I was surprised when I began to notice that quite a few people around in the flats skiff scene were not familiar with the term “dry launch trailer”. A dry launch trailer set up consists of a skiff trailer with the ability to launch a skiff without having to dunk it’s hubs in the water. Most of these trailers also incorporate an electrically powered winch with a clutch to launch and pick up their skiffs off the water. The bunks are set at a higher front, rear downward sloping angle and carpets are drenched in some sort of lubrication so the skiff slides on and off easily. Without having to dunk the hubs on your trailer, you greatly prolong the lifespan of both your hubs and the rest of the trailer. This is definitely the way to go. The two top manufacturers of such trailers are Ameratrail (Maverick) and Ramlin (Hells Bay/ECC). Thing is that some of the people own one of these trailers and don’t even realize the dry launch capabilities of it.
Here’s how it works:
When launching, you simply back the trailer up to the water’s edge, stopping where the tire is barely wet and the roller is about to barely touch the water. Then you loosen up the clutch on your winch and push the skiff to let it slide off the trailer into the water. You now walk down the integrated walk boards on the trailer down to your skiff and detatch the hook from your bow eye. Your boat is now ready to be docked.
When picking your skiff up out of the water, simply back up the trailer so the roller is just above the water line, drive the front of your skiff up on top of the roller, trim your motor up, and attatch the winch hook to your bow eye. You then walk up the walk boards on the side of the trailer and use either an electric winch or manual winch to crank the boat completely out of the water and onto the trailer. It is that simple.
The setup I currently have on my Maverick Mirage HPX-V is a custom Ameratrail aluminum trailer with just about all the options ordered. This particular all welded trailer is of OEM spec and was custom ordered with a zero degree torsion axle, which helps to make the trailer sit lower in the rear. I have added a Powerwinch RC30 electrical winch to the trailer to complete the perfect skiff trailer setup. I have owned this trailer for over half a year now and have nothing but great things to say.