|This weekend I took a bunch of friends out to Lake Elsinore, who arn't regular boaters. We had a great day and all was good until it was time to leave... |
None of my friends were confident driving my truck with trailer down the ramp, so we docked my brand new Malibu LSV and they were just going to hold on to the dock until I brought my truck down. I backed my trailer into the water next to the base of the dock, got out and began walking on the dock to my boat. My boat was about 30 feet from the trailer and just as I got to it, one of my friends got into the driver's seat.
I was able to yell out "Don't drive, I've got it." That's all I got out, before my drunk friend (who knows nothing about driving wake or ski boats) proceeded to put the throttle 45 degrees forward. The boat lifted up and raced forward, and my friend paniced, and threw the throttle to 90 degrees reverse (full reverse)! The boat tapped the rear of the trailer guide arms and raced backwards towards another docked boat. Everyone on the dock and in the boats are screaming by now, and my friend continues to panic and throws the throttle 90 degrees forward (full accell.)
My boat misses the other boat by a few feet, lifts up almost out of the water as it powers forward and pancakes down on top of my trailer at a 20 degree angle as it bounced off of a trailer guide arm. Thats when he cut the power.
One person was almost thrown out of the bow, two children were on their backs on the floor crying, and everyone was shaken up.
Unbelievably the only visible damage is a 2 inch gash in the keel that goes to the fiber glass. My friend was an apologizing basket case who thought he destroyed my boat. What I initially guessed was going to be $10,000 worth of damage, turned out to be around $300.
Next time I'll be more articulate and clear with my instructions.
|Yikes! Glad to hear that #1 - no one was hurt, and #2 - damage is minimal.|
|Too bad a cop was not there to haul your friend's ass to jail.|
|boating and drunk ... humm|
|Your boat looks incredible. Just sayin.|
|who needs ennemies when you have such good friends? lol. |
glad no one got hurt.... how's the tranny? :S
|I almost feel bad for my friend. He is still apologizing, and his wife told me he is afraid to ever ask to come out again. He's a good guy who was trying to help, but whoa... |
Tranny is a good question. I was able to back off the trailer and put it on properly without noticing anything out of the ordinary from the engine, and havn't given that much thought since. I will pay attention once the hole is repaired and I take the boat out again. Thanks.
|Wow! What a douche, friend or no friend. He's very sorry because he probably realizes someone could have been seriously hurt.|
|With friends like that...|
|I would have beat his ass.|
|It would be really hard for me to keep from slapping him around too. |
I saw a similar thing happen at a ramp here a few years ago. The guy was coming into the trailer WAY too fast, almost on plane. He freaked out and hit reverse at full throttle, nailed the dock hard and ripped a ~1' square piece of fiberglass out of the side of a nice looking late 90's Sport Nautique. It was just above the waterline, or he would have sunk in about 30 sec. The funny part was once he got the boat out away from the dock and caught his breath, he looked over the side of the boat to check the damage, but he looked towards the rear instead of the front and didn't see the hole. He stood up and made this really animated "WHEW!" gesture to everyone watching and wiped his brow.
|Thank guy wouldn't be invited back out on my boat. Especially with kids on board. |
That is how boating fatalities happen.
|Sounds like to me a good guy was trying to help and made a mistake, lets not all make huge sweeping judgments on him from one error. Sucks to hear Bu Coo and I concur gorgeous boat man hope the fix is legit. |
I've had my boat now 220 hours and I finally had my wife pull the boat on the trailer by herself for the first time. I had taught her to do it once while I was on the boat but this was to be her first time with me pulling the trailer down. I swing down and there is an old like 68 Glaspar tied up to an otherwise small dock and a fairly narrow launch, it's not much wider than the trailer so the margin for error isn't great. It was windy so I told her to correct for that, well she over corrects which is easy to do going slow in an in board. Worries about the stern hitting this old boat, gases it real quick and jumps the boat onto the bunks at about the same 20 degree angle maybe a little more. Luckily it wasn't to far and I was able lift and wiggle the boat back to square. All was, good kids were fine and no damage but it was a little unnerving too. Anyway, I'm holding out sex on her to teach her a lesson
|I agree with Pain. I can say with almost complete confidence this guy will never do that again. Sucks that it takes incidents like this for some people to learn but Im sure a few people learned a lesson from that. I would prob take the keys out next time I leave him alone with the boat though. BTW, keep holding out on the sex. Im sure she is learning a lesson|
|Probably take the key out? And why was anyone in the boat at all? Do you normally retrailer a boat when it's filled with people?|
|I trailer my boat all the time with the crew aboard, and haul them up closer to where they parked. This is a problem?|
|I take the key and the lanyard when I leave my boat. Glad it did not turn into a disaster for you.Great looking Bu also.|
|I woulnd't invite that guy out again. Trying to help is bs as he clearly heard you say "I got it". |
Not to mention he was drunk.
Recipe for disaster, I don't care how sorry he is.
|i'm overwhelmed at the amount of people here who don't believe in second chances. is he's really as sorry as bu coo says he is, he definitely learned his lesson.|
|I am the ONLY one who will ever pull my boat into the trailer. No matter how many boaters i have on board - if someone can pull the trailer down the ramp for me - thats perfect - but the boat - only me. |
Too much possibility to scratch up the boat pulling it in. It takes 3 minutes at most - just not worth it.
|1) drunk |
2) no boat driving experience
3) not asked to help
--> jumps into the drivers seat and drives the boat at ramp/trailer like an idiot.
I am having a hard time understanding what kind of a person does that. How old is this person? 15?
|that settles it, I'm going to go to the local launching ramp this 4th of july and just sit and watch the parade....|
|Moments like these is why I refuse to power load my boat. I am perfectly capable of driving it on the trailer but I don't do it. I have never heard of somebody crashing a boat floating it on the trailer and winching it up. I can back the trailer in and have the boat loaded in 5 minutes so I don't think power loading would save any time.|
|He's sorry alright, I would have bitch slapped that dude. Hope he's paying for the damage, I wouldn't be claiming that on my insurance. Guy sounds like a mental midget.|
|Trailering your boat with a crew on board is idiotic. First, are they too lazy or fat to walk up the ramp? Second, who do you think is responsible if there is some mishap and someone falls out? Third, that's why they have docks. Your crew can step off the boat onto them instead of having to climb down out of the boat where they risk slipping and falling to the pavement. I know I'm going to take a rash of S for this but trailering folks up the ramp is dumber than wearing shorts over a wet suit. |
If your friends are invalids and can't make it up the ramp on their own send a car down after them.
g, watching the ramp on the 4th is probably a fun idea. I've seen so many mishaps at the ramp near where I dock my sailboat that I could write a book. The fun/stupidity never ends.
|I agree with Dustin , power loading is a no no for me. I'd much rather winch it up. a bit longer, you look like a n00b but you don't mess up your 60k boat |
|John Gardner, watch your mouth tough guy. Idiotic is a pretty strong word. I've been a trailered boat owner since 1996 and have never even heard of any issues with this.|
|I'd go so far as to say that simply driving your boat down the lake with your crew aboard is more dangerous than hauling your crew 200 yds from the ramp to the parking lot at 5 mph. |
Some of these threads make me really appreciate the laid-back people I ride with.
|lol at the "tough guy" comments. Common, what is this lol|
|That's "watch your mouth tough guy" in a virtual sense. LOL Seriously though, no need to call people idiots over a grey area issue like that.|
|Trace, In most states trailering with passengers is against the law. Even if it is not where you live it seems risky for the slight amount of time and effort saved by your crew. Idiotic may be too strong a word but if someone can make an argument as to why it's smarter than letting your crew hike up the ramp I'll be glad to hear them. I've seen numerous boats come off trailers while being pulled up ramps. Why would you want passengers in it when and if this happens?|
|I agree. Nobody knows 100% the circumstances around the events.|
|yeah, truthfully it can happen easier than you think. my nephew rammed the front of our seadoo into the dock (overshot the lift with too much throttle). |
the key thing is inexperience. it doesn't really mean someone is stupid if they did that, it just means they don't have a feel for what the throttle is going to be like, or especially the handling of an inboard.
i will only let another inboard owner dock or put my boat on the trailer...even if i have a friend with an I/O onboard i tell them, this boat is tricky to park, just wait till i get back, i'll do it.
|Dustin: 5 minutes??!! Way too long. You are the guy I am thinking to myself "What is taking this amateur so long??!!" We load in about 15 seconds. Also, if you are able to float it on, with many boat/trailer combos you will end up having the boat float around to the point where it's a pain to get it to settle on the bunks properly, and has a better chance of ending up on there crooked. Having the trailer out of the water more and powering on is the only way to go. |
Pete: If you're good, you will never mess up your boat.
My wife drives the boat on like a champ. We are backed down and loaded in less than 15 seconds.
LOL at people who think putting the boat on with people and driving 10 feet at 2mph is SOOOOO dangerous!! You have just a good of a chance of someone falling getting off the boat onto the dock or rusted dock cleat, or crushing their n00b hands between the boat and dock when these apparent non-skilled/non-experienced boaters come into the dock. Or falling between the dock and the boat.
I'm with you Trace. I laugh at these other people! Now, if you really don't have the skills to do it, then going slow and doing it the newbie way is a better choice. So I do appreciate if people aren't pushing the limits of their abilities so as to avoid running into my boat and whatnot.
It's funny, now we don't use public ramps, but I remember we'd normally be the crew with the giant F-350 bombing between 2 wally's and getting our boat out before anybody could even complain that we were "snaking them". It's like, HELLO, there is plenty of room here man!! There's a damn line 20 cars long...and when you see all the 'tards it makes sense why.
|Sorry, got a bit sidetracked. BuCoo, glad to hear everyone is okay. That could have been really bad. I bet your buddy will never forget this. Just a good reminder that boating should not be taken for granted. Everyone should make sure to really learn how to properly handle their boat.|
|Bu Coo, that sucks something fierce!! I would have screamed like a little girl too. I can imagine the frantic waving and body english you were throwing around! Your buddy needs to completely understand what he did was very dangerous and if happens again will cause some serious repercussions. |
As for trailering with passengers...those that don't are the slow azz people in my way at the ramp, MOVE! We drop a guy for the truck, back her in, drive the boat on, clip it up and we are out of the way. Hell, in a private community we drive a mile or so with everyone in the boat to unload at home. If you're not a dumbass and can clip the boat to the trailer there is no chance of falling off. Maybe not zero chance, but you are probably more likely to get hit by a car while walking up the ramp....
|Danny, if you're in such a hurry that 5 minutes gets you flustered you have bigger issues. And I will call you out on the "15 seconds" as a bold face Liar. You may be able to drive your boat on the trailer in "15 seconds" but there is no way in hell you can put your trailer in the water, load the boat, and pull out of the way for someone else to use that dock in 15 seconds start to finish. You need to check your watch bud because it is broke!|
|forget going to the launching ramp, I'm just going to hang out here..(joe's popcorn eating emotcon placed here if I had it)|
|Danny, No one is saying that any docking behavior is "soooo dangerous". The number of people doing things like this prove it is not. Try googling 'boat ramp accident'. You'll find that 99% of them are easily preventable so they should not be called a 'boat ramp accident' when it would make more sense to say 'operator error causes injury or death'. We live in a litigious society. Why compound your risks when all you're saving is a little time? Your crew may not sue you but their insurance company will if they deem you at fault. I'm not going to say that I've never been guilty of this sort of thing. Because it's expedient the boat driver sometimes rides up the ramp. Other passengers, never. I can't even imagine Big Heavy's crew riding around the lake like that to get home but to each his own. |
(Message edited by roverjohn on July 02, 2009)
|I have about 6 years of inboard driving experience and about 15 years boat ownership experience and am still reluctant to put others peoples boats on the trailer. I have not had any problems doing it, I just know there is so little margin for error that I would rather the captain of the boat do it. |
+1 on the cheers no one was hurt and damage seems very manageable. Seems intentions were OK in this situation, but your bud made a bad drunken noob mistake. And yes I would have gone emotionally ballistic in the heat of the moment seeing the potential carnage unfold at the ramp, but would probably be over it if your bud is stepping up to the plate to make things right.
I had a friend with plenty of boat experience take my boat out and run it aground at wakeboard speed. Couldn't talk to him for a week, but he steeped up and made everything right and now it is just a story to tell.
|Dustin: I'm not including getting the truck/trailer turned around and staged (and hooked back up in my case because our parking area doesn't allow you to park the tow rig hooked up to the trailer). But I would say my time on the ramp from when I get to the approach to pulling back off the ramp with the boat loaded is about 15 seconds. Definintely less than 30. I will admit I don't bust out my calibrated stop watch or anything. I guarantee the way I do it I would feel safer than with other people who do it the slow way. |
There is no dock on our ramp, and even if there was, we wouldn't be involved in any dock activity.
I actually don't have any issues, thanks. Very laid back. I guess when you and everyone in your crew is pro boat loader, it's just funny to watch other people fart around for 5 full minutes. I'm sure plenty of people on here think the same thing.
|About 15 years ago I was in the car with my dad at an intersection where this guys was pulling a pontoon full of people. This thing was PACKED w/ people. Moms, kids, the works. My dad made the comment about how stupid they were and that they were asking for an accdient. Well the light turned green and as the truck made the long left turn, the top heavy pontoon tipped over and off the trailer! Bodies went flying! It was at slow speed so I dont think anyone was hurt too bad. Hopefully it was a lesson for all those who witnessed it.|
|I had one of our dogs jump out of the boat when were pulling it up the ramp once. She jumped right off the swim platform like they normally do when we are stopped, did a little barrel roll and then hopped up and followed us to the parking spot. I cant see it really being a problem though for people who know jumping off a moving boat is probably a bad idea. |
Our routine at the ramp is to drop my wife off, she backs the trailer, I drive the boat on until the boat buddy clicks then I kill the motor and hop in the bow to make sure the bar is in the eye and then we pull up out of the way. 15 seconds might be an exageration but it is usually a pretty quick process.
|Time to get new friends! So who drives the boat when your riding? Hopefully not that drunk guy.|
|Nobody was hurt, the damage was not permanent. |
Great lesson's learned by all who witnissed.
Be thankful, remember, share, and remind...
|Where is that glass in your profile pic Coo? That is awesome. |
I suspect we can point to this when we get one of those 'drinking is OK when boating' threads going again. I suspect this would not have happened to him without alcohol involved.
I do wonder about the tranny. I cannot help but think that full forward to full reverse and back again is going to trash something in the tranny. I have heard of one guy who had a premature tranny failure, the company would not warranty it saying that he must have gone from full forward to reverse to make it fail that way. I am not sure what you can check if it seems fine now...but I would keep it in mind if it fails 100 hours from now.
|Thanks for sharing...I will be taking my key with me from now on.|
|That glass is Lake Elsinore California...before noon normally. Then the wind blows you off the lake. Yep...want some entertainment go sit down at either of Lake Elsinores ramps this weekend. I can't believe the things I have seen there in the last 20 years. |
Everything from the whole family trying to hold the boat in the howling wind while Dad gets the boat to the occasional launching of a boat ONTO the launch ramp. Then there is the regular sinking of low profile boats at the City ramp when the wind blows the rollers over the backs of the boats. Yep guaranteed idiot fest.
|Yup, Lake Elsinore is full of white capping waves around 2 PM. That picture was taken in the morning last October. |
Thanks for all of the compliments on that boat. I bought it from Malibu as a Demo Deal. It was actually Bob Alkema's boat last year. I got it with about 160 hours in mint condition with a brand new warranty. I'd love to take credit for the colors and options, but I figure the Boss of the company knew what he was doing.
The key thing is good advice and I will do that next time, should the situation present itself where nobody on the boat can back a trailer down a ramp. Normally there is always at least one person who can back the trailer, but this was an odd day. Soon my wife will learn trailering techniques.
I will invite my friend and his family out again, we are friends after all, but driving the boat, maybe not.
Trailering with people on board doesn't seem that dangerous to me as long as someone who knows how to do it is doing it.
I'm glad I posted this story, I've got some good info. Pay attention to Tranny next outing, take the key with me if I leave the boat at the dock next time when getting the trailer, and cut ties with all friends who screw up. Just kidding on the last one. Thanks to all.
|Alcohol + water = stupid. Always. No exceptions. |
I've had to put up with all too many annoying situations to deal with intoxicated people on a boat ever again. This post just enforces why.
|I actually have alcohol free days on the boat. people dont like it they dont have to come for the day.|
|I know what you mean Anodyne, I do alcohol, alcohol, water, repeat... |
Trevor, I do something similar but is free alcohol day rather than alcohol free .
|Drop the wife off at the dock and she gets the trailer. She backs the trailer into the water until the fenders are 1/2 under. I idle the boat up until it hits the bunks. She backs up as I ease the boat up the rest of the way. I hook the winch up and lock it. I go to the back as she pulls out to verify the back sits on the bunks correctly. All peeps have their butts on seats as this is taking place. In 15 years of doing this, sometimes several times a weekend during the summer, we've never come close to hurting the boat or people. |
When you have a bunch of boats waiting to load/unload, yes, 5 minutes each on the ramp is too long.