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Old 29 January 2006, 13:40   #1
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How NOT to launch

Was observing 2 blokes with a Landie trying to recover a 17' orkney/warrior type fishing boat.

Little bit of a swell but nothing much - quite a steep slip.

What a mess they made of it. Instead of just dipping the trailer into the water they completely submerged it and then drove the boat on quite hard.

Because the trailer was in so deep the boat was just bobbing around all over the place - to make matter worse they then REVERSED the trailer in deeper!!!

When they thought the boat was secure they went to drive off and the boat nearly capsized when it was still on the trailer!!! In the end they gave up and went looking for another slip.

Know I have no doubt I will make a right hash of things the first few times but watching OTHER people's mistakes is a valuable lessson.

Golden rule seems to be never try to float the boat onto the trailer!!!
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Old 29 January 2006, 14:11   #2
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I always try very hard to float a boat on a trailer. That way you don't damage the hull driving it on.

Its not always possible but the whole thing is a bit more under control.

Would have to say th biggest lesson I have learnt in 10-11 years of ribbing is not to rush launching or recovering. I learnt the hard way once and I really do have the scars to show it!

Chris
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Old 29 January 2006, 14:36   #3
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I've learned to float only the bow of the boat onto the bunks and then winch and power it on the rest of the way. That way I can align it up first and then the rest will follow.
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Old 29 January 2006, 15:24   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boatster_sr4
I've learned to float only the bow of the boat onto the bunks and then winch and power it on the rest of the way. That way I can align it up first and then the rest will follow.
That's what I meant - gives the rollers a chance to do what they are meant to do!!!
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Old 29 January 2006, 15:59   #5
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I guess it depends on what trailer you have, what the conditions are like at the slip and how many bodys you can call upon.

With a bunk I guess you would want to submerg it a little bit more, but with a roller trailer it's easy peesy even if your loading your boat off of tyres on dry land.

My worst recover was when I was by myself and had an exposed slip. I tried the trailer out the water trick first but couldn't get the ass end of the RIB round enough (against the wind) to start a clean winch. to make matters worse the breakers kept me busy stopping the hull from being smashed into my trailer ironwork.

I then backed the trailer in deeper, that allowed me to line the bow into the rollers at a very steep angle and physicly push the stern around whilst pushing the RIB towards the snub of the trailer. Connected the winch strap and away I went.

What I learnt was to never recover on an exposed slip by oneself and that the addition of guide poles at the rear of a trailer could be a very sensible anwser to any further tricky recoveries.

My usual slip is very tidal but at least I know it's an easy recovery by the fact it's sheltered from the wind and never has breakers as it's in a harbour.
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Old 29 January 2006, 19:32   #6
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A couple of things I've learned through having to recover a fairly heavy boat single handed; fix a length of marine ply across the trailer just about or slightly above the level of the where the keel of the boat lies when it's fully on the trailer. It needs to be in a position approx 2/3 of distance from the stern to the bow. When you drive the boat onto the trailer it will ground on the ply and give you time to get overboard to fix the winch strap. A good rub of candle wax onto the ply will prevent the hull suffering damage. The ply also flexes and it'll be a bit soft cos it's wet.

When you are approaching the trailer in a crosswind or current, you will be doing a wee ferry glide and although you may feel the boat is travelling directly to the trailer it will actually be at an angle. This causes you to swear vehemently as the bow enters between the bunks but the boat ends up out of line. Skew the trailer as it enters the water so its stern is down wind. Sorted.
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Old 29 January 2006, 21:31   #7
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Must admit; I always float mine on, as I have bunks .
In fact when I had the trailer built, the shop were quite amused at the idea of fitting rollers on such as small boat trailer.
"Too many things to break/corrode and replace" as the owner said.
So I went with the simple bunks and have never had an issue.
We do have nice ramps though that allow you to back down safely at a gentle gradient.
The best part about the trailer though is the "overbuilt" guide on poles.Really strongly built and very functional. I adjusted them so they are a tight fit against the rubbing strakes. (They are sleeved with poly pipe so they spin) On approach as long as you get the bow lined up in between,you are in business. Even in a strong crosswind,if neccessary you can grab the poles and pull her into line with the bunks.
Generaly I just idle in, and once the bow enter the poles;cut the engine and move to the bow ready to get out and attach the strap.As the hull touches the bunks further forward, it slows the forward motion and usually comes to a dead stop just in front of the winch.
Seen a lot of solo people on ramps having issues when the wind blows them sideways . Seems such a simple fix to have good guide poles
Certainly saves a whole lot of stress!
cheers dal
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Old 29 January 2006, 22:50   #8
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Those guide poles look really good - seen a few trailers over here with them but the spinning pipe trick sounds fantastic!!!
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Old 30 January 2006, 03:20   #9
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Had a set for mine.. ..and they were useful for three distinct purposes...
1) Getting the boat bows lined up when you've got a bit of a cross wind/current and you're making a hash of it with an audience
2) Identifying that it is actually your trailer on a busy park'n launch..my "arms" were painted bright orange.. and
3) Seeing where your trailer is when the tractor driving muppet reverses the thing half way across the sea bed...

but.. they have to be removable because they make the tow illegal otherwise... as the trailer becomes too wide...

Now, since I've learned to a) drive my boat and b) learned to recover properly they're not so much use on a roller trailer.. having been shown that it is much easier with less of the trailer in the water and having spent twelve months educating the tractor driver.. I'm going for crane launch...
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