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This has been back during the winter time but I went fishing during one week day in January it was like 32 degrees that day then I put my boat in my garage during that week it got down to like 5 degrees. So I went fishing that Sunday the high was like 25 degrees well that morning when I was backing my boat into the water my boat slid off the trailer. I guess my bunks on my trailer where frozen from that week. Has anyone else done anything like that or forgot to put the plug in?
 

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My buddy had just bought a bass boat and wasn't real familiar with boats and forgot to put the plug in first time he put it in the water. Had a few tense moments before he turned the pumps on. lol
 

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Red X Angler
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I launched w/o a plug, tied off the 15ft tri hull chapparal walk thru boat talking with the wife and we walked off to park the truck, quiet ramp no traffic so we were in no hurry. Walked back to find the boat sitting on the bottom (luckily still on the ramp part and not pulled to the end of the dock like I would do on a busy day, full almost to the gunnels, gas tank, cooler, tackle box, floating. NO bilge pump. I climbed in, put the plug in from the inside and started scooping out water with a 5 gal bucket. When I felt the boat drift I started it up, had the wife climb in and took off as hard as it woukld run 1/2 full of water. Pulled the plug from inside and let the suction of moving pull most of the water out. We laughed about it and went fishing. If my vent had been open on my portable tank, or my battery mounted on the floor and not high on the transom I probably wouldnt have been so lucky.
I never disconnect the bow from the trailer until I am at the waters edge, I undo the rear straps, get loaded up with w/e I need to transfer from the truck then back down to the water, with just enough room to unhook and not get my feet wet, then I back the rest of the way in. I am usually alone, and most of my boats were "float on" trailers, so it takes more work and more time but I dont care, let em yell..
 

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I saw a guy as I was leaving a crowded ramp in Beaufort that had rollers instead of bunks. He unhooked his winch and started to back down. As soon as the trailer hit a little bit of slope the boat hit the concrete about 15' from the water. I have forgot my plug a time or two, but it was no big deal. You can see all kinds of stuff at a boat ramp!
 

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Like Sundrop said, never disconnect your winch hook until you are almost in the water. I usually let out a couple feet of slack then lock the winch this way I can tell when the boat is floating but not leave the trailer. After the motor is running I unhook and then drive off the trailer.
 

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I would bet that anyone who has owned a boat has launched without the plug at LEAST once. Yep, I never unhook the winch line until the boat is close to water, then leave a little slack so it will float off a little. I once pushed a borrowed boat off trailer without cranking it first. Then while I am floating away from dock with my then girlfriend watching, the motor wouldn't crank! And of course the trolling motor wouldn't work. Loads of fun!!
 

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My boat has an automatic bilge pump with a float switch, if I forget the plug it will let me know pretty quick.

I have never dropped a boat on the ramp as I dont unhook the winch until the boat is at the waters edge. I have heard that spraying your bunks with super slick spray or adding glide sticks is a common cause of sliding one off on the ramp. Not worth the chance of dropping it for the 2 seconds it takes to disconnect the strap on the ramp.
 

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Have seen/done all of the above. Got one better though.

Me and Dad went to go fishing one morning down east, hook up boat and start rolling down the road. Got about 15+ miles down 43 to the train tracks and go over normally. As soon as the boat clears though all I hear is a grinding noise and see sparks behind us. The trailer hitch had come out of the receiver, apparently when he put the pin in, it went BEHIND the hitch and not through the hole. The boat actually rode like this because of the weight on the hitch was causing enough leverage to keep it in FOR 15+ MILES, but as soon as we hit that nice set of tracks and it bounced, out it went boat still hooked to the ball.

Great way to start the morning of course.
 

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I used to go to Belews Creek Lake on a regular basis. Saturdays were always fun just watching the newbies on the ramp (doesn't do any good or make it faster getting mad).

There are two ramps and the line to unload was about 10 or 12 deep. One guy was obviously new, nice big cuddy cabin about 24', pulling up, backing up, pulling up again, etc. He was still trying to get his boat in the water after I had waited in line and unloaded and gone to have fun on the water.

I returned later in the afternoon and as I was leaving the access area there the big boat sat. I know it was a bad day for him but the guy had hooked that big boat to his bumper hitch. I had to laugh when I saw the boat, trailer, and bumper just sitting on the side of the lot with no truck in sight.
 

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Me and some buddies went to a local pond about 20 tears ago, and there were four of us with two boats. The guy I was with, we fished together all the time so we had it down pat. He backed the boat in the water, tapped the brake and the boat slides off and I am holding the rope. The other guys with us were using a borrowed boat and were a little new at boating. They watched us, so they backed down hit the brake, boat slides off but no one has the rope, boat drifts out in pond. After laughing a couple of minutes, looked and the boat was sinking. No plug.
 

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Used to stay at Gaston alot years ago. Got there one evening after dark, got to jawing and drinking beer. Dumped the bass boat in the water and drove it around the point and tied it to the pier. Me and the wife went to bed in the cabin cruiser docked next to it.
Next morning about 6 got up to a foggy morning. Walked out on the dock and didn't see my boat. Started panicking because I thought it had come untied and drifted off. I figured somebody would run into before the fog lifted.

Looked down at my feet and about a foot of the bow was above the water. Got it untied and worked it around closer to shore. Put the plug in it and passed a 4x4 underneath the stern and two of us got it lifted enough to pump out. I was fishing in a sopping wet bass boat in about 2 hours. Motor fired right up. The depth finder had been left on and it was still marking bottom when it got pumped out. Never left my tackle on the boat at night so there was no loss there.

What caused this was the fact I always left the plug in my boat because it was garage kept. Never dealt with the plug.
The previous weekend I had decided to leave my boat at the lake on the trailer. So I put a tarp over the boat and pulled the plug. Just a simple change of routine is what got me.
 

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Overnight freeze caused my boat to freeze to the bunks. Had to wait about 15 minutes for the 35 degree water to thaw it enough to launch. It is a wild thing to see your trailer being floated off the bottom by your boat. Luckily I was the only nut out in that weather, so no one had to wait.

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk
 

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Red X Angler
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It usually only takes one time of forgetting the plug to make you start checking it twice as part of the unloading routine. I have only come close to letting a boat slide off of the trailer once, (Pam sprayed on the carpeted bunks).

PappaDave has replaced his carpeted bunks with composite ones that are very slippery, I could see someone not used to them letting a boat slide off or coming up too fast when driving on the trailer.

Darrell


Darrell
 

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I tether the drain plug with high visibility line and large swivel, close to the drain so that is is available, with a long enough length of line to hang it in plain sight to remind me I should not be seeing it when I launch....simple is good...I can't forget it because it's tethered, and I can't easily miss it hanging in plain sight....

Fishscalz
 

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Boat Mishaps

Theory: If you have ever owned a boat, you will eventually screw up everything possible to screw up on it.

I've launched without the drain plug on at least 3 occasions, watched in horror in my rear-view mirror as my big-buck Ranger bass boat decided to see if it could get to Lake Fork without the benefit of a tow vehicle. Watched as a friend tried to gas up his boat through a rod holder. Witnessed my dear old dad winching up his boat while walking down the ramp into the Chesapeake Bay because he forgot to put the car in park and dozens of other indignities that can only happen because you own a boat.
 

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So what was the outcome of the big buck Ranger bass boat driving itself to the lake?

I had a similar incident when a hitch broke. Felt it tug on the safety chain going 55 mph and then nothing because the safety chain broke as well. Came to a stop and no boat or trailer in sight (it was dark). What a sinking feeling that was. Finally spotted a reflector out in the middle of a farm field. Towed it home very slowly on the safety chain, bent some stuff back into place, put a new hitch on it and went fishing. What can I say, we were in high school and not very smart.

A few years later I dumped the same boat onto the street. It was raining very hard, so I was in a hurry to land the boat and get the heck outta Dodge. Got it up on the ramp and unhooked the winch to get the safety chain through the eye on the bow and forgot to hook it back up again. Leaving the landing there was an incline and the chain broke. I didn't notice I was towing an empty trailer until 5 miles down the road. Went back and the cops and bystanders were already there... how embarrassing! Oh yeah, the next day I went fishing again and was hit head on coming home. Went with a buddy that time, so I wasn't towing anything, thank God, but that was the end of that truck.
 

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Good thing about a pontoon: No drain plug.

Bad thing... Two sets of bunks on the trailer, and hard to line up. I remember when we loaded the pontoon the first time in moving water. (Morrow Mountain State Park)... The back of the toon drifted off the bunks downstream before we took off, and we didn't notice it until leaving the park...I had to push the dang boat sideways into the bunks by the side of the road. Those things are HEAVY!
 

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Too many screw ups to count but I had water roll to the back of my boat (because of leaks around the motor-mounts) and the winch rope snap as my boat flew in the air my buddy grabbed the bow fortunately, fixed it and went out again later.
 
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