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Horror Tow

Discussion in 'Ask All Sailors' started by Phil Herring, May 10, 2018. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. Phil Herring

    Phil Herring Dethroned Admin

    Joined Mar 25, 1997
    4,365 posts, 228 likes
    US Bainbridge Island
    Most of us, at one time or another, have towed a boat behind our car or truck. And while towing technology has come a long way... sometimes your trailer doesn't.

    Got a trailering horror story? Share your adventure here.
    Screen Shot 2018-05-10 at 1.01.20 PM.png

    Will Gilmore likes this.
  2. Jeff652


    Joined Mar 30, 2007
    56 posts, 0 likes
    Catalina 310
    US Manalapan, NJ
    Can you explain how this happened?

  3. AXEL


    Joined Mar 12, 2008
    346 posts, 10 likes
    Catalina C30 MKIII
    'I had a friend of mine whose car slid down a very slimy ramp (with the engine running) and the windows open. Bad news. When the tow truck arrived, he was chest deep in the water. The driver asked him where the car was, his response was "I'm standing on it".

    Last edited: May 14, 2018
    Will Gilmore likes this.
  4. DougM


    Joined Jul 24, 2005
    1,499 posts, 129 likes
    Beneteau 323
    US Manistee, MI
    Can’t explain it, but somehow I have to believe alcohol was involved...

  5. Crazy Dave Condon

    Crazy Dave Condon

    Joined Jun 8, 2004
    6,489 posts, 524 likes
    -na -NA
    US Anywhere USA
    Catching a twenty pound stripper with a car trying to launch a Minuet 18 daysailor with my car. One reason I am called Crazy

  6. Scott T-Bird

    Scott T-Bird

    Joined Oct 26, 2008
    3,380 posts, 480 likes
    Starwind 27
    US Barnegat, NJ
    That's got to be the world's skinniest or smallest stripper!

    ToddS, justsomeguy and Will Gilmore like this.
  7. Jackdaw


    Joined Nov 8, 2010
    8,974 posts, 2,263 likes
    Beneteau First 36.7 & 260
    US Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI

    The excitement of launching mixed with forgetting PARK and hitting NEUTRAL.

  8. Will Gilmore

    Will Gilmore

    Joined Oct 19, 2017
    2,735 posts, 1,167 likes
    O'Day 19
    US Littleton, NH
    You are much better off catching stripers than strippers. That's how people get diseases that require shots of penicillin. ;) (or so I've heard).

    - Will (Dragonfly)

    Rick D likes this.
  9. Will Gilmore

    Will Gilmore

    Joined Oct 19, 2017
    2,735 posts, 1,167 likes
    O'Day 19
    US Littleton, NH
    I can't say why that guy was facing the water, but I'll bet he got out without putting the parking break on.

    My wife, when she was a young driver, borrowed her father's truck and drove down to the boat ramp with her girlfriend, where they sat on the tailgate to watch the water while eating lunch. When she got back in the truck to go, it wouldn't move forward, but it would go in reverse. She kept trying and the water kept getting closer until the rear tires were under water.
    Finally some guy, who was watching, said, "you got the parking break on. "

    - Will (Dragonfly)

  10. Boomer54


    Joined Feb 3, 2015
    193 posts, 72 likes
    Marlow Hunter 37
    US Reefpoint Marina Racine, WI
    New sailors anxiously diving in headfirst.

  11. Skipper


    Joined Oct 9, 2008
    1,589 posts, 267 likes
    Bristol 29.9
    US Dana Point
    That's a fantastically old picture.

    I saw it during the 2008 election. Someone had photoshopped it and put a big "Obama" sticker in the truck's rear window.

    Gene Neill likes this.
  12. Ron20324


    Joined Jan 22, 2008
    6,174 posts, 565 likes
    Beneteau 323
    US Annapolis MD
    I think he should sue the marina for putting the compass in backwards:mad:

    Kermit likes this.
  13. JimInPB


    Joined Aug 22, 2017
    957 posts, 267 likes
    Hunter 212 & 170
    us West Palm Beach
    I would REALLY like to hear the details on that one.

  14. topcat0399


    Joined Aug 22, 2011
    992 posts, 69 likes
    MacGregor Venture V224
    US Cheeseland
    Attempting to yank dock, boat and trailer up the ramp with me....

    Will Gilmore likes this.
  15. pateco


    Joined Aug 12, 2014
    2,098 posts, 549 likes
    Hunter 31 (1983)
    US Pompano Beach FL
    When I was a kid, a friends dad was attempting to launch his boat behind a 1970's Eldorado convertible. The ramp was steep, and slimy, and the Eldorado was front wheel drive. He lost traction, and sunk the Cadillac up to the doors before it stopped sliding. He had to get towed back up the ramp. Water poured out of the bottom of the trunk for many minutes.

    Will Gilmore likes this.
  16. oldiesrocker2001


    Joined Jun 8, 2004
    349 posts, 4 likes
    Macgregor 21
    US Clinton, NJ
    Almost happened to me. Had a smaller O'day knock-off with big ford van tow vehicle. was parked in line for the ramp but 40+yards away facing towards the ramp on the gentle downslope (made stepping mast easier) as there was plenty of room to spin around once rigged. While walking the mast up I spotted wife standing alongside the boat alone (!!). Asked "where's the kid (he was about 6) - could be a problem if he pulled the trans out of par..........." Close call - my buddy was much more nimble than I jumped off the bow and dashed to the drivers side and slammed the trans back into park before it picked up too much speed.

    Ward H and Will Gilmore like this.
  17. Rick Webb

    Rick Webb

    Joined Jun 2, 2004
    2,678 posts, 104 likes
    Hunter 23.5
    US Fort Walton Yacht Club, Florida
    A 20# stripper does not need a pole she is one

    Will Gilmore likes this.
  18. DAVA390


    Joined Jul 13, 2010
    861 posts, 111 likes
    Precision 23
    US Perry Hall,Baltimore County
    August 9, 2014 I reported here how I had a runaway boat ,down the ramp while I was pulling it out. Don't know how to get it out of the archives to here.

  19. quadrille38


    Joined Apr 11, 2010
    621 posts, 56 likes
    Hunter 38
    US Whitehall MI
    Boat launch watching is one of my most favorite forms of entertainment. It ranks right up there with watching the comings and goings at our Marina fuel dock, or watching people back travel trailers into camp sites.

    My favorite boat launch story is when in high school I was waiting in line to launch my parents 16 foot ski boat. The car / boat in line in front of me was manned by someone who apparently thought a lot of their own skill and had an ego show for it.
    They were making a big show on how smooth and cool they were and that they had a launch technique that could best be called a "jerk launch". I didn't realize until after just how appropriate the name was.

    Anyway the technique was to unhook the trailer hold downs, put a person in the boat, back down at a fairly fast speed and slam on the brakes. In the jerk, the boat theoretically slides off when the car stops. That is unless you have a fairly steep and quite slimy ramp. When the brakes were slammed the car didn't exactly stop and slid down the ramp until it was so far down that water began to leak in through the doors. To compound the fun, the trailer wheels dropped off the concrete ramp and sank into the muck effectively hooking them to the edge of the ramp. With the hooked trailer and the slimy ramp there was no way this guy was moving until a tow truck arrived to pull him out.

    The jerk launch took on a whole new meaning when the ramp was effectively closed for hours waiting for the tow truck. The long line waiting to launch had to give up because the launch was totally blocked.

  20. seadaddler


    Joined Dec 19, 2006
    5,331 posts, 112 likes
    Hunter 36
    US Punta Gorda
    The best was a small truck with a big heavy boat trying getup the ramp and had the pedal to the metal but the whole thing was sliding back wards.
    He had started backing up to put the boat in but wet slippery ramp
    and very light small pickup with the tires smoking and were cooled off after sliding back into water.

    Will Gilmore likes this.

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