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Old 19 May 2007, 13:06   #1
Country: Other
Town: Valencia
Length: no boat
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 135
low speed drive onto trailer on slip

Hi, I am trying to get better at motoring onto my trailer on a slip, getting as far on as poss under power & then winchiing the final half boat length or so.

My question is does anyone do this & get it right first time every time? if so, please please give me some advice.

I appreciate it is hugely dependent on the slip gradient, tides, windage & trailor configuration but to date I think itīs been luck that got me on safely. Iīm learning that if you mess up first time itīs best to start again from scratch.

My problem is the water is v shallow too so I donīt get much prop deep in the water, no tides but it always seems to be windy.

If it helps itīs a 5m rib, roller coaster trailor & I may fit side arms (sorry donīt know the proper name) onto the trailor.

Ta v much, any tips v welcome.

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Old 19 May 2007, 13:34   #2
Country: UK - England
Town: Enfield/Switzerland
Boat name: Zonneschijn II/Vixen
Make: Shakespeare/Avon
Length: 7m +
Engine: Evin' 175 DI /Yam 90
MMSI: 235055605
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,425
I normally recover a 5.4m searider this way if the gradient of the slip is steep enough and there is enough water.

Have managed it a couple of times on the Thames with the tide running. It's important to take into account the tide if there is one and any windage.

As an example, I normally approach against the current as there seems to be more control that way, you can go slower, maintain steerage easier etc.

I normally try and drive all the way up (engine trimmed up quite a way). But this requires quite a bit of power, so always have my winchman standing well back in case things go wrong, until it's fully on, then a matter of keeping a bit of power on whilst they clip on to secure.

That said, I have been recovering boats with my Dad since I was 10, have seen many cringeworthy attempts, been on the other end of his anger a few times (with himself, so more embarassement really) when it has gone wrong, and kinda learnt the hard way!

I definitely find driving onto a rollercoaster the easiest of the options, I wish we'd had one when I was a teenager. Bunk trailers were a pain, so you have a good starting point.

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Old 19 May 2007, 13:42   #3
Country: Belgium
Length: 9m +
Engine: Ob 2*250/2t yams hpd
MMSI: 235030702
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 885
The only problem is to get the boat square on. It does not need much to mess it up- even if you have tons of experience. I think this has been covered quite a few times- but the best idea was one by Codders - attach two poles - one on each side at the end forming a gate and when approaching do it as fast as possible. I use a step ladder sited dead center next to the winch. But if you do mess it up-don't get embarassed its one of the hardest things to do - just try again.Obviousely - if there is no wind or current so much the better. Once square on- use power to go as far as possible up the trailer.- the resaon for this is that it will be much easier when re-launching. The winch , basically should be used only for the last few feet.

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Old 19 May 2007, 13:59   #4
Country: Other
Town: Valencia
Length: no boat
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 135
hi thanks for the prompt responses.

The water is shallow so I darenīt go for a fast run up, more a crawl up & I think thatīs where the problem lies as I donīt have a lot of control.

Iīll try the side arm thingies as they give you a second chance, I can just hold onto 1 side & pull myself on & the gate effect is easy to aim for.

My winchman is also a bit responsible....he doesnīt do anything! a bit more teamwork needed I think. Also, I am going to adjust the rollers so I get the boat on as low as possible as there is another couple of inches of space.

Ta v much & Iīll feedback on my next venture.
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Old 19 May 2007, 15:30   #5
Country: Other
Town: Stanley, Falkland Is
Boat name: Seawolf
Make: Osprey Vipermax 5.8
Length: 5m +
Engine: Etec 150
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 3,712
After my last time out.....

Beware of keeping too much power on for too long on a gravel beach as the propwash will pick up rocks and suck them through which does not do the prop a lot of good - no prizes for guessing how I know that now

Quick squirts on the throttle are the answer so you get thrust but not too much wash.

Other than that I do it all the time and the key with mine (bunk) is to get the trailer just right in the water, not too shallow (run out of power before you get right on) and not too deep (the boat floats between the bunks and can drift off). I almost always launch and recover single handed so I need time to get out of the boat, tie it onto the trailer and drive it out so it needs to be sitting securely before I hop out!
A Boat is a hole in the water, surrounded by fibreglass, into which you throw money...

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Old 19 May 2007, 16:33   #6
Country: UK - Wales
Town: swansea
Boat name: Too Blue
Length: 8m +
Engine: Suzuki DT225
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 12,791
The biggest mistake people always seem to make is putting the trailer in too deep.
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Old 19 May 2007, 19:01   #7
Country: Ireland
Town: Galway
Boat name: rockhopper
Make: ballistic
Length: 6m +
Engine: petrol
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 525
Its like riding a bike, once you get used to it its easy.

Obvious problem is when you feel its dead on, the wind can take her a little.
I have found that if you have another person who has a slight understanding of natural physics, you can coil up a forward Bowline and stern (windward side) line, when approaching let fly with long (ski line useful) bow line to person, and then stern windward side line and they can steady it in medium to light winds, all you have to do is nose on the bow and they hold her there,
trim up to whatever level you feel prudent and give her a bit of holly,

We used to get a sizable boat up in Dunlaoighre with ease. I would give it a good blast and the boat would point to the sky rise up like the sub in Hunt for red october and settle down so sweet much to the gob smacked land lubbers watching on hopingto see a disaster.

A rollercoaster was the trailer. I had it down to an art where I would find it easier to load and unload single handed.

When dropping her in i would back up to above waters edge, let go all holding straps and Tailbar supports, having taking ski rope from Hitch to bow using static fricton holding her in place, run her back and once wheels covered hit the brakes, impact drove boat out fast until slack takin up (make sure it doesnt snag can leave red faced, tie her of and drive trailer away and park.
come back and pull boat in.... doddle
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Old 19 May 2007, 22:23   #8
Country: USA
Town: Punta gorda Fl.
Boat name: War Machine
Make: Falcon U.S.A.
Length: 9m +
Engine: twin 250 Yamaha
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 936
powering a boat on a trailer

This simply takes a little practice, if you always drive a boat on the trailer it really becomes second nature, not difficult at all. If you don't line up right due to wind back her off and try again, you'll get the hang of it. I always drive my boat on, mainly because I am a little lazy with the winch!
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Old 20 May 2007, 03:45   #9
Country: UK - Wales
Town: West Wales
Make: Vipermax 5.8, SR4.7
Length: 5m +
Engine: 150 Opti, F50EFi
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 6,298
If it's a 5m RIB and you're in shallow water, once you're through the back rollers just get out and winch it on - will take around 30 seconds. What's all the fuss about?
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Old 20 May 2007, 05:22   #10
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Country: UK - England
Town: Fareham
Length: 6m +
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 7,855
Yes don't put the trailer in too deep as it doesn't help at all.

Nudge your bow into the first rollers and using gentle power and steerage (don't shoot up the trailer at this stage) manuver the stern so that's in line with the trailer. With power on and maintaining your steerage go and have a look under the bow if you can, just to check how the rollers are sitting against the hull (you might not need to do this after a few recovers but it helps make sure that everything is OK). If everything is OK power up to start your recovery. When on the trailer and if single handed, maintain your thrust to hold her in position, throw the bow painter over the winch post and make fast somewhere. Switch off engine, trim up and jump over the side to connect winch.

Looks Slow but is Fast
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Old 21 May 2007, 10:49   #11
Country: USA
Town: Oakland CA
Length: 3m +
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 6,653
One other thing that may help is to (if possible) approach the trailer from slightly down-wind/current. The slight angle uphill will give you a bit better control over the bow of the boat until you hit the bunks or rollers, when some self-centering should start to take over. Then correct your angle to the trailer with the steering, apply power to seat the boat on the trailer, and use bursts of power to get it as far up the trailer as you desire.

Note that I've pretty much given up on this, as I'm usually diving, so don't mind getting wet recovering the boat. I hand-walk it onto the trailer and wade in to do the winch strap and winching.

And, no, I don't think I've ever seen anyone who gets motoring on right each and every time. And sometimes it's really ugly, too...


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