how to launch a boat by yourself
David A. Brown

When the woods are full, the boat ramps are empty. That’s the beauty of fall fishing — a significant crowd-thinning leaves autumn anglers with more time and space to themselves.

On the flipside, when you’re buddies are parked in a treestand, you’ll have to handle launching your boat without any help. No worries; here’s a simple method for dropping in small- to mid-sized vessels in fresh or saltwater scenarios.

Before backing down to the ramp, connect a bow line and tie the opposite end to your winch stand. Unhook the winch strap, back down at a normal pace and once the boat reaches sufficient depth, abruptly hit the breaks. Suddenly halting the trailer allows the boat to slip off, while the rope keeps it tethered. Put the truck in park, apply the emergency brake and walk the rope to a dock cleat where you’ll secure you boat before parking your vehicle.

A couple of things to consider: First, use a bow line about twice your trailer length. This ensures plenty of clearance on the drift. And, as simple as it sounds, you must tie off that bow line before bumping the boat off the trailer. Otherwise, you’ll gain a new understanding of the word “helplessness” as you watch your rope fall to the water and your boat slide out of reach. Okay, I’ll own it — guilty! I suggest frantic arm-flailing and high-pitched yells to any boater in the area.

Worked for me.