the way in. I then open the cargo hatch of the Durango, step inside, close the hatch and walk up to the driver's seat and drive away so I never get my feet wet. I'm sure I get some curious stares from others :)

It is great to be a one man show. You do what I do so i will not stare at you too much. The funny thing is you are prob faster then most two or five man crews on getting in and out of the boat ramp.

moombabound
05-26-2010, 08:50 PM
That is exactly what I do.

Also, I am a one man show - I back the trailer down, then my wife picks me up at the dock and I drive the boat on the trailer. I then step over the bow and while stepping on the trailer tongue, winch the boat the rest of the way in. I then open the cargo hatch of the Durango, step inside, close the hatch and walk up to the driver's seat and drive away so I never get my feet wet. I'm sure I get some curious stares from others :)

Too cooincidental! Exactly what I do. Keeps a guy nimble having to ramble up to the driver's seat via the rear hatch.

KT, I bought a boat buddy when I first got the boat, 'cause sure seemed like the cat's meow, but I realized the drawback (see my post) to gunning it (at my particular ramp), and returned it prior to using.

phospher
06-16-2010, 11:48 AM
Yep, I am definitely not a fan of power loaders. They stir up the launch so that it's all muck and they ruin the launch. Plus, most people tend to miss sometimes or not have the trailer at the correct depth causing damage to your boat. The one and only blemish on my boat was from the previous owner power loading and hitting the nose of the bow (rub rail) on the winch. It cut a big gash into the rub rail but luckily didn't damage the gel coat. If your trying to use the winch and you have to give your boat gas to get it onto the trailer then the trailer is not deep enough. We push are boat onto the trailer then winch it up. Takes 1 minute.

JesseC
06-16-2010, 01:49 PM
I never have centering issues at all floating on. Once hooked up i sit on the sunpad and hold the guide pole while she pulls us out and it self centers every time without fail as i know exactly how far to hold off.

I have second vote on this method. It is EXACTLY how we load ours, I do not like power loading, I prefer the slow gentle float on. My bunks on my 02 trailer still look brand new!!

Tyger
06-16-2010, 03:02 PM
I almost always power the boat on, but everything depends on the circumstances. Steepness and composition of the ramp, wind, current and wake thrown up by other boats can all make it harder to load either way.

Until you are totally comfortable with your boat, winching is definitely safer. My sister-in-law was having real trouble loading an I/O on a river with a particularly fast current. She gunned it at the wrong moment and put the boat up sideways on the trailer, creasing one fender on the trailer and scraping off some gel coat on the boat. Inboards are even harder to steer, so it takes a lot of practice.

To all you haters: just because you power on doesn't mean you are going max throttle for 10 seconds. I line up the boat and drift in, then nudge the throttle to push the last bit onto the trailer and engage the boat buddy. When we unload we stop just before the winch is over the water, my buddy/driver unhooks us, backs in the rest of the way and does a little short stop, easing the boat off the trailer. He's already pulling out before I even start the motor.

All launches are going to develop a mound or ridge behind the ramp. Most places will dredge it out every few years. This happens because of power loading *and* unloading and it's inevitable. If you feel more comfortable winching that's totally fine: it's your very expensive toy and you want to take care of it. But don't condemn power loading simply because some people don't know how to do it.

SC_LSV
06-16-2010, 05:37 PM
Not trying to disagree with either method, bc I use both depending on the conditions and driver of truck/boat. But I spoke with boatmate a year or two ago about one of my bunks and they told me that the trailer is design for power loading the last foot or two. So essentially if you are comfortable with it and the bunk carpets are wet, no damage should be incurred. Bad pun, but whatever floats your boat.

SC_LSV

newyear14
06-16-2010, 11:15 PM
Yep, I am definitely not a fan of power loaders. They stir up the launch so that it's all muck and they ruin the launch. Plus, most people tend to miss sometimes or not have the trailer at the correct depth causing damage to your boat. The one and only blemish on my boat was from the previous owner power loading and hitting the nose of the bow (rub rail) on the winch. It cut a big gash into the rub rail but luckily didn't damage the gel coat. If your trying to use the winch and you have to give your boat gas to get it onto the trailer then the trailer is not deep enough. We push are boat onto the trailer then winch it up. Takes 1 minute.

I agree. This is the same way i load my boat.

kaneboats
06-17-2010, 02:52 AM
Bad pun, but whatever floats your boat.

Huh, that's a great one!:D