Author Topic: Newbie dumb question # 2: launch ramp retrieval  (Read 845 times)

Offline Jackrabbit

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Newbie dumb question # 2: launch ramp retrieval
« on: July 31, 2016, 07:51:36 PM »
Hi folks,

Just returned from 5 blissful days of sailing in Eastern Lake Ontario.  We experienced a variety of conditions, from beating in gorgeous 10-15 kt winds, to coping with 20+ kt gusts.  She is proving to be a great performer (at least in my books) easily tacking through 90 degrees (she does have a centerboard), and attaining a consistent 5+ knots (measured by GPS) on anything from a broad to a close reach.  Plus she's a very stable, comfortable platform for sleeping, cooking in the cockpit, or even just lollygagging about in a slip at the marina or swinging on the hook.   And yes, she do pound a bit going to windward in sharp swells, but I expected this based on some of the comments I have read on this forum.

She's also a great venue for meeting new friends - the big boat sailors at the marina just couldn't help but stare and smile whenever they walked by on the dock, asking about her origins and commenting on what a pretty design she is (not many Compacs in our neck of the woods!).

This was my third outing in S.V. "Restless", and hence, my third time retrieving her at a launch ramp.  I have yet to perfect my approach for easy, trouble-free retrieval on her trailer.  I sometimes have trouble deciding how deep to submerge the trailer, having found that getting the bunks halfway in the water seems to work reasonably well, but still requires an awful lot of winching to draw her up to the bow chock. Seems like a lot of strain on the bow eye (not to mention the winch strap).  On steeper ramps, the stern's buoyancy sets her at an acute angle to the trailer, making it difficult to draw the keel onto the rollers.

I would be interested in hearing from other sailors about their approach.  For instance, is it better to completely submerge the bunks completely below the water to "float" her over the trailer prior to pulling the rig out, or is it better to barely submerge the bunks and rely on winch power to pull her up onto the trailer?  I'm guessing the slope of the ramp may influence the approach?   Any insights from more experienced trailer sailors will be much appreciated.

Burton
S.V. Restless
« Last Edit: July 31, 2016, 07:53:12 PM by Jackrabbit »

Offline Wes

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Re: Newbie dumb question # 2: launch ramp retrieval
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2016, 09:38:50 PM »
I submerge all but about 2' of my bunks. Reduces winching but still provides a good target when lining up the boat.

Wes
"Bella", 1988 CP 19/3 #453
Washington, North Carolina

Offline Duckie

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Re: Newbie dumb question # 2: launch ramp retrieval
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2016, 10:11:47 PM »
I go in pretty far.  I can usually simply float the boat most of the way on the trailer, but it seems that if the stern is floating too high, I pull half way out then crank it up to the bow eye.  I once hauled my 16 all the way out of the water without it being square on the trailer, so now I always stop and check if it on right before pulling the rest of the way out. 

Al

Offline Tom L.

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Re: Newbie dumb question # 2: launch ramp retrieval
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2016, 11:54:07 PM »
I have a Sun Cat. When loading the boat I leave about 1 foot of the forward part of the bunk boards out of the water. The keel guides control the boat so that it stays centered. I hook up the winch and  pull about 4 to 6 feet to bring the boat up to the bow chock. Most of the boat is still being supported by the water but by dragging it up the bunk boards it centers the boat. I have used liquid rollers from time to time. It's a product that makes the bunk boards slippery. Beware Liquid rollers has silicone so it will be an issue if you ever want to paint the bottom.

Tom L.
Present boat, Menger 19 "Wild Cat"    O'Day 25, Montego 25, Catalina 30, Tartan 37, Catalina 380, Mariner 19, Potter 19, Sun Cat

Offline Tom L.

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Re: Newbie dumb question # 2: launch ramp retrieval
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2016, 11:59:05 PM »
Forgot to mention my trailer has plastic pipe fair leads that helps guide the boat into the rigid carpet covered wood keel guides. The keel is guide into position not the hull.

Tom L.
Present boat, Menger 19 "Wild Cat"    O'Day 25, Montego 25, Catalina 30, Tartan 37, Catalina 380, Mariner 19, Potter 19, Sun Cat

Offline Jackrabbit

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Re: Newbie dumb question # 2: launch ramp retrieval
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2016, 08:10:08 AM »
Many thanks.  One last question on this topic:  do you place the winch strap on top of the bow chock or below it for the haul out operation?  On my rig, when you put it over the chock,  during the initial pull the bow eye is considerably lower (because of the angle between boat and trailer) and the strap is actually pulling up on the bow, which seems to put a lot of strain on the chock.  When the boat sits on the trailer out of the water, the bow chock on my trailer is positioned right under the bow/bobstay eye, and if the stern is floating even a bit the stem is canted down and the eye comes up under the chock.  I have been dealing with this by winching the boat as close to the chock as I can, then  pulling the trailer out of the water to level ground and winching the boat forward the last few inches.  Is this generally how its done?

Offline Gerry

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Re: Newbie dumb question # 2: launch ramp retrieval
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2016, 08:59:14 AM »
I back in pretty far then motor right up.  My "secret" is I bought side guards which are towards the rear of the trailer.  I can't miss, especially in a current.  They also  are great because I don't need to tie the boat down for over the road travel.  They can be purchased commercially and bolted to the trailer but I had my local welder install them.  I then covered the poles with 1 and 1/2 inch PVC pipe so the boat won't get scratch.  Mine are about one foot higher than the boat gunnel.  On one trailer I even mounted the lights on the posts "high and dry".
WYATTC: CP-16; 1981

Offline Jackrabbit

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Re: Newbie dumb question # 2: launch ramp retrieval
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2016, 10:15:51 AM »
Great idea!  Especially for the lights.

Offline Tom L.

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Re: Newbie dumb question # 2: launch ramp retrieval
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2016, 11:25:02 AM »
Most boats when loaded on the trailer take a nose dive. A problem because of the strain on the bow eye. We have mounted a bow roller so that as the boat is winched on to the trailer the roller lifts the bow. When it is loaded the keel rides on it's rollers and the bow is in it's roller as well. On a 19 it would tale a sort of goal post looking roller mount toward the front of the trailer with diagonal bracing to the front of the trailer.

We also have rear side guides on the trailer they mostly tell me where the trailer is. Once in the right place the keel guides take over the task and center the boat as it is being winched forward.

Hope this helps.

Tom L.
Present boat, Menger 19 "Wild Cat"    O'Day 25, Montego 25, Catalina 30, Tartan 37, Catalina 380, Mariner 19, Potter 19, Sun Cat

Offline crazycarl

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Re: Newbie dumb question # 2: launch ramp retrieval
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2016, 07:54:28 PM »
we have a 19 and i back the trailer in until about half the bunks are submerged.  then i winch the boat up tight. 

i also replaced the carpeted 2X4 bunks with 2X6 bunks with a slick plastic sleeve covering the entire bunk.  the sleeve makes winching the boat almost effortless and she slides off and on without removing the ablative anti-fouling.

when the trailer had carpeted bunks, the dunking every spring would produce a loud "pop" when the carpet released it's long winter grip of the hull.  the 1st time i heard this, i thought for sure the gelcoat was still on the bunks.

c.c.

http://www.easternmarine.com/caliber-bunk-wrap-kit-23052
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Offline Tom L.

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Re: Newbie dumb question # 2: launch ramp retrieval
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2016, 09:12:47 PM »
CC thanks for the info about that plastic wrap for the bunks. The manufacturers all say their product is the greatest since sliced bread but I really believe it when one of our own endorses the stuff.  Will be adding the bunk wrap soon.

A definite advantage over the liquid roller product since there will be no silicone contamination on the hull. A major problem when ever painting becomes  needed.

Thanks
Tom L.
Present boat, Menger 19 "Wild Cat"    O'Day 25, Montego 25, Catalina 30, Tartan 37, Catalina 380, Mariner 19, Potter 19, Sun Cat

Offline Jackrabbit

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Re: Newbie dumb question # 2: launch ramp retrieval
« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2016, 08:15:57 PM »
I bought a set of those plastic sleeves.  Will install next time I launch "Restless", and we'll see how that goes.

Offline Vectordirector

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Re: Newbie dumb question # 2: launch ramp retrieval
« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2016, 03:08:47 PM »
Hi, 

Keel boats only come off by floating, they go on much easier by floating back on.  Here is a trick I learned from an old salt:  Back the trailer in so the side bunks are only barely in the water .  Use a bow line to pull her up as far as you can and then hook up the winch to the bow eye and crank her up tight, don't try to winch her up all the way, that is the hard way and a good way to break a winch strap.   Then slowly back the trailer in a couple feet and winch tight again.  Rinse repeat until the bow is tight on the winch pad or roller or whatever you have on the trailer.    Minimal effort cranking the winch this way.  I have carpeted bunks and this works great.  Basically you are floating her on slowly and in complete control of how deep you need to get the trailer in to make it happen.  Takes the guess work out of getting the trailer in deep enough.  Also helps keep her straight on the trailer because the side bunks are still far enough out to guide her on until the keel gets on the bottom bunk.  When you bring her out, do it a few feet at a time and tighten the winch as necessary as the boat will shift a little after she stops floating.  Those teflon bunks supposedly help but I've never seen a use for them with a keel boat.  Why drag the boat on against all that weight when you can easily float her back on with the above method? 

If you have a long enough bow line (I use a 25' dock line),  you can get her out without getting your feet wet by using the line instead of the winch to pull her up like above, tie off the line tight to the trailer, pull her out enough to keep your feet dry, and then hook up the winch strap after she's out.  If you are fighting wind or current those pvc poles are a life saver to ease getting her on straight. 

I see power boats "power loading" all the time and shake my head.  Using the method above is much better for the boat and the ramp.  Many people were never taught the correct method to launch/retrieve a boat without using the engine.  Basically you slide the trailer under the boat instead of pulling the boat on the trailer or powering it on with the engine. 

Hope this helps, if you have any questions, feel free to ask, that's why we are here.

Good Luck,

Vectordirector
« Last Edit: August 03, 2016, 03:19:25 PM by Vectordirector »
2005 Eclipse #23

Offline Jackrabbit

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Re: Newbie dumb question # 2: launch ramp retrieval
« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2016, 07:13:37 PM »
I'm going to give that a try.  I guess I'm always feeling pressured at busy ramps with all the impatient power boaters who don't seem to take much care in getting their boats on or off their trailers.  It drives me nuts when they power on, especially with gravel ramps in which they carve holes, making it more difficult for the rest of us.

Offline Damsel19

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Re: Newbie dumb question # 2: launch ramp retrieval
« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2017, 09:13:29 AM »
Something that a professional hauler taught me that seems counter intuitive:  if you move the winch stand forward away from the hull you can mark the strap as to how far to pull the boat on.  Then the strap has scope as the boat rotates on the trailer and lands in the same position each time.
His feeling is the winch post is not meant to support the boat or keep it from comming forward. All the haulers I know strap the bow aft to the trailer port and starboard to keep the boat from coming forward when breaking hard.
I have had success loading this way.
I do like the partial load. Backdown and load some more method if you can over come the guilt of traffic. A good team of driver and loader can do this in just a minute or so with practice (mostly in the communication department)