Backing down boat ramp and winch cable Snapped!!!

2youngns1stBowrider2youngns1stBowrider North Haven CTPosts: 3Member
So last summer our first full summer with our 91 Rinker bowrider,just the two of us,I'm in the back in boat while he's in the truck easily backing down the boat ramp ,all of a sudden I hear a very odd noise! A loud snap, all of a sudden the boat is hauling A$%,down the ramp into the water before I could even think, I run to the back of the boat seeing if our motor was going to hit. Then realizing this just might flip love!!!! Thank heavens it didn't!! No cracked hull! Thank goodness! The only big problem was our new propellers one.blade was bent and scraped up. Just wondering has this ever happy to anyone else??.. I was so Scaired but luckily we all came home ok that day! The hardest things was trying to get boat back on trailer without a winch cable!!!  Just thought I'd share my experience. Waiting on summer to give it a go agina!!! Finger crossed we will be successful!!! Oh k forgot to mention that was our 1st time out by ourselves . Since we are fairly new to boating!!! Come on summer ready to put our 91 Rinker bowrider 4.3 v-6 in board in the water!!
                                                                            2youngns 1st bowrider

                  2youngns1st Bowrider


  • Handymans342Handymans342 Cape Coral, FLPosts: 6,540Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 8
    Well glad your ok and you were lucky!
  • shawnmjrshawnmjr Detroit MIPosts: 1,027Member ✭✭✭
    edited March 8
    I think the lesson learned here is to inspect your winch cable for Frey’s or breaks 
  • zaverin1zaverin1 Saint Clair Shores,MIPosts: 1,253Member ✭✭✭
    Oh and leave your safety chain on until you are a push away from floating 
    i would winch and secure safety during haulout as well.
    habbit regardless if it’s a bunk or roller 
  • LaReaLaRea Alexandria VirginiaPosts: 2,666Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    My advice is to practice, practice, practice!  Everybody on this forum was inexperienced at some point.  It gets easier with practice!  And never be afraid to ask questions here. 
  • StodgeStodge Lake St. ClairPosts: 1,932Member ✭✭✭✭
    Just like @LaRea said, we've all been there as a new boater.  I managed to launch our first boat without the drain plug.  I was already parked and back on the boat before I realized.  

    @zaverin1 has a good suggestion with the safety chain.  Might be time for a new winch if you haven't replaced it already.  I think they use the flat straps now.

    2002 FV 342 on Lake St. Clair - Past Commodore SHC - Vessel Examiner USCGAUX

  • 212rowboat212rowboat Posts: 2,112Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    i live where i can see a very busy ramp into the inter-coastal waterway... it's quite entertaining, to be honest. 

    your story isn't that bad. 

    a word of advice, if i may:

    it's a very good practice to put some slack in the winch cable/strap before you back down.  on dry skids a boat sticks pretty well- when wet, it slides like it's on bearings.  or, should.  but that isn't my advice that may or may not carry weight, this is- ALWAYS tie a line to the front cleat that's no longer than the length of the boat- and tie the other end to the trailer tower.  you're boat isn't getting away from you this way.  the captain of that boat is also the driver of the launch vehicle until the mantle is passed- and that is the deliberate handing off of that tie-line.  driver get's out, inspects their work, unties the line and hands it to the captain, or ties it off to the landing while they clear the ramp of the truck/trailer. 

    i watch guys with more confidence than sense do this:  they'll tie off as i suggest but with a line as long as thirty feet and instead of the trailer, the dock... they unstrap the winch, back carefully down the ramp and wet the skids- pull up carefully out of the water for fifteen or twenty feet or so, then drop into reverse and goose it, stomping the brakes when appropriate- boat slides off with force and floats back to the end of the line where it 'snaps to'.... don't get me wrong, i appreciate these guys as they more often clear the ramp ahead of me far faster than careful folks like me, but..... why take the risk? 

    the other thing fun to watch are all the 'power loaders' who line up on the trailer on pick up, and lay into the throttle.  i watched a fella just last summer snap a parking sprag in his trucks transmission doing this, and had to hold the truck in place with the power of the boat until someone jumped in the truck and set the parking brake.  that was so full of fail it could be discussed for several more paragraphs. 

    so your situation isn't that uncommon.  from here out, though, tie that thing off with a bow line, huh? :)   
  • Michael TMichael T Posts: 6,347Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 8
    Great advice @ 212rowboat......I also carried a stiff bristle brush to take 5 minutes to brush off the carpeted bunks to eliminate stones kicked-up onto them even during a 5 minute ride from a parking space. My gel coat specialist tells me stones in bunks that cut long - deep grooves into the gel coat of nice shiny hulls help pay for his expensive toys (think Harley, sleds pwcs).  Make the local gel coat specialist cry - a 5 minute brushing of your bunks can save big $$$$$$.

  • 2youngns1stBowrider2youngns1stBowrider North Haven CTPosts: 3Member
    Thanks to all for your advice!! Also thanks to those of you who,let me we are not the only unexperienced boaters!! Oh yes we replaced the winch and cables! Thanks again.
                                            2youngns 1st bowrider
                      2youngns1st Bowrider

  • WillhoundWillhound Lake Simcoe, Ontario, CanadaPosts: 1,276Member ✭✭✭✭
    Best advice in my opinion was the safety chain or tie off. Should not be removed until the last possible second. Also an opportunity for a last check of the ramp and adjacent area. I once spotted a PWC that had scooted right in behind me as I was backing down but didn't see from the truck.
    "Knot Quite Shore"
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