Launch and Recovery
LAUNCH & RECOVERY
On any half reasonable slip, you do not need to get your bearings wet. Reverse down the slip until the tyres are wet but the hubs are not.
Control the rate of escape with the winch if required. If the opposite is required, use the back-winching technique. Pass the winch strop down one side of the bow, under the first keel roller & back up the other side to the towing eye. Pad the hook off your gel coat (your best linen handkerchief will do this nicely!) & winch in whilst keeping an eye on the route of the strop round the roller. If you wind it tight into the gap between roller & carrier, expletives may follow! Also be very careful using this back winching technique. If you go at it too hard, you may accelerate the boat so that the winch strop goes slack as the boat goes backwards. Then it snatches tight again & could cause the winch to spin dangerously. When launching my Drifter 22, which weighs some 1300 kg, we tend to use the back winching technique but add a check rope from the towing eye back to a dry turn round the stempost handle to allow a controlled rate of descent.
To recover the boat, back the trailer until the wheels are in about 6" of water. My rule of thumb is to put the wheels into the water but not the hubs. Pull the boat into the cradle & clip on the strop. Provided the bow is within the cradle rollers & within about 40 degrees of inline with the trailer, go back to the winch & wind. The boat will self line & self level thanks to the cradle on your trailer. If there is too much wind or tide even to stay within the 40 degrees, run the boat hard onto the slip & recover it from there. With our trailers you can pick the boat up off the floor if needed.