“It’s not the destination, it’s the journey.” We’ve all likely heard this quote more than a few times in our life. And in many scenarios, it rings true; but with a trailerable boat, this quote needs a slight edit: “It’s about the destination, AND the journey.”
A trailerable boat is your round-trip ticket to visit any ocean, lake or river you desire. Whether you’re driving down the street to your community boat ramp, or setting off on a cross-country adventure with your boat in tow.
Learning how to trailer your boat is easy, and for many boat owners, the true intimidation and nerves kick in at the launch ramp. Be sure to follow these five tips to make your towing and launching experience a breeze…
How to Launch a Boat
1. Know Before You Go
Map out your trip before you and your boat ever leave the driveway. Did you know you can actually use the KnowWake app to find local boat ramps near you?
Decide on your destination and do your research. How many launch ramps are available? Are there public restrooms or wash down stations available for use?
And of course, don’t forget to secure all your gear and equipment before you depart—either in your tow vehicle or strapped down in your boat.
2. Use a Staging Area
Once you get to the launch facility, find yourself an area to park that’s out of the way of the ramp line and passing traffic.
Take advantage of this time in the staging area to get everything you need prepared before you get to the boat ramp. This is a great opportunity to run through a pre-departure checklist:
- Ensure you have all required safety equipment and life jackets for each passenger.
- Check your fuel and oil levels, and check your battery.
- Double check the weather conditions for the day, if necessary.
- And most importantly, don’t forget to put in your drain plug!
3. Utilize Your Crew for Help
Once you’re ready to go, head over to the ramp. If you have a crew with you, ask for their help in guiding you as you back down the ramp—work as a team. Your crew can also assist with docking lines once your boat is off the trailer.
After backing down the ramp, it’s time for launch. Remember, if you do get out of your tow vehicle for any reason while you’re parked on the ramp, always put your parking brake on.
4. Don’t Forget About Boat Ramp Etiquette
Don’t be a “Boat Ramp Champ.” As boaters, we’ve all seen too many #fails while at the launch ramp. Also, don’t be “That guy.” Be courteous, quick and efficient.
Here’s a few things to keep in mind:
- Stay in the staging area until you’re 100% ready to go.
- Don’t hog the ramp.
- When it’s time to retrieve your boat at the end of the day, get your boat back on the trailer and proceed back to a staging area to unload.
5. Practice Makes Perfect
Getting completely comfortable with towing and launching your boat takes time, but after a couple successful trips to the boat ramp, it’ll become routine.
At the end of the day, the more you go, the better you’ll become—and soon it’ll be second nature. And hey, couldn’t we all use an excuse to add a few more boat days to our schedule?