An Ultimate Answer For “ How To Launch A Boat By Yourself ? ”

Taking the boat out for a ride, either for fishing purposes or recreation is an activity usually done in pairs or in groups. Apart from getting the job done in an easier and more efficient manner, it also allows for a perfect way to establish close bonds with people whom you share common interests with. Moreover, a lot of people find it rather scary and risky to go out on the sea without people who would serve as their “buddy”. While this is the belief that’s commonly held among boat owners and/or fishing enthusiasts alike, the reality is there are some moments where you simply can’t find company, yet either want or feel the need to go out and explore the seas on your own. Should this end up being the case, you would have to learn how to launch a boat by yourself.

Unbeknownst to a lot of people, this could be done fully on your own. Besides trying your hardest to conquer the fear that comes with trying to do so, there are also a lot of things you have to keep in mind, but is something that's easy for you to learn and with constant practice, get used to.


Things You Need

4x4 Vehicle

how to launch a boat by yourself

While any vehicle may suffice, it would be optimal for you to make use of the 4x4 type. The reason for this is that sometimes, the surface close to the ramp is one who could get slippery, which is obvious given that the place would be susceptible to moisture and growth of moss. Also, the area surrounding the river or the lake would almost always be muddy, and in the case of beaches, sandy.

Cars that are not of the 4x4 type is extremely difficult to maneuver in cases like this, as they could get lodged or stuck on these surfaces. The 4x4 vehicle, on the other hand, would allow you to smoothly take control of your vehicle despite the conditions not being that favorable.

Clear Driver’s Side Mirror

Clear Driver’s Side Mirror

This is the mirror you have to be most comfortable with when out of all the mirrors of your vehicle whenever you get to launch the boat on your own. The reason for this is because this is the mirror that would allow you to view the launcher while it goes down the water. Moreover, this is where you’d be checking on whether or not your vehicle is going too near, or further into the dock.


orange webbing

Instead of making use of ropes and learning how to tie them the foolproof means, as well as worrying about what kind of knot to use so that it remains tight but is still easy to untie, it's best for you to invest in webbings that you could purchase in a lot of outdoor stores. What distinguishes them from webbings is the fact that they are flat strips, made of different varieties of fiber, with modern varieties usually being made of polyester, nylon, or polypropylene.

tied webbing

The webbings made of these materials are light and strong at the same time, with breaking strengths usually of 10,000 lb. This weight is far greater that any of the yachts or boats that are owned personally. For use in launching a boat on your own, a webbing or about 1 m long would suffice. Moreover, it's important to note that both ends of the webbing need to have solid loops that don't get loose or untied with heavy weights.



These carabiners serve as ties to ropes. In other words, dealing with carabiners is a process that would be a lot less cumbersome than having to tie knots on the dock and around the designated part of the boat. These are those small, metallic, and specialized shackles with a loop and a gate that is spring-loaded.

varieties of carabiners

There are non-locking and locking varieties of carabiners, but for use in boat launching, the non-locking type, which could be released with a gentle inward push of the lock would pretty much suffice, although you can use carabiners of any shape or size as well. It’s also important to note that these carabiners need not be heavy, as these can be made of different kinds of lightweight metals. For use in boat launching, you would need 2 of these.

How To Launch A Boat By Yourself

Check The Condition Of The Boat

how to launch a boat by yourself

This is the single step you should never choose to skip. The reason for this is because it would spare you from potential troubles in the middle of the ocean. Furthermore, this is something that you have to do, given that there would be nobody else to help you out. The conditions you have to check are your boat’s motor’s life, the level of gasoline, as well as other oddities and suspicious cracks or marks. Should there be something wrong, make it a point to have it fixed before venturing out into the body of water.

Clear The Area Surrounding The Dock

Clear The Area Surrounding The Dock

Whenever you decide to launch a boat on your own, make it a point that all of the possible nuisances and hazards would be removed from the vicinity of the place. These include kids and pets that may be frolicking around, stray stones, among others. This would spare both them and you from dangers of getting run over or getting caught in an accident.

Attach Or Plug In The Drain Plug

how to launch a boat by yourself

This is one step you would not want to forget, lest your boat would sink the moment the launcher gets in contact with the water and would be too heavy actually to remove. Furthermore, water getting into certain parts of the boat, specifically the engine would most definitely end up causing damage.

Undo The Necessary Straps

how to launch a boat by yourself


Once all of the above steps have been done, before driving closer to the boat, you have to undo the straps that hold the boat to the launcher. This allows the boat to glide and float into the water once the launcher has already gone further into the dock.

Switch Car Gear To Reverse, and Further Into The Dock

Switch Car Gear To Reverse

Always make it a point to drive slowly. Only stop once the boat already starts floating off the launcher. To make future steps easier, make it a point for you to do this on the side, or as close to the dock as possible. Never drive it farther, or if your dock is wide, a point too far from any of the two sides.

Turn Your Vehicle Off, Then Lift The Brake

how to launch a boat by yourself


Always make sure that the brake gets lifted before you turn your vehicle off, lest your it would most definitely come sliding down the ramp and into the water as well, given that it is an inclined plane and your vehicle is the 4x4 type.

Affix The Boat To The Side Of The Dock

Affix The Boat To The Side Of The Dock

Once the boat starts slipping away from the launcher, grab it as quickly as you could and affix the carabiner and webbing to its side. Once you have successfully done so, pull the webbing until it touches the side of the dock. Most of the time, docks are equipped with slots especially made for tying ropes and the like, and this is where you ought to affix your carabiner. Given that most personal boats are light, a little bit of dragging is all it takes. The carabiner and the webbing make all of this a process which is much easier to do than it would with traditional ropes.

Start Your Boat Up and Enjoy!

how to launch a boat by yourself

Once you have reached this point, all that's left for you to do is to simply hop into the boat and start its motor. From here, you could then easily maneuver the boat for you to go and navigate your way into whatever body of water it may be. Always keep the basic protocols in mind once you're out on the waters.

Moreover, keep a communication device handy with you to call anyone on land should something go wrong. Also, make sure not to make your trips last as long. Keep them as brief as possible, and be as careful as you possibly could, given that you're all alone.

You can watch this video to see how to launch a boat by yourself. Very easy!


With the necessary materials and equipment, launching the boat on your own need not be a difficult job to do at all. Despite that, however, there are several risks that are associated with traveling all on your own, and with no one else to look after you, you have to be as careful as you possibly could. Moreover, it is important that trips of this nature should be kept as brief as possible. The condition of the boat should also be optimal for the whole trip to be safe and for possible risks to be kept at a minimum. Lastly, with patience, as well as constant practice, launching a boat on your own could pretty much come across as second nature to you.

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Lucas Bryant

Hi, I’m Lucas Bryant and fishing is one of the most important parts of my life. I usually go fishing with my friends and have many fishing competition. That why I like to research and create many tips to get more fishes to win a race. I hope my experience will be useful for you.

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