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Is it safe to back down the ramp with the front strap unhooked


Back down the ramp with the front strap removed to expedite launch  

118 members have voted

  1. 1. How do you back down the ramp? With--

    • The front strap removed.
      21
    • The front strap attached.
      97


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On Wakeman's youtube channel, he backs his boat down the ramp with all straps unhooked to expedite launching.   I've always left the front strap connected tight until the boat is in the water with the engine running.  Any remove the front strap prior to backing down the ramp?  I know these boats weight 2-3 tonnes and are very unlikely to slip off the trailer.

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I answered that I keep the front strap attached.  That said, at one of the lakes we hit, the ramps are almost flat.  In that case I case take it off.  So, I guess "It Depends" would be the real answer.  I lean towards being cautious though.  Strap takes about 30 second to remove while in the water.  much better than having to explain why my boat is is sitting on a dry ramp!

  • Like 2
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I would keep the front strap attached.  My father inlaws normal way to launch for many years was to unhook the strap, back down the ramp with the driver in and then have the driver just start up and leave.  Until the year he put a brand new Mariah on the concrete.

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Try it several times with the winch strap loose but not unhooked. After 10 or so times without the boat sliding, start unhooking. That's how I decided to start launching unhooked. Test your brakes during your test period also to make sure the boat won't slide off in a quick braking situation. 

  • Like 3
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As I mostly unloaded by myself while the wife and kids (and guests) were sleeping, I always left the straps attached while backing down until I got to a point where if the boat slid, it would slide into the water.  Then I would get out and unhook everything and back it in the rest of the way with a line attached from bow to my truck, then get out and grab that line off the truck and tie boat to ramp and go park.

Pretty much a private ramp, so my system did not hold anybody up, before y'all get on me about that :)

Bottom line, I did not unstrap until I was far enough back that in case the boat slid off the trailer, it would be in the water.

Advantage to not waiting for them to get up and help me was time on the water by myself.

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Depends on the ramp.  Most steeper ramps I keep it attached.  Current lake is a super flat lake that is a pain to launch on, so I unhook, back until the engine can start, then give the boat a little push off the trailer by backing and hitting the brakes.  

  • Like 3
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I back the boat in so it is floating, hop out of the truck and tell my wife to start it.  Once running I let the strap out and detach it and she reverses away.   Most folks at the ramp hop out of the truck, driver gets in boat, drives it to dock, ties it up and then goes back to truck.  We used to do that many years ago when my wife was not comfortable driving on and off the trailer.

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just keep it attached, besides do you really want to end up getting shamed on boatfails social media if something just happen to go wrong.  :)

My crew and I can launch our boat in less than a minute which includes that strap being on and getting out to unhook at the very last minute.

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I launch with it off unless I'm on a ramp steeper than the one I normally go to.  If I stay attached I'll unclip it from the inside of my boat after I start the engine.  My wife always backs me down and I never ask her to get out of the truck.  I don't like the idea of the driver getting out the truck unnecessarily.  Seems like a way for the tow vehicle ending up in the lake. 

Talking about straps though,   Several years ago we were launching for the first time that year in our previous I/O.  Unhooked the front and my wife backed us into the water and for some reason I could not for the life of me back off the trailer.  I realized eventually that I never unhooked the rear straps.  :Doh:

  • Like 2
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5 hours ago, oldjeep said:

Always curious why people going out in a boat care about getting feet wet ;)

 

It’s not that I care about getting feet wet, I’ve just never understood why the driver of the car needs to get out and walk back to unhook the boat when there are already people in the boat who can do it.

Edited by vaporbluebu
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25 minutes ago, vaporbluebu said:

It’s not that I care about getting feet wet, I’ve just never understood why the driver of the car needs to get out walk back to unhook the boat when there are already people in the boat who can do it.

I sometimes do this as well, whomever is in the boat can unhook as well.

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ahopkinsVTX
1 hour ago, vaporbluebu said:

My wife backs the trailer, I’m in the boat with the kids, when the raw water is in I start the engine then go to the bow and unhook it myself. She finishes backing up while I get back in the drivers seat and slide off the trailer. No one has to get their feet wet!

This is exactly what we do when we are together. 
 

We I launch by myself, I do the same process except back the boat all the way in to the point I know it’s floating enough to drive off. Get in the boat, start the engine, verify gauges, then walk to the bow to unhook the strap from the boat. The few second it takes me to do that is the cheapest insurance I can buy imo.

  • Like 3
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I have a steep ramp so it's not really an option but does it really save any time?  My wife backs me into the water I just lean over the bow and unhook it from inside the boat and then my wife bumps me off the trailer and I drive away.  Someone has to take the couple seconds to unhook, why not just don't when there is no risk?

  • Like 2
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The bow of my boat sits pretty high up on the trailer.  If disconnect the strap and just back it it, the bow will roll off the roller and then the tip of the rub rail will slam down onto the "V" bunk under the bow and then break part of the rub rail and chip a piece of the wood off the bunk. I did that once so now I (or truck driver) just back it in so it is floating, start the engine and then either myself or a trusted crew will lean over to crank it down slowly.  Takes less than 30s.  Same process if I am by myself.

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I back it down with straps attached, until am at waters edge. The unhook all 3 straps and back in. When she is floating and motor running, driving and park truck.

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38 minutes ago, twitchee2 said:

The bow of my boat sits pretty high up on the trailer.  If disconnect the strap and just back it it, the bow will roll off the roller and then the tip of the rub rail will slam down onto the "V" bunk under the bow and then break part of the rub rail and chip a piece of the wood off the bunk. I did that once so now I (or truck driver) just back it in so it is floating, start the engine and then either myself or a trusted crew will lean over to crank it down slowly.  Takes less than 30s.  Same process if I am by myself.

I might suggest that it could be due to a steep ramp more than how your boat sits.  I have one ramp I use that is too steep, and I have that issue with current boat as well as previous DD.  Is there another launch option?

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For me it depends on the ramp.  At the regular lake we go to I unstrap, my wife backs it down and I start up and drive off once I'm floating.  If it's a steep or unfamiliar ramp I'll leave it attached.  

  • Like 3
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3 hours ago, REHinH20 said:

I might suggest that it could be due to a steep ramp more than how your boat sits.  I have one ramp I use that is too steep, and I have that issue with current boat as well as previous DD.  Is there another launch option?

California lakes,  all the ramps are steep. I have a relatively tall trailer I had a steep driveway I had trouble clearing.  Honestly, not unhooking from the trailer is not a hassle to me so it doesn't matter anyway.

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I unhook all 3 at the top of the ramp. Never had an issue. Car driver backs down til the water intake is under water and stops. Boat driver fires up the boat then flags car driver to back up some more until boat floats off.   If I’m launching by myself I leave the bow strap hooked up but loose, back it down til it floats off, unhook and walk it back. 

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17 hours ago, oldjeep said:

Always curious why people going out in a boat care about getting feet wet ;)

Well, because it's salt water, and I hate the thought of dripping a pint of it onto the truck floor while I park the trailer.

Or when launching the fishing boat in the winter and I don't want squishy feet all day long.  Except this one barely applies, since I'm usually in flip-flops anyway.

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