At Nautical Training & Marine Services I am dedicated to ensuring all mariners operate safely both during and after undertaking my Gold Coast boat training and licencing. To help achieve this goal, I’ve provided these vital tips for safe vessel launch and retrieval. By following these tips, it helps to avoid vessels being damaged and ensures the skipper, crew and passengers all remain safe. It also limits the amount of time it takes to undertake the launching and retrieval processes, minimising conflict arising on ramps during busy periods.
Consider boating etiquette and avoid ramp rage by doing all your checks prior to launching either at home or in the staging lanes.
Consider using a type of trailer with rollers or skids and bunkers.
Consider prevailing conditions of wind, tide, traffic as to best approach and how your vessel will react once afloat and free from trailer.
Bear in mind boat ramps can be extremely slippery and dangerous particularly on a low tide, hold onto your trailer or vessel at all times, use correct footwear and follow the grooves on the ramp to maintain your stability.
Check bungs and remove towing tie down straps.
Complete start up checks and battery power checks.
Attach bow line to cleat so you have the option to launch solo.
Once at launching lane, reverse trailer down ramp to just above axle or trailer wheels, depending on trailer type.
Remove safety chain but maintain stability with snub or winch hook and ratchet in place until vessel is just afloat.
For solo launch attach bowline to cleat and loop back down to snub so when boat is flat in water and afloat you can release from inside the vessel single handed.
Working as a team, have skipper ready in vessel with crew ready to release snub/winch ratchet at bow.
Prepare start up by trimming motor down sufficiently so prop is in the water.
Start vessel, crew to release the snub/winch hook from bow and skipper to reverse away from trailer.
Use of uprights or docking arms to keep vessel stable and centred.
Alternately, release snub or disconnect snub/winch line and carefully walk vessel away from trailer using bow line to control your vessel at the ramp.
Remember to use a methodical approach, double check everything and always one hand for yourself and one for the boat and practice!
If you’re struggling with either vessel launching or retrieval or need further assistance with Gold Coast boat training, contact Nautical Training and Marine Services on 0412 550 570. I have over 30 years’ experience in handling vessels of all sizes for recreational and commercial requirements.
Being the leading provider of Gold Coast jet ski licencing and training services, as well as a personal watercraft (PWC) enthusiast, I understand just how important it is to choose the right jet ski for your needs and lifestyle. While budget is generally an important consideration, there are many other things you should examine before you buy a jet ski, such as whether you’re going to be using it in fresh or saltwater. By following my tips below, it will help you make a better educated decision before buying or upgrading your jet ski.
Which jet ski manufacturers can I trust?
While there used to be a wide range of jet ski
manufacturers, the PWC market is now dominated by 3 main manufacturers, Yamaha
WaveRunner, Sea-Doo and Kawasaki. All of these manufacturers supply quality
products, which is why they are still the most popular worldwide.
Is a sit down or stand up jet ski a better alternative?
You can have hours of fun on the water with either a sit
down or stand up jet ski. The main difference being a stand-up jet ski gives
you more of a workout, so if you’re wanting to increase your exercise regime
choose this alternative. But you will have to spend more time learning how to
operate this effectively if you’re wanting to perform more complex tricks.
Will I be using my jet ski in fresh or saltwater?
If you’re going to be using your jet ski inland, say in a river or a lake, then having a closed cooling system isn’t important. But if you’re wanting to navigate the open ocean and coastal waterways, then having a jet ski with a closed cooling system can be beneficial as it may help you to eliminate some of the maintenance issues which can result from purchasing a PWC that has raw water cooling the engine. It’s important to be aware though that the more features you have on your jet ski, the heavier and less responsive it generally tends to be in the water.
Am I going to have any passengers?
If you want to maintain marital bliss in your home, I’d recommend checking to see if your wife or kids would like to take part in your jet ski adventures, before you invest in a single or double model.
These are just some of the numerous things you should take into consideration before choosing a jet ski for yourself or your family. For expert assistance with Gold Coast jet ski licencing and practical training, contact Nautical Training and Marine Services on 0412 550 570.
As an avid fisherwoman, when things are quiet with one-on-one training and certification for Gold Coast boat licences, I love heading out on the local waterways to catch whatever is in season. But after spending many years captaining vessels, both large and small, here in Queensland, greater Australia and abroad, I understand firsthand the importance of following good boat safety procedures before being involved in any watersports. This is why I created a daily boating checklist to ensure both myself and my passengers stay safe whenever we leave the shore for a day on the water.
Inspect your fuel system for leaks or damage,
including your fuel hoses, connections and tank surfaces, paying careful
attention to any softness, brittleness or cracking of the hoses.
Check to see that all fittings and clamps are
properly secured and replace any components if necessary
Ensure that the engine, exhaust and ventilation
systems are functioning correctly
An important tip, don’t fill your tank with fuel
containing 10% ethanol (E10), as this will damage your engine.
Belts, Cables & Hoses
Check belts, cables and hoses because they can
become brittle and crack if vessel isn’t being used regularly
Always make sure belts fit tightly around
pulleys to prevent slipping
A worn belt may leave a black residue near the
pulley and will fit loosely
Cracks or swells on the outer jacket of
throttle, shift and steering control cables may indicate internal corrosion and
result in engine failure.
Inspect all electrical connections for clean,
tight, corrosion free connections, as corroded connections can be dangerous
Remove corroded terminals and use a wire brush
to clean them, along with all cable ends
Charge your battery and have it tested to
ensure it can hold a charge
You should also have your electrical systems
regularly inspected by a qualified technician.
Bilge Alarm System
Check automatic bilge alarm system by manual
check of float switch.
Check all fluid levels including engine oil,
power steering, power trim reservoirs and coolant
Be sure to change the engine oil, oil filter
and drive lubricants on a regular basis.
Propellers & Hulls
Inspect propellers for dings, pitting, cracks
and distortion, as damaged propellers can result in vibration and damage to
your drive train
Ensure the propeller is secured properly and
replace bearings when required
When inspecting the hull, look for blisters,
distortions and cracks
Always clean the hull, deck, and topsides
using an environmentally safe cleaning solution
Check that the bung is securely in place
before every launch.
It’s the Owners and Masters responsibility to have the required safety
equipment onboard for your area of operation.
Check to see that your life jackets are in
good condition and there are enough on board for all potential passengers
Ensure each individual has the correct type
and size life jacket for their body weight
Assess all onboard fire extinguishers to see
if these are the correct class for your vessel
Make sure all fire extinguishers are fully
charged and stowed in the proper place
For any enclosed or semi-enclosed area, ensure
you have at least one properly installed and working carbon monoxide detector
Check that you have an EPIRB for situations of
distress when more than 2nm offshore
It’s a good idea to become a member of either
the Coastguard or Volunteer Marine Rescue in the event you may require a tow.
When it comes to boat safety, I always advise mariners undertaking my Gold Coast boat licences and training classes to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations, as these can vary, depending on the vessel, engine and type of componentry. If you would like further training on how to manage your vessel and tips for staying safe on the water, contact Nautical Training & Marine Services on 0412 550 570.