How to Launch Your Boat Safely

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Waterskiing, fishing, or just cooling off- there’s nothing like spending a sunny afternoon in a boat. If you’re planning a day on the water with your watercraft, the first step is launching it. Here are some things to look for when you’re at the boat landing.

Trailer Inspection

Before heading to the boat launch:

– Check lights on trailer are working
– Make sure wheel bearings are properly lubricated
– Check the winch to make sure it is working properly 
Remember, every boat trailer is different, so follow the manufacturer’s guidelines.

 

Arrive Prepared

Before you arrive at the boat launch, check:
– Your boat has been properly connected to the trailer
– Drain plugs have been installed
– Buoys/fenders have been tied on
– Mooring lines are attached and can be easily accessed
– Load all equipment into the boat 

Launching

Remember to unplug your boat trailer lights if they are not waterproof. Remove any tie downs that secure the boat to the trailer, but don’t remove the winch line from the bow eye. Slowly back the trailer down the boat launch ramp, until the boat starts to float on its own. Be careful not to submerge the exhaust of the vehicle towing the trailer. Be prepared to handle the boat once it is in the water, either by having a person in the boat, or using a rope.

Keep the trailer winch locked until you are ready to float the boat off the trailer. After you have launched, check the bilges for any leaks.

Practice Makes Perfect

Establish a routine for launching your boat and soon you’ll be a pro.