Ramped up: Know how to back in a boat

No one wants to be that guy. You know, the one with nice new boat, the big truck and no idea how to back the boat into the water. You back up, you go forward, you back up, you get out and pretty soon there’s a small crowd and a few snickers. So first things first, you need to know the art of launching and retrieving your boat. And yes, getting the boat out of the water can be just as tricky.
First, you need to find the right place to put in. Are you using public ramps or private? Either way, you should get to know the rules, like how long you can leave your vehicle at the lot while you’re out on the water and if you need decals.
When you arrive at your chosen launch ramp, don’t be too eager to stop, drop and roll or you may end up having your truck, SUV or RV towed out of the water, which is both expensive and embarrassing.
Practice getting to understand your wheel bearings, brakes and seals which will likely be hot after a long haul. According to www.onlinetowingguide.com, “when you stick a hot trailer right in chilly water, all those components undergo rapid cooling, and that leads to rapid contraction, which can lead to water intrusion.” Doing this repeatedly can end up damaging your trailer and shortening the life span.
Give the goods a chance to cool before you launch. Park your vehicle and trailer in a shady spot away from the ramp. Use the time to load gear and get the boat ready for launching. Some ramps even have areas for these tasks so the launch ramp doesn’t get clogged.
Now, remove the tie-down straps at the rear of the boat. Be sure the drain plug is in. Leave the bow strap attached. A steep ramp and slick trailer bunks may mean dumping your boat onto the pavement instead of into the water.
Back the trailer into the water far enough that the tops of the fenders are just above the waterline, just enough to float the boat off the bunks and make backing it off just a matter of shifting into reverse. Depending on your trailer, you might need to back in farther or less.
You should be able to remove the bow strap without getting your feet wet, back the boat off of the trailer, then pull the trailer out and park. Do these steps in reverse to get your boat back out of the water, just be sure to drain excess water.

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