Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Charlotte, NC
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Re: Trailer extension or winch?
Why are people talking about negative tongue weight? ANY trailer needs to have at least 5% (7-9% better) of it's overall weight on the tongue, otherwise it is *extremely* dangerous to drive. That should be the first thing you fix before even driving your boat to a launch much less worry about launching it. The coupler is absolutely not made to hold a trailer down on the ball, gravity should do that and the latch is just to keep it from bouncing off. So balance should never be a question.
SHNOOL is using a simple strap and not a winch and launching successfully.
So the technique would be:
1. Back the trailer down the ramp partway.
2. Chock the wheels.
3. Unhitch the coupler. Pretty easy if you just jack the wheel up. It may be easier to back the truck a half inch or so to relieve the tension but it isn't necessary.
4. Attach the winch or strap.
5. Take up the weight so you can safely unchock the wheels.
6. Back the trailer up (or let out the winch) and launch your boat.
7. Go sailing!
Step 4 is the only one that would be different when using an extension, you still need to unlatch the boat, etc. You do have more control but under decent conditions it's safe enough.