Tips for Boat Launches
Time out on the water is precious, and making the most of it is essential! For this reason, you want to make the process of getting offshore as quick and easy as possible. A big part of this process is the boat launch. If your boat is docked at a marina, they can most likely launch it for you for a price. If your boat is on a trailer and you plan to launch it yourself, we have tips that will be very useful in making the action go smoothly! These 5 tips are critical whether you are a pro, or you are teaching a family member or friend who is helping with the launch.
WEAR CLOTHES THAT CAN GET WET
This may seem obvious, but it can be easily overlooked when you are struggling to get everything ready. Wear clothes, SHOES, accessories, etc. that can get wet without being damaged. Shoes are the most important part, because these will get wet as soon as you begin to launch, and you need to be wearing shoes that will maintain traction when they do. Sandals or bare feet are two options that typically work, but be sure they do work before you launch in order to prevent an accident or damage.
ROLL DOWN YOUR WINDOWS
Unless it is pouring rain, you should definitely roll down all your windows all the way. This will help ease the process in a few ways. You will be able to hear and see more around you than you would if your windows were up, especially if they are tinted. Windows rolled up will hinder your sight as well as muffle sounds that may come from people trying to get your attention, which is extremely dangerous. Rolled down windows will also come in handy by not locking you out of your car if you unfortunately have to jump out quickly.
WATERPROOF IMPORTANT ITEMS
Zip lock bags work in most cases, but you can get special dry storage boxes or other bags that are made just for marine activities. It is best to put your cell phone, keys, wallet, money, etc. in these containers. If you leave these items in your pocket, they may go for a dip in the event that you have to hop in the water quickly.
WATCH BOAT LAUNCH TRAFFIC
The same way you need to look out for other cars when you are driving your car, it is essential to watch other boats when you are preparing for a boat launch. There will probably be other boaters waiting in a long line to launch, as well as people coming back to shore after their trip on the water. You should be courteous to these other boaters, and help them out also if they need it. If someone is having trouble launching, and you are experienced enough to help, help! Watch for children who may be running around or fishing, and warn people if you see that they may be close to causing an accident.
Before you back your vessel into the water, make sure your vehicle and trailer are in the right position, and check all the ropes, chains, straps, etc. An amazingly helpful tool for launches is the Z-Launch watercraft launch cord, which automatically adjusts the tension as you back your boat into the water so that it does not jerk. This is also a great tool to use for jet skis, tow tubes, and other watercrafts. Having the Z-Launch will be like having an extra set of hands, so it will be essential if you are trying to launch on your own. With or without the Z-Launch, tying a rope between a boat cleat and one of the dock poles will also be useful and make the launch more manageable. Remember to take the waves and wake into account!
Launching a boat can be a tedious and difficult task, but with these tips, you will be a pro in no time! Remember to stay safe, be precautious, and be courteous to other boaters. Most importantly, ask for help if you have trouble, and do not end up like this guy below!