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Launching and Retrieving

The process of launching and retrieving is important to learn to ensure that your vessel gets in and out of the water safely. Here are some tips to help you.




  • Make pre-launch preparations well away from the ramp
  • Ensure that your bungs are in
  • If you're launching a trailer sailer, check for overhead wires before you rig or move your vessel
  • Study the ramp and surrounding water area for any hazards
  • Line up the car and trailer so that the backing process will be straight and as short as possible
  • Do not remove the trailer winch or safety chain until your vessel is in the water
  • Secure lines to the bow and stern, then either float or motor off with care


  • Align the centre of your vessel to that of the trailer; proceed carefully up the trailer until the winch or safety chain can be secured
  • If you are not confident in driving your vessel on to the trailer, you can secure a line to both the bow and stern to control the boat as you see the winch
  • Vacate the ramp as quickly as possible and park in the appropriate preparation area to finish securing the vessel for towing
  • Remember to secure your vessel to the trailer using both the winch and safety chain.


Acknowledgement: Launching and Retrieving Source - Marine Safety Victoria