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Boat Launch - Retractable Cords?

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Anyone use a retracting rope for self boat launching?  Type?  Ideas?  Thanks.  (18 foot bass boat)

 

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this is gonna be my first season with a boat so i've been pouring thru videos and ideas. this is the best i've found.  guy launches a 33 ft like it's apple pie

 

 

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I'm not exactly sure what you mean by retracting rope. If I'm by myself I get her loaded in the parking lot and make sure plug is in etc.  I put a couple feet of slack on the winch line and I make sure the trolling motor switch is off.   Then I back it till I see the stern floats. I do the trailer walk and get on the bow. That's where the trolling motor off is important. I'm not wanting to accidentally turn it on when I'm getting on the boat. Unhook the winch line and I usually use the trolling motor to move to the courtesy dock.

Launching and loading by myself made me really nervous initially. You'll get a feel for how your boat and trailer act on different ramps over time. The key is to remain calm and you'll figure out the system that works for you. 

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7 minutes ago, Ski213 said:

I'm not exactly sure what you mean by retracting rope. If I'm by myself I get her loaded in the parking lot and make sure plug is in etc.  I put a couple feet of slack on the winch line and I make sure the trolling motor switch is off.   Then I back it till I see the stern floats. I do the trailer walk and get on the bow. That's where the trolling motor off is important. I'm not wanting to accidentally turn it on when I'm getting on the boat. Unhook the winch line and I usually use the trolling motor to move to the courtesy dock.

Launching and loading by myself made me really nervous initially. You'll get a feel for how your boat and trailer act on different ramps over time. The key is to remain calm and you'll figure out the system that works for you. 

The T-H Marine Z-Launch Watercraft Launch Cord is an example of one.

http://thmarine.com/z-launch-watercraft-launch-cord.html

Also - boats equipped with a shallow water anchoring system can use it to maintain the vessels position at the dock - two units is a good idea here rather than just the one.

A-Jay

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I just use a 25' piece of rope tied to the front of the boat and the other end is tied to the trailer near the winch. I back in until the boat slowly floats off trailer then I pull up 5 or so feet so not to step in the water. Untie it and walk it over to the dock tie off and  then go park truck and trailer. No retractable rope needed, just make sure when it's laid in the boat it's done so it will just pull off and not get tangled. 

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I do like above. 25' dock rope hooked to eye and winch hook. Let boat float ofd, pull forward, get out and pull in the boat. Most times I'm out of the truck and unhooking the rope from the winch before all the rope has played out. No need for a shock cord type deal.

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If you're at a place that has a dock next to the ramp, just back it down along side the dock, hop in and unhook the front clip. If you're at one that doesn't I just use my docking lines. I hook one end to the boat eye and the other to the winch strap. Back it down, let it float back some and then slowly pull it back forward. Really no need for any sort of special rope or anything like that. 

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I liked the idea of the TH Marine Z-launch bungee when I first saw it but I didn't like the idea of dragging my new Ranger up on the concrete ramp like the video shows.  SO I made a smaller - shorter version so that I can float the boat back off the trailer then pull forward about 3 feet and have the boat pull up into the trailer bunk boards. This allows me to access the trailer tongue without getting my feet wet, walk out the trailer on a carpeted board that I added along the frame to the boat where I can unhook the bungee and move the boat to the dock or beach it on the sand.  I made mine about 6 feet long out of two sections of heavy duty bungee cord that I found on the internet.  I added a small carabineer to each end and for less than $15 had my custom launch bungee.

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7 hours ago, MDBowHunter said:

I just use a 25' piece of rope tied to the front of the boat and the other end is tied to the trailer near the winch. I back in until the boat slowly floats off trailer then I pull up 5 or so feet so not to step in the water. Untie it and walk it over to the dock tie off and  then go park truck and trailer. No retractable rope needed, just make sure when it's laid in the boat it's done so it will just pull off and not get tangled. 

This was the method I used and worked great. I got some ultimate bunks and had to change my routine. I back the boat back until most of the bunks were covered with watch and then pull up to where I can unhook without getting in the water. I still hook up my 25 foot rope, and give the boat a shove and off it goes.

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16 minutes ago, tander said:

This was the method I used and worked great. I got some ultimate bunks and had to change my routine. I back the boat back until most of the bunks were covered with watch and then pull up to where I can unhook without getting in the water. I still hook up my 25 foot rope, and give the boat a shove and off it goes.

You just have to be real careful with them type of bunks, I watched a guy dump his boat off the trailer about 20' before it was in the water. He was backing down a little fast and hit his brakes to slow down, but the boat was already unhooked from the winch so it kept going. It took about 10 guys to pick his boat up and put it back on the trailer.

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1 hour ago, MDBowHunter said:

You just have to be real careful with them type of bunks, I watched a guy dump his boat off the trailer about 20' before it was in the water. He was backing down a little fast and hit his brakes to slow down, but the boat was already unhooked from the winch so it kept going. It took about 10 guys to pick his boat up and put it back on the trailer.

I don't unhook anything until I know the boat will hit water when I unhook. I believe the web site warns of this. I even installed a safety chain just in case the winchstrap breaks.

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I have been using the Z-Launch off and on over the last few years. I run a big Lowe Aluminum bass boat and just like someone else said I do not want to scratch up my boats' bottom either. So what I do is let it float back till it is off the trailer and only move the trailer forward a few feet, I pause here till the front of the boat settles against the bunks and then pull a little farther forward.  This way the boat just sort of sits near but not on the ramp. I unhook the winch strap and walk the boat to the dock, tie up the dock lines and park my trailer. This works fine for me.  If you watch the manufacturers video they allow the boat to almost slam onto the ramp, but they have a Hamby's protector on their boat.  That is not even an option on aluminum boats.   So if your question is the product worth it ,to me I would say yes definitely. 

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Bought my 25' dock rope and 2 carabiners on Monday.

will give this method a try tomorrow.

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If you're super good at it, you can back it up , with no straps attached , and let it float off the trailer, while simultaneously getting out of your car and gently guiding it with your foot to where you tie it up.  and then  go park your car.  I launch my boat, never use a rope to guide it and i never step foot inside it.  skills to pay the bills son

 

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On February 26, 2016 at 6:37 AM, MDBowHunter said:

I just use a 25' piece of rope tied to the front of the boat and the other end is tied to the trailer near the winch. I back in until the boat slowly floats off trailer then I pull up 5 or so feet so not to step in the water. Untie it and walk it over to the dock tie off and  then go park truck and trailer. No retractable rope needed, just make sure when it's laid in the boat it's done so it will just pull off and not get tangled. 

This is also what I do and have never felt the need for any special rigging.  Simple and easy!

 

Tight lines,

Bob

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13 hours ago, Slade House said:

If you're super good at it, you can back it up , with no straps attached , and let it float off the trailer, while simultaneously getting out of your car and gently guiding it with your foot to where you tie it up.  and then  go park your car.  I launch my boat, never use a rope to guide it and i never step foot inside it.  skills to pay the bills son

 

So you're the guy I saw swimming to his boat.

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Im having trouble getting in and out of my 10e if it is not beached on level ground. Im not real mobile and have arthritis pretty bad in my knees. Anyone else have this issue if boat is not beached pretty good? Refuse to give up but have gone for a swim a few unwanted times. Any suggestions.

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As a guide, I was ALWAYS at the ramp before my clients and had the boat launched and ready to go.  I was always solo as well.  My advise is to try some different methods and one will feel "right" for you and also you may have to have options depending on the launch.  Couple of things that the video didn't cover specific to a bass boat is to make sure your motor toter is off, rear tie downs released, drain plug is in and motor trimmed up!!  My procedure is normally one of 2 ways.  Prep the boat at the ramp, turn on master and TM switches, remove toter, rear tie downs, plug in and tie my dock line to the front cleat of the boat.  Back boat down to the waters edge, truck in park with emergency brake set, get out grab dock line, walk to the proper tie off on the dock where the boat will be in the water and clear the trailer, get back in the truck and float the boat off the trailer, pull up and park the truck.  The only other regular difference is if it is windy I will back the boat down until the rear floats but it is still on the bunks, get in the boat (either from the dock or the trailer), start my moter and drive the boat off the trailer, tie off at the dock then go back and park the truck/trailer.  If there is no dock, I keep the dock line tied to the trailer with enough slack that the boat will clear the trailer, and pull the boat back up on the launch.  I have a KeelShield (everyone should) so there's no scratching of my hull.  Now that I have powerpoles I might use them to hold the boat once launched but it is rare.  

 

 

launch sm.jpg

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^^^this^^^

I add bumpers on the dock side of my boat, never know when a boat wake pushes the boat agianst the dock.

Tom

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On 12/13/2018 at 8:28 AM, TOXIC said:

As a guide, I was ALWAYS at the ramp before my clients and had the boat launched and ready to go.  I was always solo as well.  My advise is to try some different methods and one will feel "right" for you and also you may have to have options depending on the launch.  Couple of things that the video didn't cover specific to a bass boat is to make sure your motor toter is off, rear tie downs released, drain plug is in and motor trimmed up!!  My procedure is normally one of 2 ways.  Prep the boat at the ramp, turn on master and TM switches, remove toter, rear tie downs, plug in and tie my dock line to the front cleat of the boat.  Back boat down to the waters edge, truck in park with emergency brake set, get out grab dock line, walk to the proper tie off on the dock where the boat will be in the water and clear the trailer, get back in the truck and float the boat off the trailer, pull up and park the truck.  The only other regular difference is if it is windy I will back the boat down until the rear floats but it is still on the bunks, get in the boat (either from the dock or the trailer), start my moter and drive the boat off the trailer, tie off at the dock then go back and park the truck/trailer.  If there is no dock, I keep the dock line tied to the trailer with enough slack that the boat will clear the trailer, and pull the boat back up on the launch.  I have a KeelShield (everyone should) so there's no scratching of my hull.  Now that I have powerpoles I might use them to hold the boat once launched but it is rare.  

 

 

launch sm.jpg

 do you think a keelshield is needed for a nice aluminium boat

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On 12/15/2018 at 9:26 PM, GoneFishingLTN said:

 do you think a keelshield is needed for a nice aluminium boat

In my personal opinion, yes.  But there are some aluminum boats that a KeelShield by Gator Guards will not work on.  From the FAQ:

KeelShield will not work on some aluminum boats. Some Alumacraft , G3 Angler, Lowes and Lunds. KeelShield will not conform to boats with the knife like reinforced keelbone. Please contact us for more info on these brands of boats.

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5 hours ago, TOXIC said:

In my personal opinion, yes.  But there are some aluminum boats that a KeelShield by Gator Guards will not work on.  From the FAQ:

KeelShield will not work on some aluminum boats. Some Alumacraft , G3 Angler, Lowes and Lunds. KeelShield will not conform to boats with the knife like reinforced keelbone. Please contact us for more info on these brands of boats.

I have a 2005-tracker v-18 and would would it help for a tin boat just pretect from scratch’s?

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1 hour ago, GoneFishingLTN said:

I have a 2005-tracker v-18 and would would it help for a tin boat just pretect from scratch’s?

Yes, go here and have a read.  Your boat is actually listed as one that you can mount a KeelShield to.  

 

https://www.gator-guards.com/tips-install-keelshield-aluminum-boats/

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