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Advice for solo launching and Aluminum Boat Dock?

Question:
I"m really close to upgrading to a 17 ft G3 aluminum boat with a 60 HP Yamaha from my 14 ft johnboat with 8 HP evinrude. I have not been able to identify any devoted fishing buddies (yet), so I usually fish alone. When launching and landing the boat, I seek out very small ramps that are less crowded. Most of these don't have docks, so I just drag my boat on the bank. I'm thinking that I'll have to start using the deeper water ramps now and they are sure to be crowded. Any advice for the solo launcher and Aluminum Boat Dock?


Answer:
-First thing to know is have your boat ready to launch before backing into a launching lane at the ramp.

If the ramp is deep enough and you do not have to back into the water so far that you cannot climb in and drive it off, do so and drive it off. Make sure of the depth and keep your motor tilted up as far as possible. Same with putting the boat on the trailer.

If the launch is too shallow for that method tie a long enough rope to the boat to allow it to float off as you back it in. Make sure you tie the other end to the trailer! Once the boat is off the trailer you can use the rope to bring it to the dock or the shoreline next to the ramp. Watch how other people launch and retrieve their boats to get a better idea of how you want to or don't want do it.

If you get a roller trailer don't make the mistake of disconnecting the boat completely from the trailer until it is partially in the water. On steep ramps I have seen boats roll of the trailer and land on the ramp

-When there is a dirt patch or beach next to the ramp and its not already full of beached boats one easy way to do it is to get your boat all ready to launch and unhook everything. Tie or clip a 50' rope to the bow eye of your boat and to your truck. Back in until the boat starts to float and then step on he brakes hard. After the boat hits the end of the rope pull the truck forward ten or fifteen feet. Get out, grab hold of the rope and pull the boat over to the dirt beach and pull it up far enough so it will stay. Un hook the rope and go park your truck.

In an area with a courtesy dock try and back in with the trailer inches away from the dock. Have a couple dock lines already on the boat cleats on that side. Unhook everything except the bow strap. Loosen that giving it 5 feet of slack or so. Remember to flip the ratchet back to the tighten position. Back in next to the dock until the boat floats free. Get out of your truck, walk down the dock and grab a dock line. Then reach down and unhook the bow strap and walk the boat back along the dock so it is out of the way of somebody else launching. Tie it off and go park your truck.

Where neither is convenient get your truck all lined up and the trailer part way in the water, then ask somebody nearby if they would back you in.

Do it like I heard them southern boys do at a tournament. Just dump your boat in the water and drive away. Go eat some breakfast. Then when you are ready to fish ask somebody to take you out to your boat.


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