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Pre-Launching Preparations
Harbor
  • Prepare your boat for launching away from the ramp as a courtesy to others and to prevent rushing during the launch.
  • Register your boat and pay for the launch at the self-service station.
  • Ensure that there has been no damage to the boat caused by the trip to the harbor.
  • Raise the lower unit or outboard so that it will not hit bottom during launching.
  • Remove trailer tie-downs and make sure that the winch is properly attached to the bow eye and locked in position.
  • Put the drain plug in securely.
  • Connect the fuel tank, check fluid levels and safety equipment.
  • Disconnect the trailer light plug to prevent shorting of electrical system or burning out a bulb.
  • Attach a line to the bow and the stern of the boat so that the boat cannot drift away after launching and it can be easily maneuvered at the courtesy float.
  • Visually inspect the launch ramp for hazards such as a steep drop off, slippery areas and sharp objects.
  • When everything has been double checked, proceed slowly to the ramp remembering that your boat is just resting on the trailer and attached only at the bow.
  • The ideal situation is to have one person in the boat and one observer at the water's edge to help guide the driver of the tow vehicle.