How to “Float” Your Trailer, Rather Than Damage it, if You Ever Get “Hung-up”


Many years ago, A (very wise) older gentleman at Oregon Inlet Fishing Center Boat Ramp showed me how to get my trailer “un” hung, rather than go swimming in 45 degree water and/or destroy my axel(s) trying to muscle it up, and over, the end of the concrete with the power of the truck.

This is something that I have meant to share with the public for years now, but never have. I have seen the results of people getting aggravated and just give the truck more fuel to force the trailer tires up and over the corner of the concrete at the end of the ramp, and it’s not a pretty picture.

This is actually a very simple concept, but I just had to see it to understand it.

If you accidentally go too far (down the ramp), and feel your trailer “drop” suddenly, here is all you have to do to get it back in one piece

STEP 1: Pull the bow of the boat back to where you think the rear cross member of the trailer is located, and (gently) lower the anchor down until it catches the metal cross member. Note: It is helpful to catch the trailer (crossmember) in the center with the anchor – A Danforth style anchor works best

STEP 2: Once you are sure the anchor has “caught” the rear cross member on the trailer, pull the anchor rope tight and secure to the bow (front) cleat of the boat, keeping the anchor rope vertical and tight.

STEP 3: Put the engine (of the boat) in reverse, and slowly increase the throttle unit it “floats” the trailer upwards in the water.

STEP 4: Once the trailer is suspended between the boat (in REVERSE) and the truck (in PARK),instruct the person driving the truck to drive forward (up the ramp), while keeping the boat in reverse.

STEP 5: After getting the trailer safely up the the ramp enough to remove the anchor from the crossmember, let out some anchor rope, and take the boat out of gear to relax the tension on the anchor rope.

I hope this information helps someone just as it helped me years ago. Be a good samaritan. Help someone with this knowledge just as the (very wise) older gentleman at Oregon Inlet Fishing Center helped me.

For a detailed video of this, check out the website @ barefootfishing.net ,  click on video, scroll down the “How To” section and click on “Trailer Rescue.” 

Capt. Tim Barefoot

Capt. Tim Barefoot

With a knowledge of both the commercial and the recreational side of fishing, Tim is an expert of wrecks, points and ledges all along the Carolina's and Virginia. As a Director of Fish-for-Tomorrow Tim continues to be instrumental in conservation across the country.
Capt. Tim Barefoot

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