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Old     (kfcflores)      Join Date: Apr 2005       05-17-2005, 11:13 AM Reply   
I have a 2000 centurion dd. This is my first inboard and I am really having difficulty getting the boat back on the trailer. Any advice or tips would be greatly appreciated. The whole reverse thing sucks in inboards. I try to just drive her right in, but I get a little off and then have to reverse and I'm f@#$ed. When I bought the boat and test rode it, the previous owner made it look so simple. just gassed it up, killed it, ran to the bow and hooked it. Does it just take practice? I'm just nervous about when it gets more crowded at the ramp and I'm THAT guy. Sorry so long winded. Thanks
Old     (ryanbush11)      Join Date: May 2003       05-17-2005, 11:22 AM Reply   
You just have to go real slow at till you get the hang of it, as you aproach the trailer put the boat in neutral then you can make any steering adjustments you might need, give it a bump back into gear, and take it right back out. if you go slow you won't need to use reverse.
Old     (fox)      Join Date: Jul 2002       05-17-2005, 11:32 AM Reply   
Take your time, practice. The most important thing is to maintain control...even if that means doing it slowly. I'd rather be slow than look like an a$$ ramming my boat into the trailer stop or fussing over being an inch or two off center.

Old     (big_ed_x2)      Join Date: Jul 2004       05-17-2005, 11:34 AM Reply   
Exactly what Ryan said!!

But you think you DD is a biaoth...try a v-drive!!
Old    grud8            05-17-2005, 11:57 AM Reply   

In the beginning until you get the hang of it try to angle the boat so you are pointed at about 1 o'clock if center is 12 o'clock. This way if you have to use reverse it will pull the front of the boat to a 12 o'clock position rather than off-center. If you get all the way there and didn't need reverse just hit it a bit and it will straighten you out. I second what the other guys said about going slow. Just take your time and allow the drift of the boat to get you to the trailer.

Good Luck.
Old     (scottie4421)      Join Date: Oct 2004       05-17-2005, 12:13 PM Reply   

I totally understand! The only thing I'd ever driven was an outboard until I got my 00' Tige direct drive last summer. It's a huge difference. Reverse is either straight back or to the right w/ no control.

What I try to do is get lined up way out from the trailer. Get the bow pointed right towards the center of the trailer and keep a little speed so the boat will track through the water. Don't make big movements with the steering wheel, this is where most loading attempts go bad. Once you get the ass end swinging around, you never get it under control. The trick is to make small adjustments and give the boat time to react. It'll take moment for it to go the way you want it to since you've only got a small rudder. In this situation, a lot of people keep turning the wheel more and more. So when the boat does react, the back end swings way too far around. Be patient and give it some time to react. I've found that I don't have to hit it dead center. The trailer bunks will correct the alignment. Just get pretty close. Practice makes perfect.

And if all else fails, blame your wife, your buddies, or the beer! Try not to worry too much about being "that guy"....cuz everybody watching at the ramp is thinkin "damn, I remember those days!"
Old     (tommyg)      Join Date: Apr 2002       05-17-2005, 12:17 PM Reply   
Here's my recommendation...pull the boat halfway up the trailer and kill the engine, pull it up the remainder of the way by hand. I always have to be the one to back up the truck, and i don't trust anyone pulling my boat onto the trailer, so i have them kill the engine way early, let out a lot of slack on the roller and attach it to the hook 6-8 feet from the front of the trailer. Then i just pull it in...
Old     (kfcflores)      Join Date: Apr 2005       05-17-2005, 12:26 PM Reply   
thanks for all the advice guys. this site is great. I think the post about letting the boat react is what is happening to me. I end up overcorrecting and then my ass is swinging all over. I also like the idea of blaming my wife. lol. I just don't want to hit another boat. thanks again everybody.
Old     (greenthumb)      Join Date: Mar 2004       05-17-2005, 1:05 PM Reply   
We tend to have some trouble docking our Moomba also due to the fact we are in a large river....there is always a small current. It is tough getting it onto the trailer sometimes....I get real nervous. Just like everyone says, you can't do much harm if you just take things slow. I would rather have people hanging out of the bow reaching for trailer guides than ramming the trailer, the dock, or someone else's boat.
Old    powaman            05-17-2005, 2:22 PM Reply   
I always docked at the dock then pulled it onto the trailer, much easier that way, but like the others said once you get the hang it wont be bad.
Old     (salty87)      Join Date: Jul 2002       05-17-2005, 2:27 PM Reply   
do you have guide posts on your trailer? if so, your goal is to split the uprights with the nose of the boat. if you can do that and grab the guide post, you should be able to get it up on the trailer pretty easy.

once that's easy, and it will be soon, then shoot for getting the nose closer to the bow stop. you'll get the hang of it.

if you're uncomfortable with reverse, practice slow maneuvers in open water with no one around. toss a fender out and drive slow circles around it, back up to each side, get used to how your boat responds....its less painful than hitting trailers and docks.
Old     (bigshow)      Join Date: Feb 2005       05-17-2005, 6:21 PM Reply   
Pulse the throttle, as suggested above.

If you have a Bennett trim tab set it all the way down. That will slow your approach down, allow you to stay in gear more and tend to keep the rear of the boat lined up with the trailer.
Old     (bmh2208)      Join Date: Apr 2004       05-17-2005, 7:17 PM Reply   
I used to be afraid to load my '77 CC too. It had a real fast idle. If I took it our of gear, it would start to drift, and had to put it back in gear to get some propulsion to get it going straight again. So taking it in and out of gear was not an option for me.

I always had a hard time making sure that I was centered up on the trailer, being that you are sitting offset from center.

I figured out a solution: When on the trailer, I looked at where the center of the steering wheel lined up straight on the trailer, and then painted/taped a stripe on the trailer. I could then look straight ahead sitting in the seat and line up straight with the mark on the trailer.

This seemed to work great for me. Just start way out (50-75yds) put it in forward idle and just line up with the mark. If you do veer off course a little, remember to make "very little" adjustments to the wheel and also it takes a few seconds for it to respond. This will help you from overcorrecting.

Like everyone else says: practice and experience will make it easier and easier. I am by no means an expert, but someone who only a few months ago dreaded going out to board knowing that I had to put it back on the trailer.

(Message edited by bmh2208 on May 17, 2005)
Old     (ramhouse)      Join Date: Apr 2004       05-18-2005, 5:27 PM Reply   
Practice, practice, practice!!!
Old    ozonerider            05-18-2005, 11:27 PM Reply   
You might try the two-step approach:

First, check the wind and current and plan your approach. Then get lined up and SLOWLY make your approach until you get the bow to contact the trailer bunks. Remember that you can still steer the boat if you are making some headway even if you are in neutral so don't be afraid to bump the throttle in and out of gear, and coast when feasible to keep your speed down. You might be off by a few degrees from perfectly straight when you contact the bunks but don't worry about it. Once you have established a pivot point, you can bump the throttle in and out of gear while using the rudder to move the stern of the boat in either direction until you are lined up straight.

Once you are lined up straight, power onto the trailer. Better to err on the cautious side here!

For practice, try making several "docking approaches" to a "no wake" buoy. See if you can stop the boat dead in the water, lined up in the direction you intended, so that you can simply reach out and touch the buoy. Do it from several different angles to simulate different wind/current conditions. Once you get good at this, you'll have a real good feel for how your particular setup handles and everything else will be easy.
Old     (ian30)      Join Date: Jan 2005       05-19-2005, 6:24 AM Reply   
I don't have any good input here to help you, but I can sympathize. I just traded an I/O for a V-drive and I got the boat sideways in the trailer all 4 times I have tried to put it on. Not sure what happens, But I then curse a little, back up a little and then it goes right on after that. Of course everyone at the docks is looking at me by this time, but I'm happy knowing that with how out of whack I have had the boat, I have never heard any scraping or crunching sounds from something hitting. The first time it happened, I thought for sure something would get damaged, but so far it's ok. I sure hope I get better, this boat just drives like a pig at slow speeds compared to the I/O.
Old     (bob)      Join Date: Feb 2001       05-19-2005, 6:40 AM Reply   
Also remember if you sink the trailer too deep the rear end can move around on you and not stay lined up. You will wind up putting it back in the water trying to hold it straight, etc. I try to have my fender tops just barely below the surface of the water, on the ramp i frequent.
Old     (krbaugh)      Join Date: Mar 2002       05-19-2005, 7:14 AM Reply   
The 2 most frequent problems are taking it out of gear and the trailer being to deep.
You need front bunks to be visible so you can see them and so they will catch the front of the boat and keep it lined up. If you do what was suggested above in and out of gear this will keep you heading the right direction and keep you from moving to fast
Old     (l7wakeboarder)      Join Date: Feb 2005       05-19-2005, 11:30 AM Reply   
Last year when we first had the boat we had all sorts of problems, mainly because we had backed the trailer way to far in and because the boat launch we used isn't level. After backing over a trailer bunk and completely trashing a prop we learned how to do it. We back the railer in all the way to get the bunks wet, and then pull it out till the fenders are just below the water. Then you basically just line it up and give it a little push with the throttle and the bunks will line it up for you. We tend to keep the trailer as far out as we can and just throttle up the bunks til it won't go anymore and then we back in the trailer a bit more and give it som more gas until it gets all the way up the trailer. Haven't had any problems and it usually goes right on. Backing over that bunk was the worst sound I have ever heard come from a boat, be careful when reversing if you are drifting over your trailer.
Old     (monstertower)      Join Date: Mar 2003       05-20-2005, 8:10 PM Reply   
I was just talking yesterday about how much I now feel like a total squid when trying to pull into a dock with heavy wind and ZERO control in reverse. Sometimes I need to "make another pass" if it's real windy (normal on our lake) to get it docked.

When I had I/O's and outboards I got great entertainment and amusement watching those who "dont know how to dock a boat" making multiple passes to get thier boat docked.

It get's easier over time (except if windy) and taking it real slow is great advice.
Old     (p_e_ski)      Join Date: Jul 2004       05-23-2005, 2:27 PM Reply   
Do what I did. Marry a woman who can do it.
Old    tuck224            05-23-2005, 2:45 PM Reply   
I'm with Tommyg. I pull mine up by hand it's simple, and usually faster than powering itup.
Old     (breadbutta)      Join Date: Dec 2003       05-23-2005, 4:45 PM Reply   
I agree; get it close, than shut it off and walk it on.
Old     (deltadave)      Join Date: Mar 2005       05-23-2005, 5:34 PM Reply   
Lots of people put their trailer in way too deep. The front of the bunks should be out of the water about 4" .... depending on your launch ramp. The boat should straighten up and you can give it some power the last 1-2'. As far as reverse in your boat, a hard left will get you going barely left (port) and a hard right with the wheel will get you a hard right (starboard i.e. driver's side rear of boat) this makes it easier to dock on the driver's side. Unless you have a Nautique, then they have opposite propeller rotation. A little practice and going slow and you'll get the hang of it.
Old     (buzz_grande)      Join Date: Mar 2004       05-23-2005, 6:09 PM Reply   
I came from a runabout with a duo-prop, that I could back into a parking space. With a little practice, I have pretty much got a good hand on my VLX. What really works for me is to get the trailer fenders just a bit under the water line. Then I get going straight at the trailer. Not very hard if it is not really windy. I take it in and out of gear, and go REALLY SLOW. I still don't know why people have to go so fast. If you are not lined up, and are heading way off, STOP, go back a ways, and try again. Go slow!!


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