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Old 02-04-2012, 09:40 AM
GBS GBS is offline
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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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  #2  
Old 02-04-2012, 10:18 AM
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Jimmy Jig Jimmy Jig is offline
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Tie up the boat, get the trailer in the water. Get in the boat and drive it on to the trailer. When it is clear on the trailer let the motor keep running with the motor in gear. Walk up front lean over and hook the chain on the boat and walk back and shut off the motor and tilt it up. By the way tilt the motor half way up when driving it on the trailer so that the motor does not hit the bottom. Climb off the front and get in vehicle and drive out............... That how I do it all the time. Yes, it is easier if someone else handles the hook up and drives out. If it will not work this way get a smaller boat! The way you are doing it, God help the people waiting in line.
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Old 02-04-2012, 11:57 AM
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Go to Fleet Farm and buy the Trackker 2500 or 3000# electric winch with the wireless remote. It winds in or out 17 feet per min. and also has free wheel out. You can hook the cable to the boat at the dock and guide and winch the boat on the trailer very fast by your self. Wiredog
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Old 02-04-2012, 03:37 PM
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other than the electric winch suggestion I use waders so I can just go into the water when needed and not worry about getting wet

really speeds up the process
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Old 02-04-2012, 04:52 PM
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Most of the ramps I use also prohibit power loading. What I do with my bunk trailer is, I back in the correct distance. I then get in my boat, untie it, line it up, and motor up to the trailer at a touch faster than pure idle. This speed is fast enought to get the boat far enough up on the trailer so it stays there. I step out, hook up the winch, and winch it up the last 2 feet.
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Old 02-05-2012, 12:18 PM
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99% of the time, I load by myself also. My scenario is the same as yours docking the boat out of the way while getting the trailer. I have a bunk trailer now, and can powerload if permitted, if not I lead the boat to the trailer as you do, and then when it isn't shorts and flipflop weather, I have waders to snap the bow line on. I don't sweat holding folks up, it will only lead to you being rushed and possibly making a mistake. As long as you aren't messing around with tackle, coolers etc, just get the boat loaded as efficiently as possible, then rig for transport home out of the way.
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Old 02-05-2012, 12:34 PM
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Wade B AKA: Ruger2506 Wade B AKA: Ruger2506 is offline
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I would say I do it exactly like Shellback does.
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Old 02-05-2012, 12:43 PM
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dutchboy dutchboy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy Jig View Post
Tie up the boat, get the trailer in the water. Get in the boat and drive it on to the trailer. When it is clear on the trailer let the motor keep running with the motor in gear. Walk up front lean over and hook the chain on the boat and walk back and shut off the motor and tilt it up. By the way tilt the motor half way up when driving it on the trailer so that the motor does not hit the bottom. Climb off the front and get in vehicle and drive out............... That how I do it all the time. Yes, it is easier if someone else handles the hook up and drives out. If it will not work this way get a smaller boat! The way you are doing it, God help the people waiting in line.
In addition spin the crank to tighten the strap up. This is how I have always done it.

The most important thing is to have a plan and practice a few times so you know the routine. As someone else said make sure ALL YOU ARE DOING is loading the boat. Pack tackle, pick weeds, inspect the boat out in the parking lot.

If you still aren't sure drop me a pm, I'd be more then happy to meet you this spring and show you how I do it.
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Old 02-05-2012, 12:46 PM
3M TA3 3M TA3 is offline
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Lucky me. I avoid the crowds most of the time but there are times when they are around. Regardless, I wait my turn to get to the dock and then go get the vehicle. I Don't get in line again, it only talks a minute to get the vehicle and back in anyways.

I back in so that I am very close to the dock, grab the bow line (not on the bow eye) and pull boat up onto bunk as far a possible. I then hop in boat, go to the bow, step on trailer spare tire, (hope to have EZEE step soon) then step on trailer tongue, clip onto bow eye, crank it up tight, step on vehicle bumper, step on dock, check boat to insure it's on center of trailer, look to see that motors are up, and then I pull out. Usually whole process (except for fetching vehicle) takes less than two minutes which I think is excellent time compared to some Bozo's.

Last edited by 3M TA3; 02-05-2012 at 12:48 PM.
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  #10  
Old 02-05-2012, 04:00 PM
GBS GBS is offline
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Thanks guys - sounds like I'm already doing most of what I can to be efficient (and yes, I never do anything except work on getting the boat on/off the trailer only, while at the launch itself).
Jumping, climbing or other off the front after power loading would only result in injury to me - whether through being a klutz, or because of height, slipperyness or whatever. If I was to do that, I'd have to get those trailer steps installed.....But in general, power loading is out anyway.
Partial driving on, then hoppping out may be something to work on, however. Have to practice getting closer to the dock with the trailer........
Hmmm, waders....I've been looking for an excuse to replace my old fly fishing ones, even though I almost never chase trout any more.......
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