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Launching and loading

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I made two improvements to my launching and loading.  The first is how I handle the line when launching alone.  The line has a clip on one end for attachment to the bow eye, and a loop which slides over the step.

The line is stowed on the winch stand and tongue.  There are two lines in the images which illustrate the stowed position and the launch position.  The line is stowed on the winch stand and tongue, secured by bungee loops and balls.  I remove the line from the winch stand and clip the line to the bow eye and slide the loop over the step.  It can be seen in the lower picture.  I put the coiled line in the plastic bowl.  It is the bottom of a plastic barrel, which is secured to the trailer frame with heavy duty cable ties.

 

This barrel happened to be red.  I coated it with a Rustoleum rubberized black paint, the sanded the top edge, exposing the red plastic.  It sort of matches the red pin stripes on the trailer.

 

One important thing.  Make sure the coils of the line are oriented so the boat pulls the line off top of the coiled line.

 

I like a long line, fifty to sixty feet.  I also prefer polyester or dacron to nylon.  Nylon is stretchy, which tends to slingshot the boat.  I prefer to float the boat off the trailer as opposed to backing up quickly, then braking to slide the boat off the trailer.  I'll back the rig until the boat is floating.  I then pull the trailer from under the boat.  If the boat moves when I start forward, I'll back up further, until I can pull the trailer from under the boat without moving the boat.

 

The winch is a Fulton F2 (two speed) which replaces the winch that came with the rig.  Got it from Amazon.  The price was about 125 bucks plus sales tax if it applies.  If I knew then, what I know now, I would have replaced the winch before I even used the boat.  Massachusetts does not allow power launching and there are some ramps that require you to drag the boat onto the trailer.  Yes, if you don't mind getting into the water, you can easily winch the boat onto the trailer.  But this winch can drag the boat onto the trailer and you don't have to strain when the winch is in low gear.

 

I bought this winch because I stripped the handle from the shaft loading on one of the difficult ramps.

 

 

12a780a8-87a6-45a6-a153-857cf36d6612-ori

 

60183a9a-6673-474b-ad9e-15f3d2694154-ori

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What diameter rope? I've attempted to use a rope to launch solo, to reduce the in and out of the truck time, and it got hung up and snapped. I hesitate to purchase the bungee thing that is currently on the market for fear of losing the boat. As far as the winch, I may get one soon. I've already replaced the strap and some hardware on the stock winch that came from Shoreland'r 

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slonezp I use the "bungee thing" regularly. It is called a "Z-Launch and I love it for launching alone. It is much more beefed up than you would think. I do not sling shot my boat quite as radically as you see in their videos though. I am a little more gentle than that, but it works great for me. 

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7 hours ago, slonezp said:

What diameter rope? I've attempted to use a rope to launch solo, to reduce the in and out of the truck time, and it got hung up and snapped. I hesitate to purchase the bungee thing that is currently on the market for fear of losing the boat. As far as the winch, I may get one soon. I've already replaced the strap and some hardware on the stock winch that came from Shoreland'r 

It's 5/6" or 3/8".  There are two lines in the photos.  The bungees secure the line to the jack stand when travelling.  The bungees come off for launching, and the coil of line is placed in the bucket.  Sorry for the confusion.  

 

Check the second image.  You can see the coil of line placed over the step pad that protrudes from the winch stand, with a coil on it.  You can also see the large loop in the second photo hanging from the step pad.

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Ya'll make it too fancy and complicated.  I use a piece of rope the length of the boat with hooks that snap closed on both ends.  One end goes in the bow loop, the rope is run down the side of the boat and snaps into a loop on the back of the trailer.  That gives 20 feet of space between the back of the boat and trailer.  After launching the boat, I just ease forward until the back of the trailer is clear the edge of the water and it's pulling the boat along behind it.  The boat usually drifts right on up to the trailer, as long as you don't pull forward too fast, then the boat might want to try and knock the trailer out of it's way.   Then I just unclip it and put the boat where I want it or get in it an park it at the dock if there is one.

Just make sure the trailer does not have things that can hang the rope as the boat is sliding back.  My bunk boards are in a way it doesn't hang the front of those and there's nothing else on my trailer to interfere.

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Fancy setup - pretty cool 😎 

 

Unfortunately, a lot my ramps are too busy or exposed to main lake winds, so best thing is simply never let the boat leave the trailer. Back up, use truck bed to enter boat, start up and relocate boat to dock, then come back for truck. For me, using ropes ended up being too much trouble most days.

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34 minutes ago, Team9nine said:

Fancy setup - pretty cool 😎 

 

Unfortunately, a lot my ramps are too busy or exposed to main lake winds, so best thing is simply never let the boat leave the trailer. Back up, use truck bed to enter boat, start up and relocate boat to dock, then come back for truck. For me, using ropes ended up being too much trouble most days.

^^^ this is what I do.

I usually let out about 5 foot of the winch strap so the boat gets off of the roller. Back it down just until the back of the boat is floating. Jump in the box. Lower the tailgate, Then walk out the tongue and into the boat.

Don't like dragging my boat up onto the ramp. even with a hull guard.

 

I bought this Tire step at Cabelas to get up into the box. Helps this old man get up over the tire. Plus I never have to step into the water.

Viking Solutions Step-Up Tire Step

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I'm always fishing solo. 

Launching early season means no docks in yet.

Pro-V drafts 16 inches or so.

With a controlled launch where rig is floating just off trailer, deploying talons - boat sit there waiting for me.

With a pair of light hip boots on & off - I'm done. 

Reverse the operation to recover.

Super easy. 

Once the docks are in - it's like cheating.

Pic below, rig's Talon's down & sitting in 20 inches or knee deep on me. 

large.5904b847d3e06_ScenicLund1a.jpg.a3967738f65466c3b6632d0af5a110df.jpg

:smiley:

A-Jay

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2 hours ago, Team9nine said:

Fancy setup - pretty cool 😎 

 

Unfortunately, a lot my ramps are too busy or exposed to main lake winds, so best thing is simply never let the boat leave the trailer. Back up, use truck bed to enter boat, start up and relocate boat to dock, then come back for truck. For me, using ropes ended up being too much trouble most days.

^^^Me too^^^

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I just bought an Ulterra.  That solved all of the launching problems.

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3 hours ago, Team9nine said:

Fancy setup - pretty cool 😎 

 

Unfortunately, a lot my ramps are too busy or exposed to main lake winds, so best thing is simply never let the boat leave the trailer. Back up, use truck bed to enter boat, start up and relocate boat to dock, then come back for truck. For me, using ropes ended up being too much trouble most days.

^ I also do it the same way, although I also add the talon to the mix much like A-Jay, sometimes it’s faster this way than to use a dock, especially if the dock is a distance away. 

14 minutes ago, Jig Man said:

I just bought an Ulterra.  That solved all of the launching problems.

I’m sure this works great, but I wonder how many boats have been seen slowly drifting away as the driver stands on shore watching. Like any other technology, it works great until the day it doesn’t. I don’t think I could rely on my trolling motor only for launching. 

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I have a 21 foot heavy glass boat with a 250.  I launch alone most of the time.  I never hook a rope to my bow eye because unless I planned on leaving it there all day I would have to lay on my deck to unhook it and there's not a lot of room up there with graphs, TM, rod tips, etc.  I just use a long rope tied to my front cleat.  I can either walk the rope over to the dock and tie it off, then back the boat in the water until it floats off or I can stop as soon as the rear of the boat floats and I walk over to the dock and pull the boat off the trailer and to the dock.  I do not have to launch where there are no docks but if I did, I would just tie to my cleat and to the winch stand and gently float the boat off the trailer and pull up until it grounded on the ramp behind the trailer.  

launch sm.jpg

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What I do with the "leash" depends on where I launch.  In some places I can beach the boat and step onto the boat from dry land.  If that's the case, I can unclip the leash from the bow eye.  If there is a dock at the ramp, I can unclip it from the bow eye at the dock.

 

If for some reason or another I leave the boat clipped to the line, I make a small coil of line and put the post for the leaning stand through the coil with no slack for the leash from the post to the bow eye.  The coil is small enough that there is no chance for me to get a loop around my foot.

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If the launch ramp has a dock you don't need a bow rope, use my dock ropes attached to boat cleats and bumpers if windy. Unhook the trailer wench,  back up next the the dock until the boat starts to move, get out and tie a dock ropes with some slack to the dock and pull the trailer out. Never had a problem launching alone if a dock is availble.

Today most of the newer boat have remote TM controls and anglers alone launch the boat and let drift and bring the boat to the dock using the TM remote.

Years ago I used a bow rope and the rope hook clip broke, never again. The bungee luanch rope system look like it would work if no dock is available. Me, no dock no luanching if I am alone.

 

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21 hours ago, Way2slow said:

Ya'll make it too fancy and complicated.  I use a piece of rope the length of the boat with hooks that snap closed on both ends.  One end goes in the bow loop, the rope is run down the side of the boat and snaps into a loop on the back of the trailer.  That gives 20 feet of space between the back of the boat and trailer.  After launching the boat, I just ease forward until the back of the trailer is clear the edge of the water and it's pulling the boat along behind it.  The boat usually drifts right on up to the trailer, as long as you don't pull forward too fast, then the boat might want to try and knock the trailer out of it's way.   Then I just unclip it and put the boat where I want it or get in it an park it at the dock if there is one.

Just make sure the trailer does not have things that can hang the rope as the boat is sliding back.  My bunk boards are in a way it doesn't hang the front of those and there's nothing else on my trailer to interfere.

I do it exactly this way and it works fine.  If you loop the rope around the head of the trolling motor you don't have to stand on your head to reach it when on the water.  The forces are all negligible so it won't damage the motor.

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3 minutes ago, MickD said:

I do it exactly this way and it works fine.  If you loop the rope around the head of the trolling motor you don't have to stand on your head to reach it when on the water.  The forces are all negligible so it won't damage the motor.

You're a brave man!  No way am I wrapping a tow rope around my $2,400 Ultrex.... I'd have a conniption if I damaged it by using it as a tow hook. 

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7 minutes ago, Big Rick said:

You're a brave man!  No way am I wrapping a tow rope around my $2,400 Ultrex.... I'd have a conniption if I damaged it by using it as a tow hook. 

I  agree. 

Weight of truck vs weight of boat.  NO!!!! 

there are better things to wrap the rope around.

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58 minutes ago, Russ E said:

I  agree. 

Weight of truck vs weight of boat.  NO!!!! 

there are better things to wrap the rope around.

ranger_z521_cleats.jpg

 

Just say'in.

:smiley:

A-Jay

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31 minutes ago, A-Jay said:

ranger_z521_cleats.jpg

 

Just say'in.

:smiley:

A-Jay

exactly. That or the bow eye are the only things that get a rope attached on my boat.

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3 hours ago, Big Rick said:

ou're a brave man!  No way am I wrapping a tow rope around my $2,400 Ultrex.... I'd have a conniption if I damaged it by using it as a tow hook. 

You are failing to understand that when you float the boat off the trailer this way, at least the way I do it,  it's a very gentle process; the rope is slack most of the time, a little nudge now and then.  The stresses involved are not even close to the stresses that motor endures on the water-they are minuscule.

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I'm like the rest of them on the TM wrap.  No, I don't launch it hard, just a little nudge off the trailer when I use this method.  Most of the time the boat does not even clear the back of the trailer and the trailer just slides out from under it.  However, when Murphy's law comes calling, s*** happens and I don't care to have a $1,600 TM being involved in any part of the equation.  On mine, it's just a matter of putting one hand on the bow to hold yourself and reaching under to undo the clip, no major problem.   On my last boat, the rope would sometimes want to hang the front of the bunks as the boat slid back and I would lay the rope over the TM's skeg to get that little extra clearance to get by the front of the bunks, but it easily slid right off as soon as there was any drag on the rope. 

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The weight of the boat going the opposite direction of the tow vehicle and trailer creates very high loads, the reason the bungee rope was invented to absorb the shock to prevent breaking the rope or hook clip. You back down the ramp and make a sudden stop to get the boat moving off the trailer may seem like a gentle nudge until it reaches the end of the rope, then you pull forward pulling the boat by the tethered rope back towards the trailer so you can get in without getting wet feet. What could go wrong tieing off to the TM.....remember I said I broke a hook clip, it was 3/8 dia brass.

Tom

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On 11/26/2018 at 4:42 PM, A-Jay said:

I'm always fishing solo. 

If you ever get lonely. . .     I've seen your pics, could drive up for a day with you to sample some of that kind of smallie fishing.  Neat rig, too.  I took your advice and use the Lucas on my black Lund and it looks like new after two years.  

16 hours ago, WRB said:

he weight of the boat going the opposite direction of the tow vehicle

No it doesn't.  As the boat s-l-o-w-l-y floats off the trailer the vehicle is going nowhere.  The loads are almost nothing. 

 

I can understand everyone doing what they are comfortable with-they should do exactly that.  

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I clip a long rope to my cleat. Back the trailer in until the boat starts to float and rise up off the trailer. I grab the rope, unhook the winch and push the boat away. I walk down the dock and tie the boat off. Go park my truck and come back and start my boat and I get my gear organized out of the way without blocking the ramp while I get my electronics/gear ready. 

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