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frazwood

Power loading?

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I am relatively new boat owner, so that's why I am asking such a simple question.

My boat has a bunk trailer, so I was told to drive it onto and off of the trailer. Specifically, I was told not to crank it onto the trailer as this would ruin my crank.

I am now seeing signs at a few lakes stating that I should not be "power loading".

What is "power loading" precisely? It seems to me that it is precisely what I have been told to do with my boat/trailer.

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Now you've done it......This is always a hot topic. Power loading is something that you will have to learn to do with a bunk trailer, but when done right it should not cause issue. The problem occurs when someone backs their trailer halfway into the water, nudges the boat to the bunks, then opens up the engine to drive the boat up the bunks. While thes works well, it also digs out a hole or washout in the landings, causing all sorts of damage and ruining the landing for others.

I have a bunk trailer and need to "power load" to some extent, as I cannot just pull the boat up with the winch. I normally back the trailer in as far as possible, leaving the side guides just high enough to contact the boat, then drive it on. While I use the motor, I try to use as little throttle as necessary to seat the boat, then use the winch to snug it to the bow cleat. Sometimes the winch moves the boat, sometimes not. The idea is to float the boat as far onto the trailer as possible, and to use the motor as little as possible. It's a fine line you will have to walk.

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Power loading means that your trailer is sitting in the water and the boat uses the main engine to push it's self up and all the way on the trailer. The props make a hole at the end of the ramp by washing out the sand. Did that make sense?

Hydro explained it better!

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Yup.

Disturbs the bottom with the prop wash. If you want to make power loading easier, back the trailer in far enough to get the bunk carpet wet first. It will make it much easier to slide the boat up the trailer.

I like to try getting the trailer a little deeper in the lake so you drive the boat mostly onto the trailer while it is still floating and you can winch it up the rest of the way. You may find it a bit tougher to get it straight on the trailer, but with practice comes experience and you will get better at it. You will also keep from stirring up the bottom. If you look out behind the boat a hundred feet while power loading, you will see how much force that prop has.

JB

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Thanks for all of the responses. I think that I am OK. I already knew the damaged that can be caused by power loading... I just wanted to make sure that I wasn't going to have issues with the DNR or something for loading my boat.

I guess that I have always done a "soft power load" where I back the trailer into the water as far as possible so that I am essentially coasting onto trailer, rather than using the outboard to push up there.

And yes, it's definitely a trick to get the boat loaded onto the trailer correctly/straight this way. What I have learned to do is make sure that the back end of the boat is essentially floating and then pull out of the lake VERY SLOWLY.

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I have absolutely no issues loading my 16-1/2' Smokercraft on bunks using only the winch. If the trailer is in far enough I usually have to hand crank no more than 1' of strap at worse 2'.

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These guys couldn't have explained it better or with more etiquette. I don't powerload but then I have a roller trailer too. If you are a conscientious fisherman/boater you'll use care when powerloading and you won't have any issues from the DNR or guys like me. Enjoy your new rig.

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if you coast your boat on with out revvinng the throttle. you wont damage the landing. if you open it up then you will. but it sounds like you just have it in gear and slide on. thats how i do and ive never seen sand being stirred up behind me. thanks for asking though. it sounds like youre a respectful boater.

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As a tag-along question, do folks consider leaving the motor in gear at the lowest possible speed to be powerloading? I see a lot of folks doing this, and it doesn't seem to stir up as much, but I would assume that it still does to some degree.

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i do it like that skunked. i dont think its to big of problem myself. you have to have in gear at some point. i think when you get the motor revvin higher rpms is when you start really movin sand. im sure it does move it a bit in gear, but ive never noticed big clouds in the water after i load. im sure some mor experienced people will chime in

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When I bought my new boat (with roller trailer) the dealer said to power it up, meaning just put it at the slowest speed and drive it onto the trailer. Once there, leave it in gear holding the boat forward and then walk up and attach the winch, then put the motor into neutral shut it down.

I did that once, but discovered that I can still use a rope to pull my boat onto the trailer and then winch, which requires no power at all. I was just wondering whether using any power is considered power loading or only when you give it some gas.

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Motoring onto your trailer is fine. It's when guys make contact with the bunks/rollers and then give her some gas to propel further forward. I typically motor on (on the lakes).....then shut it down, trim up and crank the rest of the way. It's funny how many boat owners don't want to get there feet wet or are just plain lazy.

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