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Old 01-24-2018  
 
Denver, Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 6
Best practice for recovering raft onto trailer

Hi Everyone,
Im wondering about best practices to attach the winch to my boat. I do know not to touch the D rings and Ive heard ideas ranging from directly to the frame, over the bow, or a V strap, under the bow, to the towers. What is best and any pics? I have a Trailer Made flatbed with a roller and wood deck that sits pretty high.

Also, how do you get a fully loaded raft off with one person? Should I just put it in reverse and stop really hard?

All the best and thanks!

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Old 01-24-2018  
 
Electric-Mayhem's Avatar
 
Lakewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
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Posts: 1,133
In one of the other threads someone posted this video and this is the technique I use...



Very controllable and spreads the weight around. I would definitely go to frame with it but for me its quick and easy to just loop the webbing over the oar towers. Just make sure you get a quality boat winch...the Harbor Freight has basically only lasted half a season and was never that great. About 1 in 5 times while I'm cranking it, it will skip a tooth, pop the lock open and the boat will slide back into the water. I'm thinking about replacing it with an electric one so I can move away from the winch and manuever the boat by myself while still pulling the boat up. I made my v-strap with a towing strap. I put the two "manufactured" loop ends over the oar towers and then I just tied a bend in the center of it to hook onto the winch line. Works pretty well. You could definitely do the same as the video and just get some webbing out at an outdoor store and make your own too.

As for letting it down... most of the boat winches I've found don't have a reverse...they just release. You can kind of guide them gently but if gets out of control the handle whips around. For mine, I usually just use the bow line looped around my truck ladder rack to slow it down a bit. This acts like a belay device. You won't really be able to slow it down much without it if you have a roller on the back. Sometimes I just let it slide how fast it wants...its not really gonna hurt it. Just make sure to have a loose hold on the bowline otherwise you'll be waving a premature goodbye to your raft as it goes down the river without you.
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Old 01-24-2018  
 
Denver, Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2018
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Thanks EM! I looked at this video earlier and its where I got the idea for the V strap. For sure going to use the tow strap idea of yours. Do you leave it on the whole time or just connect it when ready to haul out?
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Old 01-24-2018  
 
Frisco, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeartDude View Post
Thanks EM! I looked at this video earlier and its where I got the idea for the V strap. For sure going to use the tow strap idea of yours. Do you leave it on the whole time or just connect it when ready to haul out?
I too run a tow strap from tower to tower, under the bow. I take it off when I launch the boat and throw it in the back of the truck until I back down the ramp at take out. It stays on the boat and attached to the winch while being trailered, figure another attachment btwn boat and trailer is never a bad thing.
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Old 01-24-2018  
 
Electric-Mayhem's Avatar
 
Lakewood, Colorado
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I usually leave it on while the boat is on the trailer. The one thing you DEFINITELY have to pay attention to is changes in altitude and how much air is in the raft as you go up and down. This relates to the v-strap because as you go down in altitude the boat will deflate and it can start digging in. I usually leave it kinda loose once the raft is flat on the trailer. I only have rollers on the rear of the trailer to help load and unload. You might have to be more proactive if there are multiple sets of rollers on your trailer.

You'll definitely want to figure out an additional way to secure the raft once its on the trailer. I actually had pretty good luck just adding a set of cam straps towards the stern of the raft on the side but doing so front and back is good. The main thing I noticed when I just used the winch line to hold the front is the nose of the raft likes to jump around when you go over bumps, so at least securing the nose down would be very helpful.

For what its worthy....ratchet straps are not your friend here since they can overtighten and have too many sharp metal bits that can cut into the raft. I use cam straps through the d-rings down to the trailer. You don't need it to be crazy tight, just enough to hold it down and keep it from sliding around. I've seen guys use rope or one big cam strap over the top of the raft too. Keep an eye on it as you go up and down in altitude.
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Old 01-24-2018  
 
Denver, Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 6
Yea I typically use the blue cams attached to the frame to the trailer while trailered and have had zero movement. I really like the idea about the tow strap as Ive got one thats perfect. This is my first trailer for my raft and first season using it cant wait! Hoping to make it easier for the wife and I.
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Old 01-24-2018  
 
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Salt Lake City, Utah
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 196
The strap method in that video by Andy is awesome. I've used it to pull my fully loaded raft up onto my higher than average trailer, as well as a pair of rafts stacked. Works like a charm!

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Old 02-11-2018  
 
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Nampa, Idaho
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I am using a 2 inch tow strap to hoist mine on to my trailer now too. I replaced the winch rope in my video with a webbing strap too. Another thing I started doing is covering my winch to protect the strap from UV damage. I also put a jacket on the winch hook while hoisting it onto the trailer.

The point is: while watching all the force at work on that system, I got really nervous about it breaking.
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Old 02-11-2018  
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Tabernash, Colorado
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The PFD on the strap hook is a really good idea Andy.
Have scared myself winching my boat before, and think I will start using that idea!
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Old 3 Days Ago  
 
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Nederland, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 10
What are the best knots for the V setup? I got a long section of nylon webbing and was planning to do a bowline at each end for the oar towers and a bowline on a bight for bottom part of the V at the middle that attaches at the winch hook. Would a figure eight on a bight be better for the bottom part of the V that attaches to the winch hook?
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