trailer launching

fisherman

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Watching the antics of people on the slip this week, do you
Reverse down the slip at high speed and jam on the brakes hoping the boat will launch itself?

Drown the trailer wheels but stop when your car tyres touch the water, then struggle with the boat?

Drown the car wheels as well, and float the boat off?
 

CliveG

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We spend a hour or so getting the mast up before we go near the slip.
This allows the wheel bearings cool down.
Then we back up to the top of the slip, ensure that the trailer is lined up. and put the trailer brakes on and choc the wheels.
We then uncouple the car and fix a rope from the trailer to the car.
We have 3rd axle at the front of the trailer to ensure the trailer runs straight.
We take the load, remove the chocs and let the brakes of and in with her.
Trailer wheels are washed off after the launch.

We have used this on about 4 different slips.
Not had a problem yet.
 

Searush

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It has also been known for car & trailer rig to be left on slipway at low water while owner off playing.

Initially to the immense annoyance of other users, then, eventually to their immense amusement!!
 

fastjedi

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I'd second the use of a rope between the car and the trailer. Have to be a bit careful when recovering though. I've seen people do it without having someone on handbrake duty .... once you are on the flat the boat trailer is free to catch the car up!

One thought ... If they are "trailer lauching" they are doing it all wrong ... The objective it to sail off in the boat?
/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif
 

Lakesailor

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Used the tractor in the past. I don't pay for it as I have a mooring, New boat I can nearly float off with the trailer on the car, but it's only a few seconds work to chock the wheels and move the car forward to put a strop inbetween. Then it's easy. Recovering it's best to stop on the incline and chock the trailer wheels before backing down to it and re-hitching. Just make sure you can trust the chocks/handbrake combination.
Like Clive says, let the bearings cool before launching. It stops the vacuam effect of suddenly cooled hot bearings sucking water in past the seals.
Most of my launching is fresh water so I'm not too concerned about corrosion.
 

Sixpence

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Reverse trailer onto slip , trailer connected to truck by tow bar and winch , once the trailer is on the slope I detach the tow hook and chock the trucks wheels then winch the trailer down and in , one man on the boat , one guiding the trailer with the winch control till she floats free . Don't tell me I'm one of the muppets you laugh at ? /forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif
 

Allan

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I've had speedboats, a Dory and now own a 22 foot Etap. I have never used a rope. I'm not saying it is the wrong way, just that I've never seen the need. I now have a break back trailer, after rigging the boat I reverse down so the trailor tyres are just in the water with the pin removed. The boat will then slip into the water. I've always thought that the reason trailers have rollers is for boats to roll into the water, not float off. When recovering I pull the boat up with the winch, if I can ever afford a stainless steel trailer I may start to put it in the water, until that time I'll keep it out.
Allan
 

johnpye

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Has anyone experience of using a trailer with a launching dolly?
I'm looking for a trailer for an Etap 21 and one of the dealers recommends this as better than getting the trailer wheels in the water.
 

erbster

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I know this post is quite old, but I was after some launching advice for my trailer sailer (Cape Cutter 19). When my tow vehicle's tyres are in the water, the boat is still high and dry, so a rope launch seems suitable. I know the boat and trailer is supposed to weigh about 1700kg w/out kit in the boat (obviously the rope does not bear anything like the full weight of the boat, but taking the slack going up the slipway must put a big load on the rope)

What sort of rope should I use? I cant find much information on the SWL of ropes. Last time I launched at Northney, I used a sheet (10mm I think) doubled up. Launching was not too bad (but any onlookers would have had a laugh to watch us), but I had kittens as we pulled the rig up the slipway out. I was terrified the rope would snap and the trailer would drop into the sludge.

Thoughts please..?
 

Lakesailor

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If you look at tow ropes made up you'll see that even crappy looking ones are rated at (this one) 4500lbs (is that nearly two tons?)

2494_35.JPG

Or you could buy a webbing strap for a trailer winch.
 

RalphyM

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With a front wheel drive car, I'm with the rope approach. It takes an hour or so to get the boat rigged so the bearings will have cooled. When ready to go:

- Reverse trailer onto slip, car on the flat
- Line on (about 40m of 12mm Braided line) to trailer and tow hitch
- brakes on and uncouple (I should chock I know but am also lazy)
- Lower trailer down slip using rope until wheels under water (stern just lifting)
- let trailer winch off and a big shove to get the boat to move.

2 things I've learnt. Remove the tie down strap before you put the boat in the water. Make sure the keel is all the way up before you try and launch.

Similarly I always use the line to pull the trailer out and leave the car on the flat. It puts some strain on the jockey wheel but at least I don't worry about the car slipping on a slimey ramp...

I've just given up on regular launching and am now on a mooring.
 

Ru88ell

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I use a long rope, but not until I've reversed the trailer to the water's edge. Then I switch to rope and lower the rig in using a climbing figure 8 descendeur in standard friction mode.

I use all of the rope at QAB Plymouth, yet don't need it at all for Northney. There's quite some variance of slip angles about.

http://youtu.be/Zt2vOU643tE
 

Lakesailor

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- Reverse trailer onto slip, car on the flat
- Line on (about 40m of 12mm Braided line) to trailer and tow hitch
- brakes on and uncouple (I should chock I know but am also lazy)
- Lower trailer down slip using rope until wheels under water (stern just lifting)
- let trailer winch off and a big shove to get the boat to move.

you forgot
- Make long painter fast to trailer winch post before pushing boat off :D
 

aquaplane

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2 things I've learnt. Remove the tie down strap before you put the boat in the water. Make sure the keel is all the way up before you try and launch.

I prefer to think of these cockups as learning experiences, having learnt the same things my self.

I have a 10m strap, bought from a garage that does tiedown straps, but with a loop on each end instead of the ratchet mechanism, it works for me.
 
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