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Author Topic:   Solo Launch/Retrieval of Montauk 170?
Traveller posted 07-15-2004 04:58 PM ET (US)   Profile for Traveller   Send Email to Traveller  
I was wondering if any of the Montauk 170 owners launch and retrive their boats alone? If so, how do you do it?
kamie posted 07-15-2004 05:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for kamie  Send Email to kamie     

I have managed to retrieve an 18 Outrage alone. It really depends on your trailer and the ramp dynamics. Most of all it's about practice. There are several threads about trailering and launch/retrieval solo, you might have to do a bit of searching. How is your trailer setup, bunks or rollers? What does the launch ramp look like, steep with currents. Also check the reference section for a whole lot of info on trailering and launch ramp physics.

For me with the 18, I back the trailer in so that the waterline is about the third roller. Then I powerload, because the currents around the ramp at my marina are insane. Once up as far as she goes, I hop out, get the winch hooked up and take up the slack. I hop in the boat, turn off the engine and tilt it up a bit. Then hop out and winch her up to the bowstop. I will say that once I put guideposts on the trailer and get the bunks set correctly, I am hoping not to have to power load.

Buckda posted 07-15-2004 05:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
I launch and retrieve my 18 Outrage solo almost 100% of the time.

Sometimes I am alone, the rest of the time, I'm with folks who don't really know what they're doing, so it's just better that I do it myself.

How do you launch and retrieve with other people? What do they do? Hold the dockline? I tie mine off to the dock. That post holds the line better than most of my friends. No offense to them, but it just does!

The only thing I do is pull the key out of the ignition, and I usually have packed up my electronics while coming back into port (save my VHF)...that way they're out of view from prying eyes and sticky fingers while I'm off getting the truck and trailer.

Practice during a non-busy time at'll get the hang of it, and it won't be a problem later on when the ramp gets more crowded.


Buckda posted 07-15-2004 05:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Traveller -

Pardon my geographical-centric reply. In the Midwest on the Great Lakes, ramps typically have a courtesy dock and pilings alongside the ramp. I forgot that on many inland lakes in the South and Southeast, there is no such dock to assist you!

I'm not sure what I would do in this situation...I would likely either ask for assitance or scope the ramp ahead of time for a nearby dock to park the boat at once I pulled it off the trailer - I'd board over the bow, start the boat, bring her to a dock and then go retrieve the trailer. I'd do this in reverse when loading. In this situation, I'd also have rubber boots (cold weather) or sandals (warm weather) handy so I could handle the boat onto the trailer properly.



kamie posted 07-15-2004 06:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for kamie  Send Email to kamie     
The ramp I use at my marina doesn't have a dock. Usually it's pretty empty since it's limited to slip holders only and the marina staff. If I can, I find an empty slip close to duck into while I get my trailer, if not there is a cleat one can tie up to at the end of the ramp. You are right though, you need to scope things out and the best is to watch the regulars if you can.
Beaner posted 07-16-2004 09:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for Beaner  Send Email to Beaner     
I launch my 170 Montauk by myself most of the time. Here is my launching process:

Before Boat goes down ramp, tie downs come off back, fenders ready, and dock line tied to bow and stern cleat. Boat hook is in clamp-on rod holder. Back boat into water into water until fenders are almost submerged. Get out of truck, unhook chain, release winch and strap hook. I grab the bow line and push boat into the water. I walk up onto dock, grab hook and use hook to pull the boat (by rail) up to dock. Position fender and tie off bow and stern line. Go park truck and trailer.

To pull out I back trailer until bunks are halfway submerged. untie boat, holding bow line kick out stern and pull boat through PVC trailer guides (a big help!) and up onto bunks. Attach strap, pull boat tight, hook up chain. Get in truck and prepare boat for drive away from ramp.

On most days this process takes only a few minutes. I can usually launch/retrieve by myself faster than a group of guys with a bigger boat.

Chuck Tribolet posted 07-17-2004 05:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
My buddy Kawika, who posts here occasionally, launches his 170
single handed a couple of times a week. It's very doable,
just think through what you gotta do. The one key is a stern
line long enough to get to the bow and then some.

I occasionally launch my 167 single-handed (usually Adm. Linda
is there to help), and not only can you do it faster than
a bunch of guys who don't have any practice, you can do it
a LOT faster, and that's fun. I remember one time I pulled
up to the ramp as a Chinese fire drill was backing their
trailer down on the other side. I tied up, rinsed off the
dry suit, dried off the dry suit, went and got the trailer,
loaded, and was off the ramp before they even had the boat on
the trailer. <VBG>.


davej14 posted 07-17-2004 10:24 AM ET (US)     Profile for davej14  Send Email to davej14     

I solo launch/retrieve my Dauntless 14 most of the time. If you do not have them already, I would recommend that you add a couple of post guide-ons to your trailer. Not only will they be very helpful when driving the boat onto the trailer, but without someone to help you back the "boatless" trailer down to the ramp for retrieval, you will bevery glad you can see where it is headed.

I first survey the ramp and decide where I will tie off while parking the trailer. To minimize time at the ramp I make sure that I have ALL the prelaunch details completed. This includes fenders and dock lines secured to the proper side of the boat, transom straps removed, bilge plug installed, motor trimed way up for launch, bimini positioned out of the way, key in my pocket and kill switch lanyard in place, trailer lights unpluged, bow winch line loosened and all provisions I need for the day stowed in the boat. Before proceeding to the ramp take a last walk around the boat and make certain you are ready to go. It is amazing how many times you will have forgotten the bilge plug, not tilted up the motor or left something on the ground. If you have post guide-ons make certain that the fenders are fliped inside of the boat and that the bow and stern lines are run unimpeded to the bow where you can reach them for the launch.

Where to stop when backing the trailer down the ramp will take some experimentation. In my case I leave about one foot of the bunk exposed. This works for me upon launch and retrieve. If the dock is adjacent to the ramp, I simply walk to the winch (feet in the water) unhook the boat and push it off the trailer. Holding the bow and stern lines I hop onto the dock and pull the boat over, flip the fenders back over the side and tie off. If it is windy I try to tie off to the downwind side of the dock and/or use a spring line. If it isn't possible to walk the boat to the dock, then after unhitching the bow hooks, I climb into the boat over the bow rail using the trailer for a step, start the boat on the trailer, back it off under power and drive it to the tie off location. If you power launch, make sure you don't rush the warm up because you don't want to stall in current or windy conditions.

For retrieval, I use the reverse procedure and I have always driven the boat onto the trailer. Make sure the fenders are inboard of the boat to clear the guide-ons. Again, take your time. If you are not lined up, back off, make a circle and try again. You will have gotten the feel for the effect of the current and wind on the first try and compensate better on the next. This is where the guide-ons really pay for themselves. You want to be moving just fast enough to maitain the helm control. If the trailer is the proper depth, the boat will nose up to within a foot of the winch. If you are way short, you can power it on further but if the trailer is too far out of the water this is not for the feint of heart. Tilt the motor up, hop over the bow onto the trailer and into the water to connect the winch and pull it the last few inches onto the trailer.

A couple of other comments. If you install the guide-ons, leave 1-2 inches of clearance on each side. Don't be overly concerned with the boat being dead center on retrieval, it will improve upon pull out and also while bouncing down the road with the stern straps in place. If conditions are bad, ask for help. Someone will always lend a hand. The most important thing is to be prepared prior to launch and retrieval and then do not rush the process.

Marsh posted 07-18-2004 10:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for Marsh  Send Email to Marsh     
Back in April, I rubbed down my bunks with a bar of parrafin wax. I have had probably 50 launch/retrievals since then, and my bunks are still so slippery, my Montauk slides off into the water with a push from one finger. It's so easy, it's unbelievable. If I launch from a steep ramp, I have to be extra careful; the boat would slide off onto the parking lot if I unhooked it prematurely.

Like many above, I, too, launch solo most of the time, even when I'm not by myself. It's just easier. No training involved. Try the parrafin wax trick. Sure makes it easy.


skred posted 07-19-2004 02:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for skred  Send Email to skred     
Marsh, I've been thinking about waxing the bunks, but if it's that slippery, how do you unhook the winch line. It would seem that with any slope at all when you loosen the winch line, the boat would slide back and keep pressure on the line... My system might work with lubricated bunks: Just be sure to have a long bow line, take 3 turns around the winch post, release the winch tension, remove the winch hook and safety chain: if the boat starts to slide, you have the bow line with enough turns to stop it, or to control the speed at which the boat slides. Once in the water, tie up and park...
I have launched and retrieved both my former MOntauk, and my present Dauntless 16. Loading single is easiest if you concede that you'll wear shorts and "rock shoes", and wade out a bit to manually align the boat, although it's seldom necessary with a bunk trailer - especially if you have load guides.
cape_rover posted 07-19-2004 08:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for cape_rover  Send Email to cape_rover     
what did you wax, the bunk's carpet or did you remove the carpet and wax the wood?
davej14 posted 07-20-2004 07:33 AM ET (US)     Profile for davej14  Send Email to davej14     
If it becomes that slippery after waxing the bunks, I would not do it. Especially if I were going to solo launch and retrieve. With the trailer at the right depth, I can easily push the boat off the bunks. After a foot or two she is floating. When I retrieve, I need to have some friction to hold the boat as I walk forward and exit over the bow rail. A couple of turns on the winch and she is up tight to the bow roller. It has not been dificult at all.
Plotman posted 07-20-2004 09:29 AM ET (US)     Profile for Plotman  Send Email to Plotman     
I launch and retrieve my 22 Outrage alone all the time. My trailer is well set up with guide one (bunk-style), and we do have docks right at the ramp we use most.

I have timed myself, and I can be driving down the road in uder five minutes from the time I step onto the dock.

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