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Adam Groom

Launch with a truck bed cap

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Hello All,

 

I'm looking for some advice on launching my new boat. My truck has a cap on the bed. Today during my first launch was difficult due to how far up the water comes to the truck during launch. My buddy recommended taking off the cap, which would allow me to step on the tire and into the bed to launch and tie off when I am fishing alone.

I was thinking it must be possible to tie to the bow with a rope, launch, pull the truck up some and pull it in with a rope to tie off. The truck has tie-down hooks in the bed or even a knot on the hitch could work. I mentioned these both and he insisted that was dangerous and he wouldn't do it. 

Does anyone have advice, recommendations, or experience with this? 

Thank you!

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The way you suggested is one way. Another is to tie a rope to the bow and the other end to the trailer on the post that holds the winch. Back the boat in until it floats off, pull the truck and trailer out far enough where you can untie the rope from the trailer without getting your feet wet, and pull the boat to tie it off. Surely no need to remove your truck cap. Unless you don't know how to tie a knot securely, there is no danger at all. We have a rope that is just the right length with a clasp for attaching to the boat, and a loop that goes over the post that the winch is on. we don't even have to tie any knots.

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I use this and it works really well: 

 

There are other videos to watch on you tube. The factory ones show you pulling the trailer out farther and letting the boat settle on a concrete ramp.I never do that i let it settle back on my trailer and then push it off as I climb on as he does.

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I use a much longer rope.  And, I back the trailer in slowly until it floats, then I just pull forward, with the boat at rest in the water.  The boat is sitting still with no momentum.  The rope is long enough so the trailer has no part of it in or above the water.  With the trailer clear of the water, I can then pull the boat onto the ramp by hand.

 

Don't do this without some type of keel guard on the bow of your boat.  Concrete and gel coat are not compatible.

 

One other thing.  Use a polyester rope or something similar that doesn't have a lot of stretch.  Nylon is like having the boat on a slingshot.  The line will stretch quite a bit to get the boat moving.  Once it does start to move, there is a lot of energy stored in the line which will shoot the boat forward.

 

I have found that you cannot have too long a line, within reason.  But it is possible to have a line that is too short.

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Alright! Great - thanks, everyone! This makes me feel much more confident about keeping the cap on the bed. 

I did find one other video where the angler ties to the winch stand and it seems to work perfect. I think that will be just the right setup for me. I do think the keel guard will be important as many places I fish there is no dock to tie off on.

 

Many thanks! ☺️

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Here's mine.  I have an eye splice which slips over the step in the winch stand.  The clip is stainless steel, available at Home Depot and other hardware stores.  I think it was about seven dollars.  I coil up the line then use the bungees to keep the line secure to the stand.

 

The clip is always attached to the bow eye.  I disconnected it for the sake of the photo.

 

Boat%20launching%20line%203_zpse6dytdz4.

 

Boat%20launching%20line%202_zpslym1iqf9.

 

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Works great until the rope snaps. Or it's windy and heavy current and the boat blows sideways onto a bunk. I've had one of my lesser experienced friends hold the rope while I backed the truck down. Everything went fine and I parked the truck only to walk down the ramp and see him holding the rope with the boat blown sideways onto the bank getting pounded by waves with the lower unit in rip rap ABOVE the waterline. Even a motor trimmed all the way up is not safe. What do you use the bed cover for and can you walk on it? Muck Boots can be your friend 

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1 hour ago, TnRiver46 said:

Works great until the rope snaps. Or it's windy and heavy current and the boat blows sideways onto a bunk. I've had one of my lesser experienced friends hold the rope while I backed the truck down. Everything went fine and I parked the truck only to walk down the ramp and see him holding the rope with the boat blown sideways onto the bank getting pounded by waves with the lower unit in rip rap ABOVE the waterline. Even a motor trimmed all the way up is not safe. What do you use the bed cover for and can you walk on it? Muck Boots can be your friend 

Good points as well. These seem more like general launching safety tips, ya know? Regardless, it helps me gain wisdom. Thank you.

2 hours ago, Fishing Rhino said:

Here's mine.  I have an eye splice which slips over the step in the winch stand.  The clip is stainless steel, available at Home Depot and other hardware stores.  I think it was about seven dollars.  I coil up the line then use the bungees to keep the line secure to the stand.

 

The clip is always attached to the bow eye.  I disconnected it for the sake of the photo.

 

Boat%20launching%20line%203_zpse6dytdz4.

 

Boat%20launching%20line%202_zpslym1iqf9.

 

Boat%20launching%20line%204_zpsbfh5q13n.

Cool setup! Thanks for sharing.

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I like this option best LOL

 

 

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That'd work great till the battery went out on your remote.

I fish by myself most of the time and a rope works great. in fact, i use it even when i have someone with me. they usually just slow me down. one thing i learned the hard way: when you pull the boat up to shore after launching, drop the rope on the ground not in the boat. had to go swimming after my boat on the river once. 

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1 hour ago, bagofdonuts said:

That'd work great till the battery went out on your remote.

There is an app for your phone that will work as a remote so even if your remote battery dies you can still operate the motor.

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22 hours ago, LoweStinger said:

I like this option best LOL

 

 

I have seen this with my own eyes. A guy back up his truck and slam on brake, the boat then launch into water. I almost yelled at the guy until I saw that trolling motor arm came up and deployed. It was so d**n cool.

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this was the main reason I almost went with the Ulterra instead of the Terrova, decided in the end it just wasn't worth it..sometimes I regret that decision lol

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