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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone,

New member here looking for some ideas about how to load and launch from my truck bed. Ive seen pictures of PVC set ups that seem to work well. I have a winch in the truck bed to pull the ski up so I have the power already but am lacking ideas on how to slide it out/in. Any suggestions?

This is what I think im "going" to do with my truck bed (photo not of my truck). My winch is electric and I have a ford ranger. ----->

http://i273.photobucket.com/albums/jj212/hondahater21/43f16b4b.jpg

where I really need the help is the connection from the tailgate to the water. Any advice would be great. Thanks so much.

-Dylan
 

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I don't know your experience with jet skis, but I would have a couple of concerns:

1) Where are the winch controls? I wouldn't want to control it from the cab without anybody watching the ski up close in the back.
2) How would you secure the rear of the ski. On my trailer I use 2 straps on the rear of the ski and tie down to the trailer under the ski. The straps "criss cross" to disallow lateral movement at well. Do you have the ability of tying down the ski like this on the Ranger?

The key to this job, like anything else, is to avoid being the next YouTube sensation. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Answers:

1) I have a wireless controller for the winch so I can be anywhere when controlling it. There is also another controller bolted inside the tool box if id rather use that.

2) On my ranger I have cleats in each corner of the truck bed so I can still crisscross tie downs for safety still. That along with the winch that has an automatic lock there will be 5 connection points holding down the ski just like on a trailer.

Its a long bed ranger but even with that the ski still sticks out the end a little bit. Ive had it in there a few times before without any problems. From tip to tail my skis hull is 10.8 feet long.

Ill take a picture of the truck bed and attach it. Maybe that will help?

-Dylan
 

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Don't know if you've looked at this system or now: Jet Trax - Watercraft, Snomobile and Motorcycle Lifting Systems

Problem that I have seen from the system above, and from other custom made truck bed launch systems is the angle at which the systems put and pull the ski from the water. It all depends on the steepness of the ramp and the depth of the water, but you can easily damage the rear of the ski as it scrapes on the ramp loading and unloading if you are pulling the ski up at a steep angle.

I think a system with an extendable ramp that keeps the angle lower when pulling the ski into the trailer would work best, but I haven't seen a commercial one like that.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I saw that but the price was too high. At 2500$ id just buy another trailer. That angle is hard to make without damaging things. I know that PVC will work just fine for the bed. I see ski stands all the time people have made from them. I guess I just need to figure out the pivot point where the bed meets the ramp going into the water. If anyone has an idea about how to do that please let me know.

-Dylan
 

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I would use a dump bed but that is pricy. You can implement this idea cheaper by having a telescoping track (like a "ladder extension plank" (Google it)) that is hinged like a seesaw at the tailgate. Use the tailgate as the hinge by bolting the track to the gate and releasing the gate straps. The winch is mounted to the forward end of the track which is raised with a lifting jack. The boat is secured to a cradle that rolls up and down the track via the winch. First you back into position, extend the track so that it sticks out 8 feet past the end of the truck, jack the front of the track up, the seesaw creates a single angled track, the winch lowers the cradle down the track and the boat is deposited in the water, release the boat from the cradle and you are good to go. You will also need a way to secure the front end of the track to the truck bed when the boat is brought back up and lowered into the bed.
 

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Dylan PB,

Can I ask why? The device you are trying to build seems so complcated, and so prone to errors that could damage your ski, so why go that route?

Even if you have another trailer you want to pull, it would seem simpler and safer to fabricate and pull tandem trailers than to fabricate the proposed truck-bed-mount. Here in OH it's OK to pull two trailers, if the whole assembly isn't more than 65 feet long. I do it all the time.

Just curious.

Zardoz


former sea doo owner, will never own one again
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I would use a dump bed but that is pricy. You can implement this idea cheaper by having a telescoping track (like a "ladder extension plank" (Google it)) that is hinged like a seesaw at the tailgate. Use the tailgate as the hinge by bolting the track to the gate and releasing the gate straps. The winch is mounted to the forward end of the track which is raised with a lifting jack. The boat is secured to a cradle that rolls up and down the track via the winch. First you back into position, extend the track so that it sticks out 8 feet past the end of the truck, jack the front of the track up, the seesaw creates a single angled track, the winch lowers the cradle down the track and the boat is deposited in the water, release the boat from the cradle and you are good to go. You will also need a way to secure the front end of the track to the truck bed when the boat is brought back up and lowered into the bed.
That got me started on the right track. Thanks for the advice. I have an idea about how to do this now.



ZARDOZ

Its really not that complicated. It basically a ramp that disconnects in the center. Difference between what i’m building and those on the market is that is has to be portable. There are many boat houses that have ramps using PVC and wheels on my lake. Those that work without damaging their skis. I don't see how this will cause damage by changing the destination from a boat house to a truck bed. Its a small and light weight ski that I can transport in my truck anyways and with another person can load in the water by hand. I just want to be able to launch it by myself and don’t have the money to pay for a new or used trailer. The winch has power in and power out so I can pull it up slowly and let it out slowly. It should be okay from everything i’ve seen. I have an idea about how i’m going to do it now. Thanks for the help.

-Dylan
 

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I live in a condo with no space t park extra trailers. A bed mounted device does not need to be riskier than a trailer. By engineering it correctly, it can be made safer than a trailer. I would agree though that nine out of ten home built devices will not be engineered to appropriate standards. (Yes, I am a Mechanical Engineer).
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Some advice on how to make a ramp to "appropriate standards" would be helpful. That is the whole point of this post after all.

-Dylan
 

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Can't do real engineering in a post but this will keep you as safe as possible: The major concern is the boat falling off the cradle or the cradle falling off the track. You want the track to be as wide as possible. And be sure the truck is level side to side when loading or unloading. I would use two of those ladder extension planks side by side separated by about 18 inches. Connect the ends of the ladder extension planks by bolting a treated 2x6 or an aluminum beam to span each width and the 18 inches in the center to form a telescoping rectangle (wider is better). Next you need to secure the part of the telescoping track (that does not extend) to the tailgate. I would consider taking the rectangular assembly to an aluminum welder and weld it to a rectangular piece of aluminum that can then be bolted to the tailgate (do not weld the part that telescopes out the end of the truck!). Another method is using the type of clips found on ladder-jacks that are made to mate with the plank and secure it to the ladder-jack (go to LOWES or HD to check out the hardware). Bolt the clips to the tailgate. Now you have a see saw. Bolt the winch to the cab or front end of the ladder extension planks. Now comes the cradle. You have to decide between having the cradle locked to the track or just resting on it. Best would be locked to the track but detachable. The reason for this is that you will want to strap the cradle securely to the boat while the boat is floating in ankle deep water and then guide the boat and cradle to the track and let the winch pull the combination up onto the track. Good idea to have a remote winch control so you can do this single handed. The cradle should be neutral buoyant, and have a low profile and have rollers on the bottom (front and back of the cradle, at least two for each track and something of a guide on the sides of the track to keep to from it from moving laterally). The jack on the front to the seesaw is not necessary as you can use the weight of the boat to tilt the track up and down depending on if you are launching or loading. Just have a hand on the track end so that it does not slam either way. Once the boat is in the bed and the track is pushed in, lock the front of the track with two more clips and strap the boat again to the truck bed (more straps are better and maybe put some cast galvanized eyebolts in the bottom corners of the bed). Be sure you have a way to keep the track from extending while you are driving. As you design each part, be running through the operation of it in your mind to find risks and weaknesses before you build it.
 

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You can also go without the cradle by attaching teflon type slides to the tracks, the trick will be to have them offset slightly to allow the ladder extension planks to extend. The problem with this is when unloading, it will be difficult to pull the boat back far enough so that the seesaw tilts by itself. (I do everything single handed and I also do not like to straign myself.)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Can't do real engineering in a post but this will keep you as safe as possible: The major concern is the boat falling off the cradle or the cradle falling off the track. You want the track to be as wide as possible. And be sure the truck is level side to side when loading or unloading. I would use two of those ladder extension planks side by side separated by about 18 inches. Connect the ends of the ladder extension planks by bolting a treated 2x6 or an aluminum beam to span each width and the 18 inches in the center to form a telescoping rectangle (wider is better). Next you need to secure the part of the telescoping track (that does not extend) to the tailgate. I would consider taking the rectangular assembly to an aluminum welder and weld it to a rectangular piece of aluminum that can then be bolted to the tailgate (do not weld the part that telescopes out the end of the truck!). Another method is using the type of clips found on ladder-jacks that are made to mate with the plank and secure it to the ladder-jack (go to LOWES or HD to check out the hardware). Bolt the clips to the tailgate. Now you have a see saw. Bolt the winch to the cab or front end of the ladder extension planks. Now comes the cradle. You have to decide between having the cradle locked to the track or just resting on it. Best would be locked to the track but detachable. The reason for this is that you will want to strap the cradle securely to the boat while the boat is floating in ankle deep water and then guide the boat and cradle to the track and let the winch pull the combination up onto the track. Good idea to have a remote winch control so you can do this single handed. The cradle should be neutral buoyant, and have a low profile and have rollers on the bottom (front and back of the cradle, at least two for each track and something of a guide on the sides of the track to keep to from it from moving laterally). The jack on the front to the seesaw is not necessary as you can use the weight of the boat to tilt the track up and down depending on if you are launching or loading. Just have a hand on the track end so that it does not slam either way. Once the boat is in the bed and the track is pushed in, lock the front of the track with two more clips and strap the boat again to the truck bed (more straps are better and maybe put some cast galvanized eyebolts in the bottom corners of the bed). Be sure you have a way to keep the track from extending while you are driving. As you design each part, be running through the operation of it in your mind to find risks and weaknesses before you build it.
Very thought out advice. I really appreciate the input. Ill keep all this in mind while designing.Someone designed this and I think im going to use some of there ideas in what I construct. Theres a video of it launching on youtube. Both links below ----->
What do you think of this set up as far as construction and safety?

Mr bojangles Truck Bed Ski Launch System........
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Can't do real engineering in a post but this will keep you as safe as possible: The major concern is the boat falling off the cradle or the cradle falling off the track. You want the track to be as wide as possible. And be sure the truck is level side to side when loading or unloading. I would use two of those ladder extension planks side by side separated by about 18 inches. Connect the ends of the ladder extension planks by bolting a treated 2x6 or an aluminum beam to span each width and the 18 inches in the center to form a telescoping rectangle (wider is better). Next you need to secure the part of the telescoping track (that does not extend) to the tailgate. I would consider taking the rectangular assembly to an aluminum welder and weld it to a rectangular piece of aluminum that can then be bolted to the tailgate (do not weld the part that telescopes out the end of the truck!). Another method is using the type of clips found on ladder-jacks that are made to mate with the plank and secure it to the ladder-jack (go to LOWES or HD to check out the hardware). Bolt the clips to the tailgate. Now you have a see saw. Bolt the winch to the cab or front end of the ladder extension planks. Now comes the cradle. You have to decide between having the cradle locked to the track or just resting on it. Best would be locked to the track but detachable. The reason for this is that you will want to strap the cradle securely to the boat while the boat is floating in ankle deep water and then guide the boat and cradle to the track and let the winch pull the combination up onto the track. Good idea to have a remote winch control so you can do this single handed. The cradle should be neutral buoyant, and have a low profile and have rollers on the bottom (front and back of the cradle, at least two for each track and something of a guide on the sides of the track to keep to from it from moving laterally). The jack on the front to the seesaw is not necessary as you can use the weight of the boat to tilt the track up and down depending on if you are launching or loading. Just have a hand on the track end so that it does not slam either way. Once the boat is in the bed and the track is pushed in, lock the front of the track with two more clips and strap the boat again to the truck bed (more straps are better and maybe put some cast galvanized eyebolts in the bottom corners of the bed). Be sure you have a way to keep the track from extending while you are driving. As you design each part, be running through the operation of it in your mind to find risks and weaknesses before you build it.

Very thought out advice. I really appreciate the input. Ill keep all this in mind designing my ramp. Here is a design that im probably going to copy a few ideas from. What do you think about this set up as far as safety and construction? Both links below. One is a video of it launching---->

Mr bojangles Truck Bed Ski Launch System........

Thanks again

-Dylan
 

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i am gonna put my 9.5 rib boat in the back of my truck i got a USarmy stretcher from princess auto between two saw horses ,and it sat there all winter thick canvas and thick anodized alluminum brackets ,,,sat nicley on the fiberglass hull ,now i want to launch from the tailgate so i am gonna biuld carpet covered 2x4 bunk guids pull the boat out to a tow hitch extender with rollers or wheels then put it down on launch wheels ,,got a cheap 12v remote winch ,,,i know its a rib boat but just the same for jet skis
 
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