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Old 31 May 2016, 12:09   #1
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Launch and recovery tips for newbie

Hi all,

Just bought my first rib and going through a steeeeep learning curve. Any tips for launching and recovery? Have a ribtech 5.85 and ........

Towing and reversing - generally OK, after the first few days of ownership, the daily launching has much improved my reversing skills! Now confident reversing the boat into various tight spaces and down the slipway!

Launching, specifically, getting the boat off the trailer - how far in should the trailer be? Have been putting the trailer in as far as it will go, with rear wheels of my van just before the waterline. Stern of the boat just floats and with a bit of a wiggle I can get the rib pushed off the trailer.
The rib is quite heavy, if trailer didn't go in quite as far I feel I'd struggle to push it/float it off the trailer?

Recovery - this is where I've been struggling. Had some early problems with the trailer rollers moving under the boat before it was loaded.. I worked out trailer was in way too far, meaning the stern was still floating and it wasn't sitting/settling into the rollers until we towed it out of the water - resulting it rollers being in the wrong position and having to re-do the whole loading process.

Seem some tips online to only immerse trailer so the rearmost rollers just being wet, drive boat onto trailer in tick over, then some power to push it up the trailer. Stand in centre of boat when moving into/onto trailer to keep balanced and centred.

Any other tips.

Obviously practice practice practice is the key, but all tips welcome
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Old 31 May 2016, 13:52   #2
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recovery I usually back the trailer into the water like you said so rear rollers just visible on the surface of the water then attach the winch and just winch it on it just self centres itself I have even winched it on when on a beach when the rib was sat on the sand (but that was my lightweight sr4)
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Old 31 May 2016, 14:02   #3
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Your boat should just roll off the trailer you need it in deep enough so it doesn't ground before it floats I put the wheels of my vehicle to the rims keeping the brakes dry. Push the boat off under control with the winch strap or bow line. Same in reverse clip winch strap on pull on strap keeping boat square take up slack on the winch and pull up. Secure second rope/strap before pulling out.driving on is ok if you know your prop is clear but not nessasary in my opinion but then I single hand launch.

Cheers
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Old 31 May 2016, 15:08   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffstevens763@g View Post
Your boat should just roll off the trailer you need it in deep enough so it doesn't ground before it floats I put the wheels of my vehicle to the rims keeping the brakes dry. Push the boat off under control with the winch strap or bow line. Same in reverse clip winch strap on pull on strap keeping boat square take up slack on the winch and pull up. Secure second rope/strap before pulling out.driving on is ok if you know your prop is clear but not nessasary in my opinion but then I single hand launch.

Cheers
Hmmmmm, mine definitely does not 'roll' off the trailer. I've been watching some launch vids online and all boats seem to glide off the trailer.

I'll need to check how my rollers roll!!
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Old 31 May 2016, 15:56   #5
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My trailer has bunks, not rollers.

It never rolls off the trailer.

Launch:
1. unplug trailer lights.
2. Dock nearby? Then kids hold the bowline, one holds the stern line.
3. No dock, kids hold bowline, stern line stowed.
4. Engine about half way up to avoid grounding.
5. Back in until the boat floats off.

For recovery:
1. Trailer backed in about 2 feet less than launch. Needs enough height to center the boat on the bunks, but still floats in the rear.
2. I usually have to winch up the boat about one foot. It depends on the steepness of the ramp. Just try to develop a routine and then adjust how far the trailer is backed in.
3. Make sure boat is attached to trailer before pulling out, I've seen a few boat slide off the trailer in launch or recovery (Not my boat).
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Old 01 June 2016, 02:09   #6
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3. Make sure boat is attached to trailer before pulling out, I've seen a few boat slide off the trailer in launch or recovery (Not my boat).
I have a short length of chain that clips onto the trailer & boat winching eye during launch & recovery as an additional safety measure. It isn't under any tension but is there as a 'just in case'. Stays in place during towing.
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Old 01 June 2016, 02:10   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bjohnson View Post
Hmmmmm, mine definitely does not 'roll' off the trailer. I've been watching some launch vids online and all boats seem to glide off the trailer.

I'll need to check how my rollers roll!!
yep bunks are a float off granted you can push to a certain degree but rollers are the dogs B just an initial push and she should be away same pulling back much less effort on the winch i always took my rollers off and silicon greased them on the shafts and made sure they were free running.

cheers
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Old 01 June 2016, 14:35   #8
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Thanks for the replies.

There's definitely no roll or glide off the trailer. My launch ramp isn't very steep but even so, the boats not rolling off without some pushing.

Having done some more research I'm not convinced the trailer is setup correctly for the boat or that the rollers are rolling.

Next time I get to the yard, I'm going to check the whole trailer set up.

Will order some new rollers as well. A web search suggests polyurethane rollers best for grp hulls, these seem widely available outside the uk, not so apparent to buy in the uk. Any recommendations or does everyone just go for the blue non marking rollers that seem to be widely available?
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Old 01 June 2016, 16:41   #9
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rubber rollers can pinch onto the shaft rather than roll. I have had nylon rollers on trailers for years, boat slips off like a greased pig.
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Old 01 June 2016, 17:17   #10
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Wife reverses the trailer into the water, I sit in the boat, start the engine when there's enough water for it to cool. Put it into forward to stop it rolling off the trailer, lean over the bow and pull the quick release shackle, shift to reverse and drive the boat off the trailer.
Same on the way back. Wife reverses the trailer to about the depth off the trailer wheels. drive the boat up to the snubber, clip it on, shut off and tilt the engine, haul it out. ........really nothing to it.
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Old 02 June 2016, 02:31   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bjohnson View Post
Thanks for the replies.

There's definitely no roll or glide off the trailer. My launch ramp isn't very steep but even so, the boats not rolling off without some pushing.

Having done some more research I'm not convinced the trailer is setup correctly for the boat or that the rollers are rolling.

Next time I get to the yard, I'm going to check the whole trailer set up.

Will order some new rollers as well. A web search suggests polyurethane rollers best for grp hulls, these seem widely available outside the uk, not so apparent to buy in the uk. Any recommendations or does everyone just go for the blue non marking rollers that seem to be widely available?
look on e-bay blue rollers you can buy sets to suit

cheers
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Old 02 June 2016, 06:10   #12
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It all depends on your slip. Our local is very steep so if i reverse until the trailer hubs are wet, the stern would be floating off. Instead I tend to launch with a helm (usually me) on board until the trailer tires are just wet then wrap the painter around the winch post, let slack off of the winch strap and unclip, then let the painter out gently using the friction from the winch post to keep the speed in check. Helm then drives off and docks in the marina. If on my own, I let the boat out on the painter as above then drag alongside the slip where it can be tied up whilst I sort the trailer.

Recovery involves parking the trailer with the hubs just clear of the water and driving up the trailer to the missus can clip on the winch line and wind it in. If on my own, I use the painter to position the boat then winch all the way onto the trailer. I tend to climb down the trailer beyond the waterline so I can clip the winch line without getting wet feet.

At a shallower slip I'd stick the trailer much further in but where I am I can avoid dunking the hubs.

Phil M
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Old 05 June 2016, 17:38   #13
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Trailer setup

Had the boat out today and had a chance to have another look at the trailer setup.

Firstly, the boat did come off the trailer a little easier, but I had squirted all the rollers with some WD40 first! A new set of rollers will be ordered in the next week or two, I think the rubber ones are a bit past their best.

Boat looks fairly level on the trailer, I was expecting it to be higher at the front than the back to aid with launching. I checked all the roller mountings and they are all mounted at the same height all round using the same mounting holes. I did also check a number of other trailers in the yard and they all seem to be the same, so it looks as though mine is ok.

Next was the moving mounting brackets. One bracket (with 2 rollers mounted) is really loose, all the others are really tight with little or no movements available.

The nearest trailer to mine in the yard had all the rollers fixed with no movement so I'm unclear what the correct setup needs to be.

I can tighten or loosen the nut/bolt holding each mounting bracket to make more or less movement.

So, a couple of questions
1. Should the 'mountings' onto which the rollers are mounted, be free to move either a little (tight) or a lot (loose)?
2. While the boat is on the trailer, should I slacken the mounting bolts to make sure that all the rollers are sitting in the right places, might help given I know many of mine are really stiff and no movement available.
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Old 06 June 2016, 01:44   #14
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I found aan old post from 'trailer guy' with some useful info; making sure rollers aren't on the chines but straddle either side plus making sure rear rollers are as close to rear/transom as possible and preferably spaced a little wider which would in turn lower the stern slightly on the trailer and help with launch and recovery.

I'll have to take my tape measure and spinners next visit to make some adjustments, I thing front rollers are ok, rears could probably be made slightly wider.
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Old 06 June 2016, 02:18   #15
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dont forget the slipway will give you the angle to roll off your rollers [not seen your trailer]but keel will be static and roll easy, carrier rollers mine had two sets stern & two thirds to the bow approx they should move to accommodate the hull passing meaning the hull isn't the same shape all the way mine had a floating carrier at the stern to aid recovery meaning it floats forward and back also the rollers tip the same and side to side if that makes sense that means if the boat come at an angle the rollers and carrier line it up, all rollers should touch the hull when transporting. the keel and the stern carrier taking the brunt of the weight.i did find might only been me but i set the last keel roller with another behind it in piggy back[hitch side ] higher so when the bow hit the two i then set my winch post snubber to hit at the same time that stopped the bow climbing off the front set of rollers and the hull banging during towing
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Old 06 June 2016, 12:13   #16
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I thought a couple pics may assist!

trailer has 16 rollers, all a bit old. the rear 8 are on a swinging cradle.

I'm not sure if i should have more rollers!

Boat is a 5.85 Ribcraft with 150 Mercury so theres a lot of weight on the back.






does anyone think i need more rollers, particularly at the rear??
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Old 06 June 2016, 12:49   #17
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That looks Bob on to me and a good design I think you just need a bit of maintenance to make her roll that might be changing rollers for new or just a grease up have a play before spending money

Cheers
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Old 06 June 2016, 12:52   #18
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I'm not saying that you do , but when you consider that weight bouncing about at the rear end during any reasonable tow , it could only help ?

Here's a poor pic of my Ribcraft 5.85 with Yammy F100 and Susy 5 auxilliary. The reserve container for the auxilliary is also set quite well back , so it's nice to know it is well supported ( 8 rubber rollers on each side at the stern ).

http://www.rib.net/forum/f8/making-rib-cover-71929.html

Go easy on yourself ! There's no substitute for experience with many of your present " niggles " !
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Old 06 June 2016, 13:26   #19
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Mine has 4 sets of 8 on swing beams and a few keel rollers. It only makes contact with about half of those on each set as the hull is quite curved so I really wouldn't worry about yours. It looks fine.

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Old 06 June 2016, 15:00   #20
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Just make sure the carriers move in the direction they should if they don't tilt easy they will slow the hull down when pushing off.
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