Guests - If You want access to member only forums on HSO. You will gain access only when you sign-in or Sign-Up on HotSpotOutdoors.

It's easy - LOOK UPPER right menu.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Carpenter

Newby to boating

38 posts in this topic

I love to fish and have been doing it forever, but typically on the ice or from a buddies rig. I'm purchasing my first boat here shortly (18' deep v) and am looking for anything (books, links, your advice) that will give me some tricks of the trade. I like bigger water, so navigating w. waves is one topic I'm looking for. The boat has a bunk trailer, so loading/unloading is another. I'm use to the roller trailers, so that'll also be new to me. trimming the motor would be another. basically any helpful hits that you can give to guide a newby. kind of stupid question, but it will save me from looking stupid or doing something worse.

Thanks,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you know how to drive your boat onto the trailer? Instead of winching on. Take it easy on the big lakes when its windy until you get a feel for how your boat handles the waves.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

my experience is "limited". I'm usually backing the truck up and hooking up the boat. one question would be does one want/need to get the bunks wet before loading? i think i've heard that. also, what's the trick to unload? with rollers we just get the wheels into the water, unhook the safety chain, then let it roll off the rest of the way and unhook the winch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When backing in, back up far enough and the boat will float off the trailer. Also that will wet your bunk if you are out all fishin and come in from the lake when you back in it will wet them again.

The thing is your boat won't roll off the tailer when drive it on like a roller tailer will.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For loading a boat on bunks, it is best to wet them completely. For unloading, you just back it in until she floats off the trailer, with your rope hooked on the bow eye and when she floats off, pull it to the dock. Pretty easy, unless you get a shallow ramp, then you might have to power off which isn't much fun, and usually will result in you getting wet to your knees.

A few different manufactures make a teflon pad that can go on the bunks to make loading and unloading much easier. Think of them as non stick pads for your bunks. With those installed, you must leave the winch hooked up to the bow eye or she will slide off before you get it in the water, which is really not fun and causes lots of damage. But loading with them, you can winch on easy and don't have to wet the bunks all the way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Start on smaller waters to get a feel for the boat. With the bunk its easy just back in till she floats and pull or drive off or have someone back you in and float you off. As for loading bunks ar generally easier after a few times you'll figure out the sweet spot needed to get on easily. Trims simple down to launch and raise it after or while getting on plane, this to you'll have to experiment with to see what works best on your rig. Best way to figure it all out is go out and play with it now when there little traffic so you'll be a seasoned pro by the time seasons open. Always remember to put the plug in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bunk trailers are real east to load and unload.

Unloading I back the trailer into the water until the boat just starts to float. Now remember how far the trailer is in the water before you pull it out.

When loading try to get it back into the same depth as it was when you unloaded. Drive boat as centered to trailer as possible not really that big of deal because with bunck trailers the boat self centers.

After a few times you'll get the ins and outs prety quick.

Good luck and enjoy your new found freedom to the waters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Watch the dock! Darn things can ruin a new boat finish real quick!

Nothing worse then dock rash on a new boat, except dropping it on the ramp eek

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Power trim - the guideline is all the way down (in) when at stop and getting ready to go, and all the way up (out) when going fast. All the way down (in) gives you more power and more holeshot when -- but when on plane all the way down makes the nose of the boat plow the water and doesn't let you get up to full speed or full rpms. Trimmed all the way up (out) will push the bow high in the air if you're starting out and trying to get on plane, and you might not even get on plane that way. But once you're on plane trimming out will raise the bow, increase speed and rpms. Too far out and you'll cavitate and over-rev the motor but most motors and trim units won't allow you to trim out too far. As for mid-range cruising (performance and handling) just play around with the trim setting until you find what feels best .... and you'll notice it when you hit it.

Loading / Unloading - you'll need to find the sweet spot other guys have talked about for loading and unloading. For unloading, by far the easiest is to have 1 person in the boat and 1 in the vehicle .... back the trailer into the water deep enough to float the boat, hit the brakes, and away the boat goes. For loading back on the trailer, the key is having the bunks at the right depth, so you can float/drive the boat as far on the trailer as possible but at the end have it resting on the bunks and not floating around. For my bunk trailer the magic sweet spot is determined by looking at the center bunks, if there is 18"-24" of the bunk sticking out of the water then the trailer is at the right depth.

It's a good idea to take your new boat out with a buddy that knows boats the first time or two - it can be a big help getting it on and off the trailer, and learning about how it handles, etc.

As for navigating big waves and big lakes, the only advice I have for you is to be slow and cautious and make sure you're conmfortable with your boat before you start tackling big waves.

Good luck and congrats on getting your boat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good advice from all. Here is my two cents - - not right away, but consider taking a Coast Guard Class, or Power Squadron Class. They aren't just for big boats. It will also save you on insurance rates, I think mine is 10 or 15% off. Not a ton of $$ but over the years it adds up.

In addition to learning buoys and a lot about river or current driving, you really get to know how important reverse is, and just a lot about navigating aroudn docks and other boats. You should be able to basically parallel park your boat in between two boats even if there is just enough room for your your boat without "sliding" into it. Of course if you are never aroudn docks, you don't need it, but look at all the goofy stuff you see at accesses, ha! wink

Don't store the PFD's in storage, keep them out, and ideally wear them. I don't always - shame on me. But we did pull a guy out who wasn't wearing one, with his boat circling him at WOT, in 50 degree water. After that I have started using the kill switch lanyard at anything over trolling speed, and I wear the PFD a lot more, and always if I am alone.

Also a little tip is that your stern will slide to the right (starboard) as you reverse even if you don't steer that way. Just from how the prop is designed. Not a big deal out on the lake, but it is if you are parking at a marina or stopping for a burger or gas or backing through boat traffic (think Minnetonka or Whitefish Chain, etc).

One last bit of tip - never ever turn the motor off until you are tied up or at least someone has control of a line on the dock. You will want/need power at all times in case wind or current pushes you just enough away from whatever you want to be at.

(I went through Henn. Cnty Sheriff Water Patrol Training, and thought I knew a lot before I started that. Wow was I mistaken. Always a lot to learn, no matter your age or experience.)

Good luck and have a great time with the new rig!!! Sorry for the rambling on, heh. smile

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For unloading, you just back it in until she floats off the trailer, with your rope hooked on the bow eye and when she floats off, pull it to the dock.

I had a rope made up for when I was alone. Hook one end to the bow hook and the other end to the back of the trailer. The boat floated off be itself one time when I wasn't using it and had to go for a swim to get my boat back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you're fishing by yourself and it's windy, use two ropes to guide your boat onto the trailer. One on the bow eye and one on the stern cleat. It's much easier if you can get your boat on the down wind side of the dock. You just let out both lines individually to guide it onto the trailer.

Last year I was in 30 mph wind (blowing across the access) and was ready to load up. Three guys at the dock were struggling for 15 minutes trying to load theirs up using one rope. After the pulled out, I tied the boat off and backed the truck up. About 90 seconds and my boat was out of the water.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Originally Posted By: polarsusd81
For unloading, you just back it in until she floats off the trailer, with your rope hooked on the bow eye and when she floats off, pull it to the dock.

I had a rope made up for when I was alone. Hook one end to the bow hook and the other end to the back of the trailer. The boat floated off be itself one time when I wasn't using it and had to go for a swim to get my boat back.

Thank you for posting this now I know I am not the only one who has done this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The way I meant it to read was a rope that you have through the window in the cab of the truck, to prevent such floating and swimming action. grin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The way I meant it to read was a rope that you have through the window in the cab of the truck, to prevent such floating and swimming action. grin

When I launch the boat by myself I clip my anchor rope to my bow eye and tie the other end to a cleat at the back of my truck bed. Back the trailer in, tap the brakes, the boat drifts away from the trailer, and I get the line out of the back of the truck and pull the boat to the dock. Works good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So it looks like you don't keep your safety chain and winch lines on when backing in? I guess that's just a rollers thing. makes sense. thanks for the help guys (and gals if there were any). My buddy's brother was use to bunks and got a roller w. his new boat and unhooked all that stuff and backed down the landing. let's just say he didn't go out that day and wasn't super happy. frown

on the wave issue (i'll definately take it slow) but riding on gull w. a different buddy last year we were in 3-4' rollers, again an 18' tyee. and he said he'd typically skim (or attempt) across the tops vs. slowly soaking us as he did, but we had a 14year old w. us and she was holding on for dear life. we obviously did the nicer thing for her, but if it was people ok w. being on open water, what do you guys do? up and down or across the top? i didn't think across the top was quite right, but it would have been quicker. and maybe less wet.

again thanks for the help and discussion

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I take the safety chain off but leave the winch cable on with slack on it to let the boat slide down the trailer a bit then I unhook it climb in push boat down trailer so not much resistance then motor the boat to the dock. Be sure tie up lines are ready before you launch boat to save time on the ramp. I start motor on trailer just in case problems with motor or dead batteries saves me the trouble of backing trailer in twice if problems exsist.

-

Up and down is the safest to go, you never know when that rogue wave will hit and it will hit with a vengance and it hurts. As you get to know your boat you will learn what it can handle safely and you will be able to tell if you can skip waves or just ride them out. Every boat differs on what it can handle.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just got my first "Big-Boy Boat" last fall and these are a few things I learned or was

told to keep in mind:

PFD-ON (I learned this one after being thrown from my old boat)

Kill Switch-Attached to YOU (not the boat) (See PFD section above)

Drain Plug: IN IN IN (It's like giving meds, check three times)

Check it in your yard, check it in the lot, and check it before backing in.

TRUST ME!!!

Trim up the motor when loading it up to leave. Your skeg thanks you.

Trailer Lights: Disconnect them up in the lot before backing in. This allows them to

cool down and not shatter due to the hot lights meeting the colder water.

Remember to reattach them when you get back up in the lot.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE prep your boat for launch up in the lot, not on the ramp. Nobody likes to sit on deck behind the five guys who load their entire weeks worth of gear up on the ramp, then launch ("Didja remember the worms Bob?" "Nah, I forgot, I'll just run to the bait store. Y'all wait here for me."). People will tolerate bad backers-up more than "@!$#%$ Ramp Loaders".

DO NOT CARRY A LOADED FIREARM TO THE RAMP. THE TEMPTATION TO USE IT IS JUST TOO GREAT.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I too would like to stress the importance of being efficient at the ramp as well. Everyone has some great comments regarding different shortcuts to make it quicker/easier for you. I'll hit on some previously mentioned points that I find to be important.

+Having equipment loaded and ready to go before getting to the ramp is ideal. While you may not be able to put everything in the boat...There are some items that can travel just fine.

+I always keep a rope attached to my front cleat and keep the remainder of the rope in a small bucket. It always comes out knot free and you don't spend minutes untying knots. Just pull it out of storage at the parking lot and your ready to go.

+Consider LED lights for your trailer. For years I was wasting time/money troubleshooting an old light setup. Finally picked up LED's last spring and I love em'. Never burn out and they are very bright for loading and being seen on the road. Wished I would have done it years ago.

+Transom saver is another wise purchase. That motor can bounce around quite a bit and isn't good for the transom. Some motors have clips built in to them but I prefer the transom saver.

+Don't be afraid to ask for help from someone at the ramp. I think most people would be more than willing to give you a hand to speed things up a bit....the "I can do it myself" attitude at a busy ramp just doesn't fly in most cases. Plus, it's a good way to b.s. with people and share some info.

+It may take a little while....but once you get your routine down things will go very smoothly. I fish a good amount alone and prefer launching/loading on my own. I usually tell my fishing partner to put the remaining gear from the vehicle into the boat. Interrupting a routine or attempting to partition the tasks sometimes ends up in tie-downs being left on or plugs not being put in.

Just keep your head and be smart about things. We all forget something every now and then or need assistance. Were all in this together.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I'm alone at the ramp, I back the trailer down the ramp so the boat is in the water, but not floating. I climb in and start the outboard then lean over the front and unhook the boat. This way if I have a battery/outboard problem, I can get out of the way quickly. I've seen too many people put the boat in and have a problem then run right back to the truck to get it out.

Another important topic for a new boater is invasive species. Before you leave the access, make sure the boat is free of weeds, mussels, crayfish, etc.

There is a lot of good info in this thread. I've learned a lot from trial and error. Good luck and enjoy the new boat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is a boater safety course mandatory in Minnesota?

No, but it SHOULD be. It's amazing how many people out there don't have a clue about basic boater safety/regulations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just bought my first boat about 2 months ago. I'm down in Ft Campbell, KY, so ive been able to go fishing every weekend.

My best advice is the first time you take it out go with someone who is an experienced boater. They will be able to assist you and show you the ropes.

Also, pick a boat ramp that is not busy, or is large enough for two boats to be put in at the same time. Therefore, you will not feel rushed putting your boat in the water the first time.

In addition, go to a smaller lake or a launch with a large, calm, bay, especially if it is windy out. Get a hang of your boat before you start battling the large waves.

And last, check the regs and make sure you are legal. I almost went out the first time without having all the necessary saftey equipment like an air horn, fire extinguisher, etc.

Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0