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  1. #1
    WaveKing's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
    Location
    Holland Landing, Ontario
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    60

    Launching Sea-Doo by Yourself

    Not sure if this belongs in this section instead of Trailers and Towing, but it is for my RXT iS, and I've seen others posting here about trailers, so... (Mods feel free to move this if necessary).

    Anyway, since I got my new RXT IS last August, I've been out on the water with family or friends, but never really by myself. I've had a family member who came down to the marina with me to help me launch and recover so that I could spend some time on the water by myself and play around on the Sea-Doo. Now obviously that's not always possible...

    So I want to know if anyone has ever launched their Sea-Doos (or any other PWC) by themselves. The local marinas all have good ramps and are never really busy. I have ropes and stuff to tie it down with, etc. What else do I need to know? Some detailed step-by-step instructions would be nice. I've seen a guy here (when I first got this machine) who owned an older machine (PWC) and he launched it by himself, but I didn't pay too much attention how he did it (I was too excited about my own Sea-Doo).

    I'm just new to this hobby and I am now quite confident in launch/recovery but I'm always with someone. Any help and/or useful tips and advice would be greatly appreciated!


  2. #2
    Mod less, ride more! troyheb's Avatar
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    Jul 2007
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    Nederland, Texas
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    I launch by myself all the time. This is the way I launch and not just when I am by myself. Park well away from the launch area and prep your ski. Nothing is worse than someone backing down into the launch blocking it, then getting out to prep their ski or boat while someone else who is ready to launch has to wait on them. (same goes far recovery) Scope the area to see what you are going to do with the ski after you launch. Is there a pier, bulkhead or some kind of beach area to bring the the ski to after you launch. After the ski is preped back down the ramp slowly, I normally leave a little slack in the winch so I can tell that the ski is down far enough. Jump on drive to wherever you are tying off. Park vehicle and go ride.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Lake Wylie, SC
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    19
    Launch all the time by myself. I am new as well. Might sound stupid but I will give you what I do for the sake of it.

    1) - Prepare ski at home, check everything over, make sure beer is in my small softside cooler...add two more before I leave. Make sure ski cranks over. I get gas on the way to the ramp which is 1 mile away.

    2) - Pull into the "staging area" or "get ready" area. Take off the tie down strap(s) on the back of the ski (if you don't use these you should). Double check that both drain plugs are securely in place. Take out my key and put it on my life jacket. I throw this in the back of my jeep along with my dock rope that I grab before jumping on the ski. I also put the rear hatch of my jeep open at this point. It helps me see the ski going into the water and with backing up.

    3) - pull up and back into an open loading ramp. I pull down just until the top of my bunks are in or out of the water. turn off jeep. Unhook the ski from the trailer, rehook loop and hook to trailer and semi-snug winch. then give ski a slight nudge/shove to get loose. Get out pull my life jacket on and grab my rope and hop on the ski. Of course. You are getting wet here.

    4) - Pull reverse lever and start ski. I usually back into and park near the end of the dock here if I am by myself to keep the ramp clear for others.

    5) - Secure my ski to the dock, take my keys with me - jump back in the jeep and go park. It takes less than 3 min I guess to do this as long as you have prepped beforehand. Don't rush it even if it is crowded because at first by myself I was a little nervous to be honest.

    6) - Secure your truck or whatever. Make sure you have everything. Head back to dock.

    7) - Hop on ski, unhook, idle out and go.

    - reverse this when you return.


    *Note - when I am re-trailering the ski - I like to get a ramp in between docks if possible. Sometimes the current or wake can make loading on the end ramps difficult to get lined up. As well, come in slow and controlled. Once on the trailer for the most part I am still about half a foot away from the winch. I rock my ski back and forth for a secound to get it centered on the bunks and then just winch it the last couple inches or foot.

    You asked for a step by step so.... But really it is not that difficult once you load and unload for the first time. It is second nature to me now. The key is making sure you prep before you leave and before you put into the water. As well, when I pull out of the ramp leaving, I will pull up to the leaving "staging lanes" and re-secure my ski to the trailer, blow out the water, un-screw the drain plugs, and just get my stuff situated before I hit the road. As well - I double check my ski's hooked up properly and sitting properly on the bunks.

  4. #4

    The Truck is Important Too!

    Don't forget to put your vehicle in park and apply the parking brake before you exit the vehicle to remove your ski from the trailor. Too many times I've seen vehicles drift into the water because the owners were more concerned/focused one ski/vessel vs. th vehicle.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Jaxsonsmith View Post
    Don't forget to put your vehicle in park and apply the parking brake before you exit the vehicle to remove your ski from the trailor. Too many times I've seen vehicles drift into the water because the owners were more concerned/focused one ski/vessel vs. th vehicle.
    So what are you trying to tell us? Launch the Seadoo ONLY and not the vehicle and Seadoo?

  6. #6
    I launch both skis by myself. I make sure they are both tied up and release one only when I have a rope on it, move it away and tie it up, repeat.

  7. #7
    homebrew's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
    Location
    Hampton Va.
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    556
    i launch by myself and with help ---either way i have the ski in the water and out of the way of the ramp in 2 minutes or less -- nothing worse then a idiot who takes a half hour at the ramp -- plus during the spring time after the local boat shows i will go to the boat ramps park and relax and get some good laughs watching people trying to launch their new boats or skis with out know what is going on -- the worse or the damn kayakers that think they own the boat ramps and will park at the ramps and take a hour to load or unload --then talk to each other as if no one else needs to use the ramps

  8. #8
    WaveKing's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
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    Holland Landing, Ontario
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    Hey guys, thanks for the quick replies. Some great tips here. I didn't think about opening the back hatch. That would make it much easier. I have a backup camera and I use that which makes it great for launching. I'll open the rear hatch next time and see if that is even easier.

    What I'm particularly concerned about is the part where you back it up... I mean, when I'm with someone, usually my dad loves coming with me, I'll hop on the Seadoo and he'll back it up with everything (rear ties and front winch) completely unhooked. So as soon as the top of the wheels are even with the water, he stops, I fire it up and reverse the machine into the water. He then pulls the trailer out and parks.

    BUT when I'll be by myself, and I'm backing up down the ramp, how would I prevent the Seadoo from just floating away? Do I back it up, THEN unhook it from the winch, hop on, reverse and go tie it up at the dock...? Should I tie the back of it to a dock while I back it up into the water, then just rope it in? That's where I think I might run into problems.

    DieselTroy, I was reading and re-reading point #3, but I'm not sure I understand exactly. Oh, and I love #1 regarding the beer.

    So my specific question is, after you reverse it into the water, what do you do then, before you dock it and return to your car to park it? Thanks a lot guys for all the great tips. I'm sure I wasn't the only one who wanted to know how to launch by yourself... But I was probably the only brave one to ask it.

  9. #9
    Obviously when you prepare to launch, you take the straps off that hold the back to the trailer. Leave the front strap on. Back it down till it floats a little or you can't pull it off. The front strap holds it in place. Get out of the car, put the rope around the craft, unhook the front strap, pull it back, tie it to the dock, pull the car away, park it and come back. Reverse the steps to put it back onto the trailer

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Lake Wylie, SC
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    19
    Quote Originally Posted by WaveKing View Post
    Hey guys, thanks for the quick replies. Some great tips here. I didn't think about opening the back hatch. That would make it much easier. I have a backup camera and I use that which makes it great for launching. I'll open the rear hatch next time and see if that is even easier.

    What I'm particularly concerned about is the part where you back it up... I mean, when I'm with someone, usually my dad loves coming with me, I'll hop on the Seadoo and he'll back it up with everything (rear ties and front winch) completely unhooked. So as soon as the top of the wheels are even with the water, he stops, I fire it up and reverse the machine into the water. He then pulls the trailer out and parks.

    BUT when I'll be by myself, and I'm backing up down the ramp, how would I prevent the Seadoo from just floating away? Do I back it up, THEN unhook it from the winch, hop on, reverse and go tie it up at the dock...? Should I tie the back of it to a dock while I back it up into the water, then just rope it in? That's where I think I might run into problems.

    DieselTroy, I was reading and re-reading point #3, but I'm not sure I understand exactly. Oh, and I love #1 regarding the beer.

    So my specific question is, after you reverse it into the water, what do you do then, before you dock it and return to your car to park it? Thanks a lot guys for all the great tips. I'm sure I wasn't the only one who wanted to know how to launch by yourself... But I was probably the only brave one to ask it.
    For me, If I don't open the back hatch on my grand cherokee I can only see the rear of the ski, I can't tell how far into or out of the water I am. So opening the hatch allows me to observe the backing up process, especially with no ski on the trailer, better.

    Like stated before me, take the rear straps off when you are prepping before you get to the point of backing down the ramp. Leave the front strap on until you get the ski into the water. I don't back my ski in until it is floating off the trailer, but enough that when I get out to unhook the ski from the front winch hook it will not just float away unless I give it a shove. Unhooking the front hook is the last thing I do before I walk to the side, step on the fender and get onboard the ski. I then back my ski to the dock. However, I suppose if you really wanted to you could tie a rope to it and then climb on the dock and pull it over. But really? Just back it to the dock, tie it up at that point, get off and back into your vehicle. I recommend closing the hatch before pulling out of the ramp though.

    Don't stress it. It's easy to do alone. If I am with the lady, she will hop on the ski when I back down and just idle around until I return from parking. But I do not unhook the ski from the front winch until we are in the water.

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