Launching a boat can sometimes be a problem. Wind, low tide, a slippery, steep boat ramp, or other local problems may mean hidden hazards. The boat owner can make the task easier by being alert and following this simple procedure. Remember, courtesy and efficiency will go a long way in making a boat trip a pleasure for you and others too.
Before you get in line to launch your boat, do the following:
- Stay on one side and watch one or two launchings to notice any problems on the ramp and the effects of wind and current on launching. Many boat ramps in Georgia's coastal waters may have steep drop-offs at the foot or end of the ramp.
- Remove any gear that is stored in the car. Rig and prepare boat supplies and equipment for full operation.
- Disconnect the wiring plug between car and trailer.
- Remove tie-downs. Insure trailer winch is locked and winch line connected to bow eye. Double check to make sure that the drain plug is in.
- Attach a line to a bow cleat and a second line to a stern cleat to aid in controlling the boat after launching.
- Double check engine safety chains and make sure that the outboard is securely attached to the transom.
- Insure that all passengers are out of the car and in a safe area away from moving vehicles and trailers.
- Back down into the water until the rear rollers or supports are barely under the water.
- Have someone guide you into the water and hold onto the guide lines which you connected.
- Disconnect the winch line from the bow eye and put the boat in the water.
- Move your boat so others may launch.
- Return your vehicle and trailer to the parking area.