How to pull a boat out of the water and add extra traction to your vehicle if needed.

Posted by on 3/23/2018

How to pull a boat out of the water

Learn how to pull a boat out of the water the safe and proper way...

Many new boaters may have questions on how to properly launch or trailer a boat. It's just like anything else in our lives if it's new to us questions are going to come up. When you are dealing with an expensive boat and vehicle, safety and possible damage need to be considered to protect property, you and anyone near the vehicle or dock. Today we are going to talk about how to properly pull a boat out of the water so injury, damage or loss of property will not occur. 

How to pull a boat out of the water: Safety first! 

Just like with anything else, safety always comes first when pulling a boat out of the water. Many things can happen when you trailer a boat. Some examples include the boat driver accidentally missing the trailer and hitting the dock or anyone standing near the boat ramp, the trailer could accidentally come off the vehicle hitch on the boat ramp and possibly hit someone and the vehicle could accidentally roll into the lake if not properly secured on the boat ramp etc. Having awareness of your surroundings is always key when launching and trailering a boat. Here are some things you can do to protect your property and the ones around you:

  • Always make sure the parking brake is engaged anytime you are on a boat ramp and not in the vehicle.
  • Always check that your hitch is secure before entering and leaving a boat ramp.
  • Always have safety chains attached to the trailer anytime you pull a trailer. 
  • Always make sure the safety chains are properly secured to the vehicle and trailer before entering or leaving a boat ramp. 
  • When possible, ask guests to stay away from the vehicle, dock and boat ramp when launching or trailering a boat. 
  • When the boat is on the trailer always make sure it's safety chain is attached.

Always take safety very serious when launching, pulling a boat out of the water and when on the water. 

Take water safety very seriously

How to pull a boat out of the water: Getting your boat on the trailer...

According to, a leading boating site with extensive knowledge on all things boating, 

"How you get the boat up onto the trailer will vary a bit depending on your rig, how steep the ramp incline is, and how deep the water is at the ramp.Trailers with rollers are much easier to load, so it might be best to drive the bow up onto the rollers, then winch the boat the rest of the way onto the trailer. But if the ramp has a steep incline, you may need to use the engine to help. If your trailer has bunks, it's usually much more effective to use the boat's power to drive it up the trailer. And on very steep ramps, it can be dangerous to try winching the boat all the way up because it puts a huge amount of stress on the winch, winch post, and strap or cable. 

It always takes a bit of common sense and flexibility to determine the best way to get the boat onto the trailer, on any given day at any given ramp. But whenever you use the boat's powerplant(s) to push it onto the trailer, make sure the boat is properly aligned—and apply that power judiciously. This isn't a race, and this isn't the time for haste. A word of warning: before applying any power, always make sure the steering wheel is centered. Otherwise, you'll drive the boat right out of alignment. 

Once the boat's up on its trailer, shut down the engine(s) and tilt up the drive unit(s). Re-connect the bow strap, and give a few turns on the winch to be sure it's good and tight. Then re-connect the safety chain, and you're ready to pull the boat out of the water. 

When you do pull the boat out of the water, remember: don't stop right there on the ramp. Good trailer-boating etiquette dictates you should always strive to block the launch facility as briefly as possible, so pull up into the parking lot or off the side of the road before you begin preparing for the drive home.

As you can see, by following these steps and always keeping safety first your boating experience will be much more enjoyable and stress-free. 

Boat ramp sign

How to pull a boat out of the water: What about the vehicle?

The experience you have while pulling a boat out of the water also greatly depends on the vehicle you are using. Many times the boat ramp will be concrete, steep and wet especially at public boat ramps where most boating takes place. Depending on the vehicle, pulling a boat on a steep, wet ramp can be difficult. All vehicles can have this issue - cars, trucks, vans or other recreational vehicles etc. Having a 4X4 vehicle helps but not all vehicles are 4X4. To help with this issue, we are going to talk about possible solutions in a bit. 

How to pull a boat out of the water: Something else to keep in mind about the vehicle...

Something else to keep in mind is the weight of the trailer and the boat. Each type of vehicle can only pull or tow a certain amount of weight. The larger the vehicle the more it can pull or tow and vice versa. This needs to be considered when towing a boat and trailer. You want to always make sure the vehicle is capable of pulling the weight of the boat and trailer in addition to pulling them out of the water on a steep, wet boat ramp. If not, you can certainly damage your vehicle which could get expensive and possibly cause damage or loss of property. Please refer to the vehicle owner's manual to get the towing weights and restrictions before towing any trailer or boat. 

How to pull a boat out of the water: Adding extra traction to your vehicle when you need it...

The Portable Tow Truck in Orange

Once you verify your vehicle is capable of towing the weight of the trailer and boat, adding extra traction to your vehicle when pulling a boat out of the water can help a lot. For this, we would like to introduce THE PORTABLE TOW TRUCK - THE ULTIMATE TIRE TRACTION DEVICE. The Portable Tow Truck is proven tire traction aid used by the largest commercial fleet companies in the world and 1000s of people as well. For very little money you can have the best tire traction mats for adding extra traction to your vehicle anytime you need it. They also work great in snow, ice, mud, and sand if you ever get stuck in those situations as well. They are lightweight and can be used by any driver with any vehicle type over and over. To learn more about the product please check out what our customers have to say about us on our REVIEWS page and you can watch a VIDEO of the product HERE. If you have any questions at all you can reach out to us from our ABOUT US page as well. Now is the time to get The Portable Tow Truck to have extra traction anytime you need it and protect you and your family from unexpected roadside emergency stucks as well. 

The Portable Tow Truck in Black

Please comment below on this post and also check out and like our Social Media sites below to get up to date product info and industry news and remember - Don't Get Stuck Without The Portable Tow Truck!

If you would like to read more from please click HERE.



Matts Mom
Date: 3/23/2018
This is great information because I just moved to Florida and am looking into the purchase of a boat. Cannot live on the coast and not have one! I am going to bookmark your site and use it for reference. Thank you for all of the great information!
Date: 3/23/2018 1:45:00 PM
Thank you for commenting. If we can answer any questions about the product please don't hesitate to give us a shout. Good luck in Florida and with the boat (once you get it). :) Cheers, Curtis
Mike Chappell
Date: 3/23/2018
This is a clean, concise and easy to follow the content! As a long time outdoorsman, I've spent a lot of time at boat ramps for many fishing activities from putting in for an all night catfish tournament to launching a bass tournament . And almost every Time I've seen people in a hurry using unsafe practices when putting g a boat in the water. I've even seen a couple of vehicles recovered from the lake . Everyone who takes part in any kind of boating activity should read this post ! Great job !
Date: 3/23/2018 1:56:00 PM
Hey Mike, Thanks for commenting. Yes, safety is always first and many new boaters have trouble with launching and trailering their boat. Our tire traction mats help with vehicle traction in this situation as well as emergency roadside stucks in snow, ice, mud, and sand. It sounds like you love to fish as well, check out That is a partner of ours that makes a great fishing hook line threader. It's a great product as well. Best of luck, Curtis
glenford r
Date: 3/23/2018
Thanks for the tips and the focus on safety, especially the safety chain as that is something many people forget to do. I think in the past I have missed the fact that only certain types of vehicles can tow certain loads. This is a massive factor when purchasing a vehicle for towing. thanks for the advice really helpful
Date: 3/23/2018 3:09:00 PM
Thanks for commenting. Yeah, safety always comes first and I've seen people not practice it at all while launching or trailering a boat. These tire traction mats really help with vehicle traction on the boat ramp which is nice. Thanks, Curtis
Date: 3/23/2018
Hi there This was EXTREMELY helpful for me. I have struggled doing this for along time, and now I understand WHY. Such a simple fix, but I always made it so hard. Thank you for this. Did you struggle for along time as well?
Date: 3/23/2018 3:06:00 PM
I think most new boaters struggle with this at first. After practice, they get better but that doesn't change whether your vehicle spin while pulling your boat out depending on the vehicle type. Thanks, Curtis
Date: 3/23/2018
Thanks Curtis for introducing me to the Portable Toe Truck. I certainly would not mind a set or two of those. They would make a great Christmas gift ,and not to bad of a price. I can see them lasting for a long time. Nice site.
Date: 3/23/2018 4:24:00 PM
Hello Robertcurtis , they do make a great gift and also a great tool to keep in any vehicle. We’d love to have you as a customer. The product is used by the largest commercial fleet companies in the US and 1000s of retail customers. If I can answer any questions please let me know. Thanks, Curtis.
Date: 3/23/2018
My father wanted me to research this. This happens time to time in my uncle's place. I will suggest having 4x4 can help, extra traction and other tips as well man.
Date: 3/23/2018 8:31:00 PM
Thanks for commenting. Our tire traction mats work great and are used by the largest commercial fleet companies in the world and 1000s of retail customers. If you guys have any queestions about the product we’d love to help. Thanks, Curtis
Date: 8/24/2018
I have been searching for something like this for my 2wd on a boat ramp. I was just curious how these work on slippery pavement/concrete if they are intended for sand, snow, ice.?
Date: 8/24/2018 5:02:00 PM
Hello and thank you for reaching out. Yes, we have customers that use our tire traction mats (The Portable Tow Truck) on boat ramps (for extra traction) while pulling out their boats. Based on the feedback they gave us, that is what inspired this blog post. If you have any more questions please email us directly at [email protected] and we'd be happy to help you more. Thanks, Curtis

Add Comments - ***Please note that by submitting your comments and or reply comments, you are consenting to this website storing your name, email address and IP address for the purpose of approval, moderation and /or communication. Please review our Privacy page for more info.***