Offloading boat at ramp

RJMurphy4142RJMurphy4142 Posts: 92 Greenhorn
wondering if most people unhook the trailer wench strap from the bow eye prior to putting the boat in the water or do you leave it hooked until the boat is safely backed into the water?

Replies

  • stc1993stc1993 Albany, GA Carrabelle, FLPosts: 4,497 Captain
    I always left it hooked up til I got it in the water.
  • conchydongconchydong Pompano BeachPosts: 3,651 Captain
    I don't trailer anymore but I had a bow line that I would take a couple wraps around the post above the wench and then I would loosen the wench and let the boat slide down until the wench strap lost tension and the bow line had the tension at this point I would unhook the strap. Then I would unwrap the bowline from the post and control the boat with that. Worked for me.

    “Everyone behaves badly--given the chance.”
    ― Ernest Hemingway

  • 4WARD4WARD Cross Creek,FLPosts: 856 Officer
    Depends on the boat, the trailer and the ramp.

    99% of the time, unhooked and ready to drive away.
    I have a 25' dock line for launching solo, I can tie off to the post and launch boat and pull up enough to grab the line and walk it out the dock nice and quick without even getting my feet wet.
    Unless you have roller bunks you will be fine.
    "I hate graveyards and old pawn shops
    For they always bring me tears
    I can't forgive the way they rob me
    Of my childhood souvenirs"... John Prine
  • Salty Dawg44Salty Dawg44 Homosassa, FLPosts: 839 Officer
    I launch alone most of the time. I put an eyebolt on the frame to which I clip a 25' bow line. Then just back down until the boat floats free. Then pull about 5' forward, get out and un-clip the line, and walk out on the dock with the boat attached to the line, and tie the boat up. No slipping or wet feet.


    MY WORST FEAR......THAT WHEN I DIE MY WIFE WILL SELL ALL MY BOATS & FISHING GEAR FOR WHAT I TOLD HER I PAID FOR IT.......

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  • RJMurphy4142RJMurphy4142 Posts: 92 Greenhorn
    Thanks for the replies.  I have a 26’ cc and always keep it hooked up.  I think I can start unhooking it.  
  • SloughSlough S.w. Ga./ St. JamesPosts: 4,337 Captain
    Loosen it, but leave it hooked till the stern is in the water, then unhook and back on in.
    I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you
  • snookaffinitysnookaffinity Naples, FLPosts: 979 Officer
    I had two boats to slide off the trailers onto the ramps. The first I detached the winch strap and safety chain. The second I detached the winch strap and left the safety chain attached. Partially straightened the hook on the safety chain and the boat slid off the trailer onto the ramp. I leave both attached now until the trailer is in the water and ready to launch. Very embarrassing winching the boat onto the trailer from the ramp with an audience. Fortunately very little damage to either of the boats.
    "It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt." - Mark Twain
  • mik8881mik8881 Posts: 101 Deckhand
    I think it all depends on your boat and trailer setup . I unhook my Mako completely and just tie a bow line to the winch frame and slide her in . My boat is heavy enough I’m not worried about it sliding off. My buddies small whaler ended up on the ramp using the same method. 
  • SportsFanSportsFan Posts: 134 Deckhand
    For me on my 196 Bayreef I leave the strap hooked until the boat floats then unhook it. Generally as it's just me I tie a dock line with plenty of slack which allows me to gain control of the boat with minimal effort. 
    Years ago with my big first boat I unhooked the strap and safety chain and backed my new 24 ft boat down the ramp. All was fine until I hit the breaks and the boat started sliding off the trailer. Yep it had a roller trailer. Saving grace was I realized what was happening and hit the gas still in reverse. The boat made one hell of a splash but made it to the water unscathed. Luckily again it floated out past the dock and no other boats were around. 
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  • andrewthe1andrewthe1 Posts: 606 Officer
    edited May 29 #11
    I have seen four boats unhooked fall off the trailer while backing down ALL FOUR OFFENDERS SAID THEY DO IT ALL THE TIME.....Why anyone would unhook is beyond me, not worth the risk.....takes a sec to do once safely in water.
    we need more internet money
  • acme54321acme54321 Posts: 284 Deckhand
    If solo I disconnect the safety chain and pull out about a foot of extra winch strap before backing down.  Then back in until the boat is just barely floating, climb over the bow, unhook the strap and back the boat off of the trailer.  

    If with someone else I back it down until the boat is hanging over the water, then disconnect the chain, strap, and climb on the boat.  Then the someone else can back me into the water.  

    No way I'd completely disconnect before backing down the ramp.  I've had a winch strap snap while pulling a boat out of the water and hadn't connected the safety chain.  Wasn't my boat and there were people in it.  I about crapped myself.  After that if the boat is compeltely on the hard it's fully strapped.
  • CyclistCyclist Posts: 22,777 AG
    edited May 29 #13
    4ward and Sportsfan mentioned roller bunks! Mine were like greased lightening!
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  • Alex from GAAlex from GA Posts: 1,185 Officer
    My buddy and I launch his bass boat several times a week.  We take all the straps off, I back it down the ramp until the lower unit is in the water and when he starts it I back it a couple of more feet and slam on the brakes.  When we're taking it out I back it down the ramp the right distance, he drives it on the trailer and when the bow hits the chock I pull it out slowly.  Once on a flat surface we tie it down and go home.  We've been doing it this way for over 15 years without a problem.  
  • AC ManAC Man Posts: 3,843 Captain
    Why take the chance loading or unloading the boat without the winch hooked up. 

    I saw Home Land Security with their 39ft CC sitting on the concrete ramp in St. Augustine. 
  • grey2112grey2112 Posts: 122 Deckhand

    On my wife's boat (Key West 1720) we leave it strapped, back into water, then release.  My boat, a 25 foot Cobia WA, gets unhitched totally.  I have to back it in quite deep before it even begins to move off the trailer, and even then I have to gun the engine in reverse to get it off the trailer.  It has bottom paint and the bunks are carpeted and the boat is somewhat back-heavy, so it sticks like Velcro to the bunks.  I also back up slowly and the ramp isn't too steep.



  • surfmansurfman WC FLPosts: 4,228 Captain
    The boat ramp can be a fun place to watch all kinds of action. The one in Tarpon Springs has a group of old timers that spend their Saturdays sitting there watching the show. Kind of sad really.
    Tight Lines, Steve
    My posts are my opinion only.
  • SportsFanSportsFan Posts: 134 Deckhand
    I guess it's relative to the ramp. There are some ramps that don't have to much incline. My current boat has bunks and would have to float to slide off on those ramps. However at the new ramp at Fort Hamer Pk the ramp is way steep. I think the boat would slide off just backing it down. I also notice down here in Fl I don't see many boat trailers with rollers. I suspect that's because most ramps are relatively flat. Up around the Chesapeake Bay area it seemed that bunk trailers were not common at all.    
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  • pottydocpottydoc Posts: 2,176 Captain
    I've launched boats 1000's of time over the years. Unless I'm solo, it's unhooked. Bsak into the water, guy in boat starts the motor, back up a little further, and it floats off. Driver pulls it out of the way, and picks up the truck driver from the end of the dock or other area. I've never even had one move an inch backing down. Granted, all were bunk trailers, and all ramps where you do not tie up at the launching dock. The only boat that stays hooked is our Gator boat. A lot of people he places we launch it we have to shove it off and crank it back on dry, so we have slick sticks on the bunks, and the bottom is painted with a product called Frog Spit. You better hook the bow, and tie down the stern, or it will slide around on the trailer when you go around a corner. Boats with roller trailers probably should remain hooked also. I've seen several of them on the concrete. 
  • MelbourneMarkMelbourneMark Posts: 1,508 Captain
    My buddy and I launch his bass boat several times a week.  We take all the straps off, I back it down the ramp until the lower unit is in the water and when he starts it I back it a couple of more feet and slam on the brakes.  When we're taking it out I back it down the ramp the right distance, he drives it on the trailer and when the bow hits the chock I pull it out slowly.  Once on a flat surface we tie it down and go home.  We've been doing it this way for over 15 years without a problem.  

    I do that everytime with my 17ft key west.  First thing I taught my wife (then GF) was to teach her how to start motor and back off and dock boat.  She also drives it up trailer. 
  • Rich MRich M Posts: 1,010 Officer
    I had two boats to slide off the trailers onto the ramps. The first I detached the winch strap and safety chain. The second I detached the winch strap and left the safety chain attached. Partially straightened the hook on the safety chain and the boat slid off the trailer onto the ramp. I leave both attached now until the trailer is in the water and ready to launch. Very embarrassing winching the boat onto the trailer from the ramp with an audience. Fortunately very little damage to either of the boats.
    Same here - did this once many years ago. 

    I run a small boat and don't dunk the trailer - have to push it off trailer, so unhook when ready to do that.  I also have not had a wheel bearing issue in well over 20 years so I'm not likely to change how I do things.
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