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How to Get Your Boat from the Trailer into the Lake

Boating can be really fun, but not if your boat is stuck on a trailer.


  • Step 1: Prepare your boat Make sure your drain plug at the stern is in. Then undo and stow the safety straps that secure the stern to the trailer.
  • Step 2: Back your trailer down Back your trailer down the launch ramp towards the water until two-thirds of the trailer is in the water.
  • TIP: Attach a length of marine rope to the bow of the boat so you can have a friend hold onto the rope as you launch it.
  • Step 3: Unhook the bow Unhook your safety chain from the bow and then unhook the wench.
  • Step 4: Guide the boat off the trailer Guide the boat off the trailer by gently pushing it back. Get enough of the boat in the water so that it floats above your trailer.
  • Step 5: Pull the trailer out Pull the trailer slowly from under the boat.
  • Step 6: Have a friend hold the boat Have a friend stay with the boat while you park the trailer. Then wade to your boat, get in, and go for a cruise.
  • FACT: In 2005, the U.S. Coast Guard reported that 3,582 people were injured in boating incidents.

You Will Need

  • A towing vehicle
  • A boat launch or ramp
  • A friend
  • Marine rope (optional)

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