Expert angler and outdoors enthusiast Al McGlashan loves to share his passion for fishing, whether it be in his regular column for The Daily Telegraph or on his show Fish'n with Mates. In fact, Al spends 180 days a year out on the water, most of which is done on his own trailer boat towed by his Pajero Sport

Returned with a great catch? Here's a quick guide to retrieving your boat from the water, so you can be on your way quickly and safely.


1. Prepare the trailer 

It might sound obvious, but make sure your trailer is attached securely to the hitch. Before you get to the boat ramp, walk over to it and check to see there’s no hazards. You’re looking for things like debris, sharp objects, damage to the ramp, and slippery areas that can cause your wheels to lose traction. Position the trailer’s winch strap and winch handle so they’re easily reached as you’re retrieving the boat.


2. Slowly reverse 

When you’re ready to retrieve your boat, engage your Electric Brake Controller and slowly reverse down the ramp until the trailer reaches the right depth in the water. Take a note of the water depth and try and get the trailer rollers sitting at a level that will make it easy to guide the boat on. Don’t reverse too far back as that makes it more difficult to get back up the ramp safely. If possible, ask a mate to stand outside the vehicle and guide you. Once you’re in position, apply the hand brake and put it into park.


3. Mount the boat

Line the boat up with the trailer rollers and lift the motor. Attach the winch strap then gently guide the boat onto the trailer, keeping in mind that the boat will move around in the direction of the current and wind. Compensate for this movement by steering the boat slightly to the left or right of the trailer, depending on which way you’ll drift.


4. Secure the boat

Once the boat is lined up firmly against the trailer’s back roller, winch it on while making sure that the boat is sliding on to the trailer in a straight line. Apply the brake when the boat is fully on the trailer and has made contact with the bow stop. Strap the boat down and attach the safety chain.


5. Get ready to drive off

Once your passengers are out of the boat, drive up the ramp and into the designated parking area to complete the rest of the process. Put away all your gear (don’t forget to stow the fishing rods!) and attach the trailer lights and tie-downs. Turn off the battery, pull out the drain plugs and make sure the lights are working. Once you’re in your vehicle, check that your mirrors have a clear view to the rear of the boat, then head home to enjoy your catch. 


Want more ways to elevate your next adventure safely? Then check out Al’s other great tips.

*This article series have been created from partnership support with Al