Al McGlashan: Launching a boat - it can be a pretty daunting task especially for newcomers. So I'm gonna show you a basic system I follow that will make it easy.
Firstly, if you've driven a long way, give the trailer a moment to cool down. Those bearings get hot and you don't want to put hot bearings in the water.
Secondly, turn your battery on before you get in the water and of course make sure it's charged.
If you're at a new ramp, find out some local advice. Seek out the local guys, talk to 'em, see if there's drop offs, check the wind and tide - little things like that, local information is key.
The next step is, assess the situation at the ramp. What's the tide doing? Is there any surge on the ramp? What are the other boats doing? Is there any wake? Little things like that.
Now, all this is a lot to ask so, make a checklist and laminate it then you have no excuse.
The next step, take off the tie down straps.
Trim your engine up, if you've got a little clip under it, take it off or in my case I've just got a block of wood. Get your fenders and your ropes ready before you put it in.
Now, a final thing you have to remember is your bungs and we've all got a story about putting the boat in without the bungs. So what I always do is put them in my live bait tank, it's a system so I know to get them outta there and then put them in the back of the boat.
So now it's time to get wet. Now, for this I need someone to help me so I'm gonna get Millsy, behind the wheel of the car. We're gonna drop the boat right down, just so it's about to get wet. So the bum will be in the water, the front end will still be dry. When you get the exact depth you want your trailer to sit, take a note of how deep it is on the trailer guard, so how high the water sits. That way you always have the same point to work with.
So now we've got Millsy down the front, he's unclipping the boat. What I'm gonna do as a safety precaution is trim the engine in - don't trim it too far because you don't want to touch the bottom, so take a note of how deep it is. Get her in, just so she's under water, start her up... and let Millsy know that I'm putting it into gear. So Millsy, she's going into gear. He's gonna keep his hands away at that time and what the boat will do is it'll hold me sitting on the trailer, and then what I'm gonna do is I'm going to unclip the winch, the safety and open my boat catch.
So now we've got the engine running, she's unclipped. My trailer tends to stick a bit on the boat, so what Millsy's gonna do, he's gonna drop it back and just touch the brakes a little bit for me.
Okay Millsy. At the same time I'm gonna touch it into reverse.
There you have a boat off the trailer ready for fishing.