Launching a boat can be a scary experience for the first timer. Without proper training and the guidance of an expert, your boat could easily fail to launch, causing it to sink or you to get injured. Here are a few tips from the San Diego boat experts at Ballast Point Yachts, Inc. to help you have a safe and successful first launch.
Practice Launching Your Boat
It might sound cliché, but practice makes perfect. There are several public boat launching areas in San Diego, and their large parking spaces provide adequate space for launch practice. However, any large and quiet parking lot will work just fine. As soon as you buy a used boat in San Diego, you need to master how the trailer is attached to the truck and how to secure the boat to the trailer. Then, you can practice backing up in a straight line, controlling your vehicle and boat, correcting steering mistakes, and disconnecting the boat. Practicing a boat launch while the boat is on dry land allows you to master the basics before you hit the ramps and will prevent you from hitting anything or jack-knifing as you back up.
A lot of boating accidents occur as a result of mistakes that are made during launching. Conduct a pre-launch inspection and check to make sure all equipment on the boat is stored safely and securely, make sure the key is in the ignition, the drain plug is in, fastening straps should be off, and the trailer lights should be disconnected. Don’t forget to double check that there’s a safety rope attached to the bow.
Managing the boat on the water
A boat launch is not complete until you drive away from the dock. Have a plan in place for when your boat is ready to float off. If you have another boater with you, he or she can start the boat and move away from the dock until you move your truck and trailer and are ready to board. You can also beach the boat, or tie the boat to the dock using the bowline. Also, be careful when driving the boat away from the dock if it’s your first time. Attempting to drive the boat away before you have completely reversed from the dock could result in a collision, possibly causing the boat to lose balance and sink.
Are you in the market for a used boat or yacht? Take a look at our extensive inventory of used yachts in San Diego. We can also help you find a marina slip, secure financing, or select boat insurance. Gives us a call at (619) 222-3620 to speak with one of our trusted boating experts!