Launch ramp safety

What's on your mind? Anything generic goes here.

Re: Launch ramp safety

Postby Romakeme IV on Mon Feb 12, 2018 7:58 pm

Cracker39, my Land Cruiser has a dedicated emergency brake on the driveshaft. When in 4 wh. it brakes front and rear wheels. Northern Focus is correct in that an emergency brake will only provide X amount of braking force. However if you are talking about slippage(wheels sliding) as on ice or a steep slippery ramp then being locked in 4 wheel drive will assist because the front wheels are not free wheeling.

The trick another member mentioned - leaving a line attached and slamming the brakes on when the boat floats off works good as well. I have used it when singlehanding and also when launching at a ramp with no dock.

Another trick I might add is - when retrieving, don't struggle with the winch on the ramp trying to get right up to the bow stop. Drive up onto the flat parking lot and slam the brakes on. The weight of the boat will cause it to slide right up against the bow roller on the winch post.

There is a catwalk you can buy that bolts to your trailer tongue. One of these might help.

Regards, Rob
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Re: Launch ramp safety

Postby harry ames on Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:52 am

I can highly recommend putting away all pride and asking for help at the ramp. I would never do a single handed launch and retrieve. My wife has the sole responsibility to sit in the truck with her foot on the brake and the E brake on and the truck in park. I do all the rest.

I've used other boaters several times in windy conditions to help and I've frequently been asked by other boaters at the ramp if I'd help and I'm always willing and pleased and think more of them because they recognize that some help is needed to be safe, and more often than not, on a crowded ramp, having an extra hand can get the job done quickly and the whole line up of people waiting will be glad.

I do drive my R21 classic onto the trailer but always end up with a foot or so of cranking to do to snug it up to the stop. The 21 is so responsive to the rudder that I've never had a problem even in some fairly good winds. My trailer has guides, and I'd like to add a couple more.

i've only seen two other boats with the catch and grab automatic thingys on the front and both required several approaches before they were able to get a lock.
1997 R21 Classic named Poopsy
Retired rocket scientist
Following my passion as an Author of the Harold Oliver Detective books published on Amazon
Mostly boat western inland lakes
Owned a loaded C-Dory 22 before Poopsy
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Re: Launch ramp safety

Postby cracker39 on Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:54 pm

[quote="harry ames"]I can highly recommend putting away all pride and asking for help at the ramp. I would never do a single handed launch and retrieve. My wife has the sole responsibility to sit in the truck with her foot on the brake and the E brake on and the truck in park. I do all the rest.

I've used other boaters several times in windy conditions to help and I've frequently been asked by other boaters at the ramp if I'd help and I'm always willing and pleased and think more of them because they recognize that some help is needed to be safe, and more often than not, on a crowded ramp, having an extra hand can get the job done quickly and the whole line up of people waiting will be glad.

I do drive my R21 classic onto the trailer but always end up with a foot or so of cranking to do to snug it up to the stop. The 21 is so responsive to the rudder that I've never had a problem even in some fairly good winds. My trailer has guides, and I'd like to add a couple more.

Harry:

I certainly agree with you on asking for help at the ramp - and getting the boat off the trailer is the easy part. As for reloading, I learned a long time ago that I just ain’t as agile as I used to be. Having to get in and out of the boat, while it’s away from the dock sitting on the trailer, can require some atheletic maneuvers I don’t handle too well.

One thing you said about your wife sitting in the driver’s seat to hold the brake may have suggested a good solution for me - a passenger side brake pedal. That way, launching or retrieval, my wife could stay seated in the passenger seat with her foot on the brake while I exit and re-enter the truck after launching or retrieval (—faster - without having to release the brakes momentarily to switch places.). I’d probably still put my front wheel chocks in place just in case my wife is mad at me! The only thing left at that point is to get someone to hold the bow line while I park or go get the truck. If by ourselves it’s also simple enough to tie off a long enough bow or stern line to the dock that won’t interfere with launching or retrieval. Now to dream up the mechanics of a passenger side brake pedal.
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Re: Launch ramp safety

Postby SgtAlf on Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:52 pm

A bench seat with the console lifted out of the way? She could sit in the middle with her foot on the brake. The brake pedal is big enough for her foot and your foot while swapping feet on the brake. Maybe?
Tony & Kathy
R-23 Sea Holli
Jackson, NJ
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Re: Launch ramp safety

Postby cracker39 on Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:01 pm

SgtAlf wrote:A bench seat with the console lifted out of the way? She could sit in the middle with her foot on the brake. The brake pedal is big enough for her foot and your foot while swapping feet on the brake. Maybe?


That would work if it didn’t have buckets and a big center console. Oh for the memories of those bench seats!!!
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Re: Launch ramp safety

Postby Romakeme IV on Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:46 pm

You can buy a kit for a passenger side brake pedal. They make them for drivers education cars, mail trucks, etc.

I have installed them before.
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Re: Launch ramp safety

Postby cracker39 on Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:20 pm

Romakeme IV wrote:You can buy a kit for a passenger side brake pedal. They make them for drivers education cars, mail trucks, etc.

I have installed them before.


I just received a response from OS Brake that, yes, their passenger side brake will fit my truck and it is very easy to install. I believe that the cost is right around $399, plus installation - unless I do my own install. This, combined with the hitch extension, the safety handrail to the boat from the truck, and the non-slip shoes, seems to solve most of my concerns. I may even be in the market for an R23 one of these days!!!
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