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Discussion Starter #1
Well, at last I,ve summoned up enough courage to attempt dunkin' the boat for the first time! We went up to Aberystwyth on the weekend to have a look at the berth & the slipway. This coming Saturday is the big day, around 3 to 4pm. 'cos that's high tide. I'll be having nightmares all week about seeing our boat slide off the trailer and disappear under the water! I would assume it would pay to have a rope on it so it can't float away? I've read in one of the Mags. that you should always start the outboard at the top of the slipway to make sure it's working. Other articles stress on no account start your engine out of water. Confusion right up to the last minute!! Anyway, I know I've been a pain with all my questions over the last few weeks, but I would greatly appreciate any last minute tips (or warnings!) anyone might have before the big splash!

Thanks for all your advice,

VL
 

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For your first launch I would suggest just after high water. If you get stuck or have any problems you have slack water for 30 min so no current toworry about and the tide will be out for 12 hours, plenty of time to recover the vehicle if you do get stuck. The slip at Aberystwyth used to be covered in green slimy weed from half tide down. Don't know if it still is, years since I went down there. If it is still it is not the stuff you want to try your brakes on.

Take 15 min in the car park to get your head together and give the bearings a chance to cool after towing. Dunking hot bearings in cold water causes them to suck in water and you don,t want that in the hubs. If you have a grease nipple a shot of grease in each hub before and after launch is a good idea.

Night before do a check list of things to transfer from car to boat and what you need on the boat. It is dead easy to leave the GPS in the box in the car (done it). Add a 5 litre bottle of water and sun screen as well as hats for all on board to your list with this weather. You get the sun bouncing off the water as well as direct and it is easy to cook yourself.

On the winching eye of the boat you should have a line that is not long enough to tangle the prop if dropped overboard. This should be tied to the winch post when towing as a safety if the winch ratchet slips. This then becomes a bow line to control the boat as it comes off the trailer. If you can get hold of a small oval polystyrene net float put it on the end of the line. If you do loose it overboard a touch of ahead on the engine will bring the line up neatly alongside to be recovered.

Do not start the engine at the top of the slip, dry running the impeller for any length of time will damage it. The time to start it is at home on the flush muffs before you set off. Nothing worse than finding you have a fault after you have launched. Run the engine up to temp on the muffs at home before starting out.
The next time you start is when the boat is launched and you have enough water to spin the prop under the boat. This way you avoid damage to the impeller through kicking up sand and your prop by hitting the bottom.

Take it slow and steady, reverse slowly with your mate off to one side holding the bow line and giving you directions. He will have sight to the rear of the boat from this position and if you take a turn of the bow line around the winch post he will have control of the boat on the trailer. He can directyou on the slip and tell you when to stop.

Most important, bin all the doubts, the time for them is passed. You have done the courses, asked the questions, answered all the what ifs. You are as well prepared as you can be and a lot better than most. This is the time to believe in yourself. Start slowly and as the confidence grows so does the speed.

Good luck and enjoy yourself, I have for the last 38 years, it has never lost it's buzz.
 

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I don't know how deep the water and how steep the slip but it may be an idea to wear your lifejackets for the launch. I've seen one old bloke disappear under his boat while recovering it.
I use a short ratchet strap round the winching eye of the boat which is attached to a ring on the trailer below. As Chris mentioned, it acts as a backup should your winch strap snap and, fitted this way, helps reduce any slight bounce from the bow while towing.
I always keep the engine on a fairly high tilt until I'm sure I'm in deep enough water.
Have a great time.
 

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Don't forget to undo the main strap before you get it into the water!! How many times have i done that with no waders.
Also remember the bung!!!

Freddy
 

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Hi VL1500,

It is now 1600hrs and I have been monitoring this computer all day waiting for your report. The suspence is killing me.

I am about to pack up and go home, but as soon as I get in I will be waiting for a report on the days event.

I hope everything went well.

All the best and good luck with your new boat.

Drew
 

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Hi Freddy,

What a pillock, I read the thread first thing this morning and it has been in my mind all day.

I have my computer on at work all day and whenever I return to my workshop I have a quick look for whatever. It was in my thoughts that today was the day.

Cheers

Drew
 

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Don't forget to take it off!
I try to get all my gear ready whilst the wheel bearings are cooling down. Put the rod rests in, it's easy to drop them overboard. Put the aerials up.

have fun

Martin
 

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Forgot to add:
If your dunking the trailer wheels I would strip them down, clean the bearings and give them a new coating of marine grease when you get home. It only takes 30 - 40 minutes but is worth it for the peace of mind. Speaking as one who stripped a set of bearings last year. I'd done one side but got called away and forgot about the other side. Luckily I noticed the problem before it became too serious and managed to swap them over at the side of the road. Had to replace the whole unit when I got home though.
Ever heard the saying, "if you don't like someone, buy them a boat".
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks a lot ChrisP,

by gum lad, you're a feller worth knowing!!

All you lot out there, much appreciate the interest and all the advice.
Trailer-board?? 'kin 'ell, never thought of that! I will do the bearings when
we get the trailer home. All though it was a new trailer, it's been sitting in our
garden with the boat on it for 18mnths., so it'll probably breathe a sigh of relief!
As far as rods & things go, we won't put them in on Saturday because I,ve got to
find out how to start the outboard, use the GPS, use the fish-finder etc. all from
the instruction books!! So no time for fishing, just need to get it berthed!
Can't believe this is happening, I've dreamed about a boat since I was a
youngster, and now at 62 we've actually got one!!

Anyway, thanks again lads!!

VL
 

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Is your boat on a floating mooring or a marina pontoon VL?

I ask beacause it is very easy for some brianless youth to come along and cast you loose. There is a worthwhile security measure to avoid this. Take a length of heavy chain from the top shackle on the riser of a mooring buoy or attatch a length to the marina pontoon. The other end is padlocked to the winching eye on the boat. You can get a marine stainless padlock which is ideal for this, squirt it inside with spray grease and it will work for years. Make the chain slightly longer than the mooring strop on a floating buoy. Allow plenty of slack if you are on a floating mooring. The weight of the chain will help keep the boat alongside on a pontoon so it serves a dual purpose there.

If you are on a pontoon there is a neat trick to help pick up your mooring ropes. Beg borrow or steal a 5 foot length of blue alkathene water pipe. Thread a rope through it secure one end to the pontoon and jam one end of the ppe into the pontoon slats. The other end should be hung out over the water with your rope spliced into a loop ready to be dropped over a cleat. The stiffness of the alkathene will hold the rope up for you so you can reach it from the deck without a stretch. If you have a midship cleat drop the loop over this one. A touch of ahead on the engine will bring you neatly alongside to make fast your other mooring lines. Saves the heart stopping leaps from boat to shore to get a line fast. When leaving the pontoon this is the last rope to let go of so you have time to let go the other moorings and put them away. This one can be released with no fear it will fall in the water ready to catch your prop when you return.

Enjoy yourself Saturday, it will go fine. Remember there is no such thing as a problem, just another opportunity.
 

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Forgive me if you know all this but just incase - after the launch you will hopefully take her out for a spin, you will notice, as you accelerate, the bow will rise to quite an angle, in the day angler this can hinder your sight a fair bit especially if you have people and gear toward the stern. At first it can seem a bit extreme but its normal. Providing its a nice enough day you should keep applying throttle and the bow will come down, you are then on plane and the steering will loosen up and everything will work well. With my boat and 75hp outboard I usually get onto plane at around 4100 rpm (you will start to use rpm alot as your reference to how stretched the engine is) this is about 14knots. Same applies to slowing down.

As I say this is all totally normal - im not sure to what extent other boats rise at the bow before planing but if your not used to it I could see it being quite disconcerting, all you need to remember is that it will only go so far and is perfectly safe. Maybe ChrisP or the other boys could explain this process better.

I sent you a private message with my mobile no. incase you need to know anything urgently (not sure if I will be any use) on sat as hopefully ill be out in the boat too!

Good Luck

Ryan
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hi ChrisP,

Great idea for the security chain, I've got some I can use and I'll be
putting that one into practice straight away. The blue pipe sounds like another
winner, and we've got loads of that around the place in two different sizes. The
only thing I need to check is the Pontoon (floating), I'm pretty sure
from memory that the boards are solid (no gaps) so I'll have to see if there's
anywhere else we can poke it!


MarieK,

No, I had no idea what to expect when first taking off (oops, getting
under way?). According to the engine manual, I,ve got to run the engine in for a
total of 10hrs. It does give the proper rev. readings to use and how long at each
stage. I can't remember if there's a rev. counter on the boat off-hand, but it does
suggest various throttle openings in lieu of a rev. counter. So I spose it'll be a
while before I can experience what you are describing. Appreciate the info.
anyway!
Many thanks for the Mobile No., it's very reassuring to be able to reach someone
if necessary, and rest assured, it won't be abused!

VL
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hi KinWife,

Nice to know we're not completely alone in this part of the World,
everyone else seems to be millions of miles away! South Wales, North Wales,
everywhere but here! Anyway, thanks for the comments and the suggestions
for dealing with the slipway. Starting the outboard with the blunt end of the boat
(wait for it...everyone's gonna chuck things at me now!!) in the water, but still on
the trailer, sounds like a good idea. In this instance it will obviously depend on
how busy the slipway is (it's not very wide), but if we're not in anybody's way
then we'll give it a whirl!!

Thanks again,

VL
 

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bring some fluids with you, a bottle of water or some juice. i get dead thirsty out at sea. good luck :D
 

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Hi VL1500,

It is now 1600hrs and no doubt it has all happened.

I trust that everything went as planned and that the gods were with you.

Wishing you every happiness in your new venture.

Drew
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Evenin' all!,

Well, we survived the launch!! Eventually got to Aberystwyth an hour
late, 'cos it took yonks to get the *%$&^ engine started at home. Probably
standing in my garden from new for 18mnths., meant that the fuel-ways were all
dry, and it took a lot of turning over before it started coughing and eventually
started! Anyway, when we got there, my missus went up to someone on a
mooring and asked was there anyone that could advise on launching. The bloke
she asked apparently said to his mate on the next boat along, "come on Bill, this
sounds like fun", and they both came back with her and virtually took control!
They will never know how relieved I was!! Everything I had tried to absorb
through the months just vanished, and I stood beside the motor and thought "I
wanna go 'ome!" Anyway, we got it in the water and I climbed on it with Bill,
and with a bit of encouragement got it started (very easily this time) and steered
it very slowly through the marina and round to our berth. They showed us how
to tie up to the pontoon and that was that!
I needed a couple of days to recover, so now tomorrow we might go and
attempt to take it out of the marina and into the sea.
So, now that I,m experienced, if there's anything you blokes want to know about
boats and stuff, just let me know!!!

VL
 

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Brilliant, brought back memories of my first launch.

Have you no mates there that know boats that could go out with you to act as guardian angel? May set your mind a bit easier.
 
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