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Old 02-04-2012, 08:40 AM
GBS GBS is offline
Join Date: May 2005
Location: White Bear Lake, Minnesota, USA.
Posts: 1,309
Default Single person loading

The roller/bunk question got me thinking more about my efficiency (or lack thereof) in loading. So here's my general setup and process. Any suggestions on how to make it a)easier on me, b)faster, c)less contact with the water. Most of which makes it better for you who is waiting for me to stop horsing around!

Central MN lakes, near Twin Cities. Shallow water. Short ramp. 17.5 ft alum. windshield boat, 115hp. roller trailer. Just me to do it all.
Before going in to dock, hook bow rope to bow eye. Wait out on the water until crowd thins, as I know I take some time. Putt into a dock. Tie up on end or non-loading side, to be out of the way for others trying to launch/load. Go get trailer. Do whatever to get into proper lane if more than one - wait, let others pass, go around and get in line again, whatever.
Back down, stay close to dock. Winch out enough line to reach to where I anticipate boat will stop floating on to trailer, and prestack it for easy/quick grabbing later (sometimes I skip this step, and instead peel line off winch at time of hookup). Walk out on dock, untie boat, use bow line to guide to trailer. This takes some bit of time, as I am on either the other side or off the end of the dock, so have to push the boat out, around corners, and then pull back in. Pull boat into contact with trailer. If lucky, can do initially from dock without tangling line in rollers, and then walk to rear of car while maintaining tension to finish pulling boat as far up as possible. If not lucky, wade in to do it. If having a really bad day, get really wet untangling line from rollers. At some point boat contacts rollers and can not be pulled any more with bow line. Tie off bow line on winch post. Always get wet here, wade out and attach winch line to bow eye. Winch boat on to trailer. Muck around here sometimes because it didn't go on straight, and winch has to be let out and boat pushed mostly off the rollers (gotta realign rollers and stop backing in too far!). Finally drive out, and finish process for stowing gear, tie downs, etc.

I've done power loading with a passenger standing at the front of the trailer to clip the winch to the bow eye. Works slick. Don't like power loading because of the holes it produces, and yes, many ramps don't allow it. But even still, contemplating one man power loading, the engine sucking grit issue, the danger of not being at the controls of a running engine, and just plane "how do I get out of the boat and to the car?" issues seem to defeat that option.

This just seems too complicated, there has to be some easier way I am overlooking. The best is to not go fishing alone - a helper really is an asset. But then I wouldn't go near as much. So while this old body could use the exercise - the ins/outs, ups, downs, winch cranking and climbing in/out doing final stowing, plus chilled to the bone wading in April/October does a lot to remove the luster of "goin' fishin'". The day ends with a poor attitude and lots of Advil. Plus I just hate what seems to be a pattern of being a "Launch Hog". How can I improve this?
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