Saturday, September 8, 2012

Launch Day

This was our first time launching the Typhoon off a trailer. BB and I had launched my old Catalina 22 off a trailer before but we figured this was a bit different the dory being a full keel boat.  I talked to a John at Tower Marine about the best places to launch in Saugatuck. He recommended launching at the  down town ramp next to The Star of Saugatuck.  The Star is a large paddle wheel river boat that cruises up and down Lake Kalamzoo and out to Lake Michigan.  When I went in to pay the ramp fee I asked the ladies at the counter about the ramp and water depth.  The drought this year was foremost on my mind and water levels are down here.  They said they didn't really know and in all their time working their had never seen a sailboat launch from the ramp.  So I paid the fee trusting John's knowledge of the area and we checked the ramp out more closely.  The launch went really well. So here are the basic stages we went through for those of you new to launching a sailboat at a ramp.  

Stage 1: Line up with the Ramp.  The ramp we used was large enough that we set up on one side so other boats could still use the other side.  While we were rigging fishing boats where launching on the other half of the ramp.  

The Ramp

Stage 2:   We stepped the mast prior to launching.  It is not necessary to do this, you can launch then step we just find it easier to get the mast pins lined up to the deck step when the boat is not bobbing up and down in the water.

Mast Up

Stage 3: Stick out your tongue.  To do this you first need to block off your wheels.  It would be no good to watch the trailer roll into the lake at this point.  After the wheels are blocked we lower the trailers forward pad/wheel this will take the pressure off the tongue of the trailer so you can pull the clevis pins.  One person pulls the car forward slowly and the other lets the drop pin fall in.  The cotter keys are put back in and the wheel blocks are removed. 

Stick out your trailer tongue.

Stage 4:  Prepare the lines.  Make sure your lines are secured to your cleats.  We secure lines to the dock side one forward and one aft. 

Dock lines

Stage 5:  Roll it in and entertain the seniors.  We gathered quite a little group for a Tuesday afternoon. This is pretty much like any other boat launch.  Roll down the ramp while the second person tends the lines.  

Entertain the Seniors
Stage 6:  Tie up and park the trailer. 

Tied up 
Mission accomplished an empty trailer.

Stage 7 Jump on board!  This proved a bit more difficult than usual.  One off our lines got wrapped on the post.  BB jumped off to untangle it and the boat left her at the dock.  Yes I came back for her.  ...  The Seniors even clapped for us.

Hop On.

Stage 8: Go for a ride. 
From ramp to dock.

Cleaning up.
BB on board.

Once we got back to Tower Marine.  We finished rigging. Retrieved the trailer our kiddo and a pizza. 

Final Rigging
Dock line set up.
Dock lines set.
Rigging completed

Looking for snacks
Tiller in the sun.

Locking up to head home.
The perfect end to the day.


  1. Hello, can you please let me know what engine your subaru has and how far you have towed the Ty with such car? I have a manual 2.5L forester and buying a Ty although not sure if I can trailer it, any advice or experience will be indeed appreciated. JIL

  2. I have exactly the same question, but am driving a 2.5i Subaru Outback and shopping for a Typhoon while wondering if I can tow it. Anybody?

  3. It depends on your model. The newer subies don't have as good of transmissions in them. It is best to research your year before you tow. The Typhoon was right set the top for my outback. But it did the job.


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