Boating is a rewarding sport and hobby. Nothing beats being in the water with your family and friends waterboarding, fishing, skiing, or just cruising. In order to get out into the water, you need to launch your boat from the trailer. This can prove to be an intimidating thing to do for a first time boater. Here are some tips to remember when launching your boat.
- Take your trailer and boat to an empty shopping center parking lot and try to practice backing the trailer into one of the parking spaces. This will give you practice of maneuvering the trailer without the pressure of doing it for the first time with a line of experienced boaters waiting.
- Before you hit the road, ensure that you check for a few things first. Check to make certain that your tires are inflated to the right pressure. If you had pulled out the drain plug for the ride, this is the best time to put it back in. Finally, think about the sequence you will want to detach the boat from the trailer, leaving the bow hook tight until the boat hits the water.
- The most important lesson for any beginner is to go very slow. The faster you go, the further behind you may get. There are usually no time limits for launching and most ramps are public. So everyone has a right to be there, even the very slow ones. For a first time boater, the majority of vehicle movements at the ramps should be completed while using brake pedal.
- Set your focus on the task at hand and not on the surroundings or the other people waiting. This will help you get onto the ramp much faster.
- To get your boat into the water, back your trailer down the ramp. Put it in the water so that the out-drive is in the water but ensure that the boat is not floating off the trailer. You need to make sure that the boat has started and that everything is working fine before you release the boat from the trailer.
- Run the blower to evacuate the engine compartment and ensure that there are no explosive fuel vapors. Start the boat, and if need be, give it a little gas using the drive mechanism in throttle only. You don’t want the propeller to turn while you are still on the trailer.
- Unhook and release the remaining bow hooks keeping the boat on the trailer. This should only be done when the boat has started and is running smoothly. And voila, you are in the water and ready to have fun.
Remember that the difference between a professional and a novice boater is the number of times the professional has done it. Go out and practice and you will soon be a professional.