Boat launching etiquette is one of the first things you should learn before taking your watercraft out on the dock. Not to mention, you’re also expected to know about the unwritten rules of a boat launch at the run time; this makes the overall process less painful for you and other boaters waiting on their turn.
However, now you must be wondering if the rules are “unwritten,” how are you supposed to know about them in advance? That’s where we come in! In this article, we’ll be sharing the nine ultimate steps on how to launch a boat for your utmost convenience.
How to Launch a Boat
1- Practice Your Reverse Driving Skills
First and foremost, you have to practice your reverse driving skills in an open area with the trailer and boat attached. It’s best not to give it a first try at the dock unless you want to end up with your vehicle at the lake’s bottom or damage one’s gear in the process.
2- Load All Your Equipment Beforehand
The next unwritten rule of launching a boat is to load all your equipment before driving down to the boat launch. Doing all your packing on the dock is a big no!
3- Don’t Tie the Buoys and Fenders on the Dock
You have to be quick at the boat launch, which is why it’s crucial to tie on your buoys and fenders in advance, also readying your dock lines before getting on the dock.
4- Remove the Tie-Downs
The next step is to remove the tie-downs securing your watercraft to the trailer. However, remember not to detach the winch line from the bow eye.
5- Never Forget to Put in the Drain Plug
Also, it’s best not to make the mistake of forgetting to put in the boat’s drain plug if you don’t want a watery mess on your boat after the launch.
6- Unplug Your Trailer Lights for Protection
If your trailer lights aren’t sealed or waterproof, it’s best to unplug them before the launch to avoid equipment damage.
7- Check Your Fuel Primers
If you have a fuel primer (attached to outboard motors with fuel lines connected to the fuel tank), don’t forget to pump that as well.
8- Test Your Motor at the Right Time
When backing into the water, it’s always best to test your motors and warm them up when your boat is somewhat immersed in the lake. These steps ensure your boat will start right up when it fully submerges into the water instead of floating away.
9- Back Up Your Boat the Rest of the Way
Finally, you can slowly back your boat into the water until it starts to float. Then release the winch line and use the bow and stern lines to guide your boat off the trailer, respectively.
While this is the standard procedure of launching a boat, you might still make mistakes on your first couple of tries. Therefore, we suggest choosing a day and time to launch your boat when there’s the least crowded. This will allow you to practice your skills without the added pressure.