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Boat launch fails on you-tube

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  • Boat launch fails on you-tube

    We've all seen those videos and have goofed on them in the past.
    It scares me a bit seeing them to the point that I turn on my 4x4 and when I step out of my truck on the ramp, I stick a chock behind a tire.
    I just wonder how so many of those very capable looking 4x4 trucks end up submerged. I can understand how it could happen with a car or mini van. I saw one pickup that had a lifted suspension and huge aggressive tires being winched out of the water.
    I did see a video of a guy that was "teaching" others how to launch. He said as you are backing down the ramp, put your truck in neutral so the boat pulls your vehicle as to prevent Jack-knifing. I think that's a recipe for disaster right there.

  • #2
    I've also wondered how many of those were "user error" vs mechanical failure..

    I can imagine a case where you put in neutral to set the P-brake, but uou don't put in park after. Then hop out and the brakes fail, truck is in Neutral and down she goes..

    Another is if Parking pin in transmission lets go, but that would mean P-brake was never set..
    "User Error" for those 2.

    If all was done right with P-brake set in Neutral, then put in Park if brakes and Parking pin both fail, down she goes...
    That'd be a toss up... If truck was properly maintained, then it's mechanical failure. If not, it's still "User Error"..

    I've lately backed it down, set brakes, put in park, and then had whoever was with me get in and hold the main brake pedal down too.
    P-brake on my truck is just the rear. Brake pedal uses all 4... We're on a pretty STEEP ramp though where we launch.
    Current: 1985 17' Jay-Bee Fish/Ski w/1995 Johnson 115hp (J115TLEOR)
    Retired: 1967 15' Cruisers Inc 1532 Camero. Tri-Hull, w/1971 Johnson 50hp (50ESL71) - Possiblity of restoration. (TBD)

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    • #3
      The problem with the YouTube videos is most show the scene after the macho truck has gone into the water.

      My preference would be to see the part during . . . But I guess few people are actually videoing at that point
      Best regards, Ted . . . . Cape Cod, MA

      Current Boats: Formula 330 Sun Sport, O'Day Mariner Sail #3224, Sunfish
      Past Boats: Catalina 22 Sail #10531, Formula 242 Sun Sport
      Twin Mercruiser 7.4 LX MPI (0F802036, 039), Bravo 3's (0F806198, 199), Mercury 7.5 HP (1969), Johnson 4.5 HP (1980)

      My Boating Web Pages: http://www.tpenfield.com

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      • #4
        Originally posted by tpenfield View Post
        The problem with the YouTube videos is most show the scene after the macho truck has gone into the water.

        My preference would be to see the part during . . . But I guess few people are actually videoing at that point
        Agreed. Seeing how these failures actually happen would be more educational. I don't want to say entertaining because that's no way to react to someone's loss.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by poconojoe View Post

          Agreed. Seeing how these failures actually happen would be more educational. I don't want to say entertaining because that's no way to react to someone's loss.
          Have you seen the one where the guy is trying desperately to get the boat off the trailer and it just won't float out? He backs further and further, someone else gets in the boat and fires it up and tries to pull off. Eventually they finally realize - the winch strap was still connected.

          Now that was entertaining..

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          • #6
            He said as you are backing down the ramp, put your truck in neutral so the boat pulls your vehicle as to prevent Jack-knifing.
            i've come to use the put in neutral backing down the ramp too. though not as an anti jack knife method.
            my short story is about backing down a steep ramp on the Missouri river at pretty low water. the ramps are very steep where i launch + they have rail road tracks on both sides of the ramp. as i was backing down in reverse. i was going real slow and was using my brakes. at some point all 4 wheels locked up and i started to skid down the ramp. guessing i went 8' + or -. with all 4 locked up. my buddy yells put it in neutral. this worked and i was able to stop and not skid further fortunately for me. just by going from reverse to neutral was the difference from skidding and out of control in slow motion. to having control again. this to me was quite eye opening for sure as i'd always backed in reverse down all ramps. not any more. i'll go for neutral. ya don't need to reverse down the ramp anyways. even on a shallow grade ramp. yer rig will roll down hill w/o help from being in reverse.
            as for when i get stopped at the proper place to launch. i set park brake then shift to park and then release the brake pedal slowly. my rig usually rolls just a little more till the park pall engages. when i'm convinced my rig isn't rolling anymore. then i get out and launch.
            as for the anti jack knife for being in neutral. imho, rev. or neu. is irrelevant. it's just steering error if yer starting to jack knife.

            fwiw, when i was sliding down the ramp on the Missouri, i skidded straight. how, i'll never know. i didn't jack knife. guess i was lucky on that part.
            'Lime Time'
            1975 AristoCraft Nineteen
            Mercruiser 165hp (chevy 250 L6), MC-1 drive

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            • #7
              Ziggy, good story...glad it all worked out with good results. And good explanation on the neutral subject! Thanks for that!

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              • #8
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                Hi Guys it's been awhile
                The way I see is just like parking on a hill. Set brake put in park and TURN THE WHEEL all the way one way or the other.
                If anything lets go it will only roll so far in the water instead of all the way in.

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