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2020 Touring as of 8/28/2020!
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Discussion Starter #1
I put this in the general forums hoping to maximize responses. Mods feel free to move this if not in the right place.
I have a 2008 MT non-turbo Forester. I just bought my first boat (18 foot Interlake-sailboat). The boat is app 650# the trailer is 800# so I know I'm well within the capapbilities of the car. My issue is that I've never launched a boat before. I went to look at the ramp at the club I have joined and it is short and very steep with some loose gravel on it. Everyone I've talked to there has said "no problem" until they hear it's a manual transmission. Then they all get concerned looks on their faces. Suffice it to say I am now terrified to do this since I know Subies don't swim. My one hope is that since my car has the "hill-holder" system I will not be needing the local dive-team's services in car retrieval. I am not a newbie driving stick-shifts since every car I've owned has been a manual and I am well into middle-agedness. So I guess what I need to know is does the fact that my car is an MT automatically rule it out in this situation which,by the way, will not be a once a season thing...more like a 2-3 times a week thing.Do any of you have any experience launching with an MT? I seriously have considered having my folks literally tether my car to their Outback just in case my Forester loses it and starts sliding backwards into the water or at the very least chocking the wheels that are not in the water. I know it will look ridiculous but seriously I only want to launch the boat not the car and trailer too.
 

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2008 Forester X Premium 5MT
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Have never done it with a Subaru but have done it with plenty of manuals. With out a hill holder once you decide to go, just go don't second guess your self.

With the hill holder just ease the clutch out until it is about to release the brakes(hill holder) then go.

Chances are you are just thinking about it too much, it's not bad. Go find a hill to play on or visit another lake/launch with a lesser incline to get the 1st time or 2 out of the way.
 

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2009 2.5X Limited 4EAT
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386 Posts
Yeah, I bet you got a lot of "uh-ohs" because people have a tendency to second guess, not give gas, or stall out. If you're comfortable on the MT, I have no doubt you'll be fine. If you knew of any steep driveways in the area, I suppose you could practice a bit. But a savvy MT driver along with hill-holder, no probs whatsoever.
 

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I will be performing my first boat launch with my MT at the end of this week. I'm only slightly concerned. I'll let you know how it went!
 

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2010 FXT Limited 4EAT Sport Shift
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Drufus-
Ignore comment to use handbrake for now...go out to the country or wherever you need to go to have an incline similar in slope angle to your marina...get some experience with your hill-holder, practice smooth takeoffs, you'll be fine!
Be glad you don't have the XT, even I would be somewhat apprehensive...
-Quick
PS:If you don't get the hang of a hillholder takeoff, THEN try the handbrake/clutch/throttle hand-eye coordination gambit....good luck in either case!

I will be performing my first boat launch with my MT at the end of this week. I'm only slightly concerned. I'll let you know how it went!
 

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2001 Forester
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1,140 Posts
Drufus-
Ignore comment to use handbrake for now...go out to the country or wherever you need to go to have an incline similar in slope angle to your marina...get some experience with your hill-holder, practice smooth takeoffs, you'll be fine!
Be glad you don't have the XT, even I would be somewhat apprehensive...
-Quick
PS:If you don't get the hang of a hillholder takeoff, THEN try the handbrake/clutch/throttle hand-eye coordination gambit....good luck in either case!
I'm curious why you say not to use the handbrake until you get a feel for it then you can just use the hill holder? :crazy:
 

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2010 FXT Limited 4EAT Sport Shift
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Drufus-
One OR the other!
NOT one, THEN the other!

The hillholder was designed to do this, as a convenience by the Subaru engineers. It'll do the job.

The alternative, is to do the handbrake thiing, which takes more concentration and coordination.
Just trying to be helpful...

I'm curious why you say not to use the handbrake until you get a feel for it then you can just use the hill holder? :crazy:
 

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2003 Subaru Forester SG5 5MT
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198 Posts
It looks like hill holder on mine was switched off or something (before I bought a Fozzie).

So I used a hand brake on a very steep hills to launch when I just started to learn how to drive my Fozzie. Now it's usually ok w/o hand brake, although some times it comes in quite handy.

p.s. Just passed '1 year' date on manual in the 1st of april :)
 

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2003 Subaru Forester XS
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167 Posts
If your hill holder is properly adjusted you shouldn't need the hand brake. If not, just use the hand brake. If you know what you're doing, you'll be ok, you, yourself said you've been arround manuals from awhile
 

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2015 XC diesel CVT
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and if you're worried about traction or getting the tailpipe too close to the tide, unhitch and link the trailer back on with a short rope/chain. Gets you out of the wet and slippy stuff.
 

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2010 Forester Prem. 5 spd
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I'll be doing the same with the 2010 FOZ this summer. I also drive MT. I think the biggest issue will be the angle of the ramp more than the gross weight of the actual craft. Also algae on the ramp. :(

Since I'll be launching an inflatable the gross weight of the outboard, inflatable will not be more than 250-300 lbs. It makes it an easier proposition should I need to ease it into the water. I also anticipate having some waders on and roller guides on the bunks too.

Best with your boat launch and make sure to christen your boat gently. :)

Cheers,

CapeAnn
 

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2015 Highlander AWD XLE 6AT
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Launching the boat shouldn't be a problem with an MT. Note that as the boat and trailer enter the water, most of the towed weight will be relieved, particularly when the boat starts to float.

Hauling the boat and trailer from the water might be a different issue, and that's probably the source of the concerned looks. I would think that the AWD system would take care of the traction problem, but the clutch might get a little hot & smelly until you get the hang of it.

what is mt.
MT = manual transmission

HTH,
Jim / crewzer
 

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I'm confident in my clutching ability and with my hill holder I don;t anticipate any problems. I think my boat only weights about 1000lbs total trailer weight so it shouldnlt be too bad.
 

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Launched and retrieved the boat without any problems. Stalled it when pulling the empty trailer out, but I learned from that. Pulling the boat up was no issue.

My outboard didn;t start though so that sucked!!! Its not getting a spark, anyone know anything about Johnson outboards????
 

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2001 SOLD!
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I do it with this. I use the handbrake and when the friction point gets near I let go and come up the ramp. I have less problem than a Ford Ranger trying to go up with 2 Seadoo's on a trailer!!!:icon_rolleyes:

 
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