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Solo Boat Ramp Adventures


There are many different ways to launch and trailer a boat. Whats your routine at the launch?

Personally I have 2 slightly different methods. There is not right or wrong way to launch your vessel. As long as your efficient, courteous to others, and not harming the ramp itself, you're on the right track. Here is what I do here on Mille Lacs lake to launch my boat (put it in the water).

Arrive at the boat ramp. First thing I do is pull to the side and hop out and start getting the boat ready. Drain plug, batteries on, motor bracket off. Usually while accomplishing these tasks I'm also taking note of everything and everyone else around me. Who is tied to the dock? Trailers backed in and parking spots, ect. During this stop I also load all fishing gear, bait, coolers, nets and right before hopping back in the truck I remove the rear straps from the boat. At this point i proceed to the ramp (or the line waiting for the ramp).

Now its my turn! People are watching and you're in the spotlight!! While pulling forward and straightening my truck I'm checking the ramp, dock and wind to make sure all is clear. Using my mirrors (get used to using your mirrors and practice if you need to) I proceed back down the ramp. I back my boat in to the point the rear starts to float or my winch is at the waterline -whichever happens first. Truck in park. Parking brake on. Out the truck i go to unhook the boat from the winch. At this point my launch can go 2 different directions..

Boat launch option 1 is dock line off the front bow cleat (already attached and ready to go). I take this line back as far as it will reach on the boat dock (my favorite dock line boat launch rope is 30 feet long). Tie it off secure to the dock. I hop back in the truck and slowly back the rest of the way down the ramp until the boat slides off the trailer. On calm days or days there is a slight breeze away from the dock (the times i use this method) the boat will slowly pull to the end of the rope and sit waiting for me to return. I watch to make sure it stops ok then park the truck. It is now fishing time!

Boat launch option 2 is hit the power button on my Minnkota Ulterra. Double check my handheld remote insuring its reading the motor. Hop back in the truck and slowly slide down the ramp. The boat slides off the trailer slowly and I hit the motor deploy button. With the boat now in the water and Minnkota deployed I watch in my rear view mirror as I steer the boat a safe distance from the dock. Once the boat is clear of everything I hit the anchor button. The boat will now sit and wait for my return! I go park my truck and it is now fishing time!

Practice and and pre-planned attack make the boat launch a safe, fun, and fast experience. The other boaters around you will appreciate your expertise and maybe even pickup a tip or 2 by your smoothness. My way may not be perfect for everybody. But works great for me here on Mille lacs and many other great bodies of water!

Keep your rods bent!

Matt Treno

matttreno@hotmail.com

612-619-5690

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