Launch/Recovery Procedure List

OspreyVic

Contributing Member
Premium Member
City
Osprey
This following is the procedure we use to launch and recover our Triumph 210CC. We try to always follow the same routine, if alone or have help, in the hope that we will not forget an important step that could hurt the boat or me.

Launch Procedure:
Before going to the launch site:
  1. Make sure that your batteries are fully charged. With a digital voltmeter, my Lifeline batteries should be at 12.8 volts to be fully charged.
  2. Verify that the air pressure in all trailer and tow vehicle ties is correct.
  3. Lower the Center Console and turn on the engine and the house battery switches. We leave them on for the duration of our trip, and forget about them.
  4. Close the Center Console and put on the two stainless snap hooks. We use the snap hooks to help prevent the top of the center console from folding back while traveling on land or the water.
  5. Verify that your fuel supply is adequate, and have at least a one-third reserve. If you are going to be storing your boat, make sure you have a supply of Sta-Bil fuel stabilizer to add after you gas up.
  6. Purchase all other supplies in the days prior to the outing if possible.
Prepare to Launch:
  1. Park at the launch site and try to stay out of the way of others.
  2. Install drain plug.
  3. Verify that the stainless steel center transom drain plug is tight.
  4. Transfer all remaining gear such as coolers, sunglasses, sun block, cell phone, etc. to the boat.
  5. Remove the "m-ywedge" motor support, tie down straps, covers for the GPS and Fish Finder, and transfer them to the tow vehicle.
  6. Unhook the boat from the safety chain.
  7. Launching at some sites may suggest the use of fenders, if so put your fenders out.
  8. Attach dock lines to the boat. There are two theories on this one. Some have found success by attaching a 25-foot rope from the bow of the boat. What I like a little better is to attach a 25-foot dock line to the cleat opposite the center console on the dockside of the boat and place the end by the bow roller so I can grab it easily. I also attach a 15-foot dock line to the stern cleat on the dockside of the boat and lay it on the stern seat.
Launching:
  1. Your primary concern should be to maintain tactical control of your boat.
  2. High or low tide and launch site conditions will dictate how far to back the trailer into the water. Where I normally launch, I usually back my trailer into the water until the front wheel well is just above the water.
  3. Engage the parking brake before you exit the tow vehicle. Now get out and unhook the boat from the winch.
  4. Now grab the 25-foot dock line and push the bow up and down a couple of times. This usually gets the 210 moving. If this fails to move the boat, get back into the tow vehicle, back up, and stab the brakes. The boat should gently float off. If this fails, just repeat the process until the boat floats.
  5. When the boat starts to float, with my 25-foot dock line in hand, we get on the dock and use the dock line to finish pulling and guiding the boat off the trailer. Our goal is to move the boat to the furthest space away from the launch so others will be able to launch or retrieve their boats. Most people are willing to watch, hold, or help you with your boat when they see you launching or retrieving by yourself. They might want your help someday.
  6. Using both dock lines, secure the craft to the dock so it does not float away. Now eliminate a security issue and take the boat keys before you leave to park the tow vehicle. There are many stories of joy riders borrowing someone's boat, only to leave it miles away on a beach.
  7. Park the tow vehicle. At some launch locations they provide fresh water. If this is one of those sites, then hose off the trailer before parking.
  8. Using my inexpensive 2 gallon garden sprayer filled with a "Salt Away" solution, I spray the brakes, axle and wheels. This is my attempt at helping my brakes work as long as possible.
  9. Return to the boat and start the engine. Do NOT untie the dock lines until the engine is started. There are few things more embarrassing than removing the dock lines, the boat floats away from the dock, then you find out that the motor will not start.

Recovery Procedure:
Prepare to Recover:
  1. Before you return to the launch site, attach dock lines to the boat. Attach a 25-foot dock line to the cleat opposite the center console on the dockside of the boat. I also attach a 15-foot dock line to the stern cleat on the dockside of the boat and lay it on the stern seat.
  2. If the launch site suggests the use of fenders, have them ready to deploy.
  3. Dock the boat at the launch site. Using both dock lines, secure the craft to the dock so it does not float away. Eliminate a security issue and take the boat keys before you leave to get the trailer.
Recovery:
  1. High or low tide and launch site conditions will dictate how far to back the trailer into the water. Where I normally launch, I usually back my trailer into the water until the front wheel well is just above the water. We always try to make sure that a few feet of the center bunks are above water.
  2. Drive boat into the center bunks, keep the boat straight, and idle forward slowly until you hear a big "thud" and the boat cannot go forward anymore. That would be the bow eye landing in the bow roller.
  3. Leave the engine idling in forward gear, reach over the bow, and hook up the winch.
  4. Turn the motor off and tilt the motor up for transport.
  5. If I did a good job of parking the trailer, I can get out of the boat onto the dock. If I am to far away from the dock, then I climb over the bow to the trailer and dry ground. Make sure that you have the boat is cinched up snug to the winch.
  6. Pull the boat out of the water. I always put the tow vehicle into four-wheel drive for this. It just makes the job easier.
Prepare to go home:
  1. Park at the launch site and try to stay out of the way of others. At some launch locations they provide fresh water. If this is one of those sites, then hose off the trailer before parking.
  2. Remove the drain plug.
  3. Remove the stainless steel center transom drain plug.
  4. Transfer all gear such as coolers, sunglasses, sun block, cell phone, etc. to the tow vehicle.
  5. Install the "m-ywedge" motor support, tie down straps, and the covers for the GPS and Fish Finder.
  6. Hook the boat to the safety chain.
  7. Store the fenders, if they are out.
  8. Store the dock lines. Make sure that there is no loose gear on the boat.
  9. Once again we use our 2 gallon garden sprayer filled with a "Salt Away" solution, to spray the brakes, axle and wheels. Part of our continuing effort at help our brakes work as long as possible.
  10. Let's go home.
You should be able to do all this without ever getting your feet wet.

Take your time and think it through. There is usually more than one-way to do something, conditions are frequently different and remember almost everyone at the boat ramp is on vacation so do not feel too much pressure.

Putting the Boat Away:
  1. The first thing we want to do is flush the motor with Salt-Away. We want Salt-Away to be going through the motor for at least 30 seconds.
  2. After we have flushed the motor, we use the remaining Salt-Away on the trailer brakes, the rest of the trailer, the outside of the motor and the hull.
  3. Hook up the pressure washer and wash the hull and trailer. If the inside is extremely dirty, we might use it a little. We just prefer to keep the high-pressure water away from all electronics.
  4. After we put away the pressure washer, we run fresh water into the bilge area and have the bilge pump cycle on a few times. I am hoping that the fresh water will help remove the salt from the pump so it last longer. We also want any water that might not smell too good to be out of the boat.
  5. We dry the stainless, windshield, and the motor. If we have the energy, we also dry whatever the entire boat.
  6. Get out the wet vacuum. I make sure all fish boxes, mega hold, rear storage lockers, splash wells, and the bilge are dry. We even put the vacuum to the stern drain for the bilge pump. We are trying to keep everything clean and dry for garage storage.
  7. Grease trailer axles. We use Amsoil Synthetic Water Resistant Grease for our trailer.
  8. If the batteries are not fully charged at 12.8 volts, charge the batteries. Among the worst things you can do to a battery is having it sit for any time not fully charged. So putting the boat away with the batteries at anything less than a full charge is just spending your money faster.
  9. With the boat in its storage location, raise the bow up as high as you can to encourage any remaining water to move from the bow area to the stern bilge area. We use the wet vacuum on this area again after the boat has been sitting a few days.
 
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