Easiest Way to Launch and Load a Boat by Yourself [Video Tutorial]
One of the most difficult parts about a solo fishing trip can be the part where you launch and load your boat by yourself.
This is a process that can be very frustrating when not done properly. And it can cause a lot of unnecessary stress given that there are often other anglers waiting for you to get finished so that they can launch.
After owning a boat for many years while having a huge fishing addiction causing me to still take the boat out regardless if friends are joining me or not, I have learned some tips that makes launching and loading a boat in the water by yourself much easier.
So I wanted to put this article together to highlight some of the more important tips that I wish I had learned sooner.
And if you have any that I did not mention, please do not hesitate to let us know in the Comments section at the bottom.
How to Launch a Boat by Yourself
I put together a list of the top tips you need to know to launch your boat by yourself, which are:
1. Attach a Long Rope to the Front of Your Boat
Besides the boat, the trailer and your car, this rope may be the most important piece of equipment to have when launching your boat by yourself.
When I launch my boat alone, I tie two long ropes together and attach one end to the front of my boat and the other end to a cleat inside my truck bed. I make sure the rope is long enough to allow my boat to come off the trailer completely.
When the boat floats completely off the trailer, I untie the rope from my truckbed cleat and use it to corral the boat to where I need to.
I can then use that single rope to tie off the back and front of the boat to the dock and go park my truck.
2. Have All Your Gear Ready Before Launching Your Boat
This a rule of thumb for launching your boat by yourself or with the help of someone else. You want to have all your gear ready and loaded before backing your boat down the ramp.
Make sure the plug is in your boat, your fishing rods are loaded and that you have any tackle or other gear you need for your outing.
This makes it so you’re ready as soon as you hit the ramp. It also makes sure you don’t block dock space running back and forth from your car to get your gear.
For more boat ramp etiquette tips, check out our guide on the top five boat ramp mistakes here.
3. Do a Hard Stop to Help Your Boat Slide Off the Trailer
A hard stop on the ramp can help your boat slide all the way off your trailer. It also makes sure you don’t have to climb up on your trailer to push the boat off into the water.
To do this, back your boat trailer down the ramp at a steady and controlled speed. Once your trailer has entered the water and you see the back of your boat begin to float, give your vehicle a hard press on the brakes to bring it an abrupt stop.
The momentum from the stop will allow the boat to easily slide off the trailer all the way in the water.
After that, simply grab your boat rope and tie it off at the dock.
How to Load a Boat by Yourself
In order to fish on your boat by yourself, you not only need to know how to launch it but also how to load it.
In this section, I show you my top tips for loading your boat on the trailer by yourself — which are:
1. Tie the Boat Off at the Back of the Dock and Back Your Trailer Straight Down the Middle of the Ramp
Tying your boat near the end of the dock will allow others to use the boat ramp while you get your car and trailer.
Once you’re in your vehicle, make sure you back the trailer straight down the middle of the ramp and enough to get the front of the boat all the way up to the winch on the trailer.
2. Get on Your Boat, Untie the Rope and Give a Small Shove Off the Dock
Once you have your trailer in the water, it’s time to get ready to drive the boat onto the trailer.
To do this, jump on your boat, untie the back corner of it from the dock and get your rope in the boat. Make sure you hold your boat to the dock with your hands while you do this.
Once the rope is untied from the dock, give a slight shove off the dock to get your boat safely away from it.
At this point, you should be ready to load your boat on the trailer.
3. Drive the Boat Up the Trailer and Attach it to the Trailer Winch
Once you are free from the dock and have shoved the boat away from it, you want to slowly and steadily drive the boat up the trailer until the front is close enough to attach the winch to it.
After the boat is on the trailer and is not going to float away, jump down from the boat. Attach it to the winch and crank it up until the front of the boat is in place at the bow stop.
This ensures the boat will stay in place on the trailer all the way up the ramp.
Launch and Load Tip: Always Wash Your Lug Nuts
Saltwater can do a number to your trailer in a hurry and make it hard to keep up the maintenance on it if parts get too rusty.
One of the most important parts of the trailer to keep in good condition are the lug nuts that hold wheels on the trailer axle.
After launching and loading your boat on the trailer at the ramp, always try to get freshwater on your lug nuts and rims as quickly as possible.
This ensures that the lug nuts do not develop rust and makes it easier for you when you need to unscrew those nuts to change a tire or something like that.
How to Launch and Load a Boat by Yourself Video Tutorial
In this video, I show you the entire process on how to launch and load your boat by yourself:
The techniques used in this video are proven ways to launch and load your boat easily and efficiently by yourself.
While these techniques are not the only way you can get it done, they work and make sure you do it in a practical and safe manner.
If you have any questions about how to launch and load a boat by yourself or see any ways we can improve how we do it, let us know in the comments.
Don’t forget to check out our guide to boat ramp etiquette as well by clicking here.
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