You may have just developed a love for boating and you have no choice but to learn how to launch a pontoon boat. As a beginner, you may have doubts about this. Don’t worry because there is always a way out if you are ready to learn.
You can still do this without the help of another person. As long as you have the necessary items like mooring lines and fenders, safety precautions are observed for everyone and your boat. The correct handling setting is also necessary to use them according to their purpose. It’s best to understand each step in achieving your goals, so keep reading this article on how to launch a pontoon boat on your own.
Is launching a pontoon boat easy?
Are pontoon boats difficult to launch? You will find it easy to launch your pontoon when you are well prepared. It gives you enough confidence to do it and there will be no stress once you get on the launch pad.
As with everything else, you won’t be under any pressure once the preparations are complete. It happens when you are sure of what you are doing. If you are the only boater on the ramp, you can definitely save time by successfully launching your pontoon.
Things you will need when Launch a pontoon boat by yourself
When launching your pontoon on your own, there are some items that you can take advantage of.
- Pliers and rope – They are attached to the truck or other types of vehicles.
- A pre-launch checklist – It is most recommended for novice boaters.
- guardian or stick – They have a habit of hanging on to the boat while driving.
- Boots – They are usually optional but essential if you don’t like your feet to get wet. You can benefit from this if you don’t want to stand on the tab or if the latch is missing.
The ultimate guide to launching a pontoon on your own
This part not only covers pontoon navigation tips but also a guide that will show you every step and every detail. Take your time going through all of the numbers and you’ll be grateful for it later.
1. Preparation for launching pontoon boats
Before going in the water, commit to the following things:
- Unplug all electrical outlets.
- You will also need to unplug the incandescent bulbs.
- Keep mooring lines, cross straps and safety equipment inside your pontoon.
- Adjust the fenders and mooring lines so that they can be used immediately.
- When there is a drain plug in your pontoon, it should be in place.
- Be skilled at slowly backing your pontoon in a straight line.
- Remove the transom saver.
- Check the drain plugs if they are secure. Be careful, the pontoon can sink or dive from the nose if the tube is filled with water.
Beginners should spend some time practicing handling before getting into a real situation. Vacant parking, spacious driveway, and other available open spaces can serve your intention.
A parking spot could be the ramp and this gives you a good chance to practice. When you do, you should discover that a small correction can make a big difference in how the pontoon trailer behaves. It is best to have your first test on the water which is just a little above the wheels of the trailer.
2. How to approach the launch pad
This can be a difficult part for any boater, but practicing reverse and save actions can get you done successfully. Be good at placing both the pontoon and the trailer in the upright position.
You have to start the engine and this is also acceptable if you start with a test drive. This can be done while the pontoon is attached to the trailer. At this time, you have the option to check whether the water pump is working properly or not.
The water jet from the lower unit will tell you that the pump is working without problem. After that, you need to unhook the safety straps and chains. Doing it alone requires you to back the trailer far enough to swap your vehicle’s parking lot. The next thing that can happen is pushing the boat so that you can tie it up immediately.
As another option, you can attach a rope to the pontoon before overturning the trailer in the water. The rope holds your pontoon near the trailer until you are ready to jump on board.
3. Back out to the water’s edge
At this point you are in a straight line and at an appropriate angle. Slowly walk up the ramp to the water’s edge, as the water should be just above the wheels. Then do these things:
- Drive slowly and carefully. The corrections to the piloting method should be small but precise.
- You can drive a bit when it is necessary to straighten the trailer.
- Do not allow the boat to enter the water.
Apply the brake to park when you are in the ideal position while the rear wheels of the trailer are in the water. Some pontoon boat owners make mistakes by unhooking the bow when they have not yet reached the edge of the quay. Be careful, this can cause an accident.
4. Bring the pontoon back to the quay with a rope
I prefer to connect the rope to the front of my truck. You should be able to see these things at this point:
- The trailer is in the water except for its tongue.
- The boat is detached from the trailer.
- The rope is now connected to the platform of the truck.
If you’ve checked them all, you’re good to go. It’s time to save for the launch.
It only takes a little momentum to back up and throw with a sudden stop. Then, the boat can be released from the trailer which will remain in its place because it is connected to the vehicle. It can also float behind the trailer.
You can find a lot of slack in the line. Just pull the boat or tie the rope to a tree or branch. This will allow the boat to sit and you will be able to tow the trailer at the same time.
5. Park a trailer
There will be a point where you will need to park your trailer and get to your boat after that. When backing up your boat, the motor should be set high. Don’t worry about overheating if you see peeing water. Save in a slow space, then you can go.
This is crucial in launching a pontoon boat. Start by driving slowly to the shore. There is no need to rush things. Even if the wind is blowing a little hard, you still have to grab your rope and tie it to the ground.
You can fix the rope at a certain point using a stone, stake, pole, tree or other objects with sufficient weight. It’s fine to leave it as it is if the waves are calm. In most cases, it is not necessary to tie it up.
Move and back up with your vehicle. Follow the correct procedures so that you can properly align your boat when landing the boat. In addition, you must avoid backing the trailer too far. This will cause the boat to float past the guide.
Some things you need to consider when launching a pontoon boat on your own
You may be talking to someone about this and that person will insist that you take someone with you when you are sailing your pontoon. But the guide above is enough to convince you that it is safe and correct for you to do it yourself. Sure, it’s hard work, but you can do it by paying attention to the details.
Remember to be independent and don’t let the pressure come over you even if there are other boaters behind you waiting to launch their boats as well. The feeling of pressure and rush can cause you to make mistakes or worse, cause an accident.
When you launch a pontoon on your own, you need to take it slowly and carefully. Prioritize safety among other things and keep in mind that there is no need to rush.
Final words for launching a pontoon on your own
It may take a while to practice launching a pontoon boat on your own, but it’s a huge plus once you’ve got it done. You will only think about enjoying the waters and not worrying about this process anymore. In addition, you and your pontoon will be safe when launching.