Sea-Doo watercraft are easy to tow and launch. I hardly know I’m towing a single bed PWC trailer, even behind a family sedan. Towing two Sea-Doo watercraft isn’t much different. Both one and two-bed PWC trailers don’t restrict rearward sightlines like towing a large boat does – and I can keep an eye on the watercraft and covers with my rear view mirrors.
Securing the front of my Sea-Doo watercraft is a snap with a Move trailer, but it’s also relatively easy with a standard one, using the hook and winch. At the back, I use high quality tie downs, criss-crossed to fasten my Sea-Doo watercraft to the trailer. Then I cover up with a perfectly fitted Sea-Doo cover to protect my watercraft from dirt, bug splats, stone chips and prying eyes.
Launching my Sea-Doo watercraft is also easy. If I have it, I slip my tow vehicle into 4-wheel drive at the launch. Before launching, I unplug the trailer’s electrical hook up and check that the watercraft drain plugs are tight. I always start my Sea-Doo watercraft briefly on the trailer. I don’t leave them running long to prevent engine damage, but this quick check helps ensure that I’m not launching a malfunctioning watercraft (making it much more difficult to re-load). It also serves to make sure I have the DESS cord(s) handy before I launch.
Before I back in, I get out and do a quick visual inspection of the launch area, including under water, checking for bumps, cracks, obstacles or any other irregularities that might prevent with a smooth launch, damage my Sea-Doo watercraft or tow vehicle, or interfere with re-loading onto my trailer later. I pay special attention to the steepness and surface of the launch, as an unexpectedly sharp decline or slippery surface can make getting in and out more difficult.
I also note the water depth to ensure my Sea-Doo watercraft will float free without my having to back halfway across the lake or inadvertently flood the inside of my tow vehicle. At one too-shallow launch, I had quite a workout manhandling the Sea-Doo watercraft off the trailer! Tip: I’ve bent several low hanging trailer licence plates while launching and even lost one, so now I remove the bolts holding the plate stiffly in place. Instead, I affix it with very heavy-duty zip ties so that it swings and moves out of the way when hit.
For a two-person launch, I remove all the rear tie downs before backing up until the trailer is on the launch, but not in the water, and then unfasten the front hook from one unit so that watercraft is no longer attached to the trailer (with a Move trailer the front fastener is released by the rider while on board). My companion then climbs aboard the loose watercraft without getting wet and I back in far enough that it floats free so the rider can start up, back out and dock it. If there’s a second watercraft, I pull ahead and repeat the process.
If I’m alone for the launch, the process is much the same, except I use the front mooring line to tie the loose watercraft to the trailer so it doesn’t float way before I can get back to it. Then I either climb on and back it away or simply walk the watercraft free of the trailer from dry land using the mooring lone (one reason why it’s important to have a long one).
To re-load my Sea-Doo watercraft, I basically the reverse process, first ensuring that the trailer bunks are in the proper position, and then driving the watercraft on and making sure each is properly settled and centred. I re-fasten the front hook(s) (automatic on Move trailers) and pull out of the water to put the rear tie-downs in place. It’s important to for me to remember to re-connect the trailer electrical hook up and go back to 2-wheel drive, before driving away.
One final launch tip: go slow and easy at every launch. Having burst a tire pulling out too fast and seen one guy drop his improperly secured watercraft on a concrete ramp (ouch!) when the trailer jerked ahead, I’ve learned that easing into and out of the water slowly is a much safer way to go. Happy towing and launching!
By Craig Nicholson, The Intrepid Cottager