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Old 29 May 2011, 04:05   #1
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How long does it take you????

jUst wondering as I was getting the boat ready yesterday, how long does take people to get on / off the water on average?

I reckon, from pulling into the boatyard to getting afloat & away from the pontoon is c. 45 minutes (nearer and hour if I'm filling up with petrol from cans).

This involves, check of boat & trailer
Unlocking everything
Removing cover,
loading stuff on board
checking everything - tube inflation, electrics etc
hitching up
towing to slip & launching
recover & park up trailer
Park car
final checks & away

Putting away inc (as above in revers but with flushing engine & a good clean is c. hour 15 to hour & half.

Are there time saving tricks to make it quicker at either end? - I'm normally doing it solo, with "help" from the pups - which makes it slower


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Old 29 May 2011, 04:11   #2
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Once I'm at the slipway, 10 mins topps. That includes me getting the tickets and wheel clamping the trailer too.
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Old 29 May 2011, 04:17   #3
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Row to boat, remove cover, lower engine, make radio call to CG to make sure radio's working, start engine, put on life jacket, let engine warm up for five minutes, cast off and Bob's your uncle. About 10 minutes I reckon; longer on return since the boat's cover is more tricky to put back on than it is to take off.
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Old 29 May 2011, 04:26   #4
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45 minutes may sound like a lot of faff to some people, but it's far better to take time & do it properly as opposed to rushing & perhaps missing something.

It sounds like you have a comprehensive checklist of everything you need to cover which is the important thing.

Sometimes covers, number plate boards, straps etc are customised to a particular set up which makes them a lot quicker, for example using poppers or velcro on a cover as opposed to having to tie knots.
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Old 29 May 2011, 04:56   #5
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About 10 min on a normal launch I reckon, and I also do it solo. However I do not have either a cover, or a trailer board to mess around with.

I always leave the boat ready to launch (fuelled, oiled and checked) so pick up from the house and tow to the slip, chuck on loose/nickable stuff (lifejackets, suit, camera), reverse to waters edge, tilt up engine, flip the trailering support out of the way on the Etec, undo the extra rope at the bow, reverse into water so the rear wheels on the vehicle are just at the waters edge, climb in over bow, start up and reverse off. I usually then beach it on the sand next to the trailer, pull the trailer out and park it next to the slip, back into the boat and off. If it is too windy / wrong tide to beach next to the trailer then I have to find somewhere to tie up which can take a little longer.

Recovery takes a little longer (10 to 15 min) but generally I beach the boat on the sand where I am going to recover it, then reverse the trailer down till the rear keel roller is just at the bow eye, hook up, pull the boat up about a foot just to take the tension on the rope and hold the bow into the V of the keel roller, reverse the trailer into the water a few feet, winch the boat on a few feet so the bow is up onto the rear keel roller, then reverse the trailer well in until the keel rollers at the rear are under water and winch right on. It is a hell of a lot easier winching on when the trailer is well in (I don't use low gear on the winch at all) but if you put it all the way in at the start it is almost impossible to get the boat on straight - this is on an SBS roller bunk trailer with a row of keel rollers and four side bunks.

I then go via the fuel station on the way home and fill up straight into the boat, used to use jerrycans on the Humber but a time consuming PITA and much more likely to get contamination. Wash down and check over ready for the next one
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Old 29 May 2011, 05:02   #6
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That sounds about right LLT, given what you're doing. If you have a long tow to the launch site, it's worth doing a system check BEFORE you leave home. It does eat into your day but a friend has confirmed similar times too.

On "important" days out (long cruises or when others were relying on me to be punctual) I would have test run engines, charged batteries, uploaded waypoints/routes and loaded smaller kit into the boat before leaving home.

I found it useful to have stuff stored in a "all goes on the boat" and "goes to the launch only" boxes or bags.
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Old 29 May 2011, 05:45   #7
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That sounds about right LLT, given what you're doing. If you have a long tow to the launch site, it's worth doing a system check BEFORE you leave home. It does eat into your day but a friend has confirmed similar times too.

On "important" days out (long cruises or when others were relying on me to be punctual) I would have test run engines, charged batteries, uploaded waypoints/routes and loaded smaller kit into the boat before leaving home.

I found it useful to have stuff stored in a "all goes on the boat" and "goes to the launch only" boxes or bags.
It takes me about that too-maybe a bit longer as if I'm going fishing I'll tackle up the fishing rods before I launch.
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Old 29 May 2011, 06:05   #8
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I remember many years ago when I kept my boat in Hamworthy, Poole. On the drive down to the boat we missed the lifting bridge and had to wait for 40 minutes until the bridge came back down then having driven 8 miles there, I put the boat in the water to find I'd left the keys at home. Missed the bridge on the way back AGAIN to get the keys from home and then finally when we got started I ran aground just outside Cobbs Quay and was stranded for hours waiting for the tide to turn...it was probably my worst launching/boating day ever...I nearly sold my boat that week...
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Old 29 May 2011, 06:36   #9
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I used to trailer my boat to the slipway but although I had the launch/recovery phase down to a fine art it was still hard work and time consuming. Particularly as the boat and trailer weighed in at around 5000kg and 3.1m wide (our main road traffic lanes are slightly less than 3.1m )

I now pay a small fortune for a marina berth but it gets your day off to a very good start when you can just step on to the boat, fire up the engines, cast off and you're away!
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Old 29 May 2011, 06:45   #10
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I now pay a small fortune for a marina berth but it gets your day off to a very good start when you can just step on to the boat, fire up the engines, cast off and you're away!
Pontoons is good but you know what I'm like, I don't think we could be much less than 45 mins from arrive at pontoon to departing unless everything had been pre-prepared. On the normal swinging mooring it is less of a faff because I become less inclined to bother with everything + there arn't any fenders to take off.
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Old 29 May 2011, 06:50   #11
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Pontoons is good but you know what I'm like, I don't think we could be much less than 45 mins from arrive at pontoon to departing unless everything had been pre-prepared. On the normal swinging mooring it is less of a faff because I become less inclined to bother with everything + there arn't any fenders to take off.
It takes about that long for your raymarine kit to wake up doesn't it

Got a private berth now so fenders are bolted to the pontoon as are the mooring lines, bliss!

I'll be even happier when the boats back on there
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Old 29 May 2011, 09:25   #12
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If you have driven to slipway, it needs about half hour or so for wheel bearings to cool down. So use that time to make ready for launch.

I always try to refuel etc when we clean down so that saves a bit of time. Although my boat is in yard next to slipway and launched by tractor, still takes about half hour to launch. Handy because it takes that time for the bacon butties to be ready at the ever so handy cafe next door. Lol

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Old 29 May 2011, 09:27   #13
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It takes about that long for your raymarine kit to wake up doesn't it
Most of it never does

I worry now that it is linked to both the engine and AIS. All the ports on the back are going to be filled!

Vive la Garmination!!
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Old 29 May 2011, 10:51   #14
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I too have the boat ready in the garage so i can just hitch up and go.

From arriving at the slip it takes me about 15 minutes to launch and about that to recover too.

Once at home its a good 1 1/2 hours by the time i've washed it all down, sponged it, cleaned the hull, trailer and waxed the outboard.

Just treated it all to a good clean today too which took 2 hours to get it all sparkling. Mainly because it was blowing a gale and far to rough to go out. So i had the option of shopping with the wife or messing with the boat

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Old 29 May 2011, 12:19   #15
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From reversing down the slip to casting off between 10 minutes and 45 minutes, however, I would not be faffing about on the the slip for 45minutes probably tie up to load etc. Getting 2 crew and 6 divers on can be a quick affair or can be option B if dental work without anesthesia is not available...

Though I have witnessed some absolute abominations of "launches"
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Old 29 May 2011, 16:12   #16
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interesting replies - it shows how many different methods people have.
I keep the boat in a secure yard with slip, and minimise what I leave on - so have to load up most things - flare jar, emergency kit, spare fuel etc. have to get cover off & do all prep in yard before launching (including bung & elephant trunk checks!). Once launched & on pontoon the final bits fire up electronics, check all for LJs & clothing, spare kill cord, chinograph (great for scribbling on console), safety knife etc.. don't take long - 5 min.

If overnighting on pontoon it is about 10 min to load up all we can carry away & do normal checks.

Have toyed with getting perm pontoon berth but considerations include Cost (c. £2K+ v. £300 p.a.), need for bespoke cover, weed / antifoul, ability to flush engine after use etc. would be nice though not to be constrained by tidal launching. Unfortunately I don't live close enough to get out on a whim.
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Old 30 May 2011, 02:49   #17
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I used to keep streaker in the garage all ready to go , a neighbour timed me at 3 mins from pulling away to returning with empty trailer ( slip was 100 yards away - those were the days ) .

Boat didn't even get strapped down for the 100 yards.....

Walk back to boat , start and go ....
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Old 30 May 2011, 04:11   #18
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Old 30 May 2011, 04:17   #19
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interesting replies - it shows how many different methods people have.
I keep the boat in a secure yard with slip, and minimise what I leave on - so have to load up most things - flare jar, emergency kit, spare fuel etc. have to get cover off & do all prep in yard before launching (including bung & elephant trunk checks!). Once launched & on pontoon the final bits fire up electronics, check all for LJs & clothing, spare kill cord, chinograph (great for scribbling on console), safety knife etc.. don't take long - 5 min.

If overnighting on pontoon it is about 10 min to load up all we can carry away & do normal checks.

Have toyed with getting perm pontoon berth but considerations include Cost (c. £2K+ v. £300 p.a.), need for bespoke cover, weed / antifoul, ability to flush engine after use etc. would be nice though not to be constrained by tidal launching. Unfortunately I don't live close enough to get out on a whim.
Then it sounds like you would benefit from having containers with all the things you need for a trip stuffed inside and just transfer these on board when you arrive. That would certainly speed things up!
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Old 30 May 2011, 04:27   #20
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I am between 10 & 15 mins, but used to be nearer 20-25. As said above, I looked at what was the faff & modified the kit. (am now looking at submersible lights to remove another couple of mins faffing) It lives in my garage and has portable tanks, so all the pre checks / fuelling etc can be done the night before. Yeah, the bearing cooling issue is a debatable one, but as also mentioned above bacon rolls and / or loo stop solves that problem nicely......

Probably nearer 15 to revcover by the time everything is hosed down & engine flushed, although that's only 10 if I've been in Loch Lomond 'coz it's fresh so no flush required!

I also have re- rigged a 470 to be able to go from "handbrake on" to Launch & sail in 10 mins. I now can't enter it in the olympics as it doesn't meet class rules for rigging, but as that is a bit of an unlikely scenario, it works for me!
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