Dodge Ram 1500 Vs. New Boat Owner
The problem with having a powerful truck, like this Dodge Ram 1500, is that some drivers don’t know how to handle it. That means when they run up against resistance, instead of checking to see the problem, they just try to power through it. For one boat owner, this paid off in spades. We learn an important lesson about taking up a motorboat’s skeg before trying to pull it up a ramp.
Before taking it up the ramp is the key lesson – but we’ll get into that. Getting a motorboat onto a boat ramp is a fun enough process. Fun, in this sense, can also be taken to mean annoying, scary, or downright dangerous. You have to maneuver the motorboat in such a way that it can be safely attached in and strapped down onto the trailer.
Because the trailer needs to be mostly submerged for this to work, it can also mean moving that brand new truck exceedingly close to the water line. There’s nothing more fun than losing both an expensive motorboat and a truck straight from the Dodge dealer – and this Dodge pickup owner comes exceedingly close to doing both.
If you have an offboard or an onboard engine, you have a skeg. A skeg is the part of the propeller system that hangs into the water. Without it, you better either have a jet tur
Taking Up The Skeg Before You Reach The Boat Ramp
If you have an offboard or an onboard engine, you have a skeg. A skeg is the part of the propeller system that hangs into the water. Without it, you better either have a jet turbine engine forcing air through the back – which is pretty cool – or you’ve turned that boat into a large canoe.
Once the boat is in position to be clipped into the winch of a boat trailer, it’s time to secure the boat to that winch and then pull up the skeg. Why then, you may ask? Because if you do it before, you’re effectively leaving the boat dead in the water. Always secure and then raise the skeg.
Once winched in, now it’s time to raise the skeg. Different skegs may have different lift mechanisms to raising them above the hull. Take the moment or two to look up your boat’s skeg-lift mechanism to ensure you’re doing it properly. Once up, make sure it’s secured into place through either the boat’s own mechanisms or – ideally – through heavy-duty tow straps. Secure that sucker down good because you don’t want it flopping out while you’re on the highway. Okay, so you got the boat hooked into the winch, the skeg is up and strapped down. Now what? Here’s where you slowly guide the boat in with the winch. It may help to have two people in the water to help guide it in slowly. Look out for hands and feet because you definitely don’t want to get stuck between the hull and the trailer. Once the boat is supported into the trailer, it’s time to throw some more tow straps over to make sure the boat is locked down tight. Because boat hulls are made to be pretty hydrodynamic (reduced co-efficient of friction due to water), it means they’re also a little aerodynamic as well. This means air may have the tendency to want to pick up the boat if you’re hauling down the highway with it on the trailer. Slight oscillations of the boat can cause the boat to lift and twist. In a worst case scenario, it can even be pushed off the trailer’s moorings and end up becoming a massive blockage on the highway. Bad for business. So tighten down those tow straps and you’re almost there.
Rule For This Dodge Ram 1500 Owner: Look Before You Gun It
You’ve got a pretty nice truck. It could be a Dodge Ram 1500 or a Chevy Silverado or even a Toyota Tundra. Whichever the case may be, it likely has a good bit of power under the hood. And the way trucks are designed, rear wheel is usually the rule. That means when you’re pulling your boat up the ramp, those rear wheels are going to be doing most of the work. That’s not as helpful as front wheel power. You can compensate for this by putting the pickup truck into a lower gear to get up to flatter ground or even punch up to four wheel drive (FWD) or all wheel drive (AWD). Independent suspension and differentials will give you a bit more traction pulling up a large dead weight boat on a trailer and make the transition from shore to land that much easier. And remember: if you hit a snag along the way, before you overpower that throttle, take a look at the issue. Have a buddy look and if it’s just an issue of traction – kick it. If it’s something easy, though, like the skeg being down, definitely fix that before jumping on the pedal. Always check your fastenings both on the ramp and afterwards before hitting the road. A quick double check and safety check may save you more than just some minor annoyance.