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Old 23 September 2008, 02:44   #1
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How to launch...

Hi to all...having just sold my old dory boat and ordered a new Ribcraft 5.3 for delivery in March next year now's the time to get down to even more research (I'm suffering from post 'which-boat-shall-I buy' research). How else can I make the time pass more quickly?

The topic of trailer launching is always a good one. I've launched the dory from slipways myself with wifey helping (no comments please, she's actually very hepful...brownie points, oh yes!) and watched others whenever I can; I've also searched this forum and read articles on how to do it (including the recent RIB International article).

So, at the risk of repeating what's gone before (although if it has I couldn't immediately spot it) what's your best advice for a two person hassle free launch of a 5.3m, 750kg or so RIB on a slipway? Advice on what not do gratefully received too!
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Old 23 September 2008, 03:41   #2
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The big mistake I always make is to presume that my wife is psychic! Talk thru what you intend to do and make sure your helper understands. Look at the conditions (wind, waves and Audience) and talk thru what will happen when the boat is afloat. There is always someone around who will be delighted to see you make a complete twit of yourself.

When beach launching dress to get wet because you WILL get wet!

Tie the boat to the trailer with the painter until the last minute. Don't rely on the winch. If the boat slides off the rollers before you reach the water you would be lucky if you dont injure yourself, your helper or part of the audience. The audience will quickly expand as you red-faced wind the boat back onto the trailer and examine the damaged gelcoat.

If beach launching try to keep the trailer moving when you reach the water or it will bog down in the wet sand....get in and out as quick as you can....check the depth.. better to go to far than to shallow! A long stout rope and an upgraded wider jockey wheel will help.

Getting the boat out is the difficult bit if the weather is not great. Cross winds and waves make it difficult to get the boat on the trailer straight... try pointing the back of the trailer into the wind and waves if you can. Dont be afraid to abort the attempt to recover the attempt if you get blown off course. Its better to try again than to take a lump out of your boat!



Oh and dont do what i saw recently... brand new 4.5m RIB pulls into a yacht club. Unhitched from car...the proud new owner then pushed the trailer over the slope of slip presuming he could control the descent...which soon found out he could'nt. The boat took off down the slip with him in tow running over his poor wife before splashing into the sea! Thanks be to God she was not more seriously injured... it's amazing what a bash a human body can take! It all happened so quick that all I could do was run to help the poor lady while her husband was dragged into the sea! I'd say he may have spent a day or two in the dog house! So if you want to get rid of her dont say i told you how!
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Old 23 September 2008, 04:05   #3
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Oh and dont do what i saw recently...
I saw just what you describe at Fowey this year...guy unhitches his sail boat half way down the slope intending to walk it down. Wifey is in the water paddling. I'll leave the rest to your imagination. Lets just say that she didn't need the Ferry to reach the other side!

When they managed to get it together she now has the boat at the waters edge and he go gets the car. She stands between the car and the boat and he reverses down the slipway and knocks her over. Again.

At the same time a guy launches his row boat by getting his knife out and slashing the string (in lieu of winch strap) holding the boat on the trailer. The guy is wearing rigger boots and overalls...not a good combination for running into the water to recover the boat.

So, there's two things I learnt about how not to launch in the space of about 5 minutes.
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Old 23 September 2008, 05:19   #4
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Very basic I know but thought I'd give you the link http://www.wavelengthtraining.com/launch_&_recover.htm
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Old 23 September 2008, 08:56   #5
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Funniest one I ever saw was at Fairlie just South of Largs. The group of people turned up and went to use the public slip to launch their yacht rather than pay to have it winched in the marina. They has a big flat bed to hold it (good) but attached the trailer to the flatbed with a single length of 1/2 inch hemp rope. Picture in your mind 1 chap trying to steer the trailer down the slip after the rope parted and the other chap on the bow being catapulted into the sea after the rudder bites and swings the boat through 90 degrees as it hits the water. It also grouded on the rocks alongside so gelcoat damage and oh also whiplash at the top of the mast too to add insult to injury.

I imagine it was quite a while before they started sailing that summer.
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Old 23 September 2008, 13:56   #6
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When you recover the boat make sure you don't put the trailer in too deep - this is the most common mistake of all. It is no good floating the boat on - you need to drive it on so the rollers actually do the work of straightening her up.
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Old 23 September 2008, 13:57   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leapy View Post
.... I've launched the dory from slipways myself....
what's your best advice for a two person hassle free launch of a 5.3m, 750kg or so RIB on a slipway?
Same as for the Dory. If you managed that, you'll manage a 5.3m RIB
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Old 23 September 2008, 16:16   #8
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Go and find a nice slip and do a few lauch and recovers until you are confident in the equipment and that you trailer is set up right.
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Old 23 September 2008, 18:14   #9
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you need to drive it on so the rollers actually do the work of straightening her up.
So do most of you on that side of the pond use roller trailers?

Bunks are more common here, at least from personal observation.


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Old 23 September 2008, 18:33   #10
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So do most of you on that side of the pond use roller trailers?

Bunks are more common here, at least from personal observation.


jky
Yes almost everyone uses rollers. It could be because of our dodgy conditions - sometimes the sea is nearly 1 mile out and you have to drive across a beach and launch into surf!!!
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