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rough launches


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I feel pretty comfortable launching a boat on a finished/public ramp, but do you have any words of advice/warning for launching at an unfinished ramp?

We like to boat up in Northern WI and some of the boat landings are nothing more than an area where they've carved out the shoreline a little bit and removed most of the rocks and logs from your path.

Is it unwise to launch an inboard at a ramp like that? If you've done it, how do you alter your launching procedure?

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Avoid powerloading and don't hit anything!

Also have to be careful of the truck more than the boat....don't want to get stuck in the mud/sand


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I always put it in 4x4 just as I start backing down the shore and I watch very carefully for the trailer tires to drop off and try to stop before that happens. If not I go ahead and unload the boat and find a better place to pull out the loaded trailer. I always carry a tow rope with me just in case I get stuck.

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The ramp we use most is just a soft sandy beach. Put it in 4wd & go. Never had a problem.

Walk it first if your not familiar with it, including the area where your boat is sliding off the trailer.

Like 99 said though, avoid any power loading on a sandy ramp. Makes a mess of things.

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+1 on all those. Can't say enough about getting wet and checking out the ramp if there isn't one. If it's sketchy, make sure you have someone to pull you out in case you get stuck. Plus, in loose gravel it's easy to start shooting rocks, so e-z on the gas. There are a few ramps that I launched my I/O at that the Bu won't make, primarily because of the low clearance of the trailer with the prop-guard, or when the ramp is too shallow to get the bunks in, with the I/O I could push it off the rollers while weighting the bow to keep the stearn from sinking, then winch back on in the reverse. We had to do this at Lake McDonald, in Glacier Park. The only boat on the lake, glass smooth, beautiful mountains, but a painfully shallow ramp. No inboards getting launched there without advanced vehicle wetting.

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I launch in the deep sticks of Maine every July and we have to deal with a very tight and shallow launch. We know the channel that we have to get the boat down but I would walk the water where you plan to dump in. We pull the boat off and on by hand with a half dozen guys...NEVER powered on or off the trailer. Always have the truck in 4 wheel and if you are in deep don't shut the truck off. Extra care and extra patience and you should be fine...good luck!!!

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So after living in our current place for about 4 years & using our sandy beach to launch & pickup the MC205 with my 98 Dodge Dakota 4x4 & never having any issues....... my neighbor got this wild idea that he could do it too..... in a 15 passenger, 2wd, E150 Ford van. Needless to say we had to pull the van & boat out of the sand that day.

4wd & some good flotation tires definitely help in the sand. And like BP said, easy on the throttle. Spinning the tires will just bury you.

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Depends a lot on the ramp. Lots of those northern WI ramps aren't really sloped very much. Just be careful and go slow. Walk it first and don't be afraid to put the back wheels of the truck in the water.

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