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This is more about getting a boat back on the trailer than launching one but I have just purchased a Quintrex 420 Estuary Angler (first boat) and have been out a couple of times with friends.

On the weekend I decided to take it out by myself and had alot of problems getting it back on the trailer at the end of the day. It was fairly windy and whenever I tried to wind it back on to the trailer, the back of the boat would move out and go off the centre roller (as the water was pushing it one way). With the winch at one end, and the boat at the other, it was impossible to get the boat on by myself.

Am I doing something wrong or are all boats like this under windy conditions? Maybe it is the type of boat/trailer combination I have or something?

Any tips would be much appreciated.


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If wind is a problem, tie a long piece of rope to the back corner of the boat, and hold it with your hand back at the winch. If the ass of the boat starts moving, pull the rope in the opposite end and it should centre the boat..

Like CFD said, having the trailer in shallow water helps. After 4 years of boating, i finally figured this out 6 months ago, and its now much easier to retrieve.

If you are still having problems, then you could purchase a device called 'retriever mate' which centres the boat for you at any degree. Just line up the bow on it, and winch away, even if the wind caught the back of the boat.

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I believe it is the orginal Coaster trailer that the boat came with (boat is only 2 yrs old).

The trailer just has rollers. I was backing it in until the trailer wheels were submerged approx half-way but sounds like this could be too deep when retrieving.

I'll do what you've suggested next time and see if that helps. Appreciate the advice.


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G'day mate,

I have a 3.75 tinnie runabout that I launch and retrieve by myself all the time. I had the same problem at first but with a bit of practice now retrieve in any conditions by myself.

The first thing I did to make it a bit easier was put self centering keel rollers on the trailer instead of the black rubber ones it came with. The next thing is my trailer is a fully rollered one - not skids. I have my last set of rollers positioned so that as the boat begins to come up when I wind the winch, the two back rollers touch the hull and bring it around square. The more I wind the straiter on the trailer it gets and up she comes.

When the wind or current (or both!!) are pushing the back of the boat around, I put the back of the boat at an angle into the wind/current, put the nose in the keel roller and bolt to the winch and give it a few quick cranks to get it up on the trailer that first bit. As I'm winding the wind/current is pushing the boat around square and then the rollers hit the hull - up she comes. :biggrin2:

I also don't put my trailer in the water too far but then I don't have to. Your boat is bigger than mine so you might have to go that little bit further but if you're winching by yourself, don't "drown" the trailer. Try it a few times until you find what works best. If you have the trailer in too far the boat will float off the rollers and get pushed around everywhere.

Hope that makes sense and helps you out.

In really bad conditions it's still a mighty challenge on my own sometimes and she doesn't come up first go but I generally get there second attempt.

It gets even more interesting if there's heaps of boat traffic causing waves as well... fun times!!

The other thing to remember is if you're at the ramp by yourself and struggling ask someone near by for help. Generally speaking another boaty or bystander will be happy to grab the winch while you keep the boat strait.

I've helped heaps of people retrieve their boats. I've also helped lots of people launch as well. It's all part of it.

A device called retrive-a-mate is also very good. It's a set of rollers at the back of the boat that form a "V" and they guide the boat up. I've never used one but I believe they're really good for bigger boats.



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I have to agree with CFD on this one it sounds like your trailer is in to deep

You dont want your back roller under water before you reverse your trailer pull the winch wire back to the end of the trailer and hook the winch hook on the flat of the roller pin reverse the trailer back so the rear roller is just out of the water bring the boat around and rest the nose against the roller put the winch hook in the hole and keeping tension on the wire(gloves are handy here)walk back to the winch and start winding The boat will pull straight up with the wobble rollers keeping it straight

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Merts - all quality advice above.

wind can be a bugger when retrieving, especially single handed.

Sounds like you were too deep - a common problem as the boat floats above the trailer.

Stern rope & load from same side wind is coming - that way to line up you don't fight against the wind.

And take your time - if you rush it will take longer, most people you see you struggle will generally give you a hand - when they do let them, and then help them if they also need help.

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Guest Big-Banana

Never hurts to ask for a hand either mate, when I'am at the ramp, Ill happily help someone if they ask as will most other guys.

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One other option to add to the list. Some years ago I had a small Quinnie & had similiar problems holding the boat in position for those few seconds when moving to the winch.

I used a rope , connected to the bow spit which ran through a small pully mounted on the center draw bar.

Holding the rope tight kept the boat in position whilst moving to the winch & taking up the cable slack.

Once the winch cable was tight release the rope then remove it when the boat was fully retreived


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