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Preparing to launch your inflatable boat

Preparing to launch your inflatable boat

With the return of the warm weather, RIB owners will once again be able to indulge their passion and take to the water for a full season of excursions, sea trips, fishing sessions and other leisure activities and water sports.

Although launching a boat may seem easy, even the most seasoned boaters can be surprised, forget a step, or lose time, which is why Orca Retail offers you some good advice on how to carry out this launching operation successfully. 


What steps are required for launching and navigation?

First of all, in order to navigate on the inland waters of a country, in our case France, you must register your pleasure boat if you have not done so in the past.

To do this, you must fill in this document: Fiche plaisance eaux intérieures pour la mise en service d'un bateau de plaisance(Cerfa N°14682*01) .

Then it must be sent to the Inland Waterways Registration Authority

At the end of this procedure, you will receive a circulation card.

Once you have this card, check with your port and its harbour office to ensure the following:

  • If you decide to keep your boat in the harbour, you should have negotiated your own berth
  • Good buoyancy and safety of your boat
  • Possible hours or days for impoundment
  • Documents required

In the event of a check by a river brigade or the coastguard, you must always be in possession of your on-board documents, on pain of a fine.

Make sure you have your boat licence, identity card, trailer registration document, insurance certificates, and a fishing licence if applicable.


What precautions should be taken to ensure a successful return to the sea?

First of all, a survey of your RIB and an inspection is necessary to ensure that it has not suffered during winter storage.

Start by checking the state of charge of your battery and then the correct functioning of your electronic devices, firstly those related to navigation (GPS, controls), then those concerning your navigation comfort (refrigerator, automated elements, auxiliary lights, radio, etc.).

Then make sure you fill up your boat tank with petrol, and if necessary provide additional reserves. Orca Retail offers a range of flexible tanks for fuel, but also for clear and waste water. You can then test the engine to make sure that it lights up properly and that the propeller turns correctly.

The third precautionary step in preparing for your launch is to make sure that your boat does not ... sink! Remember to install the bilge plug. More generally, check the watertightness of your boat and its level of wear. If any weaknesses appear that could lead to a risk of your RIB bladders breaking later on, it is probably high time to repair or reinforce them with our Orca Neoprene CSM fabrics.

Available for all models of RIB boats, discover our complete range and have it delivered quickly in Europe.

Finally, it is always a good idea to have a maintenance kit ready for unexpected repairs. Orca Retail can help you with this too: degreasing cleaners, anti-mould products, protective waxes, glues, hardeners, scratch strips ... you will find everything you need for the basic maintenance of your RIB in our online shop.

Logically, you have cleaned your boat thoroughly to prepare it for winter storage, but after many months of storage, a little cleaning and dusting is always welcome!

If you have any doubts about the inspection or general condition of your RIB and would like to seek professional advice or intervention, we invite you to consult our network of partner repairers throughout Europe. 


How do you go about the watering itself?

Finally comes the fateful moment: the launching of your RIB, which you must now unload from your trailer.

All in all, it should not take more than 5 minutes to put the water in.

Follow the following tips and steps to make it happen in this time frame and not to get the frustration of other boaters!

Remember to take your towing equipment such as the winch crank and the rear straps beforehand, or you may have great difficulties with your launch. It would be a pity to have to cut the strap because you are missing the crank to disengage the winch!

The first step of the launch is to load your RIB with all the necessary equipment for your first trip.

For your safety, always take distress flares, enough life jackets, your external navigation instruments if available, and your communication tools (radio or mobile phone and their waterproof protections) to always keep in touch with the shore.

If you are doing the operation alone and need to step away at some point, store the most coveted items and personal belongings in discreet or secure compartments to avoid unpleasant surprises. Make sure your equipment and accessories are well placed so that they do not slip and fall into the water when reversing!

Then think about taking any other accessories that will make your outing a success: food, drinks, fishing or sports equipment (skis, wakeboard, towels for swimming, etc.).

In a second step, drive your trailer in reverse towards the slope leading to the water. Back up until your tyres are submerged below the rim. There is no need to back up too far and have your tyres fully in the water: if your trailer is set up correctly, it will do its job well. Note that if you submerge your trailer and there is a problem, your insurance company may deny you assistance.

Adapt your speed and the level of immersion according to the inclination of the slope and your type of trailer ("brittle" or not). There is no need to rush, make sure that the angle is right and that no obstacles interfere with the operation. Look in your rear-view mirror or have someone assist you. If you are alone and have to get out of your vehicle, make sure your handbrake is on.

Once correctly positioned at the water's edge, for the third stage of your launch, gradually unwind the trailer strap that holds your boat until the boat is afloat.

We recommend that you do not have your inflatable boat completely off your trailer at this time. It is a good idea to have it partially restrained by the last few "rollers" on the trailer so that it remains wedged.

Untie the boat from the strap and board your RIB, having taken care to switch off your car engine and put on the handbrake. Start your boat engine, and manoeuvre slowly into the harbour towards the quay where you can moor.

Finally, return to your vehicle to clear the slipway and head for the harbour car park.


You are now ready to take to the sea, and we wish you a great season!


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Read more about the world of RIBs :


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