Like docking, launching a boat can be anxiety-inducing because a lot can go wrong without proper preparation and practice. To avoid a costly mistake, follow these five tips to ensure your time on the water is smooth sailing.
1. Be Courteous to Others
Launch ramps are high traffic areas, especially on weekends and during the peak season. To make the launch process as smooth as possible, pull over to an open staging space to finisharea to loading your gear, including other passengers on the boat and passengers. Also, take the time to review the launch plan to ensure the boat driver and vehicle driver are on the same page. By taking the extra time to prep, your crew can avoid holding up the line to launch.
2. Prep your Boat for Launch
Before launching, do a final check to confirm your boat’s drain plug is in place. Without the drain plug, your boat will start taking on water and be at risk of sinking. While checking the drain plug, also remove the transom safety straps. If you forget to take the safety straps off, you won’t be able to reverse your boat once it’s in the water. With the drain plug in place and the safety straps off, you're ready to get into the launch lane.
3. Move Into the Launch Lane
Start by pulling the boat into the launch lane and have your captain turn the batteries on. Once the driver reaches the ramp, have the driver get out of the vehicle and undo the front winch to the boat. While the driver undoes the winch, the captain should put dock lines and bumpers on the cleats. Putting on the dock lines and bumpers before the boat hits the water will make docking easier for the captain, especially if docking alone. Using bumpers also helps prevent scratches or scuffs that may occur while docking.
4. Communicate With Your Driver
Hand signals make for quick communication between the driver and the captain without yelling. Before the driver backs up, confirm there is a clear line of sight between the captain and the driver. When ready, the captain will signal to start backing up and when to stop. Once the boat hits the water, the captain should tell the driver to stop. Then the captain can trim down the motors and ensure they're fully operational. After starting the engines, the driver can finish backing all the way down the ramp and hop out to give the boat a final push into the water.
5. Dock your Boat
With the boat off the trailer, it’s time for the captain to dock. Out of courtesy To be courteous to others at the boat ramp, the captain should dock away from the launch site. The captain should pull into an open slip or idle away from the ramp while the driver parks the vehicle and trailer. Then the captain can swing by and pick up the driver from the launch dock.
Follow these Captain Moe and Eric Newman's five tips from Captains Moe and Eric Newman for launching a boat with two people, and your crew will launch and dock like pros.successfully. Whether you're a seasoned professional boater or a novice, these tips will help you have the best experience at the launch site ramp and on the water.