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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.

If launching a boat seems to be an easy thing, even the most experienced can be surprised, forget a step, or lose time ... that's why Orca Retail offers you to review some good advice to carry out this operation of launching your RIB! 


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 out this document: Inland water pleasure boat form for the commissioning of a pleasure boat (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 in a RIB?

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 plan to fill up your boat's tank with fuel, and possibly provide additional reserves. Orca Retail offers a range of flexible fuel tanks, 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 to prepare for your launch is to make sure that your RIB boat will not ... sink! Remember to install the bilge plug. More generally, check the watertightness of your boat and its level of wear. If a fragility appears that could lead to a risk of breaking your RIB bladders later on, it is probably high time to repair or reinforce them with our Orca Neoprene Hypalon fabrics.

Available for all models of semi-rigid inflatable boats, discover now our complete range and have it delivered quickly in Europe.

Finally, it is always a good idea to have a maintenance kit available for unexpected repairs. Once again, Orca Retail can help you: degreasing cleaners, anti-mildew products, protective waxes, glues, hardeners, scratch strips ... you will find everything you need to maintain your RIB in our online store.

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 boat 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.).

Second, drive your trailer in reverse toward the slope leading to the water. Back up until your tires are submerged below the rim. There is no need to back up too far and have your tires completely in the water: if your trailer is properly adjusted, it will do its job well. Note that if you submerge your trailer and there is a problem, your insurance may deny you assistance.

Adapt your speed and the level of immersion according to the inclination of the said slope and your type of trailer ("brittle" or not). There is no need to rush, make sure that the angle is the right one, and that no obstacle disturbs the operation. Look in your rearview mirror or have someone assist you. If you are alone and need to get out of your vehicle, make sure your hand brake 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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