Contraption to keep feet dry when launching, easy winch hook remover.

imjus4u2nv

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#1
I trailer my boat and use a trailer with rollers - which means when I launch my boat I cant unclip the winch strap/safe chain until my boat hits the water (otherwise the boat could roll down off the trailer while launching).
I have always had to climb in the water, balance on the trailer beam, or hang off front of my boat to unclip the winch strap (I could let the boat all the way down but then would have to recoil the winch strap which is a pain).
PROBLEM SOLVED: I bought a heavy duty fishing magnet off amazon, modified a piece of pvc and mounted the magnet to it. I now use this pole to unclip (and clip) the hook from the dock.
For storage, the magnet sticks to the trailer and is secured with a bungy cord. Needed to share as I can see some of you guys using something like this.
 

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imjus4u2nv

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#4
Interesting/ingenious!

Question though... the winch strap should have a spring loaded safety clip on it. How do you get that off?
I have one, but used two zip ties to hold the clip open, since there is always tension on the hook the safety clip is not really necessary.
 

DennisG01

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#5
I have one, but used two zip ties to hold the clip open, since there is always tension on the hook the safety clip is not really necessary.
Hmmm. I agree that in theory, there should always be tension. But I have to assume that there's a reason that ALL manufacturer's use a locking hook. I don't think it's just for looks :) And, there are times when a winch's strap can loosen up - I've seen that on more than one occasion. Ideally, it shouldn't be an issue and you do have the secondary chain... ideally. It's your rig so obviously do what is best for you - but I think I would err on the side of safety and not convenience. Either way, I do like the idea!
 
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imjus4u2nv

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Hmmm. I agree that in theory, there should always be tension. But I have to assume that there's a reason that ALL manufacturer's use a locking hook. I don't think it's just for looks :) And, there are times when a winch's strap can loosen up - I've seen that on more than one occasion. Ideally, it shouldn't be an issue and you do have the secondary chain... ideally. It's your rig so obviously do what is best for you - but I think I would err on the side of safety and not convenience. Either way, I do like the idea!
Thanks, Dennis. Between the winch hook under tension, and the safety chain I feel confident she is not going anywhere (oddly enough the safety chain on every boat I have owned doesnt have the clip, just a hook. The winch is the only one with a safety clip).
 

DennisG01

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#7
(oddly enough the safety chain on every boat I have owned doesnt have the clip, just a hook. The winch is the only one with a safety clip).
Yes, that is correct. I've seen, literally, thousands of trailerable boats and that is true. I believe it's because there isn't enough room to get two of the latching hooks (which are larger) into the bow eye. 'Course, I'm not positive on that - but it seems to make sense.
 

Fishtales

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#8
What happens if the boat shifts going down the ramp and there is pressure applied to the hook? Wouldn't it be better to just use the safety chain when backing down assuming it still is loose enough to remove? It is a neat idea.
 

imjus4u2nv

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#9
What happens if the boat shifts going down the ramp and there is pressure applied to the hook? Wouldn't it be better to just use the safety chain when backing down assuming it still is loose enough to remove? It is a neat idea.
I keep both hooked up, and have a power winch with remote control. Once the boat is partially floating I let the winch out and boat sits still until I give it a push then it starts rolling (stiff rollers), while it is sitting I pull both chains off with the magnet. Then just give boat small push and she rolls off.
If just use safety chain if it does pull tight (boat rolls backward) I cant get the chain off, winch can always just lower it down to create slack to pull the hook off.
Pulling the boat out, use the magnet to attach winch hook, winch up, then use magnet to attach safety chain.
Big issue I had was I was hanging off front of boat to attach/ remove the tow hook and safety chain which was dangerous (especially when at the dock at odd hours, can see myself falling off and knocking my head). This is safest method for me and quickest (with power winch and traps that attach directly to trailer) am in and out before other boats have their bumpers on.
 

imjus4u2nv

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#10
Should point out the pictures above are in the driveway, usually boat is off the tongue about a foot off the tongue when launching.
 
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Halfhitch

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#11
The way I dealt with that problem when I had a boat that wanted to run off the trailer, was to mount a small boat cleat near the winch on the winch stand. I used one of my dock lines from the boat and made it up on the small cleat with a couple of quick turns. I would slack the winch and the boat would settle into the dock line and I could unhook the winch line and safety chain at my leisure. Then I would take a turn off of the cleat one turn at a time until the boat started to launch. By holding a little tension and letting the line slip around the cleat I could easily control the speed of the launch. Once the boat was at rest, I would remove the dock line, (which had become a "snubbing line" for the launch) from the winch cleat and walk around onto the dock or river bank and could use that same line to bring the boat to-hand. Just one more option for solving a dilema we all have faced.
 

imjus4u2nv

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#12
The way I dealt with that problem when I had a boat that wanted to run off the trailer, was to mount a small boat cleat near the winch on the winch stand. I used one of my dock lines from the boat and made it up on the small cleat with a couple of quick turns. I would slack the winch and the boat would settle into the dock line and I could unhook the winch line and safety chain at my leisure. Then I would take a turn off of the cleat one turn at a time until the boat started to launch. By holding a little tension and letting the line slip around the cleat I could easily control the speed of the launch. Once the boat was at rest, I would remove the dock line, (which had become a "snubbing line" for the launch) from the winch cleat and walk around onto the dock or river bank and could use that same line to bring the boat to-hand. Just one more option for solving a dilema we all have faced.
How about pulling the boat out - how do you get hook back on to winch up? Assuming you need to get on front of trailer at some point to attach to the cleat - the magnet helps me from having to do that, once I back boat into water, I just walk onto dock and do everything from there, never need to climb on trailer or the boat to launch.
I like the snub line idea, but for me, now i am relying on a single dock line as opposed to a winch strap and safety chain to keep my boat on the trailer (not as safe although doubt would ever have an issue). I have seen a boat winch strap break on the way down the ramp and seen the boat self launch about 5 feet from the water - that sound (thump... scrape) will never leave my brain lol.
 
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imjus4u2nv

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#17
Could you not use the safety hook (just the winch) when backing down?
I could take the safety chain off but wouldn't do it until back of boat is near water that way if winch strap breaks (has happened before) boat would roll into water rather then pavement.
I can easily unhook both with the magnet once the boat is floating.
 
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#19
I had a boat and trailer with rollers. Probably not the best approach, but I'd start the motor once in launching position and let it idle forward in gear while I went to bow to reach over and unhook the winch strap. I like your magnet device that would save the "reaching over to hook and unhook" the winch strap. I'd do the same process when retrieving boat, leaving idle in forward and reach over to hook up.
 
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