How to Launch a PWC
Fun under the sun and in the water is all but guaranteed when you’re bringing a PWC on an adventure. However, you’ll miss out on the fun if you don’t know how to launch your watercraft! It sounds simple, but extenuating factors like impatient crowds and less-than-ideal trailer ramps can put stress on an already stressful situation. You’ll need to have a slick and skillful launch routine under control before summer gets started. It takes some practice, so we’ll give you a few tips. If you still have questions or just want to check out our great selection of new and used personal watercraft, visit us in Sauk Centre, Minnesota, near St. Cloud, Alexandria, Wilma, and Minneapolis.
Practice: It Makes Perfect
Reading a guide can be helpful, but nothing can beat practice. You don’t want to practice at a crowded ramp, though, so instead find a large, empty parking lot with plenty of lane or parking markers to substitute as a launch lane. You’ll be able to try backing up with your loaded trailer while keeping inside the lines and stopping at a defined marker. You can put down a cone or something else to mark your make-believe ramp — whatever you can see from your vehicle. Whatever you use, keep practicing until you find the right mix of technique and growing skill that works for you. Some drivers like to look behind them often, while others rely only on mirrors. Whatever suits you best, stick to it and practice until you have confidence in your technique.
There’s no use practicing if you aren’t prepared when you hit the ramp for real. Park in a prep area nearby, out of the way of others if you can, and get your gear ready. Clip the starter lanyard into position, keep your gear and dock lines in the PWC, and insert the drain plug. Whatever else you need to do beforehand, do it now. It can even help to warm up the motor so you can ensure a functional watercraft once it hits the water, rather than suffer the embarrassment of failing to start your PWC in front of all your boating buddies! You just need to make sure you’re ready to ride as soon as you get your PWC in the water. This minimizes your time on the ramp and makes others appreciate your boating etiquette.
Release the PWC!
A snug-sitting PWC can be relieved of its safety chain and winch strap before backing onto the ramp. If it sits loose, just remove the chain but leave the winch strap connected. Then back up the trailer until its fender is almost entirely underwater. Check that you have a clear path in the water and nothing or nobody is in the way, and then you should start the PWC. Have a partner slowly pull the trailer away from the water, which should allow you to slip the watercraft out with ease.
Don’t dally around the ramp or wait for your partner to bring over more supplies (you prepared earlier, so no worries here!). Just make sure you both get clear of the ramp so other people can make use of it. Don’t waste other people’s time or your own; part of all this preparation is to get you ready to make that final push off as quickly as possible. As long as you keep things safe, a timely procedure should be the goal.
Launching your PWC can be tough without practice. Even if you know how to get things done, taking too much time or ignoring other factors of ramp etiquette can be a quick way to earn some disapproving stares. With enough practice you’ll not only be well on your way to PWC fun, but you’ll also have everything you need already ready to go. A quick in-and-out makes you courteous and makes the ramp a safer, more efficient place for everyone. If you’d like some more PWC tips, or you just want to check out the best new and used PWC around, head into Centre Powersports. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff is ready to answer all your questions! We’re proud to serve Sauk Centre, St. Cloud, Alexandria, Willmar, and the greater area of Minneapolis, Minnesota.