Solo Boat Launch 6M boat

  Is a Carribean Reef Runner or similar 6m  glass boat able to be retrieved solo onto a well set up multi roller trailer in a marina with a stong sea breeze and say 1.5 to 2m swell offshore. I am just wondering if this will be a struggle or maybe I should get a 5.6m boat for mainly solo trips. Any  thoughts from those with experience would be appreciated as I dont want to buy a 6m boat only to find out its just to hard to retrieve by myself.


Posts: 494

Date Joined: 21/05/12

 drive my 7.8 onto a well

Thu, 2019-08-22 16:11

 drive my 7.8 onto a well designed trailer with an autolatch yes it harder than 3.1m tinny bit doable

and yes u can winch it on - but its more of a hassle

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Date Joined: 01/02/10

It’s all in the trailer set

Thu, 2019-08-22 16:15

It’s all in the trailer set up and how well you can drive your boat.

 

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Date Joined: 08/03/09

I am 70 next year,

Thu, 2019-08-22 16:19

my boat is 8 metres, and I launch at Fremantle Sailing Club with a finger jetty all the time by myself.  Retrieve as well, solo.  MY trailer is a bunk trailer that I just sink so the boat nearly floats on, it has 2 guide poles at the rear of the trailer.  I just push the boat in between the poles, hold onto the rope, walk to the trailer, hook it up and winch on for the last metre.  The finger jetty makes a world of difference as you tie your boat up, get the trailer, throw it on and away you go.  Don't forget to coat your trailer in lanoline spray every 3 to 6 months.

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 have heard some bad reports

Thu, 2019-08-22 17:25

 have heard some bad reports with the lanolin spray ....propelent eating out the galv etc

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Date Joined: 28/11/16

Easily achievable without

Thu, 2019-08-22 17:06

Easily achievable without driving it on. Just ensure the trailer is at the right depth. A walkway down the centre is a must. To assist you can also add the V spring roller guide to the back of the trailer not sure what they’re called. 

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 Arc easy glide I think.

Thu, 2019-08-22 17:13

 Arc easy glide I think. About $180

crano's picture

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64 years and 6m

Thu, 2019-08-22 18:25

 I am pushing 65 and launch and retrieve a 6m boat in bunbury solo no problems at all.

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Date Joined: 21/03/19

sounds doable

Thu, 2019-08-22 19:20

 Ok thanks for the replies.  Sounds like people do manage ok although I had often heard of people selling 20 foot boats because to difficult to load back on the trailer. Sounds like good technique, and trailer , guide poles at rear, a walkway and the spring loaded retriever mate rollers help if these can be fitted.

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For sure mate just take it

Thu, 2019-08-22 19:52

For sure mate just take it slow and steady when pulling your boat towards the trailer on retrieval. Once the bow is resting on the first roller then jump down from the walkway onto the ramp whilst keeping tension on the bow onto the first roller then grab your already extended winch cable hook it onto bow eye then use the winch cable to keep tension on the bow when walking back to the winch. Winch up any slack whilst keeping tension on. Once you’ve put some pressure on via the winch give the boat time to straighten up. Once straight then get those arms turning. All good 

barracuda's picture

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yes!

Thu, 2019-08-22 20:03

 boat catch and drive on

or guide poles and winch on with 3 speed atlantic and rope

either help greatly

backlash's picture

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Date Joined: 12/10/10

Ian's Winch

Fri, 2019-08-23 10:31

 An Ian's Winch is far quicker, easier

The guide posts are the key, I reckon, along with an easy-guide

I'm not yet brave enough to drive my boat ionto the trailer - I'm a wuss

For what it's worth, my mate self-launches and retrieves his 6m Quintrex Ocean Runner

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Date Joined: 21/03/19

Ians Winch

Fri, 2019-08-23 18:16

 Would Ians winch be as quick as the starter motor version or more like the 4x4 winch. Maybe you might know how long it takes to load a 6m boat?

backlash's picture

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Date Joined: 12/10/10

Youtube

Fri, 2019-08-23 19:45

youtube link

My 5m plate boat is way quicker

i keep forgetting to film it

https://youtu.be/xpibF1l2lH4 

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Try

Sat, 2019-08-24 10:10

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpibF1l2lH4

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Time to get boat on trailer

Fri, 2019-08-23 21:41

I don’t know how long it takes to get a 6 metre Ali boat on a trailer using an Ian winch, but from time of hookup to getting my boat all the way up is 17 seconds using a home made starter motor driven winch and incorporates the use of a fly wheel.

If I was to build another one I would reduce the recovery rate it can be a bit “ hairy” with a boat coming up the trailer at a quite fast rate and you are by yourself.

 

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Date Joined: 21/03/19

Barracuda Winch

Fri, 2019-08-23 18:40

 Atlantic 3 speed winch, can I ask is it best to get a 10/1 ratio or 15/1 ratio winch for a 6m boat

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Ramp Rage

Fri, 2019-08-23 07:13

 I would be more worried about some dick giving you  a hard time that your not moving the boat along the finger jetty, up or down

as the case may be, launching /retrieving.

 

People have no patience anymore.

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Date Joined: 21/03/19

Ramp Rage

Fri, 2019-08-23 18:13

 Yeah need to toughen up for the ramp deal on weekends at least. Best to avoid weekends if possible, all one can do is go about ones business as quickly as possible. Ramp rageis certainly not unheard  of.

Saulty2's picture

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its all on the set up

Fri, 2019-08-23 07:33

 before you launch and how you prepare to retrive , seen a solo  launch 6m.+ of the beach in a matter of minutes , long rope attached to back of the boat - anchor on beach sand .. floated off and when rope got tight boat came back in reverse towards the beach , made me look amamteurish, as said launching off the jetty bring boat all the way back so you dont hold anyone up.... people have patience and poss. will help  if they see that you are experienced and going as quickly as possible . 

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Beach Launch

Fri, 2019-08-23 18:09

 Hi Saulty, I figure that beach launch would work especially as the easterly morning breeze would probably keep the boat off the beach while the car was parked.

I dont suppose you have any idea how he would have managed the retrieval solo ?

Saulty2's picture

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diver 2

Sat, 2019-08-24 05:59

 if you saw how they do it a few times itd be easier than trying to explain ... naturally beach the boat then angle the trailer so you dont have to fight the wind while retrieving ie : if18-20 knots s/w then it becomes a little tricky? we launch at cervantes always walk the edge see where deeper never a problem 

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My cuz launches his 6.7

Fri, 2019-08-23 07:58

My cuz launches his 6.7 fibreglass pig and winches it back on by hand so you'll be fine mate. Boat catch/boat latch fir the win though, I drive on and off mine now keeping my shoes and socks on the whole time.

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makoshark's picture

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Date Joined: 31/12/14

maybe get a bit more experience

Fri, 2019-08-23 09:26

If your asking this question i would be questioning your actual experience.  i use to drive my 8 meter on all the time.

It's just boat handling skills.

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Date Joined: 21/03/19

Experience

Fri, 2019-08-23 18:25

 I have been able to load a 5.6m boat successfully solo for many years. There is a lot more windage and weight in a 6m boat. I often hear of people who feel they need a crew memeber to help them  retrieve it or sold it because they could not handle it on their own. Its often very windy comming back in and sometimes a surge at the ramp so I thought I would ask the question rather than discover later it is indeed difficult. I have no experience at drive on, that may get expensive while I am learning and it seems some ramp users are less than pleased with the technique.a I was only thinking of winching it on. No experience with bigger than 5.6m boats.

makoshark's picture

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Date Joined: 31/12/14

maybe get a bit more experience

Fri, 2019-08-23 09:26

If your asking this question i would be questioning your actual experience.  i use to drive my 8 meter on all the time.

It's just boat handling skills.

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 Chase the sun and living the dreams

 

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Date Joined: 23/04/14

Easily done...

Fri, 2019-08-23 13:16

...with some practice and planning.

I used to solo launch my Haines 650R without any dramas.  I'd highly recommend doing a it a few times on a quiet day somewhere to fine tune whatever technique you choose. 

Also, on the day, do all your launch prep well away from the ramp, so you can focus solely on launching.  Good etiquette anyway, but goes that little further if the ramp is busy and people can see that you are getting in and out as quickly as possible.  In fact many times I could launch/retrieve faster than boats with multiple people. 

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Saulty2's picture

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Date Joined: 28/05/10

launch & retrive

Fri, 2019-08-23 13:22

 on the side that the wind pushes you towards the jetty rather than away from the jetty 

VaSSagO's picture

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Date Joined: 09/12/09

I put the trailer in deep and

Fri, 2019-08-23 13:58

I put the trailer in deep and float the boat on (bunk trailer), 6.5m boat by myself easy.

However note that some ramps the ramp is quite far from the jetty (eg ocean reef is like 1m from the jetty)and hard to push boat out that far out from the jetty into wind, so easier to pick the side of the jetty so the boat is blown off the jetty. A bit harder to dock but much easier to retrieve.

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Agreed

Fri, 2019-08-23 18:58

When retrieving I almost always prefer to dock with the wind pushing me off the jetty.  A little harder to dock but much easier to line up the boat with the trailer.

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Daniel Westerduin's picture

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Date Joined: 30/10/06

 I launch and retrieve a

Fri, 2019-08-23 15:07

 I launch and retrieve a smaller boat solo all the time and reckon not much difference on a larger boat. Make sure you have an extra long rope connected to the back and front so when you launch you can hold onto it while letting it slide off the trailer from the front. Always launch on the side the wind is blowing the boat onto the jetty, It's easier. On retrieval also pick the side the wind is blowing there boat onto the jetty. When reversing the trailer down for retrieval turn the trailer slightly towards the jetty, if it's parallel  the wind pushes the boat out of line if trailer is a slight distance off the jetty when starting to winch it back. With the back of trailer pointed slightly towards the jetty the stern rests on the jetty and stays straight with the trailer if you understand what I mean. You can launch virtually any size trailer boat solo with this method as long as you have a jetty you can choose either side to use.The walk way down the middle is a great option to have.  I don't have one but wear gum boots to launch and stand on cross beams to get close to attatching winch rope.

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Trailer Position

Fri, 2019-08-23 18:35

 Positioning the trailer as such is a good idea. I use the long rope on the smaller boat which works well. As far as 6m boats go is it best to get a 10/1 or 15/1 ratio manual winch althou a Ians winch looks good. I think a trailer walkway and the guide poles at the rear should make a success story out of the retrieve.

Broady's picture

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Signature 632F No Problem

Fri, 2019-08-23 15:04

Regularly solo launch and retrieve by myself - as others have said all in the setup and preparation.  Hand winch as well - can't drive on/off at the CPBA ramp.

Depending on your usage, the extra size in the boat will make the rest of the day far more comfortable particularly if it gets a bit rough.  No point being able to easily handle a launch and retrieve if the rest of the day isn't enjoayable.

 

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I think Daniel and Backlash

Fri, 2019-08-23 16:46

Have given you some good ideas (as have all who have commented) a good winch (Ian’s) and how to position your trailer is sound advice. I have a 6metre quinine oceans sport that I solo launch and retrieve and as has been said practice practice practice. 

backlash's picture

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Thanks

Fri, 2019-08-23 19:48

and I think the other key s to have a line that gives you control at both the stern and bow mooring points

ranmar850's picture

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One trick for solo docking

Sat, 2019-08-24 11:46

 Have your fenders over the side ( or not, if you don't bother.) Come on parallel and close. The line you need to get on first is actually your stern corner. If solo, chuck the stern corner line on a handy cleat/post as you slowly pass, make it fast. You then put the motor back in gear at idle, and the boat will stay hard against the jetty/pontoon/finger , regardless of whether the wind is on/ or off, so you can get your bow line on at your convenience. 

 

 

 

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One Trick

Sat, 2019-08-24 18:54

 thanks for taking the trouble to reply and  sharing your docking technique, probably best to make up a seperate line for that so I will give it a try.

ranmar850's picture

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Date Joined: 12/08/12

Things to think about if doing it solo.

Sun, 2019-08-25 18:39

 I leave bow ropes on both sides, all the time. Have them on the front bollard, run one each side back around the rail and tie it off the a cleat on the side of the cab. It's there, ready to use, either side. Can also be used for launching, just pick a side. Have a dedicated length of rope for tying up the back, eye in one end, only has to be 5 metres long max.  You just leave this in a side pocket( i leave mine right up the back), use it for the rear tie up. I use two fenders, just the cheapest white cylindrical type, eye moulded each end, a short length of 8mm silver rope on each end. Approaching the dock, just knock it out of gear , tie your fenders onto the rear cleat and the one you have fitted to the side of the cab which the aforementioned bow rope is tied off to, and put your tie up rope on the rear cleat. Only takes a few monents to do all this if you are organised. then as I decribed before come in close snag a cleat on the finger with the rope tied to the rear cleat, then put it back in gear at idle, and tie off your front rope without having to rush, and the motor will hold it firmly there. 

backlash's picture

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great idea

Mon, 2019-08-26 11:54

 some great ideas there - thanks for sharing the wisdom

Darren253's picture

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I use my Reef Runner solo

Mon, 2019-08-26 15:13

I use my Reef Runner solo all the time or even worst with little kids! I have a combo bunk trailer with keel rollers. Its the bomb!

I also have rear guides which basically make it idiot proof. Probably overkill but great to know that even in a stong crosswind, as long as i have 1m of the bow inside those guides i am home and dry.

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Rear guides

Tue, 2019-08-27 00:12

 Worth having if you find they dont mark the hull and not expensive as far as boat bits go.

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Date Joined: 16/08/19

I regularly launch and

Tue, 2019-08-27 10:25

I regularly launch and retrieve my 6.5 M solo.

 

Multi roller drive on trailer, Boat Catch and a BigVee bow stop. I don't have guide posts, but they are probably a help if you are dealing with cross winds a lot.