Launching and retrieving a boat can be tricky at the best of times, especially in adverse weather or water conditions. This is doubly true if you’re launching a boat solo. The thing is though, any true fisherman will know that sometimes flying solo is the best option!
It’s possible, with the right gear, to launch practically any boat solo if you’ve prepared properly. Of course, the smaller your boat is, the easier it will be to launch. In years past, trial and error and LOTS of practice was the only way to become a pro at launching and retrieving your boat solo. These days, we’re lucky… there’s some neat kit out there that has been specifically designed to assist you in your boat launch and retrieval, namely, the Ezi-Guide Boat Retrieval System.
What is the Ezi-Guide Boat Retrieval System?
In a nutshell, Ezi-Guide Boat Retrieval is a self-aligning boat loading and launching system which can be used in launching your boat and either winch-assisted or drive-assisted retrievals and will always guide your boat safely to the centre of your trailer. The system allows you to launch and load your boat solo, and assists in avoiding to load your boat off the rollers which can damage your boat and your trailer. They also mitigate the need to have a spotter ensuring that you align the boat with the trailer perfectly, and can also make loading in adverse conditions such as wind and strong currents a lot easier.
Exi-Guide features an easy-to-install U-Bolt Ezi-Mount mounting system, which means there’s no power tools or drilling required. In fact, all you need to install Ezi-Guide is a 19mm socket or spanner and a marking pen. The Ezi-Guide boat loader suits trailers with both 50mm and 75mm cross members. For detailed installation instructions, have a read of the step-by-step installation guide here.
ARK’S Step-By-Step Guide to Launching your Boat Solo (With Ezi-Guide!)
So you’ve got your boat on the trailer, ready to head out on the weekend, and you get a call from your mate at the last moment – the missus is crook, and he can’t make it. Better cancel the trip, right? Wrong! If you have an Ezi-Guide, then launching your boat solo is very achievable… and we’re going to show you just how achievable! How to launch a boat solo is as easy as following this step-by-step guide, which’ll have you hitting the water solo in no time!
Take the Cautious Approach
It might go without saying, but without someone there to spot any problems that may arise while you launch your boat, you’ll need to be extra vigilant in ensuring you get everything right. You’ll want to assess the conditions of the ramp so you know what to be wary of, whether it’s a strong current or hidden debris.
Remove Tie Downs and Place Bungs
Double check that all tie-down straps have been removed, and remember your bungs. The last thing you want is to have forgotten a strap, or to start taking on water because a bung hasn’t been replaced.
Lineup Your Boat on the Ramp
Reverse your trailer and boat down the ramp, being extra cautious as to your surroundings. It’s important to only reverse your trailer into the water to the point that the last keel roller is level with the water. Any deeper, and the Ezi-Guide system won’t be as effective. Once you’ve reversed to the unload point, you’ll need to hop out and (possibly) get your feet wet!
Once the boat and trailer is in position, you’ll want to unclip everything, including the safety. During this step it’s important to be wary of how your boat is going to react, especially if the ramp is a steep one. Some trailers with a lot of rollers will mean your boat will want to slide, so be ready for anything.
Board your boat and check your surrounds
Hop on board your boat, and check down behind it prior to starting the engine. You’ll want to be extra cautious for swimmers, or debris or anything that may cause problems.
Trim Your Engine
Trim your engine down, but be cautious of going too far. Remembering that the water is most likely very shallow here, if you happen to trim your engine too far down you risk hitting the bottom and causing damage.
Start the engine, and hit reverse. The trick here is to not give it too much power. You want to give it just enough revs for the boat to begin sliding off the rollers.
Guided by Ezi-Guide
The beauty of having Ezi-Guide installed is that you don’t have to worry about the angle or any slippage – Ezi-Guide will do that for you. Simply hit reverse and let Ezi-Guide do its thing, and before you know it you’ll be in the water!
Tie off the Boat and Park Your Trailer
Now the boat is in the water, you’ll want to tie it off at the dock, head back to the ramp and park your trailer and tow vehicle so the tramp is clear for the next user.
Hit the Water!
And with that, you’ve successfully launched your boat solo! It’s time to hit the water.
Where to go for more information?
When it comes to hitting the water in your boat, ARK are the proven experts. They’ve been leaders in trailer parts, towing gear and 4WD accessories for over 40 years, are 100% Australian owned and independent.
The best part? They love to hit the water just like you! A typical weekend for Ark members includes getting the boat out and wetting a line, as well as tackling some of the more remote boating spots around the country. So you can be sure that when you buy a product from Ark, you’re getting something that has been properly tried and tested in real Aussie conditions!