May 26, 2019

Boat on TrailerI’ve had two emails over the past few weeks with a count-down to launch (47 days per the last email), and instructions on how to prep for launch, including properly marking where slings should be placed.


Launch-day is filled with boat owners who aren’t sure where best to place the slings, and are left to rely on the best experience of the crane directors and travel-lift operators. Which got me thinking: How does the average boat owner easily and safely guide the launch crew on how to launch their boat? After all, every boat is different, and final responsibility on boat lifting rests with the owner, not the launch crew!

I’ll round out the article by talking about the checks that should be done once the boat is in the water, and some safety advice for those moving and launching via a towed trailer.

Lifting

Lets assume that all the ‘launch-crew’ checks are done: That the crane or lift is rated to lift your boat, that the slings, couplers and pins are all rated to carry the load (and are in good condition), that the launch crew are trained and able, and that external conditions are safe for a lift and launch.


What should the boat owner know?

1) The boat’s gross tonnage. This is not the vessel’s ‘displacement’ – rather, how much does it, and everything onboard actually weight, when lifted by a crane or travellift. This will be compared with the lift, crane, sling and attachment point ratings to ensure that all is safe


2) Location of external machinery (props, struts and shafts), location of transducers and through-hulls, and any on-deck (above the waterline) obstructions that the crane/lift crew should be aware of. Slings should not rest on a transducer, through-hull or a piece of machinery


3) Sling marks – this is the ideal placement of the slings – and the part that the owner is in the best position to know and understand. Slings put significant force on the outside of the hull, and should be placed in a location that is supported transversely inside the boat – ie, against a bulkhead. There are a few ways to determine this:


a. Looking at your vessels plans, locate the bulkheads and choose two bulkheads, fore and aft, that will complement the hull shape (this will differ for full keel, modified full-keel and fin keel boats).


b. By reviewing the vessel’s interior and lining up the physical bulkhead with a point on the bulkhead to place the sling mark.


c. By looking at the chain plates on the vessel’s gunwhale (in the case of sailboats) – chain plates are typically bolted to internal bulkheads, and provide a great guide

4) What’s inside. Is the bilge full of water? (it should be emptied first). Are there loose items inside the cabin that should be secured? Are items on deck removed or secured? Can bilges be accessed? Can engines be accessed? Are the batteries charged? Has the engine been summerized? Check all these items before launching the boat

Boat Off CradleLaunching

Lets assume that sling marks have been placed in ideal locations, and that the launch crew has performed admirably. The boat is now in the water, and you (as the vessel owner) are being rushed to get aboard and move your boat to clear the way for the next launch.

Here are a few things to check immediately after the boat is launched:

1) Check the bilge. Check each compartment, check each through-hull, check keel bolts and stuffing boxes. Confirm that no water is entering the boat. If it is, either run the bilge pumps to clear the water, or have the boat hauled out to determine the repair.


2) Check that seacocks are in the correct position. If the engine is to be run, double check the seacock to allow cooling seawater to enter the boat is open and that water can flow freely to the engine.

3) Check the list of the boat – is the boat level (fore and aft, and port/starboard) in the water. If it isn’t, why?

Trailering

If you’re moving your boat from storage to water via a trailer, there are a number of checks that should be performed before moving the trailer:

1) Is the trailer in good working order? Check Tire pressure, wheel bearings, trailer lights, and brakes (if equipped)


2) Does the trailer offer correct support? Are bunks placed properly, and are they in good condition? Is the winch operable and strapping in good condition?


3) Is the boat secure? At a minimum, the boat should be snug against the bow support, winched tightly, with the winch strap locked in place. Additionally, the transom should be strapped to the trailer on both port and starboard sides.


This is an exciting but important time of year to get ready for the season – performing the right prep work now can get you launched and on the water stress-free!

Ask AndrewAndrew McDonald is the owner of Lakeside Marine Services – a boat repair/maintenance firm based in Toronto. Andrew has worked in the marine industry for 12 years and is a graduate of the Georgian College ‘Mechanical Techniques - Marine Engine Mechanic’ program.

Questions or comments for Andrew? Email him directly via: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Related Articles
CYOB Inbox
  • 03 December 2019
  • By Ethan

CY Inbox: Love for Ask Andrew

Andrew, I am in St Andrews NB and run an 87 Niagara 35E that I bought in Oakville in 2016. Significantly modified by a previous owner and have to say that I enjoy your contributing articles to the...

Lifestyle

  • Prev
This afternoon portrait of her son enjoying a snooze in a pretty unlikely spot comes to us from ...
I've been cleaning dresser drawers for space and came across this 1979 LYRA t-shirt. This was my ...
Our Photo of the Week comes from one of our CY team members who writes “This is my son and his best ...
This boat carries the distinction as the last boat to leave the C&C Custom shop in Oakville ...
We crossed Lake Ontario from Oswego with a minimum of fuss and did a little happy dance when we ...
Our Photo of the Week comes from Mark and Lisa Harris who winter in Vancouver, Washington and spend ...
I am new to boating. Bought a 2019 Ranger Tug in April followed by taking a short boating course ...
Arie and Maribeth sent us this photo from their honeymoon departing Killarney…I think they were in ...
This shot was taken last week by Jessica Lee, a freelance photography pro, Albacore racer and part ...
On a sunny and windless day we led Alicia and another sailboat into New York Harbour. There were ...

Boat Reviews

  • Prev
With a philosophy of quality and 'doing things right Ranger Tugs launches the all new R-25 at the ...
The new Beneteau Swift Trawler 41 renews the spirit of the practical seaworthy cruiser. The ...
The Canadian Yachting test crew last week had the opportunity to run the Bavaria S36 HT at St ...
ILCA is seeking new builders to complement its existing network of manufacturers, the International ...
Nelson Gilbert (1854-1921) began building canoes in Brockville in the 1890s, a time when the sport ...
I have heard a lot of talk lately about trends in yacht clubs where senior membership is getting ...
To get you in the mood for cruising the Boat Show then launching in spring, here’s a boat that ...
Quite simply, the styles of boats have changed. Where in past years a buyer might have been looking ...
At the boat shows, the Ranger Tugs’ classic tugboat lines always grab the crowds, with the wives ...
Sometimes a great idea requires an encore, and French yacht builder Jeanneau got that with the ...

J99By Katherine Stone

All set to pull out the Code 0 before dousing the jib.

It was a very cold and wet beginning to the summer and we never thought it would arrive in Southern Ontario. Doing a 100 miler race on Lake Ontario (billed as the COOLEST race on the lake) with my 8 layers of thermal clothing, woolen ski toque and ski mittens, along with a neck warmer kept me on the edge all night, just out of frostbite reach. I shouldn’t have complained, as we also had wind!

July and August arrived, and it has certainly warmed up, in fact, its too warm, AND we don’t have wind. We are now counting 5 Wednesday nights in a row without wind to race. 

Read more about the J99 Offshore Shorthand Speeder.....................

 

Cruisers Yachts 38 GLSBy Andy Adams and John Armstrong

The North American power boat market has begun to see a new trend toward larger day boats for luxurious onboard entertaining and the new Cruisers Yachts 38 GLS is right on trend plus, it brings a different flavour and set of cruising attributes to this market.

The new Cruisers Yachts 38 GLS carries on the styling and accommodation quality of the company's Cantius line of cruising yachts while beginning an entirely new family of day boats. 

 

Read More about Cruisers Yachts..................

Destinations

  • Prev
Boom & Batten Restaurant is suspended over the water adjacent to the Songhees Walkway and ...
Provincial Boat Havens are those special places to drop anchor in British Columbia’s West Coast and ...
NW Explorations, a Bellingham, Washington-based yacht charter, brokerage, and marine services ...
If you haven’t cruised the Rideau Canal before, you have missed a special treat and even if you ...
At the 2019 Vancouver International Boat Show I had the pleasure of meeting up with Allyson and ...
Following the harsh impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, The British Virgin Islands is making an ...
For the adventurous boater Bunsby Marine Provincial Park is a special place, situated due south of ...
There is good anchoring in Cowichan Bay and nearby, and salt water enough to make any boater happy. ...
We’re gliding through green-blue waters, colours so vivid and bright they hurt your eyes. We’re set ...
The Halifax waterfront has been attracting more and more large yachts in recent years. However, a ...

KingstonBy Amy Hogue

Cruise into the city of Kingston, Ontario, and it will quickly become clear that this city and surrounding waterways have something special. Built around the northern shore of Lake Ontario, Kingston is the place to go if you love to explore new waterways, fantastic views, and exceptional boating opportunities.

Sitting at the intersection of three world-class Canadian bodies of water, Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence River, and the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Rideau Canal (Cataraqui River from Kingston to Newboro), the water’s influence is deeply woven into Kingston’s culture and history. 

Read more about Kingston......................

 

Marine Products

  • Prev
Most dock boxes aren't sturdy enough to sit on. Nor are they too comfortable. Finally! - the ...
Too hot to bake? No oven onboard anyway? Try these no-bake shipboard treats. (Yes, we know they’re ...
It is not that often I drive as big a vehicle as the Nissan Armada but I love the nautical name and ...
The new edition of PORTS Cruising Guides: Georgian Bay, Lake Huron & the North Channel from the ...
Canadian Yachting’s Chartering Handbook, full of information and advice for heading off to a ...
Navigating the process of yacht care and maintenance just got a whole lot easier, following the ...
I will be honest, I am generally not a big fan of Sport Utility Vehicles (SUV). My wife and I own ...
The FX model is Yamaha's top-of-the-line three seater WaveRunner and a totally new model for 2019. ...
In the April 2015 edition of CY magazine, I published an article on anchors and anchoring – Staying ...
The Seabin device part of the Oak Bay Marine Group trial, has had promising results so far while ...