Launching a boat can be nerve-wracking, especially if you don’t have much (or any) experience. However, it’s possible to follow some easy steps to greatly increase your chances of success. Get ready to learn how to get your boat into the water smoothly and safely, every time!
Before you get your vehicle and trailer to the launch site, there are two important things you need to do:
Always prep your boat away from the ramp so you don’t get in anybody’s way or cause unnecessary delays!
Once you are at the site, it’s time to get your boat into the water, one step at a time. Make sure you have equipped your boat with all necessary safety gear, including marine distress signals , boat navigation lights and PFDs for each passenger including children and people being towed. Regular complete boat maintenance is really important to keeping your boat in safe, working condition.
If you’re launching your boat all by yourself, you can attach lines to the bow and the stern, and use them to guide the boat and keep it steady as it releases into the water. Once it’s in the water, tie your boat to the dock, and immediately remove your vehicle from the ramp.
You may not need a bow line if there are two people launching the boat. One person can sit in the boat and drive it off the trailer once it’s ready to launch. Remember to release the winch line beforehand.
You might feel a lot of pressure when launching your boat, especially if there are people watching – and possibly waiting impatiently for their turn. If you are less experienced, this can be pretty unnerving.
Be Prepared: The best way to minimize your anxiety is to be prepared. Prep everything you can away from the launch site, maintain your boat and engine correctly, and memorize the steps you’ll have to follow to get it into the water. This will free up your mind to deal with what’s actually going on during the launch, instead of checking instructions or verifying equipment at the last minute.
Start Your Engine Early: If there are any issues with your boat engine, you can more easily retreat and deal with them if your boat is not already completely in the water. Start your boat engine and let it warm up for a couple of minutes while your boat is still on the trailer and attached to the winch line. If something isn’t working, you can quickly leave the launch site and fix it.
Practice: There’s nothing like practice to make the perfect launch. Gather your courage and try to ignore curious onlookers. There’s a first time for everything. If possible, try launching your boat early in the morning before things get too busy, to give yourself more peace of mind and even a bit of extra time to get your boat in the water.
Once you have a good launch routine, stick with it!
Following good launching etiquette is important. You’ll make more friends than enemies, and avoid accidentally causing damage. Learning the rules of the road with an online boater safety course can be a great way to be sure you’re always following the rules.
Get your state-approved boating licence from Drive A Boat USA today.