How to launch your Personal Water Craft

Simple steps for launching your Personal Water Craft.
Dom Wiseman: Launching your personal watercraft does not need to be a difficult or stressful experience. The key to a nice and simple launch is preparation, and preferably a good mate who can help you out.

Before moving into the preparation zone to reverse your trailer down the ramp, park in the rigging area or a spot away from the action so you can get your craft ready in a quiet and stress free environment. It's also a great idea at this point to don your safety jacket. That way you're not leaving it behind in the heat of the action. You should've already checked your safety gear before you left home, but this is a good time now to cast your final eye over your PWC to make sure nothing has gone wrong on the drive down to the ramp.

To get ready for launching the first thing you must do is remove the strap from the back of the craft. While you're there it's also a timely opportunity to check that you've actually put the bungs in. While you probably started the engine before you left home, it doesn't hurt to kick it over just for a second or two to ensure you don't have any issues on the ramp.

Now it's your turn to join the queue. Reverse the trailer into the water until the rear of the PWC starts to float. Now you can remove the safety chain and release the winch strap. If you're on your own, step up onto the PWC as you push it off the trailer. If you are in water that's more than a meter deep at this point you can start the PWC and motor back in towards the beach, but remember to ensure that you shut the engine off as soon as that water depth reaches less than one meter.

If you've come off the trailer and the PWC is in water that's less than a meter deep, walk it back to the beach by hand. You should never start your PWC in water that's less than a meter deep. You run the risk of sucking sand and stones into the impeller, causing damage, and your day could be over sooner than it began. It could also result in a fairly expensive repair bill.

Once the PWC is secure on the beach, don't forget to go back to the ramp, grab your car and trailer, and move it into the car parking area. If you have a friend joining you for the day things can be a little bit easier. Once you've reversed the trailer into the water, you can jump aboard the PWC, your friend can give you a little push out, and you can start the PWC once you're in deep enough water. In the meantime your friend can park your car and trailer in the car park, and then you're ready to go.

Enjoy your time on the water. Boating is better with Club Marine.