Trailer Taming-Single Handed Launch/Recovery

Discussion in 'Boat Tips' started by Pogo, Jul 19, 2007.

  1. Pogo

    Pogo New Member

    North Carolina
    Of we independent boaters who tend to do everything by
    themselves, trailering a boat can sometimes be an absolute
    nightmare particularly in situations where the Tide, the
    Current and the Wind all seem to be conspiring against you.

    Growing up, I was pretty small until I hit High school (and
    I'm still not all that big) and at eleven years old, my 14'
    lapstrake Mahogany "Wolverine" weighed far more than I did
    and the freeboard that made it a good "heavy water" craft
    also made it very tough to handle in a high wind. Putting in
    and taking out on Lake Erie where the wind can come suddenly
    and out of nowhere, I figured I needed something to help even
    the score.

    To be sure, there were generally helpful people around and
    sometimes I accepted their assistance, but even in the few
    times I did, I resented having to do that. I knew that someday,
    I was going to have to be able to do this all on my own.

    I wrestled with this problem, (and Mother Nature) until I
    figured out a system whereby I could singlehandedly control
    both the Bow and Stern and alleviate all but the very worst

    Pictured here are two views of a modification I installed to
    my trailer. Simply put, it's a swivelling pulley mounted on
    the winch support. That allows me to run a line from the bow,
    through the pulley and to the dock from where I can handle an
    additional line from the stern.

    As you can see from the illustration, the Tide is trying to
    run the boat into the slip. The Wind (generally far more a
    factor than the Current) is trying to blow the boat away from

    All I had to do was try to make fast to the upwind side of the
    slip; the rest is duck soup.

    Even if I don't do a very good job and end up on the downwind
    slip side, all I need do is: make fast, throw a stern line to
    the upwind dock, run a bow line through the pulley and pull the
    boat over to my side ... where it is far easier to control.

    Now I can maintain boat centering on the trailer while I pull
    the boat into the trailer guides. Once I can reach the bow with
    the trailer line, it's all over but the shouting ...

    Attached Files:

  2. AwShucks

    AwShucks New Member

    Guthrie, Oklaho
    The only place I have ever ran across a ramp with docks or slips alongside was on the Chesapeake Bay. I think I must have left half a pound of fiberglass on those docks. Your system would have sure worked wonders then. Since I left the Chesapeake though, I just find a ramp...nothing else. If the winds blowing hard, as it usually does in Oklahoma with Texas so close, it gets to be slightly difficult at times to load the boat. I fabricated some trailer guides out of 1 1/2 metal tubing, put on some 2 X 4 side rails and at the very least I can get the nose of the boat on the rollers. Not the best yet, but it works. Don't like to run the motor to drive the boat on the trailer as it does wash away the bottom from the end of the ramp. I am being courteous to other boaters, but know they don't return that favor. Just hope its not my axle that gets busted.

  3. Pogo

    Pogo New Member

    North Carolina
    You're right about that ... Texas (and much of the mid-west) is pretty shy on docks.

    Living on the North Carolina coast, however, they are the rule here rather than the exception ... same as when I was in Md and VA.

    But ... figured someone might find it useful.
  4. smhmc6

    smhmc6 Member

    Well, there have been several posts about unloading/loading your boat on your trailer by yourself lately... and I didn't have anyone to fish with tonight, so I thought I'd try it out for myself. Used the rope to the end of the trailer attached to the boat method for unloading. The boat slipped right off, pulled it back in, parked, got in the boat and headed on my way. For loading I sort of beeched it, backed my trailer down, got back in the boat, put it on the trailer, walked up the center beam into the bed of my truck.... everything went great. Worked alot more smoothly then I could have imagined... but got home and realized that I left my drain plug on my bumper and it must be somewhere between home and the next county :embarassed::smile2:. Some things you just have to laugh about. Being new to boating, guess its one of those little things hard to remember. Now, I just hope I can remember to get a new one before I go out again... sure would make for a bad trip if I don't :smile2:.
  5. AwShucks

    AwShucks New Member

    Guthrie, Oklaho
    You will generally only forget to put the drain plug in once... it's just flat too embarrassing to make a habit out of forgetting. May want to tie a cord to the plug so it stays with the boat. LOL
  6. TDawgNOk

    TDawgNOk Gathering Monitor (Instigator)

    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    also, when you buy that replacement, buy 2 or 3. Keep an extra one in your boat, and an extra one in the glove box of your truck.