Make sure everything goes smoothly and safely when launching your boat by preparing beforehand.
Pre-Launch To-Do List
(in parking area or ready lane)
- Remove tie-downs.
- Remove engine support.
- Disconnect trailer wiring from tow vehicle.
- Load and stow gear to be carried aboard.
- Check boat systems: battery, engine, bilge pumps, lights and horn.
- If equipped, turn on the engine-compartment blower.
- Make ready dock lines, fenders and boat hook.
- Install the drain plug.
Launch To-Do List
- Back down far enough to allow engine cooling water to be picked up.
- Set the emergency brake and put the vehicle in park.
- On stern-drive or outboard boats, lower the drive.
- Start the engine and let it warm up.
- Disconnect the winch hook from the bow eye.
- Proceed to launch.
- Once the boat is clear, pull away and park.
Retrieval To-Do List
- Back the trailer into the water, but do not submerge it too deeply.
- The skipper should approach the trailer slowly, taking wind and current into consideration.
- Nudge the boat’s bow into the center of the trailer; let it settle before winching or powering up to the bow stop.
- Attach the bow strap and safety chain.
- Raise the outboard or outdrive before driving up the ramp.
- Clear the ramp area as quickly and safely as possible.
- Reconnect trailer wiring, attach tie-down straps, lower antennas and secure the rig for the road.
- Remove the drain plug.
- To prevent corrosion and fight invasive species, wash the boat and trailer and flush the engine as soon as possible (ideally at the launch ramp wash-down).
Source: www.boatingmag.com; October 3, 2013.