How to retrieve your boat with Alistair McGlashan

Al McGlashan explains how to retrieve your boat.
Al McGlashan: Now, launching a boat is one thing, retrieving it is a whole new kettle of fish. It's really basic, and with bigger boats like this that are designed to drive on, drive off, it's even easier, but there's a couple little tricks you need to do to get it right. First and foremost, what we want to do is put the trailer in the exact same mount that when we launch it, so in my case it's the back rollers which are just under water. You don't want it too high because then your rollers will be out so you have to lift up to get on and if it's too deep, they won't guide you because they'll be too far under water.

Getting that distance right is perfect. With a trailer in the water, what we've got is, so the first few rollers are under water, just under water so they're going to guide us in. The next step, and this is the critical part, is we want to work out which way the current's going because what a lot of people do is they just drive straight at the trailer. As they come in, the current gets them at the last minute and they miss. What we actually do is if the current's pushing from left to right, we come in on the left hand side of the trailer and come straight in because we want to work out which way the current's going.

In this case the current's running out, tide's going out, so we want to come in just on the left hand side a touch. That way we're compensating for a bit of a drift. When you're bringing your boat on the trailer remember to use the throttle in and out of gear, especially if there's some tide or surge. That way you can guide it on perfectly. Just as I hit it I pull it out of gear, then what I do is I've just got it in gear and I can actually steer left and right with my throttle. Another thing worth mentioning is in some ramps that are shallow is you need to trim the engine up.

With this boat, what I need to do now is now that I'm sitting on the trailer, so I'm in position, is I want to trim it up a bit. I don't want to run it on the back. Then just start accelerating up a bit. Don't have to go too hard, just push her up a bit. Once you've got the boat on the trailer, just put your winch cable on then crank it up, make sure it's clicked in and that will help secure the boat. Then the final one, just put your safety on. Remember if this is detachable, take it with you. Now, boats that don't have a boat catch, you still must put your safety on and of course your winch. In fact, even with mine, put all three on.

Be safe rather than sorry. Now when the boat's on the trailer, turn the batteries off and remember to stow all the gear. All the aerials down, all the rods down and anything that might blow out, put it safely away because you want to get home with everything. Last but not least, put your safety straps on and pull out the bung. Now it's a lot to remember, so write out all the points, laminate it and that way you've got no excuse because you've got a checklist.