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Old 30 December 2008, 03:34   #1
Country: Belgium
Length: 6m +
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 10
How to tow launch on a slippery ramp


I am looking for some advices on how you tow launch a 6 m RIB.

This is not common here, I have never seen it.

There is a small but too difficult ramp next to the place where my boat is stored but I don't think the van would be able to drive it up.



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Old 30 December 2008, 04:11   #2
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Not sure what you mean.

If you mean launching from a road trailer, whilst still attached to the car its fairly straight forward.

Launching is easy as often or not you can make it up a slipway with car and an empty trailer but not car and full trailer.

If it is very steep and you don't want to take your car on it then back your car and boat up to the top of the slipway. Don't actually go on the slipway though. Attach a rope from the car to the trailer THEN disconnect the trailer from the car.

You can then slowly lower the trailer down the slipway. Becareful how you do this cause you will have a heavy load on the end of the rope. You must make sure your boat is properly loaded and not stern heavy. Often having somebody on the jockey wheel to steer the boat as its lowered is a good idea.

There are many variations on this theme and some people do use an electric winch rather than rope.

For the recovery its just the same but in reverse. Getting the boat on the trailer means you need float the boat onto the trailer as you won't be able to drive it on.


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Old 30 December 2008, 05:53   #3
Country: Belgium
Length: 6m +
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 10
I mean the second method, with trailer disconnected.

Is there no risk that the trailer will touch the ramp on its back when the boat will be half way on it?

What kind of rope do they use?
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Old 30 December 2008, 08:43   #4
Country: UK - Wales
Town: swansea
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Another option is to use a pole - like a scaffolding pole. it slides in U bolts or clamps along the drawbar of the trailer and has a tow hitch on it.
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Old 30 December 2008, 10:37   #5
Country: USA
Town: San Diego
Make: zodiac futura mk2
Length: 4m +
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 264
A car on a steep ramp has to be close to my truck on a beach. I often need all of my 30' tow strap to get my trailer out of shallow water. Either the surface isn't good near the shore or the trailer has to go way in to shallow waters. Get an automotive rated tow strap of a length that fits your circumstance at the ramp. I put a stainless handle on my tongue to strap to. Didn't want to cut or abrade the strap with an improvised attachment.

I have not had problems with tipping when pulling out unhooked trailers, but you better make sure the weight is properly balanced on the trailer! What I did find was I damaged the tongue jack wheel assembly. It isn't meant to take lateral stress and if it catches on the ramp or the beach you will tweak it. It is also possible to catch the tongue itself if it drags without the jack wheel support down (if the pull isn't constant and even to keep the tongue up). I bought a big caster wheel that I unbolt from the pictured position and install under the tongue for tow style retrieval. Kind of a hassle, but not as much as damaging my trailer tongue in Mexico was...

I didn't attach my tow strap before pushing out the trailer into this Estrero and it tried to roll off into the channel as the boat came off. I always use the tow strap as a control line when launching now, snorkeling for the trailer wasn't that bad...
Have fun!
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